Carrying the Authority of Jesus (Mt 10:26-42)

March 20, 2009

Matt. 10:26-39

Will you carry your cross and follow Him?

Will you carry your cross and follow Him?

We have been looking at the disciple relationship which Jesus began teaching here. Remember, these are the words that Jesus had given to those disciples whom He most trusted who had agreed to give up everything to follow Him. Jesus promises the small few Believers who are truly willing to follow Him (not just those who believe in Him and will get to Heaven some day) that they will be transformed into His image and be His representatives on this earth.

In this section, Jesus teaches that the values of a disciple and his perspectives of life must change. There is no longer any room for fear as one follows Christ because the trust and faith in Him should imbue the disciple with a peace. Read the rest of this entry »

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Are you willing to give your life to Jesus? Part II (Mt 7:21-23)

March 5, 2009

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.‘” (Matthew 7:21-23-continued)

The Freedom of Giving It All to Him

The Freedom of Giving It All to Him

Please read Part I from yesterday where this scripture was introduced. Jesus is saying that we might do many good deeds, but that is NOT what gets us into His Kingdom. His example is difficult for most of us in the US because most of us have never uttered a prophetic word, cast out a demon, laid hands on others and seen God heal, or do some creative miracle. Even if you’re in a good “charismatic” church where these things happen, you might not be doing these things in your life. (For the record, I don’t attend a church that would be considered “charismatic” but I do know very well that these things of the Bible are true and real. I’ve seen these things many times.)

Jesus’ point in saying this is that if you were going around practicing these supernatural gifts, you might feel very confident that you are a very godly person, but that in fact, you might have taken His gift and moved off in your own direction with them, serving your own desires and interests and not submitting your life to Him. There is a greater spiritual reality than simply practicing gifts. Knowing God and living in constant communion with and obedience to Him is the greatest calling, the life He calls us to, and something easy to get away from.

I think an example that might be a lot more common today would be if you are off doing good deeds. Good service projects. Doing exactly what we are called to do…helping the poor, widows, and orphans, but making this your idol. If you are doing these things and He is not calling you to them, then you might be in direct opposition to God’s will for your life. You might not. If you decide to go help the needy on a Friday night instead of going to a movie, I can’t see how that would offend God. In this case, you’re not doing the service when He is instead calling you somewhere else.

However, it is becoming more and more popular today to make the Gospel all about serving others. This is not the Gospel! The Gospel is about the life, death, and new life available in Jesus the Messiah. Yes, when you have this new life, you will be called to help others, but the Kingdom is in knowing and following Him! Read the rest of this entry »


Are you willing to give your life to Jesus? Part I (Mt 7:21-23)

March 4, 2009

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.‘” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Giving back to Him

Giving back to Him

I write these in advance so that I’m not under the gun in the morning. I sat down to finish out the Sermon on the Mount, which we left off yesterday, last week and after writing a couple, I looked at these 3 verses and felt my head would explode. I had no idea what to do with it, but after several days I feel I have a little better insight. Actually, I’ve written too much for one blog post and will break this into an overview today with specific applications tomorrow. I’d love your feedback on what I’ve written here.

The problem with going straight through the Bible in a public forum is that you have to talk about things that you would rather not. I’d prefer not to ruffle feathers, but I have to get through the scriptures, so let’s see how this goes…

Life in the Kingdom of Heaven is attained by submitting to the will of God for our lives. Jesus introduced it and He submitted to betrayal, torture, and the most humiliating and painful death. Would you submit to this if God called you to do it? Could you? The beauty of it is that although it is often difficult to submit to a will other than our own, once we do, we find a life more rewarding and joyful than what we had before…oh and He doesn’t typically ask us to do the torture and physical death thing! Read the rest of this entry »


Why did Jesus submit to John? (Mt 3)

February 3, 2009

Matthew 3

John the Baptist had an amazing calling. He was to prepare the atmosphere for the coming Messiah in two major ways. He was preparing the spiritual atmosphere for the coming King. And he was preparing men and women to look into their hearts and their lives for the ways in which they were falling short of the life God called them to live and to repent. In other words, to admit their sins and turn their lives around.

(v.4-6) John had a single minded, single hearted devotion to the task he was called to. He endured a very difficult life to be up to this task. It is usually the case that the bigger a calling God has planned for us, the more we must overcome in order to have developed the character to be the person He needs us to be for the calling.

(v.11-12) John was the greatest of prophets and understood even before Jesus’ ministry that what Jesus would bring the people was far greater than what he could speak of. John spoke of repentance from sin and Jesus did continue this message since this could only be achieved through Him. But John also understood the more powerful transformational process that Jesus would bring through the Holy Spirit. That for those willing Jesus would offer a greater baptism…the giving of the Life of God through the Holy Spirit, and the burning away of those areas of your life that is not of Him, which is the baptism of fire. Read the rest of this entry »