Tuesday, May 31, 2016

And it begins...



May 31

Daily Bible Reading: John 12:1 – 19

Verse of the Day: John 12:19 – “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Behold how ye prevail nothing; lo, the world is gone after him.”

As we witness the evil design growing in the readings of today, we see Jesus anointed in Bethany, and we read of the chief priests plotting to put Lazarus to death. They could not accept that Jesus could do what He did. They wanted to rid the world of the evidence of the power of the Son of God. They saw the people placing their faith in Jesus, and they could not be a part of it. Then, the unthinkable, Jesus comes into Jerusalem in a triumphal parade.

The hatred begins to grow. The popularity of Jesus is expanding and these religious leaders could not accept who He was. They saw the world turning to Him. And we move into the final week before His crucifixion.

Prayer; Father open my eyes to how You are working today. May I seek to join with You, even when it seems opposite to what I have held dear in my life. Amen


Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day thougths




Greetings:

It's Memorial Day – too many people see it as a great three-day weekend. A time for the beach, to grill out and picnic, a time to kick back and relax. And while it is in a way all of those things, it has a much deeper meaning. It is in reality, a time of recalling the sacrifices (for many the ultimate sacrifice of their lives) who have defended our most precious freedoms we enjoy today. It is a day that we should pause and reflect upon those who did this to help attain peace for us to enjoy, however, it is also important to think about how our longing for permanent peace -- unattainable in this world -- points us toward a world in which it is possible.

The great Christian apologist/philosopher C. S. Lewis came to a fascinating conclusion in relation to this desire. He realized that if our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world, then we must have been made for another world. This truth was one of the factors that ultimately led to Lewis's conversion to Christianity. The Scriptures confirm that we are designed for a different world, and they urge us to focus on the world that is yet to come. As Paul advised those in Colossae, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). That is where we find the ultimate permanent peace – peace with God. There will come the day, which the prophet Isaiah wrote about, the day when men will "turn their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will never again train for war.” (Isa. 2:4b)

Until then, however, we honor those who fought our wars and sacrificed for a peace that is transitory, but it is also a time for reflection about the peace that is to come.

Have a blessed Memorial Day.


Unaware Prophet



May 30

Daily Bible Reading: John 11:47 – 57

Verse of the Day: John 11:50 – “nor do ye take account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.”

Caiaphas was the High Priest of that year makes a statement to the gathered group of Pharisees and chief priests. In his opinion, it would be better that Jesus die than take the chance of plunging the nation into destruction because of insurrection. John in our passages today tells us that by the virtue of Caiaphas’ office that he was unconsciously proclaiming a message from God.

Caiaphas was a prophet unknown to himself or those around them. God often uses people when they least expect it. Sometimes God will use us even when we are unaware of Him doing it. Today, watch and see if God uses you unexpectedly. Pray that He will.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I seek You to use me even when I am unaware of it today. You are able to make everything that I do count for the Kingdom. Make it so today, dear Lord. I pray this in Your Son’s Name, Amen.



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Power over Death



May 29

Daily Bible Reading: John 11:18 – 46

Verse of the Day: John 11:25 – “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live;”

We left Lazarus dead in yesterday’s reading. Today we see the power of Jesus over death.

To our view, death is final. But, in the view of Jesus, death does not have the final word, if we are believers and live in Christ. Jesus is the Lord of all life and has the power over death and life. He can raise the dead to life.

When He made the promise we read two days ago, we see that He has the power to make that promise. He said that we can have eternal life, and He has the ability to give us that life.

I don’t know about you, but I can put my trust in One who has done what He ahs promised in the past. I can trust Him with my life now and forever.

Prayer: Jesus, I am trusting You with my present life, knowing that as Your child I have received eternal life. I praise You! Amen.



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Perfect Timing



May 28

Daily Bible Reading: John 11:1 – 17

Verse of the Day: John 11:1 – “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha.”

Today and tomorrow we will muse over the powerful illustration of Jesus’ power over death. The account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is powerful and encouraging.

In today’s reading, we see the death of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Jesus was a family friend, and had visited them in their home. They sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was very ill. They knew that Jesus was the only One who could heal their brother. As we read the account, it appears almost cruel on His part to stay and wait to go.

He arrives on the fourth day, in their belief system the soul hovered over the body for three days and then departed. So, all would know that Lazarus was dead.

If the account ended here, we would see Jesus as cruel and uncaring. Tomorrow, we will see the power of this One.

Prayer: Jesus, Your time is always right



Friday, May 27, 2016

Eternally Secure




May 27

Daily Bible Reading: John 10:22 – 42

Verse of the Day: John 10:28 – “and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

Some times people wonder where the idea of Eternal Security comes from. Here is one place where we understand that it comes from Jesus Himself. This is a marvelous and wonderful promise from the One who cannot lie. The word eternal used here means without end. The life that Jesus gives us at the moment of salvation never ends. He promises that we will never be destroyed. And, that there is nothing that can snatch us out of His hand, His protection and provision.

I don’t know about you, but I find this promise one that gives me confidence to live my life in wonder and praise to God. I can trust it. I can find encouragement when I fail. I can look forward to a forever with the One who loves me so much.

Prayer: God, thank You for the great promises in Your Word. I can trust You to keep them, and I will praise You forever. Amen.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hardened Hearts



May 26

Daily Bible Reading: John 10:1 – 21

Verse of the Day: John 10:6 – “This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.”

The Greek word used here (παροιμιαν) is used by John in his writings, the other three use the word παραβολη, while they are similar, their meanings have a slight difference. In John’s use of the first term, it carries the idea of an analogy or figure of speech. The other word carries the meaning of an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

The important part here is that those listening did not understand the illustration or figure of speech that Jesus applied to this conversation. Sin had so hardened their hearts that they were incapable of understanding. We must beware that we do not allow sin to harden our hearts to God’s voice.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I confess my sin today, I do not want my heart to become hard against Your Voice. I long to hear and obey You. Help me to walk in the right way, to listen for Your voice and to obey it always. 



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Boldness



May 25

Daily Bible Reading: John 9:24 – 41

Verse of the Day: John 9:28 – 29 – “And they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God hath spoken unto Moses: but as for this man, we know not whence he is.”

When our spiritual blindness is finally removed, we should not be surprised if we encounter resistance. When we begin to share the account of our journey from spiritual blindness to faith in Jesus, we are bound to find those who will resist the truth. What is sad is that often this resistance comes from other religious folks. 

The issue is that religious folks are uncomfortable around bona fide believers whose lives have been changed by their relationship with Christ.

Prayer: Father, today as I consider my life, do I share with others what Christ has done for me? Open my eyes to see the ones around me who need to hear this message of truth. Father, help me not allow myself to be silenced because of the truth inside of me. I must speak, I must obey and follow You. Amen.



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Eyes of Jesus



May 24

Daily Bible Reading: John 9:1 – 23

Verse of the Day: John 9:1 – “And as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth.”

John 9 has an interesting account of a man born blind. In this, God is teaching us to see people as He sees them.

In verse 2 the disciples saw this one as a theological discussion. What was the sin that caused this condition? His or his parents? They didn’t stop to help, only discuss him. The man’s neighbors and friends saw him only as a beggar in verse 8. Later, in verse 22 the Pharisees saw him as a tool to be used against Jesus.

None of these saw this one as Jesus saw him. A discussion, beggar, or tool, yet when we read this account we see Jesus sees a MAN. 

How often do we miss out being like Christ with the people we see around us? We look at everything except that they a person who will spend eternity somewhere. 

Prayer: God give me the eyes and heart of Jesus. Let me see people as He sees them. I want to be like Him and reach out to those who are eternal beings in need of you. Amen.



Monday, May 23, 2016

"I AM"



May 23

Daily Bible Reading: John 8:37 – 59

Verse of the Day: John 8:58 – “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.”

εγω ειμι. This is the Greek words used as “I am.” The use of these words in the Greek denotes self-identity in self-sufficiency. It is the words used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) in Exodus 3:6, 14, which is translated “I AM WHO I AM.” This is the covenant name of God as given to Moses.

Jesus here was claiming to be the everlasting, self-existent God of the Universe. Some try to say that Jesus never claimed to be God, but we find many instances that He plainly spoke of His divinity. Not sure, read the next verse in this section, “They took up stones therefore to cast at him…” They understood what He said. They were going to stone Him for blasphemy. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I study the life of Jesus, I see so plainly Who He is, and that He is the Eternal Son of God, God incarnate, the One through Who we come to You. Amen.






Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rightly Dividing



May 22

Daily Bible Reading: John 8:21 – 36

Verse of the Day: John 8:31 – 32 – “Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Yesterday we saw that one can misuse Scripture, especially when trying to prove a point. So, what can we do to detect this misuse?

First, always check out what a person quotes. Did they quote it correctly? To see the proper use of a passage, first, gain a good overview of the Bible in its entirety. Then look at the book the passage is located in, what it eh main theme of that book. Narrow down to the chapter of the passage, and again what is the main theme in that passage. Finally, look at the verses surrounding the passage, see how they all fit together.

If we take time to check out what is said, we will quickly learn to discern the proper use of the Word.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank You for Your helping me to understand the Word of God. 



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Handle it right!



May 21

Daily Bible Reading: John 8:1 – 20

Verse of the Day: John 8:5 – “Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?”

We live in a profundity of people who will quote the Scriptures to make their point. The problem? Often they will correctly quote a part of the Scriptures without maintaining the correct meaning of the passage. They are the Pharisees and teachers of the law in our culture. Paul in I Timothy 2:15 warns us that we need to be diligent in our study of the Word of God, so that we are “handling aright the word of truth.”

If we need to study the Bible to handle the Word correctly, that warns us that it can be misused. Satan misused Scripture in his temptation of Christ at the beginning of His ministry. The Scribes, Pharisees, and teachers of the law in Jesus’ day would misuse it. Tomorrow, let us consider the way to see the proper use of a verse of Scripture.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, guide my study in the sacred Scriptures so that I can be one who uses God’s Word properly. Guard me from error. I thank You that You will do this in my life. 






Friday, May 20, 2016

Water of Life



May 20

Daily Bible Reading: John 7:32 – 53

Verse of the Day: John 7:37 – “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”

On each day of this feast, the people came with Palm branches and marched around the great Altar. A priest would bring a pitcher of water from the Pool of Siloam and pour it on the altar as an offering. It was to commemorate the water flowing from the rock when Moses struck it in the wilderness. On the last day, the people would march around the altar 7 times to commemorate what happened at Jericho.

Many believe that it was at the precise moment that the priest was pouring the water on the altar that Jesus’ voice rang out with the words in our verse today. Jesus is the One who provides for the spiritual thirst of man, and He provides abundantly.

Prayer: Jesus, today I come to You as the provider of the Living Water. You give me daily water from Your Word, and You live in me eternally providing for my thirst. I praise You for Your provision and care. Amen.






Thursday, May 19, 2016

Divine Protection



May 19

Daily Bible Reading: John 7:1 – 31

Verse of the Day: John 7:30 – “They sought therefore to take him: and no man laid his hand on him, because his hour was not yet come.”

John in this verse does not provide what may have been the immediate physical reason that they couldn’t take Him. He had proclaimed publically that He was of divine origin. The religious leaders sought to arrest Him.

John gives us a glimpse of the Divine reason they couldn’t take Him. We get a glimpse into the truth that God is Sovereign and He has control over the timing of all events. He alone sets the time. What a glorious picture for us today. God is still the same, and as He decreed that no one could touch Jesus without His consent, we can be assured of the same protection on us today. All events that happen to us are not coincidences, they are “God-instances.” Trust Him.

Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your watchcare and protection over me. I can rest assured that no matter what is happening around me, I trust Your control. Amen.






Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Benefits or Beliefs?



May 18

Daily Bible Reading: John 6:45 – 71

Verse of the Day: John 6:66 – “Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

This is an interesting verse. Because Jesus had fed them, they wanted to “walk” with Him (the concept built into the word disciple used here). When Jesus brought it from the physical into the spiritual realm, they did not want to believe in Him as the Messiah, they were not willing to “walk” in all of His teachings. Because of this, many of them left. Hey, it is alright if He is feeding me and meeting my needs, but to commit to Him? No way.

These who left were not believers in Christ, they were only there for the benefits. Today, are there people in our churches who fit this description? Are they willing to “walk” in His way, or do they just want His freebies? Which one are you?

Prayer: Father, search my heart and help me to fully surrender to Jesus, to “walk” in His teachings in their entirety. Help me to not be one who only comes to Him for the benefits, but because He has the words of eternal life.






Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Finished Work



May 17

Daily Bible Reading: John 6:22 – 44

Verse of the Day: John 6:39 – “And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.”

This verse brings us great encouragement. It reminds us that our salvation is resting entirely upon God’s strength, not our own. My safety and my protection are based upon Christ’s power and the Father’s firm grip, not on my own. I am so thankful; I can be so weak, unsure, so wavering with the circumstances around me. He is forever steady. No one, not even Satan can break the connection between Jesus and me. How can I say that, am I boasting? In a way, I am. I am boasting in the death, burial, and resurrection of my Savior. He was perfect, His death purchased me, and I can rest assured in His provision. He finished the work on the Cross once and forever. And that finished work holds me for all eternity.

Prayer: Jesus, I praise You today. I worship You for the great finished work that You then supplied my salvation, my adoption into the family of God. Hallelujah, what a Savior. Amen.



Monday, May 16, 2016

Overabundance



May 16

Daily Bible Reading: John 6:1 – 21

Verse of the Day: John 6:9 – “There is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many?”

Have you ever heard the statement that little is much when it is the hands of the Master? This account of the feeding of the five thousand gives us a physical picture of the ability of Jesus to meet our needs.

Five thousand men (besides the women and children) needed to be fed. The disciples were totally at wit’s end trying to figure out how to feed them. Andrew brings forward a young lad with five barley loaves and two small fish. Doesn’t sound like it would feed the disciples, let alone the rest. Yet, in the hands of the Master, the disciples, the men, the women, the children were all fed (I am sure to their satisfaction), and there were twelve wicker baskets full left over. With Jesus, what little I have is more than enough.

Prayer: Jesus, I come with what I have. Often it seems meager and insufficient. Yet as I trust You with it, You can make it supply more than what I could ever need. Amen.



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Witness



May 15

Daily Bible Reading: John 5:25 – 47

Verse of the Day: John 5:31 – “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.”

The Greek word translated witness (μαρτυρω) can also mean to give testimony. In Jewish law, one could not give testimony about themselves. Truth, or validity of a point had to come from two or three witnesses (Deut. 17:7; 19:15). 

Jesus statements about Himself would not validate His claims to who He was. He needed witness of another. John the Baptist was a witness that could be called forth. He lists the Father in verse 37, and the Scriptures as witnesses to who He is. The love of God was demonstrated through Christ and witnessed to the validity of His teachings.

Jesus is believed as the Son of God, not because He said so, but by the various witnesses of His life, the Scriptures, and those who were with Him

Prayer: Jesus, I know that You are the Son of God, the evidence is strong and overwhelming. I worship You today. Amen.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Do you really want it?



May 14

Daily Bible Reading: John 5:1 – 24

Verse of the Day: John 5:54 – “When Jesus saw him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wouldest thou be made whole?”

In our reading today, we see the account of a man who had been sick for 38 years. We are not told whether this was from birth or later, all we know is that he was unable to walk. Jesus sees him lying beside the Pool of Bethesda, which was purported to have healing properties when the waters were stirred by an angel, and knows how long he has been there.

In our verse today, the first question that Jesus asks this man is, “Do you want to get well?” Sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? But the point Jesus was making was that we must desire with our hearts what Jesus has to offer. Do you want your sins forgiven? Really? Then we must tell Jesus this, ask Him to forgive and cleanse us. And, as He did with this man, He will do it.

Prayer: Jesus I come to You today and ask that You will do ­­­­­_____________ for me. Amen.



Friday, May 13, 2016

Distance is no object



May 13

Daily Bible Reading: John 4:31 – 54

Verse of the Day: John 4:54 – “This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judaea into Galilee.”

The account of the healing of the Nobleman’s son. In our verse today, we see that this is the second of seven signs (miracles) that Jesus did. This does not mean that this is the second miracle He performed, it is the second one that John records. Earlier (May 9) we saw where these signs that John chooses are to show forth His deity and power. The first one recorded showed His power over nature. Today we see that Jesus had power over distance (and disease). Jesus did not even go to where the boy was, He spoke and the lad was healed. Jesus is not physically beside us today, but just as this sign reveals, distance is no obstacle to the God-man. So, no matter what I am facing today, Jesus is able to achieve His purpose in our lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I often fear that because You are not right here physically with me that the struggles I face are insurmountable. But, distance is never a problem to You. Amen.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Worship!!



May 12

Daily Bible Reading: John 4:1 – 30

Verse of the Day: John 4:23 – 24 – “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God seeks our worship. He looks for the praise of His people… that wondrous worship of the redeemed children. He desires to inhabit our hearts, our lives, our houses of worship, and this happens when we praise Him (Psa.22:3).

We must beware that our worship times do not become rote minutes of repetitive meditations allowed to become meaningless responses. Worship is becoming a lost art, a missing jewel in the lives of so many Christians. We go through the motions without focusing upon the one who seeks and deserves our full attention.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, today help me pause and focus upon the only One worthy of praise, You. Focus my attention upon You and You alone. May I truly worship today. Amen.



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Present Tense



May 11

Daily Bible Reading: John 3:22 – 36

Verse of the Day: John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

In our verse today, the word translated hath (Greek εχει) is in the present tense. That means that the one who believes has at that moment eternal life. It is not something that will be gained in the future, but at this very moment they have it. 

Likewise, the word translated abideth (Greek μενει) is also in the present tense. That means that the one who refuses to believe upon Jesus Christ has the wrath of God already abiding on them as a present reality.

Whether we have eternal life, or eternal wrath is our choice. God freely offers life, we must choose to take it or leave it. Whichever choice we make is our present reality. I chose Christ, have you?

Prayer: Jesus, I have chosen to receive You as my Lord and Savior. I am glad that I have at this moment eternal life – and I have it forever. 



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

John 3:16



May 10

Daily Bible Reading: John 3:1 – 21

Verse of the Day: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Today’s reading includes one of the most well-known verses in the Bible. John 3:16, we see it at ball games, billboards, on cars and trucks, virtually everywhere. This is the “Gospel in a Nutshell,” as it has been called.

We see that it embodies the love of God, not for a select few, but for everyone. He offers His love to every one and anyone who will come and take it.

That’s the important point, it is there for anyone, but is only effective for those who will come and receive. There is not a single nationality, race, culture, gender, or language that is restricted from His love. Only our lack of receiving, or rejecting, His love separates us from Him. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You today for the vastness and availability of Your love. May I never take it for granted. Amen.



Monday, May 9, 2016

Power over Nature



May 9

Daily Bible Reading: John 2

Verse of the Day: John 2:11 – “This beginning of his signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”

In the Gospel of John, John calls His miracles, signs. John writes his redemptive biography showing us that Jesus is God. His signs that he records point to His Deity and Messiahship. John records seven signs (the concept of completeness) look for them as we go through our study. 

Each of the signs that John chooses (remember that he states in 20:30-31 that Jesus did many other signs than those recorded) are to show forth His deity and power.

This sign of changing water into wine showed forth His power over nature. Consider the attribute and power each following sign displays.

Prayer: Jesus, I am so glad that there is overwhelming evidence that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I place my trust in You, assured You are who You say You are.



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Going Fishing



May 8

Daily Bible Reading: John 1:29 – 51

Verse of the Day: John 1:41 – “He findeth first his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being interpreted, Christ).”

Here is the first picture of a person leading another person to accept Jesus. Did Andrew have a great theological understanding of who Jesus was? Did he have all the answers? No. He had just met Jesus himself.

We don’t need to read people a long list of rules; we don’t need to instruct them in the great truths of Christianity. Our job is not to clean the fish, simply fish. Just fish.

It is not our responsibility to get a person saved, that’s God’s job. Our job is to introduce them to the Savior. We seek to present what He has done for us, and to encourage their relationship to Christ. So, today, get out your fishing gear, and fish. Share what He has done for you, and lead them to see Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, I so often try to make coming to You so complicated. I am glad that it is simple, otherwise I would never have come.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Logos



May 7

Daily Bible Reading: John 1:1 – 28

Verse of the Day: John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

In three of John’s five books in the Bible (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1; and Rev. 19:13), we find John using the Greek word λογος. This word speaks of the principle or creative energy that generated the universe. The Gnostics of John’s day studied this principle, and held strong beliefs that it was what was the foundation of all things.

Still John was battling the Gnostic heresy in the first-century church; he started by explaining that the foundation of all Creation was the Creator God, or Jesus Christ. Jesus embodied all of the Godhead. He was God. He was not a part of Creation as a man would be. He is the revealer of God, and God Himself.

Jesus Christ came in the form of flesh (1:14) to reveal the One True God. He was, is, and always will be God.

Prayer: Jesus, You are the express image of God because You are God. Amen.


Friday, May 6, 2016

The Promise of The Father



May 6

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 24:36 – 53

Verse of the Day: Luke 24:49 – “And behold, I send forth the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high.”

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon a person to accomplish God’s work, and then would depart. However, the prophets Joel (2:28) and Jeremiah (31:31-33) spoke of a future day when the Holy Spirit of God would come and stay with His people. This would be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would baptize the believers, and stay with them. Peter referred to this as the beginning (Acts 11:15) because from that moment on, whenever a person received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master, they received the Holy Ghost as a promise of God’s salvation fulfillment in their lives. He would come into their life and stay until they were changed before God in Heaven. What a great promise for them, and even more for us today.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, I am so glad that You live in me, may I release and let You have the control of my life every moment. Amen.



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Emmaus



May 5

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 24:1 – 35

Verse of the Day: Luke 24:13 – “And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was threescore furlongs from Jerusalem.” 

Emmaus, (εμμαους) the village to which the two disciples were going when our Lord appeared to them on the way, on the day of His resurrection. Luke makes its distance from Jerusalem, sixty stadia, or 7.5 miles (12 km); and the historian Josephus mentions "a village called Emmaus" at the same distance. 

Jesus suddenly comes alongside of them, and after inquiring about their conversation, begins to open up the Scriptures to show that the Christ must die and rise again. And, it was through the use of the Scriptures that Jesus opened their hearts and spirits to the truth.

Today, we need to remember that this is God’s method of bringing people to Himself. His Word (written) will open hearts to His Word (living, Jesus). Use it.

Prayer: Father, may I use Your Word to introduce Your Word to those around me. 



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Paradise



May 4

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 23:39 – 56

Verse of the Day: Luke 23:43 – “And he said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”

Paradise. Παραδεισω. The word in the Greek literally means a “garden” or “park.” The part of Hades, which was thought by the Jews to be the abode of the souls of pious until the resurrection: but some understand this to be a heavenly paradise. Jesus may have alluded it to in His account of Lazarus going to Abraham’s bosom in Luke 16:19 – 31. The word in the Greek translation of the Old Testament used this word for the Garden of Eden.

When He spoke these words to the thief on the Cross, it was a message of comfort and acceptance. Jesus actually did for this thief what the Rulers were calling for Him to do for Himself. The day of the Crucifixion gives many physical pictures of what was taking place spiritually.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have provided for me to be brought back to You by being bought back by what Your Son did for me upon the Cross. I worship You. Amen.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Taunted and mocked



May 3

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 23:27 – 38

Verse of the Day: Luke 23:35 – “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also scoffed at him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen.”

In ignorance of God’s Grand Plan, even the religious rulers of the Jews taunted Jesus as He was dying on the Cross. They mocked Him by saying that He saved others (He would forgive sins as He healed and restored people), so they challenged Him to come down from the Cross. They equated the power of saving Himself with the power to save others. Yet, in God’s Grand Plan, His willingly sacrificing Himself actually provided the power to save others.

If Jesus accepted the challenge and came off the Cross (and He had the power to do that) we would be the losers. If He saved Himself, we would all be lost and without any hope for eternity. Forgiveness and restoration comes only by His death. No other way.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You did not come down from the Cross, but fulfilled the requirement to bring me back to the Father. 



Monday, May 2, 2016

Replaced



May 2

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 23:1 – 26

Verse of the Day: Luke 23:18 – “But they cried out all together, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:”

Luke wants us to see that not only the Jewish leaders, but the populace called for the death of Jesus. The people preferred a murderer, a seditious man in the place of Jesus. How could this have been? Surely, I would have spoke differently that day. Would I?

It is a blessing that Jesus was sent to the Cross. Without the sacrificial death of Christ, I would still be in my sins today (and, by the way, so would you). The substitution of Jesus for this noted murderer was no fluke; it foreshadowed the substitutionary death of Jesus for all mankind. Jesus went to the Cross to be my substitute. He went to be yours. What a blessing that Jesus not only died to spare Barabbas that day, He died to spare you and me today.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You had a plan and means that I could be forgiven, changed, and restored. I am Barabbas. And I am overwhelmed at Your Love and Grace.



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Failure



May 1

Daily Bible Reading: Luke 22:54 – 71

Verse of the Day: Luke 22:60 – 62 – “But Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said unto him, Before the cock crow this day thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”

Our last reading shows Christ predicting the betrayal of Peter. In our reading today we see that even with his boldness, Peter succumbed to the seduction and deception of Satan. Satan attacked him where he least expected it, in his strength. Peter was bold and courageous, yet while warming himself at the enemies fire, Peter lost his strength. He failed Jesus. 

This is our story. Often in our strength we fail our precious Savior. Why? Because we are no match for the wiles and schemes of the Devil. If we fail, let us do as Peter did, return in repentance and tears.

Prayer: Jesus, I fail you more than I want to admit. I come to You seeking Your strength and forgiveness. Restore me to Your servant. Amen.






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