Is it possible to turn from your faith?

Daily Reading: (Matthew 24:9-10):

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.”

The question of “Is it possible to turn from your faith?”, has been asked in various forms, such as, “is it possible to lose your salvation?” Some try and justify the answer as yes by taking a singular verse without any context to the verse at all.

“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:10-11).

If this is all you read of what Jesus said you would be inclined to believe that it is possible to turn away from the faith and lose your salvation. This is a flawed understanding of what has happened to a believer at salvation, and who is the One who upholds our salvation. If the New Covenant was struck between you and God then most certainly you could lose your salvation, in fact, we all would, and then what would make that different from the Old Covenant? What would the purpose of the cross be if Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins did not remove our present or future sins too? But if the New Covenant is between God the Father and Jesus the Son (which it is), and Jesus upholds this Covenant then we are simply beneficiaries of this will or Covenant because we are a part of the family of God. This is explicitly what Hebrews 9:15-17 says. It is the wrong question to ask, “can you lose your salvation?” because you were not the author of your own salvation, it was by grace through faith that you were saved, this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). So, the question one must ask is, “is your salvation secure in Christ?”

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:9-10).

So, there are a few things to note here: Barnes Notes on the Bible says the following: “Not that real Christians would do this, but those who had professed to be such would then show that they were not His true followers and would hate one another.”[1]

If someone goes to a church worship service does that make them a Christian? If someone says they identify themselves as being a Christian based on the good works they do in the name of the Lord does that make them a Christian either? The answer to both of these questions is no.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:15, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Some of the people who are attached to the church will not be God’s sheep, they aren’t saved, they never were, and they have pretended to be something they are not. In the last days, they will turn Christians in to be put to death, we learn this from Matthew 24. This is happening even now, in other countries outside of America. This shouldn’t surprise us as we are living in the last days and this will only increase. So, we established that not all who belong to a church are saved.  Let’s continue:

Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’”

This passage of Scripture has terrified many, and led to the question that even the disciples had for Jesus at another time, “who then can be saved” (Matthew 19:25)? “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b). You can’t save yourself with your good works, so stop trying. Go back to Ephesians 2:8 and see that salvation is a gift of God. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, (grace) that whoever believes in Him (faith) shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

John would write the following, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). John had to reassure a group of churches where “false prophets,” denounced as Antichrist, denied the Incarnation of Jesus, and had believers worried about their own salvation. He wrote to assure them that they “have eternal life”.

Looking again to Matthew 24:10 which says, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other” (Matthew 24:10). In the original Greek manuscript, it does not say “turn away from the faith.”The English Standard Version of the Bible and several other translations record this correctly: “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.”

This Greek word here is (skandalizō) and it means to put something in the way that causes one to fall, it is an enticement to sin.[2]

The sin Jesus is talking about will be found in the next Greek word used for “betray” (paradidōmi) to deliver one up to be put to death.[3] This ties directly into what Jesus just said would happen in verse 9 of Matthew 24. 

A correct Greek translation of Matthew 24:9-10:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will stumble and be enticed to sin to deliver “believers” to be put to death because they despise one another” (Matthew 24:9-10).

When people cast doubt on a believer’s salvation, it reveals how they do not accurately value the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. They are also making light of what our Lord Jesus suffered at Calvary for our salvation, forgiveness, and redemption. Christians who are secure in the Father’s love will be transformed by the renewing of their minds with the power of God’s amazing grace. Born-again believers established in His grace want to live lives that glorify His holy name in every area of their lives. Why? Because grace isn’t teaching, doctrine, or formula. Grace is a person and His name is Jesus!

[1] Barnes Notes on the Bible.




Turns Out…

Turns Out

Daily Reading: (Philippians 1:19):

“for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.”

Paul is sure of something in his life that has not even happened yet. Our lives in Christ give us great hope that things will always turn for our good. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have trials, tribulations, persecution, or difficulties. Paul explains it like this, “Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword separate us from the love of Christ?” The answer is no. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). “More than Conquerors” is a Greek word that means a surpassing victory.

The love of Christ gives us a surpassing victory in all things we face in our lives (Romans 8:37).

There is something that I know about my life, things are about to turn. I am being given a surpassing victory and the way God has chosen to do it is through your prayers and the provision in the Holy Spirit.

God will use those things that look to imprison us to set the captives of sin free (to advance the Gospel) Philippians 1:12. Paul already knows why he is in prison and will testify to it. In verse 16 he says, “knowing that I am put here for the defense of the Gospel.” You do not need to fear the path ahead if you know who goes with you and the provisions that have been made for you in Christ Jesus.

Are you sharing your salvation story to lead others to faith in Jesus Christ? How has God turned things for you in the past, how He has prospered you here and now in this season of your life even with what is happening in your life today? Do you have an expectation of God working all things together for your good, giving you a surpassing victory in Jesus’ name? God’s blessings are not limited by where you are at in life, if He did it for Paul in prison think what He might do in your life.

Paul says something that is subtle but it is also so profound.

“And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the Gospel without fear” Philippians 1:14. The only way that you can share the Gospel without fear is if you see the love God has for you.

Tables Turned

Tables Turned

Daily Reading: (Matthew 21:12-13):

“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” He said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

All of the Gospel writers except one included this story of Jesus in the Temple courts. John is the only one who did not include it in his gospel.

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts He found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves He said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”  (John 2:13-16).

When people read this story in John they think it is the same event as what Matthew described in Matthew 21 but it is not. If you have ever watched movies about the crucifixion, you have seen John’s telling of Jesus in the temple- where Jesus has a whip, driving the money changers out. When John is writing John 2, Jesus’ ministry has just begun this is not the scene right before He goes to the cross.  At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He cleansed the Temple by driving the money changers out. About three years later they have come back and Jesus cleanses the Temple once more just before His death. This is why so many over time have seen this moment leading up to His crucifixion and have imagined Jesus with the whip driving people out but this all happened at the beginning of His ministry, not the end.

In Matthew 21:10: “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” In the very next verse, they answer their own question. Have you ever done that before? I have had that happen to me before when I was in the airport in Houston. A crowd had gathered and there was a lot of excitement, I knew someone famous must be walking through the airport. So, I said to my wife as the person approached, “who is that?” Moments later, I exclaimed, “It’s Jerry Rice!”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

In the crowd’s reaction to what they call Jesus you might think it to be a little strange. Why would they call Jesus a prophet, when in the verses just before it, they are hailing Jesus as Messiah. How strange to shout that salvation has come through the Davidic lineage, the Messiah is here in verse 9, and then say who is this in verse 10, and then answer your own question in verse 11, “it is the prophet”. A prophet would never get the kind of attention and welcome that Jesus did. To understand this moment better you have to try and get inside the mind of the Jewish crowd, what they would have known, and what they were expressing.  The crowd is not calling Jesus “a prophet”, but “the prophet”. What prophet would they have been talking about? The prophet whom Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:18. “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in His mouth. He will tell them everything I command Him.” This expression of calling Him “the prophet” is that they are welcoming Jesus as our blessed Lord, the promised Messiah. This fits with what the crowd was shouting earlier, they are just expressing it in a different way.

But how strange that only five days later, their chants changed from hosanna to “Away with Him! crucify Him! Crucify Him!” Five days later they rejected the grace of God.

Again, inside the minds of the Jewish crowd, their thoughts are that Jesus has come to save them from the Roman oppressors who occupy Jerusalem. Jesus has no plans to do this, so how could He be the Messiah? They were expecting the Messiah to come and conquer, not to lay down His life. What they were missing in their life under the Law is that He had to first conquer sin and death for us, “God had to make Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” When He returns He will conquer. His Kingdom shall reign forever.

But at this moment at Jesus’ triumphal entry things are wonderful, but then the tables begin to turn in the very next verse in Matthew 21:12: “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Verse 13-“It is written,” He said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

My house shall be called a house of prayer. The usage of “house” here (proseuchē) means a place set apart or suited for the offering of prayer.[1] Since we know prayer is a two-way dialogue between us and God, a communication of speaking and listening and hearing. It is understandable why Jesus was so mad because this was compromised.

This is interesting because at a quick glance it would make sense to have these things established, money changers and dove sellers. The tables of the money-changers was helpful because Judea was subject to the Romans. The money in current use was the Roman coin; yet the Jewish law required that every man should pay a tribute to the service of the sanctuary of “half a shekel,” Exodus 30:11-16. This was a Jewish coin, and the tribute was required to be paid in that coin. It became, therefore, a matter of convenience to have a place where the Roman coin might be exchanged for the Jewish half shekel.

The seats of them that sold doves: Doves were required to be offered in sacrifice (Leviticus 14:22; Luke 2:24), yet it was difficult to bring them from the distant parts of Judea. It was found much easier to purchase them in Jerusalem. Hence, it became a business to keep them to sell to those who were required to offer them. They had turned their practices into a big business to get rich and to rob from God’s people financially and spiritually inside the temple. They made it “a den of thieves”.

What does Jesus do, He turned the tables on them. The moment Jesus enters the scene, purpose is restored in God’s house (Matthew 21:13-14). After all the extra-curricular money-making ventures were removed and there were no more distractions from the Temple, look at what happened next (verse 14). Jesus healed, salvation was received.

Isaiah 35 the prophet describes the coming kingship of the Messiah like this: ” Take courage, fear not. . . . The recompense of God will come, But He will save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened. And . . . Then the lame will leap like a deer” (35:4-6).

Jesus comes on a donkey, lowly and gentle and patient; He comes cleansing His Father’s house to make it a house of prayer for all the nations; He comes healing the blind and the lame all to show what his kingship is now in part, and will be fully in the age to come. It is not just a kingship over other kings, but over disease and all nature. Today is the day of our salvation. Trust Him and receive all that He has purchased for you by His blood that was shed and His body that was given.


Jehosheba: Preserving the Messianic Lineage


Daily Reading: (2 Kings 11:1-3):

“When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.”

Who is Athaliah? She is the offspring of two of the evilest people to ever live on this planet. Imagine if Adolph Hitler and Queen Mary I had a baby, it would have been Athaliah. On learning the death of Ahaziah (2 Kings 9:27), Athaliah who is the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, the queen-mother, murders all her grandchildren (except the youngest, who is secreted by his aunt, Jehosheba) and seizes the kingdom. No resistance is made to her, and she retains the sole authority for six years. She maintains the worship of Baal (2 Kings 11:18), introduced by Jehoram into Judah, and supported by Ahaziah (2 Kings 8:27).

She issued her orders and had all the members of the house of David put to death. The royal house had already been greatly depleted by Jehoram’s murder of his brothers (2 Chronicles 21:4), by Arab marauders (2 Chronicles 21:17), and by Jehu’s murder of the “brethren of Ahaziah” (2 Kings 10:14). We have Satan at work trying to wipe out the Messianic lineage that would bring about Jesus. But in enters a hero. The text says “But Jehosheba”. Do you know what her name means? Jehosheba is Hebrew for “Yahweh is an oath”. The enemy (Athaliah) has a plan to steal, kill, and destroy, but God is a promise keeper (Jehosheba) and will preserve the Messianic lineage (Joash), so that we might be given life.  

Who is Joash? Joash became the youngest king of Israel. He became king at age of 7 years old! He is the eighth king of Israel. Of the Kings of Israel and Judah almost all were evil. But what do you think about Joash? God gave distinct names to individuals to communicate a message. We have “God is an oath” (Jehosheba) preserving the Messianic lineage by saving Joash and Joash’s name means “Jehovah-given”. Does God ever give evil?  Just because Joash will start off being a great king it doesn’t mean that he will finish as a good king though.

When we go to Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1 where is Joash? God blotted out his name from remembrance in the Gospel of Matthew.

Second Kings 12:1–3 says that Joash “reigned in Jerusalem forty years. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” The tragedy of King Joash of Judah is that, after his mentor and guardian, Jehoiada died, he began listening to wicked advisers. We should have seen this coming. Jehoiada’s name means “Jehovah knows” sought after wicked advisers this is when things went terribly wrong for him.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Whereas with Jehoiada, “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Why did God go through all the trouble to bring about Joash when He knew in the end things would go bad with him?

The answer is in the name of the person who saved Joash, Jehosheba, “God is my oath”. God saw all of humanity, and even in all of our failings, God is faithful. God saw our need and gave the greatest most costly gift He could give, Jesus Christ.  Before the Law was ever given, this is the oath that God made to Abram. Genesis 12:3: “and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” You can trace the lineage of Abraham to Jesus where all the people of the Earth will find their blessing in Him. When the enemy has raised up in power Athaliah trust that God keeps His Word always (Jehosheba), and will provide, Jehoiada because “Jehovah knows” how to bring about salvation (Jesus Christ).

Healing of the House of a Pharisee

Healing in the House of a Pharisee

Daily Reading: (Luke 14:1-4):

“One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body.Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.”

Today in Luke 14 we will discover a miracle happen in the unlikeliest place of all. Because it is not the place, it is the person where salvation is found.

“One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body” (Luke 14:1-2). Some translations read that the man was suffering from dropsy. Well, what is that? Dropsy is abnormal swelling in the body. What is interesting is that dropsy isn’t a disease itself. This is unique. It is instead a symptom of various illnesses or diseases in the body. I assure you he doesn’t know exactly what has caused it. You and I might not know all the causes of why we have high blood pressure or why we are dizzy or whatever ailment we might have, we just know that we have a condition. We have symptoms that are plaguing our body and the root causes can be unknown. The truth is God knows and Jesus is able to heal the root cause of your problem (Luke 14:2,4).

We are not specifically told this, but there is a clue from verse 1.  “He was being watched carefully.” What were they watching Jesus for? He is simply at a Pharisee house, but it is on the Sabbath. I believe they have set a trap.  Let’s invite Simon over, you know he has got abnormal swelling. His body is swollen like a balloon. He doesn’t even have to say anything, to know that he has an ailment. You can see it clear across the room. Let’s invite him over on the Sabbath because you know you aren’t supposed to labor on the Sabbath. Jesus was accused of this in Matthew 12:10; Mark 3:2, John 9:14-16.

Jesus knows their hearts and what they are after.  “Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not” (Luke 14:3)?

Coffman’s Commentary on the Bible says the following. If they said, “Yes,” they had no case; if they said, “No,” they would have spoken a lie. “The law did not condemn such acts of mercy; and they undoubtedly saw the point of the Master’s question.”[1] 

What Jesus did for the man with the swelled body is that “he took hold of” which is a Greek metaphor of rescue one from peril, to help to cure, heal to make whole to free from sin and bring about one’s salvation. The man with dropsy (swelling of the body) had his root problem of sin removed, he was made whole, as his salvation was received.

Whenever we take communion, we don’t just drink of the cup representing His blood, but also we take of the bread, His body given for us. By His blood that was shed we have forgiveness of sins but by His body we have wholeness and health. Because every provision for us is found in the Lord, we need to abide and rest in Him (John 15:4) to have the root of our problem removed (Luke 14:4).


The Grace of a Widow

Grace of a Widow

Daily Reading: (Luke 20:45-47, 21:1-6):

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

“As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

The Temple Treasury where the people are giving is lavish and I am most certain that the wealthy had their egos puffed up and left the Temple feeling very self-righteous. The Law also required the poor gave too.

“He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others” (Luke 21:2-3). Jesus was teaching this publicly. This isn’t a private conversation, this was for all to hear. How do you think the wealthy man felt when hearing Jesus’ words “truly I tell you this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” Did Jesus just say that she gave more than I did? Well, percentagewise she did, by a lot. Grace will make the self-righteous incensed, and outraged.

“Out of her poverty she gave.” Another way to say this is she gave out of her lack. There is an important connection to the way this woman gave and the abundance we have in Christ and the fruit of generosity He produces in us.

So now we get insight into the minds of the disciples and how they were caught up in the beauty of the Temple. “Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said,“As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down” (Luke 21:5-6).

In the New Testament there is no need for a Temple, for you and I are that Temple and God lives in us. There is no need for a place to sacrifice animals for our sins. Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, was slain, so we might have our sins removed forevermore. Jesus is telling them this religious system is about to be completely changed.

Luke 21 should never have started at verse 1 because the point is missed if you don’t go to the previous chapter and include a few verses that come before it. “While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,“Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely” (Luke 20:45-47).

Do you see this widow, she gave all that she had. Her house has been devoured by these teachers of the law who have guilted her and scared her into giving. The Law says that “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless” (Exodus 22:21).

Deuteronomy 26:12: “When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.”

Why does the widow have nothing? Because you have been devouring widow’s houses, you religious leaders.

James 1:27 in the New Testament says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Jesus made this statement about the widow and her giving to train His disciples (who would be the leaders of the church) not to fall into this trap to take from those in need, but instead to give and support them. Jesus gave the “men in long robes” the chance to see the error of their ways and repent. Jesus also did this so the poor widows would understand that God is not after their money but is giving them what they need- providing the sacrificial offering through Jesus.

Today, be careful because since the dawn of religion, many religious leaders have been after people’s money. A law-preacher will compel you to give using the reward (“give and God will bless you”) and punishment (“stop robbing God”) through Old Testament verses taken out of context like Malachi 3. Such a message insults Jesus who made us eternally unpunishable and through whom we have received every blessing and have the favor of God. Don’t listen to a message that God will bless you based on your level of giving.

This place, the Temple is where the Israelites’ brought their tithes. The temple which was an Old Covenant shadow of Christ himself (see John 2:19-21). Paul Ellis said it this way, “I don’t work to earn God’s acceptance/favor (Christ has done it all), I don’t tithe (Christ is my tithe), I don’t “go” to church (I am the church).”[1]

Christians are under no obligation to fulfill the command to tithe as given to the Israelites as part of the Mosaic Law. Tithe in both the Hebrew and the Greek means the same thing- to give a tenth. Should you tithe (give a tenth)?

The tithe was a requirement of the Law in which all Israelites were to give 10 percent of everything they earned and grew to the tabernacle/temple (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). The New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. In Genesis 14 we have a compare and contrast between grace and the law found through two different kings, the King of Sodom which means “burning” that’s what happened to the Temple and Melchizedek King of Salem “peace”.

What do we learn from this?

If you are thinking, “God gives us grace so we can tithe,” you’ve missed Melchizedek and found Sodom. Melchizedek does not appear for the purpose of receiving money from Abram. He shows and he draws attention to God’s goodness. “God gave you…” And our righteous King Jesus, declares “You are blessed because God has given you … Me.” This is grace, and when you see it, you will respond with generosity because grace begets grace. I am so blessed by God, why wouldn’t I look for an opportunity to bless others? It’s not legalistic, and it goes beyond financial giving. We are enabled to give cheerfully out of the super abundance we have in Jesus Christ. Melchizidek the King is our righteousness. And He is the King of Salem (peace). It is Jesus’ righteousness given to us that gives us peace with God. For whoever has peace with God has His favor too (Luke 2:14). The widows gave in a way no one else did and it pointed to our time today with Jesus who is our tithe, gave us God’s acceptance/favor and because of that I get to live free. I get to live the abundant life to the full, a generous life.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

When we understand that God is the able to make His grace abound to us, so that in all things, at all times, we will have what we need to abound in every good work, we will be able to give cheerfully.

[1] Paul Ellis.

How Were Your Eyes Opened?

How Were Your Eyes Opened

Daily Reading: (John 9:1-3):

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Jesus can heal this man. This man has lived his entire life blind. Instead of saying, “let’s heal this man,” the disciples want to know what caused this man’s problem. They are focused on the issue instead of the solution. That’s human nature, “I have an issue, what caused it? Why do I still have it?”

The disciples think they know why he is blind, it’s because either he has sinned or his parents have sinned. This same junk theology that the disciples believed at this moment of time has persisted throughout church history. Let’s listen to the voice of grace, Jesus Christ and His response to them and then see what He does.

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3).

They want an explanation for this man’s blindness. And Jesus gives it to them. What is it in the past that has caused the blindness? Jesus says, in effect, that specific sins in the past don’t always correlate with specific suffering in the present. The decisive explanation for this blindness is not found by looking for its cause but instead looking at its purpose,“so that the works of God might be displayed in him”. We know that suffering has come into the world because of sin (Genesis 3 and Romans 8:18–25). If there never had been sin, there never would have been suffering. We feel the effects of living in a fallen world everyday. The explanation of the blindness lies not in the past causes but in the future purposes.

For Jesus, blindness from birth is sufficiently explained by saying: God will display some of His glory through this blindness by healing this man.

Jesus continues “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5). “Night is coming,” when Jesus said that it was only about six months later that our Lord was crucified. It is very likely that when Jesus spoke these words, the day was almost over, and night was closing in. In this case, Adam Clarke Commentary says “day represents the opportunity, whereas, night is the loss of that opportunity” (John 9:4). Before us now is an opportunity to bring healing and sight to the blind because Jesus is the Light of the World and He lives in us (John 9:5).

Why am I experiencing this hardship? What sin caused this? Forget about focusing on your past wrongdoing and why certain things have happened to you. Be preoccupied instead with your solution—Jesus Christ, who through the cross has removed every sin in your life. Jesus wants to work a miracle in you. The opportunity “day” is before you so that God might be glorified through your life.

“After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes” (John 9:6).

Why did Jesus do that?

He was demonstrating to us that our body comes from the earth, “then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground(Genesis 2:7).  Because creation is fallen, the work of creation cannot open a blind man’s eyes. But the work of redemption can! That is why Jesus sent the blind man to the pool of Siloam which means “sent”.  Siloam conveys a message that when the blind man washed his eyes in the pool of the sent one, he received supernatural healing for his eyes. When we go to Jesus, the sent One who came to redeem us with the price of His blood, and we rest in His finished work, we too will receive the miracle we need.

Redemption causes us to have much greater health than those who only trust in creation. Diets are great, exercise is wonderful, but there is only so much that the natural can do for us. Our supernatural healing, health for our body is available through the One who was sent to redeem us from every curse that came upon creation with the fall of Adam (Galatians 3:13). Jesus has redeemed us from pain and sorrow, depression, poverty, sickness, and even death.

After the physical miracle happens in this man’s life there are five conversations that take place. At first, he recognizes Jesus as “a man (John 9:11),” and then “a prophet (John 9:17),” but after encountering Jesus again, his spiritual eyes are opened. He recognizes who Jesus is (John 9:38) and he worships Him as the Lord. I wonder how the Lord has worked in your life to open your eyes? As we think about the salvation we have received, there is a powerful testimony we have to share. While it is “day” and the opportunity is before us, let us let the light of Christ shine from us so others may receive His salvation too.

The Promise of Salvation

The Promise of Salvation

Daily Reading: (Romans 10:9):

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Today’s promise of salvation is one that we are tempted to move past as believing it is a past event that we will experience in our future and miss the salvation God has promised to give you today.

It is a huge victory to know that you have salvation and to put your trust in Christ alone. If you haven’t yet come to that place to receive everlasting life from God, the Bible says, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved(Acts 16:31). Believe that Jesus died to give you His life. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  

Salvation is so much bigger than just eternal life. Receiving the fullness of salvation can only happen after you are eternally saved (Romans 10:9). How are you going to believe that when trouble comes that God will rescue you or deliver you if you don’t even believe in the most important provision, He has made for you, everlasting life? This verse is used as a verse to help lead non-believers to receive salvation and today it is going to be used to help believers receive daily salvation over the things that come against them.

The very word used in Romans 10:9 for saved is “sozo”. Sozo’s primary definition is to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. And also to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment. In all things we can find rescue from danger and destruction (sozo). Salvation is a gift from God, and it comes through believing in Jesus alone (Romans 10:9).

How is this possible?  back to our text:

The Greek word for “confession” is homologeo, and it means “to agree with” or “say the same thing God says about you and/or your circumstances.”

You are to take your problem to God and then agree (homologeo)- with what God’s Word says about your problem that Jesus is Lord.

You are saying Jesus is “kyrios” (he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord). I belong to Jesus and Jesus has already defeated the enemy of sin and the effects of sin that I am experiencing now. I agree fully with God’s Word Jesus is my Lord and I believe (pisteuō) to trust in Jesus as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith.

When I experience trouble, I will speak God’s promise to me. I trust in Jesus the one who is able to offer me His salvation. The promise is not that you might be or you could be saved. The promise is you will be saved.