He That Receiveth Not My Words

“‘He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” – John 12:48

There will be no one in Heaven that boasts that they had anything to do with why they are there.

There will be no one in Hell that blames God that He had anything to do with why they are there.

The same word the unbeliever rejects will be his judge.

“This man does not need to attack Jesus or rage against His sayings; simply not to receive them is fatal and insures his judgment.” – R.C.H. Lenski, Commentary on John, 1963, p. 896.

In the Beginning God

in the beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Gen. 1:1

“in the beginning” in Hebrew is one word: reshith.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

John here is connecting Jesus to the Creation event. At Creation was the Word, which is to say: Jesus.

Skip over to Prov. 8 (verses 22-31).

22 ‘The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
23 I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
29 When He assigned to the sea its limit,
So that the waters would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.’”

– Prov. 8:22-31

This is Wisdom personified speaking. All scholars agree that Wisdom is, in fact, Jesus. Christ is the wisdom of the Father. Jesus is saying He is eternal, He was there with the Father at Creation, and that He delighted at His Father’s handiwork.

Jesus mentioning Himself as being “at the beginning” is the same Hebrew word: reshith.

So when Moses says “in the beginning,” he is not just referring to the start of time, but to a Person; Jesus. One could substitute “in the beginning” with “in Christ.” In essence, the very first words of the Bible are “in Christ.” Right from the start, the Bible begins by alluding to the Son. It’s a pretty amazing little nugget.

“For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” – Col. 1:16-17 (also note Rom. 11:36 and 1 Cor. 8:6).

Why Was I Created?

why was i created

Why was I created? Why were you?

It’s because God wanted to lavish you with His love. He didn’t need us, He wanted us. God gives, we receive (John 3:16). He literally pours His love into our hearts through His Spirit (Rom. 5:5).

The reason Britt & I wanted children is because we wanted to love them and cherish them. We wanted to share our lives with them. We wanted them so we could bless them.

God created you for the exact same purpose and nothing can separate you from His love (Rom. 8:35-39). Our response to that immeasurable gift is to be grateful and to glorify God (Psa. 145).

God gives, have you received?

I should read the Old Testament more, but I don’t.

Jesus in the OT

I should read the Old Testament more, but I don’t. I get lost in all the names & places. Then I just give up. I hear this all the time. Maybe this will help.

How are you approaching the OT?

Like a desert; lots of sand & rocks but little life? Stretches of dryness with the occasional oasis? Well yeah, that would be pretty boring.

Like a gymnasium; people & examples of how you should be? Exercises you need to train yourself in? Well yeah, that would be pretty daunting.

So, you can see how these are dead-end approaches.

Try this instead.

On the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-35), Jesus showed us His approach to the OT:

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (verse 27).

And again Jesus said, “You pore over the Scriptures because you presume that by them you possess eternal life. These are the very words that testify about Me.” – John 5:39

“Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the One the prophets foretold–Jesus of Nazareth” – John 1:45

The question to ask when reading the OT is: How does this concern, testify about, or reveal Jesus? What can I learn about Jesus in this text? Where is Jesus in this account?

Let me give you an easy example: Noah and the Ark. Using the gymnasium approach only scratches the surface. God asked Noah to do something incredible for which he was ridiculed, but he was obedient and therefore triumphant. Likewise, we should be equally obedient and thereby will be triumphant. Right? Well, that approach totally misses Jesus. The Ark is a type & shadow pointing to perfect fulfillment in Jesus. You can unpack this one easily for yourself, but you get the idea. To not seek Jesus in this account is to miss the whole point!

This way the OT comes alive in a way you never knew it could! The OT conceals what the NT reveals in Christ. You cannot fully appreciate the fulfillment that Jesus offers, if you don’t know how, where, & why it was promised in the first place. The two testaments are sides of the same coin and that coin is the revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

So open the OT because it opens Jesus!

 

Faith is easy to define: it is trust.

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“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.” – C.S. Lewis (“Is Theology Poetry?” The Weight of Glory.)

Even those who claim to have no “faith” put their faith in lots of things. Faith is easy to define: it is trust. Any married couple will tell you trust is the most important ingredient to a healthy marriage. Remove it, and you’ve removed the heart. As the bride of Christ, we trust in Him.

Faith is not something that can be “mustered up,” like courage. It is a gift from God and as such, can be either accepted or rejected (Eph. 2:8, 1 John 5:4). Faith is not payment for a job well done, but the reason to do the job in the first place (Romans 4:4). This gift allows me to properly see the world.

Faith does not depend on the person doing the trusting, but on the object of that trust. I can have great faith in Bigfoot, but my faith (great or little) doesn’t matter, what matters is what I’m trusting in. Jesus is the same whether you trust Him or not. Me trusting in Him doesn’t make Him stronger, it makes me stonger.

My object of trust is Jesus. What’s yours?

Truth is Uncomfortable

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Jesus never said it would be easy. In fact, He promised the opposite (John 15:18).

“Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it. If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth” – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

God never called anyone to a life of comfort. Look at Noah, Joseph, Jonah, Daniel, and the list could go on. Those who think becoming a Christian means no more problems is in for a rude awakening. If anything, becoming a Christian all but guarantees you problems. In a society that is increasingly hostile to the faith, its like placing a target on your back.

Here’s why: In a post-Christian world, truth is uncomfortable. Truth is offensive.

Great. Thanks a lot! Why would I ever want to subject myself to discomfort, right? Well, because truth is truth no matter my level of comfort. Whether or not I am comfortable has nothing to do with it. What is important is that I know what the truth is and that I believe it. (Rom. 1:18).

The most unloving thing I could do is lie about the truth. The truth is what sets all of us free (John 8:32).

Instead of comfort, seek truth – and comfort will ultimately & eternally follow. What is truth? God’s word is truth (John 17:17).

Do you know it?

I’m a Whosoever

im-a-whosoever

I’m a Whosoever

• Jew or Gentile • Male or Female • Young or Old • Rich or Poor • Conservative or Liberal • Republican or Democrat • Gay or Straight • Married or Single • Introvert or Extrovert • Ex-Con or Eagle Scout • Crook or Cop • Traditionalist or Progressive • Successful or Start-Up • Wall Street or Skid Row • Country folk or City slicker • Early Bird or Night Owl • Blue Collar or White Collar • Silver Spoon or Street Smart • Marvel or DC • Yanny or Laurel • Them or Us • Me or You

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Rom. 10:13, Acts 2:21, & John 3:16

“Whosoever” in Greek means: each & every. Is there anybody that does not fall under the category of each & every?

  • I am an each & every.
  • You are an each & every.
  • We all are an each & every.

“The emphasis of the total picture is on ‘one piece at a time’ and then focuses on the ‘parts making up the whole.'” In other words, we are all interlocking pieces to a grand puzzle creating a masterpiece picture of God’s love for His children shown through His Son, Jesus.

The invitation is open to each & every, but it is a limited-time offer. He is coming back soon. Then it will be too late. Don’t delay.


Ref: http://biblehub.com/greek/3956.htm

Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus

the other side

I want to share a verse with you that I have totally fell head-over-heels in love with.

Jesus has just been arrested and taken to Caiaphas, the High Priest. He doesn’t answer their questions the way they like, so He is struck and lead to Pilate’s tent. He is called inside where He and Pilate have a private conversation. Pilate asks Jesus if He is the king of the Jews. Jesus tells Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world.

Pilate asks Him if He is a king. Jesus answers that He is a king, born to testify to the truth. Then He says this:

“Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” – John 18:37 (NIV)

I want you to let that sentence marinate. Let it percolate. Let it steep. Dwell on it.

Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus.

Jesus is saying if you reject Him, you are not on the side of truth. The opposite of truth is lie. If you refuse to listen to Jesus, you are on the side of lies & fiction. You are on the false side!

If you believe in truth (accuracy, authenticity, fact, legitimacy, veracity, correctness, genuineness), then you listen to Jesus. A loyal subject hears his King. When you side with the light and the truth, you hear the voice of His Gospel both externally & internally; “so as to approve of it, rejoice at it, and distinguish it; and the voice of His commands, so as cheerfully to obey them from a principle of love to Him.” (John Gill)

Here is a litmus test to reveal if you really are a champion of truth. Ask yourself: Do I listen to Jesus?

  • If I do, I am on the side of truth.
  • If not, then I am not.

If I ignore, discount, or deny Jesus, then I am not on the side of truth.

Jesus is the TRUTH (John 14:6). If you believe truth, you believe Jesus and you shall be free (John 8:32). If you do not believe in Jesus, you do not believe truth and you shall be in chains.

Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus.

Which side are you on?


Ref: http://biblehub.com/john/18-37.htm

Many Other Things

John 21:25
John 21:25

John ends his account with a bang. I’ve often thought about that last intriguing verse with a big smile.

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)

“Many other things.”

What were they? I mean, we know that He raised people from the dead, gave sight to the blind, and literally walked on the water. And He did many other things as well?! So many in fact, that the world could not hold the books if they were all written down?!

Just imagine!

I want to know what those other “things” were, don’t you? I want the unabridged version of His ministry. I know we are given what we need (John 20:31), but I am interested in what some of those other things were. I want the complete version of what Jesus said and did.

I guess I will just have to wait and ask Him in person.

May God’s Love be with you

Impoverishing Jesus

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Today’s Oswald Chambers* took me several reads to fully comprehend. To be honest, that’s pretty normal. His devotional is so deep, sometimes I don’t ever grasp it the first time around! Today’s was good, once I finally “got it.”

Think of the depths of human nature and human life. Do you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart?

You try to dig down and draw from the well, but it only makes the well deeper. Is the well so deep, that you think, “Jesus can’t help me? What could He possibly do in this situation? I’m stuck.”

This happens far too often. The problem is we’re looking in the wrong direction. Instead of inward, we need to look upward. We need to look up to the only One that can help.

We think (from our well), “Oh sure, read the Bible. How will reading the Bible help in this situation?” Subsequently we impoverish or hinder the ministry of Jesus Christ. We can get to the point that He is unable to work in our lives. And that’s all He wants to do: get in our lives and help!

It’s not that Jesus can’t help, it’s that we won’t let Him. Our God is big and far too often we make Him small in our lives.

Look up from your well today and grab the hand that’s reaching down.

May God’s Love be with you

*My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers.