Category Archives: Devotionals

3-19-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

(Luke 15:4-7)

Guy Roberson

The situation in which Jesus is speaking can be seen in Luke 15:1–2. “Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them’” (NIV).

Jesus began by asking the people for their opinion: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent’” (Luke 15:3-7).

Then Jesus focused on the shepherd of the sheep. He says that a good shepherd will leave the ninety-nine and search for the one lost lamb.  The religious leaders would have responded properly to a sheep being lost, but on the other hand, they did not understand the value of a lost soul, evidenced by the fact that they murmured against Jesus when He taught and sought after the souls of men who had gone astray.

A shepherd understood that a sheep that had strayed from the flock was defenseless and in grave danger.  Jesus understood this principle regarding mankind.  When a person is lost and separated from the Lord because of his/her sins and transgression (Isa. 59:1-2; cp. Eph. 2:1-3) the Lord knows that such a person is groping aimlessly in darkness and needs to be rescued.  The shepherd in the parable didn’t despise his straying sheep and with a heart of compassion went to rescue it.  Our Lord also with a heart of compassion values each lost sinner.

It is a humbling reminder that God is not just interested in us but also in those who do not know Him. After Jesus reveals Himself to be the Good Shepherd who lays His life down for the sheep, He goes on to say, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16).

Instead of murmuring about our Lord’s association with the publicans and sinners, they should have been rejoicing that men lost in sin were being brought back to God.  It is not the will of God that any should perish.  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward [a]us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

“The Early Church believed this parable was a reference to Jesus Himself. Jesus left Heaven and, like the shepherd in the parable, came to earth to seek and to save that which was lost. The early Christians of the First and Second Centuries were so convinced this parable was about Jesus that they often used the image of a shepherd carrying a lamb across his shoulders as the graphic to depict Him. In ancient catacombs in Rome where early Christians once gathered to worship and pray, painted images of a shepherd carrying a lamb, representing Jesus, are still visible on the walls.”

Jesus ends this beautiful story with the following statement: “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”  So, when a sinner repents, Jesus sees this as a time for Heaven to celebrate! He calls on all of Heaven’s inhabitants to celebrate every time a sinner is saved! Consider the profound action that transpires when a soul doomed to eternal destruction is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. It’s no wonder that Jesus wants all of Heaven to join with Him in throwing a celebration!

What is our attitude toward the lost and dying sinners?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

The Parable of the Great Banquet

(Luke 14:15-24)

Guy Roberson

This parable is like the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22:1:14) but with some differences.

At the mention of the resurrection, in the previous verses (v. 14) someone at the table with Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God” (verse 15). In reply, Jesus tells the Parable of the Great Banquet.

Two elements to note here: (1) This was to be a “great” banquet, and (2) The host has planned a large feast with room for a great number of guests. This is no small, intimate gathering.

Jesus takes this opportunity at the meal to describe a grand meal in “the kingdom of God.”  There are many opinions as to who the certain man who gave the feast may be, as well as the servant.  It really does not affect the parable and its meaning.  The plain fact is that God the Father and the Son have invited everyone to enter the Kingdom and enjoy the great feast in the resurrection.  Every one of these kinds of events had two invitations: the one that let you know you would be future invited and then the second invitation came when everything was ready.

The invitation is “Come, for all things are now ready.”  The Kingdom had been in preparation since before the foundations of the world were even laid (Eph. 3:10-11).  In the fulness of time Jesus came and gave His life for the establishment of the Kingdom and it was established in Acts 2:  Since that day the invitation has gone out into all the world to come into the Kingdom.

However, as people were being invited to the feast, they all began to make excuses for rejecting the invitation.  McGarvey in his commentary points out that the excuses offered progress in disrespect, for the first excuse is on the ground of necessity, the second simply offers a reason, and the third is almost impudent in its bluntness.”

When the master of the house heard these flimsy excuses, he was angry. He told his servant to forget the guest list and go into the back streets and alleyways of the town and invite “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (verse 21). The servant had already brought in the down-and-out townspeople, and still there was room in the banquet hall. So, the master sent his servant on a broader search: “Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full” (verses 22-23).

Jesus ends the parable by relating the master’s determination that “not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet” (verse 24).

The righteous Pharisees despised the teaching of the Lord because they were convinced, due to their careful observance of the law and their traditions, and their Abrahamic ancestry they would be sitting at the great banquet in the Kingdom.  They would not only be there, but they would be in the prominent seats.   Jesus always sought to shatter false religious hope.  He never put His arm around a Pharisee and said we all we worship the same God, we’re both going to be there, You’re my brother. The religious leaders of the Jews were convinced they were in a right relationship with God, but they weren’t.

Jesus had just told them back in verses 12 and 13, “When you have a dinner don’t just invite your brothers and your friends and the rich but find the poor and the crippled and the blind and the lame.”  And this again appears here. Go at once into the streets and lanes in the city.  The great invitation of the Lord is “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Notice verse 24: “For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall tastemy supper.”  Jesus is no longer talking about the man and his dinner.  He is talking about heaven and the Messianic dinner.  This is the heavenly celebration for the righteous from all walks of life who accepted the Lord’s invitation.  Those who refuse His invitation to enter the kingdom will not eat at His table.  Paul states the same: “and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

Quit making excuses and obey the gospel today, my beloved friends.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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3-5-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Take the Lowest Seat Parable

(Luke 14:7-11)

Guy Roberson

“So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.  But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be [a]humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Apparently when Jesus went to dine with a Pharisee (Luke 14:1) He witnessed a scramble for the chief seats at the table by the Pharisees who were there.  This was an audacious display of pride, in order to be seen and recognized.  Noticing this Jesus told the parable of our text.  In His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-8), our Savior taught us that we should not make a display of our religion.  We must never attempt, to show godliness, or to show spirituality and devotion to God by any outward action. Let us adorn the Gospel (Titus 2:10) by our behavior, always. But we must never make a show of godliness.  Jesus was addressing those “who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation” (Luke 20:46-47).  Even today we have some folks who do good works to be seen by men.

The key to this parable is found in Proverbs 25:6-7 — “Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.” The Lord must have had this passage in mind when He spoke this parable. He is the King to whose wedding feast sinners are bidden, before whom we must come in humility.

Jesus truly demonstrated this quality of humbleness.  When He had the highest place in the universe along with the Father, he took the lowest place, abasing Himself to come to earth to serve humanity by dying on the cross (Phil. 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 8:9).  After relating the parable Jesus said, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).  The wise man said, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18); “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Prov. 29:23).  Why is humility so important to a Christian? The Bible has 106 stories emphasizing humility. Humility has been called the queen of the Christian graces.

Divine blessings are promised to those who learn the lesson of humility and demonstrate it in our everyday lives: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” Isaiah 57:15 (NKJV).  It is this very quality that permits us to walk with God:” He has shown you, O man, what is good;  And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?               (Mic 6:8)

This is a most important lesson for God’s people to learn.  Don’t you think?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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2-26-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Teaches Us to Count The Cost

(Luke 14:25-35)

Guy Roberson

Great multitudes began following Jesus and He turned to address the subject of discipleship.  Jesus was warning them and people today that one must count the cost of following Him. Jesus wanted people to follow Him but there was and is a cost to following Him.  When it comes to salvation, God wants everybody to come – He wants everyone to be saved (I Tim. 2:4); but when it comes to discipleship, He wants only those who are willing to pay the price.

There was much more involved in following Jesus than the miracles, healings, and free food. While those things were real benefits, they needed to understand who Jesus really was and is and what He requires for us to follow Him.  So, Jesus explained the kind of dedication that is required to be one of His disciples. Many preachers today are lying to the people by telling them that Christianity is an easy life, and everyone should become a Christian.  There is real joy and happiness in following Jesus regarding the spiritual blessings He provides.  But much is required that many are unwilling to give (Matt. 7:13-14).

The truth is that Jesus will not accept just anybody to be a disciple.  Note that in vs 26, 27, and 33 Jesus said in each verse “He cannot be my Disciple.”  Jesus is truly serious – He is calling for a serious commitment that requires putting Him first in everything.

There are three examples the Lord presents to help us understand how to count the cost of being His disciple.  First, anyone coming to Christ esteeming father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, yea his own life also, cannot be My disciple (v. 26).  What did Jesus mean by the word “hate”?  Did the disciples of Jesus treat their family members hatefully, and disrespectfully?  No, they did not.   The term “hate” is used in the sense of loving less, not “hate’ in the sense of dislike with strong feeling. Otherwise, there would be a contradiction between this passage and Ephesians 5:29, wherein Paul said that “no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” Jesus meant that absolutely nothing may become an obstacle in our life in following Him.

“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”  Jesus was not referring to a physical cross.  “Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to self.” It’s a call to absolute surrender. After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25).  No relationship, no desire, not even your own will, and your own life, may become hindrances in fulfilling the will of God in your life.  Paul wrote: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8).

To illustrate the point further, Jesus introduced the idea of building a tower. Asking who would not first sit down and think through what such an undertaking would cost, in order to decide if his resources were enough to bring the project through in completion.  Changing the metaphor somewhat, Jesus further compared counting the cost of discipleship to a monarch with an inferior fighting force coming against one such as he with a superior force.  I believe Dallas Willard sums this whole passage up exceptionally well: “The entire point of this passage is that as long as one thinks anything may really be more valuable than fellowship with Jesus and his kingdom, one cannot learn from him…. What this passage…is about is clarity. It is not about misery or about some incredibly dreadful price that one must pay to be Jesus’ apprentice…. The point is simply that unless we clearly see the superiority of what we receive as his students [his disciples] over every other thing that might be valued, we cannot succeed in our discipleship to him.”

Are we putting Jesus first in every way?

 

By Guy Robersin

 

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2-12-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Dines With a Pharisee

Luke 14:1-6

Guy Roberson

“Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. 2 And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”  4 But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him and let him go. 5 Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” 6 And they could not answer Him regarding these things.”

This is not the first time in Luke that Jesus prompted questions about Sabbath observance by healing someone on the Sabbath (see 6:6–11; 13:10–17). Nor is it the first time that he had dined with Pharisees (see 7:36–50; 11:37–41).

On this Sabbath, Jesus heals a man with dropsy, and Luke narrates this event quickly, without any conversation between Jesus and the man himself. The focus is completely on the question that hangs in the air between Jesus and His Pharisee companions: “Is it lawful to cure people on the Sabbath, or not?”

Jesus healed a man with dropsy, symptoms are swollen limbs and tissue resulting from excess body fluids. None of these conditions is fatal; none of them would be perceived as an emergency. These people could have waited another day. Yet, Jesus acts immediately.  Jesus acted for the good of the sick person, putting compassion ahead of their regulations. The Pharisees had allowed their regulations and propriety to take over. They would go to endless trouble to formulate and to obey their petty rules and regulations; and yet they counted it a sin to ease a sufferer’s pain on the Sabbath day. Jesus showed them that they had lost sight of the dignity of the people they claimed to lead.  Jesus has demonstrated great respect for the spirit of the Sabbath, and perhaps was demonstrating an appreciation consistent with His practice

But religious leaders believed Jesus to be a lawbreaker and therefore dangerous and even irreligious.  After Jesus asked them ““Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath” they kept silent.  Jesus then asked another question: “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”  And they could not answer Him regarding these things because they would have pulled the animal out of the pit.  Do you remember the question Jesus when He healed the woman on the Sabbath in Luke 13:16? “Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”  And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him” (Luke 13:17).   The silence of the Pharisees reflects their inability to accomplish the goal of catching Jesus in an unlawful act.

Perhaps this little story has a real purpose for you and me.  Just maybe we too should examine why we do what we do. Maybe there are some traditions we have learned in the past that govern how we treat one another.  Could it be that we have some man-made ideas and views that just don’t jive with the spirit of Christianity?  If so, don’t you think we should rid ourselves of them and seek to be governed by the same mercy that characterized our Lord?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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2-5-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven

(Luke 13:18-20)

Guy Roberson

Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

At the heart of Jesus’ proclamation of God’s kingdom lie wonderful parables, preserved in the Gospels to help us understand something important about the kingdom.

A mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds but when it [the seed] falls on soil that is cultivated, it produces a large branch and it becomes a shelter for the birds of the sky.  Probably Jesus was referring to a shrub that grows 8 to 12 feet high. In the days of Jesus, the mustard seed was a symbol of smallness.  The Rabbis spoke of “a spot or blemish as small as a mustard seed.” Jesus was describing the small beginning of the kingdom of God.

God’s kingdom is not likened to a mustard seed but to the growth of that seed. This similitude, then, is clearly about the contrast between the small beginnings and the final greatness of God’s reign.  Jesus is teaching that although the beginning of the kingdom may seem small and insignificant, it will grow and continue to grow until it is large and powerful.

Some have tried to interpret the birds nesting in the tree as representing different things: Scofield taught that the birds symbolize pagan world powers; others believed the birds represented Satan; Barclay taught that birds represent the different denominations and he missed the point of the seed all together; others think that the birds represent the Gentile nations seeking refuge with Israel.

Probably all that the birds mean is that the tree was large enough to sustain life around it. It isn’t just a marginal tree, but one which provides support for wildlife echoing Daniel 4:11-21; and Ezekiel 17:23. The parable of the mustard seed, emphasizes the contrast between the humble beginnings of the Lord’s kingdom and its final, consummated form.

Jesus began with twelve ordinary men whom He appointed as Apostles and a handful of other followers. He lived and died in what was a province of the Roman Empire, and He is mentioned only in passing in the secular historical sources of that time. But since that time the kingdom of God has been steadily growing and is found all over the world.

The Parable of the Leaven Luke 18:20-21

“And again, He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

Leaven in both testaments represented corruption and was to be removed from the houses during the entirety of the feast of unleavened bread (Exodus 12:15-20) etc. In the New Testament Jesus warned His disciples about the hypocrisy and false teaching of the Pharisees as “leaven (Matt. 16:6, 12).

Based on this concept of leaven some have argued that the leaven represents false teaching being introduced into the church. Such a view misses the whole point Jesus was making.  This short parable must be looked at in its context.  It follows on the heels of the mustard seed and relates to it.

Furthermore, such a view makes the parable end with the religion of Christ being finally and fully destroyed (hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened). While it is true that leaven is elsewhere used of corruption, this is essentially because of its permeating qualities (A little leaven leavens the whole lump Gal. 5:9).

Jesus is using leaven because of its permeating qualities as it operates quietly and unseen and does its tremendous work of converting people and growing the kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God does not grow with great fanfare or by Armies waging war, nor by sensational schemes dreamed up by promoters we have seen even in the Lord’s church.   The Kingdom grows through the simple preaching and teaching of the gospel just as Jesus commanded (Matt. 28:18-20).

Jesus is reassuring Christians that the Kingdom continues to grow in spite of the fact we may think nothing is being accomplished.  So, stop being discouraged and do what you can to encourage people to accept the gospel.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-29-2019 Walking In Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Lord, Will Only a Few be Saved?

(Like 13:22-30)

Guy Roberson

“And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

“And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

You will probably recognize there are other passages like this one.  Consider the following passages (Matt. 7:13-14; Matt. 7:22-23; Matt. 8:11-12; etc.).  This question interested many people then, and it continues to interest many people today and it should be upper most in our minds whether we will enter heaven.

What does Jesus mean by saying one must strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” The verse simply means that not everyone will be saved. But why?  If one wishes to be saved, then one must not imagine that one can simply continue along the same path he/she has been following.

Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”  Elsewhere in the NT, Paul uses this word, agonizesthe, to speak of athletic competition (1 Cor. 9:25), training intensively in Godliness (1 Tim. 4:10), and fighting the good fight (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7).  While salvation is a gift of God, God expects us to cherish it as an athlete cherishes the victor’s crown—suggesting that we need an athlete’s discipline and determination in pursuing entrance through the narrow door

When the master of the house rises and shuts the door no one else can enter.  Those who refuse to live godly lives and strive to serve the Lord will not be permitted to enter heaven.  God will not recognize one who has failed to summit to the Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him.  These are workers of iniquity—acting without law–God’s law and will be subjected to punishment-where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when they behold the heavenly city with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the eternal Kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.  When lost in an eternal hell one will exhibit great emotion, but it will not be joy—it will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

We live in a time when many people believe that all roads lead to God—that all beliefs are equally valid—that it doesn’t matter what you believe if you are sincere. The NT teaches exactly the opposite.  If we are so convinced it doesn’t make any difference what we believe then Satan doesn’t have to worry about getting us drunk or committing murder.

For some people, death will come suddenly and without warning. At that point, their eternal future will hinge on their spiritual disciplines and the relationship that they forged with Christ during their lifetimes.

Don’t you think we should be striving to enter our heavenly home every day of our lives by living for Jesus and serving His cause?

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-15-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update By Guy Roberson

Walking In Truth Devotional Update

Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead

John 11:1-46

Guy Roberson

There are several points that signify the importance of this miracle.  First, it is much longer than the previous miracles. Second, it is the only miracle to take place in Bethany.

We have seven miracles recorded in the first eleven chapters of John: (1) The turning of water into wine (2:1-11); (2) the healing of the nobleman’s son (4:43-54); (3) the healing of the impotent man (5:1-15); (4) the feeding of the multitude (6:1-14); (5) the walking on the water (6:16-21); (6) the cure of the blind man (9:1-41); and, (7) the raising of Lazarus (11:1-45).

The miracles of Jesus were important because they were signs of what He is and what He came to give to those who would believe and obey Him.  Jesus demonstrated that He was truly the resurrection and life (John 11:25, 26).

Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick.  But Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” v. 4).  However, Jesus abode two days still in the same place. Then Jesus decided to go into Judea and told His disciples Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep (v. 7-11).  However, they thought Lazarus was merely sleeping and Jesus corrected them saying that he was dead (v. 13-14).

By the time Jesus and His disciples arrived Lazarus had laid in the grave four days (v. 17).  So, the question is why did Jesus wait four days to go and raise Lazarus?  Jewish people believed that the soul remained in the vicinity and would return and visit the body for two or three days hoping to rejoin the body. On the fourth day, the soul finally faced reality and departs. The fact that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days meant that there could be no possibility of his soul rejoining his body.   Therefore, the miracle could not be denied.

Many of the Jews went to Martha and Mary’s home to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house, perhaps needing to stay with the mourners (v. 20).

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.  But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee” (v. 21-22).  We do not have any idea that Martha expected a resurrection to take place.  The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, but the Pharisee did.  Martha did believe in a future resurrection.  Jesus saith unto her, thy brother shall rise again.  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

It was at that moment Jesus pronounced the wonderful statement in  v. 25: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. believest thou this?”

Jesus did not say I will be the one to raise him in the last day.  What He did say is I AM the resurrection and the Life.  This is an astonishing claim and declaration by Jesus and joins the other “I AM” statements found in the Gospel of John.  Jesus not only gives light to the world, but He is the light.  Not only does he help people thru the door to everlasting life He Himself is the door.

Let me take you back to Job and the question posed by him: :”If a man dies shall he live again?” That question has been in the mind of every human being since death was first experience on earth. Every culture, tribe and civilization has seen people speculating about the question of death. The obvious question is: When I die is that the end?  Is the whole of my existence summed up between the two points of birth and death as marked on the tombstones of people’s graves or is there something else, is there something more?  The answer is yes, there is much more.

Christ’s promise is the declaration of His personal assistance.  That is what He meant when He said, I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus will raise Christians to everlasting life. You must understand that the day when your body dies, that is not the day YOU die.  That is the day you will become more conscious of reality than you have ever experienced.  That is why the apostle Paul could say: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Phil. 1:23-24).

Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.  And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, loose him, and let him go” John 10:41-44).

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-8-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional Update

They Picked Up Stones to Stone Jesus

John 10:22-39

Guy Roberson

Many false teachers have said that Jesus never claimed to be God.  As any Bible student knows that is not true. There are several times Jesus claimed deity.

In John 8:58, 59 “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.  Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

In our text Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.”  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?

The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:30-33).

When Jesus said, before Abraham was, I AM He was identifying Himself with Deity as discussed in Exodus 3:13-15:  “Then Moses said to God, ‘Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?’”  “I AM WHO I AM.” (Absolute Existence – always was, is, and will be) And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you. “Thus, you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God (Yahweh) of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’”

Exodus 3:13-15 is the most elaborate and emphatic declaration of God’s affirmation of His eternal self-existence to be found in the Old Testament.   God gives three answers to the question, “What shall I tell them your name is?”

1. In verse 14, God says, I AM WHO I AM.

2. Also in v. 14, God says, I AM has sent me to you.

3. Then in v. 15, The LORD God (Yahweh) has sent me to you . . . this is my name forever.  Yahweh is used here interchangeably with the term “I AM”.

The Jews had no trouble understanding that Jesus was claiming to be God (Deity) and that is why they were so mad and wanted to kill Him. For him to say “I AM” meant He is the I AM, Yahweh, I AM that I AM, the God of Israel, of the Old Testament. There is a total of seven statements by Jesus in which He states I AM recorded in the Gospel of John.

In response to their reason to stone Him, Jesus referred to the Holy Scriptures as their law and quoted from Psalm 82:6, “I said, “You are gods.”  The Greek word “theos” (god) does not always refer to Jehovah. It signifies a mighty one, a ruler, and especially a religious or sacerdotal ruler. Here the psalmist portrayed God as addressing corrupt judges.  Since it was against these unjust judges that God’s word of judgment was directed what basis did they have for accusing Him (the one whom the Father had sanctified and sent into the world) of blasphemy for saying, “I am God’s Son”? (John 10:34-36).

If Jesus did not do His Father’s works, they should not believe Him.  If, however, he did them, and they still did not believe in Him, they should at least believe the good works as being from the Father. The works of Jesus should have demonstrated that Jesus and the Father are one. Therefore, they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.  Yes, Jesus claimed to be God and He and the Father are One.

The attitude of the religious leaders demonstrates how far evil prejudice will drive a person. I challenge you to study carefully the life of Jesus Christ and as many atheists have come to believe in Him, maybe you will also.

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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1-1-2019 Walking in Truth Devotional Update by Guy Roberson

Walking in Truth Devotional update

My Sheep Hear My Voice

John 10:1-6,27

Guy Roberson

Our text is a continuation of chapter 9 and one must have a working understanding of it to understand the text for this lesson:

John records one of the many great works of Christ – the healing of a man born blind (John 9:1-12).  This was such a demonstration of the miraculous power of Jesus that even His critics should have believed Him.

However, we see the Pharisees’ reaction to the healing in (v. 13-25).  ”This man is not from God, because he does not observe the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such miraculous signs?” Thus, there was a division among them. So again, they asked the man who used to be blind, “What do you say about him, since he caused you to see?” “He is a prophet,” the man replied” (v. 16-17). The Pharisees questioned the man’s parents, but they were afraid of the Jewish authorities.  They told the religious leaders to ask their son, because he was of age and could answer for himself.

This passage shows us the desperate lengths to which prejudice will drive wicked people.

1.         Agreed that one should be put out of synagogue if confess Christ.

2.         When the Pharisees could not frighten the blind man who had been cured, they expelled him from the synagogue.

3.         ”Are we blind also?” they cried. “If you were blind, you should have no sin–but now you say, ‘We see’; therefore, your sin remains.”

John 10:14-15 informs us that Jesus knows His sheep: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”  The apostle Paul put it like this: “God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’” (2 Tim. 2:19).  Because of His love for us Jesus left heaven and came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins and provide salvation for us.  Surely, if the Lord did this for us, then we should hear His voice and follow Him.

Until we learn of Him (Matt. 11:28-30) we will continue to wander around without any direction and find ourselves involved in problems that could be avoided if we would allow Jesus to direct our lives.

This requires us to hear Him and follow His will for our lives. The answer to this problem is to develop a greater trusting relationship with Him, but we cannot develop such a relationship with Him until we have studied His word and know how much He did to make it possible for us to be saved.

So. the big question for us is: Which shepherd are we following? Are we following some self-centered shepherd, or the voice and direction of the Good Shepherd? (John 10:11; John 10:14; cf. 1 Peter 2:25 – NKJV).

 

Savior, like a shepherd lead us,

Much we need Thy tender care;

In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,

For our use Thy folds prepare.

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;

Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,

Thou hast bought us Thine we are. —W.B. Bradbury

 

By Guy Roberson

 

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