What’s Done in the Dark Comes Out

July 28, 2014

We all have have heard of the saying What’s Done in the Dark Comes Out in the Light. While man may not be able to assess our motives, God can. He reveals it to people. In our text below, we have a summary of commentary about Judas from John. Listen to what John says about Judas.

John 12

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

John shared that Judas did not care about the poor or the things of God. Judas was a thief. Judas stole repeatedly from the treasury of the Lord.

God knows our motives. He knows whether we are for Him or against Him. He knows what we are going to do. Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. Just as He knew about Judas, He knows about us. Rather than conceal our waywardness, we should confess our sins and receive forgiveness. Let’s do right while we can because What’s Done in the Dark Comes Out.

Selfless or Selfish Motives: The Choice is Ours

July 27, 2014

This post is in response to someone who asked me to write about motives yesterday. As God would have it, He graciously and providently provided an authentic example from His Word in the same passage of focus, John 12.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

There is so much in these few verses that I will have to possibly gloss over some. Today, let’s just consider the comparison of the writer here. He compares Mary with Judas. Both were, on the surface at least, were followers of Jesus. Note: our words and actions reveal what our motives are.

Up to this point in the passage, we are not given any words of Mary, but her actions spoke loud and clear. Mary demonstrated her love and appreciation of Jesus for raising Lazarus from the dead. How does she do that? She sacrificed an expensive item to honor Jesus. She poorer the pure nard. It was not diluted, mixed, or imitation. It was pure nard – an expensive perfume. She gladly and reverently gave up something that cost for Jesus who had given her something that was invaluable and priceless, her brother’s life. Notice too how she applied the nard. Yes over Jesus’ head but also on His feet. We all concede when Jesus washes His disciples feet that it was an act of humility. Well, Mary’s act is no less of the same. Selfless or Selfish Motives: The Choice is Ours

On the contrary, Judas’ words and later actions show that he did not have a genuine interest in Jesus nor was he interested in honoring Jesus. Judas had a false or pretentious interest in Christ. He was an apostle who was supposed to preach the Gospel, but He had selfish motives. I guess Judas is the first false preacher of the Gospel. Whereas Mary focuses on Jesus, Judas focuses on the use of the nard. He objects to its use as a means to honor Jesus for what He did for Lazarus. “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?” In Matthew 26:8, Judas, along with other disciples, showed how unfocused they were on Jesus. They called Mary’s use of the nard a waste. Funny how we want Jesus to give us the world, but we want to short-change Him on showing praise and honor for who He is and what He did. While not totally unworthy, Judas shows us how we mask impure and improper motives. He used a good cause, giving to the poor, to divert attention away from Jesus. In doing so, one major ploy of the wicked one is to do exactly that – distract us from what is best by bombarding us with what is good.

Selfless or Selfish Motives: The Choice is Ours. We see what Judas valued and chose. What we value will dictate our choices. If we really want to evaluate our motives, explore and evaluate your choices. It will reveal what is important to you. If Christ continues to come up with the short-end of the stick, you know whether selfless or selfish motives were at work.

Aromatherapy

July 26, 2014

According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is the use of fragrances to affect or alter a person’s mood or behavior as defined by dictionary.com. By the composition of the word, we know it involves the use of fragrances for a treatment or curative process. 

In John 12, we begin to see the first stages of Jesus being honored for His sacrifice albeit unannounced and unrealized by those whom He came to die. Let’s look in.

John 12

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

In Jewish history, the Passover celebrated God sparing Israelite lives while taking the lives of Egyptians. God told the Israelites to spread lambs blood on the door frames/posts of their houses. Those houses were not impacted by the angels who carried out God’s plan in freeing His people. Likewise, Jesus’ incarnation allowed Him to serve as the sacrificial lamb that brings life to all who are covered with the blood of the Lamb.

In our text today, we find Jesus back in Bethany. Remember, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead there. During the dinner that was given by Martha, Mary and Lazarus, we see Aromatherapy being practiced by Mary. In assessing people’s authenticity, we can gauge it by how they spend their time and their money. In this case, we know that Mary and her family really valued Jesus because they gave a dinner which cost money and time. If we really want to gauge one’s commitment, we look at their sacrifices. Mary epitomizes this in this text.

Martha served which was good. Lazarus reclined at the table conveying that he was enjoying himself, but “Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” According to the Reformation Study Bible, Matthew and Mark indicate that she poured some perfume on His head, which would be the common practice. To attend to His feet and wipe them with her hair was a tribute of humility and devotion.

Throughout the Old Testament, we see sacrifices made to God were an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Surrendering our lives in devotion and servitude to Jesus is the greatest sacrifice we could make to God. Like Mary, we would demonstrate humility and devotion by daily, even moment by moment, giving our lives to Christ. 2 Corinthians says, “14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aromaof Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

Are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus out of humility and devotion for His sacrifice on the cross which provides us the opportunity to commune with God? If you are willing, you will practice Aromatherapy.

Who Seeks to Glorify God?

July 25, 2014

Sorry for the hiatus over the past couple of days. The reality is that I don’t write when I don’t clearly hear what God says to me. A lot has been going on this week. As always, God has been at work: Hearing from students and staff about how I influenced them; Encouraging my family; Giving me another job and protecting my dad in the accident he had. Now, that’s second time in a month as God protected my other dad in his accident. Both men came out okay, but their trucks were busted up. Better the trucks than them. Both of my fathers, yes, God graciously gave me two men who were involved in my maturation.

Like the two men He gave to raise me, God wants to mature us as we watch His power in His works in this world. God showed His power in protecting my dads. Regarding the power of the Father brings me to my last post from John 11. While we believe in God’s power, we often, in sin I might add, question God’s power. In our smugness, we act as if we know better than God because a circumstance does not work out the way we envisioned. Who Seeks to Glorify God? * Funny how we question God’s power when it does not work out the way we thought. This is dangerous. It leads us down the wrong road causing us to make improper conclusions about who God is or about the character of God. We say God is good, but we don’t really believe it when things don’t work out the way we have unfolded it in our minds.

Take a look from John 11 to see what I mean. As you remember, Lazarus was sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus to come and help Him. Jesus delayed His coming to Lazarus’ aid. Why? Jesus said that “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Notice, Jesus did not say Lazarus would not die. He said it would not end in death. Things did not go the way that Mary and Martha envisioned. Jesus did not come right away but waited four days. After all, He was only two miles or so away from them. Who Seeks to Glorify God?

Remember what both Martha and Mary said to Jesus when He did come? See verses 21 and 32 where both said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Both envisioned that if Jesus came when they asked then Lazarus would have lived. Jesus had different plans. As God, He reserves the right to do what He wants, when He wants and how He wants. We not only see that improper view with those who followed Jesus in the passage. We also see it from those who were skeptical about His authority. Who Seeks to Glorify God?

Verse 37 says, “But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Them refers to some of the Jews who were there that did not believe in Jesus; yet, they attributed the healing of the blind man (chapter 9) to Jesus. They saw and accepted that Jesus healed the blind man, but questioned His ability to keep Lazarus from dying. In this, we see that whether believing or unbelieving all of us “dis” Jesus. We separate our belief in Him when things don’t go the way we envision them. When things don’t play out as we thought, we cast dispersion on His character – on His deity. Basically, the people were saying if Jesus was all of that He could have kept this man from dying which is exactly what Martha and Mary said (v.21&32). The answer to the question in verse 37 is Jesus could have, but as Jesus says in verse 4 “No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” That is the message Jesus has for us. He is about glorifying God not catering to our every desire. Who Seeks to Glorify God?

The message, in part, from this passage screams “Now hear this, Jesus does what He wants, when He wants, how He wants.” Our only response should be thank you Lord for what you did. We should not be displeased, disappointed, depressed, discourage or dejected. The prefix “de” shows separation. The prefix “dis” shows apart or away. Either way, it leads us away from God rather than closer to God. God’s intention through every incident, particularly those unsavory ones, is to draw us to closer fellowship with Him. Who Seeks to Glorify God?

We don’t see God’s intention because we are worried about our will and not His will. Isaiah 55:8-10 says,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
    and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

Who Seeks to Glorify God? Those who submit to His thoughts and His ways. Let’s Go Higher.

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

July 22, 2014

In John 11, we have the 5th of Jesus’ 7 I AM Statements. Jesus made seven statements that directly proclaimed who He was as it related to God and God’s purpose for Him. Jesus proclaims I Am the Resurrection and the Life.

John 11

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Would have, could have, should have are all scenarios that we have played out in our minds. When circumstances happen that hurt and disappoint us, we all look for how those things could have been averted. For Martha, she told Jesus “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Mary too said the same thing when she saw Jesus (v32).  Martha believed that Jesus could have prevented her brother from dying. From Martha’s response, we know that she was expecting Jesus to do something but raising Lazarus at this point was not her focus. In fact, when Jesus said “your brother will rise again”, she referred to a resurrection of the last day i.e. the final return of the Messiah to establish God’s rule over all. She believed in the resurrection but just not then. Martha was in better positions than the Sadducees, the majority of the Sanhedrin, who did not believe in the resurrection.

Then, Jesus expands her understanding of who He is. He declared to her  I Am the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus is literally and figuratively the Resurrection and the Life. He begins to lay the foundation for that by raising Lazarus from the dead. I have read that Jesus was quite aware of the Jewish superstition of that time that said a soul stays near the grave for three days of  hopes to return to the body; therefore, it was accepted that after four days there was absolutely no hope of resuscitation. After four days, everyone assumed that Lazarus was really dead as evidenced by Martha saying there would be a bad odor if they opened the tomb. Their concept of Jesus raising someone who were really dead was not at the forefront of their consciousness.

As He did with Martha, Jesus calls all of us to make a decision as to whether we believe in Him or not. He told her I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Just as He proclaimed that to Martha, He is proclaiming that to us today via His Word. Jesus is also asking us “Do you believe this?” Like the people of that day, we have to look at who Jesus said He is and what He did to substantiate our belief or faith in Him. 

I can truly say that I continue to grow in my understanding of the triune God. Like Martha, I believe, but often, it is based on limited understanding. God continues to reveal Himself to me. That is what makes life so interesting and exciting. At times, I must admit that I get caught in the moment like Martha and Mary. It is in those moments that God challenges my faith in who He is. Where are we right now? Are we in the midst of a crisis where our belief of Christ is being challenged? For me, the answer to that is yes. In reality, we are always being challenged, but there are times where the challenge is more poignant.

Jesus says, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” While I may physically die, I will never die spiritually because of what Jesus did on the cross and from raising from the grave to ascend to the right hand of God. I will not die as Jesus proclaimed. If we want to be spiritually resurrected to life, we must believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world to save those who are His. Do you believe this?

 

 

Jesus is Not Far Away

July 21, 2014

In the post Why Jesus’ Delays are not Always Denials, I shared that Jesus may delay His coming to give us aid to bring greater glory to God. Today in John 11, we learn that, while He delayed, Jesus is Not Far Away. We may often think because His response is delayed that He isn’t around.

John 11

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,

Have you ever noticed that when you really need something that it appears to be so far away. It’s like riding home after a long trip and you have to relieve yourself. The bathroom seems so far away when you pull into the driveway. I am sure that’s how Mary and Martha felt when they Sent Word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick.

In verse 18, we learn that Bethany was only two miles from Jerusalem which means that Jesus could have easily come to Lazarus’ aid the day He heard word from Mary and Martha. Why didn’t He? We know “… it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (v.4)  Two miles revealed that Jesus is Not Far Away from Lazarus. There is something comforting about knowing that we are not far away from relief, aid, or help.

Help is exactly what Jesus did. The text points out that Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Not one, not two, not three but four days – four days dead. Why did Jesus wait? I have read that Jesus was quite aware of the Jewish superstition of that time that said a soul stays near the grave for three days of  hopes to return to the body; therefore, it was accepted that after four days there was absolutely no hope of resuscitation.

Lazarus was good and dead. He was not resuscitated or revived. He was resurrected as a precursor to what He would do for Himself after His death on the cross. Jesus, despite waiting four days, evidenced that there is no amount of time or circumstance that can prevent Him from helping us. Jesus is Not Far Away. 

I am not sure where you are or what you are dealing with in this very hour, but Jesus is Not Far Away. He wants us to know that if He wanted to that He could bring us back to life to show who God is and what God can do. Remember, it is not about Lazarus, Mary, Martha or us. It is about Him bring glory to God. Jesus’ delays or denials are not an indictment on His love or the lack thereof for us but about Him glorifying God. Just as God told Moses in Deuteronomy 31:6, He also tells us “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

While it may have seemed like it to Mary, Martha and you,Jesus is Not Far Away just trust in Him. He will bring about the results that give God the greatest praise and glory.

Why Jesus’ Delays are not Always Denials

July 20, 2014

In the post Why You Should Send Word to Jesus, I shared that Jesus desires to demonstrate the love of God and bring glory to God. This is why were are told to bring our cares and concerns to Him. Each time we do so, we have the opportunity to have God’s character revealed resulting in our praise of Him.

Imbedded in Jesus’ desire to bring glory to God is His care or love for those whom the Father has given Him. As we see in verse three below, Mary and Martha dial into Jesus’ love for Lazarus. Notice that there was not all out appeal in desperation, but the appeal or call for help was not directly stated. Instead, the word Mary and Martha sent was simply “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Do we have to call for a helping hand when someone who loves us learns of our condition or need of assistance? The text here says, No! The text also gives us a rationale Why Jesus’ Delays are not always Denials.

John 11

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

John 2 and John 7 are two other places that show Why Jesus’ Delays are not always Denials. John 2 is the account where Jesus’ mother, Mary, tells him that they have run out of wine. Jesus’ response was “My hour has not yet come.” In John 7, Jesus’ brothers were going to the Festival of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths, which was a celebration of God’s gracious provision for the Israelites in the wilderness and the completion of the year’s harvest. There they said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. Jesus’ response was  “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” In both of those cases, what appeared to be a denial by Jesus was only a delay. Jesus, nor the Father, does not do things in our time frame or in our way. God, if He chooses, does things in His own time and His own way

Now here in John 11, we see that truth demonstrated in response to the word from Mary and Martha that Lazarus was sick. What was Jesus’ response?

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

Again, we are shown Why Jesus’ Delays are not always Denials The focus here is not whether Jesus delays or denies but on whether God is glorified. To use a little vernacular, don’t get it twisted. God does not do things solely for us. It is about God; it will always be about God. It is God who should be glorified not us. God wants His character to be revealed in anything that He does. That is why Jesus told His mother and brothers His time had not come. He did not want to reveal too much about who He was before His time.

For us who live after Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection, it is time for Him to be revealed. For us who have chosen to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord (those who Christ love), our whole purpose is to bring glory to God in and through our lives. We must have a kingdom or godly perspective to bring glory to God. To have a godly perspective, we have to substitute our circumstance in to the sentence, “This ______ will not end in _______. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” This relationship, this bankruptcy or financial hardship, this accident, this illness, or this whatever. For me at this time in my life, This vocational or job change will not end in my family’s demise. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Watch and see how God writes this story for His glory. I will be sure to tell it.

When we learn that our lives are not about us nor about delays or denials but about God. We will be able to endure all kinds of delays and even denials because we know that God will be glorified from what we are experiencing. After all, the believer’s life is not his/her own. Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Likewise, I must give myself for the Son of God.

Why You Should Send Word to Jesus

July 19, 2014

When we face a situation that exceeds our means to resolve it, we usually call on someone to assist us was the gist of the post Have You Sent Word to Jesus. To me, the question of Why You Should Send Word to Jesus surfaced this morning. In John 10, Jesus had already shared that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep.  His love for His sheep is now being demonstrated in His interaction with Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. We see in verse 3 that Jesus loved Lazarus. We see in verse 5 that Jesus loved Martha and her sister (Mary) and Lazarus. Why the two references? We shall see.

John 11

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

While we do not make much of a distinction in the use of multiple words for the word love, we are semi-conscious of its varying means in our culture today. In saying I love cheesecake in comparison to I love my family, I am sure that all of us would understand that there are two meanings of the word love. In the Greek, the language in which the New Testament is written, there are multiple words for the word love. For the following uses, both are verbs. In verse 3, phileō (fē-le’-ō) is to like, to be fond of, to show affection to signifying a tender affection. Agapao (ä-gä-pä’-ō), found in verse 5, is

In the Vine’s Dictionary, we are told “The two words are used for the “love” of the Father for the Son, Jhn 3:35 (No. 1); 5:20 (No. 2); for the believer, Jhn 14:21 (No. 1); 16:27 (No. 2); both, of Christ’s “love” for a certain disciple, Jhn 13:23 (No. 1); 20:2 (No. 2). Yet the distinction between the two verbs remains, and they are never used indiscriminately in the same passage; if each is used with reference to the same objects, as just mentioned, each word retains its distinctive and essential character…Phileo is never used in a command to men to “love” God; it is, however, used as a warning in 1 Cor 16:22agapao is used instead, e.g., Mat 22:37Luk 10:27Rom 8:281Cr 8:31Pe 1:8;1Jo 4:21. The distinction between the two verbs finds a conspicuous instance in the narrative of Jhn 21:15-17.” In respect of agapao as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the Giver, and a practical “love” towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. I know that this may have become too technical of an interaction about love, but I wanted to point that out.

Whether affectionately or reverentially, what we know is that love is probably the greatest motivator for man. Love for a parent, a child, a friend, a stranger, an ideal can all be seen as the source of sacrifice love requires. I know this to be true for Jesus’ sacrifice. That is Why You Should Send Word to Jesus. He loves us enough to be tender toward us and reverential in His obedience to God on our behalf. Moreover, Jesus wants to bring God glory; that is reveal who and what God is to man. Who God is and what God is should always result in “good opinion, praise, honor, an appearance commanding respect, magnificence, and excellence. Now in John 11 (Lazarus’ resurrection John 11:4, 40) and at Cana in John 2 (changing water to wine), both His grace and His power were manifested, and these constituted His “glory”.

Why You Should Send Word to Jesus? Jesus desires to demonstrate the love of God and bring glory to God. This is why were are told to bring our cares and concerns to Him. Each time we do so, we have the opportunity to have God’s character revealed resulting in our praise of Him. What are you facing? What are your needs, not wants? What is it that you can’t handle and need someone to call? Those are the things that we should send word to Jesus. Thank God for the opportunity to have your concerns heard. Stop and pray right now. Send Word to Jesus.

Have You Sent Word to Jesus

July 17, 2014

In John 11, we will find one of the I AM statements Jesus made during His earthly ministry.  In this first part of the chapter, there are some important elements that we need to see. Yes, we like to go to the climax of events, but we lose meaning many times when we just want to see the most exciting part. I think though it is exciting to see Jesus develop His work. As such, we see a little of that today.

John 11

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

When we face a situation that exceeds our means to resolve it, we usually call on someone to assist us. If we are not knowledgeable about mechanical issues with cars, plumbing issues, heating and air issues, computer or network issues, legal issues and the like, we call on the one whom we think is most qualified to assist us. Many times, that decision is driven by our ability to pay for those services. In a spiritual sense, we see that same dynamic happening. Mary and Martha, whose brother Lazarus was sick beyond their cure, Sent Word to Jesus.

Have You Sent Word to Jesus about the prevailing issues in your life? I am sure that you are dealing with something right now that exceeds your ability to resolve it. You don’t have the power or ability to resolve that issue in your life. It may relate to a relationship, a job, an illness or whatever. Regardless of the nature, you are not able to fix it yourself. Jesus lays the foundation as how we are to address the situation. We are to send word to Jesus.

Have You Sent Word to Jesus? If you have not, stop right now. List the issues that are troubling you. Send word to Jesus. He will certainly respond to those whom He loves and those who belong to Him.  Send Word to Jesus and be blessed.

 

 

Jesus’ 7 I AM Statements

July 17, 2014

Throughout the Old Testament, God reveals that He will send His Christ/Messiah. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all in the Old Testament. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-18 – “17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” While here physically or incarnate, Jesus proclaimed who He was to draw man to Himself, to God. In John, Jesus made seven I AM statements as a means to provide greater insight into who He is. Below are those statements.

Jesus’ 7 I AM

I AM the True Vine (John 15:1-17)

I AM the Way, Truth and Life (John 14:1-7)

I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:1-44)

I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18)

I AM the Door (John 10:1-9)

I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12-18; 25-30)

I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:25-35; 48-59)


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