VIDEO A Whole Heart

Then Jesus said to the twelve [disciples], “Do you also want to go away?” John 6:67

Robert Boyd Munger was a Presbyterian minister who preached a memorable sermon in 1954 that has become a Christian classic. “My Heart—Christ’s Home” portrayed a new Christian leading Jesus Christ on a tour of his home (his heart) with Christ helping to remove clutter and distractions as they went. In the end, the Christian signed over the title of his home (his heart) to Christ for safekeeping. The theme was obvious to Munger’s listeners: We must love God with our whole heart.

On more than one occasion, Jesus presented His disciples and followers with situations in which they might have to consider: Am I willing to continue following Christ with my whole heart? After a particularly challenging teaching (John 6), many of His followers stopped following Him (verse 66). So Jesus turned to the twelve and asked if they too were ready to turn away. Peter spoke for the group: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (verse 68).

If the cost of following Jesus ever seems too high, ask yourself Peter’s question: Where could you go and find the words of eternal life?

My name, my heart, I would resign; my soul in to thy hands. Philip Doddridge

John 6 (Part 6) :66-71 – The words of eternal life

An Awesome Privilege

In Jesus, we have access to the Father’s presence and confidence that He hears our prayers

Hebrews 7:11-28

Prayer is a truly remarkable privilege, and we must be careful to treat it as such. Have you ever paused to consider why a holy God would condescend to even listen to our petitions, let alone answer them? The Lord is so perfect that the smallest hint of sin is incompatible with His presence. Human beings, on the other hand, are inherently sinful. Yet God wants to commune with us, so He made a way for that to be possible. 

Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, priests repeatedly offered sacrifices to cover the people’s transgressions. Animal blood, however, never permanently did away with sin. So God sent His Son to be the perfect “once for all time” atoning sacrifice for everyone who trusts in the Savior (Heb. 7:27). Because Jesus Christ paid our entire sin debt with His precious blood, we can now enter into God’s holy presence. 

Let’s not underestimate the significance of being able to speak with the Lord. As those who have been forgiven of all sin, we are now welcome to draw close to the Father in prayer because His Son is our permanent high priest, eternally covering us in a veil of His righteousness. 

The Sunflower Battle

In Christ you have been brought to fullness. Colossians 2:10

The deer in our neighborhood and I have two different opinions about sunflowers. When I plant sunflowers each spring, I’m looking forward to the beauty of their blooms. My deer friends, however, don’t care about the finished product. They simply want to chew the stems and leaves until there’s nothing left. It’s an annual summertime battle as I try to see the sunflowers to maturity before my four-hoofed neighbors devour them. Sometimes I win; sometimes they win.

When we think about our lives as believers in Jesus, it’s easy to see a similar battle being waged between us and our enemy—Satan. Our goal is continual growth leading to spiritual maturity that helps our lives stand out for God’s honor. The devil wants to devour our faith and keep us from growing. But Jesus has dominion over “every power” and can bring us “to fullness” (Colossians 2:10), which means He makes us “complete.” Christ’s victory on the cross allows us to stand out in the world like those beautiful sunflowers.

When Jesus nailed the “record of the charges against us” (the penalty for our sins) to the cross (v. 14 nlt), He destroyed the powers that controlled us. We became “rooted and built up” (v. 7) and made “alive with Christ” (v. 13). In Him we have the power (v. 10) to resist the enemy’s spiritual attacks and to flourish in Jesus—displaying a life of true beauty.

By:  Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

In what areas does the enemy try to nibble away at your growing spiritual maturity? Why is it vital for you to call out to God when you experience spiritual attacks?

Loving God, make my life beautiful for You. Help me to resist the enemy through Your power because I can’t do it on my own. Thank You for Jesus’ death and resurrection—my source of hope, power, and courage.

The Promise of Liberty

“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” (2 Peter 2:19)

This chapter consists of a strong denunciation of false teachers. They are, among other things, sensuous, beguiling, covetous, and accursed (v. 14). They desire personal wealth (vv. 15-16), but their message is empty, and even destructive, and will be judged (v. 17), appealing to the pride and lusts of their hearers (v. 18).

In our text we see the false teachers are quick to make promises. Promises are cheap; they cost nothing. Satan first revealed himself to mankind with a promise: “Ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5), and later attempted to seduce the Son of God with “all the kingdoms of the world” (Matthew 4:8). Empty promises are Satan’s golden hook, and many are the foolish ones who take the bait.

In this case, the false teachers promise liberty—liberty to act without the shackles of responsibility and moral law. But they themselves are “servants of corruption,” slaves of a most abhorrent mentality. And who are they to offer liberty? These are indeed “great swelling words of vanity” (2 Peter 2:18), for slaves cannot rightly offer liberty.

How is this promise kept? Bondage. Bondage to that which has overcome. The liberty that sin promises is slavery, and the greater the sinner, the greater the bondage to the sin. There is perhaps no more wretched a state than to be in bondage to abject corruption in the name of liberty. It is a bondage of the spirit; a captivity of the soul. Of all states of slavery, it is the most lasting.

On the other hand, through grace we can “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” with no need to be “entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). JDM

Attitude is Everything

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another—Romans 14:19

I think God looks beyond the situation to the spirit and attitude. I think He is more concerned with how we react to abuse and mistreatment than to the fact that we have been abused by someone.

Some of us have had experiences of being “told off” most eloquently by people with a very descriptive flow of language; but the eloquence is lost completely insofar as God is concerned.

If you are His child taking some abuse or persecution for His sake, His great concern is the attitude that you will show in return.

Will you reveal a stubborn spirit intent upon revenge? If you resist the Spirit of God asking you to demonstrate the love and grace of Jesus Christ, your Savior, you can be sure of one thing: God will resist you! ICH1

He who does not seek and find God everywhere, and in everything, finds Him nowhere and in nothing. And he who is not at the Lord’s service in everything, is at His service in nothing. JAS179

The High-Water Mark

For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds.—Psalm 57:10

Let us consider an important aspect of God’s nature and character—love. There are at least three things that are told us in Scripture concerning the nature of God.

First, “God is spirit” (Jn 4:24), which means He has no visible substance.

Second, “God is light” (1Jn 1:5), which means no darkness can dwell in Him. In Scripture darkness stands for sin, death, and so on.

Third, “God is love” (1Jn 4:16), which means that the energy which flows out from His being is that of infinite, eternal beneficence.

When John wrote the words “God is love,” it was no slick statement, since it was the first time in history that the phrase had been used in that way. People had believed God was love and had speculated about His benevolence, but now the categorical statement was laid down for all to behold. These words, in my judgment, are the high-water mark of divine revelation; nothing more needs to be said, for nothing greater can be said.

I often create a mental picture for myself of the angels peering over the battlements of heaven as John wrote these words. And then, when they had been written down, I imagine them breaking into rapturous applause and saying to each other: “They’ve got it. They’ve got it! At last they see that God is love.” A sigh of deep satisfaction and great joy would have filled the portals of heaven in the knowledge that the greatest truth about God was now finally made crystal clear. The implied was now inscribed.


Father, I am so thankful that You have demonstrated categorically that the greatest thing about You is love. My heart gladly rests upon that glorious fact. I look forward to exploring it forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Jr 31:1-4; Jn 3:16; Rm 5:8

What did the Lord appear and say?

How did He demonstrate this?

Putting Your Brother First

No one should seek his own [good], but [the good] of the other person.—1 Corinthians 10:24

As a Christian you are obliged to view your actions in light of how they will affect other Christians. You will discover God’s will for your life when you consider His activity in the lives of others. This goes contrary to worldly thinking. The world encourages you to live your own life, taking care of your own needs and wants first. Sin promotes independence. It isolates you from others and separates you from those you could help or who could encourage you. God designed you for interdependence.

Whenever you meet another Christian, you come face to face with Christ (John 13:20). There ought to be a deep respect within you as you encounter other lives guided by the Holy Spirit. Do not live as if you have no responsibility toward your Christian brothers or sisters. God holds you accountable for how you relate to them. Don’t revel in your “freedom in Christ” to the point that you neglect your responsibility toward others (Rom. 14:15). Paul celebrated his freedom in Christ, but he was keenly sensitive to what might cause other Christians harm (1 Cor. 8:13). He was aware that his sin could not take place in isolation but could bring pain to many others (1 Cor. 5:6).

You have a responsibility to live in such a way that you do not hurt others. You must deny yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to put to death your natural inclination to be self-centered. As long as you focus on yourself, you will be oblivious to the needs of others. Ask God to free you from selfishness so that your life is free to bless others.