Category Archives: Jesus Christ

Following Yeshua’s Example In Celebrating Yahweh’s Appointed Times

The Lord’s appointed times are important to Yeshua. He knew some were plotting to kill Him. He no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews. He knew that the religious leaders who wanted to kill Him would expect Him to possibly come up to Jerusalem for Passover and they made plans to seize Him if / when He did. What we see if we continue reading in John 12, is that Yeshua actually went up to Jerusalem anyway to be there for Passover.

The Lord’s Moedim, appointed times, are described in Leviticus 23 among other places. Scripture shows us they were important to Yeshua and His disciples. We should follow our Lord’s example and seek to learn more and celebrate them as He did to the extent we can still do so today. Let us devote our time and efforts to the Lord’s holy days rather than man made holidays.

John 11:47-57

Conspiracy to Kill Jesus

     47Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48“If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” 51Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.

      54Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples.

      55Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves. 56So they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?” 57Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him.

It seems obvious also, but perhaps worth calling out. Yeshua in His obedience to Yahweh was unmatched. He went to Jerusalem where He knew they were looking for Him to kill Him to honor the Father. Let us not be turned away from our obedience by fear of rejection by man just because they don’t understand.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

A Clean Start… God Is Ready Anytime, Not Just in January

It has become very common for people to view the start of a new year as a means of getting a “clean start” with regards to making changes in their life to improve their situation. Sometimes people take this time to commit to stopping a bad habit or undesirable behavior and sometimes a start of something desirable. Somehow they come to feel as if a new year means their past mistakes are behind them and they have a clean start. If they tried to exercise regularly and failed, somehow now the past failure is forgotten. Unfortunately, seeking a “clean start” in the powerless framework of December turning to January usually falls apart quickly and by the end of January people have lost any momentum in their “New Year’s Resolutions”.

There is a way to make a true clean start, one that comes with power to help us… and it is available to us any time, not just in January. Through Christ, our sins can be forgiven. We repent of our sins, ask forgiveness, believe that He died for us and submit ourselves to the Father. He is waiting for us, looking on the horizon so to speak for our humble return to Him. There is no sin too big to be forgiven, no previous disrespect of God that we can not repent from.

Luke 15:11-32

The Prodigal Son

     11And He said, “A man had two sons. 12“The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14“Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15“So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16“And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

      25“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26“And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27“And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28“But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29“But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31“And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

God waits for us to return home to Him, as the father waits for the prodigal son. He will run to greet us and welcome us. He will not, however, force us to come home. He will allow us to remain separated from Him if we choose to do so.

It is hard for us to get our minds around this type of forgiveness, because we can not imagine granting it to others, but He is God and we are not. Come home to Him now, without delay. He is always ready to receive you… not just in January.

When He receives us as His children, He also gives us a helper in the Spirit to bring His power to bear on our repentance and our fresh, clean start. We are not on our own. We have the power and help of God Himself.

John 16:5-15

The Holy Spirit Promised

     5“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6“But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

      12“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Some may still be asking, does God really forgive all my sins if I repent and submit to Him in Christ? … yes and He speaks a lot about it. But to be clear, do not expect forgiveness if you continue in rebellion toward Him and do not live according to His word.

Isaiah 1:18-20

18“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.

      19“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

      20“But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Daniel 9:7-14

  7“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8“Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9“To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11“Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12“Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. 14“Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

Acts 3:19-21

19“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Ephesians 1:3-14

    3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Colossians 1:13-14

     13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

1 John 1:9-10

9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Psalm 103:1-13

1Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

      2Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

      3Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;

      4Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

      5Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

      6The LORD performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.

      7He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.

      8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

      9He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.

      10He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

      11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

      12As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

      13Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

And there are plenty more scriptures about forgiveness… a clean start can be yours, in Christ, in January or any other time of the year. You don’t have to do it alone, but the power and guidance is in God and not in the turn of a calendar from December to January and not in what our culture or society says is good and to be valued.

To learn more about following Christ, continue reading The Message of the Cross.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Yeshua And The Father Are One

I have heard some say that Yeshua never claimed to be God, that somehow He is just a “good teacher”. There are many places in scripture where He clearly identifies Himself as Messiah, as God. John 10 has one obvious example. If we understand Him to be one with the Father, then we should surely obey His teaching and His example.

The fact is, once we understand that He claimed to be God, we can no longer accept the potential idea that He is a good teacher. Rather we must consider that He is either a madman, a liar, or God… as He claimed.

John 10:22-42

Jesus Asserts His Deity

     22At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26“But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30“I and the Father are one.”

      31The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 39Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.

      40And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was first baptizing, and He was staying there. 41Many came to Him and were saying, “While John performed no sign, yet everything John said about this man was true.” 42Many believed in Him there.

Some just refuse to believe. They are not His sheep. Some claim to believe, but do not change their lives and do not seek to truly understand what He calls us to do. They are not His sheep either. Others believe and follow Him according to His word. They seek Him out in prayer and study. They change their lives based on what they learn of Yeshua. These are His sheep. Sadly, many can be led astray by poor or incomplete teaching. We should each seek Him by reading the Bible and testing everything against the scriptures ourselves. When we disagree, let us seek answers in prayer and verify in scripture.  This is how we find true joy dwelling with our Creator according to His ways.

*Feast of Dedication refers to Hanukkah.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Jesus Is The Door and The Good Shepherd

The teaching of Yeshua continues to set many free from the power of sin and death while at the same time causes many more to argue that it is nonsense, or in the case of John 10, that it is from a man who is “demon-possessed”. The truth is that He is the good shepherd. He lays down His life for His sheep. Satan is real. He is the enemy. He knows He can not win, but He wants to steal, kill, and destroy… separating people from relationship with YHWH.

What a blessing to have a good shepherd to protect us. Let us seek to listen to and obey His voice. A good practice is to confirm that whatever you think He is telling you is consistent with the written word of YHWH in the Bible. Many are misled by their own feelings and perhaps even deception by demons. Yeshua’s voice will line up with scripture just as His life on earth and His teachings did.

John 10:1-21

Parable of the Good Shepherd

      1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

      7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

      11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

      19A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”

Do not be dismayed that many will reject His word. Many actually say they accept it, but it is in name only. They change the word and make up their own interpretations to live by. They change God to their image instead of changing themselves to His. However, let us rejoice in our good shepherd. He protects us. He makes a way for us to be forgiven. Ask Him for ears to hear and eyes to see the world clearly as if through His eyes and ears. Study scripture yourself. Do not rely solely on a pastor or parent or friend. True teaching lines up with the written word. Pray that He helps you to hear His voice clearly and obey. In this we will find true joy and peace regardless of circumstances that may happen around us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Views of the Cross

Today I want to share a good resource available to you at AnswersInGenesis.org. I visited their Ark Encounter in Kentucky and my family truly enjoyed it. Far too many present the historical event of the great flood and the ark as if it is a fairy tale. They present a Biblical view of the historical account and provide much more engaging material as well to help provide answers for how science and history line up with, not against, the Biblical word of God. I encourage all to make the trip if they can. They have another sister exhibit about 45 minutes away near Cincinnati as well, The Creation Museum. We enjoyed both and found both educational and stimulating.

The following is material from Views of the Cross tract from Answers in Genesis. You can order printouts from them online at the link I provided above.

Views Of The Cross (views-cross-tract PDF)

Examine Your Heart

Take a sincere look at your own life. Are you like the thief on the cross who mocked Jesus and remained obstinate, refusing to trust in Jesus Christ? Perhaps you are like the soldiers at the foot of the Cross gambling for Christ’s clothes. They were too distracted by worldly desires to realize they were part of the most important event in history.

Have you been too preoccupied by the busyness and cares of this world to consider your eternal destiny? If you are like any of these individuals, don’t wait until it is too late. Be like the repentant thief who confessed his sin to Jesus, asking for mercy. Turn from your sinful ways and call out to God, asking for His forgiveness. He is ready and willing to graciously forgive all who come to Him.

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

For more information, visit arkencounter.com/gospel.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Yeshua Is The Bread Of Life. Those Who Come To Him Will Not Hunger Or Thirst

Yeshua had just fed 5000 people by miraculously multiplying a small portion of food. The people wanted to follow Him and make Him king. We can gain insight by reflecting on the words He spoke to them.

John 6:26-40

Words to the People

      26Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” 30So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 31“Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.’”32Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”

      35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36“But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Yeshua first addresses that this crowd is following Him not because they believe Him to be Messiah, but because the food He gave satisfied them and they want more. He warns them not to work for simply food that we consume and then we are hungry again. Instead, devote your lives to pursuit of the bread which satisfies for eternal life… the bread that is Yeshua.  Let us recognize that not all who follow Christ actually believe in Him as Messiah. Some come along yet do not believe. This is true still today. Let us be sure we are not complacent in accepting that we “go to church” and hang out Christians and read the Bible, yet have no relationship or true belief in Him as Messiah.

They ask an important question… “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Yeshua’s answer is very important… “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Our first and most important “work” is simply to believe in Yeshua as Messiah, sent from the Father. In this way we receive the bread that lasts into eternity, and satisfies… never leaving us hungry or thirsty. Of course He is referring to spiritual food that we receive in close relationship with Yeshua and the Father. We are to pursue Yeshua as bread that satisfies. There is no other “work” required. What a loving God! However, as we pursue Yeshua genuinely and wholeheartedly, our actions change and our motivations change. Our genuine pursuit of Him is reflected in our behaviors and our thoughts. We change.

I am a bit stunned at first by the dialog where they ask for a sign. Had He not just performed a great sign by the feeding of the 5000?  He will address this starting in verse 36. Never the less, Yeshua continues to address them. However, He does not perform a sign just because they asked for one. He had already performed a sign. We can learn from this. Let us not always demand signs from YHWH but rather look to acknowledge the signs and wonders already at work in our lives around us.

Starting in verse 36 Yeshua addresses the fact that some have seen Him and seen Him perform signs, but they still do not believe. They still ask for signs. Not all have been given to Him by the Father, but listen to the beautiful closing of this section of scripture in regards to those whom the Father does give to the Son.

37“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

It is an amazing thought for those of us who desperately want to take some sort of credit for our own salvation, even by simply choosing the Lord when He reveals Himself to us. Let us remain humble. Let us first and foremost pray the Lord help those who are not walking with YHWH, who have not accepted Yeshua. For we see that all the Father gives to Him, will come to Him. Yeshua accepts all of us, and we must choose to accept Him, but recognize that the Father first calls us.

This can cause some difficulty for some. They struggle with their idea of “fairness” that the Father gives some to the Son and others He apparently does not. Let us trust the Father as we seek to understand. Ask Him as we would a loving Father whom we trust deeply. But remember that He is ultimately in control and His ways are far beyond our own.

Romans 9:19-24

    19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Read The Bible Like You Are Searching For Treasure

John 6 documents a time when Yeshua walked on water. This is a fantastic miracle, but there is more to the story than that. Let us put that aside for a moment and dig beyond the surface of the scripture to see what treasure we can find and apply to our lives.

After feeding the 5000, Yeshua realized that the people were wanting to come to Him to make Him king. However tempting that may be for all of us to deal with, Yeshua chose to withdraw to avoid this because He knew that this was not what His Father had called Him to do. He did not seek power for Himself, but only to do the will of the Father. If we take the time to really think about it, this may be almost as stunning as walking on water. How many of us would really seek to avoid the distraction of thousands of people praising us and trying to give us power? How tempting might it be to just let them follow you and cheer for you?

If I flip the situation to the other side, we can also appreciate the passion of the people to follow Yeshua as they did. They recognized Him for what He was and did not want to simply go about their regular business as if they had not encountered Him. This is another challenge for us to consider personally. Do we passionately pursue Christ?

Finally, a third point to consider… the disciples were afraid, but they trusted Yeshua when things looked frightening to them. Once they had trusted Him, their situation was quickly resolved.

John 6:15-25

Jesus Walks on the Water

      15So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

      16Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. 19Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. 20But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

      22The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone. 23There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. 25When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”

There is a lot of activity going on in John 6 besides just Yeshua walking on water. How will you apply what you have read today in your life? Pray for the Spirit to guide you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Pursue Both Spouse and Savior With Passion And Admiration

If you browse or study Song of Solomon you will likely come across the thought that it not only represents the love and passion of a husband and wife for one another, but also picks up on the metaphor raised elsewhere in scripture of the body of Christ as the bride and Christ as the husband.

With both in mind not the passion in Song of Solomon 5. Note the anxiety and torment of separation. Note how we are to view our spouse and also our savior… with admiration. With Christ there are no flaws and some would think that is then easy to admire. Take care, however, because the world is constantly trying redefine what is right and good and then make it appear that Christ and those who follow Him are bad. Also, we are vulnerable to acknowledging His good and admirable traits, but sometimes without true passion to pursue Him. We may not give Him our full attention and focus.

With our spouses, of course we all have flaws. While flaws need to be acknowledged, prayed for, and dealt with, let us focus on those things that are admirable about our spouse and do so passionately.

Song of Solomon 5

The Torment of Separation

     1“I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends;
Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”

      2“I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my sister, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.’

      3“I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?

      4“My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.

      5“I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.

      6“I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
My heart went out to him as he spoke.
I searched for him but I did not find him;
I called him but he did not answer me.

      7“The watchmen who make the rounds in the city found me,
They struck me and wounded me;
The guardsmen of the walls took away my shawl from me.

      8“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
If you find my beloved,
As to what you will tell him:
For I am lovesick.”

      9“What kind of beloved is your beloved,
O most beautiful among women?
What kind of beloved is your beloved,
That thus you adjure us?”

Admiration by the Bride

     10“My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.

      11“His head is like gold, pure gold;
His locks are like clusters of dates
And black as a raven.

      12“His eyes are like doves
Beside streams of water,
Bathed in milk,
And reposed in their setting.

      13“His cheeks are like a bed of balsam,
Banks of sweet-scented herbs;
His lips are lilies
Dripping with liquid myrrh.

      14“His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl;
His abdomen is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.

      15“His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.

      16“His mouth is full of sweetness.
And he is wholly desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

We Will All Face Judgment Before Him

All of us will die, unless the Lord returns before we do. All of us will face judgment before Him. Our deeds will reflect our heart and obedience toward God, or against Him. Our deeds will reflect whether or not we have submitted to Christ and asked forgiveness, turning our lives over to Him.

John 5:25-32

Two Resurrections

      25“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

      30“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

      31“If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. 32“There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.

We know not when our time will be to face Him. We should make ourselves prepared to face Him now and remain ready any time thereafter. If we live in the light we will find joy in this world and the next. If we live darkness we may chase contentment and joy in this world and may even catch it from time to time, but we will face judgment and punishment which Yeshua warns us not to take lightly.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

An Unlikely Audience

Yeshua was willing to go through Samaria (Jews generally avoided dealings with Samaritans) and stop and talk with someone that Jews did not typically associate with. This was intentional, not accidental. He knew what He was doing and what would happen next. He chose to reach out to people who Jews generally avoided.

He started a conversation about something very basic, a drink of water, but quickly transitioned into sharing the truth that He is the anticipated Messiah, son of YHWH. He started with a metaphor about thirst and painted the picture of how accepting Christ as Lord satisfies us permanently, like living water. It is a great example of how we may engage someone to speak of Yeshua and how He has transformed our life. We may begin perhaps without a full theology lesson and start with the human aspect of how it affects our lives and will affect theirs should they choose to follow Him. Yeshua also demonstrates sharing truth with those whom we may not normally expect will be open to hear it, those who many Christians may often avoid talking to.

John 4:1-30

Jesus Goes to Galilee

      1Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. 4And He had to pass through Samaria. 5So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

The Woman of Samaria

      7There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.9Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12“You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

      15The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20“Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22“You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.

      27At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” 28So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29“Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.

Let not overlook, however, that this should not be the end of the journey toward Christ for this woman. She told others and they came to Yeshua. It is easy to conclude that He continued to teach them as they came. Further, for those who truly accept Him as Lord, they will want to learn more and understand more over time in their new walk with Him. To stop seeking Him after only declaring you will follow Him (as if all were complete and finished at this point) would be folly. It would be like starting a long journey to a wonderful destination by opening a gate that leads to the path, and then sitting down at that point inside the gate and never going any farther. We must seek to know, love, and serve Him more as we continue forward.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.