The Authenticity of Christ

Have you ever been walking and all of a sudden you hit something with your foot and off you went step after step, tumbling down to the floor? With a stumbling block anyone how comes across with it will stumble. It is the same in the spiritual concept, if we do not watch our steps we can stumble and fall. But, do we really have to watch our steps if we are in Christ? Aren’t everyone who believes in Jesus Christ a Christian and in the correct path? It seems not, because in a parable Jesus speaks about certain individuals who came to the Lord mentioning all the things they did in his name, and yet he did not know them (Mt7:21-23). He also spoke of certain people who honor him with their lips but their hearts are from Christ (Mt15:8). So, this thing about saying something that you are not becomes a stumbling block by which others will stumble.

Matthew 11:4-6

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosya] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

John’s disciples were sent to confirm the authenticity of Christ, and when they came to Jesus they witnessed first hand; the dead rising, the sick healed, the lame walking and the gospel being preached to the poor. They witnessed the word of God being confirmed of which the Prophet Isaiah spoke about in Isaiah 42:7. Jesus’ life authenticity is also certified by two well known Pharisee Joseph from Arimathea and Nicodemus. Joseph was an undercover follower of Christ whom after he died requested from Pilate the body of the Lord, and buried him in his own personal tomb (Jh19:40-42). Because of these two social status’ and position, Christ’s authenticity is certify. Finally, Christ’s authenticity is affirmed by 500 people whom witnessed him sharing and performing miracles for forty days after his death (Acts1:3). 

So, after John’s disciples witnessed first hand Christ’s authenticity, Jesus warns them of the possibility for finding a stumbling block on his account. Is is possible to find a stumbling block in Christ? Not in Christ himself, but because he lives in us, it is very possible. People are looking at our faith attributes to find flaws and have a reason to stumble. Each time we do not measure up to the expectation people see as a stumbling block. In the law of Moses it reads that we should not put a stumbling block before a blind or deaf person lest he stumble (Lev19:14). When we do the things that stumble from believing we become a stumbling block and we can suffer spiritual loses. The scriptures say that it is better to tie a rope with a rock around our necks and cast it to the see then to become a stumbling block (Mt18:6).

 

 

 

Verses
to open eyes that are blind,
 to free captives from prison
 and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
John 19:40-42
40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulcher was nigh at hand.
Acts 1:3
3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

“You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the LORD”

Matthew 18:6

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Espanol

 

Decision time

Being challenged has become a way of life in this day in age. Today we are confronted with decisions that require action and sometimes it will cost a price. Say you go to the store and someone is not wearing a mask, you have the decision to either tell the person to put on and get into a rumble, or stay quiet and risk getting infected.  Life itself is not without challenges, from the time we rise in the morning till the time we go to bed we are challenged. Challenges bring out of us the bravery. Whether we like it or not life pushes the bravery out of us. But, the bible teaches us to encourage one another especially the fainthearted to continue forwards (1Thes5:14). It tells us not to grow weary of doing good (Ga6:9), because the challenges of life will not cease and we need to keep pressing forward. Keeping and following the faith is a challenge that is becoming harder to battle(2Tim1:13). 

2 Samuel 23:15

15 And David said with longing, “Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!”

There is a measure of bravery that is increasingly required today to keep and follow the faith from believers. And, there are some risks that we are going to have to start taking in order to do what the Lord requires of us. Now, King David makes a statement that pressed on his might brave men to act upon, he challenged them to bring him water from a well near the gate of Bethlehem; which was heavily guarded with Philistines. Jesus makes a similar request from a woman from Samaria to give him water (Jhn4:7), which required this woman’s boldness or bravery to come out. She confessed her sin to Jesus and went out and told all her town about the Christ.

These brave men of David after they had displayed their heroic acts were pressed even further with the request of a cup of water. Take for instance Josh-eb called Adino he killed eight hundred men at one time. And, the second of David’s brave men named Dodo after the people went out to battle and they retreated, he went and fought with the Philistines and alone took them out. Dodo killed so many men that his hand got stuck to his sword. Then, there was Shammah, who while he was with the people of God defending a small place that the people abandoned him. He alone defended the area from the enemy. 

And, now they are challenged another time as if all their challenges were not enough with David’s request for water. The kingdom of God is under attack and it is facing and about to face greater challenges (Mt11:12). God told Joshua to be strong and of great courage, because He was going to give all people to him (Jos1:9). 

 

Verses
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
John 4:7
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
Matthew 11:12
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest

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You are the light 

Like everyone else, we believers are no exemption for calamities’, trial, tribulations and even persecutions. In fact, because we choose to follow Christ we draw the unwanted. And, because of those trials and tribulations we stick out from the rest of the population. Paul says that we carry with us those unwanted attributes everyday (1Cor4:9), of tribulations, persecutions, trials, (2Cor4:8-10)etc…, and those with a purpose. Every person ever since the great fall is destined to face hardship during their life (Mt5:45), is what Jesus was referring too when he said that God causes the rain to fall on both the good and the evil. In fact, every person whether good or bad is destined to die; even (Ecc3:20). But, one thing distinguish us the believers from the rest and that is we shine when everyone else does not. 

Acts 28:4-6

When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

Now, the islanders when they saw Paul and the condition that he was in understood that he must have been an evil person destined for punishment. Paul’s situation seemed to be worse then of their own, he was surrounded by guards and missed a storm. It painted a picture in the islander’s mind common to them of someone worse off then they. Things that happens to believers are usually worse then that of the unbelievers. And, to top it of Paul was bitten by a venomous snake of which the writer describes as a beast, so his situation became even worse. Jesus said that we are the light of the world and this light cannot be put under a bowl, but on a stand so that everyone sees (Mt5:14-15). The islanders thought that Paul escalated from judgement with man to that of gods, painting the worst picture imaginable. But this, what was happening to Paul was for the purpose of advancing the gospel (Ph1:12-14). Insomuch, that when the islanders; after they observed him for a while, noticed that this snake bite did no harm to Paul and changed their perception of him. The snake can bite us but it cannot kill us. Now, they thought of Paul as god and opened their hearts to the gospel to the point that healing came to their community. Paul was able to heal their leaders father along with many other islanders. 

 

Verses
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Ecclesiastes 3:20 
20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,a] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guardb] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

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A New

When God chose his people to be with them he needed to teach them out of all the lesson, three umbrella type lessons. Lessons that would be embedded into their conscience and passed down from generation to generations, were the ones God was going to teach them. And, when the people were in bondage for 400 years he sent Moses to begin those lessons. One of the lessons God taught his people was that he is who he says he is, and when the people asked Moses who had sent him he told them “I am That I Am” sent me (Ex3:14). The authenticity of God is important for the believer to have embedded in order for him to persevere in God’s kingdom. And, this lesson was learned as the people witnessed the 10 plagues and the crossing of the red sea. They learnt this lesson by watching what God was doing. The second lesson God taught his people was that he does what he says he is going to do (Num23:19). Each plague God told Moses that he was going to bring he brought it, and the people were a witness to this. 

Hebrew 9:13-14

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The third lesson that people of God were taught is that he does not like sin, but that there is forgiveness in him when we fail (ps130:4). Through the sprinkling of blood from a calf or lamb in the holy of holy place in the tabernacle on the book and on the people, their flesh were cleansed and forgiven for whatever they had done that year. This was done once a year every year by the high priest, and eventually became engraved into the people’s conscience.   The old testament was a mirror or shadow of what to come (He8:5). Once Christ presented his own blood for our sins; it was a once and for all deal, our conscience were made free from the past. But, what is the conscience? It is that part of the human psyche that elicits either a positive or negative feeling based on our works and on our morals. Now there are many things that come into our minds and are probably embedded unto our conscience; lessons, ideas or works that affect it negatively are considered dead works, things that are done without faith that are considered dead works (Ja 2:20). Paul tells us that it is essential that we have a renewing of our mind (Ro12:2) in order for us to know the will of God. He associates our conscience with the inner man that needs to be renewed daily (2Cor4:16). Paul states that if any man is in Christ he is a new creation and the old things have become new (2Cor5:17). 

 

Verse 1

And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

verse 2

19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Psalms 130:4
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

verse 3

They serve a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle, “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

verse 4

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 4:16

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

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Treasures in Heaven

There are many things in life that become foundational to us  like money, careers and family. And, with the advent of this pandemic we have become more clingy to those things that we have to the point where is looking more like obsession than anything else. And, though these things are important and needed we leave one for the other(Mt23:23). Churches are looking more like a past time then a need. We need God’s kingdom.(Mt6:33) We need that relationship with God like if our lives dependent it on.  Jesus said that man can not live on bread alone but he needs the word of God (Mt4:4). Now, there is this need of protection and feeling safe that; at least a great number of, people are not willing to compromise and have become like treasures. Jesus said that when we need to store riches in heaven (Mt6:19-21), but these heavenly riches are not being prioritized as essentials. When the pandemic hit governments made everyone believe that essentials such as  food, water and distancing were the only ones we needed. 

Mark 10:20-22

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

This young man had his religious life in tack along with his prosperity, but his most essential asset that was above anything else was his prosperity. His treasure chest was filled with finances and riches and it was the closest to his heart. His riches could not completely fill the void or lack inside of him, and so Jesus told him that he was lacking. So, the question that comes to mind is, what thing have we taken to fill that void? In order for this young man to fill his void, Jesus recommended that he sold his possessions and give it to the poor. Storing treasures in heaven fills a void that we have, but what are some of the treasures that we can store in heaven? Well, for this young man the act of selling and giving of his riches was one treasure. A sign of obsession and greed is grief, and this young man became grieved when he was told to become detached from his earthly treasure.

Jesus said that people should not practice their righteousness in front of other people, because otherwise they will not receive recompense from the Father (Mt6:1-3); our giving should be discrete. The act of storing deals with releasing with the intent for the purpose of preserving and receiving. Jesus spoke of this guy who noticed that his gains was increasing, and so he decided to tear down his barns and build new ones. And, just when he finished that he felt satisfied with how he was storing, his soul was being requested (lk12:19-21). 

Verse 1

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you  ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

]]verse 2

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’a]

verse 3

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rusta] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

verse 4

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

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sadness and joy

We are all prone to displaying sadness in our lives, and for whatever reason that it may come from each and everyone of us react differently to it. Some of us will openly display our sadness with crying and a broken demeaner, but some will do their very best to hide it by behaving angry or extremely happy. Either way sadness is something that none of us can avoid. And, sadness can paralyze one to the point of death. David experienced many days of sorrow (ps13:2). One thing is for sure, sadness tells when something is wrong and it is not pleasing in our lives. Sadness triggers others to try to cheer us up, and it brings out the best on others. It makes the heart better, the bible says (ecc7:3). When something is taken away from us, of which we are fond off sadness will fill our hearts; as what happened when Jesus told his disciples that he was leaving (Jh16:5-6). 

 

John 16:16

16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

 

In God sorrow lasts only for a little while and the reason for this is because we have the Holy Spirit. Normally, according to scientist sadness last 240 times longer then any other emotion. Jesus told his disciples that it was good for him to go, because otherwise he could not send the comforter (Jh16:7). It is through the Holy Spirit that we receive a super natural joy that will automatically turn away sadness from us; it is a fruit (Ga5:22). David said “you turned my morning into dancing” (ps30:11), so he questioned his soul; why are you so downcast, trust in God (ps42:5). There is hope in God that whatever is making us sad it will turn into joy, and Jesus told this to his disciples that that of which they had lost was coming back to them in John 16:22. 

Verse 1

How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

verse 2

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

verse 3

But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

verse 4

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Espanol

 

Voices

The ear is one of the most interesting parts of the body whose function comes in steps. In order for it to function properly:

  1. Sound is transmitted through the air as sound waves from the environment. The sound waves are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.
  2. The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, which sets the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.
  3. The motion of the three bones causes the fluid in the inner ear, or cochlea, to move.
  4. The movement of the fluid in the inner ear causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend. The hair cells change the movement into electrical impulses.
  5. These electrical impulses are transmitted to the auditory nerve and up to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.

Our ears, at least for most of us, will work normally, but we have the option to decide what we want to hear and how we hear it. Jesus said watch out how you hear (Lk8:18), because the voices we choose to hear or listen too will decide what comes or leaves our lives.  Voices that are uttered and recorded in our brains and are played back depending on the circumstances.  Paul writes that there are many voices in the world, but they all articulate a distinct tone and meaning (1Cor14:10) of which can affect us in the intended way. We can decipher how a person says things, if whether that person is sad, happy, troubled etc…, and the meaning of what he is saying. 

Luke 3:4-6

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

John was the last of the old testament prophets and the usher of the Messiah. His voice had a message that prepared the way to the Savior of the world; Jesus Christ. His voice commanded that every valley to be filled, mountains to be brought low and roads to be made straight and smooth and for all flesh to see God’s salvation. A powerful message carried his message even though he was in the desert.  The people apparently had heard a voice; a voice for repentance, for they had come to be baptized of John (Lk3:7). Your tone of voice can have the sound of fear, failure, defeat, helplessness or victory (Is40:9) and it depends on the voice they hear; it is how the character and intentions of your communication comes. In the parable of the sower there are four ways people responds to the voice of the gospel (Lk8:11-15).  Some hear the word but the Devil takes it away, and others it is taken away because they cannot endure the trails, yet others the word is choked because of pleasures and riches; and on those in good ground the voice gives good fruit. 

Verse 1

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.

 verse 2

Luke 8:18
18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

verse 3

1 Corinthians  14:10 

10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.

verse 4

Luke 3:7

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

You who bring good news to Zion,  go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem,a]
lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Espanol

 

Your heart

The heart is one of the most protected organs in the body. It is the organ that keeps the entire body running. It is also in its figurative form the most important. It is the define as; “the centre and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours” BLB. The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart. It is where all the wisdom is stored as noted in Solomon’s case( 1Kg3:12), it where a man’s state of being either good or bad resides (Lk8:15) and it is where the thoughts reside sometimes accusing or defending him (Ro2:15). The scriptures say that as a man thinks that’s how he is (Prv23:7).

Acts 8:20-23

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Simon’s precondition of his heart with the thought of monetary power revealed his unchanged heart. Because this power was given by the laying of hands from the apostles; man, the thought that Peter and John might need money lured him to offer it in exchange for the power. But, the power of God has a priceless tag that no amount of money can buy, and that is why it is free. Peter and John ran across this lame man by which the free gift of God healed with no purchase necessary (Acts3:6). Before the gift of God can be received there needs to be a regenerated heart, and it can not be hardened (Ez36:26). Simon’s heart was like stone that it repelled everything that came to it. Like as in the Pharisees whose hearts were filled with evil thoughts (Mt9:4), so were Simon’s. Even though Simon was baptized and was following the preaching of the gospel through Phillip, there was one thing that needed to change and that was his heart. The Psalmist prays and says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (ps51:10).  

Verse 1

1Kings 3:12

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

 verse 2

Luke 8:15
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

verse 3

Romans 2:15

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

verse 4

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Acts 3:6

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Ezekiel 36:26

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Matthew 9:4

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

 

joy of the lord

One of the things that Christians should be known for is for their fruits; their works that is associated to Christ. Though there are many religions and humanitarian organizations that helping those in need, but Christians are asked to bear much fruit; or more fruit. The expectation for the follower of Christ is greater than that for the rest of humanity. God expects more out of his children. Our godly attitude has to surpass everything else in our lives.  In 1 Peter and in Leviticus God speaks to his people saying be holy for I am holy (1pt1:16& lev19:2). The type of fruit that is expected from the true believer is at a higher standard than that of others.  God tells the prophet Isaiah to lift up a standard for his people (Is62:10), and this standard figuratively identifies us apart from everyone else. Bearing much fruit meets God’s standard which qualifies us to ask anything that we desire from him and we should receive it. 

John 15:8-11

By this my Father is glorified, that you  bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9  As the Father has loved me,  so have I loved youAbide in my love. 10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as  I have kept  my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you,  that my joy may be in you, and that  your joy may be full.

People know what kind of Christians we are by how much fruit we bear. They can tell who we by how God answers to us when we call. Jesus said that we abide in him and his words abide in us whatever we ask it shall be ours (Jn15:7), but it requires bearing much fruit. So, we can ask ourselves how much does God answer us, when was the last time he answered my prayer request. Agape is that brotherly love that separates us from every other religion, organization or faction, and it is expected to be met as God’s standard. But, to get there Jesus said that we have to abide in his word(v10), loving people; the brothers, enemies, and man kind, is not easy especially in these troubling times. We can get wrapped up in seeking justice that we forget to love. 

It pleases God when we love one another and in turn it brings satisfaction to us when we do. That satisfaction is the joy of the Lord, and it becomes our strength (Neh8:10). Ezra the priest stood before the people of God in a moment when conviction pricked their hearts for not treating their fellow man correctly, and encourage them to go and practice agape. The joy of the Lord comes when we practice good things to others. The Psalmist says let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation (ps95:1), he says that they are blessed because they know the sound of joy (ps89:15). Today we hear a want for joy. There is more stress and friction then that of joy. In order for there to be a fullness of joy we need to abide in Christ (v11).

 

Verse 1

1 Peter 1:16

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 verse 2

 

Isaiah 62:10

10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

 

verse 3

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

verse 4-6

10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

95 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

 

Awake God

Memories of God’s goodness are good to ponder upon all the time, they keep our expectations of his redeeming power alive in us. Not just our redeeming moments should we think about, but friends, family and others whom God; through his wonder saving power, saved and gave the victory. The scriptures tell us that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Ro8:37). In fact, Paul tells us that God gives us the victory through his Son Jesus (1Cor15:57). Our victory is there or yet to come and no one can take it away, it is a promise of God. Jesus said that in this world we are going to have tribulation, but that we should not be afraid because he already has over come it (Jh16:33). Whether you have your victory now or not, stirring up those memories of redemption should be a practice throughout our daily life; in prayer or going about the day.  

Psalms 44:4-8

You are my King and my God, who decreesc] victories for Jacob.Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.d]

The Psalmist writes this gospel type of psalm reminding us that God has not ceased giving his children victory in whatever battle they fight. He reminds us that the no matter the war we engage in that it is not won by the type of sword we use or the size of our army, but through God. But, there comes a time when digging into our memory banks to remind us of God’s victories is needed. It seems that through this time in the Psalmist life no victory was in sight. In fact, he felt like the enemy was on the verge of winning this battle and retreat was the only way out. God said to Zerubbabel it is not by might nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord (Zec4:6). 

The Psalmist felt like God was no longer there with him (Ps.44:9-10), he felt like if God had left him and his people alone, when the Psalmist writes that “You gave us up to be devoured like sheep” (Ps44:11). It is that very feeling that we either we now have or will have during these difficult times. The battle against reproach is upon us, and the prophetic aspect of this psalm is going to be revealed (Ps44:15-16). The earnest desire for God to get back on the psalmist side is long for and expressed when he says “Awake Lord!, Why do you sleep (ps44:23)?” The same as, was with the disciples when they were on a boat and the storm arose and Jesus was asleep and they woke him up (Mk4:38).  

Verse 1

Romans 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

verse 3

John 16:33
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”

verse 4

Psalms 44:9-11

But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies.10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered us.11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.

Psalms 44:15-16

I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.

Mark 4:38

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”