Tag Archives: Following Christ

Slow Down And Look

John the Baptist was given a simple commission from God. He was to go into the wilderness, and to baptize those whom God sent. It was in the wilderness – unplugged – that John found the Messiah.

John 1:29-33 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not:…

This passage fascinates me. In the passage we see the witness of John the Baptist concerning Jesus Christ. Twice John tells us, “I knew him not”. This is the Greek eidō autos ou, and it carries the sense that

John knew Jesus as COUSIN, but not as CHRIST.

John the Baptist and Jesus were cousins. When Mary became with Child of the Holy Spirit, the Angel Gabriel told her:

Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, were cousins. Their children were cousins. They grew up not far apart, and perhaps played together as children. And yet John says, “I knew him not”. He knew Jesus as a cousin, but had no idea that He was the Messiah. How did John come to know that Jesus was the Messiah? … Continue reading

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The Mark Of The Lost

Do You Love Jesus, Or What Jesus Gives?

Word Study Let’s break this verse down. Jesus had “disciples” who followed Him. The word translated “disciples” is the Greek μαθητής mathētēs, which means “a student, a learner, a pupil, a follower of another”. There were a great deal of people who followed Jesus. What were they following Him for? Were they following Jesus because they loved Jesus? No, they were following Jesus because they loved what Jesus gave them.

The disciples who left Jesus were not following Him out of love for Him. They followed Jesus out of love for what Jesus would DO for them.

We see this in our context. You always need to read the context. If you flip back just one page in my Bible to the beginning of chapter 6, you read of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus took “five barley loaves and two small fishes” (verse 9) and blessing it, fed five thousand men (verse 10). The Bible says:… Continue reading

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Be A Blessing, Not A Virus!

You can choose to benefit the Body you are in by minimizing yourself and glorifying God, or you can decide to be a virus, and do things YOUR way regardless.

Joseph Made A Choice To Magnify Christ In His Life

Genesis 47:1 Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh

When you read these words, you read them like an American. “Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh”. Big deal! What does this matter? Truth is, in ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh’s and other kings were often considered to be gods by their people. This is how they wielded so much power! You did not just come in and directly talk to a Pharaoh. You found his cup bearer, his secretary, and made an appointment. You went in to see Pharaoh on your knees. But Joseph just walks in, and talks to Pharaoh. How in the world did Joseph become such a confidant to the Pharaoh?

Joseph Lived For God’s Glory, Not For Himself!

As a young boy, Joseph was the favorite child of his father Jacob. The Bible says “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.” (Genesis 37:3). Joseph was given special clothing that his brothers were not given. Further, “Joseph dreamed a dream” (Genesis 37:5), and in that dream he dreamed that Joseph would reign over them. His brothers… Continue reading

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The Blessing Of Brokenness

We had a wonderful revival this past week with Brother Brian Arnold. I think his messages – God anointed – gave us a challenge. Here is a man who lost his a leg when he was a child. That loss changed the course of his life. Brian learned to play the piano, and became quite a sensation in Branson, Missouri. Then when life seemed to be on track, and was getting better and better, Brian was hit by a semi truck, fracturing his neck, and paralyzing his left arm. Once more, the course of Brian’s life changed. Praise God for it! Brian hurt his arm before coming to preach our revival – his good arm. The doctor gave him the results of the MRI. Brian has torn his rotator cuff in two places, and tore a tendon! I hear you saying in your mind,

“How tragic this is! Why is the devil attacking Brian!
Why is God allowing this! Hasn’t he gone through enough?

Which brings me to the title of the message today. It’s called simply “The Blessing Of Brokenness”.

Before Brian was ever born, He knew him. Before God ever formed us in our mother’s womb, He knew us. … Continue reading

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The Lamb’s Book Of Life

Adam’s action had repercussions that have carried forward, and will carry forward, until the end of time. But God was not satisfied with this. It was God’s intention for man to rule the earth on His behalf. When we come to Revelation 21 we see God completing what He started in the Garden of Eden. In order for God to complete His plan, He has to eradicate the old earth, with its damaged sin sick system. When we come to Revelation 21 we read:

Revelation 21:1-2 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

In this future “new heaven and a new earth”, there is no sin, nor corruption, nor death. This future earth and it’s very atmosphere will be erased of all that defiles. The sea itself will be gone. That which separates humans from one another, especially in John’s day, was the sea. There will be no separation between humans in that future world. God will even recreate Jerusalem in Heaven, and lower it down to the earth. God will rule the earth. The Bible tells us that:… Continue reading

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Living With Surety (A Wednesday Devotional)

Death comes to all, and none of us truly know when we will have to “put off this my tabernacle”. Sooner or later it must come. To avoid being frightened of that time – for it should not be frightening to the Child of God – Peter says:

2 Peter 1:10 … brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

“Give diligence” or make sure you DO this. Make sure, first of all, that you are CALLED of GOD. Every person Jesus has ever saved, He has called. Jesus said:… Continue reading

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Follow God Up The Mountain To Be Saved

Turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter five. Today we’re going to look at what Jesus taught about the Law. As we come to Matthew chapter 5, we read:

Matthew 5:1-2 And seeing the multitudes, he {Jesus} went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying…

The Saved Believer Follows God

It is become fashionable today to say that you can be a Christian, and yet there be no obligation to follow Christ. Some “preachers” have invented the title, “Nominal Christian”, to apply to those who profess to be Christian, and yet have no evidence of Christlike works in their lives. In many cases the “Nominal Christian” is, in outward appearance, no different than a lost person. Some who profess to be “Pastors” and “Evangelists” who confuse the free gift of salvation with lawlessness. They say, “You can be saved by faith in Jesus – but then God expects nothing else of you”. This is a lie from the pit of hell. You will never find such a salvation in the Bible.

Under the Old Covenant God saved Israel by faith … but Israel had to do what God said to be saved. The Lamb without spot or blemish had to be killed. It’s blood had to be placed on the doorway of the home. The Covenant required a following. After God worked through Egypt that night, bringing death where the Blood was not, Israel had to follow God out of Egypt…. Continue reading

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Christian, Take Up Your Cross

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

“His Cross” Proves Every Human Life Is Precious

This past week former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter. Chauvin knelt on the neck of a suspect named George Floyd. Floyd plead with Chauvin. He said “I can’t breathe” at least 16 times. Floyd asked for “water”. I watched the video, and heard Floyd saying “Don’t kill me … I’m about to die”, and crying out for his mother. If I had been there I probably would have been arrested. My heart broke as I watched Floyd die.

Whether Floyd was a criminal or not, he was none the less made in God’s image and in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26). When God made the animals no details are given, other than God allowed Adam to name them (Genesis 2:19). When God made humanity, He “breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). Humans are distinctively different from animals. When Noah got off the Ark, God told him:

Genesis 9:2-6 …. the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Noah and his descendants were given the animal kingdom… Continue reading

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The Stone The Builders Rejected

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

What is our purpose? What is our goal?

Our text today comes at the end of a parable that Jesus spoke to the Chief Priests and Pharisees of His day. The Chief Priests and Pharisees were considered “the builders” of Israel. They weren’t actually the builders – God is the Builder.

Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

God is the Builder of His Kingdom. God the Son now stands in front of the Chief Priests and the Pharisees, and as He stands there these people reject Him and plot against Him. Jesus speaks a parable to them, to show them that their focus is wrong. The Kingdom of God belongs to God, not to man. The fruit of the Kingdom of God belongs to God, not to us. Continue reading

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Spiritual Battle Needs Committed Warriors

All of these people who followed Jesus, followed for different reasons.

Some believed He was Messiah, and followed Him.
Others believed He would liberate Israel, and followed Him.
Some had infirmities they wanted healed, so they followed.
Others were just curious, and wanted to see something entertaining.

Jesus is in a position that many pastors I know would want to be in. I remember reading a book a few years ago where a certain pastor “opened for Bono”, and bragged about the large crowds. Many, many pastors and Churches would be thrilled to have packed services! But Jesus turns, and rather than encouraging the crowds throws a pitcher of cold water on it.

“If you come to Me, You must love Me much more than you love your closest relatives. You must MISEO, “Hate” those closest to you. I demand your fullest love!”

When Jesus uses the word “hate” here, He does not mean… Continue reading

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