“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. – John 18:17-18
What are we willing to give up to be comfortable? Here, Peter did not want to leave the fire in this cold night, while waiting upon Jesus and John to return from the counsel. He was standing by the fire with the officials and people scared to admit he was a follower of Jesus, but why?
Could it be that he did not want to lose his comfort? He was standing warming himself, it states it again down in verse 25 as well. Peter was comfortable and did not want to lose that comfort. So, what that he lied to the officials, they didn’t mean anything to him.
However, on the third time when the rooster crows Peter realizes what he has given up for his own comfort. He has given up his allegiance to Jesus. He has given up the opportunity to defend the cause. He has given up the opportunity to share the Gospel with those who were in need of it, all for the sake of his own comfort.
What are you willing to give up for Jesus? We have to be willing to give it all up, our comfort, our relationships, and our life style. This is the price for the cause of Christ; for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today is the day to ask that very question, what am I willing to give up? If it isn’t everything, then you need to pray for the strength of the Spirit because we don’t want to end up like Peter after the third rooster’s crow.
God Bless and May You be Lifted Up Lord,
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. – John 17:20-21
Jesus wants the Church to be one. This means all who believe in His name and in what He has done for us need to be one. Do you believe He died for your Sins? Do you believe He is resurrected? Do you believe He is the Lord of your life? At the very basic understanding of the Gospel are these questions.
When we say yes to these, we are one in Him. Pretty much everything else is human judgement or belief. These are the cores to the Gospel, Yes Jesus died on the cross for my sins; Yes, Jesus was raised on the third day and now sits at the right hand of the father; Yes, He is the Lord of my life, which I have proven through my actions in baptism and obedience.
These are the basics and all that is needed to be one. All the other theology and division is just that, human understanding. If we can get past all the arguing amongst ourselves, then people will see we are one and will see the Gospel and turn to Him, that is our purpose here on the earth, not to determine which “church” has it all right or wrong. The only question anyone need to ask of a congregation is whether or not it is Christ centered because that is all that matters.
I have been to many congregations in my life and believe that there are true Christians in each one and there are some that don’t believe in each one. What is important is if the message and overall theology is Christ centered.
I want to encourage all that believe in Jesus that we are one with each other. We need a common goal to win those who don’t have Christ to Him and not to our individual congregations. What is more important to me is whether you love Christ, not where you choose to worship Him, that is secondary. We are one, as long as Christ is the center of who we are, we are one. Let us learn to worship together and give glory to God and make it all about Him.
Glory be to God,
So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” the chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” – John 19:15
Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” – John 19:19
The proclamation of the King does not always come from the most religious, no, it usually comes from the most unexpected places. The Jews said, we have no king but Caesar. This reminds me of when they wanted King Saul in the Old Testament, forgetting that they already had a king.
I forget sometimes in my own life who the true king is of my world. God is the true and only king that I ought to have and that I need. He provides for me and ensures that I am taken care of. He takes evil away from me and defeats the traps of the Devil and his minions.
Just remember that just because you are a religious sort, it does not make you a righteous sort. We must proclaim the one true King as King for it to be so. He has got to be at the center and command of my life. I cannot proclaim any other king in my life.
This means that my devotion and dedication fall to Him first and foremost, nothing else. My way, my family, my job nor my life can be put in front of Him and His will in my life, if I do place them there, they become my king instead of God. Today, I must put Him first; today, I must decide that He is my King.
All Honor and Glory to God,
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:12-13
Jesus is fixing to go to the cross. He is letting the disciples know how to act during this time until the resurrection and even after His resurrection. They don’t understand yet, but they soon will. He is telling them how to remain in Him, through love; especially by loving one another. We are to love even to the point of laying down your life for others.
What does it mean to lay down your life for another? Sure, dying for someone is good and it can show compassion and love. But what about laying down the things in your life that distract you from God’s work and love for people. What about laying down some of your job so you can serve more, what about laying down your hobbies so that He can use you? This is also laying down your life.
You don’t have to die for someone to show them they are loved, you just have to put them above yourself. You can show love by showing others they are important to you, that they mean more to you than your hobbies and jobs. Jesus asks the same from us as well. He calls us friend in the next few verses and many times we treat Him like a distant relative.
How do we show our love for Jesus, how about we lay down our lives for Him? We let Him in to control who we are and what we do. I have found that when I lay my life down, it gives me peace and comfort. I know I am cared for by my Maker, what else in this world could I need. I only ask now that He gives me the strength to lay down my life for my other friends. For what does it gain a man to get the whole world and yet forfeit His sole. Let’s choose love today.
“The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.” John 14:10
God the Father worked through Christ when He was on the Earth to show His glory and power. He gave Him authority to act on His behalf and Jesus did great and wonderful things. But now, Jesus has gone to the Father, but He still works in us through the Spirit.
It is the Spirit within those who love Him and have accepted Him doing the work. As a pastor, I have to remember this when I have a great sermon or do some acts of kindness. I can take no pride in anything good I do, because it is not I who does the work, but the Lord in me that allows me to be righteous.
He has become my righteousness that I may do good works in His name. This is to show others who He is and not who I am. I in and of myself have no power to do anything good. If I could I would have done it before I knew Him. However, my acts were selfish and deceitful and for my own gain.
Now that I have the helper as my focus and word, I now have opened up for the Spirit to do good and righteous things through me. I have become a weapon for the Lord, giving life where it is needed most; winning souls through the use of the Spirit and through His Word. All that is required is that I stay out of the way and let Him work.
God be With You,
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord, “Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” – John 13:8-10
Peter was always trying to get the right answer or response out to Jesus. He felt as if his entire existence was about passing a test. We see Peter several times put his foot in his mouth, as a matter of fact it is just a few verses down where he claims to be able to die for Jesus but we later learn that is not true either.
God does not run around throwing you test after test to see if you will pass. No, there is only one test to pass, do you believe Jesus is the son of God, fully human and fully God, and do you believe He died on a cross for your sins, and do you believe He was risen on the third day? That’s it, that is the whole test. After that life is simply about living that out.
God does not call us to inaction after our profession and baptism, but He calls us to “Work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil 2:12) We do not have to prove anything else, only respond to the love He has shown us by showing it to others.
Stop trying to impress God with your great “Church” answer and live a life worthy of the one given up for you. There is no test in that, just a responsibility. We are trying to get the right answer, it has already been given to us, when we see that Christ even washes Judas’ feet at the Passover. He washes the feet of the very one who was to betray Him that night. That is the life we are to be about, not about proving ourselves, but about responding to the relationship we have with God.
Peace be with You,
So, the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When He had heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” - John 11:3-4
The words above are the beginning of the Lazarus story. How Jesus had raised Him from the dead. However, before that happens, Jesus tells them everything is going to be OK, it is not going to end in death. This was not only for their benefit, but a prophesy of His own fate, so the disciples would here and know everything was going to be OK.
In life, I know I struggle with many issues at different times. Before, I would struggle to have enough money. Or perhaps struggle in relationships or with my own character. I have battled illness and injury and death of loved ones. Each time Jesus telling me, it is going to be OK, but few times was it much comfort until it came true.
We have to believe it is going to be OK. I finally came to this conclusion about 10 years ago when I was studying 1 Cor. 15:55 where it state, “Oh death where is your sting, Oh grave where is your victory.” I realized that no matter what happens to me in life, I win. If I die I win, if I get sick I win, if I am persecuted I win, or if I am forsaken by men, I win. No matter what my God is with me and He has already won my battle for me.
So today as you go throughout your day, remember in Christ we have already won. It is going to be OK; He takes care of us and does not forsake us. Just remember that each battle or struggle in life is an opportunity to glorify Jesus and spread the Gospel.
May the Lord be With You,
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. – John 10:27 – 28
I love this verse and it is very encouraging. It talks about the eternity of our salvation and the comfort that comes from Jesus’ words. However, there is another meaning here as we pay attention to what Jesus says in verse 27, My sheep listen to my voice.
We, as Christians, have to listen to the Word of God; to the voice of Jesus. We have to know His words so that we know what we are listening too. With all of the heresy entering the Church today, we have to be careful of what the Truth is and how to discern that truth. We easily do this with the power of the Spirit and listening to Jesus’ words.
Recently a buddy of mine challenged me to watch a couple of messages from prominent TV pastors. I was amazed at what I heard in their language. Several of them preaching that we are gods in our own right, misquoting scripture, telling us to call ourselves the I AM, and teaching that sin is alright because that is who God made you to be.
Instead of just listening to pastors, including myself, we need to check their info and research what they say with scripture to ensure we are hearing the message of God, or Jesus’ voice. We may not be able to be snatched from Jesus hand, but we can slowly wander off if we are not careful about how our Spirit is fed.
I would call on all people to challenge what I say and point out when I divert from the path of the Lord. I welcome the rebuke and look to only teach what God has taught. I look to be only what God has called on me to be. I seek to follow and not to be The I AM.
Let us be strong and seek to root out all heresy and blasphemy from the Church and once again serve the one who matters.
God Bless You with His Strength,
As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. – John 9:1-3
Jesus was in full-on ministry mode. He approached the blind man and used his sight to prove that God is not about punishment or bullying, instead God can use any situation for His glory. This man’s infirmity was viewed as a punishment for some kind of sin, but what Jesus tells us, is that it is a tool to be used for God’s glory.
First and foremost, we have to remember that God did not break the world, we/I did. Because the world is broken in sin, bad things happen to “good” people. Some are born blind, some get cancer and some die in natural disasters. God did not cause this, man did. It was man’s free will to sin against God that is to blame here.
However, in this sinful world, God can use anything for His glory. I think to some of those natural disasters or terror attacks and how whole communities come together in prayer and in compassion for one another. Those moments after a tragedy when we see people acting like they ought to act all the time. God can use all things to His glory.
What about our own infirmities? We can use those to glorify God as well. This man who was born blind now has an awesome story to tell others to bring them to Christ. What we see that we think holds us back can be our greatest weapon for winning souls to Christ.
Pray for your weaknesses today and let them be used for God’s glory. Let your blindness become sight to the Lord and glorify Him. People are going to think your crazy, but that just allows them to ask and allows you to share the Gospel of God and perhaps win another soul to Christ. You don’t have infirmities or weaknesses, you have weapons to deploy in our spiritual battle for souls.
God Give You Strength,
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” – John 8:58
Jesus was addressing the crowd of Jews trying to tell them who He was and who His father was. He definitely told them who they belong to, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” (John 8:44) Jesus is always honest, and when He plainly tells them that He is the I AM, they get angry and want to kill Him.
Are we this honest with people, or with ourselves? Honesty is the only way we can truly look into self and to have relationship with others. I have been told, “there’s nothing wrong with a little white lie.” However, there is everything wrong with lying, it is not the truth and only the truth can set us free.
When we tell the truth, we don’t have to worry about remembering what we said, because it will always be the truth. And truth is never relative, the truth is the truth no matter what we think. Truth is eternal and everlasting. Jesus was all about the truth, no matter what feelings were hurt or the consequence to Himself.
Those who can handle the truth, take time to reflect upon it and apply it to life. Those that can’t pick up stones and want to destroy the truth. I look at what our country has become over the last 20 years and it has become a den of lies and sin. We no longer, as a country, even know what the truth looks like and that divides us.
However, there is still hope! The truth is in Christ, if we would only turn back to His Glory and His Truth, then we can fix what ails this country. We can see clearly and we can get back to what is eternal and everlasting, the Truth of Jesus and the Gospel. See fit to tell someone the truth today and perhaps it will save their life.
God be with You,