Who is Jesus? – 2-2-23

“Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” John 7:40-41a NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 7 verse 25 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Could This Be the Christ?

25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is [d]truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”

28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 [e]But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”

30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

Jesus and the Religious Leaders

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said [f]to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”

35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those [g]believing in Him would receive; for the [h]Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Who Is He?

40 Therefore [i]many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Rejected by the Authorities

45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him”
46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
47 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
50 Nicodemus (he who came to [j]Jesus [k]by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
52 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet [l]has arisen out of Galilee.”

An Adulteress Faces the Light of the World

53 [m]And everyone went to his own house

John 7:25-53 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:21 KJV

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

Today’s reading is a bit longer, but I could not separate the section as they all beg for the answer – Is Jesus the Christ? As you walk into this reading, take a look at your life, and your walk with God – and go ahead and ask yourself if you really believe this. Is Jesus the Christ? Is He your savior in your situation? Is He faithful?

You see IS the savior, but on the day these events were happening, Jesus was not saving them from Rome with a violent military overthrow – which was the Christ or the Messiah they were looking for. I am in need of a miracle in my life and I too have an idea of what it will look like – until I didn’t. Because God stretched me and pushed me past that idea. Jesus will provide and save, but NOT in the way you and I think. Because of that it is normal to question this. Even more normal to test it. And in the end you come out ore strong in belief and more equipped for your assignment here on earth.
I can say, that He is my savior even if He doesn’t provide and intervene at this point, even if they rise against me and ask where is my God, Even if He does not save me like the Hebrew boys in Daniels book – I will still worship Him.  Now, what can move me? What can place an argument that can stand in the face of my experience with my savior?

After we have read the many who questioned Jesus and left (in the last few chapters) – we now see those who question Jesus and belief becomes more powerful and unstoppable than the Hollywood counterfeit called belief in Santa magic. The outpouring of that belief has had lasting implications felt in the world today – because You and I both believe!

25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”

People knew that the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus! Helps us understand a little more about if you go against them, not only can they kick you out – they can kill you and no one is going to stop them. In contrast to their own fear and cowering away – Jesus speaks boldly. In this they want to believe He is the Christ – because the Christ is expected to come in power and authority and might. Now they are hung up on knowing where Jesus came from. In Matthew we see that knowing that only fulfills the old prophecies and adds assurance to His Christhood. But these people do not have Matthews’s teachings, so Jesus himself calls out to them:

28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”
30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

And the unbelievers manifested death and murder – while the rest of them swelled in belief! So much belief that as the day went on, they continued speaking of it!

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.”

Rage, demonic rage, is a funny thing – because it is still subjected to submit to Jesus! Why do we forget our authority herein? And Jesus uses their weakness, their sin to trip them: pride.

33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”

Come and get me while you can – Jesus speaks of belief and things eternal and Pharisees are cause up in their pride: ‘What does He mean I cannot do something? I can do anything I want!’ And before we read and laugh about how much their own pride tripped and ensnared them here, let us take a moment to discuss the fact that seeking Jesus is temporal and has a time restriction.

We do not know the day or hour of our death, and with many just dropping dead with Sudden Adult Death Syndrome – our window to seek Jesus is short and unknown to us. We should take advantage of EVERY moment we have and seek Him.
I’ll be honest my needs, my pains, and other things come in to distract me from seeking him – but my window is short and temporary. If I do not seek Him with all that is within me, I cannot fulfill His call and literally the souls of people hang in the balance. We must stay focused and seek Him.

35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

A little pride and holier than thou attitude; ‘Ewww, are you going to go out to the Dispersion?’ Ironically, that is where John publishes this book. That is where Paul devotes His entire ministry. Makes me wonder where these men dispersed to when Jerusalem fell in the year 70 – did they even survive the fall?

Remember this week of risking His life was worth it as many DID believe. But now we will begin to see reasoning fail and why the ones who did not believe, failed to come around. Some people just cannot stop believing some lies.

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

I have prayed and spoken Jesus into my situations BUT I need a river! I DO BLIEVE JESUS IS THE CHRIST AND I AM DELIVERED – but I need the river! So I glorify Jesus in my situation and speak forth the river to flow!!! I testify of what Jesus has done for me and yet I thirst and cry out for the flow, the over flow the river of life!!! Holy Spirit please break forth in a flood in my life, in my ministries, in my obedience, in my business, in my HOUSE, and in all areas of me!!! In the name of Jesus! Jesus who is glorified here in these same areas – now I ask and welcome flow! I ask for and welcome overflow! I need a river of living water to spring up like a well within my soul!! I need to power to speak to my needs to be met and stop disobeying the Father and I need to go forth in that overflow to meet the needs of others! In the name of Jesus!

40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” 

Who do you say He is? Is He the Christ of your life? He fulfilled ALL the prophecies, yet some seek another and another has rose up in Israel and is deceiving God’s chosen people – pray for Israel! Pray for them!
Meanwhile I can understand why – where is the POWER of Christ in their lives. Many hardly believe and when they do they cry out “I believe, help my unbelief”! Well, when with they walk in the power without unbelief. If signs and wonders are not following you, then do you actually believe? If you do, isn’t it time we step out of fear and into His power?! Into the Holy Spirit? Into our calling?! Why are we letting false prophets steal our people? Steal any people? Aren’t all souls created by Christ and therefore let us go take them back for the Kingdom of God is at hand.  Does anyone hear me?

43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him”
46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

And for a brief moment we see fear of the Lord which leads to knowledge and belief and wisdom and…..
Well, that is not today’s story – today we learn how to quench it! Peer pressure and threats are how you destroy a seedling which was beginning to sprout!

47 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
52 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
53And everyone went to his own house.”

And just like that it is shut down. God’s move and power cut off by disobedient mortals – because of free will. They have the right to choose to not believe. So they made their choice. But keep in mind that there were those not in office, not in rank and file, not in any high standing – those who were just common lowly folks, who heard and believed. Therefore Jesus was preached from then until today and if the Lord tarries so will the preaching! And after the Lord Jesus pulls His church up to him, blogs like these will still cry out that Jesus is the ONLY way, He is the Truth, and the one who gives life! The church is asleep and the world is desperate! It is urgently time to stop focusing on anything other than Jesus and doing His will – which is to make disciples who also keep their eyes fixed on Jesus while doing His will.  

Please join us tomorrow as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Jesus teaching in the Temple – 2-1-23

“But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.” John 7:10 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 7 verse 10 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

The Heavenly Scholar

10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”

16 [c]Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”

20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”

21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

John 7:10-24 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

New month and new memory verse:
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
Matthew 17:21 KJV

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

John set the stage for the fever pitch which is today’s reading! Jesus gets rejected again – after sneaking into the city and into the temple and openly teaching. If we were not breaking this up into smaller bites, we would have seen the rejections becoming more and more personal and more emotionally intense, until yesterday His own brother showed their unbelief.  Leaving Jesus, completely alone in Galilee. And as we think things are bad for Jesus (we’d be calling EVERY prayer chain and sobbing for prayer to make it through) God uses this for His glory.

You see alone, Jesus can do things He could not safely do with the group. And this leads to a glorious climax!

10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.”

So Jesus lied? No. Jesus could not go in the manner in which His brother’s asked. Does this make lying and sneaking around in secret acceptable? No. We are in a war. We can make strategic moves that outwit the enemy. Do we forget we are to be generals in this war? That this is NOT about our needs and self-fixation – it is about saving lives and helping out brethren finish strong! Strategy is acceptable.
But we also know we are born of Light if we are IN Christ – therefore all that is hidden SHALL be revealed.  We see in the next verse that the enemy came to the brothers looking for Jesus – and the brothers could honestly say they left Him in Galilee. His brothers are safe and Jesus can now do the Work of God.

11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.”

And by ‘Jew’, John means the Pharisees, scribes, priests, and other Jews who did not believe in Jesus and were acting on behalf of evil. Some texts generalize them as just Pharisees. The truth is that it is hard to group and label them. Some Pharisees, scribes and priests as well as many Jews DID believe. As a nation, they did not. And in general their religious leadership did not accept or believe that Jesus is the messiah.
Why were these Jews feared? They were corrupt leaders and could have you removed for the temple. You see belief in the Father, meant sacrifices, offering, your entire social system, who you marry, and even your pension. It was government, church and social culture. To be removed would affect everything.

14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”
16 Jesus answered them and said, 
“My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.”

Do you know God and his voice? I mean, do you REALLY know Him? I have spiritual discernment, a small part of which comes from spirit cues or prophetic. I also have a small gift of prophetic, which also, only a small portion of comes from the prophetic. My discernment and knowledge and ‘Prophetic’ come from knowing the word of God so well that I know my Father’s voice. I know when I hear a lie – because the truth within me in HIS VOICE and it bears witness against the lies. I know when I hear someone speak from a false place because again – the Word exposes. I often take note of it and continue. My ministry and life is NOT to call out every lie – unless it tried to join the enemy’s attack against me. That would wound the person. And if the person is under the influence of the enemy, I will circle back later when I can access the person without wounding them. I am not going to cast it out if they will just pick it back up again. (I have cast out way too many demons; then watched the person pick it back up and be worse- just to have them say I never cast it out to begin with. I could show them proof – but now they are too demonized to see it.)
The point is – do you know the Word so well as to be able to tell what is of God and what is NOT? His sheep know His, the shepherds, voice – are you HIS sheep? Or do you answer to another voice?

19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”
20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”

Jesus knew their hearts. The deflection is “you must have a demon.” Has anyone ever said that to you before? At every moment of every day we are either influenced by God or the enemy. ALL OF US. Especially the closer to the will of God you get the attack for the position of influencing you gets more intense.  
Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me Satan” – was Peter Satan? No. But Peter was not seeing the will of the Father and therefore acting under the influence of the devil.
Peter was still the man Jesus built His church on.
There have been times I know I was acting on behalf of God – I have book, chapter and verse to prove it – and I was asked this, out of that person’s own conviction and evil influence. Just like Jesus here.
And there have been times when I speak and act out of my own fleshly nature (and I have book, chapter and verse showing how off I was) yet in those moments, no one has EVER accused me of having a demon, it was possible I was not speaking only of flesh, but if demonic influence.

I know – I speak of demon’s influencing strong believers. But I am not the one who brought it up, the Bible did!!! And so let us look at what the Bible says about it. DO we know our Bible well enough to know Our Father’s voice?
I can very well be His voice and still make us agitated and uncomfortable. That just means we need to repent of something, forgive something, or otherwise get our lives back in line with the WORD. It is the LIGHT of the word that is exposing – not a demon. That demon wants to hide.

Jesus cast out demons and said we can too in His Name. So “In the name of Jesus, I cast out the evil spirits, right now! Go where Jesus send you and out of that Child of God!”
Lord Jesus, I pray for anyone reading this who need a deliverance or who was just delivered. Please finish the work that was started today, bringing into their lives the perfect laborer to do the job. Seal the work with the blood of Christ. Help them repent and be washed in the Blood. And fill them fresh to overflowing with the Holy Spirit with evidence. Let your joy bubble over! And let them know you and your voice. In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen
Not shut the door that had let that evil thing in and do not open it again. Or as Jesus says – go and sin no more.

21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel.”

Yes, marvel at the one work Jesus did – it is not wrong as long as you are marveling in the awe of worshiping the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is not a circus show.

22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

The enemy has tricked us, even all of us if possible, into different levels of stinkin thinkin! 
It goes back to that muddy water game that I encourage EVERYONE to play. It is when you see a scripture verse or a nice saying in the wild out on social media and take a closer look at it, filter it through the clean and pure filter of God’s word to see if it is clean water or muddy water. Then do this during your pastor’s sermons and every sermons sent to you on the internet – Follow ONLY the VOICE of THE FATHER.
Maybe many of us need to change our filters, cause we cannot even play the game with our filters clogged with mud. You cannot recognize mud if you are blocked up with it. Pull out a new filter by diving more into the Word of God.
How else can you judge with righteous judgment?

Yesterday the brothers gave muddy advice to Jesus – thankfully JESUS IS THE WORD. So He could filter that out immediately. But you and I need to discern, not but some supernatural spiritual means – but by filtering with the WORD. The Word itself with give you wisdom, discernment, prophecy and knowledge. You don’t need to seek any other supernatural way.
Mind you I am not saying other ways are NOT of Him – I know and love many people with prophetic giftings. However they will all admit they can be wrong – and that is also normal for a prophet. On the other hand – any prophecy that comes by scripture is ALWAYS correct. The scripture is ALWAYS correct. So even if you have a prophetic gifting, learn to use the scripture first; it is 100% accurate!

Please join us tomorrow as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

When Good Advice Goes Bad – 1-31-23

“When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.” John 7:9 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 7 verse 1 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Jesus’ Brothers Disbelieve

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the [a]Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not [b]yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

John 7:1-9 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

John takes some time in this section of the book to show how very dangerous Jesus’s mission was. Yesterday we saw he was rejected by the community which raised him, and then his own disciples left (except the 12). John points out how He cannot even go into the region of Judea, because they will kill him.

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.”

How about His family? At least they believed and understood what was unfolding in front of their eyes?

Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.”

Seems reasonable. Looks like the brothers are supportive. They certainly did not want Jesus killed, if for no other reason than for their eema (mother)’s sake. But this reasoning is as correct as the friends of Job! Passages that should never be quoted unless you have a strong Biblical understanding – and even then, teachers tread lightly, mostly only, using them as examples of what NOT to do or say. 
And while man does things openly or in secret depending on what man desires – the truth is God can AND WILL reveal and expose the secret things. ALL THINGS ARE SUBJECT TO THE LIGHT.
The wrong thing sounding reasonable is still the wrong thing. The wrong thing with the right motives is still the wrong thing.

For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”

But His brothers did not even have the right motivation.

Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.”

The world is ALWAYS ready for manmade doctrine that sounds reasonable. If Jesus had followed their suggestion, He would have been caught and killed on the Feast of Tabernacles instead of Passover – Their suggestion would have led him to death.
Now look around you and discern carefully – someone in your camp maybe giving you reasonable advice and that path can lead to your death. You do not need to call out every lie and confront everything. Knowing is sometime all that is needed in the battle against the enemy where your loved ones can be used as pawns.
So Jesus says thanks but no thanks.

The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.”

The world only hates it when their sins and false religions are convicted – when their evil is exposed. These brothers where in NO DANGER of accidently doing that. They did not yet understand.
What is amazing and wonderful is that even though they struggled the most with understanding how their bro was also The Christ – they stuck around and listen to His teaching and eventually became leaders in the 1st Century Church. His brother James is even thought to be the author of one of the books!

You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

I am tempted to keep going. And discuss the interesting turn of events. But I think we should stop and take some time reflecting. Because the battle is great around us these days and God is powerful and amazing and with Him we will have the victory. But God also want us aware of the battle and of the players. Especially the ones with a good word that is wrong, not for you, or out of place of time, and can lead to destruction.
People can lead you into your death with ignorance, unbelief in your mission as well as demonic influence on them to mislead you.  And what is good for one person is NOT what God has for another. Peter could go into Judea for the feast – but Jesus could not just march in there with the rest of them being obvious.
So someone giving kind and reasonable advice may be your death.  Run it through the last confirmed word God gave you, and then through the Bible, and if you must ask God for a confirming sign. Be very sure of what God says for you specific.

And me wary of reasonable sounding destructive spirits sent to destroy you.

Please join us tomorrow as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Bread of Life – 1-30-23

I am the bread of life” John 6:48 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 6 verse 41 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Rejected by His Own

41 The Jews then [g]complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, [h]“Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who [i]has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes [j]in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is [k]food indeed, and My blood is [l]drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Turn Away

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a [m]hard saying; who can understand it?”
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples [n]complained about this, He said to them, “Does this [o]offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
66 From that time many of His disciples went [p]back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the [q]Christ, the Son of the living God.”
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

John 6:41-71 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

Rejection. It is a hard thing.
Many will not speak out about Christ and share their testimony because they fear rejection (and that is actually rejection of Christ and not rejection of you).  Jesus called you and knew if you had what is takes to follow Him – it is not an easy road and rejection is one of the smallest hardships of the course. If you are reading this – I know God knows that you have what it takes. I prayed that only those who had what it takes would read this.

So how do we react to rejection? What can we learn from Jesus’s rejection? And what is really going on at the end of this chapter? Let us dive in.

41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

Jesus was NOT accepted by the very people who raised Him – His community. We see this often in older churches with generations. There eventually comes a generation that was raised in the church from childhood – and once they reach adult hood, they find it hard to be taken seriously or treated like an adult.
Jesus’s rejection was similar. They saw Him as a normal child and now it is hard enough to see Him as an adult, let alone the messiah. How can this be the son of God? If He is He came down from heaven 30 years ago, give or take, and then they had to face the fact that they treated Him and His family as normal people and rewind their conversation wondering if they could have offended God?

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

These are powerful words. They are the kind of “It is Written” that makes demons shake. But it is also crystal clear water of life! It is hard to confuse what He is saying here.

Then Jesus begins to speak in symbols and parables. Let us remember that parables were a well-known style of telling a story in symbols to make a point. Most Rabbi’s told three together to make one point from three different angles. So, these men in the synagogue should all have familiar with symbols and metaphors.   

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

It appears that a few took him literal. They knew Jesus, and they were there most of His life, and suddenly they think this sweet boy has turned into a cannibal? That is so far out of character they should have known better. BUT! But! If they took it as the symbolism that is was, they would have to believe Jesus was the Christ. And how could they think this child grew up to be the savior of the world.

53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

I love how John doesn’t tell us anymore details, like how did Jesus make it out of the synagogue alive?! They had grounds to stone Him for blasphemy. Except it wasn’t. Or had Jesus suddenly started promoting cannibalism?

The accepting, all-inclusive Jesus who loves everyone and never offends is NOT the Jesus of the Bible.  Both those who did not believed in Jesus and those who believe were highly offended by these graphic and vulgar description of God’s grace.

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, 
“Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

Jesus had many disciples, not just the 12. So many times I forget that and have to visualize a larger crowd around Him.  We love to think if we come to Jesus everything will be all better, but things do not necessarily become all better. His promises still remain, but they may not come as you imagined.
I was recently asked to share my testimony about my business. I was happy to. It was supposed to be recorded and shared with a larger group of people (about 900). But he told me they could not use my testimony it was no good. I was confused. The man then told me his testimony: He surrendered all to Jesus and everything came together and he was abundantly blessed. The man whose testimony went in my place was that he too surrendered all and everything fell into place and he now has abundance.  And then this week there was another testimony about giving into God and everything working out.
My testimony is that I surrendered all and Jesus took it. HE has met every need while my business grows at an excruciatingly slow pace. God provides the extra money. God provides the extra food – which I cannot afford on my own. AND it is not like I spend money on crazy things. No. I have cut back and cut off all extras.  I eat expired food from a food pantry, I do not have new clothes, and my business barely pays for itself – that was all this man could see. I must have done something wrong. I must be out of favor with God. Because the god he believes in would never have you walk through hard things and learn to trust and rely on Him completely. His god would not put you in a situation to force you to have a shift in your mindset to not just trust him but to bless Him in it. Not just say I am blessed and not just say thanks and sing a song. But to bless Him!

Well the Jesus in the Bible is offensive. He warns us of hard times. He promises provisions and when my business did not provide, God provided! He is the provider! He is faithful.

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

More rejection. If our leader was so rejected, and we know many will reject him when we tell them about Him. we too should also assume we will face some rejection.

67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
70 Jesus answered them, 
“Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

Judas, himself, did not know his heart was going to harden. Jesus knew. Jesus loves him the same – there is a human there. He may have been the weak link and easily used by the enemy, but still a soul that Jesus NOT only counted among His inner circle of 12 – but Jesus made Judas. Jesus knew him before he was born and placed him here for such a time as this.  

Please join us tomorrow as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

WEEKEND READING – 1-29-23

Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:34-36 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Proverbs chapter 8 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Excellence of Wisdom

Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the [a]high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
O you [b]simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom;
am understanding, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 By me princes rule, and nobles,
All the judges of [c]the earth.
17 I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
Enduring riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold,
And my revenue than choice silver.
20 [d]traverse the way of righteousness,
In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth,
That I may fill their treasuries.

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the [e]fields,
Or the [f]primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 Then I was beside Him as [g]a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.

32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death.”

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

WEEKEND READING – 1-28-23

Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your nearest kin,” Proverbs 7:2-4 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Proverbs chapter 7 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Wiles of a Harlot

My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.

The Crafty Harlot

For at the window of my house
I looked through my lattice,
And saw among the simple,
I perceived among the [a]youths,
A young man devoid[b] of understanding,
Passing along the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.

10 And there a woman met him,
With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.
11 She was loud and rebellious,
Her feet would not stay at home.
12 At times she was outside, at times in the open square,
Lurking at every corner.
13 So she caught him and kissed him;
With an [c]impudent face she said to him:
14 I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
15 So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you.
16 I have spread my bed with tapestry,
Colored coverings of Egyptian linen.
17 I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For [d]my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey;
20 He has taken a bag of money [e]with him,
And will come home [f]on the appointed day.”

21 [g]With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she [h]seduced him.
22 Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or [i]as a fool to the correction of the [j]stocks,
23 Till an arrow struck his liver.
As a bird hastens to the snare,
He did not know it [k]would cost his life.

24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children;
Pay attention to the words of my mouth:
25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths;
26 For she has cast down many wounded,
And all who were slain by her were strong men.
27 Her house is the way to [l]hell,
Descending to the chambers of death.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

The Bread from Heaven – 1-27-23

But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.” John 6:36 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 6 verse 22 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

The Bread from Heaven

22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except [d]that one [e]which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks— 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”

26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall 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 [f]by no means 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 the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:22-40 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

Today’s reading and discussion show the depth of the blindness of the human spirit. And I want you to pay attention, so that you too aren’t asleep and miss it. This is not new and unique revelation – this is a discussion of what this says and not what we assume it says.

Some of you know I am trained and certified as an art teacher. The difference between those who can draw and those who can’t is the exact same difference between those who can see and those who assume what they see and draw their assumption. For example if you assume my head is a circle, and you draw a circle you will then look at that circle and say something isn’t right because your circle doesn’t look like my head. My head is a sphere and a cylinder and convex and concave… not to mention these flaps of flesh we call ears which are almost indescribable in shape. Then to make things more complicated it changes shape with expression and gesture – smiles pull the eyebrows up and the ears back, while frowns droop the cheeks and sag the brows.

So today you will hear a lot about bread – and Jesus says it was because He fed them bread (physically) is why they came looking for him, not because they came looking for the savior.
It was the people who understood the symbolism and said – but God fed us Manna under Moses! You see – from the beginning bread has represented provision – super natural provision. And wine represented life. The Jews grew up with this knowledge of the symbolism and it was embedded in the scriptures – and bread and wine were at every meal. Bread is provision AND it is also the utensil that they used to scoop up the food, without bread they could not eat many things.

So Jesus – discusses bread as a symbol. And suddenly they are all lost and confused and do not understand. It is not hard to understand. God provided spiritual food, physical food, eternal food, all our needs – and Jesus has shown He does too. Therefore, already proving He is the Savior they seek. But in humanities defense, we seldom understand what it is we need to be saved from. They thought they needed to be saved from the Romans – we think we do not need to be saved at all (but maybe if God could help our leaders be better, that would be great).

So Jesus and the crew fed 5000. The disciple escaped by boat, Jesus slipped away in the confusion to get alone with God. Jesus walked on water, out to the boat, and teleported the boat to the port. And now it is the next day.

22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks— 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”

Often times when we seek Jesus, we ask the wrong questions to get the answers we seek. These people DID NOT come all the way to Capernaum to ask Jesus how he got there. When we sit down for prayer and reading, let’ make sure we are asking the right questions and that we are open to answers we may need to process to understand.

26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Jesus calls them out for seeking Him for the wrong reason. Now, I have seen people seek God for the provisions and experience grace and stay for the love of Jesus! I, myself, came because I was needy – I needed Godly provisions. I experienced grace and was eternally changed.
So if you come with the wrong question, chances are you’ll get the wrong answer. If Jesus was not rebuking them, what was Jesus’s point? To show them there was more happening than just food.

28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

They were all so close! What do we do? Are you going to give us more laws and more things to do? You see, that had been the way since Moses came down the mountain with those tablets. And the rabbis added to the laws – so why wouldn’t this rabbi? What can we do to be saved?

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

To you and I this is not radical – but to them, who lived under strict rules, this was radical. There was no additional sacrifice, and no purification ceremony. There was no prayer to recite. There was no fast or feast to uphold. There is none – just believe.

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

When you DO NOT read the scriptures for yourself, you get misinformed! Yes the scriptures say “He gave them bread” but the word “He” means GOD not Moses. And Moses was told to show signs that the people would believe – so logically, living under Moses’s law, it would mean this prophet needed to perform signs. This is why they needed to read it for themselves and then they would have known but they did know bread represented provisions.

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Jesus gently corrects them. Turns them to the God and points back down to the Son. Jesus is the bread.

34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

Yes LORD!! Give us this bread always! Give us THIS DAY our daily bread. YES LORD!! YES LORD!! I want Jesus EVERYDAY. But, these people do not see that Jesus is the bread. They are expecting manna, but received a New Manna! They are expecting physical even though provisions is an action that covers physical, emotional, spiritual… and every part of our lives – Jesus is the provision. 

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.”

When I am talking with someone, and the lightbulb goes off in their head, I can usually see it – and I will say: ‘Now you are getting it’. These people do not get it. They are so blind, it is almost willful!
Jesus says: ‘here I am’ and they respond with blank stares because of course you are where you are.

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”

Amen! I have come to Jesus – I am not cast out, forsaken, unforgiven – nor do I lack. Not even if the world looks at me and says I lack. I DO NOT – God is not a man that He should lie. All that the Father gives Jesus will come to Jesus and ALL that He gives me will come to me!

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 the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

This is a good word. This is manna. We can go through this whole passage and replace the word bread for provisions. Jesus is the provision. It is not like we write Jesus on a check and send it into the billers – instead we take Jesus to the bank, to the place of need, to the empty account, to the part that is hungry, to the part that has lack – AND JESUS FILLS IT UP TO OVERFLOW!! Yes, this is manna. This is God.

Please join us this weekend for some wisdom reading without discussion and come back on Monday as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

I CAN walk on water, BUT that is NOT the point – 1-26-23

“So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.” John 6:19 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 6 verse 15 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

John 6:15-21 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

Although it looks like a short reading today – I think we should take this opportunity to review what EACH of the gospels say about walking on water. (Because it is interesting to read multiple accounts.) Now, first we should lay out some background.

It is believed that Mark wrote his gospel first – it was abbreviated and quick with short direct sentences. Yet it was effective. The world needed a written account and Mark tossed one out there. Now Mark was a child when Jesus was alive, and his older cousin Barnabas was one of Jesus’s followers who was friends with the disciples (particularly Peter) but was not part of the 12 core group. However, he was the one who believed and took in Paul and then went of missionary journeys with him. Now, it is very possible that when Jesus and the disciples were near Jerusalem, Mark was permitted to join Barnabas with the disciples. The reason this is thought is because Mark seems to have just been there from the moment he became a young man and was finally counted. The gospel of Mark seems to be what Peter imparted to Mark, however, there are elements of the book that almost seem like Mark was there and many more details are in those parts (And those sections happened near Jerusalem).
From what we know about Mark is that he was on fire for Jesus, zealous, and a little impulsive. Surprisingly, it is NOT the shortest account of the story of Jesus walking on water. He does omit Peter’s leap from the boat – so maybe Peter did not tell him, maybe he was not with them on the sea, maybe he wanted to spare Peter on more tale of Peter’s impulsiveness. (Most likely Mark did not hear that part.)

It is believed Matthew wrote his gospel 2nd. He knew of Mark’s and took it and filled in a multitude of details. Not surprising Matthew’s is the longest AND he included Peter jumping out of the boat to walk on water. Of course Matthew had a firsthand account of living with Jesus and is a very reliable reporter.

It is unknown why Luke left this entire happening out of his rendition – but it is believed he was writing to Paul’s attorney explaining why Paul preaches for Jesus and who Jesus is, so maybe it wasn’t as important as other things. However, Luke was also getting testimonials from the 12 and others who were there and compiling, using Mark’s outline as his own. It is thought that Luke did not know Matthew’s gospel existed.

Meanwhile over yonder where John had his head in the clouds – John, was the last to publish his account and he seemingly doesn’t know the other three existed. John was in that boat – so it makes ya wonder why John also left out Peter trying to walk on water. Actually his account is the shortest. John being full of Love, mercy and grace, probably just spared Peter the embarrassment – His account ALSO plays down the storm they were in, omits the fear they all experienced AND makes the whole thing sound like just another day with Jesus. (Another reason I thought it would be fun to bring in the other accounts.

John 6:15-21:

15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.”

Interesting. The other gospels do not include this – that again they had come to take Jesus by force. The enemy is persistent.
And Jesus’s response to a threat on his life? Get alone with God. Over and over we see Jesus prioritize getting alone with God. We want to be like Jesus but without threats and without taking time away from our day to give to God. And then we wonder why signs are not following those who say they believe. Maybe if they really believed, they would understand the importance of this practice and commit to it themselves?

16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.”

That is it – the extent of John’s version of the storm. A great wind yet they were still able to row.

19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.”

And then Jesus was walking on water like a weirdo and that was what made them afraid. And he was walking, not seeming to struggle, so how bad could this storm be. (And yeah seeing a man walk on water is a bit disconcerting.)

20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

And boom, like that the whole thing was over.
I think it was John’s version that made me (growing up in church) always picture the scene as a serene and still lake that Jesus easily walked over.

John gives us the motives for Jesus’s retreat to the mountain while they were the distraction/decoys. John give us the motivation for getting in the boat. And John gives us the information about the boat teleporting instantaneously to their destination. Good stuff the other gospels omit.

Now for Matthew 14:22-33:

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.

Matthew was well informed of the facts, but He did not seem to know why some were sent away and the disciples on the boat and Jesus to the mountain. Matthew assumes you and I have never been in the Sea of Galilee, in a small boat, with 11 or so other people trying to row during a blustery gale. So he explains the boat was tossed. Have you ever seen what waves can do to a boat?

25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying,
“Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

Ok – here Matthew and John sound like the same story. Then:

28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, 
“Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”

There is a dirty, muddy version of the truth of God that says Jesus ONLY does miracles so that people could see and come to him. So people cannot have a personal miracle unless it was life and death and Jesus had to save you. I hate this idea of limiting God. There is NO POINT to Peter walking on water – None. Except that Peter asked and Jesus said sure.  I know preachers and teacher have extracted the keep your eyes on Jesus to stay afloat part – but that is not the point of Jesus saying yes. 
Would Peter NOT believe it was Jesus if Jesus said no? Once Jesus was close enough they would have seen it was him. It is not like, the next day, Peter would say, I cannot follow you any longer because you are the ghost of Jesus and not Jesus. So no, Jesus did not say yes so Peter would believe.

30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 
“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Everyone who has a relationship with God reports on his sense of humor in enjoying us. My own recent example would be, I was at the grocery store and saw Hummus and thought I’d love to get some. But I did not have money for extras. So I prayed, God help me be wise and get only what I need. Because you know that if you got hummus you’d have to get the naan or pita and maybe a cucumber, and it all adds up.  Well, a lady brought me food and in one of the bags there was hummus! Praise the Lord! I was hungry and quickly dove back into the bags to find the bread and cucumber… to learn there wasn’t any. How do we eat hummus without it? I literally looked up and said, God, obviously you heard my wants and thank you, and I do not mean to sound ungrateful, but where is the rest? And I swear He was belly laughing like a preteen playing a practical joke! Immediate I realized I never said I wanted the rest – I only said I wanted hummus! Funny Joke, God. We did laugh together and I worshiped while unpacking the groceries.

God, and Jesus, delight in us. Peter’s enthusiasm is delightful. I am sure Jesus was happy to humor him. I bet Jesus smiled with intense joy, until Peter looked away and slipped down into the water.
When Jesus says: you of little faith – it is tender and jokingly. It is almost like a “Bruh, you almost had it! Why did you give up?” with some laughs mixed in because He knew He was saving them all.

32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”

He saved peter from drowning because he jumped overboard. He saved all of them from the wind. He saved them from the crowds and those who were coming to take them by force. He was watching over them while He prayed and came to save them. Not immediately, He let them try. It would be no fun if He saves them and they say, I almost had it, you came too soon. He never comes too soon – always on time! Oh wait, that isn’t in this version, it is in Mark!

33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Although Matthew didn’t seem to know many of the why’s – he knew the facts and showed a tender side of Jesus and moments you and I could be having with Him! Yes, we could say to Jesus in the boat of our life, let me jump out and walk on water – and Jesus says sure. And it is not about walking on water – it is about an intimate moment with Him.

John understood why things were happening – Maybe he omitted it because it was an intimate moment with Christ. While Matthew, missed the point but revealed a tender intimate moment. Mark also understands the why and the point of it – maybe this is why he too omitted it.

Lets’ check out what he says in Mark 6:45-52:

45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.”

Mark doesn’t outright say what the Whys are – but he surely gets to the point. He understood Jesus as the master of ceremonies or the director. Jesus’s authority is why. You do this and you do that and I will oversee. One could almost make Jesus out to be detached and cold. But yet, Mark still implies Jesus was lovingly overseeing. He went to pray and watched the disciples struggle.
In mark’s account (again, probably from Peter) was that Jesus was walking to get a closer look to see if they needed him or not. Jesus was going to walk past them and meet them on the other side. I can see Jesus, the next day tell Peter, he was going to keep going, but couldn’t because Peter leapt from the boat – what a fun laugh that would be. Although there is a lot to be serious about – they joy of the Lord is our strength. We can have a good laugh and have some fun while following him.

49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”

Mark brings us back into the bigger picture. They just fed the 5000, even though they failed the test. And Jesus explains this whole thing using bread as a metaphor and they are tired and pressed and worn down and they just aren’t getting it and even standing next to Jesus as the bread and fish multiplied – it happened in the process and they really did not see it and are forgetting He had said He IS the Messiah. Tired out, scared, physically exhausted from rowing against the waves – they really had every excuse in the book for the thing in their brains that makes them understand to not be functioning.

When we get to that moment, it is a prime moment to walk on water, to have a laugh, to sit and enjoy Jesus as He enjoys us. It is about personal relationship – not about walking.

Water and bread are important symbols in the Bible. Jesus is the living water, the well that springs up, makes us never thirst. He turns water to wine. He makes it come forth out of nothing but a hard dry rock, like for Moses. And there is a river that restores life to Jerusalem in the end, and flows out of the temple. Even the throne room floor looks like a glass sea.
And bread? Bread is provision the meeting of our needs. But let’s discuss bread and what Mark referenced, in the book of John – tomorrow.  Please join us tomorrow as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

After the Test, We Feast! – 1-25-23

“Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.” John 6:13 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 6 verse 1 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Feeding the Five Thousand

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.[a] And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.

Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them [b]to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

John 6:1-14 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

With the accusations of the US president having classified documents in his home, and riots again, and another school shooting, and inflation – I do not know why more Christian have not woke up? Over the last 5 days I have seen Christian shaken down and exposed! I have seen some lose their jobs, some show up in police blotters, some just completely off base. If you are not right with God – fully repentant and on fire, clinging daily to the altar – then you too will be shaken. The sheep from the sheep from the goats or like the wheat and tares – divided and handled accordingly. I know I have been saying it was coming for a long time – I am sure you feel it. That is not an attack from the enemy, that is God shaking you down, that is the eye of God causing the trembling.  Jesus was given the authority to judge (as we read yesterday) and that condemnation is NOT his voice – but the confrontation and judgment and consequences are the voice of Jesus!

And as we are in the thick of it – I hunger. Worship, manna, fellowship have been much more difficult. I press in and do you know what I see? He has prepared a feast! There is a table set in the presence of my enemies. It looks like I have little – BUT IT IS ABOUT TO FEED ME AND FIVE THOUSAND!
Because I believe (Lord help any unbelief in me, please!) Because I fight tooth and nail daily to stand fast and have my faith counted to me for righteousness – without it I have NOTHING else. It is written that faith will be counted for righteousness and it is written that God will bless the work of my hands and it is written that we are about to feed the five thousand!

1After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.”

You and I, we did a thing. We made it through 2020, then survived 2021, and now we are still here after 2022!!! That is noteworthy, many did not survive. Now it is the year of jubilee and we can ask God to forgive our debts and set us free. And once we do that – we deserve to go over the sea and up the mountain to sit.

Have a cup of tea and just sit for a moment. But the truth is after all we did and survived – people are coming to learn how, to learn JESUS! So we can sit, but do not be surprised when they come!

Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.”

This tells me that they should be HOME! Not following Jesus – they need to prepare for the feast! For us it is April 5th. So this took place in late March/early April, give or take.

Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”

And right there. That is where we are at! Jesus is testing us – He knows what He is going to do. He has made plans to prosper us – and not prosperity gospel type of prosper – but…
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22 NKJV
So we are talking about Biblical truth we was build our house on, our life on, our talents on, our bank account on, our businesses on, etc. Yes – Jesus knows the plans and this is just a test. Grab ahold of the altar for dear life – and when this is over we feast!

Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

(Side note: Based on the location, Mark, who wrote the gospel of Mark, was a child at this time, and was probably hanging out with the disciples and Barnabas. Although close, they would have had a short travel to get there to join them and some wise Jewish eema probably packed this foot for the road.
Although it makes for fantast storytelling to think of the disciples rummaging through a random child’s lunch all creepy like, the truth is that Peter was friends with Barnabas and Mark and probably greeted them and they said we brought some food if you are hungry, and ta’da! Just like that Peter knows there is a child’s lunch.)

Meanwhile – I am hungry. And my bill collectors are hungry. And the ministries I support are hungry. And I may not even have enough left for a child’s lunch! I look with my earthly eyes and many would say it would be wise to worry! To even get scared into doing some sort of fear based reaction! But I stay steady. I work hard, pray hard, hang in there hard and wait on the Lord. He is faithful who promised! He is able! He is not a man that he should lie! SO let us stop looking with Peter’s eyes and start looking at things the way Jesus sees them!!!

10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.”

Let’s eat! Was it the first break of the first bread distributed to the first disciple that was a miracle? Was it the 2nd? The 5th? Then 10th? When exactly did the multiplication happen? I don’t want to eat a feast while someone else is hungry. And it is quite possible I would miss the miracle if I sat and waited to see it. No one saw it. They just ate!

So in your situation, keep giving and doing and being generous with people as unto God and to God as well. Just keep going. Because the miracle happened as he just keep giving out the bread. As you go through your struggle, focus on Jesus and eat – He does the rest. Seek Jesus first, as these people were seeking Jesus instead of being home preparing their Passover. Seek Jesus first, He provides the rest.

12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.”

Gather so that nothing is lost – it is a good thing to be prudent. But the prudence comes with the abundance, the blessing, the extra – we are not stingy with others, with needy, or with God; we are only stingy with making sure to not be wasteful with the overflowing multiplication of our meager lunch.

If you did not give him all you had at the beginning – you will not have an abundance in the end.

14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Imagine meeting Jesus and not understanding that he was NOT a prophet – but the actual messiah! But how many times have we accepted a watered down, less dangerous version of Jesus? I know I have more times than I could count!
When I returned to God, after sliding away, I shook my fist at him and said I will not come back to some weak pretend version of God and Jesus that I was given – I want to know the REAL GOD and experience His REAL power! And I have! But it is through these trials and tests where Jesus knows what He is going to do, but He is testing to see if He can trust me, if I will learn to see things from His point of view, and if I am willing to let Him tell his powerful story through my life any way He’s like.

And do not condemn yourself – the disciples failed the test, yet they still got the miracle, they still had a feast!

Join us tomorrow as we continue to study and meditate on the Book of John.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Witnesses to The Truth – 1-24-23

Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.”  John 5:25 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:                                                                   

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading we will pick back up in the Gospel of John, chapter 5 verse 16 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).

Honor the Father and the Son

16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, [d]and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the 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 as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

The Fourfold Witness

31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not [e]true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

John 5:15-47 NKJV

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

BIBLE DISCUSSION:

We have a longer read today and it is meaty!
John tells us about Jesus then shows us what Jesus said and did. Then John tells us more about Jesus. It is a repeating pattern throughout the book. Here John is using the words of Jesus to explain.
Jesus started with the least likely and transformed, and he transformed from a distance, and then on the Sabbath, the act that lead to His ultimate accusation and then innocent crucifixion.

16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

We must always keep in mind that God is still working! We can read the plan and know the plan – He told us. We sometimes just get too distracted with ‘where is the rent payment’ and ‘Did you hear what Sally said about me?’ It is crazy how quickly we make this about God serving us instead of us serving God! Or how quickly we make this about us instead of God and His kingdom, which we are supposed to be building!

John was writing after Jesus passed – so John knew the connection between the healing at the pool and Jesus’s death, which is, I think, why John takes this opportunity to share with us the relationship between Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit (implied). It is important that the reader of the gospel understand Jesus was fully man and fully God and as Paul and peter pass on – John wants to ensure this next generation knows and understands the foundation of what Jesus did and who He is.

18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”

First – God honors Jesus! That does seem to be important enough to be #1.

19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”

We should be Christ like and do in the manner of Christ as Christ does in the manner of God!

20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

And Jesus says we will do greater than He did. I cannot imagine what greater will be – But God will help us when it is time, and I am sure it will be dire when we have to. Meanwhile, I know Christian who will not lay hands on the sick if need be.

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

This while section really should be read together – but we need to discuss the meaning of these things and stop and think about each part. Some Christians have heard it so much they know with their head and head knowledge is good! I totally geek out on the word. BUT get this in our hearts! Because without heart knowing we do not pass from death into life. God is life and there is no destruction – Judgement is not wrath nor is wrath destruction. Consequences of sin are destruction. Fear God, not because He can smite you, but because you love Him.

25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the 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 as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”

When the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God – this idea is repeated in this passage a few time and is admittedly hard to understand at first glance. The first time is above and the second below. The first time is often attributed to the spiritually dead people and the second to the resurrection.
The above word ‘dead’ is νεκροὶ (nekroi) which means subject to death or mortal (Strong’s 3498). So it can include those who are spiritually awake or those who are not.

28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

Almost ironically John calls the dead, here – people who are in their graves. Because some are dead and some alive in spirit. I’ll admit I do not know how we call the end of life death and God doesn’t call it death – death is living in hell for eternity being tormented.
We saw in the book of Revelations (last month) how just before judgement day Jesus calls everyone up at once to be judged. All believers, like you (I assume) and I get to go to the Bema Seat and be rewarded crowns and treasures in heaven (crowns are often the symbol of a city – we probably will not be handed physical crowns, but cities or estates to rule over as we see in many parables).  
Now back to Jesus:

30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

So when we seek to do the will of the Father and Jesus we too are acting righteous! But we are not given the authority to judge. Praise the Lord!

The Jews have always had a rule that things be established by two or more reliable witnesses. In our lives those witnesses must ALWAYS include the Bible. Well, Jesus has fourfold witness! Which is important because we cannot argue when a thing has been established.

31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.”

Jesus had John as a witness. Seems pretty reliable and legit – but man is fallible and we apparently only humored him for a moment. Humans are so fickle.

36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”

His Works are a witness. That is two.

37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

The Father Himself – but we are so small and limited in our knowledge that we haven’t even seen him. So that one doesn’t help us – except by His Spirit, which is why I said the Spirit is implied.

38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”

And the holy scriptures are number 4!

40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Over and over – we fail to understand the important and truth of this. It is scary to think we can disregard all his signs and selfishly follow our own sins, bondages, oppressions, and slavery.

41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”

This was spoken to people who claimed to believe in God. I claim to believe in God – maybe I need to take a closer look inside – same with you? When was the last honest self-examination in front of God? Lately God has been confronting a small amount of complacency in my life – convicting me that I can and must do better and be consecrated. Good enough is no longer good enough.

45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.”

Yeah – Jesus confronts sin, convicts of sin, but does not accuse. These are different words because they have very different meanings. The satan means the accuser – so it is shocking to the Jews when Jesus says Moses accuses. First of all they trust Moses, because he sat with God and got the law for them. But it is that very Mosaic Law that bears witness of Moses’s accusations against mankind. That we would need such laws, alone – accuses us of our dire sinful and un-self-governable we are.

46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

And a fifth witness emerges, Moses, who wrote about Jesus! WOW!
Followed by another rhetorical question.

I feel Paul’s rhetorical questions demanded thought and self-reflection more strongly – while John’s feel more like a suggestion, however these questions and shake your very foundations to ensure they are solid! These dig much deeper. The can even ignite fire inside you.

***

I also wanted to remind and inform all of you, that instead of writing a book on fasting (since it is the topic I get asked the most about) I have created a Facebook group that is designed to be interactive and give you all the Bible verses on fasting, all the types of fast, and how to fast. In the group are specialist to help us along the way, like the creator of The Fasting Protocol (fasting for health and weight loss; which is part of fasting and important to know about – He can also speak to fasting in a healthy manner). The group is new and other experts are invited, I am hopeful they will join. So let’s join the group and see what we will learn about prayer and fasting. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/509149707741862

Thank you for reading in 2023 – a Year of Grace and Provision
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!