Archive for January, 2019

Seeing Jesus part 3

Posted: January 28, 2019 in Seeing Jesus part 3

The temptation of JESUS

 

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Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple,  and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’”

Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory.  He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me,Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”   Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him.  Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee. Matthew 4:1-11 WEB

 The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted. Therefore He can empathize with us. He knows what we go through. He knows they power of temptation and how subtle it can be. He knows that we will not  prevail, unless we are supported by the Holy Spirit of God. Only the Christian can triumph over temptation. The unbeliever might beat it at first, but will eventually succumb to its power.

The Devil came to Jesus at this physically low point in His life. Jesus was not weak, but His physical state was not strong after fasting for forty days. Jesus had been spending time away from other people and had been fasting and praying for forty days. At that point the Devil chose the opportunity to try and bring Jesus down.

First temptation

The Devil tempts Jesus at His point of need. The Devil knows Jesus is physically hungry and so tempts Him to do a miracle and turn the stones around on the ground, into bread to meet the need. Jesus is physically hungry, but not spiritually hungry. He rebuffs the enemy with the bread of the Word of God.

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

 Jesus is not fooled. The need of the physical is not met by mere food. The soul is not sustained by physical food. We are not only physical, but have a deep spiritual need of God, that goes far beyond anything this world can offer. We need the Lord. We always need the Lord. Jesus spends time with His Father, because that is what sustains Him.

If that is true for Jesus, then it is certainly true for us. Without the Word of God dwelling in us RICHLY, we are at the mercy of the enemy of our souls.

When Jesus quoted the Scripture to Satan, he backed off that temptation. He is a coward and runs away at the Word of God.

Second temptation

So Jesus uses the Scripture to thwart the Devil’s plan. Satan changes tack here. He decides to use the Scripture to try another trick.

This is a more subtle temptation. Evil people can twist Scripture to make it fit what they want to do and say and live. Many people are led astray by the false words spoken to them, which are Scripture taken out of context and twisted. The Word of God is manipulated to keep people from entering into a real spiritual life with God. We can hear many words like this on the media today. There are plenty of people who try to make a name for themselves, and get many people to follow them. There are big churches with “ministers” who preach a false gospel and so they lead many people astray.

Satan is doing this here.

He takes Jesus to the very top of religious life and shows Him how popular He could be, how everyone would admire Him is only Jesus would do what the Scripture says.!! Of course in this context it is not what the Scripture says!! It is the devils twisted words…

Satan tells Jesus that God will never let Him be destroyed and will send supernatural powers to sustain Him. Angles will come from heaven and catch Him and everyone will be amazed….

Should Jesus do it?

Why not? The Scripture does say these words…

 ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’”

 The ministering angels of God have protected Jesus in His life, as with all His redeemed people. What the devil is saying is true, but the consequences of it would be evil. Jesus must die and rise again. Any deviation for this is evil and against the plan and purpose of God. When Peter suggested he would keep Jesus from dying on the cross, Jesus said, Get behind me Satan!!”

 Also we are warned about tempting God. We must follow God’s ways as is our calling, but not calling down supernatural events to sustain us or justify what we are doing. There are those who name the name of Christ in these days, who also do this.

Jesus mildly replies.  “You shall not test the Lord, your God.’”

 The humility of Jesus. He did not speak lofty words, or argue with Satan, or try to justify His words, but silenced the Tempter with eight words.

“YOU SHALL NOT”

The holy law of God always prevails.

Third temptation

The physical temptation did not work, the religious temptation did not work, so Satan goes for blatant godless power in this world. The Devil takes Jesus to a high mountain and shows Him the power of the accumulation of authority in this world. Not just the present Roman power, but all earthly rule and authority.

“I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”

In a moment Satan was able to present Jesus with this illusion. Then Satan says he will give them to Jesus if Jesus will just give Satan recognition and the right to do so…

The illusion is fleeting and the temptation fast, because Jesus is already the Lord of everything. Authority is not Satan’s to give.! The absolute cheek to presume he can trick Jesus. It mirrors the chief sin that brought Satan down in the first place. He wanted to be God.!

This is a powerful temptation in these days of our lives. He continues to tell us we can have anything we like. We can be lord of our own lives, if we just give in to him and enjoy what he has to offer. Satan will do anything to wreck your life. He will promise you anything, even good things and worthwhile things, if only you will do what he says and not what God says.

It is very subtle and we must test our motivations very carefully.

Satan is not in control. 

He has to ask permission of God to do anything… any event recorded in Holy Scripture we see him having to ask God to trouble people. When God permits His people to be troubled, they grown in grace and faith. So even the evil of Satan, does the work of God.!

At this point, Jesus will not tolerate the presumption of the evil one any longer. Jesus will not allow the Devil to continue to grasp for the place of God in this world, or in the lives of people. Jesus speaks with total abhorrence and hatred of Satan’s irreverence in the presence of God.

“Get behind me,Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’” 

 GO AWAY SATAN!

 When Satan troubles us, that is all we need to say.

Worship God alone. Love God alone. Fear God alone.

We see Jesus here in this passage as the all-conquering Saviour and the Lord of every humble soul that trusts in Him.

He alone is worthy.

Let us make sure we belong to Him and are daily seeking His grace and pardon. We must walk worthy of His name and listen to no other voice.

The centrality of the Holy Scriptures in our lives, is absolutely key. Jesus knew the Scriptures and used them as ammunition against the tempter. He did not use complicated reasons or apologetic arguments to counter the temptations, but the straightforward Word of God that every Christian can use.

We must know those Scriptures too…..

 

 

 

Collage: Braque style

Posted: January 24, 2019 in Collage: Braque style

Using paper to arrange a design on paper and incorporating text into the overall design…

 

Seeing JESUS part 2

Posted: January 18, 2019 in Seeing JESUS part 2

JESUS is anointed at Bethany

 

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Matthew 26:6-13 WEB   “Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. But when his disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.” But Jesus, knowing this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for me. For you always have the poor with you; but you don’t always have me. For in that she poured this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Most assuredly I tell you, wherever this gospel will be preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of for a memorial of her.” 

 This amazing event of worship and adoration came from the heart of a woman.

Jesus and His disciples were visiting Bethany, which was about two miles from Jerusalem. They had come for the Passover, and very soon, Jesus was to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Jesus has been invited to supper at the house of Simon, known as Simon the leper. He may well have been one of the lepers Jesus cleansed at the beginning of His ministry, and Simon did not forget what he owed to the Lord.

There was on other cure for leprosy, only the healing power of Jesus. Simon would not have been allowed to live with his family, if he was unclean and a leper.

All these people were reclining at the table sharing food and conversation. Toward the end of the meal, a woman arrives in the room and goes to sit at the feet of Jesus.

This woman is some one who is not regarded as good enough for society. She is certainly not good enough to touch Jesus, or to bless Him in any way. She  has had a sinful life, therefore the religious people cast her out and condemn her. She has fallen into sin, and is unforgiven and unforgivable.

This is not the attitude of Jesus.Jesus knows this woman and she has been forgiven by Jesus, and all her past sins are gone. Only the sinfully self-righteous continue to condemn her.

This woman has heard that Jesus is in this house, and is moved by the Holy Spirit to carry out this act of devotion. She has a jar of very expensive perfumed oil, which she is saving for the future. It might be her retirement money, or for a day in the future when she will be in need.

The woman takes this alabaster jar, breaks off the top, and pours the contents over Jesus head. The oil runs down over Jesus hair, face, neck and shoulders. This is the action of a blessed person, anointing the Lord’s King. She is giving Jesus His rightful place in her life and showing to the ungodly men sitting around the table, exactly who Jesus is.

This is a dedication to the cross and the grave that are coming to Jesus very soon.Through this sacrifice of Himself for His people, Jesus is showing that He is the Suffering servant, the Redeemer, the only Saviour, and the King over all Kings forever. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

This woman knows what the others do not. He adores her Saviour and God. She anoints Him as her King and demonstrates her faith, that He will be her portion in the future and he whole faith and love is in him and for Him.

She is a demonstration of what Christians should be like.Her motivation is absolute love. Nothing is worth anything to her, compared to Christ. She is overcome with gratitude and the generous demonstration of her faith and love.

She stands in stark contrast to the men around the table. The Disciples were angry and offended at her. They considered what she did to be a waste of time and money. They moaned about all the poor people who could have benefited for this cash.! They only saw the physical outpouring of the oil and not the motivation and devotion of this woman, making such a sacrifice to the one who was about to give up his life for her. The disciples couldn’t see that… they are earth bound. Their spiritual senses are dull.

Maybe they expressed this out loud, because Jesus rebukes them for troubling and upsetting the woman. Maybe they even pushed her out the door. How dare she invade their quiet meal…

Jesus is the only one who understands. We must never forget this. People will harass us and blame us and criticize us, but Jesus always understands. He tells the disciples that they will have plenty of opportunity to minister to the poor, but He will soon be gone from their presence.

Jesus tells them that He will soon be dying on the cross and buried. He woman has anointed Him in preparation for that burial. These disciples will not be there to watch over their Lord, because they will almost all be gone, in fear. We only see the disciples John at the cross and when Jesus is taken down and quickly buried in the tomb.

 The expensive ointment is the out flowing of love for the Lord Jesus, and an indication of who He is.

 He was buried with the rich in His death…. he is being anointed as the priest of God and bringer of salvation to sinful people.

Don’t worry if people don’t agree, support, listen to you. Just follow the Lord Jesus and put Him first in all circumstances. Give Him your best love. Obey Him and give Him all the glory, in your life.

Jesus said that this woman, though she has no name, is remembered by Christians and in every place the gospel is preached. Her memorial remains to this day. It is powerful.

She teaches us what it means to love Jesus and to lift Him high to the exalted place in our hearts.

I wonder why she has no name?

Jesus knows the name of all His people. He knows everything about them.

It can seem strange that men are named and identified and put down on the text of Scripture, but women are not.

God does everything for our good. He knows that this woman will love Him and adore Him, without encouragement. She does not need to see her name in the book. She does not need to be recognized, as she is happy to give everything to the Lord, without holding back.

She has not come to this house to make a scene, or put herself forward, but to pour out her life to Jesus. Getting your name seen, can be a big problem to us, because we are sinful. The recognition can be a trap that Satan can use to make our life and service ineffective.

Even though her name is not given, her person is lifted up by Jesus as someone we should emulate and her life has become a pattern of all Christian women and men.

Seeing JESUS Part 1

Posted: January 11, 2019 in Peter denies JESUS

Peter denies Jesus

 

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Matthew 26:69-75 WEB

 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, “You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!” 

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, “This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 Again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man.”

73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known.”

74 Then he began to curse and to swear, “I don’t know the man!”

Immediately the rooster crowed. 75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and wept bitterly.

bitterly peter wept

How do you think Peter felt around that fire?

 How do you think Peter felt when he thought about what he did?

 What exactly had he done?

Peter had promised Jesus that he would love Him forever. Peter said that if anyone came to take the Lord Jesus away, or to do anything against Him, Peter would stop it happening.

Peter even said he would stop Jesus being crucified on the cross! Jesus rebuked him for that.

Peter really loved Jesus and was devoted to Him. Peter didn’t always understand the teachings of Jesus, but he was totally committed to Jesus. Peter followed Jesus around everywhere.

Jesus gathers the disciples together for the last supper together before His death. Jesus washes the disciples feet. Peter wants to be cleaned all over! He is so eager to show his love for Jesus and to be identified with Him.

Just before Jesus and the disciples went into the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus turns to Peter and warns him about what will happen when He is arrested. Jesus says to Peter,

“This very night you will fall away on account of me.

Peter says, “Even if everyone else falls away from you, I never will…”

Peter is so sure…

Jesus is arrested and tried and beaten and is going to the cross to die alone. All the disciples run away except John and Peter. John stays with Jesus as Jesus is put to death on the cross.

Peter followed behind as Jesus is taken into the Sanhedrin. Peter sneaks into the courtyard of the High Priest. People are standing around a fire. Peter goes to warm his hands. Peter is cold.

This coldness is more than physical. He is not beside Jesus any more and cannot see Him. In a few hours, the cold has seeped into his heart and Peter is seeking heat from something else.

He seeks heat from the fire of the ungodly people.

Someone recognizes Peter and confronts him. Peter instantly denies he knows the Lord.

Peter moves to the doorway. A young woman is there. She also recognizes Peter. Peter is afraid to be associated with Jesus, so he denies he knows the Lord with curses and bad language.

The people around the fire have been talking. We know that man and recognize his face. He was a follower of the Nazarene. They come to Peter and confront him again. Peter is so terrified about being recognized, he calls down the curse of God on himself, if he knows Jesus…!!

At that very moment, A cockerel crows for the dawn of the day. Peter suddenly is struck with the enormity of what he has done. He has denied Jesus, even though he promised he never would. Peter realised he was a complete failure and was filled with guilt, self-loathing, and totally disappointment in himself.

Peter realised that what Jesus said was true.

He realized he had let down his Lord and God completely and left his Saviour Jesus in his hour of greatest need.

Peter left the Sandhedrin and found a dark corner and wept bitterly. He wept for a long time. How could he do such a thing? What would his Lord and Saviour think of him now?

Maybe Peter felt quite comfortable around that fire. It was warm and comforting on that cold night.

But it all disappeared in a few minutes, when he fell into such sin. Jesus said, anyone who is ashamed of Him before other people, will be left ashamed when Jesus comes in His glory.

Anyone who is not ashamed and speaks about Jesus, witnesses, lives a right life, says no to the right things… Jesus will not be ashamed of those people.

Peter must have felt terrible for a long time.

Jesus died and rose from the dead, and it was some days before Peter could say sorry to his Lord.

The Lord Jesus is so kind. He forgives all types of sin, and even when we are ashamed of Him, He can put it right and change us into the people He wants us to be.

Jesus lifted Peter up and gave him amazing work to do in the kingdom of God. You can read about it in the book of Acts. Peter the coward and boaster, became Peter the miracle worker and preacher of the gospel. Peter became so brave and rejoiced to die for the sake of his Master. Peter never denied the Lord again….

Are there ways in our lives that we are denying Jesus?

Things I should be doing?

Things I shouldn’t be doing?

What do I need to do to put things right?

Do I need to say sorry to God?

What do I need to do to build my faith and courage?

These questions are not just for one day, but are questions we ask every day as we walk the Christian pathway. As we face our faults and failures, we are made strong in the Lord.

May that be true for every one of us…

Personalised Placemats

Posted: January 11, 2019 in Personalised Placemats

Decorate and laminate…