VIDEO Are You Going on With Jesus?

You are those who have continued with Me in My trials. —Luke 22:28

It is true that Jesus Christ is with us through our temptations, but are we going on with Him through His temptations? Many of us turn back from going on with Jesus from the very moment we have an experience of what He can do. Watch when God changes your circumstances to see whether you are going on with Jesus, or siding with the world, the flesh, and the devil. We wear His name, but are we going on with Him? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).

The temptations of Jesus continued throughout His earthly life, and they will continue throughout the life of the Son of God in us. Are we going on with Jesus in the life we are living right now?

We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things God brings around us. May it never be! It is God who engineers our circumstances, and whatever they may be we must see that we face them while continually abiding with Him in His temptations. They are His temptations, not temptations to us, but temptations to the life of the Son of God in us. Jesus Christ’s honor is at stake in our bodily lives. Are we remaining faithful to the Son of God in everything that attacks His life in us?

Are you going on with Jesus? The way goes through Gethsemane, through the city gate, and on “outside the camp” (Hebrews 13:13). The way is lonely and goes on until there is no longer even a trace of a footprint to follow— but only the voice saying, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

Am I getting nobler, better, more helpful, more humble, as I get older? Am I exhibiting the life that men take knowledge of as having been with Jesus, or am I getting more self-assertive, more deliberately determined to have my own way? It is a great thing to tell yourself the truth. The Place of Help, 1005 R


Luke 22:28-30 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Unbreakable in Jesus

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:8

Louis Zamperini’s military plane crashed at sea during the war, killing eight of eleven men onboard. “Louie” and two others clambered into life rafts. They drifted for two months, fending off sharks, riding out storms, ducking bullets from an enemy plane, and catching and eating raw fish and birds. They finally drifted onto an island and were immediately captured. For two years Louie was beaten, tortured, and worked mercilessly as a prisoner of war. His remarkable story is told in the book Unbroken.

Jeremiah is one of the Bible’s unbreakable characters. He endured enemy plots (Jeremiah 11:18), was whipped and put in stocks (20:2), flogged and bound in a dungeon (37:15–16), and lowered by ropes into the deep mire of a cistern (38:6). He survived because God had promised to stay with him and rescue him (1:8). God makes a similar promise to us: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God didn’t promise to save Jeremiah or us from trouble, but He has promised to carry us through trouble. 

Louie recognized God’s protection, and after the war he gave his life to Jesus. He forgave his captors and led some to Christ. Louie realized that while we can’t avoid all problems, we need not suffer them alone. When we face them with Jesus, we become unbreakable.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

What problem is causing you stress? Tell Jesus that you believe His promise to stay with you through this trial. Let Him carry you.

Jesus, You’re stronger than any storm. Please carry me through the one I’m facing!

Learn more about the prophet 

Sunday Reflection: Where We Belong

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

Think back to a time when you were passionate about pursuing something—a job, a cause, or even a relationship. Once you finally attained the object of your desire, was it everything you imagined? Or did it lose its luster over time, perhaps even becoming a problem in your life?

That’s what happens when our focus is on temporal things rather than eternal ones. It’s the reason Paul wrote, “Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2).

We may live in the world, but as Christians, we can never fully belong to it. Yet when our perspective is rightly ordered, we are free to experience with joy the good things this world has to offer. At the same time, we must be careful not to let them take God’s place in our life—that requires trusting the Holy Spirit to help us prioritize.

Think about it
• Are you holding on to something too tightly? How can you loosen your grip and keep your interests in proper perspective?     

The God of Glory

“And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.” (Acts 7:2)

This Scripture is the beginning of Stephen’s speech given before his martyrdom. He is reciting Israel’s history as he counters the charges that he had spoken “blasphemous words against Moses, and against God” and “against this holy place” (Acts 6:11, 13). He identifies the Lord as the “God of glory,” and his Jewish audience may have remembered that this title was used in Psalm 29:3—“The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth.”

But most likely they would have connected it with the various instances where God’s glory filled and sanctified the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 29:43; 40:34-35) and later the temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:10-11). Thus, this title for God was rich in meaning to the Israelites.

But Stephen challenged the tradition that God’s glory was only associated with the Jerusalem temple and the earthly land of Israel by starting his speech with the God of glory appearing to Abraham in a pagan land (Mesopotamia). In the New Testament dispensation of God’s global redemptive plan through Christ Jesus, the active place of His glory is no longer restricted to a physical temple but is present in His redeemed people; “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

And this redeemed life is connected in like manner to Abraham, who, “when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8). And because of Abraham’s unwavering faith in the God of glory, “he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10). JPT

The Earth Trembles

Why was it, sea, that you fled? Jordan, that you turned back? Mountains, that you skipped like rams? Hills, like lambs? Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water (vv. 5-8).

The psalmist doesn’t attempt to answer the questions posed in verses 5 and 6. Instead, he commands the earth to tremble in the presence of the Lord, the God of Jacob. Why? Because only he can turn desert rocks into refreshing pools of water. Only he can transform inanimate stones into wells of gushing water. Only he can take my parched, meaningless life and restore it with springs of living water!

The revelation of God’s power over nature was the only thing that encouraged Job when he was hurting. God led him through a painfully revealing process of counseling through such questions as:

Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?

Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?…

Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?

Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?

Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

when the dust becomes hard

and the clods of earth stick together? (Job 38:33-38 NIV).

The Lord has sovereign control over nature. Man can’t lift a finger to influence nature. It’s unruly, violent, and disobedient; it can only be manipulated and rearranged. But if God can, even on a whim, control the forces of nature, he can exert control over my seemingly unpredictable life. When I am helpless and lack courage and confidence, I can place unwavering trust in his incomparable power and might.

Personal Prayer

God of Jacob, refresh and renew my life today. Lead me out of the barren desert to an oasis of your care!

Holiness Is Healthiness

Let us cleanse ourselves from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, completing our sanctification in the fear of God.—2 Corinthians 7:1

When we study the Scriptures, particularly the Old Testament, we find that those who got closest to God thought more of His holiness than any other thing. Why should this be? I think in the nature of things it cannot be any other way because, more than anything else, God wants us to be holy. Over and over again in the Bible we are told: “Be holy because I am holy.” We are not directed to be omnipotent (all-powerful) or omniscient (all-wise) as God is, but we are to be holy. This is the prime way of honoring God. We do not glorify Him by eloquent expressions of pompous service but by aspiring to converse with Him with unstained spirits and live to Him in living like Him.

Are you seeking to be holy? God has made holiness the moral condition necessary to the health of His universe. Sin’s temporary presence in the world only accentuates this. Whatever is holy is healthy, and evil is a moral sickness that must ultimately end in death. The formation of the language itself suggest this, the English word “holy” deriving from the Anglo-Saxon halig, meaning “well” or “whole”. To be whole in Christian terms means to be holy. Can you say “I am holy—truly holy”? I am afraid I can’t. I don’t think any honest Christian would say “yes” to that question. But neither would any honest Christian ignore these solemn words: “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14).

Prayer

O Father, help me to be as concerned for the moral health of the universe as You are. But more, help me to focus first on my own moral health and to be rid of all in my life that is contrary to You and Your nature. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.

Further Study

Lk 1:67-80; 2Pt 3:11; 2Co 7:1

Why has God raised up a horn of salvation?

What kind of people ought we to be?

From the Mount of Beatitudes

Matthew 5:3-10

The Mount of Beatitudes rises above the ruins on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. This revered hill offers an awe-inspiring view of virtually the entire shoreline of the Sea of Galilee.

A narrow access road branches from the Tiberias highway and leads up the hill to the stately Church of the Beatitudes and adjoining hospice. Built in 1936, both facilities are now cared for by the Franciscan Sisters.

The renowned architect Barluzzi designed the distinctive octagonal-shaped church, utilizing the plentiful local basalt stone for the edifice and white stone from Nazareth to produce the unadorned, graceful arches surrounding the church’s veranda. Each of the sanctuary’s eight walls commemorates one of the Beatitudes pronounced at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. A lofty, elegant central dome symbolizes the ninth Beatitude. It reminds every believer that blessed (happy) are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It is the concave southeastern slope, however, that makes this hill one of the most hallowed Christian sites in the Holy Land. Since the fourth century, Christians have identified this verdant crest as the place where Jesus escaped the pressing multitude to teach His disciples. He retreated from the large crowds that had followed Him and led His disciples to this secluded natural amphitheater, sat down and taught them. His subsequent summary of basic gospel themes is known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

It is important to note that on this occasion Jesus sat down to teach. When a Rabbi was formally teaching, or when the subject matter was of utmost importance, he sat down. The fact that Jesus sat down to teach His disciples indicates that what He was about to say was essential, fundamental and, in the paramount sense of the word, official.

The Mount of Beatitudes is also the traditional spot where Jesus chose His twelve disciples (Luke 6:12-16). The Sermon on the Mount, according to Luke’s narrative, immediately follows the choosing of the Twelve. The Master’s instructions may best be understood as an ordination address to the twelve apostles He had recently selected.

Jesus here introduces and summarizes guidelines and instruction for life and ministry that are unique, unprecedented and revolutionary. The Sermon on the Mount is, in fact, a distillation of the whole gospel message.

William Francis, The Stones Cry Out