VIDEO Jesus He Loves Me

Nov 24, 2014

John 21:20a,24 – Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper. This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true. (NKJV)

The writer of the Gospel of John does not identify himself by name in the text, but five times, he describes himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”.

One day as I thought about what it must have been like for John to know Jesus’ love, I felt a Holy Spirit “nudge” to say my own name, followed by “whom Jesus loves!” After saying that a few times, I began to notice and treasure in my heart truth about Jesus that had just been information I had read or sung before.

Here are three truths that captured my attention after beginning to meditate about Christ’s love for me.

Jesus made the universe. Jesus owns creation. Jesus is. Every day when I read my Bible, more truth about Him feeds my soul and sticks in my heart to whisper love at the most unexpected or needed times. Beginning to say and think, “Pat, whom Jesus loves!” has made it effortless to speak of Jesus’ love to others.

Stating aloud in private, “Pat, whom Jesus loves!” has enabled me to consider myself and all people in that light. Swept up in Christ’s love, more and more, I find myself asking in prayer, “Lord, what do you want me to say/do at this time and in this place?” Answers to those prayers bring simple guidance and confidence.

Contemplating Jesus’ love as portrayed by the writer of the Gospel of John led me to find the easy yoke and light burden Jesus said comes when we learn of Him. Eugene Peterson coined the phrase “unforced rhythms of grace” to speak of Jesus’ easy yoke and light burden:

Matthew 11:29-30 – Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (MSG)

Have you been looking to live more freely and lightly? Please consider yourself loved by Jesus, and say so often!

Abba Father, we make this prayer in the name [the person and the presence] of Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank You! Your kingdom is at hand! You enable us to enjoy life because Jesus came, lived, was crucified and resurrected, and now, with love, intercedes for us in heaven. Amen.

The Money

The Money

You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

Early in my career while doing work that I saw as more of a mission than a job, another company offered me a position that would give a significant increase in pay. Our family could surely have benefited financially from such a move. There was one problem. I hadn’t been looking for another job because I loved my current role, which was growing into a calling.

But the money . . .

Lord, help us not to see the obstacles but to see what You are teaching us.

I called my father, then in his seventies, and explained the situation. Though his once-sharp mind had been slowed by strokes and the strain of years, his answer was crisp and clear: “Don’t even think about the money. What would you do?”

In an instant, my mind was made up. The money would have been my only reason for leaving the job I loved! Thanks, Dad.

Jesus devoted a substantial section of His Sermon on the Mount to money and our fondness for it. He taught us to pray not for an accumulation of riches but for “our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). He warned against storing up treasures on earth and pointed to the birds and flowers as evidence that God cares deeply about His creation (vv. 19–31). “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,” Jesus said, “and all these things will be given to you as well” (v. 33).

Money matters. But money shouldn’t rule our decision-making process. Tough times and big decisions are opportunities to grow our faith in new ways. Our heavenly Father cares for us.

Never confuse temptation with opportunity.

 

INSIGHT:One of the most remarkable aspects of today’s reading is the harmony our Lord maintains between a heavenly perspective and the practical issues of daily life. He uses examples in nature to show how our heavenly Father tenderly cares for animal and plant life. Since we are of far more value than they are, Christ counsels us to trust Him to care for us one day at a time (v. 34).

By Tim Gustafson

Avoiding Hypocrisy in Prayer

Matthew 6:5-6

People who are uncomfortable praying in public tend to love Matthew 6:6 because Jesus advocates praying in secret. However, Christ’s point was not our location but our attitude. His admonition wasn’t to avoid public prayer; rather, it was a warning not to pray hypocritically by seeking the approval of others.

We may be quick to think we’d never do that, but in reality, corporate prayer can be intimidating to many believers. We wonder how we sound to others: Did I say the right things? What did they think when I stumbled on my words? Was my prayer too long? Too short?

Generally, our problem is less about trying to impress others with our eloquence and spirituality than it is about feeling self-conscious, tongue-tied, and inept. However, if our focus is on how we sound, we may still be praying like a hypocrite because all we can think about is ourselves and other people’s perception of us. Although we may not admit it, we want their approval.

But the Lord never calls us out for being inarticulate or using bad grammar. He’s listening to the motivation of our spirit. How well we speak doesn’t matter if we’re truly talking to Him and not other people. When our focus is on God, His Spirit unites with ours, and those who hear are drawn into that sweet communion.

The solution for hypocrisy is not abstinence from all public prayer. Whether we pray in a closet or in an auditorium filled with people, we must remember that we’re speaking to an audience of one, and He delights in hearing from His children.

The Christian’s Partnership

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Ephesians 2:19)

Prior to salvation, we are called “aliens . . . and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” But now we are part of the “new man” and the grand partnership that has been made possible between Jew and Gentile, Old and New Covenant saints, and the operative impact and purpose of the “household of God” (v. 12-13, 15, 19).

We are “made nigh” and made “one.” The enemy has been abolished, with the “middle wall of partition” that was between us broken down (vv. 13-15), making us “one body” with common “access by one Spirit unto the Father” (vv. 16-18).

Therefore, we are “fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God . . . built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets”; “fitly framed,” growing unto a “holy temple . . . for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (vv. 19-22). Now displayed in a fellowship of past and present, bond and free, male and female—all new “partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (3:1-6; Galatians 3:22-29).

And God has “created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 9-11).

God has designed His salvation for us in such a way that we cannot fail to achieve His plans for us! We should humbly thank Him for what He has accomplished in us through Christ Jesus. HMM III

Where Are the Admirers?

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. —Psalm 100:3

The dictionary says that to admire is “to regard with wondering esteem accompanied by pleasure and delight; to look at or upon with an elevated feeling of pleasure.” According to this definition, God has few admirers among Christians today.

Many are they who are grateful for His goodness in providing salvation. At Thanksgiving time the churches ring with songs of gratitude that “all is safely gathered in.” Testimony meetings are mostly devoted to recitations of incidents where someone got into trouble and got out again in answer to prayer. To decry this would be uncharitable and unscriptural, for there is much of the same thing in the book of Psalms. It is good and right to render unto God thanksgiving for all His mercies to us. But God’s admirers, where are they?

The simple truth is that worship is elementary until it begins to take on the quality of
admiration. Just as long as the worshiper is engrossed with himself and his good fortune, he is a babe. We begin to grow up when our worship passes from thanksgiving to admiration. As our hearts rise to God in lofty esteem for that which He is (“I AM THAT I AM”), we begin to share a little of the selfless pleasure which is the portion of the blessed in heaven.

Lord, I praise You for the wonderful things You have done for me and for the awesome God that You are. Amen.

More Than Just a Name

Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)

There have always been professing Christians who argue and insist: “I am all right—I worship in the name of Jesus.”

They seem to believe that worship of God is based on a formula. They seem to think there is a kind of magic in saying the name of Jesus!

Study the Bible carefully with the help of the Holy Spirit and you will find that the name and the nature of Jesus are one. It is not enough to know how to spell Jesus’ name!

If we have come to be like Him in nature, if we have come to the place of being able to ask in accordance with His will, He will give us the good things we desire and need.

We worship God as the result of a new birth from above in which God has been pleased to give us more than a name.

He has given us a nature transformed, and Peter expresses that truth in this way:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

There are times when all the promises and doctrines

There are times when all the promises and doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. To meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not that Christ hath placed his joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but he draws near, and sheds his peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art today laboring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them from the word, but the promises he has written in the word he will write anew on your heart.

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