Would you steal your child’s reward..


Parents and grandparents know young children love to work at whatever work they see you doing. They often play or pretend to be working. There is something within our nature that allows us to see this as good when we are very young.

IF YOU ARE A PARENT, HAVE YOU WORKED HARD SO YOUR CHILDREN WOULD NOT HAVE TO?

Most of us feel we are truly loving our children when we work doubly hard so they do not have to. Their friends are out having fun (?) so we want our children to be free to enjoy themselves. In today’s society, a few parents actually become servants to their children and work daily attempting to fulfill the desires of their offspring.

This enables some to continue this do-nothing lifestyle even into their forties or beyond. I’ve known a few adults who have avoided working altogether with the help of family and Uncle Sam. 

ARE THOSE WHO NEVER LEARN TO WORK HAPPY AND FULFILLED?

Many wise people think the answer is “No!” Below are just a few thoughts on work…

Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; Ecclesiastes 9:10

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.
– Anne Frank

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
– Henry David Thoreau

The more one works, the more willing one is to work.
– Lord Chesterfield

Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.
– Thomas Carlyle

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. – Proverbs 26:15

COULD THE ABILITY TO WORK BE CONSIDERED A GIFT?

God says “Yes,” it is a reward to be able to work…

and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; 13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor– it is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. Psalm 128:2

If you’ve been  blessed with parents or grandparents who taught you the value of an honest day’s work and as a result you are enjoying  a satisfying life, maybe this would be a good time to thank them.

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Posted in Bible Teaching, Education, Our World Today

How important is the seventh “I Am” statement?


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) 

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BRANCHES YOU TRIM FROM YOUR TREES AND SHRUBS?

Worshiping With Children: Year B - The Fifth Sunday of Easter (May 6 ...Branches cut from the vine die.

If we are branches and Christ is the vine, what happens to us when we are not in Christ? It is pretty clear, isn’t it? We die. This is the point of the first part of Jesus statement.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO REMAIN IN CHRIST?

Young apple trees bearing fruit © Stephen Craven :: Geograph Britain ...Branches properly connected to the vine have life and bear much fruit.

Many people go to seminars, see psychologists, read self-help books, and spend a lot of time attempting to be productive. Christ tells us in one sentence how to produce what truly matters in this life. Christians who remain in Christ bear much fruit and will live productive lives.

IS OURS THE BUSIEST GENERATION TO EVER LIVE ON EARTH?

Parenting, "The Daddy Juggle," Special Needs Children, & Social Skills“… Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

We truly need to heed the last phrase of these important words of Jesus: “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Jesus never misspoke and every word that proceeded from His mouth is truth. So while we may feel as if we are doing something, if Christ is not the One leading and directing our actions, we are not accomplishing anything lasting. Anyone can be busy, but only those abiding in Christ can actually have useful, lasting accomplishments.

SO, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE LAST “I AM” STATEMENT?

It is of utmost importance if one would live an earthly life that accomplishes things that matter for eternity.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of a righteous person is a tree of life, and a winner of souls is wise.

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Jesus, Our World Today

Do you know “…the way and the truth and the life?”


Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

WHO WAS JESUS ANSWERING?

Jesus was answering a direct question from the disciple Thomas. Thomas’s question reveals a very limited understanding of Christ purpose .  I wonder just how limited  the other disciples were as  at this point?

THE WAY 

Christ answer to Thomas was actually to all of us and He indicated direction when He said, “…I am the way…” Thomas had asked how they could get to the place Jesus would be going when He died. Thomas wasn’t thinking of resurrection. He was a doubter even after the other disciples witnessed and declared that Jesus had risen. As always, Jesus answer was to the point. When He said, “I Am the way,” He was saying, ‘only I can get you there.’ He was explaining that there are not many roads leading to eternal life in Paradise. There is one – one Way – and that Way is Jesus the Christ.

THE TRUTH

Jesus gave an in-depth answer to Thomas. He said that in addition to being the only way, He is the truth. Why did Christ add this? 

Many false teachers were teaching then, even as they do today. People claim to have visions and to have superior knowledge. Some even use scripture to persuade others that they have come up with a more reasonable sounding way than the one true way. Jesus assured His disciples they could believe every word He spoke because He came forth from God and God cannot lie. All who claim to know another way are untruthful and their message is not true.

THE LIFE

The disciples were about to experience the physical death of their leader and friend. Death doesn’t have power over Jesus. Jesus was preparing His disciples and assuring all, then and through the ages, that He overcomes death. His resurrection proves that He is the life. 

VERSES ABOUT THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE

John 1:4
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 10:9
I am the gate. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture.

John 11:25
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.

Romans 5:2
…through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Ephesians 2:18
For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Hebrews 9:8
By this arrangement the Holy Spirit was showing that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.

Hebrews 10:20
…by the new and living way opened for us through the curtain of His body,

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Heaven, Jesus, Our World Today | 1 Comment

Jesus said,”I Am the Resurrection and the Life.”


IMAGINE SEEING YOUR LOVED ONES RESURRECTED 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26 (I believe that Jesus refers to the rapture and the resurrection in His words to the woman at the well. Some will die and be resurrected, some will be alive at His return. Jesus never misspoke in any way.)

The Bible teaches us that everyone who dies will be resurrected. It is going to happen. All people who have died will one day be bodily resurrected as Jesus was.

WHO HOLDS RESURRECTION POWER?

A search of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Blue Letter Bible search and Bible hub reveals that there is not one instance of the word resurrection in the Old Testament. Old Testament saints did realize that believers would live again.

Job asks, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Job 14:14

Daniel, the prophet, saw and prophesied concerning resurrection:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2

Evidence shows Israel knew there would someday be a resurrection. The Psalmist wrote:

But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah Psalm 49:15

Yet under the New Covenant there is only One Person who holds resurrection power. That is the Lord, Jesus Christ.

 this morning i will be with my sunday school kids. they will listen to ...WHO WILL BE RESURRECTED?

Revelation 20:4-6 shows us that there will be two more resurrections after the resurrection that occurs at the time of the rapture. Jews and those saved after the Rapture, during the Tribulation Period will be resurrected.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4-6

Prior to the resurrection shown in Revelation 20:4-6, Paul writes about an event that will only involve Christians. It will be the time when the Lord Jesus Christ returns for His church.

13 Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who are without hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 15 By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. 17  After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.…16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise.…1 Thessalonians 4:13-16

THE FINAL RESURRECTION WILL BE AT JUDGEMENT

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 29:11-15

HOW DO WE KNOW?

The Bible has a history of fulfilled prophecies. Prophecy tells us there will be a resurrection of the dead.

The sure evidence we have is that Christ arose bodily. The risen Christ was seen by Mary and the women with her, all the disciples and 500 others. His appearance was enough to convince those who were cowering in fear prior to the resurrection to preach the gospel in a hostile environment, where they had witnessed Christ Jesus being killed for preaching the gospel.

The man who walked on water, changed water to wine, raised the dead, healed the sick, cleansed lepers, forgave sin, talked with Elijah and Moses, and foretold His own death and resurrection has assured us.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

It could not be clearer.

IN WHICH GROUP WILL YOU STAND?

We do not know when the Lord will return. We can, however, be certain to be included in the first resurrection or else be raptured by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. A person does this by repenting of their sins and believing the gospel or good news that God provides for our salvation. This is the New Covenant. Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins and will save to the uttermost those who place their trust in Christ.

Paul said:

Philippians 3: 7 But whatever was an asset to me, I count as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, 11 so that I may somehow attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Christ provides the righteousness from God that we must have to stand before Him.

 

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Covenant Promises, Holy Spirit, Jesus, New Covenant, Our World Today | 2 Comments

Jesus said, “I Am the Good Shepherd.” Is the Good Shepherd the LORD God Almighty?


JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO DIED FOR THE SHEEP

“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11)

While those around Him, mostly Jews, were contemplating these words, Jesus added:

As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:15

the good shepherd once there was a good shepherd who

WHAT DID DEVOUT JEWS KNOW ABOUT ALMIGHTY GOD AS A SHEPHERD?

Jews were certainly aware of the symbolism of the Shepherd and Israel. We find in 1 Kings 22:14-17  that King Micaiah had compared Israel to sheep without a shepherd when they were going to battle without the LORD in their midst.

The Psalmist David had declared: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The Psalmist Asaph referred to the Almighty as the Shepherd who dwells between the Cherubims.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Psalm 80:1

1 Samuel 4:4 identifies the One who dwells between the Cherubims:

…the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims…

Jeremiah the prophet refers to the LORD Almighty as the Shepherd:

Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. Jeremiah 31:10

Amos and Zechariah referred to a Shepherd who would come.

WHY DID JESUS SAY “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD?”

Jesus wanted to and wants to save all people. His goal was that all would come to repentance and none would perish or that all would be saved. For this to be accomplished, it is essential that mankind know Christ and His power. We must understand that in Christ alone comes salvation and therefore, in Christ alone are we secure.  Just as The LORD illustrated His relationship with Israel as that of sheep and their Shepherd in the OT, Jesus was revealing Himself as that Shepherd who cares for His sheep. As Phillip Keller wrote in his book, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23, “Our Shepherd…leads us through the valleys with Himself. He knows where we can find strength, and sustenance and gentle grazing despite every threat of disaster about us.” In Christ we are safe. Away from Christ there is no security. Those living in Israel and the surrounding areas were keenly aware that sheep faced danger every day. They were in danger from their own behaviors and from predators. Jesus wanted them to see themselves in their lost condition just as He wants that for us today.

Jesus knew that when we see ourselves as helpless, just as sheep are helpless, only then will we comprehend our need for the Savior – the Good Shepherd.

DID JESUS INTEND TO REFER TO HIMSELF AS THE LORD ALMIGHTY?

I think the best answer to this question is with another question. Why did Christ use this particular illustration and why did He use the phrase “I Am” and the Greek article Ò, or ho, meaning THE good shepherd? The I Am is the name of the LORD God Almighty and His choice of words indicates that Jesus is pointedly saying that He isn’t just any shepherd, He is THE GOOD Shepherd.  Those who read the Old Testament know the LORD Almighty is the Shepherd in Psalm 23. Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Jesus | 1 Comment

What is Jesus revealing about Himself when He says, “I am the Gate?”


WHAT KIND OF GATE IS JESUS?

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:9)

Gates do two things. Gates allow some to enter and keep others out. Jesus is the Gate to the sheepfold. The sheepfold contains those sheep cared for by the Shepherd. For Christians, being in the sheepfold means being in the family of the LORD.

The LORD is my Shepherd. Psalm 23:1

Kevin Ruffcorn in his book, I Am the Gate, gives some very telling information about a shepherd and his sheepfold.

Shepherds would become the gate to the sheep fold. They would lie in front of the opening to the fold so that nothing could enter without them knowing. Human gates provided entrance to the fold and protection from threats outside.

Jesus, being the gate, permits only the sheep known by the Lord to go in and keeps all others out. Being the Gate, He opens to some and closes to others.

 way, Jesus is our gate. He tells us this in John 10:7 Then Jesus said ...HOW SAFE ARE WE WITH JESUS AS THE GATE?

Rev. Ruffcorn also points out that the shepherds in Israel knew their sheep by name and the sheep knew them. Shepherds provided a place of safety and also pasture for their sheep. Jesus does the same.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.John 10:9

Phillip Keller pointed out in A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 that the shepherd made it his business to see to the safety and security of every sheep in the fold.

If an earthly shepherd kept his sheep safe, how much more will the Son of God keep those who are trusting in Him safe? Jesus answered that question when He said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28

JESUS AS ‘THE GATE’ REVEALS

  1. Jesus is the only way into the sheepfold or the family of God.
  2. Jesus is the One who keeps all believers secure and saved.
  3. Jesus keeps all who would harm His sheep out of the sheepfold or the family of God.
  4. Jesus knows by name those within the sheepfold or the family of God.
  5. Jesus provides pasture or the necessities of life for the sheepfold or the family of God.
  6. Jesus gives eternal life to those in the sheepfold or the family of God.
  7. Jesus has a personal relationship with each on in the family of God and they know Him and His voice.
  8. Jesus is illustrating the truth revealed in John 14:6 when He said, “… No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  9. Jesus is the LORD, the Good Shepherd.
Posted in Bible, Bible Teaching, Biblical History, Called His name Jesus, Christ, Christianity, Jesus, New Covenant

Does Jesus say, “I Am God” when He says, “I am the Bread of Life?”


JESUS SAID, “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

 When Jesus said, “I am the bread of life”, the Jews knew that He meant something very important by this statement.  Devout Jews knew about the “Bread of the Presence.”

 

 

WHO SENT JESUS TO EARTH?

Jesus frequently mentioned to His disciples that He came to earth to do the will of the Father. Men had trouble seeing God when looking at Christ because He came as a man, He prayed to the Father as we are to pray, and He even said the Father was greater. Jesus reminded all who heard Him that He was on earth by the will of the Father and He had made Himself dependent upon the Father.

Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. John 6:57

Our nature is such that we have trouble looking at another man (Son of man) and seeing God (Son of God.) Yet John said the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and that “…the Word was God.”

What we could miss is that when God became a man, He became totally dependent upon the Person’s of the Father and the Holy Spirit. Although He was able to call on the Father and for a legion of angels at any moment, He gave up that right and did only the will of the Father as the Redeemer, Savior, Lamb of God. 

Jesus said to him. “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Are you not aware that I can call on My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?” Matthew 26:52-54

Why did the Father send Jesus to earth?

So that we might live.

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said, therefore, unto him, ‘Sir, always give us this bread.’ Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:32-35

ARE WE ABLE TO LIVE WITHOUT BREAD?

No, Jesus said plainly:

John 6:48-58 (KJV)
I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

We cannot live without the Bread of Life.

DOES THIS MEAN JESUS IS GOD?

We learn at MessianicGoodnews:

The Bread of the Presence was set before the lamp in the holy place. “Bread of Presence” in Hebrew is לחם פנים (lechem panim) which, literally translated, means “bread of faces.” The face of God is revealed in Jesus Christ. The Bread of the Presence prophetically illustrated how God would come into this world which he created and make his dwelling among his people to reveal his glory to us in the face of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). Jesus Christ, the Son, is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being … (Heb.1:3).

Hebrews, who best understood the symbolism in the tabernacle, thought so.

The use of the phrase, “I Am” also indicates Jesus is revealing His deity.

Only God is able to give life.

 

Posted in Bible, Bible prophecy, Bible Teaching, Christ, Christianity, Grace of God, Jesus