DEVOTIONALS

0

First?

James 3:13-16 “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”
I once heard the story of two men describing a third… “Let me describe him for you,” one of them said… “He’s the kind of guy who follows you into a revolving door and comes out ahead of you… that’s selfish ambition!”

Ever met someone who’s selfish?   A person who lives with a “me first” attitude all the time?    In James 3, the Bible tells us that where there is selfish ambition, there is disorder and evil.   Self-serving people have the wrong priorities… they put themselves above others and disregard Christ’s call to be a servant.  And the evil that the passage describes?  It’s pride.  Self-centeredness.  And scripture tells us that God sets Himself against those that possess that trait.   The antidote to the poison of selfishness?  Generosity, humility, and servanthood… Let’s get out there today and show the world the love of Christ by not living “me first” but “you first”…  Selflessness like that could change the world!
0

Trusted

A Costco store in Simi Valley, California had a display table filled with Bibles for sale.  While looking through them, Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach discovered a bright sticker had been placed on every cover… it contained the price… and the word “Fiction” next to it.
Fiction?  As in “not real”?  
At once, the Pastor brought the mistake to the attention of the management and the stickers were removed at once.  The man in charge chalked it up to “human error” from the warehouse.
This got me to thinking… although our Bibles don’t have “Fiction” stickers on them…do we really believe what they say inside the covers?  Is it possible that what God says inside those words is 100% true?  How can we be a masterpiece when our thought-life is what it is?   How can we be forgiven by the One who created the oceans and calmed the storms?  Is everything REALLY possible through Christ?
Yes.  

What you read in that wonderful love letter from God is absolutely true.  Every syllable of it.  We are sinners.  We are imperfect.  We make mistakes.  But we serve the God who time after time gives chances to return to Him.   We serve the God who hears the cries of the hurting and responds with the love demonstrated by Jesus on the cross.  Be assured… you can count on what you read in the Bible.  It is far from fiction.  It is rock-solid fact that has withstood the test of time and the assault from countless critics.   Hold it boldly and read it with confidence.    It is God’s unshakeable word… and it can be trusted wholeheartedly.  
0

One of Us

Hospital food has quite the reputation.  It really doesn’t matter what name is on the outside of the building, the food served inside leaves much to be desired in many cases.   Interestingly enough, the quality has changed very little regardless of the number of complaints from patients, physicians, and guests.  The leadership in one hospital in Ottawa, Canada wanted to change all of this.  They figured that the only way to truly understand what people were griping about was to eat the food themselves.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served to the executives for a solid week directly from hospital kitchen.  
The verdict?  A major change was needed… and fast!
It’s easy to act like there is no issue or problem.  We can go through our day nodding that adjustments need to be made or feigning concern about a cause or situation.  But when we step into the shoes of those affected… our viewpoint changes!  That’s why Christ came. He put on flesh and was born as a baby so that He could fully experience the human condition.  Heartbreak, loss, victory, justice, elation, and gratitude… Jesus felt all of these and so much more.  When we pray that we’re hurting… He’s felt it.  If we are asking God for strength, He’s experienced that too.  

Jesus did more than just create the human race… He joined it.  And because of this we know that He truly understands and addresses our needs specifically.  Today, take a few minutes and thank Him for what He’s already done… and know that whatever you are asking Him for today He has felt it too.  He understands.  Personally.
0

Challenging People

Have you ever looked inside your washing machine and wondered how it gets clothes so clean?  You might be surprised to know that it isn’t just the soap… or the hot water… it’s that column in the middle that usually has plastic fins that rotate all the way around.  It’s called an agitator… and without one, your clothes would smell better but they wouldn’t be clean.  During the wash cycle, this agitator forces the clothes to move around… from the bottom to the top of the water and back down… preventing laundry from just floating on the surface.  This constant movement allows the soap and water to fully saturate the materials and clean the clothes. 

Agitators in a washing machine make it work to it’s fullest potential.  They do the same thing in our lives as well.  Our agitators take many forms… those that bother us, those that are jealous of us, those that disagree with our decisions, or those that just plain rub us the wrong way.  They agitate, irritate, instigate, and infuriate us to the point that we wonder why God allows them into our day-to-day.  He does it because in dealing with them… we grow.  James 1:3 tells us that testing produces endurance.   Loving those that frustrate us builds character.  Caring for those that don’t care for us allows us to be more like Christ.  Anyone can be friendly to the friendly… but it’s when we extend grace to the agitators of life that we truly exhibit the character of the One who wants to see us grow through the process.
0

Restoration

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’”  Jeremiah 30:17
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”  Psalm 51:12
“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”  Job 42:10
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”  Psalm 23:1
“Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”  Mark 8:25
“obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you”  Deuteronomy 30:8-10
God makes things right.  
He heals the hurts.
He fixes what we think is irreparable.
He loves those the world calls unloveable.
He turns tragedy into triumph.
He mends relational fences.
He sees the tears you cry…and quietly whispers to your soul…
It’s going to be ok.  
I’ve got it.  
God watches over us.
God cares about us.
God restores us.  He heals our wounds… both physical and emotional (Jer. 30:17)
God restores us.  To spend eternity with Him… our eternity is secure (Psalm 51:12)
God restores us.  He’s generous. He provides more than was taken from us (Job 42:10)
God restores us.  He rejuvenates a dry soul.  (Psalm 23:1)
God restores us.  We can see things clearly after He touches us (Mark 8:25)
God restores us.  When we are obedient to Him…He blesses us (Deut. 30:8-10)
Feeling broken?  Hurt?  In pieces?  
God restores.
He will put you back together… never give up…. 
He loves you and He’s not done in your life. 
You matter.  Stay strong.  
You are loved.

God restores.
0

New Direction

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”  Matthew 28:1-10
A lot of people think Easter is over.
Plastic eggs… chocolate bunnies… colorful baskets all become half-off discounted items at local stores.
The good feeling we had at church this weekend fades and we are faced with….
Post-Easter Monday morning.  
You woke up to it today. 
All of the songs you sang and felt yesterday have become distant memories…replaced with the droning sound of your office or classroom.
Clothes that once dripped with the waters of baptism are now dried, folded, and put back in their drawer.
I want to encourage you to think differently today.  Easter isn’t over. 
Today’s verses all have one thing in common.  They all point directly to our risen Lord and what He did for us over 2000 years ago.  He came back.  He returned from the dead.  His resurrection is the single act in history that changed our eternity forever.  He is all that we need and all we could ever want.  He loves us more than we could understand and could never earn.  Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
And he didn’t stay dead.  He came back for us.
Last weekend, we celebrated death’s single defeat in the return of Christ.  He didn’t come back for us to live weak and defeated lives… He came back so we could stand strong for Him and live boldly.  
I want to challenge you this morning to not think of Easter as something that’s “over”…  but, instead, as the first day of the new reality.  Today starts that new hope… today affirms the truth that, in Christ, you can do all things!  Today matters and you matter in it.  

Have faith, and keep moving forward.  I’ll be praying for you as you take these first steps in your new direction.  
0

Holy Week – Friday

The day had finally come.  Friday.  Just five days after Jesus entered the streets of a cheering Jerusalem, He faced the covert plan of His betrayer:
“While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying,
“The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.”
And he came up to Jesus at once and said,
“Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him,
“Friend, do what you came to do.” –  Matthew 26:47-50
Jesus knew Judas would come.  You can imagine that Christ had played this scene in His mind a few times… that kiss from the lips of the traitor against His cheek… the sounds of the swords clanging together from those that came to capture Him… All of the unnecessary drama from a group of people who had no clue what they were doing.  Jesus would go willingly.  He had been planning on it since the day He was sent to Earth.
Jesus was led away by those He had created.  The beginning of the end…  The end of the beginning…  
Scripture tells us that Christ would go through a “trial.”  He was brought before the high priest Annas, Caiaphas, Herod Antipas, and a man by the name of Pontius Pilate.  None of them could pin anything on Him…none of them bold enough to condemn Him to die…that is until Pilate lets the people choose.  Pontius would release one man… a murderer named Barabbas or Jesus.  
The people chose the murderer over the Creator.
The King of Kings and Lord or Lords would face the most severe form of torture ever devised by the hands of man…before or since… the cross.  And He would do so without ever thinking a sinful thought.
He would go through it for us.
By this time, Judas Escariot realized he has made a terrible mistake…tried to give the silver back… but eventually gave in to his overwhelming sense of grief.  He knew he had caused the death of an innocent man… and it would cost him his own life by his own hand.
9AM – Noon on Good Friday.  Three hours when the world held its breath, Satan snickered, and eleven scared students of Jesus went into hiding.  
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion.
And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.  And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him.  And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.  And it was the third hour when they crucified him.
And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying,
“Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!”  So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.  Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.  And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said,  “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”  And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said,  “Truly this man was the Son of God!”  –  Mark 15:16-39
And they would take Him down.
And they would put Him in a tomb.
And they would wait.
Was Jesus telling the truth when He said He was coming back?
Oh, yes…. He was coming back.   THAT’S what we’re celebrating this Sunday.
Jesus keeps His promises.  The tomb was empty and our eternity was forever changed.
Jesus’ death on the cross was the turning point for humanity.  From that moment forward, every sin we’ve committed or will ever commit was covered by Christ’s sacrifice.  So what do we do with that?
Continue to sin?  Knowing that whatever we do is taken care of?   Thinking that if it’s forgiven… why not continue to break God’s heart?
What’s the appropriate response to eternal grace and forgiveness?
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?  Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.  Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Romans 6:1-4;11-14
If you are a Christ-follower… sin no longer controls you.  Why?  Because of His resurrection!  When He rose from the grave just three days after the events of Good Friday… we ALL received new life!   New opportunity.  New hope.  New focus.  
Sin lost it’s power that day.  Death’s perfect record… spoiled.  
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior…
We die to who we were.
Our past is buried 
We resurrect with Christ into new life.
His grace is free.  He gives it willingly.  Why not sin?  Because we should value what those who we are in a relationship with value.  Christ paid the price to defeat sin’s power… why not choose to live in a way that honors that sacrifice and demonstrates our love for Him?
0

Holy Week – Thursday

The plan was now in place and Jesus knew it.  Thursday was here…. you may hear it called Maundy Thursday… and the last time all of the disciples would be together in one place had come.  Jesus begins preparation for the Passover feast…
“Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying,
“Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and say to him,
‘The Teacher says,
My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”
And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.”  Matthew 26: 17-19
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another,
“Is it I, Lord?”
He answered,
“He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Judas, who would betray him, answered,
“Is it I, Rabbi?”
He said to him,
“You have said so.”
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said,
“Take, eat; this is my body.”
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”  Matthew 26:20-29
This new covenant between God and Man… shed blood for the forgiveness of sin..  in the next few days, these men that Jesus ate with would see it firsthand.  A new plan was coming…a high price would be paid…and the world would change forever.  
Jesus then washes the feet of his disciples in John 13:1-17:26… demonstrating to them what a true servant does.  He commands them to do likewise…they sing a hymn together (Matthew 26:30)… and Jesus heads to the Mount of Olives to await His destiny.  Judas’ plan was in motion and their two very different paths would collide in the hours that followed.
Before Jesus faced His captors, He wanted to confront Peter with his future…
“And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away, for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him,
“Even though they all fall away, I will not.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
But he said emphatically,
“If I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
And they all said the same.”  –  Mark 14:27-31
It’s interesting that the disciples all thought Jesus was wrong.  They would NEVER deny their Creator!  They would stand boldly in the face of authority and proclaim association with the One who hung the stars and walked on the water.
If only that were true.
In fact, some of His disciples would fail Jesus on their very first assignment.  He asked them to stay up and pray with Him…
“And when he came to the place, he said to them,
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying,
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them,
“Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”  – Luke 22:40-46
From a last meal together.. to a warning.. to a letdown.  Jesus had been through so much already in His final pre-resurrection week on Earth.  The time was coming for the beginning of the end… capture and crucifixion awaited Him.  I love what He says in that last passage… faced with impending torture, Jesus tells His Father… “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Jesus was fulfilling His destiny… He was willingly turning over His life…He was purposefully going to the cross.
For us.  

Take some time to prepare your heart today as Easter approaches… fast, pray, and commit to serving and sacrificing for others.  And when you finish… pray the same prayer to God that Jesus did… that His will…and not your own… would be done.  When said with a genuine heart, this prayer can change your life.  
0

Holy Week – Wednesday

      Palm branches, trick questions, mockery, righteous anger… it had been a challenging week for Jesus Christ.  Wednesday of Holy Week would be no different for our Savior.  Three primary events took place which would forever change the world…teachings, treachery, and a traitor.
First, Jesus continued to teach in the temple.  Even with all of the miracles, parables, examples, healing, and stories.. Jesus wasn’t done instructing.  
“And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet.  And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.”    –  Luke 21:37-38
   This passage is so revealing of Christ’s character.  Getting up early…teaching in the temple…ready to challenge any willing to listen with the truth of the Gospel.  Christ never slowed down doing what God had given Him to do.  He never gave up on anyone…bravely teaching in the temple…fully knowing that in just a short while, He would be arrested and tortured for the sins of those who sat listening.
As Wednesday continued, so did the plans to arrest and kill Jesus.   Time was drawing short and the authorities knew that they needed to do it quickly to avoid overlapping with the Passover feast.  They didn’t want to anger the people… just eliminate what they considered to be society’s biggest threat.
“Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said,  ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.’”  – Matthew 26:3-5
    It’s interesting that Caiaphas and his gang of conspirators had no problem with punishing an innocent man… they just didn’t want to cause a riot.  They feared public opinion over injustice… they cared more about legalism than the legality of their deeds.  Somewhere on that Wednesday, the sound of a saw and hammer were heard in the distance…preparing a cross for a Man who was declared guilty long before He was ever brought to mock trial.  
But this day wasn’t over yet… even as Jesus was in the temple leading people to eternal life… His traitor’s plans were put into motion.  Judas Iscariot….one of Christ’s original 12 students…had allowed the enemy to invade his heart.  The devil chuckled as Judas approached those same chief priests to make his deadly deal:
“Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.  He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.
So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.”   –  Luke 22:3-6
   Once again… plans for betrayal without an audience.  Secret sin.  Judas had put his endgame into motion and the conspiracy was confirmed.  He’d get silver for his act of treason, but would never spend a bit of it.  Christ knew His betrayer… knew how close to death He was on this Wednesday… but continued on boldly teaching others.
Tomorrow, on Passover, Jesus and His disciples will discuss this turn of events over dinner.

Take a few minutes today and picture the scene… Judas Iscariot walked miles and miles with Christ.  He saw Him do miracles… feed the masses… calm the storms…  and teach thousands about faith and love.  But soon, he would be overcome by Satan and give in to his inherent greed.  
Judas was planning to go from brother to betrayer with a kiss.  Turn over the King of Kings for a few coins…
Have you ever had that happen in your life?  Have you ever had a friend who turned their back on you?  Hurt you deeply?  Betrayed your trust?  If so, Jesus feels your pain.  
Max Lucado describes betrayal this way… “It’s more than rejection. Rejection opens a wound; betrayal pours the salt. It’s more than loneliness. Loneliness leaves you in the cold; betrayal closes the door. It’s more than mockery. Mockery plunges the knife; betrayal twists it. It’s more than an insult. An insult attacks your pride; betrayal breaks your heart.”
Why does it hurt so badly to be betrayed?  Because it usually comes from someone very close to us:  someone we work with, a friend… or someone with our own last name.  So how do we react when it happens?  Some become extremely angry…flying into a rage.  Other people swallow the pain… only to lash out at others who don’t know what’s going on and who don’t deserve it.  Yet another way is to just keep the relationship going…as if nothing ever happened… but resuming it without trust.  
Get furious.
Get passive/aggressive 
Get on with life like nothing happened.
Three unhealthy ways to handle the hurt.  So how do we deal with betrayal?  
Go to God with it.  Cry out to Him and tell Him how you feel.  He already knows.  Refuse to let your heart harden… you’ll have to trust others again and only God will be able to help make that happen.  Have you been betrayed?  Hurt deeply by a friend?  Take a few moments and read Psalm 55:16-23.  See what King David prayed.  
You aren’t alone in your feelings… Jesus understands how much betrayal hurts… and He’ll never leave your side as you begin the road back to trusting others again. 
I’ll be praying for you as you heal.  

0

Holy Week – Tuesday

     Yesterday we started our journey through Holy Week by looking at what Jesus did on that final pre-resurrection Monday.  Quite an amazing transformation in just 24 hours!  The Israelites went from laying down palms at the feet of His donkey to breaking His heart by money-changing inside the temple.  What appeared to be celebratory was not… the people of Jerusalem were patting Him on the back in public while many were plotting behind the scenes to speed up His demise.  What I love about Jesus is that He knew this was going on… yet continued to bravely do ministry in the face of it.  
He could hear the footsteps of His coming crucifixion but He never took His eyes off of His purpose.
On Tuesday of that same week, Jesus continued revealing the true intentions of those He came into contact with.  This time, He was tested with a series of questions.  Those that stood against Jesus were constantly trying to catch Him in a lie…or to cause Him to sin.  Here are a few of the questions they asked Jesus on Tuesday:
Q:  Who gave you the authority to do what you do? 
A:  “He answered them,
“I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?”
And they discussed it with one another, saying,
“If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
So they answered that they did not know where it came from.
And Jesus said to them,
“Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”  – Luke 20:3-8
Q:  Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?
A:  “But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?”  They said, “Caesar’s.”  He said to them,
“Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.” – Luke 20:23-26
I love that…. they tried to catch Jesus in a trap… He left them speechless with His wisdom!  They weren’t done… but each question the people asked, Jesus gave them a flawless and holy answer…
But Jesus‘ Tuesday wasn’t over… He had yet more wisdom to share with the people…
As they exited the temple, the Disciples were marveling at their beauty. Jesus takes this opportunity to share some more incredible facts with them.  Here’s a quick list:
(from Matthew 24:1-25:46)
  • All of the beautiful temples would fall.
  • There would be many false prophets pretending to be the returning Christ
  • Those that follow Christ would be persecuted for His name’s sake
  • No one except the Father knows the exact date and time of Jesus‘ return
  • Be ready for the Son of Man will come at an hour you don’t expect
  • People will be separated like sheep and goats (believers and non-believers)
This lengthy passage is known as the Olivet Discourse by scholars and I recommend that you read it in its entirety.   Jesus continued to use parable to illustrate complicated concepts to His detractors… never once slipping… never once sinning.  Christ would be dead in just a few days and He knew it.   Yet He spent his last week pouring into the people who would mock and torture Him.  
They would try to silence Him forever. 
God had other plans.  

The resurrection is coming…  Praise God for His goodness and sacrifice today…
Contact Us