Tag: Jesus the Christ
Scripture reading for June 6th: Acts 24, Psalm 113, Proverbs 20
Key Scriptures: Acts 24:24-26 “After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” At the same time he hoped that money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him.”
Paul was imprisoned by the Romans with charges by the Jews. He faced Felix, the Roman governor in Caesarea, where he had been sent to protect him from a plot of murder by certain Jews. Felix had a Jewish wife, Drusilla, who along with her husband enjoyed listening to Paul preach–up to the point when he talked about the coming judgment! Their real motivation was money, for they expected a bribe but never got it. Paul just declared Jesus as the Christ, his lips spoke knowledge more valuable than silver or gold.
Faith Confession: Lord, I want to boldly declare Jesus as Lord and Christ to all you put in my path. Thank You for the Holy Spirit to give me boldness like the Apostle Paul.
Proverbs 20:15 “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
Scripture reading for May 15th: 1st Chronicles 3-6, Acts 8
Key Scriptures: Acts 8:4-7 “Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. So there was great joy in that city.”
As the early church suffered Jesus’ promised persecution, the disciples were scattered. This was like spreading fire because they preached everywhere they went and proclaimed Jesus as the Christ. Jesus worked with them showing great signs and miracles. People were freed from pain as the church enlarged the kingdom!
1 Chronicles 4:10 “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with m, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”
Prayer: Lord, use me to free people from the pain of sin and sickness through the Gospel and gifts of Your Spirit. Enlarge our territory! Amen.
Scripture reading for April 30th: John 1:1-28
John was the disciple whom Jesus loved and the youngest of the apostles. John was the brother of James and together they were known as the ‘Sons of Thunder’. John was pictured in all pictures of the Last Supper with his head on Jesus’ breast. Jesus assigned responsibility for His mother to John in His final statements from the cross. John knew Jesus from being in the inner circle of the apostolic band.
John’s clear purpose in writing his Gospel is stated in John 20:31, “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” John uses many different descriptive words, personal encounters and miracles to prove his point. He wanted everyone who read his account to believe! He knew that in believing, they would find eternal life and the salvation that Jesus made available to whosoever would believe!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4) This introduction identifies Jesus as the ‘Word’ that spoke creation into being from nothing! (Genesis 1:1-3) This ‘Word’ was with God at the beginning of creation. In Him was life and light for men. Apart from God’s Word, man cannot know or understand where he came from or why he is here. The eternal ‘Word’ reveals all that is hidden in darkness.
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus Christ is the ‘Word’ of God that was made flesh. He is the incarnate Word, existing from before the foundations of the world. He is the truth in living form and came to reveal that truth to mankind. When He was revealed, He showed forth the glory of His Father. There is none like Jesus! He alone is the unique ‘Son of God’. He was begotten by the Father supernaturally in the womb of Mary. He is the Truth and the Life! (John 14:6) He is the only way to God. He alone could bear our sins and save us!
Scripture reading for March 31st: Luke 9:7-27
As Jesus was alone with His disciples, He asked them who they believed He was. Peter spoke up, “The Christ of God.” (Luke 9:20) This confession brought a warning from Jesus about His coming suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. Being the Christ of God would lead to some difficult experiences and it would also not be easy for His followers! They would have to make a conscious commitment and really know who He was.
Jesus had some very difficult instructions for those that would follow Him as disciples. Some of His instructions caused them to examine if they were truly willing to follow Him. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23-26)
First, His followers must learn to deny themselves and their way of thinking. The world puts ‘self’ first, but Jesus and His followers put God and His will first. This choice is taken, even when it leads to a daily cross! Jesus denied His ‘self” daily in order to follow His Father’s instructions. For Him to experience resurrection, He must be willing to lose His life. His followers must willingly do the same, giving up seeking to gain the world and going for God’s approval instead. This choice would eventually involve martyrdom for each of the disciples except John! (and Judas)
Jesus’ crucifixion would involve shame and great fear of being identified with Him. It would require great faith in Him to continue His work after the crucifixion and resurrection, but the end result would be eternal reward when Jesus returned! As we read this teaching of Jesus, we must consider what it means to lose our life to gain it. Are we willing to lose our plans, possessions, and even possibly our life to serve and follow Jesus? The rewards are eternal for those who willingly chose Christ and take up a cross!