Category: Gospels

Authority over death!

Scripture reading for October 30th: John 11, Psalm 66, Proverbs 30

John 11:38-44 “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that You sent Me.” When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.””

Jesus Christ had come to earth to save lost mankind from the fear of death and the sting of death. He would do that by His own sacrifice of His blood and body on the cross and burial in a tomb for three days. On the third day, He would rise from the dead, declaring victory over death, hell, and the grave. As Jesus wept over the death of His friend, Lazarus, He was moved deeply in His spirit to act prophetically on behalf of Lazarus and those grieving there, as well as Jews and Gentiles who would believe on Him throughout the last days. He commanded the tomb be opened. He prayed to His Father, declaring His own faith that the Father always heard Him, and then He prophetically called out Lazarus by name from death and the decay of the grave! All the earth can know for certain, Jesus Christ is the Son of God!

Psalm 66:4-5 “All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your Name. Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds toward the children of man.”

Prayer: Father God, I worship You and sing Your praise for the awesome things You have done for me and for all those living in fear of death and the grave! You called me out of my grave of sin by name. Your revealed Your Son, Jesus Christ to me while I was yet a sinner. You are unbinding me now from death’s garments and changing me daily into Your Son’s image, by the Holy Spirit, as I behold His glory! Amen!

Proverbs 30:4 “Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name? Surely you know!” (God the Father and Jesus Christ!)

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One flock and One Shepherd

Scripture reading for October 27th: John 10, Psalm 65, Proverbs 29

John 10:14-19 “”I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.” There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.”

Jesus Christ is the ‘One Shepherd’ Who alone is the ‘Good Shepherd’! God had designated Israel His ‘Flock’, the sheep of His pasture. But Jesus proclaimed that there were other ‘sheep’ that He was here to reach that were not of Israel’s fold. These sheep would accept Jesus as the ‘One Shepherd’ and listen to His voice and follow Him. His laying down of His life would come at the end of His earthly ministry. Jesus taught that this would be a voluntary act given to Him by the Father. He would lay down His life for the sheep and then take it up again, accurately predicting His resurrection, also decreed by His Father. These powerful prophetic Words brought division among the Jews. Some accused Him of having a demon, but others disagreed because of the miracle of the healing of the blind man. The Gospel would divide and bring some to faith in the ‘One Shepherd’ but others to eternal destruction.

Psalm 65:3-4 “When iniquities prevail against me, You atone for our transgressions. Blessed is the one You choose and bring near, to dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving Your Son authority to lay down His life as the “Good Shepherd” of the ‘One Flock’ of sheep who hear Your voice and follow You. Thank You for atoning for my sins and bringing me near to You to dwell in Your House forever. I am satisfied with the goodness of Your House and the Holiness of Your temple! Through Jesus My Shepherd, I sing and rejoice forever and ever!

Proverbs 29:6 “An evil man is ensnared in his transgression, but a righteous man sings and rejoices.”

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Believe and receive!

Scripture reading for October 26th: John 9, Psalm 64, Proverbs 28

John 9: 30-38 “The man answered, “Why this is an amazing thing! You do not know where He comes from, yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out (of the synagogue). Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him He said, “Do you believe in the Son of man?” He answered, “And Who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen Him, and it is He Who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped Him.”

John records this amazing miracle done by Jesus for a man who was born blind. The disciples had just asked why the man was born blind: Was it because of his sin or his parents? Jesus answered that neither case was true, but only that God’s works might be displayed in his life. He then anointed the man’s eyes with mud made from dust and saliva. He told the man to wash in the pool of Siloam and as he obeyed, sight was restored. All were in amazement and they questioned the man about who did this and how he did it. The Pharisees questioned him as well, finding out it was Jesus doing this, and on the Sabbath, they condemned the miracle. But faith had entered this blind man’s heart and eyes were opened physically and spiritually to receive sight and insight! Jesus revealed Himself to this man who was put out of the synagogue. He now worshiped Jesus as the Son of Man! The Pharisees became more blind than him!

Psalm 64: 7-9 “But God shoots His arrow at them; they are wounded suddenly. They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them; all who see them will wag their heads. Then all mankind fears; they tell what God has brought about and ponder what He has done.”

Prayer: Father God, how amazing is the miracle of sight for a man born blind! Yet more amazing still is his seeing Jesus Christ as the Son of Man, Savior and Healer! Help me to share Your love for the blind and lost through the Holy Spirit and even creative miracles that open eyes of understanding to reveal Jesus Christ the Savior through preaching of the Gospel. May all fear and testify of God’s works!

Proverbs 28:6 “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.”

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“You will die in your sins”

Scripture reading for October 25th: John 8, Psalm 63, Proverbs 27

John 8: 21-27 “So He said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins.” So they said to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge, but He Who sent Me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him.” They did not understand that He had been speaking to them about the Father.”

Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father in Heaven, came to reveal His Father to lost mankind. Jesus spoke plainly in rebuke to these religious leaders who were attacking Him after He had told the woman caught in adultery that she was forgiven and to sin no more. He proclaimed Himself the ‘Light of the World’. They were critical of Him for promoting Himself. Jesus said that there were two witnesses: He and the Father. Jesus stated that He only did what the Father asked and said what the Father said. Their failure to believe would result in them dying in their sin. It was the sin of unbelief. This rebuke was not intended to be a condemnation, but was Truth given that they might repent. Their question: “Who are You?” would be answered fully when Jesus was ‘lifted up’ in crucifixion, buried, and raised from the dead!

Psalm 63:8-10 “My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the plain truth about each person: we will die in our sins unless we believe in Jesus. I choose to put my trust in You alone! My soul clings to You and Jesus upholds me. You alone are worthy of praise, honor, and obedience. I ask that the Holy Spirit bring this rebuke to all the lost yet in my family and among my neighbors. Fill me with Your Spirit to proclaim Jesus the Christ.

Proverbs 27:5-6 “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

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Let the River flow!

Scripture reading for October 24th: John 7, Psalm 62, Proverbs 26

John 7:37-39 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” Now this He said about the Spirit, Whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

It was the Feast of Pentecost and Jesus attended. It was the custom, on the last day, to pour out big jars of water from the spring of Siloam to commemorate the giving of the Law and God supplying the water from the Rock for the children of Israel. As they poured out the water, Jesus stood up and proclaimed to the crowd assembled, (and to us) that anyone who was thirsty could come to Him and drink. This would result in a release of a ‘river of living water’ from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was to be given after Jesus was crucified and glorified. This ‘living water’ would flow from hearts that were filled with God’s Spirit. It would result in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of worship and prophesy flowing. The world treasures gossip and slander, but those believing in Jesus have a flow of prophetic worship and praise!

Psalm 62:7-8 “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Gift of the Holy Spirit that You give freely to all who believe on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Forgive me for allowing the world’s whispering to go into my inner being. Fill me afresh today with the Holy Spirit as I draw near to You through Jesus Christ. He is my Mighty Rock in the wilderness of this world, a Refuge I can pour out my heart to in Spirit-filled prayer! Amen!

Proverbs 26:22 “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.”

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Work that profits for eternity

Scripture reading for October 23rd: John 6, Psalm 61, Proverbs 25

John 6: 25-29 “When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father has set His seal.” Then they said to Him, What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe on Him Whom He has sent.””

Jesus had just fed the multitude of five thousand and the crowd was talking of making Him king by force. Jesus withdrew to the mountain to pray. He later walked on water to meet His disciples on the Sea of Galilee during a storm. When the people realized that Jesus had left, they went in search of Him. Jesus knew what was in their hearts. Jesus told them that they were seeking Him for the food He had provided. The food that perishes was not to be the focus of their efforts, but Jesus encouraged them to seek the food that endures to eternal life. He was the true ‘Bread of Life’, coming from heaven to reveal the Father. He encouraged them that the work that God required of them was faith–believing in Him, the Son of God. God’s glory was being revealed to all who would receive by faith.

Psalm 61:1-2 “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for You have been my Refuge, a strong Tower against the enemy.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for doing the ‘work’ of salvation for us through Your Son. You have heard our cry for help and lead us to the Rock, Jesus Christ. Forgive me when I have sought You for earthly needs alone, not recognizing my true hunger for eternal things. Use me in my every-day life and relationships to live by faith and share Your eternal Truth of Jesus, the Bread of Life.

Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”

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Sabbath Worker!

Scripture reading for October 20th: John 5, Psalm 60, Proverbs 24

John 5: 12-17 “They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.””

The religious Jews were always looking for a way to trap Jesus and accuse Him of wrong-doing. Their laws were strictly observed and law-breakers punished. However, they missed the Spirit of the Law, love for God and our neighbors. Jesus went to Jerusalem for a feast and found a man lame for thirty-eight years. He asked him if he wanted to be well. The man told Jesus he had no one to help him get into the healing pool. Jesus simply told him to take up his bed and walk. Immediately, he was healed. It was a Sabbath day when Jesus did this miracle, and the Jews were on it. Jesus answered the Jews, telling them that His Father and He were both at work, tending to the hurting and lost. That ‘work’ personified ‘love’. Jesus warned the man to sin no more that something worse might befall him.

Psalm 60:11-12 “Oh, grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is He Who will tread down our foes.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son to show us the Father’s heart to work healing and restoration for the hurting and lost. Thank You for showing religious people the true heart of the God Who created heaven and earth. Use me today to tend to Your hurting people in the vineyard of this world. As You and Your Son Jesus are working, lay out work for me to restore Your people to fruitfulness.

Proverbs 24:30-31 “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.”

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The joy of sowing and reaping!

Scripture reading for October 19th: John 4, Psalm 59, Proverbs 23

John 4: 31-39 “Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” Many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.”

Jesus was a a well in Samaria and His disciples had gone into town in search of food. Jesus has waited there to have a conversation with a Samaritan woman, asking her for a drink of water from the well. He ended up sharing the Gospel with this Woman, revealing that He was the Christ! She ran off to town to tell everyone about Jesus! Meanwhile, the disciples returned, urging Jesus to eat. But Jesus told them He had other food–doing the will of His Father! He pointed out the stream of townspeople coming out to meet Him, likening them to a field, white for harvest! This Samaritan women had become a sower of ‘Good News’ and was reaping eternal rewards! The sower and reaper rejoices together at the harvest!

Psalm 59:9-10 “O my Strength, I will watch for You, for You, O God are my Fortress. My God in His steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for this amazing story told by John about Jesus’ encounter with this sinful woman. In Your steadfast love, You met her and transformed her thinking and destiny. Thank You for doing that for me as well! Help me to see the white harvest fields through Your eyes and to faithfully sow Your Word and experience the joy of seeing You reap an eternal harvest! Amen! Amen!

Proverbs 23:19 “Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”

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Jesus Christ is above all!

Scripture reading for October 18th: John 3, Psalm 58, Proverbs 22

John 3: 30-36 “He (Jesus) must increase, but I (John the Baptist) must decrease. He Who comes from above is above all. He who is of earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He Who comes from Heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For He Who God has sent utters the Words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin and the one chosen by God to prepare the way for the kingdom of heaven ushered in by Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. John had the privilege of baptizing Jesus as Jesus began His ministry. John saw the Holy Spirit come down on Jesus and heard the Father commend His Son. John testified that Jesus was the “Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.” John proclaimed that Jesus was much greater than him and would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John knew that Jesus was the supreme Son of God, loved by the Father and King of all. As King, all judgment belonged to Jesus. John called all to repent and believe on Jesus the Son and receive eternal life. Failure to believe and obey would bring eternal wrath.

Psalm 58: 10-11 “The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked. Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God Who judges on earth.”

Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the amazing Gift of Your Son! We have received grace and love beyond our understanding. Thank You for John the Baptist’s testimony of Jesus Christ. His simple message of repentance and faith bringing eternal life is the Gospel You gave to all who would believe. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit afresh today and empower me to preach the Good News of the Spirit Giver!

Proverbs 22:12 “The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but He overthrows the words of the traitor.”

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Jesus knows all about people!

Scripture reading for October 17th: John 2, Psalm 57, Proverbs 21

John 2: 18-25 “So the Jews said to Him, “What sign do You show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking about His body. When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the Word that Jesus had spoken. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His Name when they saw the signs that He was doing. But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”

As Jesus began His ministry, He attended the Passover Feast in Jerusalem as was required of all Jewish men in God’s law. As Jesus entered the temple, He found God’s House being used as a place of trade and money-making. Jesus cleansed the temple, driving the money-changers out and overturning their tables. He put those selling animals for sacrifice out. Jesus was zealous for His Father’s House and it’s intended purpose of prayer for all nations. The religious leaders asked Jesus for a sign that He held authority to put the money-changers out. Jesus answered them with a challenge, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They did not understand that Jesus was talking about His own body and His coming resurrection. Jesus knew all men and what was truly in their hearts. He did not entrust Himself to them and needed no one to help Him evaluate them.

Psalm 57:5-6 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth! They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves.”

Prayer: We exalt You, O Righteous Father, and have great joy in Your perfect knowledge of each person and Your righteous judgment. I am thankful for Your offer of mercy through revealing Your Son and His sacrifice on my behalf. Thank You that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, justified through obedience and willing sacrifice. Use me to proclaim this Good News that none who hear may rest among the dead.

Proverbs 21:15-16 “When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead.”

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