And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Matthew 28:18 NKJV
This verse of scripture is part of the great commission.
Jesus wanted the disciples to know they could fulfill their calling as His representatives on the earth. All authority in heaven and earth belongs to Jesus. Jesus was sending them to the people of the earth. Jesus would be with them to the very end.
God is speaking the same Words to us. Jesus wants us to go into all the world and make disciples for Him today.
Jesus wants us to teach the Word of God to people so they can know Him. Jesus wants us to teach the Word of God to people so they can obey Him. Jesus wants us to teach the Word of God to people so they can be set free from bondage to unbelief.
When I worked in a prison I taught our clients the rules they were expected to follow in the program. I explained that if they couldn’t follow the rules they are not ready to be released. They would probably end up coming back to prison.
I spoke very bluntly to my clients. I felt very comfortable doing it. I felt comfortable because I cared about them. I wanted to see them set free from prison.
The world is full of people who need to be set free from bondage. We will not be alone when we share the Word of God with people. The Holy Spirit will be with us. The Holy Spirit will show us who to speak to and what to say to them.
The heavens and the earth belong to God. He wants us teach other people who He is. The Lord wants us to teach people what His desires are for them.
We can accomplish the Lord’s purpose for our lives because He is God. He will be with us every step of the way. Jesus will be with us every where we go in His name!
When our motive is love we can speak the truth to people without fear. Perfect love casts out fear. Jesus wants us to love His people enough to feel comfortable speaking truth to them.
You and I cannot love people perfectly. We can introduce people to the one who loves them perfectly. Ask Jesus to give you a heart for His people. Ask Jesus to fill your heart with His perfect love. Speak the truth to people who need to be set free from bondage!
Go out into your world in the authority and power of Jesus mighty name!
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat this is My body. Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom. Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV
The God Man institutes the Lord’s Supper.
God created the Heavens and the Earth. He created the sun and the moon. He created the stars that sparkle in the night sky. He created the great diversity of creatures that dwell upon the Earth. Almighty God created you and me in His image and likeness.
God the Father, the Eternal Son of God and the Holy Spirit existed in a perfect loving relationship since before time began. God created us to join Him in that perfect loving relationship.
God created us to be one in Him through faith in Jesus Christ. He created us to be like Him with the capacity to love and be loved!
The first man and woman disobeyed God. The loving relationship they were created to enjoy was forever severed.
In a demonstration of God’s perfect love He sent Jesus to bring us back into the relationship He desires with us. The Son stepped out of timeless perfection into a fallen world to bring us back into the Father’s love!
God never intended for the Lord’s Supper to be mundane and routine. The Lord wants us to look forward to gathering together in remembrance of Him. Jesus wants us to partake in symbolic remembrance of our union with Him.
The Lord wants us to remember we are seated together with Him in heavenly places today. Jesus wants us to remember He created us to live in an intimate loving relationship with Him today!
Jesus is waiting to take communion again until we are joined with Him in the perfect, holy and timeless loving relationship He created us for. Give thanks to God the Father for His great love through faith in Jesus Christ today!
Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that
comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you. Matthew 17:27 NKJV
Peter was asked by the temple tax collectors, “does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” Everyone paid the same amount regardless of what they had. The money was used to pay the expenses of the temple.
They did not just ask out of curiosity. They were attempting to collect from Jesus. Priests and religious authorities were not required to pay it. Their salaries were paid from it. They asked Peter because they were uncomfortable confronting Jesus.
Jesus said the sons of God are not required to pay the tax but will pay it so they do not offend the religious authorities. Jesus told Peter to go fishing, open up the mouth of the first fish he caught and find enough money to pay the tax for both of them.
Jesus payed taxes for the upkeep of the temple used by the Jews to worship Him. The religious authorities were still worshiping in a temple made by human hands when the living temple was standing in front of them!
This event reveals the dual nature of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth paid the temple tax just like any other Jewish person. Each paid the same amount regardless of status or income. Jesus demonstrated His authority over heaven and earth by sending His servant to retrieve money from the mouth of a fish!
God was standing in front of these temple tax collectors and they were still playing religion.
What about us? Are we playing religion or worshiping God?
If we have veered off into religiosity all we need to do is confess our sin and turn to Jesus. Jesus is waiting for us with His arms of love opened wide. Because Jesus lived the life of a man He understands our needs, fears and failures!
The Eternal Son of God knows the desires of our hearts. Jesus is able to meet our needs. He can use us to meet other people’s needs.
What do most people need today? They need Jesus! How will they meet Jesus? The Lord wants to use our transformed lives to reveal Himself to them!
Jesus wants you to be a fisher of men!
So Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20 NKJV
A man came to Jesus and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the water.” “So, I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus rebuked the demon and the boy was cured.
The disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
As far as we know neither Jesus nor His disciples ever moved a mountain. What is Jesus saying in this passage?
It is possible for men and women to move mountains. It happens all the time. Tunnels are dug through mountains. Roads are built through mountains. We can physically move a mountain with a backhoe, crane or tractor.
We cannot change hearts. We cannot change lives. We cannot save anyone including ourselves. Those are things only God can do.
Jesus and the Apostles raised the dead, cured the sick and cast out demons. They fed vast amounts of people with limited resources. These are much greater miracles than moving a mountain. Jesus is doing even greater miracles today!
With even a small amount of faith we can impact the world. With just a small amount of faith we can witness much greater miracles than just changing the physical landscape of the world.
Through faith in Jesus we can witness the greatest miracle God has ever performed. We can see people who were born dead in trespasses and sin raised to newness of life in Jesus Christ. We can see God restore broken hearts, lives and families!
Jesus is calling us to join with Him as He restores His creation one life at a time!
The Lord is calling us to join with Him as He restores the lost, the lonely and the broken hearted. Jesus is calling us to join with Him as He sets captives free!
Exercise your faith by praying for God to remove obstacles that keep people from surrendering their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ!
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18 NKJV
Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
We have all heard that a wise man built his house on solid rock. And the storm came and the winds blew and that house did not fall. It did not fall because its foundation was built on the rock. The solid rock we are to build our life upon is Jesus Christ!
God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah. Has Jesus revealed Himself to you?
God wants us to be rock solid so we cannot be moved by the highs and lows of life.
Peter made mistakes. He denied the Lord three times. God restored him.
The Lord told Peter and the other disciples “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Peter and the disciples did receive the Holy Spirit. They did witness to the people of their world.
If you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your heart!
The Holy Spirit will enable you to pursue God regardless of the ups and downs you experience. He will enable you to pursue God in the midst trials and heartache. He will enable you to be His witness to the people in our world.
Will you be faithful to the Lord today?
Peter was faithful to the Lord. He was not perfect. He made mistakes. He continued to trust God regardless of his failures. He was faithful because He learned not to trust in his own strength and wisdom.
Trust the Lord to accomplish His will for your life even though you make mistakes. Trust Him enough to bear witness of Jesus Christ to the people in your world!
Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. Matthew 15:29-30 NKJV
People are lame, blind, mute and maimed physically and spiritually today. People suffer the same illnesses, injuries, handicaps and maladies people suffered when Jesus walked the earth.
People were plagued by demonic activity in biblical times. There are just as many people plagued by demonic activity today. Not in the same ways perhaps. The physical manifestations are different.
Today people are ensnared by addictions to drugs, alcohol and immorality. Others are plagued by the same demonic activities that plagued people in biblical times.
I have interviewed young men whose fathers, brothers, and even mothers are serving time in prison. Some of them are multi generation gang members. Families are locked into cycles of sin, shame and violence.
The devil does not cause people to do these things. We have the freedom to make our own choices. People are led into bondage as a result of the spiritual battle taking place in the Heavenly realm.
Great multitudes brought family, friends and loved ones to Jesus’ feet so He could heal them. Jesus healed them because He loved them.
Jesus wants you to bring people before Him so He can heal them today! Bring your friends, family members and loved ones before Jesus in prayer. Go forth as a might man or woman of God. Do it in the power and might of Almighty God!
You do not need to be a Pastor Priest or Theologian to share the gospel with people. Tell them what Jesus has done for you. Keep it real. The gospel does not need to be delivered at the top of your lungs. You do not need to exaggerate. Speak the truth in love through faith in Jesus!
Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to people who need healing and restoration. Pray for the Lord to reveal Himself as the Great Physician. Bring people to the feet of Jesus. Ask the Lord to protect them from the forces of darkness seeking to devour them.
Ask Jesus to pull down strongholds that plague families. Ask Jesus to crush false arguments and vain imaginations in opposition to Him. Pray for people not to believe lies taught and perpetrated by people under the influence of demonic forces.
Pray for the people God loves today and every day!
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” Matthew 14:28 NKJV
Jesus answered the desire of Peter’s heart with, “Come.”
After feeding five thousand people Jesus sent His disciples ahead in a boat. It was tossed by waves. The wind blew against it. In the pre-dawn hours Jesus walked on the waves towards His disciples. They mistook Him for a ghost.
When Jesus revealed Himself Peter cried out, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to You on the water.” What was in Peter’s heart? What made Peter think he could walk on the water?
Peter desperately wanted to walk with Jesus. Peter believed he could walk on the water if Jesus commanded it. Peter believed he could do what Jesus did because he was Jesus’ disciple.
Peter was brash and bold enough to be the first disciple to step out in faith. He was also the first to be rebuked by the Lord, why? Peter lacked discernment. He was a good sprinter. He did not know how to run a marathon.
Before declaring the Word of God with boldness Peter raised his sword in anger. Before receiving his commission to feed God’s sheep Peter denied the Lord three times. Before becoming a leader in the church Peter’s boldness needed to be tempered with humility!
Peter did take a few steps on the water. He began to sink below the waves when he focused on them instead of Jesus. The Lord took Peter by the hand and walked him to safety. Peter did walk on the water. He did not do it in his own strength!
Jesus is inviting us to, “Come” to Him today! What does that mean?
Before I came to Jesus I denied Him. After the Lord revealed Himself to me I walked a few steps with Him. When the seas of my life got rough and the winds of adversity roared I took my eyes off Jesus. I was a sprinter. I had no idea how to run a marathon!
The word “Come” has many meanings. First we get saved. We learn to follow Jesus. We may try living the Christians life in our own strength and wisdom. We may trip and fall. We may even grow tired and weary.
But Jesus teaches us to hold on to Him when the winds of adversity blow through our lives. Jesus teaches us to keep our eyes on Him when the seas of trials and troubles roar. Jesus teaches us to be marathon runners so we can finish our race of faith!
Peter made mistakes. So have I. So will you. We all do. Peter walked with Jesus. He served Jesus. He fought the good fight of faith and completed the race. So can we.
Walk on the water with Jesus today. “Come” to Jesus everyday!
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44 NKJV
In some parts of the world children are looked upon as a burden. There are places in the world the birth rate does not keep pace with the death rate. Millions of babies have been murdered so they would not be an inconvenience to their parents.
In the post modern era children and the elderly are looked upon as a burden. This does not apply to everyone. It is the attitude taken by many of our world leaders. The United Nations promotes birth and population control as well as abortion.
You and I are children of Almighty God. Our Heavenly Father does not look upon you as a burden. Jesus loves you with an everlasting love. His love for you knows no limits.
God created you in His image and likeness. He created you to live in a relationship based on His great love for you. Jesus created you to live with Him throughout eternity!
When I read this parable I like to think of us as the treasure. I like to think of God as the man who found the treasure and with great joy sold all He has in order to purchase it.
God is not a man. He did not find us. He created us. The Lord did give everything to buy us back. Our Heavenly Father gave His One and Only Begotten Son to redeem us from the hand of the evil one.
When I am in step with the Holy Spirit the first thing I do in the morning is seek God. I think of Him before any other person or thing. I talk to God. I pray to Him.
Some mornings are a struggle for me. When I am stressed out and anxious I wake up tired and my body aches.
This morning I realized I needed to be more deliberate in seeking God. I needed to gather myself and focus on the Lord. I made the decision to worship God even though I did not feel like it.
As I sought the Lord and worshiped Him with my hands raised in submission He spoke to me. My Heavenly Father said; “I treasure you.”
In God’s mind you are a priceless treasure. Jesus wants you to treasure your relationship with Him above all things today and everyday!
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath! Matthew 12:2 NKJV
Jesus and His disciples plucked heads of grain on the Sabbath. They ate them. The Pharisees criticized hungry men for eating. The religious authorities in Israel created over four hundred laws regarding the Sabbath. They were not the laws God gave to Moses.
When Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” He was referring to heavy burdens the religious leaders put on people. These are God’s people. The Lord chose them to be set apart for relationship with Him.
When Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” He is not making unreasonable demands the way the religious authorities did.
Jesus wants to guide us with a soft, gentle and loving hand. Jesus is offering us His love. Jesus wants to give us rest for our souls. When Jesus says, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” He makes it clear the Christian life should not be difficult!
Why is it so hard for us to live the way Jesus wants us to live? Like the Pharisees we have a tendency to be judgmental and critical. We want to turn the Christian life into something that is measurable and attainable in our own effort.
If the Christian life is reduced to a list of things I can and cannot do I can grade myself to see how I am doing. I can snoop around the lives of other Christians to see how they are doing.
Jesus wants to bless us with His love. He wants us to bless each other with His love. Jesus wants all people to know how much He loves us.
Nothing is easier than receiving the love Jesus offers. Nothing is harder than sharing the love of Jesus with each other. That is why Jesus tells us to be yoked together with Him. So He can lead us and guide us on a path to love!
How could the Pharisees tell the Lord of the Sabbath what was lawful for His disciples to do on the Sabbath? The same way we can ask God to judge other people for their sin and forgive us for ours!
Jesus wants to bless you with His love today. He wants you to bless other people with His love today. Jesus is not placing unreasonable demands on you. He is not asking you to do something that is impossible.
Be yoked together with Jesus today!
Don’t place heavy burdens on other people. Learn from Jesus. He is gentle and humble!
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
Jesus always spoke in ways people could understand. He used examples from everyday living. Jesus spoke like one of the people He came to save. He also spoke in parables so people who were not interested in hearing would not understand.
The Lord said; “Seek Me in the morning, learn to walk in My ways.” Jesus wants us to make getting to know Him a priority. Spending time with Jesus should be the first thing we do every morning.
How can we get to know the Lord? How can we spend time with Him in the morning? It starts with prayer. It does not have to be formal. We do not have to get on our knees. We do not need to follow a pattern or formula. We don’t even need to flatter the Lord!
The second way to spend time with the Lord is to interact with the scriptures. God wants us to meditate on His Word. He wants to speak to us through His Word. He wants the scriptures to raise questions in our minds. He wants us to search His Word for answers.
When Jesus says “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me” He is saying He wants us to be joined together with Him. A yoke is an attachment put on the necks of two oxen. It is used so the strength of both oxen can be used for one purpose.
Jesus wants us to be yoked together with Him so we can walk with Him. He wants us to be joined together so we can be like Him.
Jesus does not place religious burdens on people that make it impossible to find peace with God. He does not place heavy burdens on people that keep us from the love of God. He does not ask us to jump through religious hoops or commit great acts of sacrifice.
Jesus is gentle and offers sweet rest for our souls!
Jesus said; “Come to me” to people who labored long and hard to support their families. He was calling people who labored under a heavy burden placed on them by a legalistic religious system to rest in Him!
Jesus still says “Come to me.” Jesus can give your soul the sweet rest you need.
If you are heavy burdened from the fast pace and uncertainty of life Jesus is saying Come to Me for My yoke is easy and My burden is light. His burden is light because He does all the heavy lifting for us!
Jesus loves you. Seek Him in the morning. Learn to walk in His ways.
Find your way to the lover of your soul! Be yoked together with Jesus today!
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