A Phrase Jesus Said That Literally FLOORED People! – John 18:1-18

From my reading in John 18:1-18 in the One Year New Testament.

One phrase literally FLOORED those who were seeking to arrest Jesus.

Jesus asked them who they were looking for and they said, “Jesus the Nazarene,” then Jesus said,

I Am he,” Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.) As Jesus said “I Am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! John 18:5–6

One of the the names of God is “I AM.”

When Jesus said “I AM” the Jews could have taken that to mean “I am God”!  Warren Wiersbe says,

“Why did the arresting soldiers draw back and fall to the ground when Jesus told them, “I am He”? The Jews present would be struck by His “I AM” statement, an affirmation of Deity. The Romans, who were in the majority, would be struck by His bearing, for it was obvious that He was in command.”

Jesus was ready to face those who would eventually kill him. 

This confidence and wiliness to die showed his love. Later he said,

“I told you that I Am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.” He did this to fulfill his own statement: I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.” John 18:8–9

Jesus didn’t lose those he was given, and he never will lose any of his followers.

If you are a follower he sacrificed himself for you! He gave himself up so that we can be saved! He is the one who saves!

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Jesus Offers Peace In Troubled Times – John 16

From my reading in John 16 in the One Year New Testament.

With the several recent shootings and many other tragic things happening around the world, we are all too familiar with trials and sorrows. Not only do we experience major troubles like that but each of us experiences many “mini-trials” every day! Jesus gave us comforting words for this.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus offers us peace in HIM!

In Christ we can experience true, lasting peace in the middle of our sorrows. Jesus doesn’t always save us from negative circumstances in this life, but he does offer us peace as we go through it.

TAKE HEART! – This phrase in greek word thareso means…

“to have confidence and firmness of purpose in the face of danger or testing—to be courageous, to have courage, to be bold”

The reason we can have courage is because Jesus has overcome evil and suffering on the cross. With blood dripping down his body and his arm stretched across out on the cross he shouted…

“IT IS FINISHED.”

When he died on the cross he defeated death, pain and suffering!

Today is the anniversary of D-day in World War II.

Many consider it the day where the war was officially won, but there were still battles to be fought. The cross is the Christians D-day.  The war was won through Christ’s death on the cross, but there are still battles to be fought while we are still on earth.

We still live in a fallen world.

But we can take courage that Jesus will one day welcome those of us who have put saving faith in Him and we will enter a place where there will no longer be any more trouble or pain!

So whatever you are going through, Take Courage! Jesus has already won the victory!

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7 Life-Changing Truths Jesus Shared In John 14

From my reading in John 14 in the One Year New Testament.

This is one of those chapters with to much good stuff to pass up so here’s a summary of the highlights! These seven truths were originally told to the apostles but I believe most (if not all) apply to us today.

1. Don’t Be Troubled, Trust Jesus

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1

2. Jesus is Preparing A Place For His Followers

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2

3. Jesus Is The Way The Truth And The Life

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

4. Through Prayer Jesus Gives Power To Do Amazing Things

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” John 14:12–13

5. Jesus Asks The Father To Give The Holy Spirit As An Advocate

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” John 14:16–17

6. Jesus Reveals Himself To Those Who Obey

“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21

7. Jesus Gives Peace of Mind And Heart

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

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The Significance Of The Shortest Verse I Ever Memorized “Jesus Wept” – John 11:30-57

From my reading in John 11:30-57 in the One Year New Testament.

Sometimes the shortest phrases are most powerful.

Jesus was visiting his dear friends whose brother had just died. He was so moved with compassion that…

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

Jesus felt what they felt.

In this moment Jesus shared his humanity in a touching way. He was not immune to human emotions. He exhibited the full range of emotions of anger, love, and sorrow in a perfect way. Even those around him recognized his compassion.

“Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:36

Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha like his brother and sisters.

When someone is going through a hard time we should follow Christ’s example and seek to understand their pain. Before Paul even wrote it Jesus was followed the command,

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

Sharing pain is powerful.

It lessens the the pain to know that someone is sharing in your suffering.  Jesus came down to earth and can sympathize with our pain, no matter what it is. He experience ever form of suffering and every tempation.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15–16

Jesus faced the same broken world that we face every day yet didn’t sin.

Because Jesus can empathize with every struggle we go through we can run to him with confidence. We can be assured that he will give us mercy and grace when we need it if we receive his gift of salvation.

Not only did Jesus cry with us, he died for us.

His perfect life was not merely an example to follow. He lived a perfect life so that he could trade his perfect life for our sin on the cross. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection someday we can go to a place where…

“…He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain…” Revelation 21:4

When Jesus was on earth he cried with us and died for us.

When we get to heaven Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain.

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What Jesus Said About “Eternal Security” – John 6:22-44

From my reading in John 6:22-44 in the One Year New Testament.

A few days ago I did an article on “Is “Once Saved, Always Saved” True?” Today I will continue the theme by quoting what Jesus said about our eternal security  in logical order.

God Is The One Who Draws People To Jesus

“For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.” John 6:44

The Only Response Required For Salvation Is Belief. (Saving Faith)

 “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29

People Whom The Father Draws Will Never Be Rejected 

“However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.” John 6:37

Jesus Won’t Lose Anyone He Is Given 

“And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.” John 6:39

All Who Believe In Jesus Will Have Eternal Life In Heaven

“For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40

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Never Fear, Jesus Is Here! – John 6:1-21

From my reading in John 6:1-21 in the One Year New Testament.

We all go through times in our lives where we are tempted to be afraid. The disciples were in the middle of a crazy storm when they say Jesus from a distance. Jesus gave the disciples one simple phrase of comfort that I think we should remember when we face the storms of life.

“Don’t be afraid. I am here!” John 6:20

Jesus said this to the disciples to comfort them, and I encourage you to let these words be a comfort to you. If you have given your life to Jesus then he is with you.

Never Fear, Jesus Is Here! 

If you are a Christian, then you have the God of the universe living inside you. You don’t have to fear because he is ultimately in control.

It is natural to experience the emotions of fear. But it is when we dwell on them and not trust God in the middle of the temptation, then it becomes a sin.

Remembering that Jesus is with you allows you to move your attention from “the waves of life,” tests, money issues, relationship troubles, whatever you are afraid of and put them on Jesus. Whatever you are going through never fear, Jesus is here.

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How To Plant Gospel Seeds And Harvest The Ripe Like Jesus – John 4:31-54

From my reading in John 4:31-54 in the One Year New Testament.

When I go out to share my faith on campus, one of the prayers I like to pray is that God would show us those who are ripe for the good news.

Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus to eat some food because he skipped lunch. He told them he had a kind of food they didn’t know about. They wondered if someone brought him food, but he explained,

“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” John 4:34

Doing God’s work is more satisfying than food.

If you want to find fulfillment in life then do God’s will for you! Part of God’s will for Jesus was to reach out to those who are ripe for the good news.

“You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.” John 4:35

Many of us live in parts of the world where it doesn’t seem ripe for the gospel, but you have to believe that there are some who are ripe!  

Instead of trying to pry the unripe fruit off the tree, an effective minister focuses on those who are already ripe and starts with them. There is great joy in being a harvester.

“The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!” John 4:36

There is no greater joy than seeing people’s eternal destinations change. Those who harvest the ripe benefit from the others who planted gospel seeds. Both are valuable ministries.

“You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” John 4:37–38

Some people are called to plant seeds and go to hard places to soften the soil through prayer and their godly lives. Others are called to harvest those who have been prepared.

I believe that it is wise for Church planters to focus on harvesting the ripe and raising up laborers from the ripe to go into the community to plant gospel seeds with their lives.

Whether you plant seeds or harvest the ripe, there is great joy in being a part of seeing people’s lives changed by the good news! 

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The Easiest Way To Share Your Faith – John 1:29-51

From my reading in John 1:29-51 in the One Year New Testament.

The first disciples of Jesus were recruited in a simple way. Jesus got some of his first disciples from John’s followers.

“As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them. They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come and see,” he said.” John 1:36–39

Jesus invited them to “come and see.” He invited them to his home to get to know him.

We can invite people to come and see what Jesus is all about by inviting them to Church, Bible studies, or just to spend time with other Christians.

One of the two guys who spent the day with Jesus was Andrew. Here’s the first thing he did after spending the day with Jesus…

“Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus.” John 1:41–42

The easiest way to share your faith is to bring others to environments where they can meet Jesus.

Also he started with the relationship he already had. Andrew didn’t know a lot about Jesus, but he knew enough to invite his brother to meet him!

You don’t have to be an expert evangelist to invest in someone’s life and invite them to “come and see” Jesus!

Then Jesus found Philip. Here’s what Philip did…

Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. John 1:45–46

Philip was convinced that he had found the promised Messiah!

Nathanial was skeptical but Philip invited him to come see for himself. It is not always our job to convince the skeptical that Jesus is real, we can introduce them to Jesus and let them decide.

Anyone can invite someone to come to church or encourage someone to read the Bible for themselves and discover who Jesus is.

I encourage you to invite those who don’t believe in your life to “Come and See” Jesus!

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The Great Commission In The Gospel of Luke – Luke 24:36-53

From my reading in Luke 24:36-53 in the One Year New Testament.

Luke has it’s own unique version of the great commission given by Jesus.

“It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things” Luke 24:47–48

This Message Would Be Proclaimed… 

The news of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection needs to be proclaimed. It was their job to share it and now it’s ours.

In The Authority Of His Name…

Jesus has given them the authority to share the gospel to the ends of the earth and that authority is transferred to us through the Church.

It is with Christ’s power and as his representatives that we go out into the world to share the good news.

To All The Nations…

Christians were given the task of going to every “nation” on earth.

Nation here in greek is “ethos” which refers to a tribe or “people group.” This is a smaller unit than the US or Russia.

We are to go share the gospel in every place to every people group! 

Beginning In Jerusalem…

Jesus told them to start in Jerusalem. In Acts 1:8 also written by Luke Jesus said,

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The very city where Jesus was murdered became the birth place of Christianity. They were told to start in Jerusalem and go all over the world! 

There Is Forgiveness of Sins For All Who Repent

Jesus offers forgiveness of sin, but only to those willing to repent and follow him!

Repent means “to change one’s way of life as the result of a complete change of thought and attitude with regard to sin and righteousness” – Lowe-Nida Lexicon

Repentance is a choice to turn from your own way of life and decide to follow Jesus. 

It is possible to share the gospel without using the baggage laden word “repentance” but the person receiving Jesus should understand the need to turn from their sin and follow Jesus.

When we share the gospel we should share repentance as part of our message! 

You Are Witnesses Of All These Things.

Jesus gave the twelve actual witnesses the task of going into all the world and I believe that task has been transferred to us! We are now to be witnesses of what God has done in our lives.

This is our mission as the body of Christ and we better get on it! 

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Why Christians Don’t Sacrifice Animals – Luke 22:1-30

From my reading in Luke 22:1-30 in the One Year New Testament.

The Jewish system was one that involved sacrificing animals in order to atone for sins. Jesus was celebrating passover with his disciples.

Passover is the celebration of when God used Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

In the first passover, they killed a spotless lamb and smeared the blood on the doors of the Jewish houses. When the angel of death saw the blood of the lamb on the door it would “pass-over” the house.

Later, God gave Moses specific instructions on how to sacrifice animals in the temple to atone for sins in “the law.” This is known as the Old Covenant.

The Lamb At The Table

This passover was different, because Jesus himself was “the lamb of God” who was going to sacrifice himself for our sins.

When Jesus was celebrating the passover meal, there is no mention of a lamb on the table. It may have been that it was because the lamb was at the table! 

Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for our sins!

Do This In Remembrance of Me

When Jesus gave us the practices of “The Lord’s Supper,” first he broke bread and gave it to his disciples saying,

“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” Luke 22:19

After they ate the meal, he gave them a cup of wine saying,

“This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” Luke 22:20

A covenant is an agreement between two parties with benefits and responsibilities. Through Christ, God was setting up a new system. Christ’s sacrifice is the only one we need.

We no longer sacrifice animals because Jesus was the perfect lamb. His blood was shed, covers the “door” of our hearts, and washes our sin away.

He is the only true, sufficient sacrifice and to receive forgiveness we must accept his sacrifice for us!

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