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Posts Tagged ‘John’

Is there anything wrong with being a “character”?

February 13, 2013 4 comments

The disciples of Jesus were all for the most part what we would call “characters”. Take James and John, for instance, “the sons of Zebedee.” You might remember them as the ones who cornered Jesus to angle for the choice seats at his right and left hands in the kingdom. That was their great concern. They wanted to sit next to Jesus in all of eternity and have the greatest authority. They asked for it outright.

Or there was the time they wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy a village that wouldn’t offer Jesus a place for the night. That was their solution and they weren’t ashamed of it. Their buddies called them idiots; Jesus called them the Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17). He saw who they really were.

It’s their mythic name, their true identity. They looked like fishermen out of work; they were actually the Sons of Thunder. Jesus saw them for who they could be in God. He saw their heart. His view won out. Aren’t we glad for that?

What was the end in Jesus mind?

January 8, 2013 2 comments

Jesus knew why He was here. He knew how it would end. He knew He would go through the worst time possible.

What was the end in His mind? Not the sorrow or the crucifixion. It was the glorification. He knew what He had to go through to get to the glorification and for the sheer joy of it, he endured.

And so, we benefit from God’s new plan. We have gone through it with Him.

Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. John 12:23-27

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Are we missing the forest for the trees?

Jesus had a lot to say to the Religious Scholars of His day. He still does. Do we really think reading the Bible constantly saves us? Is that where our life comes from? Are we missing the forest for the trees?

Jesus is standing right in front of us. He is giving us life right now.

You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want. John 5:39-40 (The Message)

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If Jesus does it …

January 3, 2013 3 comments

Even Jesus – God the Son – consulted with God the Father before doing anything. How much more should we consult with him before any action? Prayer

How much do I need to budget for groceries? Let me consult with my Father.

Should I go to the party I was invited to after church? Let me consult with my Father.

Should I work in this ministry or serve in that way? Let me consult with my Father.

I do nothing without consulting the Father…… John 5:30a

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“I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. ” ~~Jesus

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus is direct with us. He can do nothing but say what He hears His Father say. He knows God’s agenda. His only desire is to do exactly what God wants Him to. He is  speaking to us this way so that we will be saved.Agenda

He challenges us is to love. Completely and with our whole heart. This quote is actually from  a very long rant that Jesus gave to the religious (Jews) in church (The Temple) one day. To get it in context read all of John 5.

We need to be careful. Going to church may make us feel good but it won’t “save us”. May Jesus never say this of us as he said to the religious people of His day.

“I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. ” ~~Jesus (John 5:41-44 The Message)

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“The Son gives life to anyone He chooses to.” ~~Jesus

December 24, 2012 3 comments

Jesus makes it clear he has authority, even to give life. He demands that we understand this. It is core to the new agreement we have with God through Him. Choice

No one is making Him do it. He does it because He wants to.

Jesus doesn’t shut anyone out. God handed all authority to judge over to Jesus. Anyone who dishonors Jesus, dishonors God, for it was God’s decision to put Jesus in the place of honor.

Jesus chooses to give us life. That is the good news we have today and forever.

“The Son gives life to anyone He chooses to.” ~~Jesus (John 5:20-23 The Message)

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“The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.” ~~Jesus

December 20, 2012 2 comments

As mothers and fathers, we understand the love that we have for our children. Magnify that by a factor of billions and that is the love that our heavenly Father has for His son Jesus. And that is the kind of love He also has for us. Love never fails

Jesus is included in everything God has in mind for us. When Jesus speaks, he knows what He is saying. His Father has told Him everything. We can trust it.

“The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.” ~~Jesus (John 5:19-20 The Message)

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“Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” ~~Jesus

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has the authority to heal. And He does. When He says something, you can take it to the bank. Bedroll

For this man, who was crippled and couldn’t walk, it was a simple get up and start walking. The man took action on what Jesus said. His belief and action did it. He was healed.

“Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” ~~Jesus (John 5:8-9 The Message)

“I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide to act.” ~~Jesus

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus only does what he hears the Father say to do. That is His standard for us as well. We are living in His new government if we do what God asks us to do. Jesus knows the source of his power and life. The life of a disciple of Jesus is one all about listening to God and deciding to act on what He wants us to do. That is the source of power in His world. Obedience

Notice the sequence.

  • Listen
  • Decide
  • Act

“I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide to act.” ~~Jesus (John 5:30-33 The Message)

“You look wonderful! You’re well!” ~~Jesus

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

He had been crippled for 38 years. Now that is a long time. Jesus healed him. Not a problem. He is perfectly aligned with His Father. He has a new plan. It is a new agreement. And when Jesus heals us, we look wonderful. Healing

And, it is Good News all the time. God has a goal for us. We should listen to Jesus and not miss it. Who knows what could happen.

“You look wonderful! You’re well! Don’t return to a life of missing God’s goal or something worse might happen.” ~~Jesus (John 5:14 The Message)

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“But my purpose is not to get your vote. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved.” ~~Jesus

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has a focus. He isn’t trying to be popular. He wants us to be saved from a life of not meeting God’s goal for our life. That is his focus. He is direct to challenge us come to God.  He shows us with supernatural miracles what God wants to do.Vote

Do we hear what He is saying? Will we be saved?

“But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved.” ~~Jesus (John 5:34-38 The Message)

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If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it. ~~Jesus

December 8, 2012 1 comment

Where does discontent and depression come from? Is it possible we understand that God wants us to do something and yet have not acted on what He has said?Happy - 01

Happiness comes from doing what we know God wants us to do. We will be more than happy when we act on His desire and purpose for our lives. Peace comes from knowing in our heart what God wants us to do, understanding that in our mind, saying it with our lips and then doing it.

If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed (more than happy) life. ~Jesus (John 13:17 The Message)

“What the Father does, the Son does.” ~~Jesus

December 5, 2012 2 comments

Alignment with God

Jesus is perfectly aligned with His Father, God. That is the source of His power. That is His challenge to us. Become aligned with God our Father. Pray, “On earth as it is in Heaven.”

How is it in Heaven? What is God doing? Answer that and do that is what Jesus demands.

Pray, “Your will be done.”  What does God want to happen right now? Answer that and pray for that. Do that.

Jesus challenges us “to do” what God is doing. That is His way.

“What the Father does, the Son does.” ~~Jesus  (John 5:19-20 The Message)

“Do you want to get well?” ~~Jesus

November 30, 2012 2 comments

Jesus can ask us direct and stunning questions. Imagine you have been an invalid and crippled for 38 years. Now it is not like you don’t believe in miracles because every day you go to place where miracles occur. You believe for sure.

Jesus comes up to you but He doesn’t ask “Can I drive you to the Doctor?”, or “Can I get you some crutches?” or “Can I pray for you?”. There were lots of questions that Jesus could have asked. What he did ask is “Do you want to get well?”

It was a pretty direct question. It seems almost harsh but I don’t think He asked it harshly. The man didn’t answer yes or no. Many times when Jesus asks us a question, we don’t answer directly either.  The man simply explained that he had a problem. Jesus knew that.

Jesus isn’t about the problem. Jesus is the solution.  So, no offer of going to the Doctor or crutches or prayer. Just a command to get up and walk. The man, acting in faith, did just that. The man believed Jesus and acted.  Jesus healed him. It all started with a stunning question.

“Do you want to get well?” ~~Jesus (John 5:6 The Message)

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“These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” ~~Jesus

November 13, 2012 2 comments

Jesus knows things we don’t. He challenges us to wake up. He looks out and doesn’t just see people. He sees a field that is ready to be harvested. He sees people who are ready for God’s world (Kingdom).

Jesus challenges us to see the same things. We can’t be complacent. We must not think someone else will do what God wants us to do right now.

We must rise to the challenge Jesus has for us. It is harvest time.

“These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” ~~Jesus (John 4:35 The Message)

Will I stay thirsty?

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

I am thirsty. I have this desire in my heart. I am desperate for God. Nothing else will satisfy me. It is only Jesus that can quench my thirst.

He has promised living waters. Not just any kind of water. It is living water. It will flow not trickle. He fills me with His Holy Spirit. As His Spirit satisfies me, it flows out to others.

Thank you for knowing and caring!! You are amazing my Lord.

 “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within” (John 7:37–38 NLT)

Where does my identity come from?

Jesus knew before he selected Judas that he would betray him. He wanted him as a part of the 12 regardless.

He knew Peter would deny Him. He wanted him as a part of the 12 regardless.

He knew Thomas would, at his core, doubt Him. He wanted him as a part of the 12  regardless.

He knew John was way too competitive. He wanted him as a part of the 12  regardless.

Would I do that? Probably not. Betrayal hurts.  Denial hurts. Doubt hurts. Competition hurts. It hurts to the core. But Jesus also knew that his Holy Spirit would fill them. He knew they would perform greater signs and wonders than He did. He knew that day would come, when, after His resurrection, they would be transformed and fill with Power.

Jesus’ identity did not come from anyone but His Father. And he knew how much His Father loved Him. He knew it in his core. So he could select a bunch of men who would betray Him, deny Him, doubt Him, be way too competitive with each other and yet be open to Him. They would leave Him alone at the most important moment. He knew it. He was grounded in His Father’s love and pleasing Him. He loved them no matter what.

May I do the same. May my identity come from my Father who is so perfectly good all the time. May my love come from my Father who is always in a good mood and has my best interest in mind. May my heart be grounded in Him!!

So be it!!! Whoo Hoo!!!

“Those who have lived the wrong way, will walk into a resurrection Judgment.” ~~Jesus

Jesus is always clear. There will a resurrection judgement. Those who have lived the right way are going to walk into life. Those who haven’t won’t. No confusion here at all. I acknowledge that I am clear about this.

May I stay clear and live the resurrection life.

“Those who have lived the wrong way, will walk into a resurrection Judgment.” ~~Jesus  

“There is nothing left in your memory of God’s Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.” ~~Jesus

There are many ways we hear about God. As a child in vacation bible school. The few times we actually read the Bible. But we have no real memory of God because we don’t listen to Jesus, His Messenger. We don’t take Him seriously.

Jesus challenges, demands of us, that we take what He says seriously. That is the way to God and the only way to God.

May we hear His voice. May we do what He says.

“There is nothing left in your memory of God’s Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.” ~~Jesus

“If you won’t take seriously what Moses wrote, how can I expect you to take seriously what I speak?” ~~Jesus

April 20, 2012 2 comments

The religious scholars and the average Jewish person of Jesus time on earth thought they took “the Law”, what Moses wrote, very seriously. Jesus knew that Moses wrote about Him. He also knew they didn’t take that seriously and so discounted much of what Jesus had to say.

We read the Bible but do we always take it seriously? Jesus demands that we take the Bible and what He says seriously. It is a matter of life and death.

“If you won’t take seriously what Moses wrote, how can I expect you to take seriously what I speak?” ~~Jesus

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“The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice.” ~~Jesus

Jesus lives. He is resurrected. God is a God of resurrection. We will live a resurrected life with Him. That is His promise to us.

He also clues us in there will those who live a resurrected life of judgement. We need to choose Jesus.

“The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice.” ~~Jesus  

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“These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me.” ~~Jesus

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus is on a mission. His Father has given Him very specific tasks to complete. He completes them. That is how we know about Jesus and His relationship with His Father. Jesus wants us to have the same relationship with His Father. Get on the mission. Complete the tasks.

“These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me.” ~~Jesus 

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“I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me.” ~~Jesus

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus declares to us in a very clear way that He has the authority of God, His Father. There is no level of subtlety in his assertion. We can accept Him. We can reject Him. We can avoid Him. What we can’t do is ignore the fact of who He is. His greatest desire and passion is that we accept Him and the life he has to offer us.

“I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me.” ~~Jesus  

“Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. ” ~~Jesus

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus knows that God is all about life. He is our source and it will last forever. Jesus also knows that His Father has given Him the same gift. Jesus gives it to us. All life is ours in our relationship with Jesus.

“Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. ” ~~Jesus  

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“But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete.” ~~Jesus

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

How do we know about Jesus and who He is. Just look at the totality of what He did and does. He is entirely focused on what His Father wants Him to do. And He does it. And it is amazing.

“But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete.” ~~Jesus

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“I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. ” ~~Jesus

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus isn’t interested popular opinion or what others think about Him. His only goal is to please His Father. That is His complete focus. Crowds would show up on a regular basis but sometimes He would say things and they would leave in disgust. You can count on Jesus to say what God wants to be said. That may not be popular but we need a God like that. We can count on Jesus.

“I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. ” ~~Jesus 

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“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly. But you miss the forest for the trees.” ~~Jesus

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus demands we get the point. We need to see Jesus. We need to have a passionate relationship with His Father. Reading the Bible and missing Him is pointless. Being religious and not in a loving relationship with God is vast waste of time and energy.

I want to get it. I want to be in love with Him. May I see the forest. The Bible doesn’t give me eternal life. Jesus does.

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me!” ~~Jesus 

“And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.” ~~Jesus

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

We say we want life. OK. Jesus is right in front of us. He wants to give life to us. Are we willing to receive it right now?

This isn’t did I receive it yesterday. This isn’t do I want it tomorrow. Jesus is in front of us right now. Do we want it now?

Yes, Lord, we do.

“And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”” ~~Jesus 

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Can’t keep quiet about God

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

God is speaking. He is moving. Will I keep quiet about what I have seen and heard?

God had used Peter and John to heal a lame man. The story is stunning. They were arrested for it. After spending the night in jail, they were bold beyond belief.  They drew the line in the sand with the religious leaders. Do we listen to you or to God?  They chose God.

May I not keep quiet about what I see God doing.

They (the religious leaders) called them back and warned them that they (Peter and John) were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20

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Take Heart

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Many days, there is a whole lot of worrying going on. Fear can cripple. How many times does God come to us and say, “Fear not”? That is one of His great themes. Trust in Him. He is in control. He didn’t bring us this far to leave us now.

Here is the good news. Jesus has overcome everything. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. All is well. It is finished.

 

“But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

—– Jesus,John 16:33

 

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“I pray for good fortune in everything you do—that your everyday affairs prosper.” ~~ Apostle John

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

God wants me to prosper. He has every good thing in mind for me and wants me to have them. He is in a good mood. Period.

And, it is not just for a few parts of my life, it is for everything I do. Every part of my life. My health, my finances, my relationships. Everything. He wants me to prosper. That is just His way.

May my everyday affairs prosper, as He has them in mind for me.


I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul! 3 John 2

 

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Work equals believing

I look at the question and it seems pretty reasonable to me. But Jesus blew them (and me) away with the answer. They were asking an “old plan” question. The “old plan” has a whole bunch of what must I do stuff.

Jesus gave them some “new plan” answers. This was in fact good news. Here it is. BELIEVE!! That is the new plan. Work equals believing.

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’ Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’ John 6:27-29

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Why worry?

Difficulties are a natural part of the world. Jesus brings me peace and offers courage. Why can He do this? He has overcome the world and I am a new creation that shares in His resurrection. I can take heart. He is risen and I am seated with Him. The victory belongs to the LORD!!!

May peace be mine. May I have courage today. Why worry?

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage ; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

 

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He said it .. He did it

When Jesus was on the cross, redeeming me, he cried out it is finished. Here he tells the crowds, before that happened, that now was the time for judgement and how Satan would be driven out by His death. What He said and did is very clear. It is not the future. It was taken care of and finished. Faith compells me to believe it. Not just “kind of” believe it but really believe it.

May I continue to experience His victory.

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. John 12:31-33

 

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His glory

February 18, 2011 Leave a comment

When I see miracles, I am seeing the glory of God. In this passage, Martha was doubting that Jesus could raise her brother Lazarus from the dead. Of course, we know how the story ended. She didnt. She was on the front end of the miracle.

There are lots of days that I am standing on the front end of the miracle. My job is to believe Jesus. When I do, I see His glory.

May I believe Jesus. May I see His glory. 

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40

 

 

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Fill in the blank

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Fill in the blank. But because of __________ I would not confess my faith for fear I will be kicked out of _______ . Because of my colleagues at work? Because of my friends? Because of my family? Because of my boss?

Whose acceptance am I striving for? Whose rejection do I fear? Where does my identity come from?

May I care more what God thinks of me than my colleagues, boss, friends or family. May I seek to please Him in all I do.

Yet at the same time, many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. John 12:42-43

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Saving a place for me

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Jesus is saving me a seat. It has my name on it. At the great wedding dinner, I have a place already for me.
 
Remember the feeling when someone saves a seat for you at a crowded event. The place is packed but you look over and there they are. They wave to and motion you to come over.
 
Imagine how we we will feel when Jesus does the same thing!! The music is playing. The room is packed with energy and excitement. I look over and there He is. He waves to me. He motions me over. He escorts me to my seat. He huges me and tells me how happy He is to see me.

Oh my. That will be a BIG Whoo Hoo for sure!!!

“I am going . . . to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

 

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No wiggle room

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Jesus started a whole bunch of new stuff. He wasn’t about the old world. His mission was to bring God’s love to us all. He also set whole new standards for how we should live.

And so …. it is straighforward. No wiggle room here. He love us. We are to love each other that same way.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

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The one

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment

There were the multitudes. There were the 72. There were the 12. Peter, James and John made up the 3. Then there was the one whom Jesus loved. He reclined next to Jesus at the last supper. He heard what He whispered.

May I recline next to Jesus. May I hear what He whispers.

One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. John 13:23

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