VIDEO Famous March to Jerusalem

 

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51

Most of our Lord’s ministry occurred in Galilee, away from the political dangers of Jerusalem. Jesus traveled to the Jewish capital for feasts and festivals, but He did most of His work in the rural villages and hillsides of Galilee. As His ministry drew to a close, He realized it was time to start His march toward the cross. He steadfastly set His face in that direction. Luke devotes the heart of his book—chapters 9 to 19—to describing this unique march, as Jesus led a growing procession of followers on a march toward Zion.

His disciples thought He would overthrow the Roman government and usher in the Millennium, but Jesus said He was going to suffer. They couldn’t absorb that message, so the march was bittersweet. Our Lord told those around Him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

God wants us to march toward heaven in victory, setting our face in dedication to Him. Don’t look back, but press forward, awaiting His swift return.

In all true faith there is complete committal to God. Lee Roberson


Luke 9:49-62 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Chirpy

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.  1 Kings 17:6

For twelve years, Chirpy, a seagull, has made daily visits to a man who’d helped him heal from a broken leg. John wooed Chirpy to himself with dog biscuits and was then able to nurse him back to health. Though Chirpy only resides in Instow Beach in Devon, England, between September and March, he and John Sumner find each other easily—Chirpy flies straight to him when he arrives at the beach each day, though he doesn’t approach any other human. It’s an uncommon relationship, to be sure.

John and Chirpy’s bond reminds me of another uncommon relationship between man and bird. When Elijah, one of God’s prophets, was sent into the wilderness to “hide in the Kerith Ravine” during a time of drought, God said he was to drink from the brook, and He’d send ravens to supply him with food (1 Kings 17:3–4). Despite the difficult circumstances and surroundings, Elijah would have his needs for food and water met. Ravens were unlikely caterers—naturally feeding on unseemly meals themselves—yet they brought Elijah wholesome food.

It may not surprise us that a man would help a bird, but when birds provide for a man with “bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening,” it can only be explained by God’s power and care (v. 6). Like Elijah, we too can trust in His provision for us.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray

How has God provided for your needs in surprising ways? How has this deepened your trust in Him?

Loving God, please help me to trust in You to meet my needs no matter what my circumstances might be.

Will There Be Eternal Punishment?

Revelation 20:11-15
Many people don’t like the idea of eternal punishment for the ungodly. Some people think God shouldn’t have created the world at all if He knew we were going to sin. But can you imagine never having been born? Others think that the heavenly Father shouldn’t have created man with the ability to sin and to do evil. But would you want to be a robot with no choices and no free will?

Our Father decided upon a different alternative: He created human beings with a free will. In this way, man can receive love from the Creator and choose to glorify Him in return. God gave us the right to decide between love or hate, obedience or disobedience. He understood that choice meant people would sometimes suffer, but that they would have the potential to grow in character. Then God can shape us as we grow in love and submit to Him—and in the process, we will be conformed to His likeness.

God knew free will was the best option for His created beings. What will you do with yours? I pray that you’ll understand the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the cross and choose to receive His love today.

At Aceldama

“And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.” (Acts 1:19)

Never was a tract of land more fittingly named than Aceldama, an Aramaic word meaning “field of blood,” for it had been purchased with blood money, “the price of blood” (Matthew 27:6). The purchaser had been Judas (through the “executors” of his estate, as it were, following his suicide), but the blood he sold, to acquire the price of the field, he had deemed “innocent blood.”

The miserable 30 shekels of silver that consummated this transaction was the price of a slave in ancient Israel (Exodus 21:32), but this slave was none other than God incarnate, so the 30 pieces of silver—the price set by the religious leaders of Israel—was the price for the sale of God.

The prophet Zechariah, more than 500 years before, had acted out a prophecy of these strange events: “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver…a goodly price that I was prised at of them” (Zechariah 11:12-13). Next, according to both prophecy and fulfillment, this blood money was cast down in the temple and then used to buy the potter’s field (Zechariah 11:13; Matthew 27:5, 7-8).

These and many other such details in these accounts constitute a remarkable type and fulfillment of prophecy, and thus a testimony of both divine inspiration and divine foreordination. But, more than that, it is a striking picture of the price of our salvation, for the “field of blood” typifies that great field is the world (Matthew 13:38) and Christ is the man who, searching for “treasure hid in a field…selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field” (Matthew 13:44). All that He had—the very blood of His life—was willingly shed that we, dead in sins and hidden in the world, might be “purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). HMM

Be A New Type of Preacher

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

—Acts 20:24

 

If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher….

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.   SIZ128-129

Send to Your church today many who have “seen visions of God and… heard a voice from the Throne.” Amen.

 

No Contest

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

—James 4:7

 

Truth is a glorious but hard mistress. She never consults, bargains or compromises. She cries from the top of the high places, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold” (Proverbs 8:10). After that, every man is on his own. He may accept or refuse….

Were this an unfallen world the path of truth would be a smooth and easy one. Had the nature of man not suffered a huge moral dislocation there would be no discord between the way of God and the way of man.

I assume that in heaven the angels live through a thousand serene millenniums without feeling the slightest discord between their desires and the will of God. But not so among men on earth. Here…the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other.

In that contest there can be only one outcome. We must surrender and God must have His way. OCN008-009

[T]here is a moment in every life when we meet God, and by a supreme surrender enter into His sovereign will and His perfect peace. CTBC, Vol. 6/102

 

Consider Him

Hebrews 12:2-4

We often look back along our own little thorn-set pathway and say, “If I had known it all beforehand, I could not have walked this road, but God mercifully hid it from me. He led me step by step, gave me hourly grace, held fast my hand all the way, and so I have come.”

But Jesus, as His feet drew near Calvary, knew beforehand its unspeakable terrors. He knew that He would go out from that quiet garden to hours of hatred and scorning, which should only end on the awful cross. He knew each pang for His body, each crushing reproach for His heart, the weight of human depravity to be poured out upon His innocent soul, knew the utter loneliness, the sting of desertion, the failure of human love, and yet He went forth. “Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth” (John 18:4 KJV).

The writer of Hebrews entreats: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross… Consider Him” (12:2-3). But what joy could be seen across the immense stretch of horror and desolation between Him and the far side of the cross? The joy of having His human will entirely lost in the Divine will. The joy of the salvation for others. These lasting joys He saw by faith, still working out salvation for God’s Church, still bearing great fruit of joy in two worlds.

This is the joy of which Jesus spoke to His disciples, “These thing have I spoken unto you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”

(John 15:11 KJV). Full-brimming, satisfying, heaven-like joy—the very joy of God! He bring us to and keeps us in His presence, where, as David tells us, “is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16:11 NRS).

Perhaps you know already where your hill of Calvary rises, and you see the somber cross awaiting you. But you lack power to go forth—your flesh and your heart fail you. Then “consider Him,” until you can believe His love, trust His providence. You have long dwelt on your own sorrows—the hardness of your lot. Now, “Consider Jesus.”

You do not know what is before you. God does. God calls you to His presence, to union with Him, to radiant light, to a joy that can endure the cross.

Jesus went forth for you, went forth to bear all that flesh cannot endure, to take once for all, every bitter drop from the cup of life, and leave there only the living water.

Elizabeth Swift Brengle, Half Hours with My Guide