Saturday, February 28, 2009

Distribute the Load

February 28, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus selects 12 disciples; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16

Luke 6:13-16 ESV
13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:
14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,
15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,
16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

As noted yesterday, Jesus had just spent the whole night in prayer. I do not know about you, but I would have been tired and put off doing anything for a while, but Jesus starts a long day here. Starting off with the apostles. All that followed Jesus were disciples, He had been teaching them all. But now the ministry had gotten to big to be done by just one man, even if He was the son of God. So Jesus takes
the time to take the 12 best men from the group. He then starts extra teaching for them.

There should be lesson here for those who are doing God's work. Share the load, you cannot do it all yourself. People who try to do that will suffer a burn out in the end. Like Jesus, get people around you, teach them how to do the job, and then let them do the work.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus descends and heals the multitude; Luke 6:17-19

Friday, February 27, 2009


February 27, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus prays on a mountain; Luke 6:12

ESV: Luke 6:12. In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

As we can see by tomorrow's reading, Jesus had something to do. He was going to take the 12 men he thought were best out of all the people who were following him. Out of all the followers that were with Him, only 12 were to be moved into the inner circle and become the people that were to carry the message out after He was gone. He could not just randomly pick these people out, and He could not go with the best looking or the most popular. No, these people were to be the best at what they did.

So Jesus did what we all should do when things happen in their life that require much attention. He took time and prayed. It was not one of those headache prayers like you want to pray over your food in a restaurant but do not want to be seen. And it was not one of those short prayers that basically said nothing but asked for everything.

It was a prayer that took all night. When was the last time you took more than 5 or 10 minuets in prayer. Jesus prayed all night before a big decision. We need to follow His example. Before we do any life changing moves, we need to take the time and pray to God about it.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus selects 12 disciples; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13-16

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flow versus Plans

February 26, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Many follow Jesus to be healed; Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 3:7-12

Mark 3:9 BBE
9 And he made a request to his disciples to have a little boat ready for him, so that he might not be crushed by the people;

An interesting verse tucked away in the book of Mark. People often say that you should just let the flow of God happen, and I do not disagree with that. There are, however, times when you need to make preparations. Here Jesus wants the disciples to have a boat ready for Him? Why?

The boat would be useful when it came time to talk to the people. If they were all around Him, hos voice would get absorbed into them and not carry. Water is also a good carrier of sound. So Jesus would push out in the boat a little way. The people could no longer crush him wanting a touch from Him. So he got a cheap way of amplifying His voice and a way to speak without being interrupted.

It also became a method of escape if necessary. If the crowds became to big, He could use it to move to another area to preach. I might assume here that any time the Gospels mention a boat, maybe the disciples took it with them everywhere. That might be a big stretch

The point to be seen here is Jesus made plans. Working with the flow is good. Working before the flow is good as well.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus prays on a mountain; Luke 6:12

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


February 25, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus withdraws to the sea; Matthew 12:14-21; Mark 3:7

Mark 3:7 ESV
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea

Ministry can take place even when you do not want it or expect it. Here we see Jesus wanting to take a break and go to the sea for some down time. The people would not have it. Though He needed time off, Jesus gave out of what the people needed.

Recently I was at work at one of my jobs. Someone needed some help in a counseling situation. I was tired from lifting boxes, kind of down for personal reasons, and all I wanted to do was eat my candy bar, drink my water and go back to work. However, this person needed me and so I say, listened and gave my council.

As followers of Christ we are all required to be prepared to give what people need, when people need it.

Read for tomorrow: Many follow Jesus to be healed; Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 3:7-12


February 24, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Man's hand healed on the Sabbath; Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

Matthew 12:11-14 ESV
11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?
12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.
14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

People who do not like what you are trying to do for Christ will always find some way to find fault with what you do. It reminds me of an old Gospel tune called 'Excuses'
. In that song people gave excuses why they were not in church. A whole family stayed home because one boy had a cold. Another because the music was too loud, another because the music was too soft. Just realize that you will not please all people.

Jesus tried to explain to him that under the rules it was OK to do something good on the Sabbath. You would rescue an animal so why not free a human. But they would not hear of it. Like the people in the song, they found one reason or another not to agree with Jesus. You will have the same in any ministry that you attempt to do.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus withdraws to the sea; Matthew 12:14-21; Mark 3:7

Monday, February 23, 2009


February 23, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Disciples pick grain on the Sabbeth; Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-38; Luke 6:1-5

Mark 2:27 ESV
27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

So very often we get mixed up in our rules and regulations that things have to be done in a certain way. In fact there is one church denomination that says that if you do not go to church on Sunday there is a good chance you are not a Christian because that is when God says to rest. The trick in this whole thing is that the law was declared dead by Jesus because He died for us so we do not have to fulfill the law. We are no longer obliged to keep the sabbath.

Now let us look into the original purpose of this law. In a time when men would work themselves all day, every day (has life changed much?) God had to set aside a time when man would put his body to rest. Our bodies are not designed to work seven days a week for a long period of time. One needs to take some time during the week, not necessarily on Sunday, and let the body rest and recuperate. Part of that renewal should be to take some time with God and see what He has to say to you.

Read for tomorrow: Man's hand healed on the Sabbath; Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

Whose life is it?

February 22, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus challenged for healing on Sabbath; John 5:16-47

John 5:26 ESV
(26) For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

I work for one of my jobs in a major US retail chain. Valentine's day had just passed this week and the store was putting all the Valentine's items on sale. One of them was this cute little teddy bear with some lotion in his bag that he was holding. It was just the type of thing that my daughter would have loved. But payday was still a few days off. As things went, not only was it marked down but it had been marked down even more than before. So for a small sum the bear was mine. No that I had it, I could do with it as I wanted. And I wanted to give it to my daughter. So I did.

You see, it was mine to do with as I wanted to. If I wanted to drive around with the bear on the dashboard of my car, I could have. I had a bear, and I could give it to my daughter.

God had life in Him. He gave it to the Son. The Son gave it to us. Not the life the world has, but eternal life.

Have you received the life from Jesus. Like my daughter getting the teddy bear from me, you do not have to do anything. It is a gift and a gift you cannot earn, you can only receive.

Read for tomorrow: Disciples pick grain on the Sabbeth; Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-38; Luke 6:1-5

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jesus asked what?

February 21, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Man healed at pools of Bethesda; John 5:2-15

I work repairing computers at a local community college.  Some times the computer lab the students use gets hit with a question that they cannot answer and so they call me and I see what I can do to help.  One day I was called in and the student asked me how to do something.  I answered her with detailed instructions and showed her how to do it.  She looked at me when I was done and said, that is not what I asked, and proceeded to ask the question that she did originally, the one I heard as something else. 

Jesus had the same problem. 

John 5:6-7 ESV 
 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

Jesus did not ask him if he had a way to get into the water.  The man had a one track mind.  The only way he would be healed was for him to make it into the water when a certain thing happened, but he had no one to help him.  What he was asked was, do you want to be healed.  

Just as I did with that student, so often when God speaks to us, we filter it and answer with what we thought the question was.  

When God speaks to you, take some time to listen to Him and hear just what He asks of you. 

Read for tomorrow: Jesus challenged for healing on Sabbath; John 5:16-47

Keeping the law

February 20, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus in Jerusalem at the 2nd Passover; John 5:1

John 5:1 Jubilee2000 
 1 After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Does it seem strange that this verse is in the Bible?  I mean, a fest is just a gathering together to eat some food right?  It may seem that way but it is more important.  This feast was the feast of the Passover. All Jews were to travel to Jerusalem if they were able body to celebrate it.  It commemorated the Jewish people leaving Egypt and traveling through the wilderness to get to the promised land.  The people had to act like it was the first Passover, and kill a lamb and use it's blood to deliver themselves.  

Isn't it ironic?  The one whose blood was going to deliver the people He was among was celebrating the ceremony that foretold of His coming. It was however the law, and for Jesus to die for us, He had to follow the law.  

Maybe you should take some time today to thank Jesus for following even the most simple law so that you do not have to.  Maybe also, it might be a good idea to read over some of those laws and follow them. 

Read for tomorrow: Man healed at pools of Bethesda; John 5:2-15

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New wine... same old skin

February 19, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Parables at Levi's reception; Matthew 9:10-17; Mark 2:15-22; Luke 5:29-39

Mark 2:21-22 ESV
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.
22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

What Jesus was trying to say to them was, 'your old ways of doing things are not going to work with my way of doing things!'

People resist change. It is just a simple fact of life. And it is no more noticeable then in many a church today. 'We never did things that way.' The rallying cry of people not wanting to change.

But following Jesus requires change. I am not saying that times of worship should have no order at all, but lets not regulate God out of it. We need to step back and see what God wants to use today to get people to know who He is. If we stick to our old ways, when Jesus puts the new wine into us old wine skins, we will not be able to understand it at all. Lets make ourselves new wine skins.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus in Jerusalem at the 2nd Passover; John 5:1

Follow me

February 18, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Matthew (Levi) called to be a disciple; Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:13-14; Luke 5:27-28

Matthew 9:9 ESV
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Follow me. Very simple words. I could ask you to do it, and you would most likely ask why should I. If people ask us to follow them today, we should ask why. We do not want to blindly follow a man, or we could end up with a world war on our hands. But still Jesus said that to Matthew. And He asks it of us today.

People look at this verse and see blind obedience. I do not. I see a man who had been watching the Fox News and the CNN of his day. He had read all the blog accounts of this man and he was amazed. But he would not follow Him. Then Jesus looked in right in the face and said 'follow me.'

Friend, if you are reading this today, and do not know Jesus as your savior, He is looking you in the face and saying 'follow me.' A lot of other people have done so already. You do not need to take time to study about Him to follow Him, but He will not mind if you do. Just do not take too long. Time is short.

Read for tomorrow: Parables at Levi's reception; Matthew 9:10-17; Mark 2:15-22; Luke 5:29-39

Whose Authority

February 17, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus cures a paralytic: Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

Luke 5:22-25 ESV
22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts?
23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.

What an interesting question, is it easier to say that you are healed or your sins are forgiven. To me it is easier to say forgiven. I mean, sins being forgiven is invisible. Jesus forgives them and how will anyone know that He did or not. They get mad, so then he hits them with the right hook. OK, you are healed, get up and walk. Jesus was making a point, He had the power to do both. He waited to do the harder one second so that they would see that He had the authority to do the first.

Jesus wants to do things in your life, but you have to give him authority to do so.

Read for tomorrow: Matthew (Levi) called to be a disciple; Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:13-14; Luke 5:27-28

If you will...

February 16, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus heals a leper Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16

Though I belong to a Charismatic church, I tend not to try to put my beliefs that could be divisive in these devotionals. I want to glorify what we agree on and not divide over the minor things. However sometimes I cannot stop what I feel God wants to say and today is one of those.

Luke 5:12-13 ESV
12 While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
13 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.

So many people who do not believe the Word of Faith movement, as it has been named, think that either it is a mind over matter thing or that it is telling God what to do. Our verse today shows us that it really is neither. It is a way for us to come to God, ask for what is in His will, and wait for it to happen. It does not always happen instantly like it does in today's verses. In one of the healing Jesus does, it took several tries for the healing to happen.

The point here is that we have to know what it is that God wants us to have. The requires a study of the Word and not to just live on someone else's knowledge of what the Word says. Jesus wanted to heal this man, that is why He came to earth. Look through the Word and find out what God has promissed you.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus cures a paralytic: Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Fish Story

February 14, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Miraculous catch of fish Luke 5:4-11

Luke 5:4-5 ESV
4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”

You have got to love Simon Peter. Here he does the usual thing that we see from him as a follower of Jesus. Doubt it will happen and then shock and awe when it does.

Fishing was done at night. On the lake during the day, the fish could easily see the nets and then avoid them. Peter knows that, in fact they had been cleaning there nets. If they drop them down now they will have to clean then again. SO Peter does his, 'OK, if you tell me to.' I can guess that he did not let down all the nets he had. And that is when the fish came like crazy. Peter was rewarded for doing something for Jesus.

When you do something for Jesus, expect Jesus to tell you how to get your reward, and do not blink like Peter did on how you receive it.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus heals a leper Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16


February 14, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus preaches in Simon's boat: Luke 5:1-3

Luke 5:3 ESV
3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

The God of the universe in human form did not have to ask? He could have commanded Peter to let him use the boat, maybe even forced him against his will. But Jesus asked for the boat.

Jesus will not go where he is not allowed. He did not force someone to do something and He does not today. Many of the people living today would well pay attention to this. You can not force love or respect out of another person. They may give the outward appearance that they do, but they will not be inside. Jesus never forced anyone to accept Him, then or now. We should learn from that.

Read for tomorrow: Miraculous catch of fish Luke 5:4-11

Jesus and the Mega-church

February 13, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus preaches in the Synagogues: Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:39; Luke 4:44

Matthew 4:23-24 ESV
23 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

I talk some about mega-churches. It seems that a lot of people have problems with them. Yet we see that when Jesus had church, He had a mega-church. People came from all over to meet with Him. But He also took time to minister in smaller settings like the woman at the well.

One size does not fit all. What works for one does not necessarily work for all. Find what God wants you to do or to be and put your hand to the plow there.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus preaches in Simon's boat: Luke 5:1-3

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Time alone

February 12, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Disciples seek Jesus; Mark 1:35-38; Luke 4:42-43

Luke 4:42 ESV
42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them,

While I have said a lot about ministry the past few weeks, and how we should be involved in it, be aware that there is a time not to be in it as well. Jesus did not take all His time ministering to the people. Many times he sought out the solitary moments. I am sure that he took some of that time to talk to God the Father, but I am sure that He may have taken some time just to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Too much work in ministry with out recharging yourself can get you burned out. For years I was in several churches and when ever I would change them, the minister would need someone to run sound, something that I was good at. Satan did all he could to get me not to hear the word. I was too busy twisting and turning knobs to listen to what was said. In the end I ran from God, ruining a marriage and a family with it. I realize that God forgives, but how much better would things have been if I had not burned out?

Take some time to smell the roses.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus preaches in the Synagogues: Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:39; Luke 4:44

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Healed them all?

February 10, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Many healed at sunset; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41

Mark 1:34 Montgomery
34 He cured many who were ill with various diseases, and drove out many demons. But he did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew who he was.

Jesus cured many. It does not say that He cured them all. Why did some not get healed? I do not know. I do know that in another place in the Bible it says that Jesus could not do miracles because of the unbelief. Maybe not all get healed not because of what God does, but because of what they do.

Let's say that I am up on the roof of my house doing some work. I can believe that I will not get hurt and that is all well and good. But if I get to close to the edge and am not careful, my friend Mr. Gravity will take over and I will fall off the roof, most likely hurting myself. It is not anything that God did, I chose to get to close to the edge.

Some healing may not be there because of our faith, some because of our past actions. All I know is Jesus could not heal them all and I need to learn to accept that.

Read for tomorrow: Disciples seek Jesus; Mark 1:35-38; Luke 4:42-43

Healed - Serve

February 10, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Peter's mother-in-law healed: Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39

Luke 4:39 Common
39 So he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she rose and served them.

Has Jesus done something for you in your life? Healed your body? Saved your marriage? Helped you figure your a problem. Peter's mother-in-law God healed and what did she do. She served Him.

It is a far cry from the church today. We tend to go seeking one miracle after another. Or worse yet, we sit on our blessed assurances and expect the blessings to keep on coming.

If God has helped you in your life, take some time to server Him. Maybe even get involved in your local church. I am sure they will be glad for the help.

Read for tomorrow: Many healed at sunset; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Put a muzzle on it

February 9, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Demoniac in Capernaum Synagogue: Mark 1:21-28: Luke 4:33-37

Luke 4:35 Murdock
35 And Jesus rebuked him, and said: Shut thy mouth; and come out of him. And the demon threw him down in the midst, and came out of him, having not harmed him at all.

The King James says that Jesus told the demon to hold his peace, a lot of other translations say that he was told to shut up. The original Greek word is to muzzle. Jesus told the demon to put a muzzle on his mouth. In other words, the demon was commanded not to speak at all. Satan could have tried to convince the people what he could have done, but Jesus put a stop to it.

But what happens next. The demon threw the man down. Satan may be told to keep out of speaking into your life, but on his way out, he will try to do all the damage that he can. He wants to destroy your life. Jesus in you is stronger however. Resist the devil and he will flee.

Read for tomorrow: Peter's mother-in-law healed: Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39

Things we leave behind

February 8, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Fishermen called to be disciples; Matthew 4:18-22: Mark 1:16-20

Matthew 4:18-22 ESV
18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them.
22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Real simple task, Jesus calls, and you follow. Only it is not that simple. There are things in the world that distract. In my case, jobs, or just wanting to relax and play a game in stead of spending time with Him. Help us all to get to that point where the things of life do not drag us away from what you have for us.

Read for tomorrow: Demoniac in Capernaum Synagogue: Mark 1:21-28: Luke 4:33-37

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Calling it what it is

February 6, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus settles in Capernaum; Matthew 4:13-17: Mark 1:14-15: Luke 4:31-32

Matthew 4:17 BWE
17 From then on, Jesus began to tell God’s word to the people. He said, ‘Stop your wrong ways and turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven is here!’

Jesus was pretty plain with what He had to say. He was not one to mince words at all. Stop what you are doing, The Kingdom is coming.

We need to take this as an example. To long we have tried to talk people out of there sins. I am not saying to stop loving them and speak from that point of view, I am going to say that like Jesus, we have to learn to call sin what it is, sin.

Lean from Jesus. The simple ways are the best.

Read for tomorrow: Fishermen called to be disciples; Matthew 4:18-22: Mark 1:16-20

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign...

February 6, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: The 2nd miracle - Official's son healed; John 4:46-54

John 4:48 ESV
48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

I live in Tulsa. Some call it the 'Buckle of the Bible Belt'. We are blessed with several large churches in town. In listening to them preach over the years, I can tell you there is one common theme that seems to come through all of them. As soon as commitment is preached, the congregation moves on. If they do not like what my pastor is preaching, they head over to one of the other ones. While I love the teaching I get, I can see that it could be a problem.

But another thing I have noticed is that as signs happen, people also move on. If one church seems to have a lot of healing going on, or things of that nature, then the people move on as well. Jesus had this problem. The people wanted to see things happen, then they could believe. Jesus wanted to teach them that this was not the way it worked. They need to believe and then the results will be there.

How about you. Do you believe because of the miracles, or are the miracles a result of what you believe in?

Read for tomorrow: Jesus settles in Capernaum 4:13-17 1:14-15 4:31-32

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Free Will

February 5, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Arrival in Cana of Galilee; John 4:43-45

John 4:43-45 ESV
43 After the two days he departed for Galilee.
44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.)
45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

What a contrast. One group knew where Jesus had come from and one did not. How could they both seeing the same signs come to much different conclusions? We have in us a thng that God gave us. It is called free will. That means we have a choice to decide our path. We can decide to follow God or not to. God loves us so much He will not interfere with free will. If He did, we would all get saved and go to heaven.

These people were only practicing what God gave them. And people do that today as well. I may not like the decisions that they make, but that is not my problem. I cannot force them to follow my way any more than God can.

Remember that as you witness to others. The same thing that gives them the chance to say 'yes' to God, also gives them the right to say 'no'.

Read for tomorrow: The 2nd miracle - Official's son healed; John 4:46-54

Image Problems

February 4, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus continues toward Galilee; The 1st rejection in Nazareth; Luke 4:16-30

Luke 4:22 BWE
22 They all began to talk about him. They were surprised to hear him say such good words. They asked, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’

I used to work at a Christian radio station. The things that went on at the station were not illegal, but as a moral law that we have in us as Christians, were not what I would call morally right. I left the station shortly after the questionable practices started.

Now, almost 30 years later, I cannot listen to the station. I know it is under different management. I know it plays much the same music that I listen to on another Christian station. It is just the image problem of that station after all these years.

Jesus had the same image problem. He tried to preach in the synagogue, and though the preaching was right, the people could not bring themselves to believe what He was teaching. After all, this is a kid born to a carpenter. Not only that but His mom got pregnant before they were married. Nope, this could not be a teacher of the law to us. Like my vision of the radio station and its bad behavior, they had developed an image of Jesus and how He could never amount to anything.

As you try to do things for God, some will try to stop you. Some people who know me cannot understand how I think I am good enough to write a devotional every day. Others who know me, know that God has called me to do it. You will have the same things happen to you. Do not let the people who say you should not do it stop you. If God tells you to, then do it.

Read for tomorrow: Arrival in Cana of Galilee; John 4:43-45

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

15 Minutes of Fame

February 3, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Jesus continues toward Galilee; Luke 4:14-15 John 4:43

Luke 4:14 Jubilee2000
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and his fame went out through all the region round about.

When you walk in the power, people will notice you. It says that His fame went throughout the region. Fame is a strange thing. Fame can be for something that you admire, or for something you do not. Fame is just that, people noticing you.

Jesus had fame, we always want to see it as the good kind and wonder why we cannot walk in that good fame as well. But we know, in the end, not everyone admired Jesus for what He did, some hated him for it.

Years ago, someone once said that we will all be famous for 15 minutes. As we see story after story play out on cable news channels we can see that has happened. Some become known for the good things they have done, like landing a plane on a river and getting everyone out of the plane safely. Some for the bad that they did, like killing a child so they can have more personal time.

I pray that when I have my 15 minutes of fame, that it will be for that good kind. Let it be like Jesus fame.

Read for tomorrow: The 1st rejection in Nazareth; Luke 4:16-30

Family Faith

February 2, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Samaritans come to Jesus 4:39-42

There are steps in salvation, but the most important one is to believe.

John 4:42 BBE
42 And they said to the woman, Now we have faith, but not because of your story: we ourselves have given ear to his words, and we are certain that he is truly the Saviour of the world.

I can believe that what has happened in your life is wonderful, and still go to hell. It is only when I make that transition to the knowing that Jesus is the way that I can actually take him as my savior. The people could not get by on the woman's faith and neither can you or I. When we are children we can do that. But as we grow we must make the choice for ourselves.

Do you still live off of your parent's faith?

Read for tomorrow: Jesus continues toward Galilee; Luke 4:14-15 John 4:43

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


February 1, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Disciples question Jesus; John 4:27-38

This was supposed to be written on Superbowl Sunday but I got a day or two behind (again). Superbowl is a unique American Holiday centered around a religion called Football (or for those outside the US - American Football - not soccer as we call it).

One of the things that we do so well on that one Sunday each year is eat. Churches in my area see it as a chance to bring people in, feed them and tell them about Jesus while watching the game.

The thing about food is it makes you hungry. Jesus once made a bold statement about eating when His disciples urged Him to eat.

John 4:32 ESV
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

He did not have food. He had sent the disciples to get some. The food that he refers to is the salvation of souls. For Jesus, leading people to know about God was more important than food.

Next time you may have a big sporting event, don't waste it. Bring people in, feed them, and then tell them about God.

Read for tomorrow: Samaritans come to Jesus 4:39-42


January 31, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Samaritan woman at Jacob's well 4:4-26

Why was man created?

John 4:23 ESV
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

God wants worship. We are His creation, his children. Worship has with it different connotations if you are not careful. Worship can mean to put up on a pedestal so that it is above all. Worship can mean a deep love also. In that definition we find what God wants. We are not to put Him up out of our reach and strive for Him. We are to love Him like a dog would lick his masters hand because of the love that he has for the master. Or we are to love Him, like a child loves her father.

Worship God today.

Read for tomorrow: Disciples question Jesus; John 4:27-38