Journey - 43

Lent6

Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in Me
does not believe in Me alone, but in the One who sent Me.
And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me.
I have come into the world as a light,
so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.
(John 12:44-46)

Jesus was sent. He came to earth no just to deliver – but also to illumine. The world was in darkness; Jesus is the Light in that darkness. I no longer need to stumble around in the darkness in this world; I look to Jesus and I see the Light. I no longer need to be lost; I can know the Way. In a world of lies, He provides me with Truth. (John 12:44-46)


Journey - 42

Lent6
For this reason they were unable to believe. For again, Isaiah says:
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so that they cannot see with their eyes,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn,
and I would heal them.”
Isaiah said these things
because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him.
Nevertheless, many of the leaders believed in Him;
but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him,
for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue.
For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
(John 12:39-43)


Because of fear – how many have been prevented from hearing the gospel because of fear. They had a sickness – called disbelief. The sickness affected their eyes and their hearts. They could have found healing. The cure? Believe in Him. They had seen the miracles with their own eyes. They had heard his lessons in parables with their own ears. Grace can be obtained, but for the obtuse it does require an effort.
So what prevents finding this salvation? Fear. Fear of being found out. Fear of being labeled. Fear of being rejected. They believed but did not confess because of fear. They believed Jesus, but they decided that men held more power simply because they had the ability to make their lives uncomfortable. They could not see their place in heaven because they feared losing their place of honor on earth. Keep quiet. Don’t be obvious. Don’t jeopardize your status, your position.
Ironic that their stony hearts would not praise the Savior – but the rocks would. As Ray Stedman has written:
But what if they will not? "Well then," says Jesus, "the stones will cry out." That is, that which is not designed for this purpose, which is not particularly prepared for it, will begin to utter these truths. I believe that in a very real way this is what we are seeing happening in our own day, and what has happened many times in the past. There are truths which God desires to be uttered. There are forces at work in humanity which need to be explained. And only the church has the explanation.


Journey - 41

Lent6
Then Jesus told them, “For a little while longer,
the Light will be among you. Walk while you have the Light,
so that darkness will not overtake you.
The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.
While you have the Light, believe in the Light,
so that you may become sons of light.”
After Jesus had spoken these things, He went away
and was hidden from them.
Although Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence,
they still did not believe in Him.
This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
(John 12:35-38)

“They still did not believe in Him.”
They had seen miracles. They had witnessed signs. They had heard him teach, and clarify, and direct.
STILL. Even now. Nevertheless. Regardless of what they had seen or heard – taking it all in, their belief in him did not exist.
Astounded at them? Perhaps. But even 2000 years later I have read about his works, I have heard about his words – and still I find my belief does not exist at times.
But I have no excuse. They were fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. I am floundering and actually have no excuse. The testimony is complete – and still I walk as if I am clueless.
I have the Light – but I walk as if I am in darkness. I desire to become a son of light but my feet wander repeatedly into the dark.
Illumine me, Lord. Help me to see the Light and stay IN the light. Teach me to hate the tendency I have to wander into the darkness.


Journey - 40

Lent6Now judgment is upon this world;
now the prince of this world will be cast out.
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men to Myself.” He said this
to indicate the kind of death He was going to die.
The crowd replied, “We have heard from the Law
that the Christ will remain forever.
So how can you say that the Son of Man
must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
(John 12:31-34)

The time of crisis is coming. The time of change is coming. As Moses lifted up a serpent for people to look upon and be healed (Numbers 21), so to Jesus would be lifted up for the healing of everyone who would look and believe. But the people do not understand. Their idea of their Savior is more of one who performs His mission – then stays. This “coming and dying” idea was something they had not understood. Preconceptions cloud the prophecy. Truth requires trust. The “hosanna” of the previous day is eroding and the “shall we keep looking” crowd begins to wonder is maybe their praise had been wasted. The puzzle pieces were not fitting together as the Law had told them. Were they trusting the Law more than the Lord? Did they even realize who this man was. The One who knew the Plan was standing right in front of them.
And they were clueless…


Journey - 39

Lent6
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?
‘Father, save Me from this hour’? No, it is for this purpose
that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
The crowd standing there heard it and said that it had thundered.
Others said that an angel had spoken to Him. In response,
Jesus said, “This voice was not for My benefit, but yours.”
(John 12:27-30)

The Voice from Heaven.
The voice had been heard from heaven several times during Jesus' early life.
Once at his baptism. Once on the Mount of Transfiguration.
And now.
It's as if each time signifies a shift in pathway. A signpost.
Introduction. Encouragement. Prophecy.
Some heard thunder. Some thought it was of angelic origin. But the message was from the Father - for OUR benefit.
It was clear in the Master's mind where his pathway led; in his disciple's minds - not so much. The Father tells the Son for OUR benefit - "Glorified.(...the past...) Will Glorify. (...the future...)"
The time will come when the days are dark. Hope will seem shattered. The future will seem to have reached the end of days. But just wait.
Glory is coming... The past will meet the promise.


Journey - 38

Lent6
But Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat
falls to the ground and dies, it remains
only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Whoever loves his life will lose it,
but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me;
and where I am, My servant will be as well.
If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
(John 12:23-26)

The seed and the servant.
The seed that dies is the seed that is glorified. The seed that serves its purpose is the seed which is honored. The seed that dies is the seed which fulfills its purpose. The seed’s ultimate destination is the ground. The seed’s ultimate purpose is to die.
Why?
“Dead” seeds contain the essence of life. It produces more fruit. The fruit contains seeds for even more life.
But to enjoy the life – it must die.
The servant who stands is no servant.
The servant who does not respond to the message and the mission of the Master is no servant.
Servants serve. They get their hands dirty. They involve themselves in seeing to it that they follow.
And where does the dying servant end up? Is he just a dead servant after all is said and done? Nope. The Master says servants will be where He is.


Journey - 37

Lent6
Then the Pharisees said to one another,
“You can see that this is doing you no good.
Look how the whole world has gone after Him!”
Now there were some Greeks among those
who went up to worship at the feast.
They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
Philip relayed this appeal to Andrew,
and both of them went and told Jesus.
(John 12:19-22)

 

“The whole world has gone after him.” Hyperbole. And yet the whole world will have to determine their relationship to him – whether they are for Him or against him. As for the Pharisees, they determined that Jesus was “doing them no good”. Their attitudes were settled; their minds had reckoned, the message and the mission of the Messiah was missed…or in their case rejected.

The Greeks, on the other hand, had questions. They had heard of Jesus, but now wanted to confirm things with him. And so it should be with everyone who wants to understand. “We would see Jesus.” We would want to know more, we want to confirm in our minds what we suspect to be true in our hearts. Thankfully, the disciples were inspired to write what they saw, so that we, too, could see Jesus.


Journey - 36

Lent6
At first His disciples did not understand these things,

but after Jesus was glorified they remembered what had been done to Him,
and they realized that these very things had also been written about Him.
Meanwhile, many people continued to testify
that they had been with Jesus when He called Lazarus
from the tomb and raised him from the dead.
That is also why the crowd went out to meet Him,
because they heard that He had performed this sign.
(John 12:16-18)


Remembrance and Understanding – much of what we experience leaves us scratching our heads. Why did that happen? Who was that person? Where am I heading?
And yet, as seen in John 12, even the disciples weren’t sure why things happened the way they did until AFTER the pain and suffering Jesus suffered. Only then did they understand both what Jesus was trying to teach them as well as the rest of God’s Word. When they remembered, they understood.
They would need that understanding. Plots of murder were afoot. Even the resurrected Lazarus was the target of those whose power was being challenged. Only after the Lamb was sacrificed would they understand the power of His words and works. Such remembering would change them…and change the world.
Not only would they understand the mission of Messiah’s life – but the rest of scripture would bloom with deeper understanding. That’s why there are over 300 Old Testament verses in the New Testament. As they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the next volume of God’s Word to believers, they would be reminded of the connections
Like spring flowers having sprung up after the trauma of winter, they blossom with vibrancy and beauty that would have been wasted in the midst of the bitterness of winter. It’s as if they understand why they are appointed to bloom after such horrible days of darkness and cold.


Journey - 35

Lent5
They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting:

“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the King of Israel!”
Finding a young donkey, Jesus sat on it, as it is written:
“Do not be afraid, O daughter of Zion.
See, your King is coming,
seated on the colt of a donkey.”
(John 12:13-15)

Praise – Hosanna, a transliteration of both the Greek and Hebrew phrases. In Hebrew, the transliterated phrase is “Hoshiya na!” The interpretation is “Salvation is coming!!” But over the years, the understanding developed into “Salvation! Salvation has come!” Rather than a request for salvation the crowd is now confident that their salvation has come.
Prophecy – Zechariah 9:9 – the arrival of a king and now the arrival of THE king. Riding on a donkey. As someone has said, horses were animals of war; donkeys were animals of peace.
And so, the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace arrives…
He is the real deal. He is the one to bring salvation – from sin.
But the names they shout out seem to be more political than spiritual. They proclaim a King. (Yeah, that’s not going to go over well with the local political authorities. And the religious leaders are not ready to accept this One who the people are starting to follow with devotion.)


Journey - 34

Lent5
So the chief priests made plans

to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him
many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.
The next day the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.
(John 12:10-12)


Get rid of the evidence. The religions leaders had plans to destroy Jesus.
They also had plans to get rid of Lazarus – because he was becoming more persuasive than Jesus. Lazarus was obvious. He was dead. Now He’s alive. Lazarus’ death had been certified. He had not swooned. He wasn’t suffering from illness or the circumstances of life. He. Was. Dead.
Coupled with what Jesus said when he raised Lazarus – “Whoever believes in me, though he may die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:26)
If Lazarus was alive, then there may eventually be others proclaiming the power of Jesus through their resurrected life. As one commentator states, Jesus HAD to call Lazarus by name from his grave, because a generic call would have had believers emerging from their graves all over the place.”
It’s as if the resurrection of Lazarus was “an inconvenient miracle” by the Jewish religious leaders of his day.
Jesus demonstrates the glory of God. My response? Treasure that glory. Believe in and live in light of that glory.
“The aim of love is to bring people to the fullest knowledge and the fullest enjoyment of the glory of God.” – John Piper

Quotes from https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/this-illness-is-for-the-glory-of-god


Journey - 33

Lent5
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “She was intended to keep this perfume
to prepare for the day of My burial. The poor you will always have with you,
but you will not always have Me.”
Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews learned that Jesus was there.
And they came not only because of Him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom He had raised from the dead. (John 12:7-9)

Intentions – perfume with an intended purpose
“…it is a beautiful thing when the worth of Jesus and the love of his followers match — when the value of his perfections and the intensity of our affections correspond.”
“She reached for the most lavish thing she could find to express the inexpressible. She displays a heart that matches His worth. Jesus is inexpressibly wonderful, and Mary is inexpressibly affectionate.” She freely pours out about 11 ounces of a highly prized perfume that would have cost nearly a year’s wages. In today’s terms – maybe around $50,000.00. And she simply pours it out.
Where? On his feet. “The least of Jesus is worthy of the best of us. ...The lowliest part of Jesus is infinitely more precious that the highest gift of man.”
When the voices around us try to lessen the love of Jesus within us, don’t listen.

Quotes from John Piper ( https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/leave-her-alone-judas-this-is-for-my-burial )


Journey - 32

Lent5
But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray Him,
asked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii
and the money given to the poor?”
)Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor,
but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag,
he used to take from what was put into it.
(John 12:4-6)


Lesson to learn? Words betray attitude. Words are a window to the world within. Judas should have been “keeper of his heart” and “protector of his Savior”. Instead he was more worried about sales than salvation. He had betrayal on his mind. His head was too filled with this world; he was more concerned with value and with providing for the poor out of what could be sold. Standing in the presence of the Feeder of 5000 he still could only think of the world’s goods. He had witnessed healings, he had heard teachings, he had seen resurrections – and still all he could think about was selling something to provide for the “needs of others”. Wasn’t that what he was about to do. Wasn’t he going to sell something for his own benefit – betray his Savior for a handful of gold?


Journey - 31


Lent5

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany,
the hometown of Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.

So they hosted a dinner for Jesus there.
Martha served, and Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him.

Then Mary took about a pint of expensive perfume,
made of pure nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.
And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”

John 12:1-3

Martha served. Lazarus fellowshipped. Mary worshipped. Service, fellowship, worship. Three important elements in a believer's life.
The fragrance of service – 1. Costly. Service is never without a price. It’s an investment of time. It’s an investment of resources into the life of another. It is an effort. If done correctly, it increases joy and creates an amazing intersection into the lives of others.
2. Applied – service which is not directly focused on another is not truly service. It is ruined by selfishness. It is nice if it is unplanned; spontaneous service increases its effectiveness.
3. Pervasive – service should inspire; helping others should lead to others helping as a result. It is memorable. Service rendered to another will leave a lasting memory in the hearts of those who have been served.


Journey - 30

Lent5

“For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.”
(Galatians 5:5)

“There is a great comfort and an exhortation in this word “wait.” The comfort is that the presence of a struggle with sin in this life is not a sign that we are lost. Perfection is not the test of spiritual life in this age. And that is a great comfort to saved sinners.
“The exhortation is this: we must not be indifferent to righteousness in this life; we must wait eagerly for it. The word implies eager expectation and longing (see also Hebrews 9:28.) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). We hunger for it as we wait.
“Therefore, we are not content with sin. There is battle and struggle and failure and confession and forgiveness and relief and joy and power and then failure again and confession and forgiveness and deeper love to Christ. And so it goes till the great day when the work which he began in us he himself, by his grace, will complete.”

From https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/our-hope-righteousness


Journey - 29


Lent5
"You leave the commandment of God
and hold to the tradition of men.”
Mark 7:8


Who will you listen to? To God or to man?
Determination of input and direction/guidance for life? God or man?
Source of direction? The One who knows the future or the one clinging to “We always done it this way”? What happens when tradition is ignored, or forgotten?
This is what feeds the hypocrisy for which Jesus chides in Mark 7:7. Lip service and not heart service. Tradition over understanding. Turning away from what God has commanded (which my sin shows me is impossible to keep, making grace necessary) to follow traditions which man has developed, masquerading as truth – easier to follow, subject to whim and desire, which man has decreed in order to quiet conscience and usurp God’s power. It’s as if they’re saying, “OK. God’s stuff was good, but we can make it better.”
The commandment of God – that firm foundation. God – holy, steadfast, truthful, unchanging.
The traditions of men – selfish, subject to change, ineffectual
Because of my sin, I may not be able to fulfill the law – but that was the reason I needed – and always need – a Savior. Tradition only nods that I’m sinful and replaces God’s inspired Word with supposition and silliness dressed up as truth. Rather than trying to follow someone’s selfish interpretation of what God requires, toss that aside and get back to the heart of the matter – the problem of the heart.
And who knows the heart better than the Creator?


Journey - 28

Lent4

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Mark 7:7


Distant heart. Worthless worship. Dishonorable doctrine. Three strikes that point to the subtle danger of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy – saying one thing but doing another. Being untrue to the truth.

“…the inability to stop sinning usually indicates a deficiency in our understanding God’s strength. When we do not understand His power to save, forgive, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), we can get caught in a destructive cycle of sin, guilt, and fear which leads to a lack of joy in our salvation, which leads to more sin.”


AND…


“So, the way to stop sinning is not to add more rules. God knew this. In fact, He gave us the law so that we would be aware of our sin and turn to Him (Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 3:23-26). The law is good. It is a reflection of God’s nature and His perfection. But it was not given to us for our salvation. Christ fulfills the law for us (Matthew 5:17).

When we disagree with God and hang onto the idea that we must fulfill the law, we lose our joy in salvation and set ourselves up for failure. We labor under a terrible burden. We feel pressured to do something to secure salvation, but, at the same time, our sin nature renders us unable to obey the law. The more we focus on the law, the more our sin nature rebels. The more our sin nature rebels, the more frightened we become that we are not saved. The more frightened and joyless we become, the more tempting sin’s promise of happiness is.

The only way to break the cycle and stop sinning is to accept the fact that we cannot stop sinning. This may seem contradictory, but if a person does not stop trying to save himself, he will never rest in the knowledge that God has saved him. The joy of salvation comes from accepting the fact that God’s grace covers us, that He will change us and conform us to the image of Christ, and that it is His work, not ours (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:20-21). Once this reality is truly grasped, sin loses its power. We no longer feel the impulse to turn to sin as a means of temporary relief from anxiety, because the anxiety and pressure has been relieved once for all by Christ (Hebrews 10:10, 14). Then, the good works we accomplish in faith are done because of love and joy rather than out of fear or duty.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:56-58).

from https://www.gotquestions.org/stop-sinning.html


Journey - 27

Lent4“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91:14-16

The eight “I wills” –
I will deliver > because I hold fast in love
I will protect > because I know his name
I will answer > because I call to him
I will be with him > because I am in trouble
I will rescue him >
I will honor him >
I will satisfy him > long life
I will show him > salvation


Journey - 26

Lent4

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge —
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Psalm 91:7-13


Journey - 25

Lent4

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Psalm 91:1-6


Journey - 24

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your soul
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Mathew 11: 28-30

The command indicates moving toward Jesus. “Come here, you…”

Why, Jesus?

“Are you working hard? Are you burdened by the cares of this world? Are you weighed down with what this world does to people? To you?”

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

“I can – I will give you rest.”

How so?

“1. Take upon yourself my yoke…”

I get your rest when I take your burden upon myself?

“That’s what I said… But there’s more and the yoke is defined by the second part. 2. Learn of me.”

So your yoke is your teaching – and your teaching is to learn about you?

"Yes! Believe me; obey me; learn from me. See me as your Teacher, your Savior, your Ruler. My yoke is not a burden for I am gentle. I am lowly in heart”

A yoke is a coupling; an assignment to be a servant. United; working together as one. So I reflect, I become what you are?  Gentle. Lowly in heart.

“Yes!”

I read that “gentleness” refers to exercising God’s strength under His control; not weakness but meekness; avoiding harshness. And “lowly” means to be humble both in position and in disposition (thoughts/feelings) – not dependent upon myself, but dependent upon you.

How is Jesus’ yoke easy? How is it light? It's because it is shared with the Savior.


Journey - 23

 

Lent4Blow a trumpet in Zion;
sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness!
Like blackness there is spread upon the mountains
a great and powerful people;
their like has never been before,
nor will be again after them
through the years of all generations.
Joel 2:1-2

One day. The last day. A day that will show the living of the world that there really IS a God, that He is holy and righteous and powerful.
A day that is the beginning of the end. The end which begins the forever.
A day of judgement. A day of wrath.
It was predicted.
It is coming.
One question remains. Am I ready?
How can anyone be “ready” for God. No one knows the time or the season of His return.
The Bible presents the first coming of the Lord’s anointed as a night of wonder and of love. A baby born.
The Bible presents the second coming of the Lord’s anointed as a conquering King. What was expected the first time appears the second time.
But why these words?
To remind – He came once. He will come again.


the embarassing birthmark search

Ah, haircuts. Unless we decide we will live as a yeti amongst the normal population, we all have visited a barber shop or a haircut place at one time in our lives. Granted some can get away with shaving their own heads, or have the magical ability to be able to cut their own hair, or have their own resident hair cutter to visit.

Not me.

“Why not?”, you ask.

I have a birth mark.

Continue reading "the embarassing birthmark search" »


Journey - 22


Lent4

But if a wicked person turns away
from all his sins that he has committed
and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right,
he shall surely live; he shall not die.
(Ezekiel 18:21)

“Turn away” and then “keep ALL of God’s statutes and do what is just and right.”  Sounds pretty easy.

Only it’s not.

It shouldn’t take too long to figure out that the turning away is a matter of making right choices. But keeping ALL of what God has commanded? Without fail? Yeah, that’s really not possible.

Doomed to die? Not necessarily.

After all, isn't that what Easter is all about?


Journey - 21

Lent3But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed
and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right,
he shall surely live; he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:21)

“Turn away” and then “keep ALL of God’s statutes and do what is just and right.”  Sounds pretty easy.

Only it’s not.

It shouldn’t take too long to figure out that the turning away is a matter of making right choices. But keeping ALL of what God has commanded? Without fail? Yeah, that’s really not possible. And it isn't too long before someone realizes, "Hey, I can't do that. I'm not able. Sin lives within. I need a Savior!"

Yes. That's exactly the point!


Journey - 20


Lent3

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

Turn around...or die.

Why would anyone continue down a road that they know will lead to their destruction? Are we that ignorant of the ways of God that we would continue down our own path, completely ignore what we know to be true - our own way is not the way of life - and think everything will be all right?

Repent. Reconsider and return; don't keep going the way you're going. Think differently. You have been warned - "The way ahead leads to your complete destruction." Remedy? Turn around. Change your thinking. Change your attitude.


Journey - 19

Lent3
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them
to tell no one what they had seen,
until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what this rising from the dead might mean.
(Mark 9:9-10)

Silence? Don't tell anyone until you're gone?

Questions. I don't understand. Why? Rising from the dead? You're only 33; who's thinking about death when you're at the prime of your life -- and your ministry? We've just seen you with Elijah and Moses. We've heard a voice on the mountain and in the clouds. And now, we're expected to keep quiet?

Sometimes we're so focused about the here and now, that we can't see then. We think we understand and yet we know nothing about how the wind blows -- or how the Lord moves. In His way. In His time. Trust. Obey. Watch and be amazed.


Journey - 18

Lent3

And a cloud overshadowed them,
and a voice came out of the cloud,
“This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
And suddenly, looking around,
they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
(Mark 9: 7-8)

Clouds on mountains? Nothing unusual about that, right? But in the context, this was no ordinary cloud. Because of the use of the genitive case, this is a cloud that possessed a voice. This was a cloud which could speak to them. As if the revelation of the real nature of their Master was not enough to "freak them out"; now even the cloud which surrounded them was talking to them.

And as the fog enveloped them and extinguished or absorbed the glory they had seen, and felt within ("afraid"), now their ears were involved.

He is beloved.

He should be listened to.