Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?

Sorry that I have missed posting last week.  It was a very busy time around my job and house.  Closing out the school year, doctor's appointments, preparing for Vacation Bible School, and many other things have just seemed to swallow up the time.  But, life goes on.  And boy does it go on when you have four children in the house.  Now, I do only have three, but we have been watching a baby for a friend of our lately that has made life more interesting around the Boyd residence.

One of the problems has been my son this week.  For some reason, he has been very testy with his listening this past week.  I usually do not have this problem with my son.  I don't know if it is a trait that he picked up at school this year, or what.  Maybe since his birthday is today, he has felt that he is old enough to make his own decisions, even if they contradict mine.  And it seems that I have had to repeat myself numerous times to get my point across.  I have even had to be tough on discipline with him lately.  Why has he been so difficult these last few days.  Then, last night at bible school, I was hit with a message.  You know, there is a difference when a lesson from the bible moves you and when it HITS you.  Well, I got hit.

John 11:1-3
"Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

Now, this family was well known by Christ.  It is recorded three times in the bible where he went to see them and spend time with them.  We also know that there was a special bond with them based on the message that was sent to Christ. "The one you love is sick."  So what do you think Christ did?  He stayed where He was.  WOW!  Why though?

John 11:4-16

"When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”  “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”  After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”  His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.  So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”  Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”"

Jesus said Himself that this would not end in death, but as a way to glorify God.  So, He waited.  And two days later, He was ready to go.  Then the disciples did it again.  They questioned Him.  And he then rebuked them for their lack of faith.  When Christ then told them that he had died, they thought he was just asleep and needed someone to wake him up.  How frustrating this must have been to our Lord.  So He made it plain and clear.  Lazarus was dead.  But there was a purpose.  There was a plan for the glory of God.  And yet, even after they were told that God would be glorified, and that it would not end that way, Thomas had to go and say, "Well we might as well go to so we can die too.  But it was not just the disciples.  Mary and Martha had their doubts too.

John 11:17-32
"So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. Martha then said to Jesus, “ Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus *said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha *said to Him, “ I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “ I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”  When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “ The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she *got up quickly and was coming to Him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”"

Now, this was not the first time that Mary and Martha had spent time with Christ and learned from Him.  They knew exactly who He was and what He taught.  They had had a meal with Him one time before, in which Christ rebuked Martha for wanting Him to send Mary to the kitchen to help here work.  And yet again, they questioned Christ like the disciples did.  They both went to Him and said that if you would have been here, Lazarus would not have died.  Jesus Himself had to reiterate who He was and asked her if she really believed.

John 11:33-44
"When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”  So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus *said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, *said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus *said to her, “ Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “ Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice,“Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”"

Here we can see the distress of our Lord.  When it says that He wept, was deeply moved, was troubled, if you study those words and how they were used, Christ was not sad because of the death of His friend.  Remember He said earlier that this would not end in death.  He was upset because of the disbelief of the people.  So many people that He had taught, and spent time with, still did not believe in totality in who He was.  If they did, they would not be questioning Him.  Even Martha again questioned Him when he said to move the stone.  His reply was "Did I not just say....?"  Just a few verses earlier, he rebuked her for her lack of belief.

How many times do we question God?  How many times do we seem to forget His promises to us in our situations?  How many times does He have to remind us who He is.  We have a problem in which we try to find our own way when we are in times of trouble.  We try to fix things ourselves instead of trusting in the promises of God.  And just like Martha and the disciples, we need that reminder over and over.  It is my prayer that I place my full trust in Him, and that I will stop questioning Him when I am in time of stress and struggles.  I hope you will do the same.

Thanks for reading, and God Bless you all this week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Truth About the Lordship of Christ

 It has been a while since I have had the privilege to read on a regular basis. But the time became available here recently. Now, I love reading any kind of book with a Christian undertone. And, lately I have been viewing quite a few video clips of the teaching and preaching of John MacArthur. I know my pastor references him quite a bit, so I decided to check out some of his books. This is the first book by MacArthur that I have read, and enjoyed it so much I read it in two days. Which I believe is a record for me. Anyway, here is a review of his book, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ.  

This book explores the doctrine of the Lordship of Christ, and how we should respond to his holiness. It starts with a detailed view of the biblical proof of what Lordship is, and explains what is means that He is the Lord of the Universe and the Lord of Our lives. The rest of the book is a look at how we are to respond to His Lordship. It expounds on the necessity of submission to His authority, holy living, confession, restoration, and the ultimate destination of humankind. He ends the book with certain statements of faith that define what a true christian must believe. I really enjoyed reading this book. But, not only using it as an interesting topic to read about, but as a study tool. I love the fact that everything that the author talks about, he backs it up with scripture. And not just one verse, but many examples of how the bible explains these topics. I also likes the way that he also gives examples of the opposite lifestyle. He shows the differences in the lives of those who are truly saved, and those that are not. He makes the case for the bible and does it in a simple manner that anyone can understand. I think this would be a wonderful book for any Christian to read, to strengthen their knowledge of the bible, as well as any other book by this author. I will definitely continue reading his work myself.  

About the Author
Widely known for his thorough, candid approach to teaching God's Word, John MacArthur is a popular author and conference speaker and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, since 1969. His pulpit ministry has been extended around the globe through his media ministry, Grace to You, and its satellite offices in seven countries. In addition to producing daily radio programs for nearly 2,000 English and Spanish radio outlets worldwide, Grace to You distributes books, software, audiotapes, and CDs by the author. He is the president of The Master's College and Seminary and has written hundreds of books and study guides, each one biblical and practical.

If you get a chance, I urge you to read this book.

Thanks for reading, and God Bless You all this week!

This book was provided me free from the publisher by BookSneeze.com blog book reviewers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Who is Jesus?

You have no idea how excited that I am that school will be out soon. It is the last week of exams, and graduation is on Monday next week. I do not believe that the students understand how we as teachers need the summer break just as much, if not more than they do. As I prepare for this summer, I am looking ahead to some good intensive bible study of my own. I figure, I will have all this free time, what better way to spend it than to dive into the Word of God. Not just to read, but to study, and break down scriptures to gain a better understanding of the will of God. Now, do I dive right in? No, not really. Just like I do on the soccer field with my athletes, I need a good warm up. As I wrote about last week in my post Unless You Believe, I was involved in a witnessing workshop with a dear brother Marty Minto. From what I learned, I am resolved to change the way I witness. But, in order to do that, I need to spend a great deal more time in the Word. I need to spend more time on the Gospel of Christ and His salvation.

The most important question to be asked is who is Jesus? I know, it seems a little weird to ask this question. You would think that most people have heard of Jesus. But, how do we know? Have we ever really asked that question to someone to see what their answer would be? I did here recently, and here are some of the responses that I got. 1. "He is the guy we learn about at church." 2. "He is the leader of Christianity." 3. "He is a good buddy of mine." 4. "He is the Son of God, Savior, Messiah." Do the first three answers surprise you? Do you think that they "really" know who Jesus is? So, who is He? Let's check the Bible.

Jesus asked the same question in the bible.

Matthew 16:13
"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”"

The following are a list of things people, at His time, thought He was.

1. A resurrected prophet. Matthew 16:14 - " And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”"

2. A carpenter's son with brothers and sisters. Matthew 13:54-56 - "He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”"

3. He was a lunatic. Mark 3:20-21 - "And He *came home, and the crowd *gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “ He has lost His senses.”"

4. He was a good man/liar. John 7:12 - "There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.”"

5. He was possessed. John 10:19-21 - "A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”"

But who is He really? He IS God!
Hebrews 1:8
"But of the Son He says,“ Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom."

John 1:1-3;14
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.....And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 5:17-18
"But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

John 8:23-24;58
"And He was saying to them, “ You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”.....Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”"

John 10:30-33
"I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”"

John 14:23
"Jesus answered and said to him, “ If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."

And there is so much more! Some of this I learned from my brother Marty, and some on my own research on the subject. But as for the rest, it will have to wait until a later post. This is just the start of my studies. As I learn more, I will share more. It is my prayer that this will aid in your understanding of who Jesus is, and help you in your daily witness.

Thanks for reading, and God bless you all this week!