VIDEO Jesus Wept

Jesus wept. John 11:35

Jesus wept three times during His ministry, as recorded in the Gospels. Once was in John 11, when He wept by the graveside of Lazarus. He obviously knew He was going to raise Lazarus back to life, but perhaps Jesus was entering into all the sorrows borne by humans because of the awful sadness of death.

A few days later, Jesus again shed tears. As He drew near Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, “He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). He was weeping because of their rejection of Him and the coming judgment that would entail.

And yet again, a few days later, He wept in the Garden of Gethsemane as He surrendered Himself to His Father’s will. According to Hebrews 5:7, “In the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him, who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear.”

In the same way, we should have deep emotions when we accept the reality of death, the judgment of the lost, and the depth of our own submission to God. Those are godly tears, and they will be richly rewarded.

He drank a cup of wrath without mercy, that we might drink a cup of mercy without wrath. J. Oswald Sanders


John 11:1-35 – Skip Heitzig

The Ultimate Wave

The gospel is bearing fruit and growing. Colossians 1:6

 

People love doing “the wave.” At sporting events and concerts around the world, it begins when a few people stand and raise their hands. A moment later, those seated beside them do the same. The goal is to have one sequential flowing movement work its way around an entire stadium. Once it reaches the end, those who started it smile and cheer—and keep the movement going.

The first recorded incident of the wave occurred at a professional baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees in 1981. I love joining in the wave because it’s fun. But it’s also occurred to me that the happiness and togetherness we experience while doing it is reminiscent of the gospel—the good news of salvation in Jesus that unites believers everywhere in praise and hope. This “ultimate wave” started over twenty centuries ago in Jerusalem. Writing to the members of the church in Colossae, Paul described it this way: “The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it” (Colossians 1:6). The natural result of this good news is “faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for [us] in heaven” (v. 5).

As believers in Jesus, we’re part of the greatest wave in history. Keep it going! Once it’s done, we’ll see the smile of the One who started it all.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

From whom did you first hear the good news of Jesus? How can you share it with another person close to you this week?

I praise You for the wonderful gift of my salvation, Father. Please send me to someone who needs to hear of Your kindness today!

Overcome Obstacles

Joshua 6:1-5

We’ll face many types of hindrances in our life, such as a difficult boss, contrary family members, or financial trouble. But remember, nothing can touch you without God’s consent.

Consider how unlikely a victory seemed for Joshua’s army: Not only was there a great wall protecting Jericho, but God had also issued strange instructions to march around it. Yet the Lord had promised the Israelites the land, and Joshua believed Him. He wasn’t fazed by what seemed unconquerable. Instead, he acknowledged God’s power and complied.

Even before that, God had already been at work, preparing the city for destruction by instilling fear into the kings of that region (Josh. 2:8-14). It may have been an unlikely battle plan, but because Joshua obeyed, God’s people triumphed.

It’s tempting to wonder if God will help us when we face hindrances. But as was true with Joshua, God has gone before us and is preparing the way. No matter how He chooses to handle a problem, His solution is always in our best interest.

Whenever you face an obstacle, you may experience great heartache. But even in the midst of pain, you can have full confidence in God. The most important part of each day is the time you spend alone with the Lord. He’ll encourage you with His love and guidance.

In His Master’s Crib

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” (Isaiah 1:3)

What an indictment this is—not only against the people of Israel, but against men and women everywhere. All were created and made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) for fellowship with Him, but even His own chosen people rejected Him, and most people everywhere all but ignore Him in their daily lives.

“Crib” is the same as “manger,” and when God became man, His human parents “laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7) since there was no room for Him anywhere else. The animals knew Him, and so did the angels, but His people were unconcerned. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).

When He came into Jerusalem offering Himself as King of Israel, He rode on an unbroken colt, “whereon yet never man sat,” and the little “foal of an ass” (Luke 19:30; Zechariah 9:9) willingly submitted, knowing his divine Master and Maker. But the people of Jerusalem as a whole joined in clamoring for His crucifixion just a few days later.

The indictment against Israel could be lodged with even greater justification against America today. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth:…I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah 1:2). The morals of our people seem to have been turned upside down, and God would say to us also: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).

Yet—in modern America, as well as in ancient Israel—“as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). HMM

Salvation And Obedience

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

—Ephesians 2:10

 

Therefore, I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles—the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Savior and we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!…

I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in my early Christian experience and it certainly needs a lot of modifying and a great many qualifiers to save us from being in error.

“We are saved by accepting Christ as our Savior; we are sanctified by accepting Christ as our Lord; we may do the first without doing the second!”

The truth is that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures. Peter makes it plain that we are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience” (1 Peter 1:2).   ICH001-002

Lord, as I rejoice in the free gift of salvation, by grace through faith, remind me regularly that it is a salvation unto good works, that we’re saved to serve. Amen.

 

Magnify, Mortify, Simplify

If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

—Romans 8:13

 

Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His Name. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster. He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords. He calls them to self-abnegation and death. We call them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac. He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers.

In a world like this, with conditions being what they are, what should a serious-minded Christian do? The answer is easy to give but hard to follow. First, accept the truth concerning yourself….Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Seek through Jesus Christ a right relationship to your fellow man. Set about reverently to amend your doings. Magnify God, mortify the flesh, simplify your life. WOS079-080

We must obey God. What a joy it brings to the soul to be thus consciously submissive and doing the whole will of God….Satan feels helpless before a man with faith in heart and perfect obedience to God in life. SAN074

 

Evil Speaking

James 4:11

Evil speaking, or slander, is a very great evil and does an immense amount of

harm. It is not necessary to say what is false in order to slander a comrade.

Saying something about him in his absence, whether it be true or false, calculated to lower him in the estimation of others, can damage his influence with them.

Evil speaking does a very great deal of harm. To begin with it hurts the individual guilty of the act. We are so made that when we cherish a kind feeling, or do a loving action, we are benefitted thereby. On the other hand, we cannot indulge in bad feelings toward anyone, or perform any unlovable actions, without suffering ourselves in consequence. So that when a man slanders his neighbor, he injures himself as well. Bear that in mind; you cannot speak evil of anyone without having to suffer in your own soul.

Evil speaking grieves the Spirit of God, because it is contrary to the law of love. You are to love your neighbor as yourself. That is the standard of your love for your neighbor. But Christ said we are to love our comrades as He loved us, and He loved us better than He loved Himself. Now, if you love your comrades after Jesus Christ’s pattern, you won’t go about setting forth their faults and shortcomings to anybody who will listen to you.

Evil speaking hurts the feelings of the comrade slandered. It does, if ever he hears the story, and if he never hears about it, it is worse still because he never has a chance of defending himself.

By all that is sacred, my dear comrade, let us make a covenant with our tongues that we will not speak evil of any comrade, no, not even if we think that they have wronged us. Let us remember the example of our Lord, who prayed for the men who were gambling at His feet for His garments while their hands were clotted with His blood. Let us love one another.

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion