When someone offers a free gift automatically we ask, “What’s in it for you?”
Human nature is not so trusting. Most of us have not fallen off the turnup truck yesterday! Something free usually has a benefit for the giver in there some where.
I would like to point out that God’s free gift has no benefit for the giver at all. In fact quite the opposite. All the benefits go to the recipient!
What could one possibly give to the God who made everything and owns everything? Ever try to buy a rich friend a gift? Quite impossible actually. Even if you gave a home made card all you have given is sentiment. Nice to know they are thought about but still you can’t measure up. They can get anything they want for themselves!
God has given a gift to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. Everyone who puts their trust in him for salvation will be given eternal life. They will pass from death to life.
This free gift of God’s salvation is motivated by his love and is an expression of his mercy. This free gift of salvation is God’s undeserved unmerited gift.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
The gift of God is not earned! We can’t work for it! We don’t need to do penitence or any kind of work or ritual to get it. A gift is simply received! That’s it!
The great thing about receiving God’s free gift is that not only are we saved by grace or undeserved mercy BUT a part of the gift is the empowerment to live a life that pleases God! He gives us the ability by his power to endure all trials and tribulations in this world because we have the assurance of an eternity spent with him.
He provides all our needs because he is our all in all! God gives us his free gift of salvation and he takes care of us while we are in this world as well!
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” 2 Corinthians 12:9
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
God’s grace saves us and also empowers us to live a life that pleases him! As we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit we are blessed with God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Saved by grace is different than being saved by faith as some in error preach. They put the cart before the horse!
This difference is very important. If we are saved by faith we make the salvation experience about our own effort, our own ability, but God has chosen grace because it involves no effort on our part at all.
“For by graceyou have been saved through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If we had anything at all to do with our salvation we might have reason to boast but God has made salvation a free gift to those who receive (through faith) this gift of his mercy.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16
Not only does God give us grace to be saved but he also gives us grace to stay saved!
Are you trusting in God’s grace through Jesus Christ for his salvation? All you have to do is ask! Turn to Jesus with all your heart for he is mighty to save!
In Matthew 6:28 Jesus tells his disciples to consider the lilies of the field.
The most probable flower that Jesus was referring to is considered by plant specialists to be an Anemone coronaria, a common field flower which can be red, purple or pink with black centers.
The Anemone coronaria incidentally is Israel’s national flower.They are usually found in meadows and grassy hillsides. In Jerusalem the red ones are more frequently found while in the basalt slopes north of the sea of Galilee blue and white are found growing on the hillsides.
The Hebrew name for this flower is Kalanit from the word kala which means beautiful like a bride.
Consider the lilies of the field. The Kalanit arrayed like a bride which Jesus says are more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory.
Jesus likened these field lilies to be more beautifully arrayed than Solomon’s kingdom.
Considering that Solomon’s glory was a magnificent kingdom full of pomp and splendor this is a fantastic statement.
Why would the Lord say that field flowers were more beautiful than Solomon’s glory?
The fact that their name means bride may give us a clue.
Was Jesus looking to his future bride? His bride so beautiful that she is more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory?
These field lilies are not only beautiful but Jesus told us that they do not toil or spin. That is they do not do any work!
To toil in Hebrew is kopiaō which means to work hard or labor until one is fatigued.
To spin is nēthō which means to spin yarn.
Spinning yarn was a laborious work in Jesus’ time. Spinning was twisting fibers together by hand in order to make material for clothing.
In Solomon’s kingdom all the pomp and splendor was achieved by hard work. Also the temple Solomon build was constructed by slaves. These slaves did hard labor. Probably from sunup to sun down.
The lilies of the field do not labor or spin. They just naturally grow and become beautiful without any labor at all. With rain and sunshine provided by their Creator the lilies of the field become beautifully arrayed in their glory.
It seems that Jesus is pointing out that under the law like Solomon’s Kingdom, the slave must work to build a temple or building for God to take up residence.
Those under the law are servants of sin who must labor under a ruler or the law, sacrificing animals to atone for their sin in a temple made by men.
Jesus is using a metaphor to tell us that the splendor of the dispensation of the law is not as glorious as the dispensation of grace where the beauty of the Lord resides in his bride.
The bride has no need to labor for the Savior has purchased her with his own blood. The bride has no need to spin or be clothed with the temporary intermedatories of animals because she is clothed in the righteous of Jesus Christ.
The bride is altogether beautiful. Altogether lovely in her pure white garment! Altogether more splendid than the glory of the former dispensation!
Consider the liles of the field for they neither toil nor spin. They take no thought to toil laboriously to achieve right standing with God.
All the work has been done by Jesus Christ the Messiah ! (Yeshua Mashiach) It is finished!
It is interesting to note that the very first person that Jesus revealed himself to after he was risen from the dead was Mary Magdalene.
Why do you think that was? Something to think about!
Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9
Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ disciples. She is mentioned many times in the gospels.
Because Mary was a common name of the time and several other women called Mary followed Jesus too the name Magdalene was given to distinguish her from the others.
Mary was probably from Magdala. A fishing village in Galilee. This is interesting because Mary Magdalene was the first evangelist to go and tell others that Jesus was risen from the dead!
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4: 19
Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus Christ who also supported his ministry.
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1-56
Mary Magdalene was a woman that had seven demons cast out of her. Why would scriptures mention that Mary Magdalene had 7 devils cast out of her?
Scriptures do not tell us that any of the disciples had demons cast out of them. To be demonized meant she had some kind of suffering. Maybe sickness or trauma or a sinful lifestyle. We don’t really know. What we do know is that Mary Magdalene became devoted to Jesus Christ. This means that whatever ailments she had she was truly grateful to be healed! 7 is the Hebrew number for perfection. Mary Magdalene’s healing was complete. She was made whole!
Mary Magdalene stood faithfully with Jesus as he was crucified. She never fled. She was there praying.
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[of God!”
There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Mark 27:50-56
This may be one of the reasons why Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus Christ risen from the dead and was commissioned to tell the disciples about it.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
Since women’s testimony was generally excluded under Jewish law the fact that Jesus revealed himself to Mary Magdalene first and commissioned her to tell the other disciples is significant.
The scriptures tell us that according to the law of Moses without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness or remission of sins.
The KJV uses the word remission which is more than just forgiveness. It means to be set free from sin and its consequence.
Remission in the Greek, is aphesis, which means forgiveness, deliverance and liberty. To not only be forgiven (letting go as if they had never been committed), but to be released from the bondage or imprisonment of the penalty for sin.
Sin has consequence. Under the law, a life must be given up for a life. The soul that sins shall die. Romans 6:23
Jesus, who was without sin, gave his life up for the sinner who repents and forsakes their sin. Repentance is a big factor in the remission process. Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin. In order to receive this remission of sin, one must repent.
Without repentance, there is no remission of sins. Acts 2:38
Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Acts 3:19
Repentance Metanoeo in the Greek is to have a change of mind for the better. To turn from sin or breaking God’s laws. To be converted to God’s word. That is to receive the gospel’s truth.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. Isaiah 52:9
Sin has consequence. It produces death. Not just eternal death but death as in no life of God. It separates us from God. He does not hear prayer, we lose our joy, and we can become fearful, sick and weak.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. Galatians 6:8
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:19
Scriptures tell us that it is FAITH IN THE BLOOD that saves from the penalty of sin. When we repent and turn to the truth of the gospel we must have faith in the blood of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Romans 3:25
We cannot save ourselves by good works or good deeds.
Romans Chapter 3 tells us that under the law we all are condemned to die eternally because of sin. Unless we turn to Jesus Christ for the remission of our sin.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. Romans 3:25
Once we are forgiven by repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus Christthen we are made righteous before God as if we have never sinned.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 5:21
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippians 3:9
If we confess our sin to God, repent of our sin and have faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven and made righteous by God as if we have never sinned.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. John 1:9
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
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
Are you saved? You might ask yourself, “What do I need saving from?” The first thing every one needs saving from is the wrath of God. What? You mean God is mad at me?
God is mad at behaviors that are destructive. Both to us and to others. Would you like to invite an infected person with a contagious disease to take up residence in your house? I did not think so.
Destructive behaviors are corrupting. God calls it sin or a disease of the heart. You might say to yourself. “Well I’m not that bad! There are worst people than me out there!”
While that may be true, you are still infected. Just one little symptom! One little bad deed. One little bad thought. One little bad attitude is enough to disqualify you from God’s presence both now and eternally.
Ever wonder why you do not see God or hear from God or feel God? Ever wonder why you feel condemned deep in your heart no matter what achievements you attain in life? Its because you have that dreaded spiritual disease!
The Bible says that sin separates us from God! Unless you are inoculated with a spiritual antibody you are toast!! Sounds harsh but well, life is harsh. Sugar coat it all you want to, but the reality is life is not so easy. This world is full of all kinds of dangers. All kinds of really horrible things!
God has the answer for your situation no matter what it is. You need God to save you! Yes, you need to be preserved and delivered from ruin! You need to be saved from God’s wrath!
So, if you need saving then it only stands to reason that you need a Saviour!
Who you may wonder can save if we all need saving? The answer is God himself. Once God gives you his inoculation then you can be disease free! You can have relationship with God both in this life and in eternity!
Jesus is God who took on human form. He became the antibody for sin. If you receive Jesus, then you can be accepted by God and get to know him in a personal relationship. God will make himself known to you. If you reject Jesus, well I do not have to tell you how that will turn out, now do I?
Another thing. You can try to hide from the disease by wearing a mask, washing yourself till your skin bleads, hide away in your own little world but a contagious disease will eventually find you out any way. After all disease without an antibody spreads like hell.
God is offering you his salvation today. Its free. God has a great health plan! There is nothing you have to do to earn it either! All free with great benefits!
How do I sign up for this great salvation? The Bible says that whoever calls on Jesus Christ will be saved. Saved from sin, saved from God’s wrath and saved for eternity!