In this passage, the disciples are obedient to Jesus’ commands, and yet they still find themselves in the midst of a storm. Being obedient does not exempt us from the storms of life, but what God promises is that He will be with us in the midst of these challenges. Just as the disciples took Jesus in their boat, we need to take Him into our heart and life!
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Jesus desires salvation for all, but all too often we look for life in all the wrong places. True life can be had in Christ and is found by walking in His grace.
In this story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, we see him pursuing the woman in order to save her soul. And that is the message of the Gospel! God finds us where we are and does the work of salvation that we can never do for ourselves.
Being born again means to come alive spiritually through faith in Jesus Christ. It is essential to salvation and completely a supernatural act of God’s grace! Salvation is a product of God’s great love, and requires personally receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The Gospel of John emphasizes the deity of Christ, and John identified Jesus as the Light. John the Baptist, who identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, understood that his place was to reflect the Light. Meanwhile, the disciples identified Jesus as Messiah. Through these witnesses, we come to understand that Jesus is our access to Heaven, and this knowledge should drive us to follow Him and to tell others about Him.
The greatness of the resurrection, the greatness of His commission, and the greatness of His promise all point to the greatness of the King! Jesus died and then came back from the grave. No one has ever done this, and no one has ever claimed to be able to do this. There is power in the resurrection, and the resurrection validates who Jesus said He is!
At our Lord’s darkest hour, He was abandoned by all, and our hearts of darkness were revealed. But through it all, Jesus was still in control and showed pure humility and grace beyond measure!
Christmas Eve service.
The Gift of Christmas is our salvation through our Savior, Jesus Christ. And how do we receive this salvation? By calling on Jesus for mercy, by declaring Jesus as Lord, by receiving His grace, through faith, for works, and by denying ourselves and living for Him.
The longing and hoping for the first Christmas began in Genesis 3:15 where a revelation of the promise and character of God was given. The promise of Christmas is of deliverance and redemption. The holiness, love, and grace of God are all revealed in the promise of Christmas.
Jesus’ worth is illustrated in the contrasting attitudes of Mary and Judas. To Mary, Jesus was of immense worth, and this was shown in her extravagant love for Him. To Judas, however, Jesus was not worth much, and his love for Him was frugal. The more we sit at the feet of Jesus, the more we will love Him, value Him, learn from Him, and submit to Him. And we need to choose to make time sitting at His feet! How important is Jesus to us?
The deity of Christ is seen in the Godly wisdom He displays when dialoguing with His critics. His wisdom is different and superior to that of man. Man’s wisdom is ever changing and variable, but God’s wisdom is constant and enduring.
Discipleship is learning to follow Jesus, becoming more like Him, and living for Him. Effective discipleship involves the Word, the Holy Spirit, prayer, fellowship, and our submission. Shepherds help to feed, tend, and protect the sheep with gentleness, and it is important to remember that every shepherd is also a sheep. There is power in a well shepherded church.
Jesus not only establishes and builds His Kingdom, but He will also protect it. And it is protected by the requirements for entering it. He protects those in His Kingdom from sinful influences and from going astray. He also offers protection for those in His Kingdom from relational issues. Finally, He protects us from unforgiveness, for those of us who have been forgiven by Jesus are compelled to forgive others.
We are spiritually blind due to our hard hearts and our pride. But God can give us spiritual sight when we come to Him in faith. When we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, we are able to see clearly.
We should be encouraged to always focus on Jesus, even in difficult circumstances. We should look to Jesus and His provision. We do this by worshipping Jesus as worshipping Him builds up our faith!
Understanding God’s Word (and the parables of the Kingdom) comes from the Holy Spirit, and is granted to those who are willing to submit to it. The Kingdom is of immense value, and Jesus gave up everything for us so that we can have it!
Followers of Jesus are to seek to advance His Kingdom, both internally and externally. Losing our life will allow us to find it in Christ.
As we recognize Father's Day, we learn about the power and might of our own Heavenly Father! He is in control on a micro and macro scale, He can do the impossible, and He loves His creation. Our God is both bigger than we can imagine and more intimate than we can hope for!
God can see and evaluate our hearts, and He is concerned about our motives for obeying Him and living righteously. Likewise, God is also concerned about the attitude and content of our prayers, as our prayers ought to be God and other-centered and focused on God’s glory.