Category Archives: Devotionals

2-11-2020 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Washed the Disciples Feet

(John 13:1-17)

Guy Roberson

The shadow of the cross looms over this meeting of the Lord with His disciples. Jesus has taken the time to prepare them for His death even though they had not understood fully what He was trying to do.

Alexander Maclaren eloquently put forth his estimation of this passage saying:

“Nowhere else do the blended lights of our Lord’s superhuman dignity and human tenderness shine with such lambent brightness. Nowhere else is his speech at once so simple and so deep. Nowhere else have we the heart of God so unveiled to us. On no other page, even of the Bible, have so many eyes, glistening with tears, looked and had the tears dried. The immortal words which Christ spoke in that upper chamber are his highest self-revelation in speech.”

Jesus rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” The servant’s heart is a heart of love. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). This should not surprise us because His whole life was dominated by service! As Christ said of himself, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

The Old Testament references (Gen. 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; 43:24; Judges 19:21; 1 Sam. 25:41; 2 Sam. 11:8; Song of Solomon 5:3; Psa. 58:10) show that the washing of the feet was the first act on entering the tent or house after a journey. The host furnished the water, and the guests washed their own feet, but in the richer houses, the washing was done by a slave. It was looked upon as the lowliest of all services (1 Sam. 25:41). Walking in sandals on the filthy roads of Israel in the first century made it imperative that feet be washed before a communal meal, especially since people reclined at a low table and feet were very much in evidence. We do not have that need today.

After He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Jesus is calling us not to wash feet, only because that was a custom in biblical times, but to demonstrate kindness and love to any and all we meet. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with the totality of our being and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40).

Jesus teaches us that we should disregard the common attitudes prevalent in our world that service to others is not our responsibility. As Christians we should be willing to do whatever it takes to show kindness to those in need. Jesus did not think Himself too good to wash the feet of His disciples.

What Jesus did in washing the feet of His disciples was emblematic of serving others with humility. Sometimes discomfort is necessary in service and arrogance (thinking we are too good for serving others) is the antithesis of humility.

If we should ever think we are too good to serve others remember when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, it was God washing their feet. If God would so humble himself are we too good to serve others?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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2-4-2020 Walking in Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional update

Preparation to Eat the Passover

(Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20)

Guy Roberson

Jesus is beginning His own preparation for His death. He came into the world for the purpose of dying, offering Himself for the sins of mankind, a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

He has almost completed His teaching and preparation of His disciples. Mary has anointed His body for the burial. His betrayal and crucifixion are about to take place. Arrangements by Judas has also been made for 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus. All events are now moving swiftly toward the cross.

Beginning at this point Jesus is arranging to eat the Passover with His disciples. In the Greek it is indicated that Jesus had a great and intense desire to keep this Passover. The Passover celebrated God’s delivering Israel out of bondage in Egypt where they’d been for over 400 years. The Passover was commemorating the sacrificial lamb whose blood enabled them to be protected from the judgment of God. The Feast of Passover, along with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, were the first of the festivals to be commanded by God for Israel to observe.

“When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 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.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so” (Matt. 26:20-25). Some have called this question one of the greatest questions in the Bible.

Jesus had just announced the horrendous news to His disciples that one of His disciples would betray Him. And the disciples responded to this with astonished unbelief and with self-distrust. All the disciples momentarily questioned their own loyalty, but no one suspected the actual traitor. Jesus, as God, knew who would betray Him. God had been able to know the future and see this betrayal in His counsel chambers of eternity and told the Word (Jesus) He must be betrayed by one of His friends Acts 15:18). In Psalm 41:9 the psalmist predicted it: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” This was spoken about 1000 years before Jesus came to earth. While it could have been prevented Jesus embraced it because it was to facilitate the plan of God for the salvation of the world. Jesus embraced it because He loved us and wanted to complete the plan of God for the salvation of mankind.

Jesus warned, “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 did not have to do this. He chose to betray Jesus for whatever reason that was in his heart. God did not make him do this. This should serve as a warning for every person in the world. If we betray the Savior and reject His love and care, then it would have been better not to have been born.

In contrast Peter denied his Lord but repented and was forgiven. Whatever you may feel that you have done against the Lord, please don’t put off your repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness. We have no assurance of time as death can occur at any moment.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-28-2020 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus’ Body Anointed for Burial

 

Mat 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Jn 12:1-8

Guy Roberson

 Jesus is in the home of Simon the leper in Bethany, just a few miles from Jerusalem. Obviously Simon had been healed by Jesus of leprosy because all lepers were required to live outside the camp or city. Lepers had to warn passers-by to keep away from them, by calling out, `Unclean! unclean!’ and could not speak to any one, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involved an embrace. We have the description of the disease, as well as the regulations connected with it, in Leviticus 13; 14; Numbers 12:10-15, etc.

We will look at the text in Mk. 14:3-9.

This incident took place in the last week of our Lord’s earthly life. As Jesus was reclining at the table along with His disciples something unusual happened: a woman so overwhelmed with emotion came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard and broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head. As usual there were some who criticized this beautiful deed. Some said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.”

But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

As we realize more and more who we are as sinners, and as we recognize the magnitude of what Christ has done for us, the more our hearts will rise in us like the heart of this gracious lady who loved her Lord so very much she willingly performed this lovey act. Sometimes it takes an audacious act to break open people’s conventional thinking so they can grasp what God is doing among us. Please understand that we never waste a moment when we serve the Lord Jesus Christ and can never repay what He has done and continues to do for us.

How much do we love the Lord?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-24-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

The Judgement

(Matthew 25:31-46)

Guy Roberson

Let me clarify something I believe is important: this message from the Lord is technically not a parable, though it’s often described as such. It does open with the Lord comparing Himself to a shepherd and His people to sheep and goats. But the rest of the account is the preview of an actual event, not a hypothetical story designed to illustrate a Biblical truth like parables do.

In Matthew 24:1-34 Jesus taught He would come in judgment against Jerusalem and made it crystal clear that judgment would come in the lifetime of the generation of the people to whom He was speaking: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). This judgment did take place in AD 70 when Roman Armies marched against the city of Jerusalem and destroyed it.

However, from chapter 24:36 Jesus makes a transition from discussing the judgment upon Jerusalem to discussing the final judgment of all humanity. This line of thought concerning the final judgment continues through chapter 25. Jesus is promising there will be a “coming of the Son of man” (24:37, 39, 44; 25:31). Again, Jesus is crystal clear that no one will know when His coming in judgment on all men will occur, but it will happen. In Matt. 24:36 Jesus said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Jesus then began to illustrate how His coming in judgment on all men will be when men least expect it to happen. It will like in the days of Noah before the flood came as they were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:38). He continued to illustrate this point with the parables The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant in the last part of Matt. 24, and the Wise and Foolish Virgins and the parable of the Talents in chapter 25.

“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” Jesus stated very plainly that all nations will appear before Him. Jesus had pointed out earlier, “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29). Even though some teach contrary to all nations appearing before Him, Jesus is to be believed and not man. This judgment scene pictures what will happen following that resurrection. Jesus will divide those people into two groups, the sheep, who are representative of those who accepted his leading, and the goats, representing those who would not be led but had to be driven. The sheep will be placed on the right hand because that is the place of honor, while the goats will be on the left where, according to tradition, those condemned in their trials before the Sanhedrin stood (Matt. 25:31-33).

McGarvey in his commentary says, “The word ‘punishment’ expresses misery and suffering purposely inflicted.” He also noted the condemnation of the wicked will be just as long in its duration as the reward of the righteous.

It needs to be understood that this judgment scene only deals with one aspect of our judgment: How we treat one another. Jesus listed six separate acts of service done for others as the reason those on the right hand will be invited into His eternal kingdom (Matthew 25:35-36). John said the said the same: “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18; 4:20-21).

How will Jesus view us at the judgment? As a sheep ready to enter heaven? Or a goat destined for eternal punishment?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-17-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Matthew 25:1-13

Guy Roberson

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Matthew 25:1-4.

James Freeman said in his book Manners & Customs of the Bible: “On the occasion of a marriage the bridegroom, attended by his friends, went to the house of the bride, and brought her with her friends in joyful procession to his own house. The virgins mentioned in the text were probably some of the friends of the bride.”

Parables are powerful “word-pictures” that are meant to be taken seriously. Jesus is warning that we will not know when He is coming to take His saints home with Him. Therefore, we must always be ready.

The virgins knew that the bridegroom was coming for his bride, but they did not know the precise moment when he would come. There are several such warning parables presented. The disciples wanted to know when Jesus would be coming and Jesus had told them Matt. 24, verse 36, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven nor the Son, but my Father only.” He repeated it in verse 42, “Watch, therefore, for you know not what hour your Lord doth come.” He repeated it in verse 44, “Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man comes.” He repeated it in verse 50 where He says, “In an hour that he is not aware of.” The He gave this parable and concluded the parable by saying, “You know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man comes.”

This parable teaches us the suddenness and the unexpectedness of the coming of our Lord which emphasizes the necessity of each Christian being prepared for His coming whenever His coming shall take place.

When Jesus comes, He will judge all mankind Matt. 25:31-46. He will punish those who never accepted Him as their Lord and Savior and those who did become Christians but were not careful to prepare by living righteously. They show outward marks of watching for the coming of the bridegroom; they show outward marks of readiness; and show outward marks of commitment to Jesus Christ. They’re part of the believing community. They’re gathered as bridesmaids, as it were, ready to be received and enter the marriage celebration. We could say that the five foolish virgins were not distinguishable outwardly from the five wise virgins. However, they were inwardly very different. The Lord reads our character and marks our place. The Lord knows them that are His and them that are not His in every local church.

These unprepared virgins failed in not having enough oil and attempted to borrow from the five wise virgins. We cannot provide for others in the matter of Christian living, and service to the Lord. Each person must make the necessary preparations by living righteously and fulfilling their service to the Lord.

If the call came to you right now to go with the Lord would you be ready? Are you making the necessary preparations required by our Lord?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-10-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Gut Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Looked at Jerusalem and Wept

(Mat 23:37-39; Lk 19:41-44)

Guy Roberson

Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44).

There are three times the Scriptures record Jesus weeping.

The first time was when His beloved friend Lazarus died. As Jesus saw Martha, Mary and the mourners weeping the divine record said, Jesus wept and the Jews said, “See how He loved him (John 11:35). No doubt Jesus was also grieved over death as the result of mankind’s sin (Gen. 2:16-17) and how it had affected these people He loved so dearly. He may have wept also because they did not really know Him and His power.

The second time Jesus wept was over Jerusalem, the city of God, the city of peace. God’s people had refused to submit to the Lord, and we read: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37). Jesus knew that in approximately 40 years (A.D. 70) Rome would march against Jerusalem and destroy it completely and many would be killed, and the suffering would be terrible.

The third time Jesus wept was in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus prayed to His Father and was seeking strength for the terrible ordeal, He was about to experience in the kangaroo trials awful flogging and the most horrible way anyone could die, the Cross. Luke recorded, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). The Hebrew wrote: who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:7-8).

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they had been chosen by God to be the light to the world and help to lead people to Him. “Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”(Isa. 49:6). But both the leaders and the people had failed and finally they had rejected Jesus and had called for His crucifixion. Therefore, instead of rejoicing Jesus began to weep violently because He knew what their sins were going to cost them, their destruction. He was truly concerned to think that Israel with all its privileges, prophets and means of grace – the sacrificial system, the oracles of God, the teachers – for all of these things they were blind to the most important events which had ever happened in their history–the coming of Jesus, the beloved Son of God, and they were rejecting Him and what He had come to accomplish for mankind.

The tears of Jesus show us how great and wonderful His love for mankind really is.

May I ask you, “Are you making the same mistake Israel made, the rejecting of the Savior? Then let me remind you that Jesus is weeping for you because He knows you will suffer in a devil’s hell (Matt. 25:46). Accept Jesus and serve Him faithfully and I guarantee you that you will rejoice and be glad that He is your Savior.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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12-3-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Destruction of the Temple Foretold by Jesus

(Mat 24; Mk 13; Lk 21:5-36)

Guy Roberson

As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1-2). “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3). The disciples asked Jesus three questions and Jesus proceeds to answer them.

The first question concerned the destruction of the Temple. Jesus’ prophecy of the temple’s coming destruction, and by implication the city of Jerusalem as well, must have been surprising to many. It was magnificent and had been rebuilt by Zerubbabel and Haggai around 515 B.C., after Israel’s return from exile in Babylon. However, it had undergone a massive rebuilding program involving the entire temple mount by Herod the Great from B.C. 20 to around 63 A.D. Jesus was not awed by the “stones and offerings” of the temple. He saw beneath the surface and realized that underneath the cosmetic beauty of the temple lay all kinds of uncleanness (Matt 23:27-28). Jesus was not moved by compassion for the Temple, but for the people whom He loved and felt pity because of what they would suffer during the overthrow of the city of Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37).

History tells us, that this judgment was executed later, when the Romans under Titus sacked Jerusalem. Titus, when he took the city in A.D. 70, tried unsuccessfully to save the temple, but his soldiers put it to the torch, thus fulfilling Christ’s prophecy.

Jesus gave them signs to look for before the fall of Jerusalem would take place. These signs are given in Matthew 24:3-28. These are not the signs of the end of the world as many teach. Jesus clearly was discussing what was going to happen to Jerusalem. There would be many false Christ, wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places and these would be the beginning of sorrows. Persecution would be experienced by the righteous, lawlessness would abound, and the love of many would grow cold, and the gospel would be preached to all the nations. Paul says that this was done (Col. 1:23). His meaning is not that every creature had actually heard the gospel, but that each had been given an opportunity to hear because the gospel had been so universally preached.

Pay close attention to verses 15-22: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” This warning was for those in Judea and their need would be to get to the mountains to be saved from the terrible destruction that would take place when Rome marched against the city of Jerusalem. He was speaking of the gates of the city of Jerusalem. If they were closed because of the Sabbath they would not be able to flee the city and get to the mountains.

There were warning signs preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, giving people who heeded the signs a chance to quickly escape and save their lives (Matthew 24:15-16). There will be no warning signs of the second coming and the end of the world (Matthew 24:35-36). “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [f]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:36-39).

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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11-26-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Prophecy of Isaiah About the Blindness of the Pharisees

(John 12:37-41)

Guy Roberson

http://www.peopleforjesus.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Blind-Pharisees.pngWhen Jesus had said these things, he went away and hid himself from them. Although he had done such great signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. It happened thus that the word which Isaiah the prophet spoke should be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” It was for this reason that they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes, he has hardened their heart, so that they may not see with their eyes and understand with their heart. and turn, and I will heal them.” Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke about him.”

John quotes from Isaiah 53:1-2 where Isaiah asked if there is anyone who has believed what he had been saying, if there is anyone who recognized the power of God when it is revealed to him. John then quoted from Isaiah 6:9-10: And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ “Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.” That is a passage which runs all through the New Testament. It is quoted or echoed in Matthew 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; Romans 11:8; 2 Corinthians 3:14; Acts 28:27.

The passage is troubling because it seems to be teaching that their unbelief was caused by God. I do not believe, even for one moment, that God predestinated some to believe and be saved and others to refuse to believe and be lost. First, 1 Timothy 2:4 that God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” The golden text of the Bible says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God wants us to be saved because He knows how sin diminishes us, and hinders us from accomplishing God’s divine purpose for our lives. The Bible says that God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11), but sin thwarts God’s plan and prevents us from experiencing God’s best. But sin is the choice of everyone committing sin and the refusal to believe in the Savior and refuse His invitation is also the choice of the one refusing.

Two problems need to be considered regarding this text: 1) Isaiah had pleaded with the people to turn to God and they refused to heed his message and was disheartened with their rebellion. 2) It was that basic view of the Jews that nothing could happen outside the purpose of God, therefore, unbelief was God’s purpose. Their preconceived notions of what the Messiah ought to be like and do had blinded them to an objective evaluation of the character, words, and works of the Lord. However, the Bible tells us that God in His controlling wisdom and power can use the unbelief for His purposes and not that He forces people to reject the gospel to be lost.

Notice that some believed in the Christ but were cowards, “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 “And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.”

Faith in Christ is so very important there must not be any reason to fail to confess Jesus and obey Him. If one is lost, it will be because that person refused to believe and obey the Lord, not because God predestined him/her to be lost.

 

by Guy Roberson

 

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11-12-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

The Widow’s Two Mites

(Mk 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-4)

Guy Roberson

http://www.peopleforjesus.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Widow-Mites.png

I believe there are two ways of looking and this beautiful story. One has to do with the full context. Look at Mark 12:38-40 in order to see our story in context.

“Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Jesus has just been warning His disciples about how the religious teachers had been shamelessly cheating widows out of their property and then pretending to be pious by making long prayers in public. This poor widow had not been instructed by God to give everything she had into the treasury. In fact, she should have been looked after by God’s shepherds, the religious leaders (read this scathing rebuke of the failure of God’s shepherds to look after His people: Ezek. 34:2-6; 11-16). Today there may be Christians who really don’t have enough to take care of their needs and they should not be made to feel that they should give if they are unable to do so. Giving is measured according to what one has. Paul wrote, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:12).

The other way to look at this touching story is to make the point regarding sacrifice. She put in more than all others who contributed to the treasury because she gave all she had while the others merely gave out of their abundance. Jesus saw in her a heart that trusted in God’s providence for her needs and a heart that expressed its worship and appreciation to God in her giving.

God certainly does care what we give to His work of the kingdom. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (I Cor. 16:1-2). Also consider what Paul said in 2 Cor. 9:6-8: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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11-5-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees

(Matt 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47)

Guy Roberson

“And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation” (Mark 12:38-40).

In speaking to the multitudes and His disciples Jesus warned them about the scribes and Pharisees as the passages serving as our text clearly show. He told them, “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (23:3). Jesus certainly did not mean that they should follow the false teachings of the Pharisees but rather those teachings that naturally and correctly arose from the Law of Moses. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy and commanded the people, “But do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matt. 23:3). He listed some of the reasons for their hypocrisy:

“For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers (v. 4). “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. “They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, “greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.”

Jesus then pointed out “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. He was reminding them that Christ was their teacher and that they had forgotten the preeminence of God and their Messiah. Then Jesus taught them and us that being a servant should be our goal. Jesus clearly taught “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Whoever exalts himself has nowhere to go but down. He will be humbled by God. Whoever humbles himself has nowhere to go but up. He will be exalted by God (Proverbs 15:33; 29:23; James 4:6; I Peter 5:5).

He pronounced seven woes on the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 23:13-31. Why? Because…

1. They kept people out of God’s kingdom (v. 13).

2. They took advantage of widows (v. 14)

3. They misled men to eternal destruction (v. 15).

4. They were covetous of worldly things (vv. 16-22).

5. They refused to show compassion (vv. 23-24).

6. They were inwardly corrupt (vv. 25-28). And…

7. They afflicted the righteous (vv. 29-31). Now…

Space will not permit a discussion of each these woes, but they should be studied, and we must determine not to follow in the footsteps of the scribes and Pharisees. We often teach on the Beatitudes of Christ but seldom hear about the woes. We should follow and apply the beatitudes but refuse to practice these woes.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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