What Are We Actually Doing? – 7-13-22

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 NKJV

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.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“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

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. 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 our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 9 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Sending Out the Twelve

Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.

“Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”

So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Herod Seeks to See Jesus

Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him.

Feeding the Five Thousand

10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”

13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men.

Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.

16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 So they all ate and were [a]filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”

20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [b]daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Transfigured on the Mount

28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His [c]decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three [d]tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.

34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is [e]My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.

A Boy Is Healed

37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”

41 Then Jesus answered and said, “O [f]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and [g]bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God.

But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Jesus Forbids Sectarianism

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”

50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against [h]us is on [i]our side.”

A Samaritan Village Rejects the Savior

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, [j]just as Elijah did?”

55 But He turned and rebuked them, [k]and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 [l]For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

The Cost of Discipleship

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”

58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”

61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”

62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Footnotes

  1. Luke 9:17 satisfied
  2. Luke 9:23 M omits daily
  3. Luke 9:31 Death, lit. departure
  4. Luke 9:33 tents
  5. Luke 9:35 NU My Son, the Chosen One
  6. Luke 9:41 unbelieving
  7. Luke 9:41 put up with
  8. Luke 9:50 NU you
  9. Luke 9:50 NU your
  10. Luke 9:54 NU omits just as Elijah did
  11. Luke 9:55 NU omits the rest of v. 55.
  12. Luke 9:56 NU omits For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Time is short. What are we actually doing?

Are you really in this? If not how will you survive what is coming quickly down the pipe? No, this isn’t easy – but what is coming is frightening. And this is better than submitting to evil wills and eternal hell fire.  Have you emptied your alabaster flask and cried out ‘here am I God, send me?’

1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece.“Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city,shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”
So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

We start today’s reading with Jesus sending out the 12 – it is there independence test. Have you tried? Have you gone out of your house and told someone about Jesus. Have you asked people if you can pray for them. Have you laid hands on the sick? You will never make disciples, or see signs and wonders if you do not do. They can’t be healed if you do not lay hands on and pray. the dead won’t raise themselves. The lost will not save themselves.

Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead, and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again. Herod said, “John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?” So he sought to see Him.
10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
13 But He said to them, 
“You give them something to eat.”
And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men.
Then He said to His disciples, 
“Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 
17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.”

You and I are not standing in front of 5,000 hungry men (plus uncounted women and children). I have a hand full of family and acquaintances – and they are hungry for Christ. They may not know it and they may be offended or reject me. But without Jesus we know they are hungry. How many do you stand in front of?
In verse 13 Jesus said “YOU” feed them. If we aren’t, then what are we actually doing? Trust the Lord. Place our loaves and ourselves in His hands and be multiplied.

I can’t stop thinking about a young adult’s conversation with me. He was shocked I was “living this” and thought it was so cool. It grieves God and me, that others ARE NOT living this. What is the point? Why do we bother getting up Sunday morning and tithing? Stay home, sleep in and indulge your flesh. Why make it so hard on yourself on your way to hell? Either you do this or don’t. No more fake Christians. No more deceived Christians spouting woke’isms.

 “18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
20 He said to them, 
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”

I mean, WHO is Jesus? A prophet? A wise and good person who set up moral standards? Who is He to you and who is He in reality?
Peter said he is the Christ – the Messiah – the One Prophesied to Save – the Way, the Truth, and the Life – The Word. Peter only knew because God revealed it to Him.

If you are a new Christian AND IF YOU ARE A SEASONED CHRISTIAN – we should be prayerful asking for the true revelation, and deeper revelation of Jesus and Jesus’s love. Because if we have a real experience with the revelation of Jesus – we would be living this. We would not be shocked to see signs and wonders in our own city. We would not be shocked to see that someone is actually living this.

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”

Do you want to know one of my pet peeves? Do you want to know how to make me mad really fast?! Tell me your children are your cross to bear. EVEN angrier if you say your disabled child is your cross. We found out that it triggers me when a lady actually did that.
Sloppy preaching and muddied up corrupted Biblical understanding is to blame.
Preachers do not want to tell you that your cross, is YOUR LIFE. You must DIE TO FLESH (remember our Study of the Book of Romans?!). The cross is equivalent to the electric chair or lethal injection. Pick up death and follow Him. Like Peter left his wife life Zebedee’s sons left their father and his business.  Matthew left the tax booth and his possessions and his life. Paul gave up everything and traveled preaching – eventually giving up his life. As did 10 of the disciples (not Judas who killed himself and not John, who died of old age in pain after surviving being boiled in oil).

Pick up your cross. This is not Jesus asking us to. It is not a suggestion or recommendation. We are called to something serious – with serious joy as a side effect. But are we doing it?

 “28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.”

Once you know who Jesus is, once you have the initial revelation, once you are dying to self, daily, THEN you are blessed with deeper revelations and deeper revelation! Peter, John and James were the only ones who got to know Jesus deeply enough to see Him in Glory, before they went to heaven. 

37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
41 Then Jesus answered and said, 
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” 42 And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father.

Meanwhile, the other 9 disciples couldn’t even cast out a demon. Granted, other in gospels Jesus reveals that it was because some kinds can only be cast out with prayer and fasting. None the less the juxtaposition of 3 going deeper while 9 floundered is stark. I want to be in the three. I am determined to be in the three and if I die, I die!

43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God.
But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 
“Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

Mediate on these things, although Jesus has already been crucified – the time is short. Even if there is one more round, I know by the word it will never be easy again like it was. The dispensation of grace has limits. And when you do not understand seek understanding, or you will be distracted by flesh and confusion and pride:

46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Oh yes, pride – who is the greatest?! After, Jesus repeated over and over the least is the greatest. E the servant. Be the one on your face washing His feet with your tears and hair. Be the mess who lets Him be strong in your weakness. Be the Lion and General in meekness. But the greatest? Your thinking is upside down.

49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
50 But Jesus said to him, 
“Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

Was Joh eager to change the subject, embarrassed by their rebuke? Or did he see it as Question & Answer time? We read in 1 Corinthians that divisions and sectarianism is an abomination to God and Jesus confirms. Denominations are an abomination.

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, 
“You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. And they went to another village.”

Ha ha ha! I LOVE THE SON’S Of THUNDER! I love their faith, their zeal, their willingness and eagerness – I love that they want to call down fire! SO DO I in some cases… but woe! Verse 55 hurts!
What have I been saying about Paul’s constant warning about how easily we can be deceived? Well-meaning is NOT good enough! It was easy for them to be influenced and of the WRONG spirit – the enemy! Just like that, in the presence of Jesus and acting out of Love for Him – without full understanding there was room for the enemy to prey on them and He did!
Jesus will later rebuke Peter, calling him satan – when Peter lovingly acts in the wrong spirit. Look at Paul, killing Christians in the wrong spirit, thinking he was honoring God.
If these men, who most certainly are greater than me or you, could slip up and act on behalf of the enemy – stay diligent is vigilant guarding yourself, stay prayerful and humble letting God also guard you, so you do not slip and find yourself on the wrong side of an argument. And even if you are on the right side, it is better to apologize and reconcile, then to be divided.

 “57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, 
“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, 
“Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, 
“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The cost of discipleship is heavy and NO DIFFERENT today than it was in the year 30ish a.d.  Their time was short – Jesus was heading to Jerusalem to sacrifice Himself for our sins. There was no time for the lengthy death ritual of the time. There was no time to run home and come back. There was NO time for anything but immediately, denying yourself and following Him.
We live in such a parallel time. Yes the enemy is pulling a Daniel 7:25 – faking the start of the tribulation. But fake or not, things are getting bad. Fake or not, food scarcity seems planned and inevitable by the stupid acts of poor leadership. Biden was selected because he is old and dimmed – they are making him the scapegoat. Feel bad for him and pray for him. Everyone is resigning in England, why?! Cause no one wants to be blamed for the train that is coming and they have learned it cannot be stopped by man.
Fake or not – we are in for a harsh winter and hard times. You and I do not need to fear – because we are doing this relationship with a Powerful and Living God who cares about our Hearts. We know how to abase and abound, and how to trust God for everything. And he will protect our hearts.

As the time was getting short with His disciples – As we have a short time until things get bad… Jesus is asking us, are we in this? Are we willing to live this? Are we willing to surrender all, drop everything, pour ourselves out and follow Him?  
You want to see the signs and wonders and glory? Then you must put in the time walking this out in prayer and study.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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