I am the resurrection and the life

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God,who is to come into the world.”  John 11:25-27

The way to salvation is through Jesus Christ alone.  He is the way, the truth, and the life.  He is the resurrection.  Those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ while on this earth will spend all eternity with Him in His kingdom.  Those who pass on from this earth will never taste the second death.

Many fear death and the reason Jesus came to the earth was to conquer sin and death.  He lived a life without sin and became the perfect sacrifice for all humanity.  The gift of salvation is a free gift and is available to all people.  Those who come to faith in Jesus Christ are drawn by the Holy Spirit and it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit that moves our hearts to the place of salvation.

Let us live each day for the glory of Jesus.  Let us use our lives to glorify and magnify His name.  Many in the world today want nothing to do with God and His ways, but let us be a vessel of His glory that He can use to impact this world for His kingdom.

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John 1:19-28: John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d]

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.  John 1:19-28

John came as the forerunner to the Messiah.  John came preaching repentance and calling people to turn from their sins.  To be baptized and prepare their hearts for the one who had been prophesied about.

When John came on the scene some believed him to be the messiah.  Some believed him to be Elijah or the prophet Moses spoke of who would come.  But John made it very clear that he came as the one Isaiah prophesied about who would come to prepare the way of the Lord.

When Jesus came the first time He came as a suffering servant who would lay down His life for all of humanity.  The Lord is coming very soon for His bride and He is calling His people to repent of their sins and to prepare their hearts daily for His return.

For those who fail to abide in the Lord and spend time daily in God’s word and prayer will be easily deceived in this hour.  We are bombarded daily with information and much of it is simply lies and deception from Satan and the demonic realm.  Satan uses social media, entertainment, and technology to capture the hearts and minds of many.

People in this hour are rejecting God and anything that has to do with the truth of God’s word.  When people reject the truth it makes them an easy target of the enemy.  As believers in Christ we must daily seek the Lord and simply walk in obedience to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The Lord will guard our hearts in this hour and enable us to accomplish His will upon the earth.

John 1:15-18: Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses;grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.  John 1:15-18

John is proclaiming the coming of the Messiah to prepare the hearts of the people.  He points to Jesus as the Messiah and the reason John knew that Jesus was the Messiah is because He saw the Spirit of God fall upon Jesus and remain upon Him.  In everything that Jesus did, He did it through the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Grace and truth came through Jesus.  Under the new covenant established through the death and resurrection of Jesus the grace of God has been poured out upon our lives.  All those who call upon Jesus as Lord and Savior have the unmerited favor of God upon them.  We have done nothing to earn salvation or the gifts God bestows upon us.  He lavishes His love and mercy upon us because of His grace.

Jesus is the Son of God and because of this He has always existed with the Father.  It was through Him that all things were created and all authority on earth and heaven has been given unto Him.  In the day and hour in which we live of great chaos and turmoil the Lord is fulfilling His plans and purposes.  Let us draw near each day and continue to develop deep intimacy with the Lord.  May we become a people of His presence and prayer.  He is fully in control and the hour of His return for His bride is very soon.

 

John 10:6-10: I am the gate for the sheep

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me[a] were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.[b] They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.  John 10:6-10

Jesus is the true gate and His sheep hear His voice and respond.  There have been many throughout history who have claimed to represent God.  There have been many who have gone forth and deceived many through the lies and deceptions of Satan.

Satan’s only desire is to kill, steal, and destroy.  He desires to destroy as many lives as he can because he is driven by wickedness and darkness.  When he rebelled against God and desired that he would be the one who would be worshiped, the Lord cast him out with a third of the demons who aligned with him in his rebellion.

People have been created in the image of God and this is why Satan desires to destroy humanity.  But those who choose to follow Jesus Christ are protected by the Good Shepherd.  It doesn’t mean we won’t face trials or difficult times upon this earth.  But it means that everything we face the Lord will lead us through and He will use all things for our good and our future.

Knowing the voice of the Lord is key in this hour.  It protects our hearts against the lies and deceptions of Satan that continue to fill the earth on a greater basis.  The only way to come to know the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit is through spending time in God’s word and in prayer.  As we fellowship daily with the Lord we will come to know His voice and He will transform our lives from the inside out.

Walking daily with Jesus is a journey of being transformed into His likeness and His image.  As we are transformed the very nature of who Jesus is fills us from the inside out.  May we draw near this day to the Good Shepherd and understand that He will always protect, provide, and watch over us.

Psalm 119:105: lamp for my feet

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105 NIV

God’s word lights our path.  We live in a world filled with darkness and the steps we make on a daily basis are based upon decisions that are made.  Decisions made take place in our heart and in our mind.  When we study God’s word daily and partake of His word it is the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives from the inside out.  It is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us throughout the course of each day.

A decision to follow Jesus is one in which we decide to walk with Christ every day of our lives.  It is not a one time decision that simply takes place.  It is a daily decision to align ourselves with God’s word and the pursuit of His kingdom.  It is impossible to claim to follow Christ and pursuit our own selfish wants and desires.  For when we choose to follow Christ we turn our lives over to Him and they now belong to Jesus.

Today if you find yourself struggling with a decision that needs to be made seek the Lord in prayer and the study of His word.  The more time we spend with the Lord, the more sensitive we become to His voice and His leading.  The more we come to recognize how He is leading us on a daily basis.  The bottom line is the more time we spend with Him, the more we become like Him.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:1-6

The apostle Paul calls us to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Our lives should be lived with one purpose and that is to simply glorify and honor the name of Jesus.  We are called to be holy because the Lord is holy.  Holiness is simply living in the character and nature of Jesus Christ.  This only happens as we abide in the Lord daily and grow in our relationship with Him.

We are called to be completely humble and gentle.  When we examine what the apostle Paul is writing we see he is simply writing about the character and nature of Christ.  The character of Christ is contrary to the way the world works.  Those who seek after the pleasures and emptiness of the world are filled with the darkness of the world.  But those who seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness will have a life filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to do all things to keep the unity we have in the body of Christ.  It is pride and arrogance that bring division and strife to the body of Christ.  But when our focus is upon Christ alone and His kingdom we will be filled with the grace and love of God which will lead naturally to unity and peace.

It is amazing toward the end of this passage how many times the apostle Paul uses the word one.  In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.  There is neither black nor white.  For in Christ we are one body.  One of the main issues the apostle Paul is confronting is the division that existed between Jew and Gentile in the body of Christ.

For when we view one another through the eyes of Christ we will see the beauty of every brother and sister that exist in the body of Christ.  We must be led by the Spirit and walk according to the Spirit.  For when we walk according to the Spirit we will have unity and love filling our hearts.  We will be one family and army in Christ.  There is incredible power that is released into the earth when God’s sons and daughters simply walk in unity and do all things in unity.  May our eyes be focused upon the Lord always and may we simply seek Him with our whole heart.

1 Chronicles 29:10-13: Praise be to you, Lord

10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you;
    you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
    and praise your glorious name.  1 Chronicles 29:10-13

God holds all things in His hands.  All we need is found in Him.  As we grow in Him we come to understand how truly awesome God is.  Satan will lie to us and tell us someone how God has forgotten us or somehow the Lord will not fulfill His plans and purposes in our lives based on our circumstances.

But we must remember the one we serve.  With Him all things are possible.  There is nothing or no one greater than the God we serve.  King David understood this because he knew that every victory he achieved in his life was because of the work of the Lord in His life.  When David went into battle he would seek the Lord and the Lord would answer.

The only time Israel faced defeat throughout their history was due to walking in disobedience.  God made it very clear to them that blessing was found in obedience while curses were found for those who continued in rebellion.

Our God is a loving Father and when we are involved in things and doing things we shouldn’t be, He will discipline us.  Every parent who truly loves their child will use discipline not to simply punish, but to use discipline to teach.  God uses discipline in our lives to allow us to experience at times the reckless decisions we make with the hope that we will learn from them and continue to grow in maturity.

Maturity in Christ happens one step at a time.  It is a progressive process.  Mistakes and shortcomings are part of the growth process.  The level of patience and kindness our Father has for us is far greater than we will understand.  But let us focus our hearts upon Him and His kingdom.  Let us learn of His word and come to know how truly awesome the God we serve is.  With Him nothing is impossible.  No matter where we are today the Lord can redeem and restore any situation.