Luke Chapter 4, tells us that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. ” If you are really the Son of God then prove it,” (my paraphrase)
Jesus does not comply. He had nothing to prove. Jesus knows who he is!
Considering the source, Jesus rejects the temptation. He tells the devil to take a hike.
Then after that temptation trial Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.
There Jesus becomes well known throughout all of that region. Jesus teaches in the synagogues, heals the sick, casts out devils. All the people are blessed!
After that Jesus comes to the city of Nazareth where he grew up and where every one knows him as Jesus the carpenter.
It was in a synagogue in Nazareth (where he probably went every Sabbath as a kid) that Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, announcing that he is the fulfillment of that Messianic prophecy.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1,2
After closing the Torah Jesus sits down. Everyone’s eyes are on him.
Then Jesus gives notice to all the people that he had grown up with that he is the promised Messiah.
This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21
Only Messiah could fulfill that scripture. He knew that. They knew that.
The people of Nazareth were blown away by that announcement. Is this not Joseph’s son?
Whaaattt? Is he saying what we think he’s saying?
Then Jesus tells these people who he knows on a personal basis. And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. Luke 4:23
Seems quite fantastic that Jesus knowing full well he would be rejected in Nazareth would make the announcement of his being the promised Messiah there. To all his friends and family.
Is there a bigger picture happening here?
Nazareth was a small town. Populated mostly with farmers, shepherds and labourers. It basically was a place with low social status.
That is why Nathanael said to Jesus “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46
Jesus goes to his own home town, small and insignificant, tells them he is their promised Messiah and they out right reject him!
Who saw that coming?
After Jesus tells them that a prophet is never honored in his own home town the people in the synagogue get so riled up that they literally grab Jesus and haul him to a cliff in order to toss him off. They were intent on harming Jesus. Maybe even kill him.
The guy had the audacity to call himself a prophet! That’s it! He’s out of here!
But passing through their midst…what? How could that happen? They had him by the scruff of the neck and he passed through them?
Well Jesus transported or something because he got away.
Then Jesus goes to the next town and preaches in their synagogue. The people in that place were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
That place loved him! At least they loved the miracles.
I think Jesus was making a point or a prophetic act if you will when he announced who he was in Nazareth.
Nazareth was a foretaste of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future. The whole nation of Israel would reject him but this time instead of throwing him off a cliff they would crucify him.
Interesting but it goes even further than that today. Now it seems the world is rejecting Jesus’ Christ’s claim to be Messiah or Savior of the world with the same old unbelief.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Where is the promise of his coming? Who made that guy a ruler over us?
Jesus gives the same answer today as he always does to the doubters.
One day you will say to me …if you really are the Son of God ….prove yourself…make these stones turn to bread….fix all these problems we ourselves have created. You are only an historical figure. We don’t want you! Give us Barabbas. You know that rebel! We want him not you!
History really does repeat itself doesnt it?
There is a good ending to this story however. Remember what the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead and was taken up in the clouds in front of over 100 of his disciples?
Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11
And don’t forget this time, “Every eye will see him!” Revelation 1:7
In John Chapter 15, Jesus gives a parable about a vineyard.
He says that he is the true vine, the Father is the Farmer and his disciples are the branches.
Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without the vine neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
Every branch in Jesus Christ is pruned so that it will produce fruit. No fruit can be produced without pruning.
Pruning is a part of growing in the Lord. Pruning requires taking away the old so that the new will grow.
This process can be painful. We are set in our ways and don’t like change. But in order to produce Holy Spirit fruit in our lives we must yield to the pruning process. Out with the old man filled with dry old ways of doing things and yielding to the sharp pruning tools of the Father.
Jesus tells us to abide in him. Continue in his word which is able to make us into what the Lord wants us to be. Filled with Holy Spirit fruit!
Just as a vine cannot produce fruit by itself neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
If we continue in the Lord we will produce much fruit.
Pruning the vine every spring just before growth begins allows the branches to have enough air movement around them to reduce disease.
Heavy pruning of the vine provides the best fruit.
While pruning may be needed throughout the year, pruning is best done when the vine is dormant, just before growth begins in spring.
Dormancy is when the plant slows down. Its metabolism, energy consumption, and growth are at a slow pace.
Sometimes when we seem to be inactive, placed on the shelf, that is when the pruning happens. Our lives in a winter stage while seeming to be going no where are in reality being pruned.
Reflection. Repentance. Seeking the Lord. Searching for answers. Giving up of sin. Intense prayer. Dying to self.
The winter stage many times can be rough going but harsh winters with much pruning produce a great harvest of fruit.
In order for a grape vine to flourish it must have plenty of sun shine. In the same way we must have plenty of Holy Spirit saturation.
If a vine has little light it will eventually dry up and die.
In his presence is fullness of joy. We get inspired in God’s presence, strengthened and empowered.
Being in the sun reduces pest problems too. That old devil and his varmints hate the light. The more light the less devil problems.
The vine also needs plenty of water for the roots to grow and expand deep into the ground. The branches can’t produce a healthy life flow without plenty of the water.
Being watered with the word makes us grow in the Lord.
Without the water of the word our roots will shrivel and die or at the very least be stunted in growth.
Roots need to be soaked in water before planting. This is significant because a vine produces healthy branches only after a deep saturation.
The more of the word we are saturated in, the more we become grounded in the truth. It is hard to dig up deep rooted plants.
It is interesting to note that a grapevine needs some type of support system or the branches will trail along the ground. In the same way we need support to grow properly. Without proper support the Lord’s disciples will become bogged down, carrying a lot of burden.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Another important factor in a healthy vineyard is to weed constantly. If weeds grow under the grape vine the soil temperature will stay cooler. This will delay growth.
The cares of this life if not dealt with will choke the branches from receiving life from the vine. We need to hoe out all those worldly cares and troubles. Being diligent to guard our hearts against anything that will clog up our spiritual life.
Jesus tells us that if we continue in him then we will be fruitful but if not then we will wither and possibly die.
A healthy branch abides in the vine and produces much fruit!
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:7-9
To be poor in spirit is to be dependent on God, not on man. When one is poor or dependent on God for provision then one is truly blessed.
It is like having your Father be the owner of an enterprising business rather than being at the mercy of a manager for a pay check.
The poor person who loves Jesus will always see God’s hand of provision in their life. God promises to take care of all his children.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
To be poor in spirit is to be rich in faith. Blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? James 2:5
The widow’s mite is important to the Lord. Not only do blessings come to the sacrificial giver but because the poor are the most generous it seems that through them the gospel is advanced into all the world!
Consider that when you think your widow’s mite is of no significance!
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. Luke 21:1-4
To be poor in spirit is to be blessed with seeing God manifest his provision in your life!
I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Psalm 140:12
Satanic forces are in opposition to our prayers. They want to stop the answers from materializing.
The powers of darkness cannot stop our victory but they most certainly can hinder. So don’t get discouraged over a set back. It’s just the devil putting out his resistance.
PAUL said that he wanted to go and preach in a certain area but the devil hindered him. The devil can hinder but never stop God’s plans. In fact when Satan hinders he usually shoots himself in the foot because it ends up working out for our good anyway!
Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 1Thessalonians 2:18
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Satan tried to hinder Daniel’s prayers but persistence in prayer perservered and won the victory!
“Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14
God gave David a vision. He told him what he was going to do and what the outcome of prayer would accomplish. The Lord has his watchman on the walls and they are in intercession. These watchman are not going to give God any rest until they get their answer. They are determined to pray and never give up.
This promise is yet to be fully realized but it will happen! The Lord has spoken!
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6,7
The Lord also tells us we need to put action to our faith.
Vs. 10 of Isaiah Chapter 62 the Lord gives some strong DO words.
“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.”
When we pray we need to look at how we can prepare the way. Do we have some house cleaning to do? Are there stones in our gardens that need removing? Do we need to be a positive influence some where? How about casting forth that evangelism net if we want revival?
The Bible does say that faith without works is dead being alone. That is a spiritual principle. In other words if we are not actively living out that prayer request then we do not really believe the answer is on its way.
We need to act like we already have the answer if we know that it’s God’s will. This shows the devils that we are not looking at their garbage being thrown at us but rather we are looking to our God who has promised and is faithful to perform his promise.
“Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him,” Isaiah 62:11
Yes, God hears our prayer. No matter how impossible they seem!
If we continue to abide, be faithful and patient, the Lord will bring the victory!
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised. Hebrews 10:23
Unless we are able to admit that we have a problem we can never get healed. This goes for the problem of victimization as well. Many with victim mentality have actually experienced victimization in one form or another. However God does not want us to stay victimized.
As long as we hold on to our “right ” to be a victim because of what some body has done to us we will live defeated lives. This goes for historical victimization as well.
Victim mentality is actually unforgiveness. When we hold the sins commited against us or against our ancestors in our heart we are in disobedience to the word of God. Jesus said plainly that if we do not forgive others their sins then neither will he forgive us ours.
Signs of having a victim mentality are: blaming others, self pity, always focused on the injustice, living in the past, condemning others and ourselves and not taking personal responsibility.
Even though we may have experienced victimization that does not mean that we have to continue to be a victim. God has given us tools in his word to be an overcomer.
Victim mentality starts with the thought life. We have got to see our self as scriptures tell us we are. The Bible says in Proverbs that as a person views themselves in the heart so they are. In other words we become what we tell ourself that we are. If we see ourself as a failure we will fail. If we see ourself in Christ as a victor then we will win.
In order to become a victor we must forgive past hurts and past sins. Let go of holding grudges and blaming some one or something else for our problems. We are not responsible for them but we are responsible before God for us.
When the devil starts to remind you of your past hurts tell him to take a hike in Jesus name. Tell him who you are in Jesus. The more you pray scriptures in Jesus name for yourself, the more God by his Holy Spirit, will work that into your heart. Before you know it you will be in your heart who God says you are. You will believe what the Lord says and you will live like it !
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Romans 8:37
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1John 4:4
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
To be an overcomer we must over come! Overcome the victim mentality the devil throws at us and rise up and be healed!
First of all let me tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean a natural physical descent in the same way as a natural birth.
To be born of God or gennaō ek theos in the Greek is to be born again or regenerated by God. (palingenesia in the Greek)
To regenerate is to regrow or replace something that was missing. To be formed again. To produce anew.
To be born again from a spiritual perspective is to be recreated.
The term palingenesia is actually a Greek Hellenistic word used to describe a process or recreating. To be born again. Restore to the original.
Jesus uses this same word to describe the regeneration of his Kingdom that is to come. The new earth which will be recreated. Restored to it’s original.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28
Keeping this context in mind we can see what is meant by being born again or born of God.
It is actually a recreation process of the Holy Spirit.
In fact the word used for the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. To be born of God. gennaō ek theos.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. Colossians 1:15
Jesus was born of God. His human form was created by the Holy Spirit.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18
Those born of God are recreated or restored to the original. palingenesia
Regenerated from the old man whose spirit was separated from God and dead in sin to the new man made alive in Christ. The new man created in righteous and holiness.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1 Corinthians 15:21-23
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24
To be born of God is to be recreated by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual re birth. Restored to the original. United with God’s Holy Spirit.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6
Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
It is this requirement that makes one a child of God.
All the intellectual ideology about God or all the theological principles of the Bible does not make one a child of God.
Nor does going to church, participating in catechism, saying hail Mary’s, or Bible reading. You MUST be born again.
You MUST be regenerated. You must be restored to the original spiritual creation.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3
That being said what then can one do to acquire this regeneration process?
The Bible makes it clear that we must first of all believe that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Then we must receive him as both Savior and Lord.
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
That means we receive his salvation gift and his Lordship.
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
It is not enough to simply believe in God. Even Satan believes in God.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19
Many believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour but they do not receive him as Lord.
If you confess Jesus as Lord you shall be saved.
Why is this an important factor in the regeneration process?
Because to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord means to confess him as one’s head, having authority over, one’s master and ruler.
Lord kurios in the Greek. “Master,” or “Owner.”
You are not your own but are bought with a price the Bible clearly tells us.
know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
In other words you are redeemed. That is you are the possession of another who has purchased you with a price.
Redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
Jesus Christ purchased you with his blood. He gave his life up for you in exchange for your life belonging to him.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1: 18,19
This means one repents of living a self serving life and surrenders to live a life determined by God in his word.
Repent Metanoeo To change ones mind. To have a a transformative change of heart.
God requires repentance as a part of salvation. Repentance is turning away from what is wrong to what is right.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3″19
For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. 2 Chronicles 30:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Repentance is the fruit which proves one has being born again.
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8
While confession of sin is important it does not save in and of itself. Many confess their sin but keep going back to it.
True repentance stops the sin. In other words one must turn to God in surrender rather than continuing to live a life of sin. Repentance is accompanied with godly sorrow.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10–11
Repentance requires sorrow for sin. Not a sorry I got caught but a sorrow to the point of laying down the sin at the cross and not picking it up again.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3:9
When one reaches a complete surrender of self to God through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance toward him the Holy Spirit will bring regeneration.
Without repentance there is no true salvation.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Jesus said you shall know who belong to him by their fruit.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1John 4:7
Those born of God do not continue in sin.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Corinthians 6:9
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21-23
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John3:9
Those born of God overcome the world. Their faith in Jesus Christ is the victory that overcomes the world.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Now that does not mean there is not a battle and a real devil who tempts but what it does mean is that a true born of God person will not continue to live a lifestyle of sin.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
To be born of God is to be born of the Spirit and born of the word. These two agree in one. The word of God is the seed. The logos which is made alive by the Spirit.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:4-12
If you are born of God or become born of God scriptures tell us to grow up in the Lord by feeding on his word the Bible. Then you will mature and become the person God has created you to be!
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
The Bible tells us that the Lord’s words are pure.
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth. Purified seven times. Psalms 12:2
Lets break this down to get a better look at the meaning.
The Lord’s words are (ţâhôr in the Hebrew) morally up right. They are fair, clean, pure.
To be pure means to be free from contamination. Not mixed with any other substance or material.
To be fair is to be legitimate. Without cheating or having an unjust advantage.
To be clean is to be free of marks, stains or blemishes. Morally uncontaminated.
To be moral is to be right and good. Having a high standard.
Upright is to be straight, honorable and honest.
Like silver the Lord’s words are tried in a furnace of earth. God’s word stands the test of every fiery trial!
Silver is a rare metal. Valuable mostly for its ornamental use because it is so soft and pliable. It also had monetary value.
Silver has the highest electrical conductivity and second in thermal conductivity. (the ability to transmit energy and heat)
This is significant because in the same way that energy passes through silver metal to an outlet the word of God releases spiritual energy to a recipient.
In other words the word of God is able to transmit Holy Spirit empowered activity to the one seeking or praying for it.
Silver purified from the led ore is resistant to corrosion unless exposed to Sulphur.
In the same way when God’s word is mixed with demonic deception it becomes contaminated.
This is why the Bible tells us to desire the pure word of God. Not mixed with heresy or false interjections. 1 Peter 2:2
Silver in Biblical times was purified several times in a clay crucible (furnace) in order to extract all infirmities.
The Lord’s words are purified 7 times.
The number 7 in Hebrew symbolism refers to perfection or completeness.
The Lord’s pure word is undefiled from any contamination.
In other words God’s word has power and authority over everything that exists.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16:17
Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. Matthew 8:5-13
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matthew 28:18
Jesus is the word of God made flesh. John 1:14
His name is the word of God. Revelation 19:13
Christians are born again of the Holy Spirit and the pure WORD OF GOD. 1 Peter 1:23
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5
Many in the world do not have this kind of security. They put their trust instead in the universe.
To put one’s trust in the universe is to put trust in fate.
What is fate? By definition fate is events beyond a person’s control that is determined by a supernatural power.
In ancient Greek and Roman mythology fate was determined by the gods. When the gods destined one’s life it was predetermined by fate.
Fate or the universe in effect is luck which is failure or success brought on by fate (whim of the gods)rather than one’s own actions.
To trust in the universe or fate is really to trust in a supernatural power to order the events of one’s life.
What supernatural power are they trusting in?
The God of the Bible requires surrender to his Son Jesus Christ. YHWY requires accountability for actions. The outcomes of one’s life are determined by the choices one makes in life.
Isaiah 1:19, 20 Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Joshua 24:14
As any logical person knows the universe is an abstract material element and not something able to determine one’s life outcomes.
The universe is matter and space as a whole that make up life as we know it. The universe is not able to determine the events of one’s life. That would be like trusting in the moon or a comet. These are material elements. There is no mind. No magic wand. No personality.
God on the other hand is a personality. He has a mind and supernatural power.
To trust in the one true God is to trust in a power that is higher than oneself. This requires allegiance. Not the whim and fancy of a fallen star disguised as a deity.
Why do you think that many people put their trust in the universe instead of God?
Because trusting in God means dependence on someone with the ability to have control over one’s life.
Trusting in random chance and the universe are less threatening to those who want to be in control of their own life.
The universe can be manipulated! Bamboozled! Conned into determining their outcomes.
What does trusting in the universe really mean?
Trusting in the universe means trusting in fate. Trusting in fate is trusting in luck, which determines good or bad outcomes.
When people say that they are trusting in the universe, in effect what they are saying is that they are trusting in fate which they hope will make them lucky.
The universe however is not the source of the outcomes because the universe is a material reality not a supernatural reality.
Whence then comes this supernatural reality? Fate is none other than a fallen one spoken of in the Bible.
Isaiah 14:12 2 Corinthians 4:4
A rebel who did not like to submit to the one true God. Therefore that rebel was cast out to dwell over the affairs of all the rebellious who dwell on the earth.
If one does not surrender to God who gave his Son Jesus Christ to save us all from the eternal consequences of having an non surrendered disobedient life then one’s fate is in no way going to be lucky.
In fact the Bible says that rebellion is like witchcraft. That is rebellion just like witchcraft seeks to dominate and control life events through the use of manipulation.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. 1 Samuel 15:23
Kind of like trusting in the universe or trusting in fate to get lucky.
Surrendering to Jesus Christ is trusting in the God who has definite good guaranteed outcomes.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Those outcomes are determined by obedience to God’s word which produce an abundant life. A life that is satisfied, safe, blessed and eternally secure.
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .
Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.
Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.
“You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.
This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.
This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.
The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.
One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.
As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.
The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.
Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.
Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.
God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13
Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.
In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.
Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.
Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.
Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.
The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?
Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.
Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.
According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.
“And he must needs go through Samaria.”
Jesus had an appointment.
The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.
After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”
Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.
Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.
Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.
Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.“
Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.
Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”
Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.
Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.
When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.
Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.
One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.
Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.
The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.
“When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.“
Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”
Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.
When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!
There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.
The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.
Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!
Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.
Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16
When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51
Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8
Notice the pattern?
Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.
Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?
Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.
Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.
Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8