Who is online?
In total there are 4 users online :: 1 Registered, 0 Hidden and 3 Guests :: 1 Bot

Admin

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 111 on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 2:28 am
Latest topics
» +Dev+ Michael D. Inman
Today at 8:25 pm by Admin

» THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters
Today at 8:21 pm by Admin

» Meditation Chip Brogden
Today at 8:19 pm by Admin

» Daily Encounter with: ACTS International
Today at 7:59 pm by Admin

» HEAVEN LETTERS
Today at 7:33 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL VIDEO'S
Today at 7:27 pm by Admin

» Ps 10-25
Today at 8:47 am by clark thompson

» HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus
Yesterday at 11:05 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
Yesterday at 11:02 pm by Admin

» Clarion Project's YouTube account has been taken down
Yesterday at 10:53 pm by Admin

» Disturbing Prophetic Vision Details Tanks Rolling Through American Cities
Yesterday at 10:51 pm by Admin

» GENESIS REVEALS A MESSAGE FROM GOD OF THE FUTURE.
Yesterday at 10:45 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL BREAKING NEWS
Yesterday at 10:38 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
Mon 24 Jul 2017, 9:07 pm by Admin

» THE CLARION PROJECT
Mon 24 Jul 2017, 8:30 pm by Admin

»  HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES
Mon 24 Jul 2017, 8:29 pm by Admin

» ENDTIME HEADLINES
Mon 24 Jul 2017, 3:56 pm by Admin

» Delrifkah: HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY.
Sun 23 Jul 2017, 11:53 pm by Admin

» Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Sun 23 Jul 2017, 11:49 pm by Admin

» NUGGET Today's Devotional
Sun 23 Jul 2017, 11:43 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Page 4 of 6 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Apr 2017, 6:52 pm

"Unable to Comprehend" — A Year with Jesus for 04/06/2017

Video: God of Gracious Love
Where do we turn to find hope, joy, and peace in a world hellbent on destruction? — Watch Now
Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

Sometimes the truth is simply hard to comprehend. I'm not talking about a truth that is intellectually tough to comprehend. Instead, I'm speaking about a truth that is hard to comprehend emotionally. This kind of truth is out of phase with what the world expects and understands.

On My way to the cross, I hinted, I taught, and I repeatedly made plain statements about My passion in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, this truth was hidden from My disciples. To put it bluntly, these facts were too gruesome for My disciples to imagine. It was too horrible for them to comprehend. They had seen Me restore sight to the blind. They had witnessed Me raise the dead back to life. They had watched as I restored to health those with leprosy. They viewed My work in amazement as I enabled the lame to walk. They marveled when I freed demon-possessed people. They were humbled when I stilled the storm with its wild winds and raging seas. They picked up twelve baskets of leftovers when I fed the multitude with a small amount of food. They joined in the joy as I tenderly restored broken folks to their families, to robust health, or to a productive place in society.

How could their Lord, the Savior, someone with such power, have to face such a grotesque and humiliating death? They couldn't understand the truth about My upcoming crucifixion because there was simply no place in their thinking for it. Their Messiah should never have to endure such things.

Yet the great prophet Isaiah had spoken about Me as the Servant of the LORD — the great suffering Servant. This description was the great window of the prophets to the truth I was about to embrace. Below, I want you to read about My disciples' inability to grasp My journey to the cross and to the resurrection. Then I want you to read one of Isaiah's famous servant songs about My suffering.

I want you to realize that there will always be mysteries for you to uncover about Me. These are experiential mysteries for you yet to discover about My identity. You will come to understand some truths about Me because your life experiences and your time in the Scriptures intersect. In that intersection, you are suddenly able to unwrap new, deep, and powerful truths about Me that were hidden from you. Following Me brings a lifetime of discovery!

Verses to Live

Remember, My disciples would have quoted the servant songs from Isaiah as part of their earlier training in the synagogue. However, until the cross and My resurrection, they did not put those songs together with My ministry as Messiah. When they did put them together, what a powerful testimony they had to others. My story was written into the DNA of Scripture hundreds of years before I lived, yet only fully appreciated after My resurrection!

He [Jesus] took the twelve aside and spoke privately to them.

Jesus:
Look, my friends, we are going up to Jerusalem. Everything the prophets have written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the outsiders. They will mock Him, disgrace Him, and spit on Him; they will scourge Him, and they will kill Him. And on the third day, He will rise from death.
But they had no comprehension of what He was talking about. The meaning was hidden from them, and they couldn't grasp it.
(Luke 18:31-34)

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
(Isaiah 53:1-12 NIV)
Response in Prayer

O Father, open my eyes so that I can clearly see Jesus. I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to remove what is hidden from me about my Savior. I want to know Him and to be conformed to Him. I want to be able to share Him with those around me who do not know His grace. I ask this in the name of my amazing and sacrificial Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.

© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.


avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Apr 2017, 10:25 pm

"As a Child!" — A Year with Jesus for 04/05/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious One,

When you read the verses below, I want you to notice My interactions with My disciples regarding a rich public official who turned away from following Me. I challenged My disciples to think through his rejection of My call and focus their attention on those who are worthy of their emulation:

Don't you realize — the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children? You can depend on this: if you don't receive the Kingdom as a child would, you won't enter it at all.
Religion gets far off track when the focus becomes a question of who is most important, most religious, and most deserving of the Father's love.

I came to you as God. The rich public official in the story below missed this truth. He called Me "good" and only God is truly good. So I challenged him to listen to Me as God. I told him that he needed to drop his religious game of trying to earn the Father's love. He needed to quit trying to outdo all the others around him in his religious practices. He needed to look deep into his own heart and see that there was an idol he held as more important than obeying the voice of the Father. However, he dismissed what I said. He refused to give up his idol — his great wealth — for two reasons:
He didn't think of Me as God. He dismissed what I said as just more religious teaching. He didn't accept what I said as the very commands of God.
He was rich and his idol — his real god — was his money. Unfortunately, he thought he could earn the Father's favor just like he had earned his money.
Sadly, he walked away from Me and from the joy of My kingdom because he couldn't give up what was false.

Just before the description of this rich public official's visit with Me, you meet children who are the model for the kind of heart that receives My kingdom. Just after this official, you meet My disciples. In childlike amazement, they wonder how anyone can be saved if someone who has lived a good life, like this rich public official, couldn't find his way into My kingdom. I reminded them that they were thinking in human terms. And in human terms, it is impossible. But We — Father, Son, and Spirit — make the impossible possible. All that My disciples had to do was look at themselves and what they had given up.

You see, nothing is impossible for the heart totally yielded to Me. You cannot give up more for Me than you will receive many times over in the age to come (Matthew 19:29). However — and this is a huge "however" — you have to be willing to follow Me as a child. So come, dear precious one, and follow Me!
Verses to Live

During My time on earth, children were not an important part of society. They were trained, loved, nurtured, and apprenticed at home. They were not important in adult society. For Me to hold them up as a good example of a disciple was shocking. To elevate children above a rich, devoted-to-the-law public official was shocking. Sometimes, My precious one, shocking is good. Listen with your heart. Invite the Holy Spirit to attach these words to your soul.

I AM the good teacher. I AM God among you. I AM the One teaching the eternal truth. You either renounce all of your idols and follow Me as a child, or you walk away from Me with a sad heart. If you leave, you forfeit your hope of enjoying My kingdom.

Some people brought infants to Jesus, hoping He would touch them to bless them. The disciples rebuked them for doing this. However, Jesus reacted strongly to their rebuke.

Jesus:
Let the little children come to Me. Never hinder them! Don't you realize — the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children? You can depend on this: if you don't receive the Kingdom as a child would, you won't enter it at all.
Public Official:
Good Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit the life of the age to come?
Jesus:
Why did you just call Me good? No one is good but God — only God. You know what the Hebrew Scriptures command: "Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; honor your father and mother."
Public Official:
I've already been doing these things — since I came of age.
Jesus:
One thing you still lack — one thing; sell all your possessions and distribute the proceeds to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. Then you can come and follow Me.
The man heard these words and sadness came over his face, for his wealth was considerable.

Jesus:
What a hard thing it is for those with much wealth to enter the kingdom of God! In fact, it would be easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God!
Listeners:
Then who can be liberated?
Jesus:
Remember, what is humanly impossible is possible with God.
Peter:
We have left our homes and followed You.
Jesus:
I'm telling you the truth: there is nobody who leaves his house or wife or siblings or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive more than he has given up — much more — in this age and in the age to come. He will receive eternal life.
(Luke 18:15-30)
Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, I thank You for Jesus being among us in His earthly ministry as Immanuel — God with us. I confess that I sometimes try to win Your approval by compiling a list of things I believe You like and then going out and doing those things. I forget the accomplished mission of Jesus on the cross and the empty tomb that have saved me. So I ask the Holy Spirit to settle my heart in this grace and to reveal to me any unsurrendered area of my heart so that You, and You alone, are my God. I need the continuing guidance of the Spirit to help me completely yield myself to You. Dear Father, I want to follow Jesus as a child who holds nothing back from You and rejoices in the grace of Your acceptance of me and Your promises for me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 04 Apr 2017, 9:54 pm

"Questions Out of Focus" — A Year with Jesus for 04/04/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Believer,

Have you noticed how people sometimes ask the wrong questions? Those questions reveal their assumptions about reality and their place in it. Religious people are not immune to asking the wrong questions. The two parables that I told in the verses below challenge you to think about the assumptions that lie behind your questions.

In the first parable, the implied question of My people is this: "Will God hear my prayers and answer my repeated pleas to bring justice and deliverance for us, His people?"

My response is the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge. In story form, My answer is clear. An unjust judge can be swayed by a powerless widow who will not give up asking him for help. Surely you know that your loving Father in heaven will hear you. He will lovingly hear your earnest and repeated prayers and answer according to His gracious purposes for you. That answer will not be haphazard; it will come at the best possible time for your wellbeing and for the wellbeing of the fallen universe in bondage to decay.

However, I want to remind you of an even more important question: "[W]hen the Son of Man comes, will He find anyone who still has faith?"

That Son of Man is Me! You must live for Me with urgency anticipating My coming at any moment. You need to be full of anticipation regardless of how it seems your prayers are heard. The Father hears and cares about your hurt. He cares about the delay you feel in His response to your prayers. So please, be patient and faithful, knowing that I AM near.

In the second parable, the self-righteous man's implied question is this: "How can I display to others that I am a person of righteousness and honor when I go to pray in the Temple?"

My answer is this: The Father doesn't want you to try to make yourself look honorable and righteous to others when you worship Him or try to honor Him. Instead, the Father wants you to focus on a question of deeper significance about His love for you: "O Father, how can You be so gracious as to forgive me and to be merciful to me, a sinner?" Going home having been made righteous by the Father is much more important than appearing righteous.

Your questions, even when they are legitimate, often have their focus on you and your circumstances. Shouldn't your questions focus on the Father's faithfulness, mercy, and grace? Shouldn't your questions focus on how blessed you are because the Father has chosen you to share in His grace? Shouldn't your perspective include the needs of the lost around you? Shouldn't your questions show amazement at the Father's great love for you even when you were a rebellious sinner and so prone to abandoning your faith?

Verses to Live

Please remember two things as you read the following verses:

First, at the heart of sin, is an "I" problem. People focus too much on themselves! Even when times are hard and persecution becomes increasingly dangerous, don't give up and don't lose heart. Be like the persistent widow in My parable. The Father is listening and will answer you!

Second, God's faithfulness, mercy, love, and grace are reliable. You can trust in them because you trust in Him!

He [Jesus] told them a parable, urging them to keep praying and never grow discouraged. The parable went like this:

Jesus:
There was a judge living in a certain city. He showed no respect for God or humanity. In that same city there was a widow. Again and again she kept coming to him seeking justice: "Clear my name from my adversary's false accusations!" He paid no attention to her request for a while, but then he said to himself, "I don't care about what God thinks of me, much less what any mere human thinks. But this widow is driving me crazy. She's never going to quit coming to see me unless I hear her case and provide her legal protection."

Did you catch what this self-assured judge said? If he can be moved to act justly, won't God bring justice for His chosen people when they cry to Him day and night? Will He be slow to bring them justice? Mark My words: God will intervene fast with vindication. But here's the question: when the Son of Man comes, will He find anyone who still has faith?
He told another parable — this one addressed to people who were confident in their self-righteousness and looked down on other people with disgust.

Jesus:
Imagine two men walking up a road, going to the temple to pray. One of them is a Pharisee and the other is a despised tax collector. Once inside the temple, the Pharisee stands up and prays this prayer in honor of himself: "God, how I thank You that I am not on the same level as other people — crooks, cheaters, the sexually immoral — like this tax collector over here. Just look at me! I fast not once but twice a week, and I faithfully pay my tithes on every penny of income." Over in the corner, the tax collector begins to pray, but he won't even lift his eyes to heaven. He pounds on his chest in sorrow and says, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"

Now imagine these two men walking back down the road to their homes. Listen, it's the tax collector who walks home clean before God, and not the Pharisee, because whoever lifts himself up will be put down and whoever takes a humble place will be lifted up.
(Luke 18:1-14)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, I confess that I sometimes place myself at the center of my spiritual universe and do not consider the long-term implications of my influence. Forgive me for my impertinence in prayer and the selfishness sometimes found in my perspective on what is happening around me. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More

The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor

Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.

© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 03 Apr 2017, 9:50 pm

The Gathering Storm" — A Year with Jesus for 04/03/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

If you have been following along with My story in the gospels, you know that I am headed for Jerusalem. You also know that I am on a collision course with the Jewish and Roman leaders there. When I raised My friend Lazarus from the dead, all the attention I received intensified the whole situation.

Lazarus' resurrection occurred very close to Jerusalem. The news of My miraculous sign spread quickly. As you read the verses below, notice all the different reactions to Me and My work. Before you pass judgment on any of the people who fit the following descriptions, try to place yourself in their situations and think through what you would do.
You believe in Me and see Me raise Lazarus from the dead.
You doubt Me, but can't quite get Me and what I'm doing out of your head.
You don't believe in Me, so what are you going to do about the Lazarus incident?
You are a Jewish religious leader trying to preserve Jerusalem, the Temple, and your role of importance in the whole political, social, and religious environment.
You are a Roman leader expected by Caesar to keep the peace, and you keep hearing rumors about Me and My growing following.
You are a gawker always looking for the next big thing to come along, and so you find yourself fascinated by all the rumors and crowds who gather around Me.
After the resurrection of Lazarus, something was going to happen. My presence would no longer be something that could be overlooked. Lightning had just struck with the resurrection of Lazarus. The gathering storm would only intensify a few days later when I entered Jerusalem to the cries of "Hosanna"!

Yet in all the speculation, rancor, scheming, and questioning, Caiaphas spoke the Father's truth. He uttered a statement in panic with murderous determination that on another level was God's inspired truth:
...it's better for you that one man should die for the people so the whole nation won't perish.
And in case you missed the truth, John comments on it with these words:
As high priest that year, Caiaphas prophesied (without knowing it) that Jesus would die on behalf of the entire nation, and not just for the children of Israel — He would die so all God's children could be gathered from the four corners of the world into one people. In that moment, they [the Jewish leaders] cemented their intentions to have Jesus executed.
So there you have it. Lazarus' resurrection was the final straw that made the Jewish leaders determined to carry out their long-held desire to execute Me. My journey to the cross becomes even more definite because I raised a dead man back to life. My time had come according to the Father's plan. My death was necessary from the viewpoint of the religious leaders who feared and hated Me. Those who hold Me as their enemy will have to work out the details, but My future, My purpose, and My trip to the cross are now in motion.

As we continue to share My journey to the cross over the next few days, notice:
how I conduct Myself,
what I say,
with whom I spend my time,
how I handle
- those who are determined to kill Me,
- those who cannot decide about Me,
- those who have put their faith in Me.
Trials don't develop character; they reveal it. Notice My character as I journey to the cross and give My life to redeem the world — and you — from the grip of sin and death.
Verses to Live

I'm sure Martha and Mary had no idea how big a storm would follow the death of their brother Lazarus. They were grief-stricken. When I raised Lazarus from the dead, they were overjoyed. Little did they know how big a threat that their resurrected brother could be to the leaders of Jerusalem. These leaders weren't content with killing Me; they felt they must kill Lazarus, too!
Then, the man who was dead [Lazarus] walked out of his tomb bound from head to toe in a burial shroud.

Jesus:
Untie him, and let him go.
As a result, many of the Jews who had come with Mary saw what happened and believed in Him [Jesus]. But some went to the Pharisees to report what they witnessed Jesus doing. As a result of these reports — and on short notice — the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the high council.

Pharisees:
What are we going to do about this man? He is performing many miracles. If we don't stop this now, every man, woman, and child will believe in Him. You know what will happen next? The Romans will think He's mounting a revolution and will destroy our temple. It will be the end of our nation.
Caiaphas, the High Priest That Year:
You have no idea what you are talking about; what you don't understand is that it's better for you that one man should die for the people so the whole nation won't perish.
His speech was more than it seemed. As high priest that year, Caiaphas prophesied (without knowing it) that Jesus would die on behalf of the entire nation, and not just for the children of Israel — He would die so all God's children could be gathered from the four corners of the world into one people. In that moment, they cemented their intentions to have Jesus executed.

From that day forward, Jesus refrained from walking publicly among the people in Judea. He withdrew to a small town known as Ephraim, a rural area near the wilderness, where He set up camp with His disciples.

The Passover was approaching, and Jews everywhere traveled to Jerusalem early so they could purify themselves and prepare for Passover. People were looking for Jesus, hoping to catch a glimpse of Him in the city. All the while, some Jews were discussing Him in the temple.

Some Jews:
Do you think He will decide not to come to Jerusalem this year for the feast?
In the midst of this confusion, the Pharisees and the chief priests ordered that if anyone knew the whereabouts of Jesus of Nazareth, it must be reported immediately so they could arrest Him.
(John 11:44-57)

The chief priests were secretly plotting Lazarus's murder since, because of him, many Jews were leaving their teachings and believing in Jesus.
(John 12:10-11)
Response in Prayer

O Father, because I know the story of Jesus' crucifixion, my heart is heavy with His impending rejection, ridicule, and crucifixion. Still I find it powerful that the Holy Spirit can use words said by Caiaphas out of a self-preserving hatred to speak about the powerful, worldwide implications of the death that Jesus is about to face and the resurrection that will prove that He is Lord of all. Speak to my heart in fresh and convicting ways as I journey with Jesus through His crucifixion and on to His resurrection, always knowing that He did what He did for every person in the world. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 02 Apr 2017, 10:19 pm

"Presuming on Grace?" — A Year with Jesus for 04/02/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Caiaphas spoke treacherously about Me. At the same time, he also unwittingly spoke God's truth about My mission:
Caiaphas, the High Priest That Year:
...it's better... that one man should die for the people so the whole nation won't perish.
... As high priest that year, Caiaphas prophesied (without knowing it) that Jesus would die on behalf of the entire nation, and not just for the children of Israel — He would die so all God’s children could be gathered from the four corners of the world into one people.
(John 11:50-52)
Many of My own people would reject Me (John 1:10-11) and have Me crucified by the Romans (Acts 2:22-23; Acts 3:13-15). However, My death and resurrection would draw all kinds of people — Jews and non-Jews alike (John 12:32-33) — to Me as disciples. I didn't die just for one group, but I died for the sins of all people (1 John 2:1-2).

I want you to hear My loving, but firm, words of truth. No group, no race, no country, and no region can grow calloused and presume they are the only recipients of heaven's grace! We — Father, Son, and Spirit — called Abraham to be the father of a new nation. This nation was to live in a special relationship with Us and be a blessing to all nations of the world (Genesis 12:1-3).

Abraham and his descendants, the Israelites, received Our promises and shared in the blessings of Our covenants. We called Israel to be a light to the nations. Israel was to be a blessing to those trapped in the darkness of sin, paganism, and ignorance. Yet throughout Our long history of loving patience with Our chosen people, you will find exceptional person after exceptional person who was not an Israelite by race. And each of these remarkable people became part of Israel's great story of faith — people like Rahab, Ruth, and several centurions you meet in the New Testament. So as I near My chosen city that is about to reject Me, you shouldn't be surprised by the thankful outsider in the story below. This outsider is the only one who returns to thank me.

Years earlier, Moses had repeatedly warned the Israelite people never to forget all that their great I AM had done for them. Regardless, how quickly they did forget. So I ask you not to presume on the grace you have received. Don't assume that Our blessings are yours by national privilege, racial preference, religious heritage, or your own righteousness. As Hosea declared and the apostle Paul repeatedly pointed out, My righteous people will live by faith. What's more, that faith will motivate them to take the grace they have received and share it with others.
Verses to Live

As you read the verses below, think back on the blessings that you have received. Ask yourself if you are more like the nine insiders who didn't offer thanks for their healing or the one outsider who returned to thank Me.
Jesus was still pressing toward Jerusalem, taking a road that went along the border between Samaria (considered undesirable territory) and Galilee. On the outskirts of a border town along this road, He was greeted from a distance by a group of 10 people who were under quarantine because of an ugly and disgusting skin disease known as leprosy.

Lepers (shouting across the distance):
Jesus, Master, show mercy to us!
Jesus:
Go now and present yourselves to the priests for inspection of your disease.
They went, and before they reached the priests, their skin disease was healed, leaving no trace of the disease that scarred them and separated them from the community.

One of them, the instant he realized he had been healed, turned and ran back to Jesus, shouting praises to God. He prostrated himself facedown at Jesus' feet.

Leper:
Thank You! Thank You!
Now this fellow happened to be, not a Jew, but a Samaritan.

Jesus:
Didn't all ten receive the same healing this fellow did? Where are the other nine? Was the only one who came back to give God praise an outsider? (to the Samaritan man) Get up, and go your way. Your faith has made you healthy again.
(Luke 17:11-19)
Response in Prayer

O Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. I want the reign of Your grace to completely capture my heart and continue to change my attitudes, my words, and my actions to reflect my deep appreciation for the grace You have given me. I recognize that I am saved by Your grace. I trust that Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection defeated the power of sin and death, purchasing my pardon and making me Your child. May I never presume on Your amazing grace, O Lord! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 01 Apr 2017, 9:38 pm

"Unbound" — A Year with Jesus for 04/01/2017
Note from Jesus
Dear Precious One,

Yesterday I talked to you about the importance of My grace leading you to forgive those who have wounded you. That is hard. Today I want to talk to you about one of My greatest enemies (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) and one of the primary reasons I came to earth and walked as God among you. I came to defeat the power of sin and death and the hold they have over you.

Please know I hurt when grief rips apart your life and tears huge and gaping holes in your heart. My weeping at Martha's and Mary's pain, detailed in the verses below, is a reminder to you. While you shouldn't "grieve like people who have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT), death still can wound you even when your faith is rich and full. I knew that I was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, yet the grief of his two sisters tore at My heart. I know the great resurrection life I will share with everyone who dies and belongs to Me, yet the grief of each person's family and friends still tears at My heart!

There are many things about John's account of My raising Lazarus to life that can bless you and challenge you:
The fact that people die doesn't mean I do not love them and those who love them.
People's death is not a sign that I don't hear the prayers of their loved ones.
People who die with faith in Me have not really died; just their bodies die. They are still connected intimately to Me and will be with Me throughout eternity.
I hurt deeply with the death of those who love Me, and I hurt and I am intensely troubled for their families' pain as well.
There are even more messages for you to hear, but one clear message from Me to you today is this: death should not hold you hostage if you belong to Me! Listen to the last words in the verses below referring to Lazarus, who had been dead, and let them reverberate in your heart:
Untie him, and let him go.
Verses to Live

Before you read the account about Lazarus, I want to remind you of two passages in your New Testament that speak to the truth that death should not hold you hostage. I want you to hear both of them so that you have their echo of My truth in your heart as you read John's account that follows:
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

"Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?"

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NLT)

Since we, the children, are all creatures of flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood, so that by dying He could destroy the one who held power over death — the devil — and destroy the fear of death that has always held people captive.
(Hebrews 2:14-15)
I hurt when you hurt because of grief, but please know that all grief for those who belong to Me will ultimately be caught up in glory on the day when the Father will wipe every tear from your eyes (Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4):
There was a certain man who was very ill. He was known as Lazarus from Bethany, which is the hometown of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary did a beautiful thing for Jesus. She anointed the Lord with a pleasant-smelling oil and wiped His feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus became deathly ill, so the sisters immediately sent a message to Jesus which said, "Lord, the one You love is very ill." Jesus heard the message.

Jesus:
His sickness will not end in his death but will bring great glory to God. As these events unfold, the Son of God will be exalted.
Jesus dearly loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. However, after receiving this news, He waited two more days where He was.

Jesus (speaking to the disciples):
It is time to return to Judea.
Disciples:
Teacher, the last time You were there, some Jews attempted to execute You by crushing You with stones. Why would You go back?
Jesus:
There are 12 hours of daylight, correct? If anyone walks in the day, that person does not stumble because he or she sees the light of the world. If anyone walks at night, he will trip and fall because he does not have the light within. (Jesus briefly pauses.) Our friend Lazarus has gone to sleep, so I will go to awaken him.
Disciples:
Lord, if he is sleeping, then he will be all right.
Jesus used "sleep" as a metaphor for death, but the disciples took Him literally and did not understand. Then Jesus spoke plainly.

Jesus:
Lazarus is dead, and I am grateful for your sakes that I was not there when he died. Now you will see and believe. Gather yourselves, and let's go to him.
Thomas, the Twin (to the disciples):
Let's go so we can die with Him.
As Jesus was approaching Bethany (which is about two miles east of Jerusalem), He heard that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. Now many people had come to comfort Mary and Martha as they mourned the loss of their brother. Martha went to meet Jesus when word arrived that He was approaching Bethany, but Mary stayed behind at the house.

Martha:
Lord, if You had been with us, my brother would not have died. Even so I still believe that anything You ask of God will be done.
Jesus:
Your brother will rise to life.
Martha:
I know. He will rise again when everyone is resurrected on the last day.
Jesus:
I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die. Do you believe this?
Martha:
Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Anointed, the Liberating King, God's own Son Who we have heard is coming into the world.
After this Martha ran home to Mary.

Martha (whispering to Mary):
Come with me. The Teacher is here, and He has asked for you.
Mary did not waste a minute. She got up and went to the same spot where Martha had found Jesus outside the village. The people gathered in her home offering support and comfort assumed she was going back to the tomb to cry and mourn, so they followed her. Mary approached Jesus, saw Him, and fell at His feet.

Mary:
Lord, if only You had been here, my brother would still be alive.
When Jesus saw Mary's profound grief and the moaning and weeping of her companions, He was deeply moved by their pain in His spirit and was intensely troubled.

Jesus:
Where have you laid his body?
Jews:
Come and see, Lord.
As they walked, Jesus wept; and everyone noticed how much Jesus must have loved Lazarus. But others were skeptical.

Others:
If this man can give sight to the blind, He could have kept him from dying.
Then Jesus, Who was intensely troubled by all of this, approached the tomb — a small cave covered by a massive stone.

Jesus:
Remove the stone.
Martha:
Lord, he has been dead four days; the stench will be unbearable.
Jesus:
Remember, I told you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.
They removed the stone, and Jesus lifted His eyes toward heaven.

Jesus:
Father, I am grateful that You have heard Me. I know that You are always listening, but I proclaim it loudly so that everyone here will believe You have sent Me.
After these words, He called out in a thunderous voice.

Jesus:
Lazarus, come out!
Then, the man who was dead walked out of his tomb bound from head to toe in a burial shroud.

Jesus:
Untie him, and let him go.
(John 11:1-44)
Response in Prayer

There are no words, dear Father, to express my thanks for the assurance that You care about my grief, heartbreak, and loss. I find myself angry at the emptiness and seemingly incurable wound that grief leaves in me. However, dear Father, because of Your grief at the sacrifice of Your Son and because of His power over the grave, I trust that my grief will be absorbed in the victory You have planned for me and those who share My love for Jesus. I just need the comfort and tangible sense of Your presence during times of sorrow to help me hang on to that faith. Please be near, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 31 Mar 2017, 9:29 pm

"A Matter of Obedient Trust" — A Year with Jesus for 03/30/2017
Does God Still Care?
Why would God want to claim me as his child when I have failed him?
— Watch Video http://www.heartlight.org/articles/201703/20170330_godstillcares.html
Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

I talked to you yesterday about managing your assets with spiritual wisdom — about investing your assets in the places where you saw Me invest My life and in the things the Father talked to you about in the Scriptures (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings). So this is a good time to build on that principle and add a very important insight.

In today's parable in the verses below, you meet a foolish rich man who lived only for himself and neglected the people in need around him. This rich man invested his assets in what he wanted and in what made him feel important, secure, and powerful. What he did and how he did it went against the teaching of the Scriptures. The things that he did were clearly out of phase with the people and things in which I invested My life. So the rich man is everything opposite to what I taught you yesterday — he is the anti-hero. This situation is sad. Even sadder is his neglect of a brother in need at his doorstep. The Father dealt with this rich man as He said He would. There are no surprises for anyone who knows the Scriptures. Unfortunately, the rich man didn't realize his foolishness until after his untimely death and because of the punishment he had brought on himself. So I want to remind you to use your blessings to care for your brothers and sisters in need; that's investing in what matters in heaven!

While that's a very important point and fits perfectly with what I taught yesterday, that's not the main thing that I want you to focus upon today. People want to blame their lack of passion, their lack of focus on godliness, and their lack of living with urgency for God's kingdom on everything but themselves. They say things like:
"I needed it made clearer."
"My church didn't talk about these things."
"I really needed a couple of miracles to show that the teaching was true."
All that is a self-delusional rationalization. If folks don't get the truth from Scripture, they are not going to believe it even if it is talked about more frequently or if the teaching is accompanied by a couple of miracles. Getting the message of Scripture is a matter of obedient trust in the truth of Scripture. If folks don't believe the Scriptures, then it won't matter to them even if someone comes back from the dead and shows them that this way of life is true. If you say you believe in God, then value what God values. Miracles won't convince you if your heart chooses to be callous and greedy. Each of you must invest your life in things that align with the heart of God. His will, His character, and compassion must be the passion of each heart — your heart, My friend.

So where is your heart? What is your focus? Are you listening to what Scripture teaches?
Verses to Live

You are saved by grace through faith — your New Testament makes this clear. Grace, however, not only saves you from the consequences of sin and death, grace also saves you for a life of character and compassion as My disciple. Read from My brother James (James 2:14-22) and also from the apostle Paul (Ephesians 2:1-10). Paul summarized it well when he said, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6 NIV). If you listen carefully to what I AM saying to you today and what I teach a little later, you will see that James and Paul were saying essentially the same thing I taught!
Jesus (with another parable):
There was this rich man who had everything — purple clothing of fine quality and high fashion, gourmet meals every day, and a large house. Just outside his front gate lay this poor homeless fellow named Lazarus. Lazarus was covered in ugly skin lesions. He was so hungry he wished he could scavenge scraps from the rich man's trash. Dogs would come and lick the sores on his skin. The poor fellow died and was carried on the arms of the heavenly messengers to the embrace of Abraham. Then the rich fellow died and was buried and found himself in the place of the dead. In his torment, he looked up, and off in the distance he saw Abraham, with Lazarus in his embrace.

He shouted out, "Father Abraham! Please show me mercy! Would you send that beggar Lazarus to dip his fingertip in water and cool my tongue? These flames are hot, and I'm in agony!"

But Abraham said, "Son, you seem to be forgetting something: your life was full to overflowing with comforts and pleasures, and the life of Lazarus was just as full with suffering and pain. So now is his time of comfort, and now is your time of agony. Besides, a great canyon separates you and us. Nobody can cross over from our side to yours, or from your side to ours."

"Please, Father Abraham, I beg you," the formerly rich man continued, "send Lazarus to my father's house. I have five brothers there, and they're on the same path I was on. If Lazarus warns them, they'll choose another path and won't end up here in torment."

But Abraham said, "Why send Lazarus? They already have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets to instruct them. Let your brothers hear them."

"No, Father Abraham," he said, "they're already ignoring the law and the prophets. But if someone came back from the dead, then they'd listen for sure; then they'd change their way of life."

Abraham answered, "If they're not listening to Moses and the prophets, they won't be convinced even if someone comes back from the dead."
(Luke 16:19-31)
Response in Prayer

Father, thank You for Jesus' resurrection from the dead. The change in the apostles from fear at Jesus' trial and crucifixion to courage after His resurrection is a powerful testimony to me. And as I apply Jesus' teaching today, I know that my heart needs to seek Your will or Jesus' resurrection really won't convince me of anything that requires me to change. So, as I open Your Scriptures to hear Your truth, I pray that You use the Spirit to conform me to be like Jesus and transform my heart to care about what matters to You. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

"One of the Hardest 'Miracles'" — A Year with Jesus for 03/31/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

What's the hardest miracle to perform? I know many of you would love to see some great miracle of your selection to help you believe. Yet all around you every day, some of the most amazingly wondrous transformations happen by divine power at work in My followers. As My disciples show in the verses below, one of the hardest of the wondrous transformations is for the power of grace to lead a wounded heart to forgive.

This very important reality is the focus of My teaching about prayer and miraculous results. One of the hardest "miracles" to believe possible is forgiveness. I taught about this repeatedly in My ministry on earth. This teaching is rooted in the two greatest commands — to love the Lord your God with all you are and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). You cannot be wrong with your brother or sister on earth and be right with your Father in heaven. It's that simple to say and yet very hard for the wounded human heart to love as it should. This teaching is also based on another essential reality: you do not truly appreciate the forgiveness you have received if you do not pass along that same grace of forgiveness to others (Matthew 6:14; Matthew 18:23-35; Ephesians 4:32).

Yes, this is a hard truth. That's why your forgiveness of others may be one of the hardest "miracles" to perform. Feeding 5,000? Not hard for Me with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Raising the dead? I have done that. Healing the blind, the lame, the paralyzed, the leprous? I have done that repeatedly. However, changing a wounded heart that has been abused and mistreated is so much harder because that change depends on the submission of the person to My will in spite of whatever may have happened to him or her. Grace has to permeate down to a broken and dark place in a person's soul and capture it with the truth of what I did to redeem it. For you to genuinely forgive those who come in repentance and ask for forgiveness is a hard wonder to perform, but not impossible!

What I want you to realize is that if you can have "faith the size of a single, tiny mustard seed", then that "little faith can accomplish the seemingly impossible" — including turning your wounded heart into a gracious heart like Mine! Watch what I do as I journey toward Jerusalem to take up the cross. Remember My words of forgiveness. Remember why I did what I did — not because I wanted to face suffering and heartbreak, but because those who sinned and rejected Me, both then and in your day, need My forgiveness and grace.

The same spirit of forgiveness and grace must be true of you as you deal with those who hurt you and sin against you. They need your grace displayed to them to understand the power of My grace. So when you forgive, don't act like you deserve a medal for doing something hard. Yes, it is hard, very hard, and sometimes it feels impossibly hard. If you call yourself My disciple, that means you have committed to the lifestyle of the cross. Sometimes that will seem as hard for you to face as it was for Me to face the rejection, mockery, agony, and humiliation of My cross. Forgiving others is not only a sign that you have faith to follow My example of forgiveness. It also means that you realize that you are My servant and "unworthy of extra consideration or thanks" since you were just doing your "duty". I don't say that to be harsh, but to help you realize how important forgiveness is in My family of grace!
Verses to Live

I want you to know, My dear disciple, that much of My teaching during My journey to Jerusalem and the cross is challenging and sometimes just very hard to accept at a human level. It doesn't make sense. It seems upside down to the way your world works. So I ask you again to watch Me and what I do on the way to My cross and all that goes with My passion. Redeeming a lost world means living a radical discipleship. I wasn't crucified because I was a nice sweet man. I was crucified because I was a loving, kind, gentle, truth-telling world-changer Who lived the character and compassion of God before a world opposed to His ways. I call you to follow Me in this world-changing lifestyle!
Jesus (to His disciples):
You can't stop temptations to do wrong from coming. But how tragic it will be for the person who becomes the source of the temptation! It would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

So each of you needs to be careful. If your brother sins against you, confront him about it, and if he has a change of mind and heart, then forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times in a single day, if he turns back to you each time and says he's sorry and will change, you must forgive him.
The Lord's Emissaries:
We don't have enough faith for this! Help our faith to grow!
Jesus (pointing to a nearby mulberry tree):
It's not like you need a huge amount of faith. If you just had faith the size of a single, tiny mustard seed, you could say to this huge tree, "Pull up your roots and replant yourself in the sea," and it would fly through the sky and do what you said. So even a little faith can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Imagine this scenario. You have a servant — say he's been out plowing a field or taking care of the sheep — and he comes in hot and sweaty from his work. Are you going to say, "You poor thing! Come in and sit down right away"? Of course not! Wouldn't you be more likely to say, "First, cook my supper and set the table, and then after I've eaten, you can get something to eat and drink for yourself"? And after your servant has done everything you told him to do, are you going to make a big deal about it and thank him? I don't think so! Now apply this situation to yourselves. When you've done everything I'm telling you to do, just say, "We're servants, unworthy of extra consideration or thanks; we're just doing our duty."
(Luke 17:1-10)
Response in Prayer

Holy and Almighty God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I confess that there are wounds I carry that weigh me down and burden my soul. I want to believe that I can forgive, but it is hard. And when I will not forgive, I know that I hold myself captive to the offenses committed against me and against those I love. So please, I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to understand all that You teach about forgiveness and what it means. I also trust the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit to pour Your love into my heart and to give me the strength to believe that I can forgive. I believe, but please help my unbelief. I want the "miracles" of forgiveness and grace to be an essential part of my life's character. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 29 Mar 2017, 9:51 pm

"Managing Your Assets with Spiritual Wisdom" — A Year with Jesus for 03/29/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Over the ages, people have freely talked with each other about almost everything, except how they spend their money. Once the talk about managing earthly, monetary, physical blessings starts, people tend to get defensive. I appreciate Doctor Luke's account of My life and the way he emphasizes many practical and spiritual things about My ministry — food and feasts, prayer and praise, the work of the Holy Spirit, poor and rich people, and My teaching on the use of money. Below you find one of those sets of verses where Luke records My talking about money and how you should manage your assets for spiritual ends.

To help you understand the principles below, I want to remind you of something I taught at another place and time:
Some people store up treasures in their homes here on earth. This is a shortsighted practice — don't undertake it. Moths and rust will eat up any treasure you may store here. Thieves may break into your homes and steal your precious trinkets. Instead, put up your treasures in heaven where moths do not attack, where rust does not corrode, and where thieves are barred at the door. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21)
Use the money and physical assets that the Father has entrusted to you to store up heavenly treasures. Why? Because the Father is going to know how you use your money and where you spend it, and your heart is always drawn to where your treasure is invested. So use your assets to bless those who cannot repay you, to empower My mission, to redeem the lost, to restore life, to renew opportunity for those who are left out and forgotten, and to give hope to the marginalized. Isn't that what you saw Me invest My life doing? That is where I invested My energy and time; shouldn't you do the same? When you read from the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings — what some of you call the Old Testament — what do you see about the heart of God and where He wants you to invest your assets? His focus and My focus align. Does your focus align with Ours?
Verses to Live

The problem in your life doesn't have to be money if your heart is on the things that matter most to your Father in heaven. This principle is true whether your assets are small or large. However, if the way you use your assets gets out of phase with where I invested Myself, then watch out! You are trying to serve two masters, and the One you end up neglecting will be the only One that matters, your Father in heaven.
Here's a parable He [Jesus] told the disciples:

Jesus:
Once there was a rich and powerful man who had an asset manager. One day, the man received word that his asset manager was squandering his assets.

The rich man brought in the asset manager and said, "You've been accused of wrongdoing. I want a full and accurate accounting of all your financial transactions because you are really close to being fired."

The manager said to himself, "Oh, no! Now what am I going to do? I'm going to lose my job here, and I'm too weak to dig ditches and too proud to beg. I have an idea. This plan will mean that I have a lot of hospitable friends when I get fired."

So the asset manager set up appointments with each person who owed his master money. He said to the first debtor, "How much do you owe my boss?" The debtor replied, "A hundred barrels of oil." The manager said, "I'm discounting your bill by half. Just write 50 on this contract." Then he said to the second debtor, "How much do you owe?" This fellow said, "A hundred bales of wheat." The manager said, "I'm discounting your debt by 20 percent. Just write down 80 bales on this contract."

When the manager's boss realized what he had done, he congratulated him for at least being clever. That's how it is: those attuned to this evil age are more clever in dealing with their affairs than the enlightened are in dealing with their affairs!

Learn some lessons from this crooked but clever asset manager. Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships, to provide opportunities for being generous and kind. Eventually money will be useless to you — but if you use it generously to serve others, you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination.

If you're faithful in small-scale matters, you'll be faithful with far bigger responsibilities. If you're crooked in small responsibilities, you'll be no different in bigger things. If you can't even handle a small thing like money, who's going to entrust you with spiritual riches that really matter? If you don't manage well someone else's assets that are entrusted to you, who's going to give over to you important spiritual and personal relationships to manage?

Imagine you're a servant and you have two masters giving you orders. What are you going to do when they have conflicting demands? You can't serve both, so you'll either hate the first and love the second, or you'll faithfully serve the first and despise the second. One master is God and the other is money. You can't serve them both.
The Pharisees overheard all this, and they started mocking Jesus because they really loved money.

Jesus (to the Pharisees):
You've made your choice. Your ambition is to look good in front of other people, not God. But God sees through to your hearts. He values things differently from you. The goals you and your peers are reaching for God detests.

The law and the prophets had their role until the coming of John the Baptist. Since John's arrival, the good news of the kingdom of God has been taught while people are clamoring to enter it. That's not to say that God's rules for living are useless. The stars in the sky and the earth beneath your feet will pass away before one letter of God's rules for living become worthless.
(Luke 16:1-17)
Response in Prayer

Dear Father, I want my heart to value what and who matter to You. I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit and the example and teaching of Jesus to help me use the blessings that You have entrusted to me in ways that align with Your heart. I want my treasure and my heart always to align with You. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 9:30 pm

"A Father with Two Lost Sons" — A Year with Jesus for 03/28/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

Today, we focus on the final story in Luke's collection of three of My parables about finding lost things and lost sons. In today's story in the verses below, you meet a father who had two lost sons. One son stayed at home and saw himself as working hard for many years for his father — literally, he says to his father, "Listen, all these years I've worked hard for you." The other son told his father that he was as good as dead to him, so the son wanted the inheritance he was owed at his father's death, immediately.

Both sons were lost. The son who stayed at home and played the game to get what he felt was rightfully his was lost. The son who wanted his inheritance received it, and then left, was lost. Both sons received their proper share of the inheritance — don't miss that point: "And so the father liquidated assets and divided them." Here's the sad part: neither son appreciated the father. Both sons were lost.

Now remember from Luke's first two verses in the chapter what the situation was that led Me to tell this story as well as the previous stories about the lost sheep and the lost coin:
Jesus became increasingly popular among notorious sinners — tax collectors and other social outcasts. The Pharisees and religious scholars noticed this.

Pharisees and Religious Scholars:
This man welcomes immoral people and enjoys their company over a meal.
(Luke 15:1-2)
I wanted the "immoral people" to share My fellowship and come home to the heavenly Father by turning their lives away from sin and rebellion. I wanted the outwardly religious folks who thought they were honoring the heavenly Father with their religious games to turn from their self-righteousness and come home to their gracious and generous Father. Both were sinners. Both needed to come home.

So that leaves Me with two final questions:
Which of these two sons are you more like?
What do you need to do right now to turn your life completely over to Me and come home to the Father?
Verses to Live

Please hear the words that follow as My invitation to come home to the Father!
Jesus (with another parable):
Once there was this man who had two sons. One day the younger son came to his father and said, "Father, eventually I'm going to inherit my share of your estate. Rather than waiting until you die, I want you to give me my share now." And so the father liquidated assets and divided them. A few days passed and this younger son gathered all his wealth and set off on a journey to a distant land. Once there he wasted everything he owned on wild living. He was broke, a terrible famine struck that land, and he felt desperately hungry and in need. He got a job with one of the locals, who sent him into the fields to feed the pigs. The young man felt so miserably hungry that he wished he could eat the slop the pigs were eating. Nobody gave him anything.

So he had this moment of self-reflection: "What am I doing here? Back home, my father's hired servants have plenty of food. Why am I here starving to death? I'll get up and return to my father, and I'll say, 'Father, I have done wrong—wrong against God and against you. I have forfeited any right to be treated like your son, but I'm wondering if you'd treat me as one of your hired servants.'"

So he got up and returned to his father. The father looked off in the distance and saw the young man returning. He felt compassion for his son and ran out to him, enfolded him in an embrace, and kissed him.

The son said, "Father, I have done a terrible wrong in God's sight and in your sight too. I have forfeited any right to be treated as your son."

But the father turned to his servants and said, "Quick! Bring the best robe we have and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Go get the fattest calf and butcher it. Let's have a feast and celebrate because my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and has been found." So they had this huge party.

Now the man's older son was still out in the fields working. He came home at the end of the day and heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant said, "Your brother has returned, and your father has butchered the fattest calf to celebrate his safe return."

The older brother got really angry and refused to come inside, so his father came out and pleaded with him to join the celebration. But he argued back, "Listen, all these years I've worked hard for you. I've never disobeyed one of your orders. But how many times have you even given me a little goat to roast for a party with my friends? Not once! This is not fair! So this son of yours comes, this wasteful delinquent who has spent your hard-earned wealth on loose women, and what do you do? You butcher the fattest calf from our herd!"

The father replied, "My son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours. Isn't it right to join in the celebration and be happy? This is your brother we're talking about. He was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found again!"
(Luke 15:11-32)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for Jesus' story of two lost sons. It grabs my heart. As You know, there are some days I am the younger and rebellious son. Please forgive me. I'm coming back home to You today. Some days I am the older brother, full of self-righteousness and wishing for the things I feel that I deserve as special treatment. Please forgive me. I'm coming back home to You today. In Jesus' name, I confess this. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Mar 2017, 8:28 pm

"The Lost Coin" — A Year with Jesus for 03/27/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

How precious is a child? What is the value of a human life? What is one person worth?

If you want to know the true answer to those questions, watch Me in the coming few weeks as you read My story.

Notice what I'm willing to do — be humiliated and hung on a cross when I had the power to prevent it.

Notice the price I'm willing to pay — I give up My will to honor the will of the Father and pay the price for the sin of all humankind for all of time.

Notice what I'm willing to bear — being betrayed by one of My own, having one of My great potential leaders deny he even knew Me at all and being abandoned by My apostles, so I had to go to the cross alone.

So don't miss My key point found in all three of My stories Luke brings together for you (Luke 15:1-32), especially the one I want you to focus on today: the story of the lost coin. Here's My key point for My disciples who are willing to join Me in searching for those who are lost:
There is joy in the presence of all God's messengers over even one sinner who changes his way of life.
Verses to Live

I don't need to spend many words today to help you see My key point. Don't miss learning it, being moved by it, and putting it into practice. Notice especially a few words that powerfully emphasize this key point of each of My stories:
Search!
Diligently!
Found!
Celebrate!
Joy!
All!
Even one!
Jesus (with another parable):
Or imagine a woman who has 10 silver coins. She loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the whole house, and search diligently until that coin is found? And when she finds it, doesn't she invite her friends and neighbors and say, "Celebrate with me! I've found that silver coin that I lost"? Can't you understand? There is joy in the presence of all God's messengers over even one sinner who changes his way of life.
(Luke 15:8-10)
Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for the joy of seeing (please use specific names here) being brought to Christ and being saved. I ask that You use me to be an encouragement and help to others (specifically mention them by name), so that they will come to Jesus and we can share in the celebration and joy of heaven together. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International..
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 26 Mar 2017, 11:06 pm

Joy at Finding What Is Lost" — A Year with Jesus for 03/26/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

In the verses today and the next two days, you will find three of My stories — often called parables — about lost things and lost people. Luke collects them together, and you can find them in one powerful chapter of his gospel (Luke 15:1-32). To understand these stories, you need to notice the situation as Luke describes it in his first two verses (Luke 15:1-2).

People who were not normally religious were hearing the call of God and following Me — truly following Me by turning their lives to God and living the character and compassion I was calling them to display in their lives. On the other hand, other people who were normally considered to very religious were critical of Me for having fellowship with these sinners and devoting so much of My time and energy to reaching and teaching them and entering into table fellowship with them.

I told these three stories to speak to these issues. I wanted everyone to know that I love all people. That's why you have seen Me in the houses of Pharisees sharing meals with them and also healing a synagogue ruler's daughter and healing a Roman soldier's servant. It is also why you have seen Me welcome outcasts and the unclean into My fellowship and why I called Matthew — considered to be a sinner because he was a tax collector — to be one of My twelve apostles. You also see men and women, young and old, rich and impoverished, well and sick, powerful and powerless, all receive My attention and My grace.

I have recently reminded you that people count most and that the Father sent Me to give My life on the cross as a ransom for sinners. So as you read My three stories about lost things (a sheep and a coin) and lost people (two sons), remember why I told these three stories. I wanted everyone to know why I joyfully welcomed sinners to repentance and into My fellowship. I also wanted the outwardly religious to know that they could be just as lost as those they counted as worse sinners than themselves and that their hard hearts toward the sinners who repent indicated this lostness no matter how religious their lives seemed. But as most folks know, telling the hard truth directly to your critics seldom gets to their hearts. They tend to raise their defenses and get ready to come back at you rather than listening to you. So I told stories — stories from the way of life these people recognized. These stories remind you that lost people need My grace and when they are found, there is rejoicing in heaven.
Verses to Live

Today you are going to read a simple story about a lost sheep. For many families during My earthly ministry, any lost sheep was a huge loss and could not be allowed. Know that you, dear friend, are much more important to Me and to the Father than any sheep could be to a shepherd. So imagine the joy when the lost sheep was found. That joy pales in comparison to the joy of heaven when any lost person turns to Me.
Jesus became increasingly popular among notorious sinners — tax collectors and other social outcasts. The Pharisees and religious scholars noticed this.

Pharisees and Religious Scholars:
This man welcomes immoral people and enjoys their company over a meal!
Jesus (with another parable):
Wouldn't every single one of you, if you have 100 sheep and lose one, leave the 99 in their grazing lands and go out searching for the lost sheep until you find it? When you find the lost sheep, wouldn't you hoist it up on your shoulders, feeling wonderful? And when you go home, wouldn't you call together your friends and neighbors? Wouldn't you say, "Come over and celebrate with me, because I've found my lost sheep"? This is how it is in heaven. They're happier over one sinner who changes his way of life than they are over 99 good and just people who don't need to change their ways of life.
(Luke 15:1-7)
Response in Prayer

Father, I am touched by two truths of this simple parable and the reason Jesus told it. First, I am reminded just how precious I am to You and why You paid such a high price to save me. No words are adequate to express my deepest appreciation, but please know that I thank You for welcoming me into Your family and rejoicing with the angels when I came to Jesus. Also, dear Father, I am convicted of how deeply you care about the lost around me and I know you have placed me in the relationships that I have so that I can help them meet Jesus and follow Him. Please help me, dear Father, to keep my heart open to the lost around me so that I can help them find Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 25 Mar 2017, 10:16 pm

"The Great Invitation" — A Year with Jesus for 03/25/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker,

Yesterday, I warned about one false way to approach My invitation to the table of grace — you should not come with a haughty and self-important attitude. You need to come to My Table with humility demonstrated in a life of serving others. You need to come looking for others who need to be at My table of grace.

Today, I am warning you of another false approach: You can take My offer of grace lightly. You can forget how blessed you are to be invited and find other things that feel more important to you at the moment and put off My invitation of grace.

Please understand, there is nothing more important in your life at any time than accepting My invitation to share in the Father's grace. Nothing! Yes, I know there are important things going on in your life right now. I know there are people who may not understand why responding to My invitation is so important. There may even be people who have their feelings hurt when you choose to respond to My invitation. There may be others who ridicule you or reject you completely for your choice to accept My invitation and follow Me. However, I want you to hear Me. I am journeying to Jerusalem when I share the message in the verses below. I know I am going there to die for the sins of the people — including your sins. I am going to sacrifice Myself — My dignity and My life — for you. Once you understand this, you need to respond immediately to My invitation if you have not already done so. There is nothing more important. I gave Myself to give you a place at My table of grace; don't spurn My invitation by assuming you have time later to respond. Today is the day of your invitation. Don't reject the grace that is offered you, today! If you have accepted My invitation, then please always remember the price I paid to give you a place at My table.
Verses to Live

I love Doctor Luke because he talks about My ministry around food. The first paragraph in the verses below includes one of these references to table fellowship (Luke 14:1) and serves as an introduction to today's message. I have spent both yesterday and today teaching you about the grace of joining Me at My table and reminding you of those you should include — friends, critics, opponents, the marginalized, and the lost. Today's message, dear seeker, is especially important for you. Some with whom I share this message have never really accepted the grace I came to provide. Others have never really committed themselves to the life of discipleship. Others have treated My invitation of grace with disrespect. Please hear My urgent words to you in the verses that follow!
Another Sabbath Day came and Jesus was invited to an official's home for a meal. This fellow was a leader of the Pharisees, and Jesus was still under close surveillance by them.

Guest:
Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!
Jesus:
A man once hosted a huge banquet and invited many guests. When the time came, he sent his servant to tell the guests who had agreed to come, "We're ready! Come now!" But then every single guest began to make excuses.

One said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I just bought some land, and I need to go see it. Please excuse me."

Another said, "So sorry. I just bought five pairs of oxen. I need to go check them out. Please excuse me."

Another said, "I just got married, so I can't come."

The servant returned and reported their responses to his master. His master was angry and told the servant, "Go out quickly to the streets and alleys around town and bring the poor, the amputees, the blind, and the cripples."

The servant came back again: "Sir, I've done as you said, but there is still more room."

And the host said, "Well then, go out to the highways and hedges and bring in the complete strangers you find there, until my house is completely full. One thing is for sure, not one single person on the original guest list shall enjoy this banquet."
(Luke 14:1; Luke 14:15-24)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, I accept the offer of grace You have given Me in Jesus! I believe Jesus is Your Son, the long-promised Christ, the Messiah of Israel, and Lord and Savior of the world. I believe Jesus died for my sins, that He was buried, and that He rose on the third day, defeating the power of sin and death to control me. So I commit to following Jesus passionately and doing what He asks of me and rejoicing in His grace shared with me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Mar 2017, 5:30 pm


"Who Sits at Your Table of Grace?" — A Year with Jesus for 03/24/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

You have been blessed with great honor to be included at My table of grace! When you come and remember Me at what you call "the Lord's Table" and share in what some of you call "Holy Communion" ("the Eucharist" or "the Lord's Supper"), please remember how precious the opportunity is for you and all who share this sacred feast. While the events you read about in the verses below happened as I was working My way to Jerusalem and My crucifixion, Luke recorded this story for you. So I want you to place yourself at the table and hear the words that I say as if I addressed them specifically to you. When you come to My table and participate in communion, remember the following two key messages that I shared long ago and know that I want them to be fresh in your mind each time you come to My table!

So what are these two messages?

First, be thankful you have received My invitation of grace and are invited to sit at My table as part of My family. Don't try to make yourself seem important. In My family, those trying to appear special and be publically honored as important will be sent to a lower place of importance. I value those who serve others with humility and grace. I value the person who gives of himself or herself to bless others. Such a person is honored in My family and at My table. Remember, I gave Myself for you to invite you to My table. Your life should reflect the character and compassion that I have shown you!

Second, when you share in the grace of My table, ask yourself who needs to be there but is absent. Ask yourself who in the world around you — in your neighborhood, in your inner city, in your workplace, and on your street corners — needs this grace. My meal is not intended to be for a clique of people who feel they are superior to others. My table is a place to give thanks for the grace that brought you to My table. My table is a reminder to extend My grace to those who don't know the acceptance, love, and grace of My family.

My beloved disciple, John, described it this way:
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate Who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One Who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins — and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
(1 John 2:1-2 NLT)
So who in your world needs to know about My grace and join us at My table? Just as I made room at My table of grace for you, please extend that grace to others!
Verses to Live

Luke's words of introduction set the stage for today's message. This message focuses on a series of My teachings on eating and sharing table fellowship. Remember, as you read these words, they need to be fresh, newly spoken by Me directly to your heart!
Another Sabbath Day came and Jesus was invited to an official's home for a meal. This fellow was a leader of the Pharisees, and Jesus was still under close surveillance by them.

...

He noticed how the guests were jockeying for places of honor at the dinner, so He gave them advice.

Jesus:
Whenever someone invites you to a wedding dinner, don't sit at the head table. Someone more important than you might also have been invited, and your host will have to humiliate you publicly by telling you to give your seat to the other guest and to go find an open seat in the back of the room. Instead, go and sit in the back of the room. Then your host may find you and say, "My friend! Why are you sitting back here? Come up to this table near the front!" Then you will be publicly honored in front of everyone. Listen, if you lift yourself up, you'll be put down, but if you humble yourself, you'll be honored.
Jesus still wasn't finished. Now He turned to the host who had invited Him to this gathering.

Jesus:
When you host a dinner or banquet, don't invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, or your rich neighbors. If you do, they might invite you to a party of their own, and you'll be repaid for your kindness. Instead, invite the poor, the amputees, the cripples, the blind. Then you'll be blessed because they can never repay you. Your reward will come from God at the resurrection of the just and good.
(Luke 14:1; Luke 14:7-14)
Response in Prayer

O God, my loving heavenly Father, I thank You for Your grace. Thank You for inviting me to the table of Your grace, an invitation given to me through Jesus' sacrifice. Forgive me when I take the Supper without recognizing that I am a part of the family at Jesus' table because of grace, not because of my religious pedigree or my own earned righteousness. Holy Spirit, when I come to the Table, please stir my heart and remind me to invite others to the Lord's Table of grace. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Mar 2017, 11:19 pm

"Hard to Truly Follow" — A Year with Jesus for 03/23/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Follower,

Follower... what an interesting term to use with you. To truly follow Me means becoming My disciple. A disciple is a person who spends her or his lifetime learning to live like Me. There is no cost too great to pay. Now in your day, you can "follow" someone on Twitter® or Facebook® and not even be a real friend. What you really mean in your world about being a "follower" is that you are just an observer — you can hang around, listen in on conversations, wander in and out of connection with someone, and generally do with that relationship whatever you choose. Not so with "following" Me!

If you are going to follow Me, it's going to cost you because you have to put Me first in... everything. You have to commit to have My character become your character, to have My compassion become your compassion, and to having My story become your story. The problem with following Me is that you inevitably have to face a cross of some kind. You have to resign from living for yourself and commit to being willing to live and possibly even die for Me and My work.

So I am focusing on My words below on the importance of counting the cost of following Me. It will cost you everything... including yourself! Are you ready to pay that cost? I know that many churches and preachers in your day tell you about all the perks in following Me and being a part of their church. Unfortunately, they are sometimes talking only about superficial perks, not the truly costly and transformational blessings of following me. It's almost as if they have to tease and entice you into following Me. But don't buy the deception. It's hard following Me. I call you to surrender your life to Me and to My movement.

Count the cost. The cost is high. I use extreme language to drive home My point because there is something I cannot tolerate — something that critics of folks claiming to be My followers can't tolerate — and that is folks who do not live up to what they tell everyone else they must do. Don't be like salt that loses its taste and is worthless. You are called to make a difference in your world as My follower. So count the cost... but never forget, because I paid the high cost of the cross, I made sure through the resurrection that any cost you pay is well worth your investment!
Verses to Live

I always had a tug-of-war going on in My heart over the crowds. They were fickle. Most in the crowd didn't believe; they wanted to see My miracles and be along for the spectacle, but they didn't want to pay the price to follow Me. So I often used strong words to back them off or send them home... unless they saw that I had come from God and they truly wanted to follow Me. What are you going to do with these hard words?
Great crowds joined Him [Jesus] on His journey, and He turned to them.

Jesus:
If any of you come to Me without hating your own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and yes, even your own life, you can't be My disciple. If you don't carry your own cross as if to your own execution as you follow Me, you can't be part of My movement. Just imagine that you want to build a tower. Wouldn't you first sit down and estimate the cost to be sure you have enough to finish what you start? If you lay the foundation but then can't afford to finish the tower, everyone will mock you: "Look at that guy who started something that he couldn't finish!"

Or imagine a king gearing up to go to war. Wouldn't he begin by sitting down with his advisors to determine whether his 10,000 troops could defeat the opponent's 20,000 troops? If not, he'll send a peace delegation quickly and negotiate a peace treaty. In the same way, if you want to be My disciple, it will cost you everything. Don't underestimate that cost!

Don't be like salt that has lost its taste. How can its saltiness be restored? Flavorless salt is absolutely worthless. You can't even use it as fertilizer, so it's worth less than manure! Don't just listen to My words here. Get the deeper meaning.
(Luke 14:25-35)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I know following Jesus will be filled with hard challenges, not just the challenges of normal life, but also the challenges that Jesus' enemies and Satan's allies will throw in my path. Even so, dear Father, I truly want to follow Jesus... to become like Him in how He lived with character and compassion. So I ask for the strengthening of the Holy Spirit to give me added courage and endurance as the Spirit works at conforming me to Jesus, my Teacher, Savior, and Lord, in Whose name I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Mar 2017, 12:09 am

"People Count Most!" — A Year with Jesus for 03/22/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

I want you to see My example and hear My words in the verses below. They coalesce into one, simple, clear message: People count most!

You find Me at a dinner in the house of a leader of the Pharisees, My most vocal opponents. Why? Why go to a meal with people who are hounding Me and trying to trap Me? Because I love them! They matter to Us — Father, Son, and Spirit. Their hearts need the opportunity to be exposed to My truth, and seeds need to be planted in their hearts, seeds that can blossom into faith and bear fruit after these people see My passion and hear about My resurrection. The Father, the Spirit, and I want all people to have an opportunity to change their hearts and come to faith in Me. I go to the house of this leader and a dinner with his friends, people who hold Me as their enemy, for one simple reason: People count most!

I challenge this leader and his Pharisee and scholar friends to see this same truth in their own religious understanding. They help their children who are in trouble on the Sabbath. They help their animals that are in distress on the Sabbath. They do not see these gracious actions as a violation of their traditions of the Sabbath rest. When they have the ability and opportunity to help, comfort, encourage, or ease a brother or sister's distress or trouble, the Pharisees and scholars must come to see that a person in trouble must be helped regardless of the day. People count most!

And you, dear disciple, please notice this truth as you seek to apply My teaching — this principle that I taught and lived as an example for you to follow. People count most! I came to seek and to save lost people, to ransom you and others like you from the grip of sin and death on your lives, and to bring My grace to all. That is why I went to the house of those who wanted to get rid of Me. That is why I emphasized the need to help people on the Sabbath even if it violated the tradition of the Pharisees. And most of all, that is why I AM headed to Jerusalem to die as the Lamb of God Who will take away the sins of the world. People count most!
Verses to Live

As you read these verses that follow, ask the Holy Spirit to help you visualize the scene. What are the expressions on the people's faces? What are the smells in the room as we get ready to share this meal? Can you feel the tension between these leaders and Me? Can you feel their discomfort? Now join Me in noticing the man with the problem. What is My expression as I see him? What do you think My tone was as I discussed this man with the leaders? Was My tone harsh or pleading with these leaders as I asked about healing the man? Remember the point: People count most! And after you finish reading, I want you to ask for the Spirit to help you answer the following questions you need to ask yourself:
"What does Jesus want me to know from this event?"
"What does Jesus want me to feel about what happens here?"
"What does Jesus want me to do as a result of experiencing these events from His ministry?"
Another Sabbath Day came and Jesus was invited to an official's home for a meal. This fellow was a leader of the Pharisees, and Jesus was still under close surveillance by them. Jesus noticed a man suffering from a swelling disorder. He questioned the religious scholars and Pharisees.

Jesus:
Is it permitted by traditions and the Hebrew Scriptures to heal people on the Sabbath, or is it forbidden?
They didn't reply. Then Jesus healed the man and sent him on his way.

Jesus:
Would any single one of you leave his son or even his ox in a well on the Sabbath if he had fallen into it, or would you pull him out immediately?
They still didn't reply.
(Luke 14:1-6)
Response in Prayer

Almighty God, I believe Your words of Scripture are true and bring life, and I want to understand and apply those words of truth based on the teaching and example of Your greatest Word, Jesus. Help me filter my application of biblical truth through Jesus' words and actions. Dear Father, I ask for the Spirit to open my heart so that in my words, my thoughts, and my actions I will live out the truth of Jesus as revealed in the verses I have just read. Give me Your heart for people, O God, I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International..
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 11:13 pm

"Cry for Jerusalem" — A Year with Jesus for 03/21/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

What will you do when you see death closing in on you?

Will you fight it?

Will you resent it?

Will you fear it?

Will you resign yourself to its inevitability?

Or, if you are faced with the same circumstances that I am about to face in Jerusalem — rejection, ridicule, abuse, humiliation, and death — will you mourn for those who reject you, grieve for those who want to do you harm, and ask forgiveness for those who will take your life?

When I was suffering on the cross in Jerusalem, I petitioned: "Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing" (Luke 23:34).

I came for this purpose: to give My life as a ransom for sinners, including those in Jerusalem who rejected Me, who plotted My crucifixion, and who incited the crowd to cry out against Me.

Jerusalem, the holy city of My great ancestor, King David, will reject Me even though I AM the city's only hope for deliverance. My people will plot against Me, their only source of salvation. As you read the verses below, notice how I speak from My heart, feeling sadness, anguish, and pain as I think of the heartbreaking situation in Jerusalem and all that will happen to Me as I go there.

Even before I came to the earth, I longed over the centuries for My people of Jerusalem to give themselves (heart, soul, mind, and strength) to Us — Father, Son, and Spirit. I yearned to gather up Jerusalem's many people under My protection and care, but most of the people of this great city would have none of it. In fact, on this day that you read about below, I know that I AM going to Jerusalem for a head-on collision with the rulers of the people and for My rejection and crucifixion. Yet I do not mourn for Me, but I mourn for My people of My City who reject Me.

Remember this, dear friend: My heart breaks when you choose to ignore, reject, or turn away from Me. I came and died to win your heart and bring you grace. Please don't treat My love and sacrifice for you lightly!
Verses to Live

Herod and the Pharisees were not friends. They didn't get along. However, they found common ground on one thing. They both wanted to be rid of Me. In the verses below, the Pharisees' warning to Me about Herod's plot was not to benefit Me, but rather to let Me know these rival parties were closing in on Me — that the time of My arrest was approaching. However, the Pharisees' warning, Herod's plot to murder Me, and the Pharisees plans to get rid of Me would not deter Me from My ministry to the people or stop My love for the city of Jerusalem. I know that I go there to bless and redeem even though death awaits Me.
Right then some Pharisees came and warned Him [Jesus].

Pharisees:
You'd better get out of here because Herod is plotting Your murder.
Jesus:
You can give that sly fox this message: "Watch as I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I'll reach My destination. But for today and tomorrow and the next day, I have to continue My journey, for no prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem."

O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and you stone the messengers who are sent to you. How often I wanted to gather in your children as a hen gathers in her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing to come to Me. Look now, your house is abandoned and empty. You won't see Me until you welcome Me with the words of the psalms, "Anyone who comes in the name of the Eternal One will be blessed!"
(Luke 13:31-35)
Response in Prayer

O God in heaven, my heart is struck with the love of Jesus for these people and for the city of Jerusalem that will reject Him. Part of me is angry at the murderous plans that Herod and the Pharisees and the other religious leaders carry out to kill Jesus. At the same time, I'm convicted that I have often forgotten the cost of my salvation. Temptation has distracted me from the love of the Lord Jesus for me and the sacrifice He made to redeem me. Forgive me for the times I've chosen sin rather than Jesus. Also, dear Father, I ask for more grace so that I can passionately love the people around me who reject Jesus and reject me because of my love for Him. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 11:53 pm

"Don't Miss My Invitation" — A Year with Jesus for 03/20/2017

Note from Jesus

My Dear Disciple,

Listen to My words for you today. They come out of the crucible of My conflict with the religious leaders and their humiliation with trying to embarrass Me. My words have power. I was heading toward Jerusalem and the horrors that were waiting for Me there. Along the way, people were fascinated by what I said, and they celebrated the wonderful things, the miraculous things, that I was doing.

I planted a promise in the people's hearts to help them understand that the power they were experiencing with My physical presence was not going to go away after My mission in Jerusalem was accomplished, and I returned to the Father. That power was part of a new order of things in the world. It was part of My Father's kingdom — the people, their actions, and their attitudes — where God's will reigns over their hearts, and they find joy in the Father's presence. The kingdom power available to them might look small at the beginning of things — no bigger than a tiny mustard seed or a little bit of yeast. But, all the great things that the people were experiencing right then with My presence, My miraculous deeds, and My powerful teaching were just a small glimpse of the greatness and gloriousness that were to come. Their power may seem small, but it will grow and permeate and bring great blessing to many.

So don't miss My great offer of the kingdom. When I return, I will bring together all peoples from all places in the world who have come to believe in Me. That, dear friend, is a celebration you definitely don't want to miss!
Verses to Live

While the religious leaders had done all they could to wall off My teaching from others, the sheer power of the kingdom that was behind My words could not be contained. My blessing, My power, My kingdom would not be based on religious pedigree or social acceptance, but upon people surrendering their hearts to Me and giving their lives to be My disciples. The old order of power and position has been reversed, and those who follow Me will be exalted, not mocked, belittled, ridiculed, or persecuted. So don't miss My invitation to follow Me!
As the impact of His [Jesus'] words settled in, His critics were humiliated, but everyone else loved what Jesus said and celebrated everything He was doing.

Jesus (explaining):
Do you want to understand the kingdom of God? Do you want Me to tell you what it's like? It's like a single mustard seed that someone took and planted in his garden. That tiny seed grew and became a tree so large that the birds could fly in and make their nests in its branches.

Do you want Me to tell you what the kingdom of God is like? It's like some yeast which a woman hid within a huge quantity of flour; soon the whole batch of dough was rising.
He was pressing toward Jerusalem, His journey taking Him through various towns and villages. In each one, He taught the people. Once a person asked this question:

Inquiring Individual:
Lord, will only a few people be rescued?
Jesus:
Strive to enter through the narrow door now, because many people — hear Me on this — will try to enter later on and will not be able to. Imagine you want to enter someone's home, but you wait until after the homeowner has shut the door. Then you stand outside and bang on the door, and you say, "Sir, please open the door for us!" But he will answer, "I don't know where you're from."

Then you'll say, "Just a minute. We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets."

But he'll say, "Sorry, I have no idea where you're from. Leave me, all of you evildoers."

Then you'll see something that will make you cry and grind your teeth together — you'll see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves will be on the outside looking in.

And then you'll see people streaming in from east and west, from north and south, gathering around the table in the kingdom of God, but you'll be on the outside looking in. That's how it will be; some are last now who will be first then, and some are first now who will be last then.
(Luke 13:17-30)
Response in Prayer

O Father, there are times when Your kingdom way of life does not seem to get much respect. As I open my heart to Jesus each day, I invite the Holy Spirit to strengthen my faith, my hope, and my desire to live your character and compassion in a world that feels so devoid of both. I believe, but please strengthen my belief. I hope, but stir my heart to a great anticipation of the day when my faith becomes sight. I trust in your mustard-seed promise and the power of your holy work like yeast, but please help me see glimpses of Your coming glory as I serve you in the grittiness of my everyday world. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Mar 2017, 7:45 pm

Look Closely at the Evidence!" — A Year with Jesus for 03/19/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker,

My words have always provoked strong reactions! I do not leave people any middle ground for their decision about Me. There is no "safe" place they can put Me in the middle as just a good man and a good teacher. In the encounter with the crowd that you read about in today's verses, I AM claiming to be the Son of God. I AM saying that what I do and what I speak I have received directly from My Father in heaven. I AM claiming that every disciple that I have was given to Me by My Father.

Every contemporary Jewish person who heard Me in the events recorded below knew that I was claiming to be God walking and teaching among them. They told Me:
We demand Your life because You are a man, yet you claim to be God. This is blasphemy!
As an experienced rabbi familiar with their way of arguing about the meaning of Scripture, I gave them two reasons why I could claim to be God among them.

First, I used a good rabbinical defense strategy: I quoted a passage that shows that others had been called "sons of God." These people were not punished for their claim, so I shouldn't be punished for My claim. This argument is technically correct for their type of reasoning used in rabbinical discussion. However, most of those listening knew that I was claiming that I AM much more than one of many "sons of God." They knew My claim was that I AM THE Son of the God!

Second, I could call God My Father because what I claimed about Myself was validated by what I did! When you examine the great things that I did, the authoritative truths that I taught, and the way that I lived, you see that My actions validate My words. Notice what I said to My doubters and My critics:
Examine My actions, and you will see that My work is the work of the Father. Regardless of whether you believe in Me — believe the miracles.
Despite My opponents' anger at these claims, they could not disprove them. They were left to try to kill Me, but they couldn't do so at this time. The time wasn't right. The Father wouldn't let them. I wasn't ready yet to lay My life down, so they couldn't take it. Therefore, I continued with My ministry and many others believed in Me.
Verses to Live

OK. What are you going to do with Me? You can choose not to read My story, but My story won't go away. People will keep making movies about Me, they will keep talking about Me, they will be fascinated by Me, and many will come to full faith in Me.

So what are YOU going to do with Me? My claims are extravagant, even blasphemous if they are not true. But if they are true, then everything rides on your decision about Me! So look closely at the evidence — not just the evidence in the verses that follow, but at everything I said and did. Look at the movement I left behind. Examine the weak and fearful men and women who became bold and were willing to be martyred. What explains it? What was their belief in Me that led them to risk everything to be My disciples?
When He [Jesus] spoke these words, some of the Jews began to argue.
...

It was winter and time for the Festival of Dedication. While in Jerusalem, Jesus was walking through the temple in an area known as Solomon's porch, and Jews gathered around Him.

Jews:
How long are You going to keep us guessing? If You are God's Anointed, the Liberating King, announce it clearly.
Jesus:
I have told you, and you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father's name tell the truth about Me. You do not listen; you lack faith because you are not My sheep. My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me. I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father's hand. The Father and I are one.
The Jews gathered stones to execute Jesus right then and there.

Jesus:
I have performed many beautiful works before you in the name of the Father. Which of these can be judged as an offense that merits My execution?
Jews:
You are not condemned for performing miracles. We demand Your life because You are a man, yet you claim to be God. This is blasphemy!
Jesus:
You know what is written in the Scriptures. Doesn't it read, "I said, you are gods"? If the Scriptures called your ancestors (mere mortals) gods to whom the word of God came — and the Scriptures cannot be set aside — what should you call One Who is unique, sanctified by and sent from the Father into the world? I have said, "I am God's Son." How can you call that blasphemy? By all means, do not believe in Me, if I am not doing the things of the Father. But examine My actions, and you will see that My work is the work of the Father. Regardless of whether you believe in Me — believe the miracles. Then you will know that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.
Once again, some of the Jews tried to capture Him, but He slipped away, eluding their grasp. Jesus crossed the Jordan River and returned to the place where John was... cleansing the people through baptism in the early days. He lingered in the area, and scores of people gathered around Him.

Crowds:
John never performed any miracles, but every word he spoke about this man has come to pass. It is all true!
In that place, many believed in Him.
(John 10:19; John 10:22-42)
Response in Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, I confess that some days the urgency of my faith is simply not there. I feel blah, You seem distant to me, and the Holy Spirit's presence in my life seems to have vanished. I pray that You, O Father, make me thirsty for You. I give You the invitation to make me hungry for Your presence, Your word, Your Son, and Your Spirit. Bring people into my life to shake me out of my mediocrity and my moments of spiritual lethargy. Restore my passion by reawakening my heart to the voice, the leading, and the lordship of Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International..
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 5:12 pm

"The Good Shepherd" — A Year with Jesus for 03/18/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious One,

Few passages of Scripture were more beloved in My time on earth than the twenty-third Psalm. Like in your day, many found great comfort knowing that the Great Shepherd was watching over them, caring for them, sustaining them, giving them rest, and bringing them safely home to Him:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.
(Psalm 23:1-6 ESV)
So when I claim to be the "good shepherd" in the verses below, my words are heard against the background of the twenty-third Psalm. At the same time, My words about being the "good shepherd" are speaking on several different levels of emphasis. Each level is important. Each conveys a powerful truth about Me — My identity, My power, and My sacrifice.

First, by claiming to be the "good shepherd," I AM claiming to be God, the Shepherd of the twenty-third Psalm! Clearly this was offensive to many faithful Jews for whom the Shepherd Psalm was precious and personal while God was high, exalted, and beyond compare — not some carpenter they thought was from Nazareth. That was why some accused Me of being a "raving maniac"!

Second, notice the specific personal knowledge that I have of My sheep and they have of Me. I know them. I call them by name. They hear My voice and recognize Me. They follow Me. They don't trust a stranger because they know My voice, and I lead by going out ahead of them and calling them by name.

Third, there were bad shepherds among My people. I called them "hired hands" as well as "thieves and robbers"! They were bad shepherds like the ones described by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34:1-31). The religious leaders who were so opposed to Me knew I was talking about them as the bad shepherds. I knew that they were about to reject Me completely.

Fourth, I laid down My life for the life of My sheep. In going to the cross willingly, I laid down My life to give life to My flock. No one could take My life from Me, but I laid it down because I love My sheep, and I want to honor the Father. But, when I laid My life down, I would also "take it up again" — I have the power to rise from the dead!

A list, however, of the things I taught cannot compare with Who I AM and what it means for Me to be your Shepherd. As wonderful and precious as the words "The Lord is my shepherd..." may be to you, please recognize and feel the great love I have for you as your Shepherd. The twenty-third Psalm takes on so much deeper meaning when you truly understand that I AM your "good shepherd": that I brought you everything promised in the twenty-third Psalm and everything promised in My words below. On top of everything else, I offered up My life to show you that My words are true, and My love and My shepherding are real.
Verses to Live

Take all the wonderful promises of the twenty-third Psalm and add all the incredible promises you find in My words below and know that these promises, that My comforting and guiding presence, are yours!
Jesus:
I tell you the truth: the man who crawls through the fence of the sheep pen, rather than walking through the gate, is a thief or a vandal. The shepherd walks openly through the entrance. The guard who is posted to protect the sheep opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When all the sheep have been gathered, he walks on ahead of them; and they follow him because they know his voice. The sheep would not be willing to follow a stranger; they run because they do not know the voice of a stranger.
Jesus explained a profound truth through this metaphor, but they did not understand His teaching. So He explained further.

Jesus:
I tell you the truth: I am the gate of the sheep. All who approached the sheep before Me came as thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not listen to their voices. I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be liberated, will go in and go out, and will find pastures. The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep in His care. The hired hand is not like the shepherd caring for His own sheep. When a wolf attacks, snatching and scattering the sheep, he runs for his life, leaving them defenseless. The hired hand runs because he works only for wages and does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep, and My sheep know Me. As the Father knows Me, I know the Father; I will give My life for the sheep. There are many more sheep than you can see here, and I will bring them as well. They will hear My voice, and the flock will be united. One flock. One shepherd. The Father loves Me because I am willing to lay down My life — but I will take it up again. My life cannot be taken away by anybody else; I am giving it of My own free will. My authority allows Me to give My life and to take it again. All this has been commanded by My Father.
When He spoke these words, some of the Jews began to argue.

Many Jews:
He has a demon and is a raving maniac. Why are you people listening to Him?
Other Jews:
No demon-possessed man ever spoke like this. Do demons give sight to the blind?
(John 10:1-21)
Response in Prayer

O God — Father, Son, and Spirit — shepherd me. I promise to listen to Your voice. I pledge to follow no other spiritual guide but You. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:18 pm

Opening Blind Eyes #3" — A Year with Jesus for 03/17/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

On two previous days, I have had you look at John's account of the man who was born blind and whom I healed. We've seen how people can willfully be blind to the people in need around them. Instead of viewing each person as someone in whom "the deeds of God may be put on display" (John 9:3), they treat those people as something less than people created in Our image — they treat them as a religious question, a label, a problem, or a biological product. Today, I want you to focus on the journey to faith of the man whom I healed of blindness — both his physical blindness and his spiritual blindness.

His journey toward faith began as a person in need. I healed his physical blindness, and he began his journey toward his spiritual blindness being healed. You can follow this man's journey to faith by watching what he said about me:
"a man named Jesus." (John 9:11)
"this man is a prophet." (John 9:17)
"I only know one thing: I was blind, and now I see." (John 9:25)
"This man must come from God." (John 9:33)
"Lord, I do believe [that You are the Son of Man — Messiah and Lord — promised to us]." (John 9:38)
I want you to look at this man's journey of faith. Many of you have made a similar journey in what you believe about Me. Others whom you are trying to reach with My grace are somewhere on this journey. Use gentle persistence to lead them to a deeper understanding of My identity.

Notice some things about this man's coming to faith. While I wasn't with him, he was still coming to a deeper understanding of My identity. And even at the end of the journey, he couldn't explain everything about Me, but he had a determined faith in Me. Realize that even when you are not with those you are trying to lead to faith, the Spirit is working in their lives through what others do and say — even if it is hostile. Realize that while your friends may not be able to explain everything about Me, they can point to the clear changes in their lives as rock solid evidence of what they believe about Me.

You have heard Me tell you that people have to decide whether I am a lunatic who is delusional about His identity or a liar who is trying to take advantage of people for his own good, or whether I AM the Lord. That is ultimately the decision that people have to make about Me. So help your friends stay on the journey of faith and be there to help them come to the full understanding of My identity. As you work in their lives to lead them to faith, know that you are not alone: I AM there with you and them — even when you are not present — helping them journey to full and saving faith.
Verses to Live

Notice how the Pharisees push this man to give up what he knows is true. The man never yields to them. He doesn't back down. The Pharisees cannot defeat his logic nor can they discredit the truth of My miracle. So they end up doing what many do to you today. They ostracize him and demean him. Don't be surprised when people do that to you. Just realize that when they have to resort to belittling you, they have lost the battle and are left to pettiness and living in their own willful blindness.
Formerly Blind Man:
This man [Jesus] must come from God; otherwise, this miracle would not be possible. Only God can do such things.
Pharisees:
You were born under a cloud of sin. How can you, of all people, lecture us?
The religious leaders banished him from their presence. Jesus heard what had happened and sought out the man.

Jesus:
Do you believe in the Son of Man?
Formerly Blind Man:
I want to believe, Lord. Who is He?
Jesus:
You have seen His face with your new eyes, and you are talking to Him now.
Formerly Blind Man:
Lord, I do believe.
The man bowed low to worship Jesus.

Jesus:
I have entered this world to announce a verdict that changes everything. Now those without sight may begin to see, and those who see may become blind.
Some Pharisees (who overheard Jesus):
Surely we are not blind, are we?
Jesus:
If you were blind, you would be without sin. But because you claim you can see, your sin is ever present.
(John 9:33-41)
Response in Prayer

O Father, I thank You for my journey of faith. I ask that You help me as I try to walk with others on their journey toward faith in You. Please be at work in the following people's lives that I want to see come to faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord and as Your Son. (Think of people who need to know Jesus. Bring them before the Father and mention them by name.) Help each of these people to come to full and active faith in Jesus. I pray this in His name. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 11:41 pm

"Opening Blind Eyes #2" — A Year with Jesus for 03/16/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Friend,

I want you to notice the different ways people in this story viewed the "man born blind" that you find in your Bibles (John 9:1-41):
My disciples looked at him as a religious question — was he born blind because of his sins or his parents' sins?
The people viewed him as a label — to them, he was just a blind beggar.
The Pharisees saw the man as a problem — I had healed him on the Sabbath, something that broke their regulations, but they couldn't use the man to get Me into trouble.
The man's parents treated him as little more than their biological product and not as a son — their fear of being put out of the synagogue prevented them from speaking up for their own son.
Each of these was a way that the people around the man born blind viewed him. The people's view of him was, in fact, their blindness — a willful blindness to the man's needs. These are also ways you can view people, ways that will keep you blind to their needs and to your opportunity to help those people in My name.

Which one of the following are you most likely to use to be willfully blind toward people in need? Is it...
Viewing them as nothing more than a religious question?
Assigning a label so you don't have to personally deal with them?
Treating them as a problem that needs to be solved or overcome?
Viewing them as nothing more than biological products rather than people to be protected and loved?
I call you to open your eyes to the people in need around you. I call you to treat each of these people as someone in whom "the deeds of God may be put on display" (John 9:3) and with whom God's love can be shared. To do less is simply... Pharisaical!
Verses to Live

After fielding My disciples' religious question about the man born blind, I healed him. This miracle made the Pharisees angry because I violated their regulations about the Sabbath. Instead of rejoicing that a blind man could now see, these religious leaders tried to bully him into condemning Me for healing him. They weren't ready for what they were about to get from him — a simple theology of faith and truth that trumped their entrenched traditions and embarrassed them into banishing him and demeaning him.
Townspeople to the man born blind:
Where is this man Who healed you?
Formerly Blind Man:
I don't know.
The townspeople brought the formerly blind beggar to appear before the Pharisees the same day Jesus healed him, which happened to be on the Sabbath Day. The Pharisees began questioning him, looking for some explanation for how he could now see.

Formerly Blind Man:
He smeared mud on my eyes, and I washed; now I see.
Some Pharisees:
God can't possibly be behind this man because He is breaking the rules of the Sabbath.
Other Pharisees:
How can such a lawbreaking scoundrel do something like this?
The Pharisees were at odds with one another about Jesus and could not agree whether His power came from God or the devil.

Pharisees (to the formerly blind man):
What do you say about this man, about the fact He opened your eyes so you could see?
Formerly Blind Man:
I have no doubt — this man is a prophet.
Some of the Jews suspected the whole situation was a charade, that this man was never blind. So they summoned the man's parents to testify about his condition.

Pharisees:
Is this man your son? Do you testify that he has been blind from birth? How therefore does he now see?
Parents:
We can tell you this much: he is our son, and he was born blind. But his new sight is a complete mystery to us! We do not know the man Who opened his eyes. Why don't you ask our son? He is old enough to speak for himself.
The man's parents were a bit evasive because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. It had been rumored that anyone who spoke of Jesus as the Anointed One would be expelled from the synagogue. So they deferred the thorny question to their son, and the Pharisees called on him a second time.

Pharisees:
Give God the credit. He's the One Who healed you. All glory belongs to God. We are persuaded this man you speak of is a sinner who defies God.
Formerly Blind Man:
If this man is a sinner, I don't know. I am not qualified to say. I only know one thing: I was blind, and now I see.
Pharisees:
What did He do to you? How did He give you sight?
Formerly Blind Man:
Listen, I've already answered all these questions, and you don't like my answers. Do you really need me to say it all over again? Are you thinking about joining up with Him and becoming His followers?
Pharisees (berating him):
You're one of His followers, but we follow Moses. We have confidence that God spoke to Moses, but this man you speak of is a mystery; we don't even know where He comes from.
Formerly Blind Man:
Isn't it ironic that you, our religious leaders, don't even know where He comes from; yet He gave me sight! We know that God does not listen to sinners, but He does respond and work through those who worship Him and do His will. No one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of any person blind from birth. This man must come from God; otherwise, this miracle would not be possible. Only God can do such things.
Pharisees:
You were born under a cloud of sin. How can you, of all people, lecture us?
The religious leaders banished him from their presence.
(John 9:12-34)
Response in Prayer

O Father, please forgive me. Forgive me for blindly looking past people in need. Open my eyes and my heart to see each person as someone in whom "the deeds of God may be put on display". Please use me to be a person through whom Your deeds of grace and mercy flow. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International..
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 9:54 pm

"Truth Brings Celebration and Hostility" — A Year with Jesus for 03/15/2017
Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

We — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — instituted the Sabbath to be a blessing to Our people and those who lived among them. The Sabbath gave My people a day each week when they, their families, and their workers rested from their labor, remembered the Father Who richly provided for them, and were renewed in spirit. The Sabbath was made to bless people and to honor Us.

This principle doesn't seem so hard to understand, but the religious leaders' practice during My time on earth was far from Our plan for the Sabbath and made Me angry. How could the Jewish religious leaders interpret Our principles for the Sabbath and then turn the Sabbath into a day for a sick person to stay sick and a broken person to stay broken? These same religious leaders fed and watered their animals on the Sabbath. They pulled their animals out of a ditch and searched for them when they were lost on the Sabbath. Surely... surely... these religious leaders could see the duplicity in their ways and the errors of their interpretation.

Unfortunately, they didn't... or wouldn't. They were furious with Me when I healed the woman in the story below on a Sabbath. They felt this act of mercy broke their regulations and went against the Father's will! When I confronted them on their hypocrisy, they were humiliated and infuriated. The people, however, loved what I said and celebrated what I had done when I healed this crippled woman.
Verses to Live

Don't just read the words that follow. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you feel what is happening and visualize the expression on the faces of different people in the story. Look at the broken posture of this woman before I healed her. Imagine her gait as she shuffled toward Me. How could anyone with the power to help not help? How could anyone claim to be religious and refuse this woman a simple but powerful act of kindness?
Around this time, He [Jesus] was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest. A woman there had been sick for 18 years; she was weak, hunched over, and unable to stand up straight. Jesus placed His hands on her and suddenly she could stand straight again. She started praising God, but the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had not kept their Sabbath regulations by performing this healing.

Synagogue Official:
Look, there are six other days when it's appropriate to get work done. Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath!
Jesus:
You religious leaders are such hypocrites! Every single one of you unties his ox or donkey from its manger every single Sabbath Day, and then you lead it out to get a drink of water, right? Do you care more about your farm animals than you care about this woman, one of Abraham's daughters, oppressed by Satan for 18 years? Can't we untie her from her oppression on the Sabbath?
As the impact of His words settled in, His critics were humiliated, but everyone else loved what Jesus said and celebrated everything He was doing.
(Luke 13:10-17)
Response in Prayer

O Father, help me value people the way that Jesus did. Help me draw others into celebrating Your greatness and grace by helping those in need. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 10:29 pm

"One Last Season for Fruit?" — A Year with Jesus for 03/14/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Believer,

In your day, people have really toned down some of My message in order to be more politically correct. Remember, however, that the religious leaders of My day killed Me because they knew I was a threat to their ungodly way of doing things. I never taught or preached violence. In fact, My voluntary submission to the cross should tell you a lot about My heart in this matter. When the soldiers came to arrest Me in the Garden of Gethsemane — right before My trials and crucifixion — Peter grabbed a sword and began to fight to protect Me. Since I would not be using violence as a means of My own protection, I told him to put away the sword (John 18:3-11).

Hypocritical and self-serving Jewish religious leaders considered Me a threat to their power and status because I denounced them and their ungodly approach to religion. In addition, I was transforming lives and gathering devoted disciples who were realizing the errors of the religious leaders, making me an even greater threat. My devoted disciples were interested in My true identity as Son of God, Messiah, and Lord because they had seen My power and also My compassion. The leaders could not deny or explain away My power that made Me even a greater threat. Nor could these leaders deny My compassion that moved people to follow Me, making Me a growing threat. These leaders knew they had to eliminate the threat — to kill Me and presumably to get Me out of the way. My journey to Jerusalem was a purposeful march into their trap.

But hear this with your heart, please: I ached for My people and My country and the primary city of My people — even for the leaders who were about to reject, ridicule, and crucify Me. I knew they were leading the Jewish people down the path to destruction. I knew the time was short. I knew they could repent — truly change from the inside out — if they would give themselves over to the Father's will and follow Me. For three years, I taught, told stories, preached, counseled, visited, healed, shepherded, and cared for the needy, the broken, the outcast, the sinner, and the commoner. Many were coming to faith in Me. I went to the houses of the rich, and I met with powerful religious leaders to discuss truth. I even healed valued family members of both Jewish and Roman leaders. Some of these people came to faith in Me.

The problem was that I also confronted the religious establishment. I rightly called them hypocrites. I challenged their legalistic answers that departed from the Father's will. Then, I called them to repentance. John the Baptist, My cousin whom Herod executed, spent time warning of the need for repentance and preparing the people for My coming. Many had changed their hearts and their lives to be ready for Me. Not so for most of those in power.

In the verses that follow, you will read two stories about disasters and then you find a parable about a fig tree. The stories about disasters are reminders that bad things happen to good people. If destruction can befall them and they are undeserving of their hardships, how much more will destruction come to those who ignore, resist, and try to extinguish the Voice of God — Me, Jesus of Nazareth, God come in human flesh!

In the parable about the fig tree, I shared a not-so-subtle warning: God's people needed to repent, or our precious city of Jerusalem would face destruction. Such a thought gave Me great anguish. Salvation was on the doorstep of My people, and they chose the power of Rome and the security of the status quo over Me. Rome, the seat of power for that terrible lion of an empire that had oppressed them for decades, would tear them apart, and leave no stone standing.

With My heart breaking for such impending disaster, I shared a parable about asking the owner of the vineyard — a reference the people in My time would recognize as God (the Father) — to give the people more time to turn their hearts toward Him. As the "vineyard keeper" in the parable, I asked for one last season for the people of Jerusalem — the "fig tree" — to bear fruit for God. I worked to bring My people to repentance and save the city of David. I gave My people another opportunity to turn their hearts toward Me and find the salvation the Father wanted to bring them. Unfortunately, they would not.
Verses to Live

You face a hard challenge as you read the verses that follow. The warnings that I gave were not heeded, and destruction came to Jerusalem. So how do you apply these verses?

Let My words fall on your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to use them to speak to those things in your own heart that you have not yet surrendered to Me. Any other sources on which you rely for salvation will prove false. Any other source of ultimate meaning and purpose for your life will prove shallow. So let these words remind you of a previous theme: urgency! Your commitment to the holy transformation that everyone needs should be immediate and permanent. No one should waste time in making that commitment!
As He [Jesus] said this, some people told Him the latest news about a group of Galilean pilgrims in Jerusalem — a group not unlike Jesus' own entourage. Pilate butchered them while they were at worship, their own blood mingling with the blood of their sacrifices.

Jesus:
Do you think these Galileans were somehow being singled out for their sins, that they were worse than any other Galileans, because they suffered this terrible death? Of course not. But listen, if you do not consider God's ways and truly change, then friends, you should prepare to face His judgment and eternal death.

Speaking of current events, you've all heard about the 18 people killed in that building accident when the tower in Siloam fell. Were they extraordinarily bad people, worse than anyone else in Jerusalem, so that they would deserve such an untimely death? Of course not. But all the buildings of Jerusalem will come crashing down on you if you don't wake up and change direction now.

(following up with this parable) A man has a fig tree planted in his vineyard. One day he comes out looking for fruit on it, but there are no figs. He says to the vineyard keeper, "Look at this tree. For three years, I've come hoping to find some fresh figs, but what do I find? Nothing. So just go ahead and cut it down. Why waste the space with a fruitless tree?"

The vineyard keeper replies, "Give it another chance, sir. Give me one more year working with it. I'll cultivate the soil and heap on some manure to fertilize it. If it surprises us and bears fruit next year, that will be great, but if not, then we'll cut it down."
(Luke 13:1-9)
Response in Prayer

O Father, have Your Spirit use Jesus' words to convict me of any idols that I may have in my heart. I want to have an undivided heart for You. I want to depend solely and confidently on Jesus for my salvation. In You, O God — Father, Son, and Spirit — have I put my trust. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:01 am

"Opening Blind Eyes" — A Year with Jesus for 03/13/2017

Video: The Gospel According to Nintendo
How do we speak into the heart of a culture growing increasingly more secular with each new generation? — Watch Now
Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker of Truth,

I was frustrated with the religious leaders who added their own regulations to the commandments of the law and made those regulations more important than caring for a woman who had been bound by a crippled body for 18 years (Luke 13:10-17). As you read the verses below, notice how My disciples come close to doing the same thing with a man who was blind. Rather than recognizing the difficulty of being blind and then caring for the blind man, My disciples asked an insensitive religious question about him within his hearing:
Teacher, who sinned? Who is responsible for this man's blindness? Did he commit sins that merited this punishment? If not his sins, is it the sins of his parents?
My disciples did not view this man who had been blind since birth as someone in whom the deeds of God's grace needed to be displayed. Instead, they used him as the pretext for a religious discussion. To them, the man and his problems were nothing more than a religious question — a question that cost them nothing. They spent no time ministering to his needs, caring for him as a child of God in need, or compassionately visiting with the man. He was just the object of their religious conversation. Anything that you do to objectify another person and treat that person as less than someone created in Our image is dehumanizing. No one should be reduced to little more than a topic of religious conversation between people who have no real interest in providing help.

You are placed into your circle of relationships to make a difference in the lives of the people around you. Listen to the conversations around you. Ask the Spirit to open your eyes to see the "blind men" that other people around you miss, objectify, or turn into nothing more than a matter for discussion. Look for ways to demonstrate My love and grace by serving these people.
Verses to Live

The following verses begin a series of events that involved My healing a man who was born blind and then proceed to the things that occurred as a result of that healing. We will address more aspects of these events later. Today, notice how I treat this man as someone in whom "the deeds of God may be put on display," yet nearly all the people he meets treat him as less than a person created in the image of God.
While walking along the road, Jesus saw a man who was blind since his birth.

Disciples:
Teacher, who sinned? Who is responsible for this man's blindness? Did he commit sins that merited this punishment? If not his sins, is it the sins of his parents?
Jesus:
Neither. His blindness cannot be explained or traced to any particular person's sins. He is blind so the deeds of God may be put on display. While it is daytime, we must do the works of the One Who sent Me. But when the sun sets and night falls, this work is impossible. Whenever I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
After He said these things, He spat on the ground and mixed saliva and dirt to form mud, which He smeared across the blind man's eyes.

Jesus (to the blind man):
Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.
Siloam means "sent," and its name reminded us that his healing was sent by God. The man went, washed, and returned to Jesus, his eyes now alive with sight. Then neighbors and others who knew him were confused to see a man so closely resembling the blind beggar running about.

Townspeople:
Isn't this the man we see every day sitting and begging in the streets?
Others:
This is the same man.
Still Others:
This cannot be him. But this fellow bears an uncanny resemblance to the blind man.
Formerly Blind Man:
I am the same man. It's me!
Townspeople:
How have your lifeless eyes been opened?
Formerly Blind Man:
A man named Jesus approached me and made mud from the ground and applied it to my eyes. He then said to me, "Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam." I went and washed, and suddenly I could see.
Townspeople:
Where is this man Who healed you?
Formerly Blind Man:
I don't know.
(John 9:1-12)
Response in Prayer

O God, help me see the people that You place in my path each day — the very people that You placed there so that I can share Your grace with them. Forgive me when I have treated others as little more than a religious or political or social question and have not heard Your call to love them into Your family. Open my eyes and my heart to see the people others neglect and ignore. Please use me to give them hope and to share a touch of Your grace with them. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 9:54 pm

"Getting Past Your Worries" — A Year with Jesus for 03/12/2017

Note from Jesus

Dear Precious One,

Yesterday, I spoke to you about fear. Today I want to talk to you about worry and sins that lie behind so many of your worries: greed and insufficient faith! Listen carefully as I remind you of three key principles you will see in the verses below. I gave these principles to My disciples to help them defeat the power of worry in their lives. Please know that Luke wrote about these three principles to help you defeat worry, too!

Principle 1:
You'd better be on your guard against any type of greed, for a person's life is not about having a lot of possessions.
Greed is insidious and destructive — in fact, it is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5). Greed means the things you have are never enough. Greed opens the door for you to trample all over people to get things. Greed makes you think you deserve and own the things that you have, rather than seeing them as blessings from Us — Father, Son, and Spirit — to be used to bring the influence of Our kingdom into your fallen world.

Principle 2:
Don't reduce your life to the pursuit of food and drink; don't let your mind be filled with anxiety. People of the world who don't know God pursue these things, but you have a Father caring for you, a Father Who knows all your needs.
When I spoke to you yesterday about fear, I reminded you that you are precious to Us. Please remember and believe that truth. Why would the Father send Me to be sacrificed for you if you were not precious? Why would I pour out the Holy Spirit upon you, to live within you, if you are not precious to us? With so many less important things in your world that receive Our gracious provision, why would We ever abandon you when you are so precious to Us?

Principle 3:
Since you don't need to worry — about security and safety, about food and clothing — then pursue God's kingdom first and foremost, and these other things will come to you as well. My little flock, don't be afraid. God is your Father, and your Father's great joy is to give you His kingdom.
Worry is often the byproduct of having your focus on the wrong things and not having sufficient faith in Us and Our promises. If your consuming passion is to follow Me and to bring the gracious benefits of My kingdom to your broken world, then you are not going to have time to focus on temporary stuff that doesn't ultimately matter. Honor the Father with all of your heart. Love people as I have loved you. You must believe that when you focus on these two important things, all the other things in your life will fall into their proper place.
Verses to Live

Here are My words about worry. Remember My three principles; they are not simply suggestions to you, but they are given to help you find life.
Person in the Crowd:
Teacher, intervene and tell my brother to share the family inheritance with me.
Jesus:
Since when am I your judge or arbitrator?
Then He used that opportunity to speak to the crowd.

Jesus:
You'd better be on your guard against any type of greed, for a person's life is not about having a lot of possessions.

(then, beginning another parable) A wealthy man owned some land that produced a huge harvest. He often thought to himself, "I have a problem here. I don't have anywhere to store all my crops. What should I do? I know! I'll tear down my small barns and build even bigger ones, and then I'll have plenty of storage space for my grain and all my other goods. Then I'll be able to say to myself, 'I have it made! I can relax and take it easy for years! So I'll just sit back, eat, drink, and have a good time!'"

Then God interrupted the man's conversation with himself. "Excuse Me, Mr. Brilliant, but your time has come. Tonight you will die. Now who will enjoy everything you've earned and saved?"

This is how it will be for people who accumulate huge assets for themselves but have no assets in relation to God.

(then, to His disciples) This is why I keep telling you not to worry about anything in life — about what you'll eat, about how you'll clothe your body. Life is more than food, and the body is more than fancy clothes. Think about those crows flying over there: do they plant and harvest crops? Do they own silos or barns? Look at them fly. It looks like God is taking pretty good care of them, doesn't it? Remember that you are more precious to God than birds! Which one of you can add a single hour to your life or 18 inches to your height by worrying really hard? If worry can't change anything, why do you do it so much?

Think about those beautiful wild lilies growing over there. They don't work up a sweat toiling for needs or wants — they don't worry about clothing. Yet the great King Solomon never had an outfit that was half as glorious as theirs!

Look at the grass growing over there. One day it's thriving in the fields. The next day it's being used as fuel. If God takes such good care of such transient things, how much more you can depend on God to care for you, weak in faith as you are. Don't reduce your life to the pursuit of food and drink; don't let your mind be filled with anxiety. People of the world who don't know God pursue these things, but you have a Father caring for you, a Father Who knows all your needs.

Since you don't need to worry — about security and safety, about food and clothing — then pursue God's kingdom first and foremost, and these other things will come to you as well.

My little flock, don't be afraid. God is your Father, and your Father's great joy is to give you His kingdom.

That means you can sell your possessions and give generously to the poor. You can have a different kind of savings plan: one that never depreciates, one that never defaults, one that can't be plundered by crooks or destroyed by natural calamities. Your treasure will be stored in the heavens, and since your treasure is there, your heart will be lodged there as well.
(Luke 12:13-34)
Response in Prayer

Holy Spirit, please empower me as I seek to have an undivided heart that is committed to the Father. Lord Jesus, I commit to believing your promises and to living Your words as I seek to rid my life of worry and as I remember Your promise that I am precious to You. I confess, Father, that the things of this world are tantalizing to me; they pull at my heart, and I sometimes think that they can bring true and lasting joy to my life. I know from experience and from Your word, dear Father, that these things are shallow and fleeting joys, so forgive me for my greed. I want always to place You and Your kingdom as my highest priorities. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Share on Facebook | Discuss this Verse
This daily devotional is written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives and to help us realize we are not alone as we seek to live for Him. — Learn More
The Thoughts and Prayers for 'A Year with Jesus' are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.
Thanks to our invaluable editors:
Dr. Edward Holley - Executive Editor
Ray Butts - General Editor
Heartlight is proud to support Compassion International.mailmaster@heartlight.org and let us know what list you would like to leave. We'll take care of you.
HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE? It's FREE! Visit the website to subscribe by email.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. © 1998-2015, Heartlight, Inc. 'A Year with Jesus' is part of the Heartlight Network.
© 1998-2017, Heartlight Inc.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 46972
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: HEARTLIGHT — A Year with Jesus

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 6 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum