Love – Everyone?

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” John 13:1 NKJV

Oh John – always explaining Christ through the lens of love.  Jesus loved them to the end is an interesting thought – and furthermore, we see later, Jesus loved them after as well.  All the more for us to understand that His death, preordained and prophesied of throughout time, was motivated by love.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Luke, chapter 22 and John, chapter 13 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  I would think, as Jesus crams every last lesson he can into these last days and last moment – these must be very important lesson.  What strikes me is how much these 12 are still a bunch of half understanding bumbling idiots – so rawly human. So much like you and I, imperfect.  If I did not already know that things work out after Jesus’s death, I would seriously question if it was really time for Jesus’s death. Is he leaving too soon?!

Every know a pastor called away from a church, they look back and see the struggle of those they love and wonder if it was too soon.  Well, Jesus left these nitwits to build the church! It isn’t blasphemy to point out that these disciples, later called Apostles, and later called saints were just as human as you and I – prone to mess things up as much as you and I. This is actual important. Because If the Kingdom of Heaven could use these men – then in our frailty, we too can be used for great things.  NOTE: “things” are great in that sentence, not people. Peter’s crown was a martyrs death ß that is how great people are defined. And that is not for us to know, necessarily. Our focus should be to do the great things.

Looking further into today’s reading – washing the feet of others, serving others (even the one who betrays Him, knowing full well that is the betrayer) the humble service lower than cleaning the bathrooms of the church – the one no one see, going around town inviting people to church focused on serving the poor. Bringing them to the food pantry, giving them clothes and blankets.

The last few lessons reinforce that humility is the secret – it is the keys to the kingdom.

Still I read the portion where Judas is identified as the one who betrays yet – for some reason, no one seems to know what is going on. So, spirit world lessons in these last few hours of freedom seem immeasurable.
The evil spirit “enters” Judas. Peter was also demonized enough to have been rebuked by Jesus in Matthew 16:23. Watch and pray that it doesn’t happen to us, is the past warning. Watch and pray. Peter, Paul and other would go on to teach the church to guard their mind and hearts. Thanks to movies where the demon possessed person behaves worse than the Biblical account of legion, Christian tend to think they are somehow, once “saved”, immune to demonic influences.
If the enemy has a stronghold, they possess a place, an area, a fortified and strong area. So technically based on the meaning of these words (in English as well as Greek) – Yes, a follower of Christ can be demonically possessed. I know if it an unpopular point of view. But watch and pray that it will not happen to you. I know the preacher Derek Prince used to say Christians were demonized – not possessed. It helped Christian to feel better about the process he would take them through of expelling them! I also knew a youth pastor who used to say someone “got it on them” a phrase I still use today and so do many other from my church – meaning they had an influencing spirit, and evil one, causing them to do or say whatever.

Like Jesus had them in His congregation as well as in His ministry team – we as Christians need to be aware the evil spirit can influence anyone who has left an unguarded opening for them. Since we cannot change other people – let us watch and pray that we leave NO PLACE for evil (Ephesians 4:27).

So the second to last recorded lesson was to watch and pray. This is important.

The last thing Jesus taught was to let the plan of the Father play out. AND if in our humanity we over-reach and try to step in and help God (cutting off the ear of someone else – we are looking at you Peter) God can fix it and put His plan back on course. DO NOT be afraid to act – that you might do something wrong – God knows how to course correct. Don’t be afraid not to act when things are happening, sometimes it is our job to let them happen.  How will we know the difference? The spirit will guide us is we have a relationship with God, through Jesus, in the Spirit. It is designed perfectly to keep us, comfort us, guide us and get us to fulfil His purpose for your lives. And if we screw it up – God honors the attitude of “at least he tried”. This is grace. There may be consequences and people effected while God course corrects – I am not saying you won’t have to deal with the fall out if you screw up. Some guy lost an ear during today’s reading. It hurt. It was fixed. But did Jesus just say that he was leaving and he wants us to act in love from now on. (Hey, Peter, that wasn’t very loving!!)

Reading this 2000 years (or so) later, really does give us a better perspective on it all.  But let us also have and ask God for the perspective to be able to take these thing and apply them to ourselves. To put ourselves in each of these people’s shoe’s and evaluate our own hearts! Lord, if there be any evil way in us, or if we have left a door open to the enemy, please show us and help us correct it. Help us to follow your will. Cleanse us and deliver us from evil. Prepare the path we are going down for you. In the name of Jesus ~ Amen.  

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Luke 22 & John 13 NKJV

Luke 22

The Plot to Kill Jesus

22 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.

Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.

Jesus and His Disciples Prepare the Passover

Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be [a]killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.”

So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?”

10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.”

13 So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover.

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper

14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the [b]twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, [c]I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. 21 But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. 22 And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.

The Disciples Argue About Greatness

24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 [d]And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”

34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Supplies for the Road

35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”

So they said, “Nothing.”

36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be [e]accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”

38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”

And He said to them, “It is enough.”

The Prayer in the Garden

39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 [f]Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”

57 But he denied [g]Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”

58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.”

But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”

59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!”

Immediately, while he was still speaking, [h]the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster [i]crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Mocked and Beaten

63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 [j]And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” 65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.”

But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And if I [k]also ask you, you will by no means answer [l]Me or let Me go. 69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”

70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?”

So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”

71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 22:7 Sacrificed
  2. Luke 22:14 NU omits twelve
  3. Luke 22:18 NU adds from now on
  4. Luke 22:31 NU omits And the Lord said
  5. Luke 22:37 fulfilled
  6. Luke 22:43 NU brackets vv. 43 and 44 as not in the original text.
  7. Luke 22:57 NU it
  8. Luke 22:60 NU, M a rooster
  9. Luke 22:61 NU adds today
  10. Luke 22:64 NU And having blindfolded Him, they asked Him
  11. Luke 22:68 NU omits also
  12. Luke 22:68 NU omits the rest of v. 68.

John 13

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

And [a]supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you [b]know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Jesus Identifies His Betrayer

18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats [c]bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. 20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” 22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.

23 Now there was [d]leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.

25 Then, leaning [e]back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

The New Commandment

31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”

Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”

37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”

38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.

Footnotes

  1. John 13:2 NU during supper
  2. John 13:12 understand
  3. John 13:18 NU My bread has
  4. John 13:23 reclining
  5. John 13:25 NU, M add thus

Jesus. Watch and Pray

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NKJV

The spirit is willing!! Oh how my spirit longs to commune and please the Father, fellowship with the son, and walk with the spirit. But the flesh – the temporal flesh that seems so hell bent.  The last moments the disciples had with Jesus – they were full from food and drink, singing hymns, and ready to retire for the night without understanding – it would be a sleepless night. And a sleepless few days.   

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 26 and Mark chapter 14 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

I think we have read all four gospel accounts of the last supper at this point. Many times when I read it I try to fully understand the bread and wine and why we are to do it in remembrance of Him. But these last few reads, I have been picturing the scene in my head, and how Jesus explains that Judas will betray Him – yet they all seem surprised when it happens. Jesus says the one with the hand in dish with mine – He whispers it to John that Judas is the one who will betray Him, in John’s account. Yet there seems to be some kind of confusion happening that they do not seem to understand.
It doesn’t help me (trying to understand) when I know the story and what is about to happen – and I think about Jesus, also knowing what was about to happen. It kinda chokes me up a bit.
As they leave the upper room – and go, they are singing hymns. So you can picture these twelve… oh wait… there was also the women and were there others as well? Because Mark’s account talks of a naked boy?

Yes – when we get to the garden, and Judas bring the angry mob – I have always pictured Jesus, Peter, James and John alone and the mob (of about 5 in my head) came with Judas.  But the truth must have looked different than church Easter plays.  There were all twelve, plus whoever else. The boy was probably Mark, himself as He lived in that area and came around Jesus when he could. And the mob was a MOB – large group who was prepared to take on Jesus and all His followers if need be. They came ready for a fight.  This is why and how the disciples “scattered”.  It became much clearer with Mark saying that they grabbed him and he had to shed his clothes and flee naked. The mob came for Jesus and all of them! 

Hold on. Let’s rewind. Jesus called Judas. Judas answered the call to follow Him. Jesus had lots of followers besides the twelve – but the twelve were called differently and helped in the ministry. Don’t be surprised by the Judases in the church. Do not be offended, or distracted. Do not let them harden your heart or cause you to leave.
Judas ate the last supper with them. Yes, Judas ate too. But by the end of the night, they had all betrayed Jesus by scattering. Judas was just the one who got paid for His betrayal. Look, Jesus would have forgiven Him, even though the scriptures had to be fulfilled and they were. None the less, Jesus probably did forgive Him – although I doubt His sins were washed away. Jesus loved Him too. Jesus forgave the other eleven.

Now – I ask for more grace from you all, over the next few days and I will, in turn also try to extend more grace to you all.  We begin the most difficult portion of the Bible. At least for me it is.  I would rather have the earth swallow whole families and have raven bring us roadkill to eat. So many strange and wondrous moments – talking donkeys and amazing supernatural things.

But now they tie up and blindfold my King, my Lord, My savior, My love…  and begin to beat Him. And they do it because I cannot seem to NOT sin. Because my spirit is willing – but my flesh is weak.  Because I try and fail – like the Israelites throughout the Old Testament, and like you do too. So today they bound and beat him – in the gathering place of the priests – the priests, the very elect set apart to minister to God – like the sacrifice of the woman anointing and ministering to Jesus.  While here we are asking Him to forgive us and give us things and worshiping so we “feel” good – and also failing to minister. Also guilty of betrayal.

We are so uncomfortably found in today’s reading, at least is we are honest with ourselves and with Him. He already knows. This is why repentance is a daily task – in the prayer Jesus taught them the only time they asked to be taught (although many times they did ask for explanations).

Let us repent, watch and pray.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 26 & Mark 14 NKJV

Matthew 26

The Plot to Kill Jesus

26 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests, [a]the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by [b]trickery and kill Him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

The Anointing at Bethany

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Jesus Celebrates Passover with His Disciples

17 Now on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.” ’ ”

19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

22 And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”

23 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”

He said to him, “You have said it.”

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, [c]blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the [d]new covenant, which is shed for many for the [e]remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be [f]made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:

‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are [g]made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And so said all the disciples.

The Prayer in the Garden

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, [h]if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour [i]is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?”

Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will [j]perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

59 Now the chief priests, [k]the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 [l]but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two [m]false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”

62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?”

They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”

67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with [n]the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps Bitterly

69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to [o]curse and [p]swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 26:3 NU omits the scribes
  2. Matthew 26:4 deception
  3. Matthew 26:26 M gave thanks for
  4. Matthew 26:28 NU omits new
  5. Matthew 26:28 forgiveness
  6. Matthew 26:31 caused to take offense at Me
  7. Matthew 26:33 caused to take offense at You
  8. Matthew 26:42 NU if this may not pass away unless
  9. Matthew 26:45 has drawn near
  10. Matthew 26:52 M die
  11. Matthew 26:59 NU omits the elders
  12. Matthew 26:60 NU but found none, even though many false witnesses came forward.
  13. Matthew 26:60 NU omits false witnesses
  14. Matthew 26:67 Or rods,
  15. Matthew 26:74 call down curses
  16. Matthew 26:74 Swear oaths

Mark 14

The Plot to Kill Jesus

14 After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by [a]trickery and put Him to death. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar of the people.”

The Anointing at Bethany

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly [b]oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized[c] her sharply.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.

Jesus Celebrates the Passover with His Disciples

12 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they [d]killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?”

13 And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”

16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.

17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”

19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” [e]And another said, “Is it I?”

20 He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish. 21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”

Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper

22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, [f]eat; this is My body.”

23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, “This is My blood of the [g]new covenant, which is shed for many. 25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 And when they had sung [h]a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

27 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble [i]because of Me this night, for it is written:

‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered.’

28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to [j]stumble, yet I will not be.

30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”

31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And they all said likewise.

The Prayer in the Garden

32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”

35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.

37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.

41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

43 And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”

45 As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

46 Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him. 47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

48 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

50 Then they all forsook Him and fled.

A Young Man Flees Naked

51 Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52 and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

Jesus Faces the Sanhedrin

53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. 54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. 56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies [k]did not agree.

57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ” 59 But not even then did their testimony agree.

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 61 But He kept silent and answered nothing.

Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”

And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers [l]struck Him with the palms of their hands.

Peter Denies Jesus, and Weeps

66 Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”

68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed.

69 And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again.

And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, [m]and your [n]speech shows it.

71 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”

72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.

Footnotes

  1. Mark 14:1 deception
  2. Mark 14:3 Perfume of pure nard
  3. Mark 14:5 scolded
  4. Mark 14:12 sacrificed
  5. Mark 14:19 NU omits the rest of v. 19.
  6. Mark 14:22 NU omits eat
  7. Mark 14:24 NU omits new
  8. Mark 14:26 Or hymns
  9. Mark 14:27 NU omits because of Me this night
  10. Mark 14:29 fall away
  11. Mark 14:56 were not consistent
  12. Mark 14:65 NU received Him with slaps
  13. Mark 14:70 NU omits the rest of v. 70.
  14. Mark 14:70 accent

Are You Ready?

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 
“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying,
 ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
“Watch therefore, for you
 know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Matthew 25:10-13 NKJV

Let’s pick up where we left off last Friday with me opening with “Don’t get distracted and don’t get caught up with Pharisee and Scribe stuff either.” We are entering the last days of Jesus’s ministry. He is telling us all the deep things. He is referencing back to those key things we meditated on in the Old Testament.  He is also repeating the same message: it will seem like He is never going to come back like He promised – but He will come and boy will it be a surprise to those who slacked.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 25 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  The 10 brides. The parable of the Talents. And The Judgement. What do all of these have in common? In all someone is blessed and someone is not (and I am not talking about financial blessings).

“The kingdom of heaven is like…” is how we start today’s reading (below) as well as starting both parables this way.

10 brides are ready enough that they grabbed their lamps and went out to meet Him. Notice ALL fell asleep?!
Ten is an interesting number in the Bible: 10 Commandments, 10 plagues, Passover and the Day of Atonement both happen on the 10th day of a month. I believe 10 is used 242 times and 10th is used 79 time. I hear it signifies complete order, and the hand of God. I did a quick search right now and found other interesting things but could not verify. Is there significance to the parable having ten brides? I know many a sermon maker has searched for a connection and I think it was just a matter of simple math. Like today I was talking with someone and used the random number of 100 because my point was 10% and it was super easy to calculate so the person I was speaking with could easily understand. That would mean that if there was a point to the “math” in this parable it is that: easily half of us who think we are ready and have gone to meet our groom are actually NOT ready and at risk of Jesus saying He never knew us. Oof

He follows that with another parable were two-thirds were ready and one was not. In the parable of the talents – ready seems to be defined by being good stewards.  In the parable “Talent” is actually the word for money. But if could also apply to the God given talents we have. But – it being sandwiched in between the 10 brides and the Judgment – maybe talent means obedience to God’s will for our lives.

Here it gets tricky. You can read and pray – and NEVER ENTER THE SECRET PLACE – the deeper intimacy, the walking in the spirit, the place where you get the constant download of go straight or turn, the true communion with God. I know this is an unpopular topic – but go back and read psalm 91 again. Then pop around those psalms and see when David discussed who can even get into that place with God! Your heart must be to seek him, you must be repentant and humble. Then God will make you untouchable and He will direct your path – and it becomes a literal thing not just “oh the Bible give you guidance” type of thing. I am not speaking of guidance – but a biblical, raw, honest relationship with Him. That is where you are told what the talent is and how to use it.  (I am not saying not to follow the guidance of the Bible – God will never contradict His word. Push in deeper into the very word before you and ask God to explain if you do not know. He longs to a close relationship with you.)

The brides’ parable ends with I never knew you – they did not have a relationship with God. The talents’ parable ends with verse 30:
“And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

Seems pretty harsh – but Jesus said what Jesus said. I have heard this parable a million times in sermons – but no one spends any time on this verse, if they even read it at all. Some people say preaching Hell is fear mongering – if you are afraid of God – that is NOT a bad thing. Outer darkness doesn’t sound like a place I want to learn about – ever been in a place so dark you couldn’t see you hand in front of your own face? Yeah, not fun. And I do not even want to imagine weeping or gnashing of teeth.

AND THIS IS FOLLOWED BY JUDGMENT! Oh Lord, help us today! We need to listen to hard words and understand. I mean – these are the words of Christ after all. So read today carefully, while inspecting yourself – repent from sins, pray down any strongholds preventing you from getting into the deeper relationship with God. Pray through for the breakthrough! Because God wants to have a relationship with you.

It is time you ate some meat and learned – He is real. He is powerful. This isn’t a game or a joke. No one is holy or just except through grace inside that secret place.

Some of you have been reading this long enough you know I have been saying it is time! Now is the time – God is doing a new thing! Look, look back and read them and see. Did you fall asleep?! Because NOW is NOW! Right Now! And therefore – this judgment is being poured out on our world. Remember when I got hung up in Haggai and said this passage is for now –  

“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:6-9 NKJV

Friends – are we not the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are you in the spirit? Can you understand then what this means right now. Yes – we are all shaken. Everything and everyone is shaken. Do not be distracted. Focus your eyes on God and do not look away.

32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” Matthew 25:32

Does this sound familiar? Remember Ezekiel?

And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats.” Ezekiel 34:17 NKJV

Or

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep.” Ezekiel 34:20 NKJV

You better believe Jesus remembered Ezekiel 34. Maybe you might want to go reread it.

God is moving in judgment and grace. It will vindicate and bless the righteous and bring judgement on those who do not repent. So one last word of caution in this time. DO NOT JUDGE. Remember Job lost everything but it was not God’s judgement for His sin. Some may surrender all to God and God requires it of them and takes it. It could look like everything is falling apart – but it is life and God is moving everything into place.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus! 

BIBLE READING: Matthew 25 NKJV

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom [a]is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the [c]holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer [d]Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 25:6 NU omits is coming
  2. Matthew 25:13 NU omits the rest of v. 13.
  3. Matthew 25:31 NU omits holy
  4. Matthew 25:44 NU, M omit Him

Weekend Reading (November 7)

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 24 NKJV

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

24 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [a]all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [b]pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The Great Tribulation

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the [c]elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that [e]it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [g]hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what [h]hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food [i]in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying [j]his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 24:6 NU omits all
  2. Matthew 24:7 NU omits pestilences
  3. Matthew 24:22 chosen ones’
  4. Matthew 24:31 chosen ones
  5. Matthew 24:33 Or He
  6. Matthew 24:36 NU adds nor the Son
  7. Matthew 24:42 NU day
  8. Matthew 24:43 Lit. watch of the night
  9. Matthew 24:45 at the right time
  10. Matthew 24:48 NU omits his coming

Weekend Reading (November 6)

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Mark 13 NKJV

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

13 Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines [a]and troubles. These are the beginnings of [b]sorrows.

“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will [c]be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, [d]or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who [e]endures to the end shall be saved.

The Great Tribulation

14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ [f]spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the [g]elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

The Coming of the Son of Man

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His [h]elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that [i]it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 13:8 NU omits and troubles
  2. Mark 13:8 Lit. birth pangs
  3. Mark 13:9 NU, M stand
  4. Mark 13:11 NU omits or premeditate
  5. Mark 13:13 bears patiently
  6. Mark 13:14 NU omits spoken of by Daniel the prophet
  7. Mark 13:22 chosen ones
  8. Mark 13:27 chosen ones
  9. Mark 13:29 Or He

Woe! Here are some hard words

But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:34-36 NKJV

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Matthew 23:13 NKJV

Don’t get distracted and don’t get caught up with Pharisee and Scribe stuff either. Today Jesus pronounces a lot of woes, gives us some end time prophecy and tells us to watch and pray. We are finishing the week with a very intense series of verses – each incredibly important.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 23 and the book of Luke, chapters 20-21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

There are 9 woes in the first 30 verses of today’s reading. Nine. I do not believe there is significance to the number as much as that is a LOT of woes.  While reading your Bible pay special attention to a few words. One is “Therefore” (you should find out what it’s there for). Another is “Love” (because God is Love and there might be some significance relating to God). Another is “woe”.  It’s a heavy word. Jesus did not have a limited vocabulary. Matthew (who wrote this passage down) was a well-educated man. So it is not like they did not have other words they could have used. It is as close to a curse as you can come without cursing someone – but yet the person has brought down the woe upon themselves. 

So when you read it (or if you already have, go back and re-read it) ask God to show you if any of those woes may pertain to you. Because woe if we do not repent! Woe if we do not approach this humbly! WOE IF WE READ THIS AND JUDGE OTHERS AND SAY THEY ARE THE ONES WHO NEED TO REPENT!

Yes – let’s not criticize and judge others… did we just read recently that ‘he without sin, cast the first stone..’ 

The balance between: “hearts.. weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life” and the Woe’s to the Pharisees and Scribes has to be love.

Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?
Whoever falls on that stone will be
 broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Luke 20:17-18

Haven’t we all fallen onto the stone, broken – are we not undone in the presence of our King?  Don’t we require grace, and more grace. Don’t we beg for mercy?

The Pharisees, Scribes and those weighed down can either fall before Jesus repentant – broken on the foundation. Or let the stone crush them in the end.  So look inwardly – which are you?

If repentant, then show grace and mercy to others as they too are sinful broken people. Show love, because they too need love.

Now then, remember – Jesus was not a doormat. He did say turn the other cheek, but when you’ve run out of cheeks? Jesus drew lines in the spirit world. We battle NOT against flesh and blood. Setting rules boundaries and limitations is wise – or broken people lead by evil influences will try to play a game with your life. It is not a game. But do not take vengeance – forgive, set boundaries and move on.

God is good – and all things are in His hands. Get under His wing and in His will. Show up, let Him fight, and having done all stand. ß but in order to get there we must ask for forgiveness of our evil ways and propensity to sin.

Forgiveness is a daily activity. Daily we ask for forgiveness and daily we forgive. If not for grace all of these things we have read today would be beyond us. But through Grace we can have a relationship with God through Jesus and become a better person – moreover become who He has created us to be – in the fullness thereof as His masterpiece.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 23 & Luke 20-21 NKJV

Matthew 23

Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

23 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you [a]to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the [b]best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your [c]Teacher, [d]the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be [e]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be [f]exalted.

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. 14 [g]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [h]hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that [i]sanctifies the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who [j]swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who [k]dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and [l]self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and [m]adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’

31 “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood[n] of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34 Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 23:3 NU omits to observe
  2. Matthew 23:6 Or place of honor
  3. Matthew 23:8 Leader
  4. Matthew 23:8 NU omits the Christ
  5. Matthew 23:12 put down
  6. Matthew 23:12 lifted up
  7. Matthew 23:14 NU omits v. 14.
  8. Matthew 23:15 Gr. Gehenna
  9. Matthew 23:17 NU sanctified
  10. Matthew 23:20 Swears an oath
  11. Matthew 23:21 M dwelt
  12. Matthew 23:25 M unrighteousness
  13. Matthew 23:29 decorate
  14. Matthew 23:33 offspring

Luke 20-21

Jesus’ Authority Questioned

20 Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”

But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why [a]then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it was from.

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers

Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A certain man planted a vineyard, leased it to [b]vinedressers, and went into a far country for a long time. 10 Now at [c]vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that they might give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the vinedressers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Again he sent another servant; and they beat him also, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And again he sent a third; and they wounded him also and cast him out.

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son. Probably they will respect him when they see him.’ 14 But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.”

And when they heard it they said, “Certainly not!”

17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone’?

18 Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

19 And the chief priests and the scribes that very hour sought to lay hands on Him, but they [d]feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them.

The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?

20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.

21 Then they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth: 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, [e]“Why do you test Me? 24 Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?”

They answered and said, “Caesar’s.”

25 And He said to them, “Render[f] therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

26 But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent.

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 28 saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second [g]took her as wife, and he died childless. 31 Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven [h]also; and they left no children, and died. 32 Last of all the woman died also. 33 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”

34 Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

39 Then some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 But after that they dared not question Him anymore.

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

41 And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David? 42 Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
43 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

44 Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”

Beware of the Scribes

45 Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Two Mites

21 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.[i] So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings [j]for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was [k]adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ [l]Therefore do not [m]go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will [n]answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or [o]resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.

The Destruction of Jerusalem

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man

25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

The Parable of the Fig Tree

29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

The Importance of Watching

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with [p]carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may [q]be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple, but at night He went out and stayed on the mountain called Olivet. 38 Then early in the morning all the people came to Him in the temple to hear Him.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 20:5 NU, M omit then
  2. Luke 20:9 tenant farmers
  3. Luke 20:10 Lit. the season
  4. Luke 20:19 M were afraid—for
  5. Luke 20:23 NU omits Why do you test Me?
  6. Luke 20:25 Pay
  7. Luke 20:30 NU omits the rest of v. 30.
  8. Luke 20:31 NU, M also left no children
  9. Luke 21:2 Gr. lepta, very small copper coins
  10. Luke 21:4 NU omits for God
  11. Luke 21:5 decorated
  12. Luke 21:8 NU omits Therefore
  13. Luke 21:8 follow
  14. Luke 21:14 say in defense
  15. Luke 21:15 withstand
  16. Luke 21:34 dissipation
  17. Luke 21:36 NU have strength to

Thoughts

“Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,  who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” Mark 12:38-40 NKJV

I am still thinking about ministering to God.  I am still seeking ways in which I can serve and minister to Him. So as I read today’s passage – what stands out is obedience and serving (both stated as well as referred to when you think back to Mary and Martha and the complaint of serving and then in today’s reading where Mary ministers).  

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapter 22 and the book of Mark, chapter 12 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  My thoughts today may feel a little disjointed – but who said the points to a sermon have to connect? Today is not a sermon, though. It is just a few thoughts and a fun study.

A couple days ago I had first pastor’s wife I ever knew (I was a small child back then) contact me and we chatted. She is now on the other side of the country.  She ministered to me in ways she doesn’t know. Just the fact that she would reach out.

This morning a women from that same church who joined when I was still a child and stayed into my teen years – she is now in Texas – called me and ministered to me. 

God could have rocks speak what He wants said – but he always finds people who are willing to speak and minister.

Jesus says when you do unto the least of these you do unto me – so we can minister to God and Jesus by ministering to each other. But let us not neglect direct ministry to God.  But these women spoke as God had them to confirm things for me and speak life into me. What the Lord says to speak – they spoke.

For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” Matthew 22:49-50

Jesus, was our example of being obedient in letting God speak through us. As we also see in today’s reading. Now, let’s go for a little ride – are you ready?

Matthew 22 is where that verse is found – and let us look over at 1 Kings 22. Hold onto that 22.
And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” 1 Kings 22:14 NKJV

“So I speak” “That will I speak” Lets have some fun! The name Micaiah (I named my son that) means “Who is like God?” God is one – the one and only. The name poses the question so you seek God more and get to know the truth of Him – that you know what He speaks. 

The answer of who?
“Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?” Proverbs 30:4 NKJV

Psalm 113:5 when the psalmist asks Who is like God – Literally Micaiah. And then Isaiah 53:1 and 8 Who has believed – Who has the revelation – Who will declare <- back to the speaking!

Now back to Proverbs 30:4, starting with the Yod (י) in the last “who” and counting every 22 letters a phrase appears: Yeshua Shai.  Yes back to the 22.

Micaiah the prophet is also found in 2 Chronicles 18. And in verse 13: “And Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, whatever my God says, that I will speak.”

(I might have told you before my son was due to be born on February 18th or 2 – 18. But He was delayed and arrived on February 22nd or 2 – 22. What a beautiful confirmation of His name!)

So in 2 ….. 18…. We can add it up to get 20.

In Psalms 113:5, starting with the last letter in who, and counting every 20 letters another phrase appears, Yeshu Met.

In Isaiah 53:8, starting with the last who and counting every 20 letters, yet, another phrase appears: Yeshua Shemi.

Yeshua is a gift, Yeshu dies, and finally, Yeshua is my name. Who is like God – Jesus.

Micaiah is the first known variation and the origin of the name Michael. M’s numerical value is 91 – Mal’ak (the beginning of Michael) shares this value – and means messenger of angel. (Michael the messenger angel in the Bible literally is the messenger angel named Messenger Angel.)
Anyway 91 is made by multiplying 7 and 13 (the prime numbers). 7 x 2 is 14, which is the verse in 1 Kings 22 above and 13 is the verse in 2 Chronicles, above.

7 is the number for Divinity. 13 is the number for Unity (thinking 12 tribes plus God or 12 disciples plus Jesus). And only Jesus, the messiah could be divine unity – fully God and fully man.  Then go ahead and check out, in today’s reading Matthew 22:7 and 22:13.

Psalm 22 – is considered a messianic Psalm. Again – with the 22!

It is fun to occasionally study the Bible in numbers as God has said he set these things in order numerically, numbering even the hairs on our head. These were things I did not know when I named my son Micaiah. But I have since been studying and today I drew the connection back to Matthew 22.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 22 & Mark 12 NKJV

Matthew 22

The Anointing at Bethany

12 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was [a]who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for [b]three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; [c]she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”

The Fruitful Grain of Wheat

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [d]grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross

27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am [e]lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

Who Has Believed Our Report?

37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:

“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”

41 These things Isaiah said [f]when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

Walk in the Light

42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not [g]believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Footnotes

  1. John 12:1 NU omits who had been dead
  2. John 12:5 About one year’s wages for a worker
  3. John 12:7 NU that she may keep
  4. John 12:24 Lit. fruit
  5. John 12:32 Crucified
  6. John 12:41 NU because
  7. John 12:47 NU keep them

Mark 12

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers

12 Then He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. And he leased it to [a]vinedressers and went into a far country. Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant, [b]and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. And again he sent another, and him they killed; and many others, beating some and killing some. Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those [c]vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard.

“Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
11 This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.

The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?

13 Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. 14 When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and [d]care about no one; for You do not [e]regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”

But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” 16 So they brought it.

And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”

17 And Jesus answered and said to them, [f]“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

And they marveled at Him.

The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?

18 Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him; and they asked Him, saying: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. 21 And the second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring. And the third likewise. 22 So the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. 23 Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.”

24 Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore [g]mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly [h]mistaken.”

The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, [i]perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the [j]first commandment of all?”

29 Jesus answered him, “The [k]first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [l]This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, [m]with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

But after that no one dared question Him.

Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?

35 Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Spirit:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

37 Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”

And the common people heard Him gladly.

Beware of the Scribes

38 Then He said to them in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and [n]for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Two Mites

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two [o]mites, which make a [p]quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 12:1 tenant farmers
  2. Mark 12:4 NU omits and at him they threw stones
  3. Mark 12:7 tenant farmers
  4. Mark 12:14 Court no man’s favor
  5. Mark 12:14 Lit. look at the face of men
  6. Mark 12:17 Pay
  7. Mark 12:24 Or deceived
  8. Mark 12:27 Or deceived
  9. Mark 12:28 NU seeing
  10. Mark 12:28 foremost
  11. Mark 12:29 foremost
  12. Mark 12:30 NU omits the rest of v. 30.
  13. Mark 12:33 NU omits with all the soul
  14. Mark 12:40 for appearance’ sake
  15. Mark 12:42 Gr. lepta, very small copper coins
  16. Mark 12:42 A Roman coin

Ministering to God

“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 12:1-3 NKJV

And then Judas said that the oil could be sold and the funds used for ministry to the poor and Jesus said that the poor will always be with us – but he would not.
There are so many beautiful things happening in this moment. It is told in sermons and referred to in devos often enough that I wonder if it will lose its tenderness?

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Mark, chapter 11 and the book of John chapter 12 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  Today’s reading includes Mark and John’s versions of stories we have read in the other gospels.  

In Jewish custom of that day – bodies were dowsed in oils at death.  The oils had perfume meant to be strong enough to cancel out the smell of decomposition. The sweet smell for sweet memories.  It was the last physical act of love – to wash the dead body on oils.  If you have read ahead, because of the timing of Jesus’s death – they were never able to do this once he was dead.

So now we have Mary anointing him BEFORE He is dead. Outside of time. And if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that outside of time is in the spirit.  How was Mary so wise, how was she in the spirit? Oh to know Jesus so well, that you just know – no one questioned why she anointed him, just why the expense was used.  
We will have to look at the symbolism of anointing (especially the living) in the Hebrew culture to understand all the depth that is here.  We still use the word anointing.
When a preacher/teacher is used by God and God speaks through them that is anointing. Hopefully everyone who speaks on God is anointed. If not – they ramble in vain. My self included. But the crazy thing about anointing is that God moves, God touches hearts, God has discussions with people and I don’t always know. It is none of my business what God is doing in you. My job is not to seek anointing or to feel anointed when I write. My job is to just be obedient and let God lead me in this. He is the anointing. He moves.
Then there is the physical anointing – like anointing your head with oil as you fast. Or your pastor anointing you with oil when he prays for you. Same spiritual concept, but with a physical object lesson.  As the perfume covers the smell of death – the anointing can symbolize the blood of the lamb covering our sins, washing them away.  Did you know oils can actually be used as a cleaner for skin – yes, oils wash away makeup, dirt and bad oils. Like the blood covers and washes away our sins. 

The symbolism here is so rich – let me challenge you to spend some time meditating on it.

I want you to keep in mind – worship.

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24 NKJV

Mary knew Jesus was God – stepped out in spirit and worshiped at his feet. Moreover, she ministered to Him.

“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2 NKJV

Ministered to the Lord. Ministering to the Lord.

The Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers says:
“(2) As they ministered to the Lord.—The verb so translated (leitourgein) is commonly used, both in the LXX. and in the Now Testament, of the ministry of the priests and Levites in the Temple (Luke 1:23; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:21). In Hebrews 1:14, the corresponding adjective is used to distinguish the ministry of worship from that of service to man. When St. Paul uses it figuratively of himself (Romans 15:16), it is in connection with the idea of a sacrifice or oblation. In later ecclesiastical language, it was connected specially with the celebration of the Supper of the Lord, and the order for that service was, strictly speaking, the “Liturgy” of the Church. It would, perhaps, be too much to say that the word necessarily conveys that meaning here; but it is, at least, probable that a solemn meeting, such as is here described, would end in the “breaking of bread,” and that, up to that point, those who were so engaged would naturally be fasting.”

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV

There are worshiper who sing praises at the gate and thank giving as they enter the temple. There is a worship service before your pastor preaches.  Worshipers went out onto the battle fields before the Israelites. Worship sets prisoners free as Paul and Silas showed us. Worship is a powerful tool for us – and a beautiful experience shared between man and God – BUT what happens when we worship in spirit and in truth – outside of time in the full sweet smelling anointing like Mary did – what if we minister to the Lord?

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Mark 11 & John 12 NKJV

Mark 11

The Triumphal Entry

11 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to [a]Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.”

So they went their way, and found [b]the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?”

And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David
That comes [c]in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”

11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.

The Fig Tree Withered

12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”

And His disciples heard it.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree

20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 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. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Forgiveness and Prayer

25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 [d]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Jesus’ Authority Questioned

27 Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him. 28 And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: 30 The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”

31 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘From men’ ”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. 33 So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Footnotes

  1. Mark 11:1 M Bethsphage
  2. Mark 11:4 NU, M a
  3. Mark 11:10 NU omits in the name of the Lord
  4. Mark 11:26 NU omits v. 26.

John 12

The Anointing at Bethany

12 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was [a]who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for [b]three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; [c]she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”

The Fruitful Grain of Wheat

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much [d]grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross

27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am [e]lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

Who Has Believed Our Report?

37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:

“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”

41 These things Isaiah said [f]when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

Walk in the Light

42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not [g]believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Footnotes

  1. John 12:1 NU omits who had been dead
  2. John 12:5 About one year’s wages for a worker
  3. John 12:7 NU that she may keep
  4. John 12:24 Lit. fruit
  5. John 12:32 Crucified
  6. John 12:41 NU because
  7. John 12:47 NU keep them

The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

“And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him. Luke 19:47-48 NKJV

Jesus was teaching daily – don’t stop because it is hard, don’t stop because they want to kill you, and don’t stop doing the will of Our Father until He says otherwise. Likewise, be like the people, be attentive, hear while you are able, see and understand while seeing and understanding are available.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Luke, chapter 18 starting at verse 15 through chapter 19, verse 48 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  

Sometimes it is hard to do a devo on what we are reading, when we are reading so much. I rely heavily on God directing me. But who says devotionals (devos) or even sermons have to be from a short passage? Especially while we are reading Luke – he is always trying to show how it is all connected and making a bigger point. Lets just look at today’s reading and see some connections, we often miss while getting the word from short devos and sermons.

The scene is set in the passage titled: Jesus Blesses Little Children. The focus is the Kingdom of Heaven and how we are to obtain entry = like little children.

Now onto adult problems, because we have already failed to have the innocence and faith of a child. Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler which although it really happened, it plays out like a parable. And it would seem that having riches means you cannot enter heaven (as the theme of getting into heaven continues). BUT!!! With a quick, closer look – Jesus asked the rich kid, if he has kept the commandments. The rich kid says yes – and Jesus counters with an: “Are you suurrrreeeee?”  Did the kid really have NO OTHER gods/idols BEFORE GOD, when he loved his wealth more than entering Heaven? It wasn’t about the wealth, Peter (who quickly pointed out that he left everything to follow Jesus). It wasn’t the wealth. It was that something was more important to the rich kid than following Jesus. The rich kid thought he was right in the eyes of the Lord and failed to see the truth about his own sin nature,

So some simple reasoning among the Disciples and confusions about material wealth and sacrifice – that Jesus tries to clear up by explaining that Jesus DOES WANT ALL OF US! And sometimes that means losing and giving up friends, family, and wealth. But it is not about that… it is about giving all to Jesus! And our human frailty to fail at keeping it simple an seeing it means what It says… so Jesus goes on to explain that With God All Things Are Possible.  We cannot even give it all to Him without His help – and that is ok. There is no condemnation regarding it.

Still on the topic of how does getting to heaven work – Jesus, a Third Time Predicts His Death and Resurrection! Because with Him all things are possible! Because through Him we can get to Heaven. Because grace and mercy and transformation – because through His sacrifice and propitiation, and our gift of our self back in participation is how this all works.

Do they understand and see what He is saying? Not yet, but they will see. Then A Blind Man Receives His Sight and follows Jesus. Is it a coincidence that the blind man can see at this moment? No – Jesus is about to show us more…

Chapter 19 Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House, which also really happened, but reads like a parable. MORE OVER, it is almost the exact opposite of the rich kid story.  The rich kid meets Jesus and his own pride and self-righteousness stood in the way of him realizing who it was that he met. Zacchaeus was a sinner – knew he was a sinner. He was a broken man before a Holy God. This experience with grace immediately transforms him and he gives away all his wealth. NOT just gives it away, but restores to those who he could restore to.

But again – it isn’t about wealth or money! It is about entering the kingdom of heaven like a child. So for some added clarity hear we find the The Parable of the Minas (AKA the parable of the talents). Abundance and restoration is promised to those who do well with what God has given them. This version of the parable is concluded with the enemies being slayed.

So this section begin with the life of children and heaven bound, how to get there. And it conducts with the judgement of death should you not choose life.
Sometimes with all my “repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” style of teaching, I come across people who call me a fear monger. Jesus spoke these things – I may say it more plainly and clear: you have a fire, brimstone, suffering eternal, hell to shun! It is fact, and maybe you should fear going there – especially if it is as bad as Jesus says it is.

Next we read the The Triumphal Entry again. A passage I love and have written about many times. Let me point out this gem in verses 39-40:

“And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
But He answered and said to them, 
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

If we believe this stuff and it is not just a story we read – and hell is real, and heaven is real – then shouldn’t we be working extra hard at telling others? If you don’t – the rocks will. This is not meant as permission to NOT speak.  In that very prophetic moment, where prophesy said there will be crying out – there had to be crying out even if it was the stones.
But to you and I – if we do not speak… well let’s look at Esther.
“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NKJV
If we do not speak when God says – then another will. And we will not get our reward for obeying. And worst, there may be a consequence that seems like punishment.

We wrap up today’s reading with Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem and Jesus Cleanses the Temple – which when you read it, I am sure you will build on yesterday’s thought about those things – quite an emotional time for Jesus.

Today – are you assured in your heart that you will make it to Heaven? If not, all you need is a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. Let me explain that relationship.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Luke 18:15-19:48 NKJV

Jesus Blesses Little Children

15 Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler

18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”

22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

With God All Things Are Possible

24 And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”

27 But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

28 Then Peter said, “See, we have left [a]all and followed You.”

29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Jesus a Third Time Predicts His Death and Resurrection

31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be [b]accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.

A Blind Man Receives His Sight

35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Jesus Comes to Zacchaeus’ House

19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up [c]and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, [d]make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he [e]made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all [f]complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The Parable of the Minas

11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten [g]minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’

15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are [h]an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

The Triumphal Entry

28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to [i]Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who [j]bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house [k]is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 18:28 NU our own
  2. Luke 18:31 fulfilled
  3. Luke 19:5 NU omits and saw him
  4. Luke 19:5 hurry
  5. Luke 19:6 hurried
  6. Luke 19:7 grumbled
  7. Luke 19:13 Gr. mna, same as Heb. minah, each worth about three months’ salary
  8. Luke 19:21 a severe
  9. Luke 19:29 M Bethsphage
  10. Luke 19:45 NU were selling, saying
  11. Luke 19:46 NU shall be

On the way to fulfilling

“But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.” Matthew 20:22 NKJV

In today’s reading Jesus is going along checking off prophesies that must be fulfilled.
Ride donkey, check. Clean temple, check. Curse fig tree, check.
And the Disciples are along for the ride. So when Jesus asks them are they able to continue the ride – of course they say yes. And they did – right through to death.

Can you answer this question for yourself – knowing the suffering of the cross and the suffering of the disciples?  Of course we are able, through Him – BUT are we willing?

Like Jesus had prophecies over His life – we all have them over our own lives. Because we were created with a purpose – then born into sin and it was all corrupted to hell – until we subject ourselves back to the will of God for His glory. We may not know what those prophesies and purposes entail. We may not even want to know. We are able to drink of that cup – we are created to. The question Jesus was asking James and John and the question Jesus is asking us – are we willing to check off all the things on the list.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Matthew, chapters 20 through 21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  Today’s reading covers a lot of ground in the busiest time of Jesus’s life. Day after day, night and day, Jesus served the people. When the anointing of God falls and you are in the will of your father – it is restorative work. Not just healing and restoring mankind – but yourself also. I have seen it in Jesus (fully man and fully God and His human body did not wear out during this season) as well as in every anointed man of God. They do not weary in good doing – if they do it in the anointing and in God. Because God, who doesn’t sleep, is actually the one working and working through us and we are just vessels used by him. It’s the safety of the secret place and the rest of under His wing. It is the benefit of walking in the spirit. It is the Joy made full, the peace, and innocence of complete surrender.

Today’s reading begins with the last lessons before Jesus travelled into Jerusalem for the last time with The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard – the reminder to be kingdom minded.

On His way to Jerusalem Jesus, a Third Time, Predicts His Death and Resurrection.  Then again reminds and teaches the disciples about being humble in the Greatness Is Serving and the request of the Sons of Thunders’ mother. Two Blind Men Receive Their Sight and begin to follow Him.
This journey into Jerusalem reflected the death and resurrection – first with the prediction of His death, then the key to the victory which is humility and then the life – the healing of sight. Just as He was to die in humility and resurrect in healing and life – for the sight, and understanding!!

We discuss The Triumphal Entry every spring. (Please refer to those if you want further explanation and study) It is in this prophetic act, that in the spirit, Jesus’s authority was manifested in a new way.  You see, it was now time. This act of riding on a donkey, as Daniel saw in the spirit – caused a shift.  (Remember in Daniel, he prophesied this to the date! This must be the Christ, because NO ONE ELSE road a donkey into the city on this date and before no one else were the palms and clothing laid out for!) In this power and authority (I am not saying Jesus did not have authority before – I am saying a new thing happened, which was spiritual and therefore indescribable in the physical – because now, was the time. So a new, or renewed, or made whole power and authority came upon Him) Jesus Cleanses the Temple! The Heavenly Father was moving through Him! (I have often wondered where Peter, James and John were during the cleansing of the temple – Peter was always ready to engage and this was right up the ally of the Sons of Thunder! I suppose it would have been too much of a scene if they were there!)

I recently studied a Preacher who some say is anointed and many are healed and slain in the spirit. I will not say who it was.  I was surprised at the amount of chaos and noise in His sanctuary as He preached and ministered. Jesus was turning table! Evil was being whipped. God is a God of order, so to me – the chaos was confusing. My eyes and ears heard disturbing things yet my spirit said this is God.  At a few points, I actually said out loud, why don’t you cast that devil out of there?!? And God answered with this passage along with the verse on the anointing breaks the yoke of bondage. Jesus, the word, goes forth and the tables turn! Chaos breaks out! Then God restores order in the proper way. Do not be quick to judge something out of order, that God is in the process of shuffling around to put in order!

Jesus is flowing with the anointing and the power, and the adrenaline of flipping tables – why did he curse the fig tree and it withered? In The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree, He was hungry. I bet. In the spirit, that tree should have known and supernaturally had fruit (even though theologians say it should not have had fruit in that season).  I have heard many a study on it – and knowing God there are many things we can learn – but I have always thought Jesus was just hungry, overrun with adrenaline and the anointed power of God was flowing through Him. The reason I think this is because He says – we will do greater things than whither a tree – we can move mountains! When we submit to the anointing – it will be tangible! (And be prepared to be hungry as well! Lol)

Well, after all of this Jesus’ authority was questioned! Well, of course it was! Flipping tables?! Isn’t this the peace loving healer, who warred in challenging words? There was nothing physical until this point! And John the Baptist, really did prepare the way for this moment! (as well as preparing the hearts of many.)

So Jesus teaches another one point sermon using a couple parables. The Parable of the Two Sons and The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers.  These are hard words. These are probably the most graphic (viewer discretion is advised) kind of stories Jesus preached.  They lived through some scary times – the Bible is NOT for the soft. But this time it is not living it – but a story… and what is more disturbing is we (knowing what happens next) can see how it wasn’t a story – but what was happening in the spirit. With these He pulls back the drape and says look at what IS happening. 

Again – we must ABIDE in the secret place of the Almighty (Psalm 91). Again – we must walk in the spirit. If not we miss the truth of what is really happening.  The physical world is like the Matrix (silly Hollywood movie from 1999). It is incomplete. We only know in part (1 Corinthians 13).  BUT the Spirit realm is all of what happens in the physical and so much more. We must learn to walk there! Not with one foot in physical and one in spirit. It sounds crazy – until you press in with your relationship with God and suddenly these abstract words and concepts make since and are not so very strange after all.  

However, do not seek this, or the anointing, or understanding of it – seek God! Seek God through Jesus Christ. Eyes on Jesus! Submit and obey what He says and everything else is added – everything else falls in place. March 16:17-18 will follow you. You will be what God intended! You will fulfill His purpose.

When I was a teen – the church had a campaign with a catchy phrase, which I remembered and even tried to obey. It was “pursue His purpose” and as well intentioned as it was – I failed because there is a flaw! Now, let me fix it – Pursue the one with purpose, not the purpose.  Purpose within yourself to pursue Him! Only Him. Obey His will and purpose in your life while keeping your eyes on Him! Elevate your gaze from looking for “what do you want me to do?” to “let me look at you Lord”.

Our world is getting crazy – God is shuffling things from wrong to right and we are living in that chaotic moment of tables flipping over and people running around and animal fleeing and noise and a whip of judgment flying!!! Oh Lord – Do your work! There will be order again. What can we do to help? Should we attack? Should we help?

Look Jesus square in the eyes and say: Here I am Lord, use me! If you cannot yet see Him – pray and press in to the secret place – there you will learn and understand what it means to see Jesus and look Him in the eyes. If you can look Him in the eyes and say use me – then surrender and keep your eyes on Him. That is what you should do to fight the oppression and the evils of this age! (Because the battle is won and we have the victory.) Just seek God. Seek Him with all that you have. And when you think you are giving it your all – ask him, humbly to show you and he will say: repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. This is not condemnation – but conviction unto repentance and growth. We continue until the great day when we are transformed! Hallelujah!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse to pick up and swing when you need a sword in your hand! Knowing the Word is our Sword and Jesus is the Word! Jesus accomplishes what He set out to do. Quoting this verse is therefore the very act of walking in the victory!  

Isaiah 55:11

NKJV – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
NAS – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
ESV – “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
AMP – “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
NIV – “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Matthew 20-21 NKJV

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing [a]idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, [b]and whatever is right you will receive.’

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they [c]complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For[d] many are called, but few chosen.”

Jesus a Third Time Predicts His Death and Resurrection

17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”

Greatness Is Serving

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.

21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”

She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”

22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, [e]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

They said to Him, “We are able.”

23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, [f]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Two Blind Men Receive Their Sight

29 Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”

32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”

33 They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.

The Triumphal Entry

21 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to [g]Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

[h]All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, [i]and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

12 Then Jesus went into the temple [j]of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were [k]indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”

And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,

‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have perfected praise’?”

17 Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.

The Fig Tree Withered

18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.

The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Jesus’ Authority Questioned

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”

24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”

And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?”

They said to Him, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward [l]relent and believe him.

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers

33 “Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. 34 Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35 And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. 37 Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?”

41 They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will [m]render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

45 Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they [n]perceived that He was speaking of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 20:6 NU omits idle
  2. Matthew 20:7 NU omits the rest of v. 7.
  3. Matthew 20:11 grumbled
  4. Matthew 20:16 NU omits the rest of v. 16.
  5. Matthew 20:22 NU omits and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with
  6. Matthew 20:23 NU omits and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with
  7. Matthew 21:1 M Bethsphage
  8. Matthew 21:4 NU omits All
  9. Matthew 21:7 NU and He sat
  10. Matthew 21:12 NU omits of God
  11. Matthew 21:15 angry
  12. Matthew 21:32 regret it
  13. Matthew 21:41 give
  14. Matthew 21:45 knew