God is always faithful to His Word (see 1 John 5:14-15)…

Even if your faith is as small as a mustard Seed, it can move mountains…

Jesus heals a boy with epileptic seizures:

Matthew 17:14-27

The following events happen right after Jesus came down from His mountain top Transfiguration.

Life is not all mountain-top experiences.

After moments of spiritual exhilaration come hours and days of toil and expenditure.

The time comes when we must leave the mountain to minister in the valley of human need.

At the base of the mountain, a distraught father was waiting for the Savior.

Kneeling down before Him, he poured out his impassioned plea that his demon-possessed son might be healed.

The son suffered from violent epileptic seizures which sometimes caused him to fall into the fire and often into the water, so his misery was compounded by burns and near-drownings.

NOTE that the Greek word for seizures (used only here in the New Testament) means literally, “to be moon-struck.”

The similarity between the backgrounds of the Greek and English words reveals the belief, common to many cultures, that insanity waxed and waned with the phases of the moon.

The symptoms described by the boy’s father were similar to those of epilepsy, but the context makes it clear that the boy’s self-destructive behavior (falling into fire or water) was due to the influence of a demon (17:18-19).

This is a classic example of the sort of suffering that’s caused by Satan, the cruelest of all taskmasters.

Where does sickness and disease come from?

Satan works in three major ways to bring sickness and suffering on people:

1. Satan causes sickness directly.

An obvious tactic is demonization. For example, approximately 25 percent of Jesus’ healings as recorded in the Gospel of Mark involve demons.

The direct influence of the devil is explicitly demonstrated when Jesus healed a crippled woman and was scolded by a synagogue leader for doing it on the Sabbath.

Jesus said, “Ought not this woman being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16).

Satan’s direct role is also explicit in the case of Job.

What percentage of sickness is directly caused by Satan we do not know, but unquestionably much is.

2. Satan indirectly uses the natural results of the Fall to cause sickness and suffering.

He uses bacteria, viruses, malnutrition, accidents, fights, poison, old age, rapists, murderers and on and on.

In all probability most sickness falls into this category.

3. Satan tempts people to fall into sin, and God at times uses sickness to punish them for it.

There are many examples in the Old Testament of plagues, which God sent on His own people to punish them for sin.

When some Israelites rebelled against Moses and Aaron, God sent a plague and killed 14,700 (see Num. 16:45-50).

Then God killed another 50,070 Israelites at Beth Shemesh when they disobeyed Him by looking into the ark of the Lord (see 1 Sam. 6:19), just to cite two examples.

In the New Testament, God made Elymas the sorcerer blind as part of a power encounter (see Acts 13:6-12).

In Corinth some believers were sick and some had died as a result of abusing the Lord’s supper (see I Cor. 11:30).

No matter what the immediate cause, the usual outcomes of sickness are pain, suffering and death, all the works of Satan.

In this incident in Matthew 17, the father of this epileptic boy had gone to the disciples for help, only to learn that “vain is the help of man.”

They had been powerless to cure him.

And in verse 17 Jesus said to His disciples,

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?”

They did not have the faith to heal the epileptic, but in that respect, His disciples were but a cross section of the Jewish people of that day—faithless and perverse.

As soon as the epileptic was brought to Him, Jesus rebuked the demon, and the sufferer was instantly cured.

Puzzled by their powerlessness, the disciples privately asked the Lord for an explanation.

His answer was straightforward: unbelief!

If they had faith the size of a mustard seed (the smallest of seeds), they could command a mountain to be cast into the sea and it would happen.

Of course, it should be understood that true faith must be based upon some command or promise of God.

Expecting to perform some spectacular stunt in order to gratify a personal whim is not faith but presumption.

But if God guides a believer in a certain direction or issues a command, the Christian can have utmost confidence that mountainous difficulties will be miraculously removed.

In his desperation, the father had come to Jesus saying if you can do anything please help my son.

To which Jesus answered no you have it wrong, it’s not a matter of if I can, but rather it’s a matter of whether you believe I can, because…

Nothing is impossible to those who believe!

This was also the lesson regarding the fig tree, found in Mark 11:20-24, where Jesus said to His disciples after the fig tree had withered:

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree
“Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

The point being that God doesn’t tell us to ask Him for things He doesn’t want us to have; so if you can find a promise in God’s Word regarding whatever need you may have, then just hang your faith and the entirety of your circumstances on that promise until you receive your breakthrough!.


Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Tuesday, October 31
My Utmost for His Highest
by Oswald Chambers


If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you. —Matthew 17:20

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, and it may be so in the initial stages. But we do not earn anything through faith— faith brings us into the right relationship with God and gives Him His opportunity to work.

Yet God frequently has to knock the bottom out of your experience as His saint to get you in direct contact with Himself.

God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessings.

The beginning of your life of faith was very narrow and intense, centered around a small amount of experience that had as much emotion as faith in it, and it was full of light and sweetness.

Then God withdrew His conscious blessings to teach you to “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

And you are worth much more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight with your thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried.

And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds.

Faith being worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation.

Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, because a great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive.

Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him— a faith that says,

“I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.”

The highest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is—

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

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My Heart, Christ’s Home…

If you are a born-again child of God, then your life is no longer your own to live as you choose; but you have been bought with a price, which is the precious blood of Jesus that was poured out on Calvary’s Cross…

We each initially invite Christ into our life as a guest, until we make Him our Lord.

My Heart, Christ’s Home (part 1)

My Heart, Christ’s Home (part 2)


We much each learn to say as Paul said.

Galatians 2:20

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Romans 6:9-14
The Message

6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer captive to sin’s demands!

What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection.

We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end.

Never again will death have the last word.

When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us.

From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word.

You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives.

Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life.

Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things.

Sin can’t tell you how to live.

After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

The Gospel’s Way to Holy Living (Romans 6)…

What Paul had said at the close of chapter 5—that grace superabounded over all man’s sin—raises another question, and a very important one.

Does the teaching of the gospel (salvation by grace through faith) permit or even encourage sinful living?

The answer, an emphatic denial, extends over chapters 6–8.

Here in chapter 6 the answer centers around three key words: know (vv. 3, 6), reckon or consider (v. 11), and present (v. 13).

It will help us to follow Paul’s argument in this chapter if we understand the difference between the believer’s position and his practice.

His position is his standing in Christ. His practice is what he is or should be in everyday life.

Grace puts us into the position, then teaches us to walk worthy of it.

Our position is absolutely perfect because we are in Christ.

Our practice should increasingly correspond to our position.

It never will correspond perfectly until we see the Savior in heaven, but we should be becoming more and more conformed to His image in the meantime.

The apostle first sets forth the truth of our identification with Christ in death and resurrection, and then exhorts us to live in the light of this great truth.

Because sin brings death, we need new life through oneness with Christ.

In this chapter, Paul assures his readers a second time that God has broken sin’s power.

We have joined Jesus Christ in baptism (6:3) and have been united with Him in His death (6:5).

Paul uses relational terms in describing how we grow closer to Christ as we transfer from the old life to the new.

When we were united with Christ in his death, our evil desires and slavery to sin died with Him.

Now, united by faith with Him in His resurrection life, we have unbroken fellowship with God and freedom from sin’s hold on us.

The power of sin over us, as well as the penalty for sin, died with Christ on the cross.

Our “old sinful selves,” our sinful nature, died once and for all, so we are freed from its power.

The “power of sin” refers to our rebellious, sin-loving nature inherited from Adam.

Though we often willingly cooperate with our sinful nature, the desire to do so comes from our old nature.

And it is this power of sin at work in our lives that is defeated.

Paul has already stated that through faith in Christ we stand acquitted, having been declared not guilty before God.

Here Paul emphasizes that we need no longer live under sin’s power.

God does not take us out of the world or make us robots—we will still feel like sinning, and sometimes we will sin.

The difference is that before we were saved we were slaves to our sinful nature, but now we can choose to live for Christ (see Galatians 2:20).

Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, His followers need never fear death.

That assurance frees us to enjoy fellowship with Him and to do His will.

This affects all our activities—work and worship, play, Bible study, quiet times, and time spent caring for others.

When you know that you don’t have to fear death, you will experience a new vitality in life.

“Consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin” means that each day we should regard our old, sinful nature as dead and unresponsive to sin.

Because of our union and identification with Christ, we are no longer bound to carry out those old motives, desires, and goals.

So let us consider ourselves to be what God has in fact made us.

We have new life through oneness with Christ, and the Holy Spirit will help us become all that Christ has declared us to be.

How can we keep this command to not let sin control the way we live, to not give in to its desires?

We can take the following steps:

(1) Identify our personal weaknesses,

(2) Recognize the things that tempt us,

(3) Stay away from sources of temptation,

(4) Practice self-restraint,

(5) Consciously invest our time in good habits and service,

(6) Lean on God’s strength and grace, and

(7) Let the peace of Christ fill our hearts.

The Greek word translated “instrument” can refer to a tool or a weapon.

Our skills, capabilities, and bodies can serve many purposes, good or bad.

Sin makes every part of our bodies vulnerable to attack. But when Christ controls our new nature, every part can be an instrument for service.

The one to whom we offer our service is what makes the difference.

Give yourself completely to God, asking Him to put you to good use for His glory.

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)


Saturday, October 29
The Winning Walk
Dr Ed Young


If you belong to Jesus Christ, you are not your own. The Bible says you have been bought and paid for with a price: the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Let’s say you invite me to your home for lunch.

You clean up the house, cook a fabulous meal, and put the Bible out on the coffee table, since the pastor is coming.

I arrive in a paneled truck with a crew of workers, all of us in blue jeans.

We get out with paint cans and brushes, and we paint your house a rainbow of colors.

I also decide a wall or two needs knocking down, and your living room furniture needs re-arranging.

Then I ask you for the menu, and when you say we’re having spaghetti, I suggest pizza instead.

Finally you say to me, “What do you think you’re doing? I only invited you for lunch. You’re acting like this is your house and not mine.”

If you have been to Calvary and received Jesus Christ as your savior, the “house” that is your body does not belong to you any more.

It is not your house. It is God’s house. His Holy Spirit takes up residence in you. And He is well within His rights when He says things like,

“That ego has to go,” or “Those words don’t match what you say you believe.
Change them.”

Jesus Christ has paid the price for you, and you are not your own.

Memory Verse

I Corinthians 6:20
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

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The importance of getting back to our lawful form of government, which is a Constitutional Republic…

This is why we pray, because as God’s born-again Covenant Children, we recognize that the Word of God is true; and when God tells us, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, how to repent and get our nation back in line with Him, then we need to do what we’re told…

This battle for our nation starts on our knees; and it will happen ONLY through grassroots repentance that starts in each one of our individual lives.

Hosea 4:6 says that, “My people are defeated for lack of knowledge.”

In Matthew 10:16 Jesus says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: so be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

After Jesus had given the parable on the Unjust Steward – see Luke 16:1-7.

In verse 8,

“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

And also Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “… lest Satan should take advantage of us; let us not be ignorant of his devices!”

In other words (and this is true for all of us) that we don’t know what we don’t know until we are taught.

What follows are some things you need to know and understand regarding the formation of our present state of government.

In fact our present “government” is NOT a government at all, as it was unlawfully changed into a corporation in 1871), and therefore it is NOT the form of government that was founded by our founding fathers.

Click on the links below:

(Click here) – The United States Isn’t a Country
— It’s a Corporation!


How the CFR Controls the Media:

This video (below) emphasizes the importance of our getting back to our du jure (lawfull) form of government, which is not a CORPORATION, and it also is not a Democracy, but rather is a Constitutional Republic – of the People, by the People and for the People.

Click on link below:

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By faith we understand that ALL things in Heaven and Earth were frame by the Word of God…

What does it mean to walk by faith?

Faith will always make a way…

Hebrews 11:1-3
New King James Version

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith brings a confidence in God’s promises and shows trust in His character.

Eyesight produces a conviction about objects in the physical world.

Faith produces the same convictions for the invisible order.

Faith shows itself by producing assurance that what we hope for will happen.

Faith also provides an insight into realities which otherwise remain unseen.

A person with faith lets these unseen realities from God provide a living, effective power for daily life.

These verses present two illustrations of the use of faith.

First, faith enabled the heroes of the Old Testament to receive a good standing with God.

God gave His approval to the faith of these saints.

Second, believing that God created the world involves a leap of faith.

Faith points to an unseen power who made the world we see.

The universe involves more than the physical world. It includes the ages that God had planned, beginning with the act of creation and extending to the consummation of all things in Christ.

By faith we know that all we see around us and all that takes place on earth came from one we cannot see.

By observing creation we may learn of God’s power.

We learn the manner of God’s creation only by responding in faith to the statements of Scripture.

Faith provides us with the only factual account of creation.

God is the only One who was there; He tells us how it happened.

We believe His Word and thus we know.

McCue states: “The conception of God pre-existent to matter and by His fiat calling it into being is beyond the domain of reason or demonstration. It is simply accepted by an act of faith.”

By faith we understand.

The world says, “Seeing is believing.”

God says, “Believing is seeing.”

Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see …” (John 11:40).

The Apostle John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe … that you may know” (1 Jn. 5:13).

Faith is a way of viewing all of life, what lies ahead as well as what is in the past.

It involves accepting God’s viewpoint as He has revealed it in His Word.

This extends to how the universe came into being (cf. 1:2-3) as well as how it will end.

“Belief in the existence of the world is not faith, nor is it faith when men hold that the world was made out of some preexisting ‘stuff.’

(In the first century there were people who did not believe in God but who held to some kind of ‘creation.’)

But when we understand that it was the Word of God (‘God’s command) that produced all things, that is faith.”

Notice that the writer did not say that God created the universe out of nothing (creation ex nihilo), an idea that the Greeks rejected.

He simply said that the universe did not originate from primal material or anything observable.

His description does not rule out creation ex nihilo, but neither does it affirm it. Genesis 1:1-3 and logic seem to indicate that God did indeed create the universe, something visible, out of His word, something invisible.

In spiritual matters faith precedes understanding.

The worlds were framed by the Word of God.

God spoke and matter came into being.

This agrees perfectly with man’s discovery that matter is essentially energy.

When God spoke, there was a flow of energy in the form of sound waves.

These were transformed into matter, and the world sprang into being.

The things which are seen were not made out of things which are visible.

Energy is invisible; so are atoms, and molecules, and gases to the naked eye, yet in combination they become visible.

The fact of creation as set forth herein Hebrews 11:3 is unimpeachable.

It has never been improved on and never will.

As Covenant children of God, our faith rests in the God who created the entire universe by His Word.

God’s Word has awesome power.

When He speaks, do you listen and respond?

How can you better prepare yourself to respond to His voice?

Faith is more than a belief in God. It is also a way of life.

The heroes of faith, which we read about in Hebrews 11, although they were imperfect, they trusted God and gave their lives to Him.

Hebrews 11 can also encourage us by telling about people’s faith in the Old Testament.

These examples encourage us.

What are you doing to encourage others? Who will you tell?

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Monday, Oct 24
The Berean
Daily Verse and Comment

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
— Hebrews 11:3

This verse is rather difficult in most of our modern English translations. It literally says, “By faith we understand the ages to have been prepared by a saying of God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things appearing” (Young’s Literal Translation).

The key to understanding this verse is the word translated “worlds” in modern Bibles.

In the Greek, it is aioonas, which primarily means “ages” or long periods of time whose sum is eternity.

For modern translations to understand this to be “worlds” distorts what the author was trying to explain.

He is not talking about physical creation of the earth or matter, which “worlds” implies, but about God’s sovereignty over the ages of mankind’s civilizations.

“Framed” is the Greek kateertisthai, meaning prepared, arranged, constituted, set in order—generally, to put a thing in its proper condition.

The Bible speaks of three distinct ages:

1. The time before the Flood,

2. The present, and

3. The age to come (see II Peter 3:6; Galatians 1:4; Matthew 12:32; Luke 18:30; etc.).

Other periods of time can be divided into distinct ages:

The Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, the Roman, the Medieval, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Modern, the Postmodern, etc.

The author is telling us that the word of God “prepares,” “orders,” or “arranges” the ages of mankind—in other words, God is sovereignly guiding the affairs of men to bring about His ultimate purpose.

As is said to Daniel, “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whoever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men” ( Daniel 4:17).

We know this by faith—that is, if we truly believe and trust God, that He is almighty, that He is bringing us to perfection, and that He has a purpose He is working out, we know that He is in control.

We understand by what we read in His Word that He is working toward His ends, and what goes from His mouth (in terms of law, direction, and prophecy) will come to pass (Isaiah 55:10-11).

When God speaks, things happen: It was by God speaking that the earth and everything in it was created (Genesis 1).

The same is true of the migrations of nations, their rise and fall, the installation and removal of leaders, as well as the circumstances of His people in the church.

God is on His throne, and He is governing His creation.

The last half of Hebrews 11:3 is our “proof”:

What we see going on in the world (during our age) has not been brought to pass by men but by the invisible God.

Men think they are movers and shakers; they think they are in control. But God says here that events on this earth have their ultimate design in the invisible God; He rules over the kingdom of men.

There is an unseen hand manipulating events so that the person of faith can understand that history is not an endless cycle of repetition; it is going somewhere. God is drawing things to a conclusion.

We are coming to the end of an age, and God is framing and manipulating events in preparation for this age to climax and end so a new and better age can begin.

This verse tells us that we can see the hand of God working, not only in the big events of this world, but also in our lives if we are living by faith (II Corinthians 5:7 ).

— Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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The Lord reigns over His creation…

And He reigns also over each one of our lives…

Read Psalm 33

This psalm of declarative praise calls the godly to praise the LORD for His dependable Word and His righteous works, specifically His creative activities in nature and human history.

The psalmist also assured the readers that He will be faithful to those who trust in Him.

“If the purest form of a hymn is praise to God for what He is and does, this is a fine example.

The body of the psalm is occupied with the LORD as Creator, Sovereign, Judge and Saviour, while the beginning and end express two elements of worship: an offering of praise, doing honour to so great a King, and a declaration of trust, made in humble expectation.”

The Hebrew text does not identify the writer of this psalm, though the Septuagint translators believed he was David.

Perhaps they concluded this because other psalms that David composed surround this one (cf. Ps. 72:20).

The occasion of writing appears to have been a national victory.

A person’s words are measured by the quality of his or her character.

If your friends trust what you say, it is because they trust you.

If you trust what God says, it is because you trust Him to be the God He claims to be.

If you doubt His words, you doubt the integrity of God Himself.

If you believe God is truly God, then believe what He says in His Word!

The Bible is reliable because, unlike people, God does not lie, forget, change His words, or leave His promises unfulfilled.

We can trust the Bible because it contains the words of a holy, trustworthy, and unchangeable God.

Psalm 33 contains a poetic summary of the creation story found in the first chapter of Genesis.

God is not just the coordinator of natural forces; He is the Lord of creation, the almighty God.

Because He is all-powerful, we should revere Him in all we do.

“The LORD’s plans stand firm forever.”

Are you frustrated by inconsistencies you see in others, or even in yourself?

God is completely trustworthy—His intentions never change.

The Bible promises that good and perfect gifts come to us from the Creator who never changes (James 1:17).

When you wonder if there is anyone you can trust, remember that God is completely consistent.

Let Him counsel you, and then rely on His plans for your life (see Jer 29:11).

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

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The disciples experience “The Dark Night of the Soul,” before Jesus returns…

Confusion Turns to Truth…

Read John 16

John 16 is the last chapter of Jesus’ teaching to the disciples in this Gospel.

In His last moments with His disciples, Jesus…

(1) warned them about further persecution;

(2) He told them where, when, and why He was going; and

(3) He assured them that they would not be left alone but that the Spirit would come.

Jesus knew what lay ahead, and He did not want the disciples’ faith shaken or destroyed.

God also wants you to know you are not alone.

You have the Holy Spirit to comfort you, teach you truth, and help you.

At this point Jesus had already mentioned the Holy Spirit twice, and now He explained in detail how the Holy Spirit would teach and lead the disciples.

The Holy Spirit is not some supernatural “influence” hovering in the clouds above.

He comes to us, and through us, and He carries out His ministry to the world.

He is a significant part of the communication process when Jesus speaks.

In addition, the Holy Spirit reminded them how important it was that they listen to Jesus because when He spoke, important things happened in the lives of those who heard.

It’s inevitable that persecution comes to those who faithfully stand up for Christ.

The Book of Acts barely gets underway as two of these disciples (Peter and John) are arrested for their proclamation of the resurrection (Acts 4:1-3).

So the promise of the Spirit also warns that those who are filled with the Spirit will suffer for their faith.

16:1-4. These verses prophesy the conditions that the church endured in varying degrees from Pentecost to A.D. 313.

Obviously, the early years of persecution were made more difficult by the absence of the Lord, and He made that point in these verses.

The purpose of the Lord’s teaching was to counteract the temptation these men would face to go astray as they faced two major types of persecution.

The first was excommunication: they will put you out of the synagogue.

Peter and John were arrested at the temple; Paul, Barnabas, and Silas were thrown out of numerous synagogues; Martin Luther was exiled from the Roman Catholic church.

These verses spin directly from John 15:18-20 where the Lord had predicted persecution because of hatred by the world.

The second dimension is murder: anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.

From Stephen to the thousands of modern martyrs, witnesses for Jesus have always faced the possibility of death.

Like the Pharisees and Sadduccees who pursued Christians in the New Testament, people today still persecute followers of Jesus for religious reasons.

In fact, there were more martyrs for the Christian faith in the twentieth century than all previous centuries put together.

Hughes quotes Bonhoeffer’s challenge from 1937 during Hitler’s rise in Germany:

“Suffering… is the badge of true discipleship. The disciple is not above his Master. . . Luther reckoned suffering among the marks of the true church. . .

Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer” (cited in Hughes, p. 83).

The practical application of these warnings is in verse 4.

These disciples would experience persecution in a matter of weeks, certainly months. And the Lord wanted them to recall this quiet night of teaching when chaos later broke out on the streets of Jerusalem.

Some have puzzled over the sentence, I did not tell you this at the first because I was with you, especially in view of the prediction of persecution in Matthew 10:17,21,28.

But this was personal instruction linked with the role of the Holy Spirit, something absent from Matthew 10.

16:5-7. The Lord told the disciples He was leaving them and going back to the Father.

This caused them deep sorrow. But in fact, the glass was half-full rather than half-empty.

If Jesus did not leave, the Counselor (Holy Spirit) could not come, and He had important work to do in the world.

Jesus did not say why the Holy Spirit could not come until He went away, but we understand from the New Testament that the Son’s return to glory was a condition for sending the Holy Spirit to work in the world.

But that is our perspective. We dare not let our understanding, derived from the text of the entire New Testament, detract from the fear and confusion the disciples must have felt on this dreary night.

Imagine a mother of two children whose husband has been away on business.

She must go to the airport to pick him up.

She informs the children that they will be alone at home for three or four hours while she makes this lengthy trip across the city.

They do not want her to leave; they fear what might happen to them; they want to go with her.

But for a variety of reasons she must go alone. She assures them that all will be better for the family when she returns with their father, whom they have missed.

The anticipation and reluctance of those children can be magnified many times by the sadness of the disciples on this occasion.

16:8 When the Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

This is generally taken to mean that the Holy Spirit creates an inward awareness of these things in the life of the individual sinner.

While this is true, it is not exactly the teaching in this portion.

The Holy Spirit condemns the world by the very fact that He is here.

He should not be here, because the Lord Jesus should be here, reigning over the world.

But the world rejected Him, and He went back to heaven.

The Holy Spirit is here in place of a rejected Christ, and this demonstrates the world’s guilt.

16:9 The Holy Spirit convicts the world of the sin of failing to believe on Christ.

He was worthy of belief.

There was nothing about Him that made it impossible for men to believe on Him. But they refused. And the Holy Spirit’s presence in the world is witness to their crime.

16:10 The Savior claimed to be righteous, but men said He had a demon.

God spoke the final word. He said, in effect, “My Son is righteous, and I will prove it by raising Him from the dead and taking Him back to heaven.”

The Holy Spirit witnesses to the fact that Christ was right and the world was wrong.

16:11 The presence of the Holy Spirit also convicts the world of coming judgment.

The fact that He is here means that the devil has already been condemned at the cross and that all who refuse the Savior will share his awful judgment in a day yet future.

16:12 There were still … many other things the Lord had to tell the disciples, but they could not take them in.

This is an important principle of teaching.

There must be a certain progress in learning before advanced truths can be received.

The Lord never overwhelmed His disciples with teaching. He gave it to them “line upon line, precept upon precept.”

16:13 The work which the Lord began was to be continued by the Spirit of truth, and He would guide them into all truth.

There is a sense in which all truth was committed to the apostles in their lifetime.

They, in turn, committed it to writing, and we have it today in our NT.

This, added to the OT, completed God’s written revelation to man.

But it is, of course, true in all ages that the Spirit guides God’s people into all the truth.

He does it through the Scriptures.

He will only speak the things that are given to Him to say by the Father and the Son.

“He will tell you things to come.”

This, of course, is done in the NT, and particularly in the book of Revelation where the future is unveiled.

16:14 The Holy Spirit’s principal work will be to glorify Christ.

By this we can test all teaching and preaching.

If it has the effect of magnifying the Savior, then it is of the Holy Spirit.

“He will take of what is Mine” means that He will receive of the great truths that concern Christ.

These are the things He reveals to believers.

The subject can never be exhausted!

16:15 All the attributes of the Father belong to the Son as well.

It is these perfections that Christ was speaking of in verse 14.

The Spirit unveiled to the apostles the glorious perfections, ministries, offices, graces, and fullness of the Lord Jesus.

Sorrow Turned to Joy (16:16–22)

16:16 The precise time-frame of verse 16 is uncertain.

It may mean the Lord would be away from them for three days, and then He would reappear to them after His resurrection.

It may mean He would go back to His Father in heaven, and then after a little while (the present Age), He would come back to them (His Second Coming).

Or it may mean that for a little while they would not see Him with their physical eyes, but after the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Pentecost, they would perceive Him by faith in a way they had never seen Him before.

16:17 His disciples were confused. The reason for the confusion was that in verse 10, the Savior had said, “I go to My Father and you see Me no more.”

Now He said, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”

They could not reconcile these statements.

16:18 They asked each other the meaning of the words “a little while.”

Strangely enough, we have the same problem today.

We do not know whether it refers to the three days before His resurrection, the forty days before Pentecost, or the more than 1900 years prior to His Coming again!

16:19, 20 Being God, the Lord Jesus was able to read their thoughts.

By His questions, He revealed His full knowledge of their perplexity.

He did not answer their problem directly but gave further information concerning the “little while.”

The world would rejoice because they had succeeded in crucifying the Lord Jesus, but the disciples would weep and lament.

But it would only be for a short while.

Their sorrow would be turned into joy, and it was—first by the resurrection, and secondly by the coming of the Spirit.

Then, for all disciples of all ages, grief will be turned to rejoicing when the Lord Jesus comes back again.

16:21 Nothing is more remarkable than the speed with which a mother forgets the labor pains after her child is born.

So it would be with the disciples.

The sorrow connected with the absence of their Lord would be quickly forgotten when they would see Him again.

16:22 Again we must express ignorance as to the time indicated by the Lord’s words, “I will see you again.”

Does this refer to His resurrection, His sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, or His Second Advent?

In all three cases, the result is rejoicing, and a joy that cannot be taken away.

What a contrast between the disciples and the world!

The world rejoiced as the disciples wept, but the disciples would see Jesus again—in three days—and rejoice.

The world’s values are often the opposite of God’s values.

This can cause us to feel like misfits. But even if life seems difficult now, one day we will rejoice.

Keep your eye on the future and on God’s promises!

Jesus is talking about a new way to relate to God.

Previously, only priests could stand in the presence of God in the Most Holy Place.

After Jesus’ resurrection, any believer could experience the presence of God anywhere.

A new day has dawned, and now all believers are priests, talking with God personally and directly (see Hebrews 10:19-23).

We approach God not because of our own merit but because Jesus, our great High Priest, has made us acceptable to God.

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Monday, October 17
Heartlight Devotions


‘The Dark Night before Dawn’
— John 16:16-22

[Jesus continued,] “In a little while you won’t see me anymore. But a little while after that, you will see me again.”

Some of the disciples asked each other,

“What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’? And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”

Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant?

I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again.

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice.

You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.

It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor.

When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.

So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.
— John 16:16-22 NLT

Jesus knows that darkness will descend on him and those he loves.

He has tried to prepare them.

They cannot imagine what the next four days will entail.

They will go from excruciating agony at his crucifixion to inexpressible joy at his resurrection.

When we face our dark nights, we need to remember that the Holy Spirit who lives in us is our assurance of the dawn of joy, blessing, and triumph.

Today’s Prayer
Give me courage in my darkest moments, O Lord my Father and God, to trust that you are the Father of the dawn and the gracious God who raises triumph out of defeat and joy out of sorrow.

Please bless the following people who now face darkness in their lives: ____, ____, ____…

Strengthen them and bring them the dawn of joy in your grace. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

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Jesus said that He came for those who are sick: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners,” those who recognize their need for God’s grace and forgiveness…

The terminal condition of the heart without Jesus…

Jeremiah 17:9-10
The Message

9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.

But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.

I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.

I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.

The Old Testament frequently uses “heart” (Heb. leb) to identify the source of a person’s thinking and acting.

It describes the root of unconscious as well as conscious motivation.

The human heart is deceptive; we may think we know why we do something, but really we may be doing it for another reason.

It is naturally incurably sick, really totally depraved, and in need of healing.

No one really understands his or her own corrupt heart, nor do we understand why our hearts behave as they do.

Verse 9 is an unpopular (but nonetheless very true) estimate of the natural heart of man.

R. K. Harrison comments on what is translated “desperately wicked” in the KJV tradition and “gravely ill” by some:

“Unregenerate human nature is in a desperate condition without divine grace, described by the term gravely ill in verse 9, and in15:18 and 30:12, where the meaning “incurable” occurs.

Every generation needs regeneration of the soul by the Spirit and grace of God.”

The mind of man has been so completely estranged from God’s righteousness that it conceives, desires, and undertakes, only that which is impious, perverted, foul, impure, and infamous.

The heart is so steeped in the poison of sin, that it can breathe out nothing but a loathsome stench.

But if some men occasionally make a show of good, their minds nevertheless ever remain enveloped in hypocrisy and deceitful craft, and their hearts bound by inner perversity.

Even though we cannot understand our hearts, the Lord searches them and knows our inner thoughts and motives.

“Heart” and “mind” (lit. kidneys, from the Heb. kelayoth, meaning “hidden depths”) are not that distinct in Old Testament psychology; they are virtually synonymous here and in many other places.

Together these terms cover the range of hidden elements in human character and personality.

God gives to each person what he or she actually deserves.

He judges on the basis of works because what we do reflects what we truly value, the condition of our hearts.

God makes it clear why we sin—it’s a matter of the heart.

Our hearts have been rebellious, sinful, and secretive from the moment we were born.

It is easy to fall into the routine of forgetting and forsaking God, but it is our choice whether to continue in sin.

We can yield to temptation or we can ask God to help us resist temptation when it comes.

For many of our daily tasks, there is a right way and a wrong way to do them.

Even more so, there is a right way and a wrong way to treat the people with whom we do these tasks.

Jeremiah says that people who become rich by unjust means will end up foolish and poor.

Whether at work, school, home, or anywhere else, we should strive to be honest in all our dealings.

Sinning in order to get a promotion, cheating to pass an exam, or gaining prestige by dishonest means will never bring God’s blessing or lasting happiness.

Jesus came to inaugurate a New Covenant so that sins could be forgiven and sinners could be born again (John 3:5).

As “desperately wicked” people, we cannot reform our hearts by our own effort.

The only solution is for God to make our hearts new, washed clean from sin and fundamentally reoriented toward pleasing Him.

Max Lucado’s Life Lessons….

Jeremiah 14:1—17:27

Jeremiah prophesied drought, famine, and days of disaster for God’s people.

Sin requires judgment. Sin can distort our judgment of good and evil.

God calls us to repent and to have moral outrage for violations of His holiness.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).

The Spiritual Cardiologist scans our hearts and finds deep disease:

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness” (Mark 7:21, 22).

He describes our problem in pandemic proportions:

“No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God” (Romans 3:10, 11, NLT).

Surely this is an overstatement, an exaggeration.

Can it be that “we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us” (Romans 3:23 MSG)?

This current generation is oddly silent about sin.

Late-night talk shows don’t discuss humanity’s shortcomings.

Some mental-health professionals mock our need for divine forgiveness….

Barbarism apparently is alive and well on the planet Earth.

Deny our sin? Quasimodo could more easily deny his hump.

Our heart problem? It’s universal. And personal.

(From 3:16 by Max Lucado)

What views about sin have softened so that they are even acceptable among Christians?

What areas of life has this affected?

Male-female relationships? Social settings? Family life?

Don’t be drawn in by the world’s standards.

Be morally pure in your dating or marriage relationship.

Be bold in keeping a high standard.

Don’t let Satan wear down your defenses.

In Romans 12:2-3 (JB Phillips translation), we are told:

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.”

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Sunday, Oct 16
The Berean
Daily Verse and Comment

9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.”
— Jeremiah 17:9-10

Clearly, there is something radically wrong with man.

The Bible discloses the seat of man’s problem as being his heart, his inner being, including his reason.

We are full of falsehood, duplicity, and contradiction. We conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves.

Perhaps it is in this area that the heart performs its most destructive work; it conceals the exceeding sinfulness of sin and its tragic consequences and seriousness.

It deceives us into thinking that it is not so bad or that God is so merciful that He will overlook it.

Was it this kind of thinking that preceded the sudden deaths of Aaron’s sons, Uzza, and Ananias and Sapphira?

Do you suppose He can overlook an attitude that so casually takes for granted sinful acts that caused the horribly painful and ignominious death of One who was truly innocent, His Son?

Does He merely ignore an attitude that cares so little for its own life that it deliberately attempts to bring that wonderful gift of life to an end?

Does He just avert His eyes when we do something that forms a part of our character that will prevent us from being in His image?

Some people seem to think so, but is there innocence in this kind of reasoning?

Our own heart deceives us into taking sin lightly. But, believe the Bible, God is NOT taking sin lightly because He loves His creation.

Sin has caused all the emotional and physical pain and death that mankind has experienced since Adam.

Each of us is suffering to some degree from it right at this moment.

Does this bring us happiness? Do we love sin so much that we want it to continue?

Are we fully aware it may destroy us?

Do we want our sinful way of life to end?

There is only one way it will end, and that is to follow Jesus’ advice:

“Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).

When we repent and begin controlling ourselves so that we do not sin, it will not stop sin in the world.

But unless WE stop sinning, sin will never be stopped.

EACH PERSON has to come to see that he is personally responsible for stopping sin in his own life.

He cannot wait for others to stop before he stops.

The government will not do it for him. Nobody but the individual can stop his sinning unless God takes away the person’s chance to repent by putting him to death.

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived into taking this casually as the world does.

They say, “Everybody’s doing it.” Millions cheat on their spouses.

Who knows how many have literally “gotten away with murder!”

Many cheat the government of their income taxes and never get caught. But we cannot cheat God.

How could we escape the gaze of a Being so acutely aware of what is happening that He sees even a sparrow falling?

David writes, “Where can I go from Your Spirit?” (Psalm 139:7).

God not only sees the acts, but discerns what is “going on” in the heart (verses 1-4, 23-24).

— John W. Ritenbaugh

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The Bible tells us to run the race that has been set before us (Heb 12:1)…

This is Jim Thorpe…

Look closely at the photo, you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes.

This wasn’t a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim, an American Indian from Oklahoma represented the U.S. in track and field.

On the morning of his competitions, his shoes were stolen.

Luckily, Jim ended up finding two shoes in a garbage can.

That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so he had to wear an extra sock.

Wearing these shoes, Jim won two gold medals that day.

This is a perfect reminder that you don’t have to resign to the excuses that have held you back.

So what if life hasn’t been fair?

What are you going to do about it today?

Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, don’t let it stop you from running your race.

You can experience more in life if you’ll get over the excuses and get on with living.

You can have reasons or you can have results, but you can’t have both!


Note: Jim Thorpe was restored as sole winner of 1912 Olympic Gold Medals in 2022.

After nearly 110 years after being stripped of those gold medals for violations of strict amateurism rules of the time.

On July 15, 2022, the International Olympic Committee announced the change on the 110th anniversary of Thorpe winning the decathlon and later being proclaimed by King Gustav V of Sweden as “the greatest athlete in the world.”

The Bible tells us also to run the race that has been set before us (Heb 12:1)….

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (MSG), Paul tells us:

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race.

Everyone runs; one wins.

Run to win.

All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades.

You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line.

I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No lazy living for me!

I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”

So likewise let each one of us discipline ourselves in order that we may also run the race that has been set before us.

And since Jesus has already won this race, Paul instructs us to keep running and never quit!

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Some things have to be believed before they can be seen…

The Bible says “Faith can move mountains” (Matt 17:20)…

So what exactly is faith?

It is when a person believes in the certainty of things that cannot be seen.

In order to be a believer and a Christian, faith is something which is absolutely necessary.

God will reward all those who cannot see Him, and yet still show a strong desire to find Him.

When we talk about faith it is referring to someone who is certain about something without actually seeing it.

As Jesus indicates, the more faith you have the more you can achieve.

So Jesus said to them,

“Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20).

So nothing would be impossible for the man who had faith.

But it can be argued that if we have faith then we should be able to achieve anything we wish.

But as John points out this depends on God’s will…

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask ANYTHING according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, WHATEVER we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (1 John 5: 14-15).

If God’s will allows it then we can do amazing things with our faith.

But we must always remember that faith will never allow us to change God’s determined will.

However, we should always remember that without human faith many of the events in the Bible would not have happened.

The Bible even tells us that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God, for whoever comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Read Matthew 9

Jesus as authority over both Life and Death…

He alone has the POWER to Heal the incurable and raise the dead (Matthew 9:18–26)…

After a stretch of non-miracle narratives in Matthew 8-9, Matthew recorded a flurry of miracle activity in 9:18-34.

And verse 18, we now learn about the ruler of the local synagogue, Jairus, whose daughter was at death’s door.

Not all religious leaders were hostile toward Jesus.

We do not know the attitude of this synagogue ruler before his daughter’s illness and death, but desperation can soften even the strongest critics.

This man, like all the rest of the seekers in Matthew 8-9, was at the end of his resources.

He had no place to turn except to the king.

The official showed reverence for Jesus.

Recognizing Him as a prophet from God, the official knelt before Him.

His request revealed great faith.

To this point, Jesus had performed all of His healing miracles on people who were still living.

This is the first instance in Matthew where He ministered to a dead person.

The official’s confidence in Jesus is evident in his bold assertion that Jesus’ touch would bring her back to life.

It was exceptional that this ruler should seek help from Jesus; most of the Jewish leaders would have feared the scorn and contempt of their associates for doing so.

Jesus honored his faith by starting out with His disciples toward the ruler’s home.

Then there was another interruption!

This time it was a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years.

Jesus was never annoyed by such interruptions; He was always poised, accessible, and approachable.

The problem was (for this woman) Medical science had been unable to help her; in fact, her condition was deteriorating (Mark 5:26).

In her extremity she met Jesus—or at least she saw Him surrounded by a crowd.

Believing that He was able and willing to heal her, she edged through the crowd and touched the fringe of His garment.

True faith never goes unnoticed by Jesus.

He turned and pronounced her healed; and instantly the woman was made well for the first time in twelve years.

In verse 23, the narrative now returns to the ruler whose daughter had died.

When Jesus reached the house, the professional mourners were wailing with what someone has called “synthetic grief.”

He ordered the room cleared of visitors, at the same time announcing that the girl was not dead but sleeping.

Then the Lord took the girl by the hand and the miracle occurred—she got up.

It didn’t take long for the news of the miracle to spread throughout the district.

After that Jesus departed from the ruler’s neighborhood, and two blind men followed Him, pleading for sight.

Though dispossessed of natural vision, these men had acute spiritual discernment.

In addressing Jesus as Son of David, they recognized Him as the long-awaited Messiah and rightful King of Israel.

And they knew that when the Messiah came, one of His credentials would be that He would give sight to the blind (Isa. 61:1).

When Jesus tested their faith by asking if they believed He was able to do this (give them sight), they unhesitatingly responded, “Yes, Lord!”

Then the Great Physician touched their eyes and assured them that because they believed, they would see.

Immediately their eyes became completely normal.

Man says, “Seeing is believing.” God says, “Believing is seeing.”

Jesus said to Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see?” (John 11:40).

The writer to the Hebrews noted, “By faith we understand …” (11:3).

The Apostle John wrote, “I have written to you who believe … that you may know …” (1 John 5:13).

God is not pleased with the kind of faith that demands a prior miracle. He wants us to believe Him simply because He is God.

Thursday, Oct 13
God Calling
by Two Listeners


“Then touched he their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith be it unto you.’ ”
— Matthew 9:29

Lord, we believe, help Thou our unbelief. Lord, hear our prayers and let our cries come unto Thee.

Along the road of praise, as I told you. Yes! I will indeed help your unbelief, and in answer to your prayers grant you so great a faith, such an increasingly great faith, that each day you will look back, from the place of your larger vision, and see the faith of the day before as almost unbelief.

The Beauty of My Kingdom is its growth.

In that Kingdom there is always progress, a going on from strength to strength, from glory to glory.

Be in My Kingdom, and of My Kingdom, and there can be no stagnation. Eternal Life, abundant Life is promised to all who are in it, and of it.

No misspent time over failures and shortcomings.

Count the lessons learnt from them but as rungs in the ladder.

Step up, and then cast away all thought of the manner of the making of the rung.

Fashioned of joy and sorrow, of failure or success, of wounds or healing balm, what matter, My children, so long as it served its purpose?

Learn another lesson.

The Sculptor who finds a faulty marble casts it aside.

Because it has no fashioning, it may regard itself as perfect; and it may look with scorn upon the marble the Sculptor is cutting and shaping into perfection.

From this, My children, learn a lesson for your lives.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25)

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The dangers of following Jesus from afar…

We must learn to walk with Jesus everyday…

“Peter followed Him (Jesus) at a distance, right into the high priest’s courtyard. He was sitting with the temple police, warming himself by the fire.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they could find none.”
— Mark 14:54-55

Peter, who later became a bold witness for Christ (after Pentecost), was not so valiant at the time of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion.

Although Peter claimed that even if everyone else abandoned Jesus, he would remain faithful,

Jesus however knew the truth. The truth was that Peter would deny Christ not once, but three times in one night.

Before Peter’s denials came, something else came: a widening space between Peter and Jesus.

Although Peter was a close companion of His, when Christ was suddenly arrested, Peter (like the other disciples) withdrew in fear.

Today’s key verse from Mark 14:54-55 clearly states where he stood, “Peter followed Him at a distance.”

To walk closely with Jesus we have to walk ourselves daily through God’s Word, and I would add also we must pray every day in the spirit; as it is through this process that we are putting on the mind of Christ.

Tethering our hearts to Scripture helps grow our friendship with Jesus.

As a result, He becomes more important to us than others or their opinions of us.

The more we learn about God’s character and His ways (through our study and meditation in Scripture) the more we fall in love with Him and the less likely we’ll be to turn from Him when the crowds tempt to sway us. Or when fear of judgment or persecution comes.

Have you been following Jesus at a distance?

Walking far enough behind that you can still see Him but others don’t see you right next to Him?

Grab a Bible. Crack it. Get into God’s Word and get His Word into you.

No more lagging behind. Let’s walk right beside the Lord, unashamedly, and allow others to see our desire to be near Jesus in hopes they will long to get to know Him too.

This is especially true in these days and times, where we need to walk closely with Jesus and stay in tune with the Holy Spirit (praying without ceasing – 1 Thes 5:17) because to do otherwise could actually be dangerous.

Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)

Wednesday, Oct 12
The Winning Way
by Dr Ed Young


How do you get lost?

How does lost-ness happen?

I’ve been lost in more cities than I can count, and I can tell you-I never intend to become lost.

It’s not planned.

A co-worker of mine tells the story of getting lost in Sears and Roebuck when she was about three years old.

She was in the toy department, and going from toy to toy and aisle to aisle.

When she looked up, she could no longer see her mom and dad.

She didn’t intend to get lost, but she did.

And when she did, she stood in the middle of the store and cried at the top of her lungs.

When an employee asked her what was wrong, she tearfully explained that she was lost.

He told her, “Just stand there and keep crying. They’ll find you quick.”

Sometimes we get lost through carelessness.

We just wander away, not considering the consequences.

We see something that looks attractive, and we gravitate toward it.

Then we wake up, look around, and say, “Where am I?

How did I get here?”

C. S. Lewis illustrates this in The Screwtape Letters, when experienced tempter Wormwood tells his young nephew Screwtape that a gradual approach is best to lure a Christian away from obedience.

“No crises,” he tells Screwtape. “Keep everything calm and placid.

The best and surest way to Hell is a quiet, steady slope.”

Are you lost? Are you far from God because of heedlessness or thoughtlessness or drifting?

If you are, the Holy Spirit is calling you to come home.

And God knows just where you are.

Cry out, and He will come to you and bring you home again.

Memory Verse

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:11)

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