Tag Archives: Jesus

Are You a Marathoner?

hebrews 12 run race2The word “endure” is repeated as a reminder to lose our focus on the heavenly rewards awaiting us. The faithful of chapter 11 are reminders that, although frail and weak as we, they remained focused on the reward, a better land, that is a heavenly one. They line the sidelines as onlookers of a marathon cheering us onward and like them we also have a race perfectly ordained by our heavenly Father. Now we toil all night not realizing that our Master has a breakfast prepared for us. We stand at the edge of the field of harvest and hear the Master say, look up, the fields are white for harvest reminding us “The one who sows and the one who reaps can rejoice together.” The Master’s yoke is easy and his burden is light so run as a soldier who has trained outfitted in spiritual armor.

Job was blameless by God’s standards and yet he faced struggles unknowing what had transpired in heaven between our adversary and God. Consider this, he endured even though God was silent from chapter 3 to 38. Know this—most of us are only at chapter 23! Job trusted God just as Jesus trusted God. Christ is our pre-eminent example of endurance.

The key is endurance; the reward and our rewarder is Christ.

Photo: Nastassia Yakushevich: Dreamstime + Author’s caption


Those Pesky Deadly D’s

jesus way truth lifea


As we continue through the letter titled simply Hebrews we are noting the fatherly yet teacher  character.  He has not been remiss to remind the reader that even though they might be like those  who are facing almost daily  persecution and difficulty in their lives, these readers should beware of drifting and disbelief which are part of the disease of the deadly d’s. Our archenemy has his arsenal complete with just the one for today it seems–like distraction. You are on your way only to be distracted from your appointed round by it! And then there is discouragement. Add to that list any more that begin with “dis..” and you get the picture.

But, Christ is supremely appointed as our high priest and he is greater than any “dis…” The author of Hebrews reminds us that we need to focus on Christ who is and was the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. As the Son, Jesus is superior to angels, superior to Moses and now superior to Aaron. And yet in his humanity he suffered, prayed deeply, was tempted yet without sin. This is why he could “[become] the source of [our] eternal salvation.”

It is why Jesus said about himself “I AM the Way, The Truth, the Life” and no one, not a single person alive now or before or in the future will  come before the God of the universe apart from Jesus Christ. Many say that is so narrow-minded. I didn’t say it Jesus did. He is the one who died on that cross and rose again to new life. Consider then the source.

Think of being on a deserted island with no provisions. A rescuer comes. You have a choice, will you choose to trust him even though he is a stranger when he says, “if you trust me I will take you to safety.” You have a choice to follow or stay. The one who follows is just like the one who trusts the words of Jesus and is saved for eternity. The one who says no I won’t trust him has just lost their ticket to salvation/freedom, rescue and a life with God in eternity.

Have you believed and trusted God’s plan or are you thinking if I just love God it is enough? James said  “Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear” yet they are not saved for eternity. God’s plan may be narrow-minded in your eyes but that is His way, will you trust him? The blessings are out of this world!

Are You Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

hebrews 3 rock & hard place2Hebrews 3 is a reminder that because of the faithfulness of Jesus, we who have believed all he has said and done are now given a new distinction. We are now called partners and holy brethren. This is amazing!  Jesus said, follow me and now we find that we also family members of the Apostle and High Priest, the Son of the Most High God!

The initial Hebrew readers were facing a challenge. We might say they caught between a ‘ROCK’ (pun intended) and a hard place because they did not want to dishonor Moses and yet wanted to follow Jesus.  Therefore, the author reminds them that Moses was God’s servant not God’s Son. Moses was a faithful servant “in” the house but Christ was faithful “over” the house. Moses faithfully cared for God’s house, the children of Israel, but he did it as a servant. Christ is faithful as the Son over the house, that is we who are now called holy brethren.

Therefore, holy brethren, beware of drifting or falling away just as the Israelites had done in the desert and ended up doing a wilderness walk for 40 yrs. Beware of hardened hearts and unbelief as a consequence of  unbelief.  A scary thought straight from God! He swore they would die in the desert and lose the promise of eternal rest. It is vital that we remain steadfast and also to encourage other holy brethren who may be wavering and seeking to return to their old ways–the past. We must reassure each other day after day so that hearts remain teachable and soft.

The consequences of unbelief are eternal.

Are You Drifting?

hebrews 2 drifting dreamstimeIn chapter one of Hebrews, as believers in Christ, the author encourages us to rejoice in our Savior because he is the radiance of God’s glory. We extol his name and we praise him in song  in word in the assembly of the righteous,

BUT….. here are the questions before us:

  • What do we do when we leave that assembly?
  • Do we leave our praise there or do we carry it with us in our quiet time as well as our work-a-day world?

Jesus came in human form to suffer death to release us who were enslaved to the one who had the power and fear of death. Jesus came to overcome so that he might bring us to glory where before the Father he will call us brothers and sisters.  The cost was exorbitant, the pain was great, the temptations were without measure—he did it all for us. That is why we must not drift; we must not neglect this great salvation.

This is the message that we must carry with us in word and deed: “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,” [1Cor 15] It was first announced by Jesus then confirmed to others who then passed this on to us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit for one reason: we might carry the message to the next generation.as Psalm 78 encourages us to do!

“We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,”

Are you tethered or drifting?

Photo: Dreamstime

Are You Ever Ashamed of Christ?

1john 2 not ashamed2aWhat would be your answer to that question? There more “shamers” amongst us than we want to readily admit. Let’s look at the evidence.  The disciples failed to trust Jesus to provide sustenance for the crowd. Is this us too?  Do we like the Pharisees look for a sign rather than trust Him? Are we often ungrateful when we see Him work like the healed blind man but fail to stop and say thank you? Are we silent before others when we set our interests on men’s ways rather than on God’s ways?

Jesus asked the disciples “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered “you are the Christ,” yet in the next breath he began to rebuke Christ when He spoke of his suffering to come. Jesus reminded him that his agenda was man’s not God’s. Perhaps that is why right after that Jesus asked: You want to be my follower? Then you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. If you ashamed of me now in this life, I will be ashamed of you in the life to come.

Let’s get personal: When we quench the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit to trust Him; when we fail to give Him the glory it might be because we are ashamed. Today, be quiet before the Holy Spirit and see if any of these are true. If so, seek His forgiveness so that at his appearing you may stand with confidence!  [1Jn2]

Photo credit: Christianimages.

Will You Meet Jesus as Savior or Judge?

While the world celebrated, a joyful Easter celebration became a place of execution because the celebrants called Jesus, Savior. Instantly they were transported to heaven where they met hebrews 1 meeting J+athe Savior, the heir of all things, the very Word of God who spoke the word creating all that has life and breath and even now is sustained by the word of his power. As Savior, they saw him as the very radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact representation of His nature who was given up by the Father for their sins. They saw the nail prints in his hands from being the purifier of sins by his sacrifice on the cross and then  ascended into the heavens where he sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high interceding. They loved him and looked for his appearing. Because he is the Resurrection and the life, he lives, and they live also. (Rom 8; Heb 7Jn 14) We mourn but rejoice in their heavenly gain.

But if they did not “know” the Savior, they met him as judge. From his lips they heard; what did you do with Me who lived, died and rose again for your transgressions?  It is then that they experienced the piercing of their heart and saw their deeds as dung. They heard “depart from me, I never knew you…go away into eternal punishment,” [Mat 7 & 25 selected scriptures]

Beloved, if today is your day, will you meet Jesus as Savior or will you meet him as judge?

Meeting Jesus on a Dusty Road

acts 9 saul meets J+2One day in the teaching ministry of Jesus, he told a parable about a Pharisee and a Publican to illustrate the truth of those who were confident in their own righteousness while they looked down on others. In much the same way, Saul, whom we meet in Acts 9 is a picture of that Pharisee.  His prayers might have sounded just like the Pharisee: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people:” …in addition, God I thank you I am not one of those followers of that Jesus pretender. And so with that mindset, Saul set out to murder the Lord’s disciples not only in Jerusalem but also in Damascus. But unbeknownst to the high priest and Saul, God had a different plan. He needed a Jew who was a scholar, fluent in both Greek and Aramaic, knowledgeable in the Torah and the Prophets. Who better to fit that bill than Saul! Clearly, Saul must have overlooked Is 55 “my ways are higher than yours, and my plans are superior to yours.”

And so it was on a dusty road that Saul met Jesus first hand and it radically changed his mind, his heart and his lifestyle. He wrote later: “I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ,”[Phi 3:8] Saul, soon to be Paul, now picked up where the martyred Stephen left off unapologetically proving Jesus is the Christ.

Beware lest you think like Saul—Jesus may meet you and your life will be forever changed.

The Villain, God, and Us

luke 22 i have prayed2In the opening verses of Job, we find the villain Satan in the presence of God as the accuser of the brethren who has been on the prowl looking for someone to devour. [1Pe 5:8]

The adversary challenged God that Job’s trials would result in falling and cursing God. But God knew his servant Job, he is “a pure and upright man, [he] fears God” Just as God knew Job, Jesus knew Peter and Jesus knows us. Unlike Job Peter was given fair warning. “Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;” The question is this: when tests come will we be like Job?

And how does the adversary work? Distraction. He distracted Job from his prayer walk.  He distracted through the disciples’ mistrust of another’s motives and arguing as to who was the greatest. In the midst of this, Jesus revealed the test and a powerful truth: The test may not be removed but “I have prayed for you, that your faith not fail.”

We are to be like Job: he never cursed God. But, if like Peter we fall we must NOT say: I have fallen; I am of no use BUT rather I have fallen, I must get up and strengthen others as Jesus said. God will use the bad to bring about good.  Beloved, cling to this: Jesus is interceding for us that our faith not fail.  It is not “if” but “when” we fall we are to turn back and strengthen others with the lessons we have learned.


Are You Prepared?

frank turek stealing from GodFrank Turek, author of “Stealing from God” wrote:  “the amazing evidence of God’s sovereignty is revealed in how even those who don’t believe in Him call upon Him to remind them of the source that paved the way to their disavowal of belief in His existence.”

Skeptics then and skeptics now are those John wrote about: “You study the scriptures that testify about me,” [Jn 5] yet you deny the evidence. The religious leaders did believe in Jehovah but modern day skeptics are living proof of Romans 1 claiming to be wise but are fools. Then and now they struggle with the evidence before them and so just as Turek says; they steal from God’s domain to seek their own understanding of truth while denying it when it is revealed.

The religious leaders came asking “by what authority do you do these things.” “Do we pay taxes or not?” ”Prove there is a resurrection from the dead.” Instead of a blanket yes/no statement Jesus fired back his own questions. Today we can apply that same principle when asked these types of questions by asking: “What do you mean by that.”  The burden of proof falls upon them. The religious leaders faced a dilemma: believe or deny; and just as the skeptics today they answered, “we don’t know.”

Beloved, you can be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves” with those you meet today. Be prepared; hide God’s word in your heart so you can “discern both good and evil.” [Heb 5]


Some other books to consider: 

“Tactics” by Greg Koukl; also his website: http://www.str.org/ and articles here on Bible.org

Letters to a Young Progressive” by Mike Adams


Is Jesus Your Messiah?

john 9 once blind now see2John 9 is the greatest story ever told about what occurs when both physical and spiritual illumination happens in a person’s life.  The LIGHT came as a witness and a sign to the unbelieving; yet some continued, as they do today, to read the False Book of Assumptions; refusing to believe the evidence and thus stand before God condemned.  The glaring evidence of both physical and spiritual blindness is revealed that we might consider the words of Jesus to the Pharisees “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains.”

How do we react when God provides concrete evidence of a changed life and they stand “in our face?”  Do we honor God or are we like the three groups who witnessed the “miracle man” yet refused steadfastly to believe? All of the neighbors, the parents, and the religious leaders were witness to not just a physical change but a spiritual change as well–yet they refused to accept it from God. The neighbors scoffed and the parents were ensnared by fear. The religious leaders claimed to follow Moses but what about following God?  These are now without excuse because they wanted signs to authenticate Jesus. The “miracle man” stood as a work of God as prophesied in Ex 4:11 and Psalm 146:8. They stand guilty of unbelief.

How about you when you are confronted with the evidence? Can you say: “I once was blind but now I see?” This is God’s grace.