Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11
Difficult Lesson

John 6:43-71

New International Version (NIV)
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[a] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[b] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
It's no wonder that the disciples had a hard time with the message Jesus was trying to give them in this lesson.
What would YOU think if someone you loved and respected said to you, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them"?
But what is Jesus really saying?
He is saying that to partake of take in WHO HE IS...we will be given eternal life....
He gives us the elements to represent Himself in the eating of the bread, and the drinking of the wine for remembrance of WHOSE we are...
But the true feeding on him, is in being filled with the Holy Spirit and continuing to pray and read the scriptures every day.
That wonderful communion with Him can happen no other way other than prayer and reading the Word.
Don't be like those who were so offended at Jesus' words, and left to go their own way because they could not accept His teaching.
Just as we need earthly food for our physical bodies to survive... so we need spiritual food for our spirits to survive in our relationship with Jesus Christ.


Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10

John 6:22-42        New International Version (NIV)

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
Jesus the Bread of Life
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[a]
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
Questions to ponder:
vs  24 Did you see the effort they made to find Jesus? Would you do such a thing?
vs 24  What kind of effort do you put in, hoping to receive a seal of approval from the Lord?
vs 33  Are you feasting regularly on the bread that gives life?
vs 40  What is the Father's will concerning you? What is His purpose for you? What is your destiny?

Lord, as we meditate on your Word today, help us to understand your will for us. Help us to have the courage to keep our lives pure and free from the entanglements of the world.
Help us to use everything we have to serve you.......surrendered to your Will. Amen

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 9
Don't Be Afraid

John 6:1-21  New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Jesus Walks on the Water
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
Two of the most well-known miracles of Jesus are recorded in these verses.
They are amazing, and in them,  the Lord shows His ability to fill the needs of those He ministers to, and His ability to come to us in any situation.
When we see things that defy explanation, things on a supernatural level, we generally are awestruck... but also somewhat afraid, if we are honest.
As people, we tend to not like things that are beyond our ability to explain them. So witnessing something of the miraculous from the Lord, may cause us to fear.
Keep in mind, if you are so blessed to see such a miracle, things that appear miraculous to us, are quite the normal for God Almighty!
He who created the water, could certainly choose to walk upon it!
As he sees fit, He could easily extend a meal that would feed a handful, to a meal that would feed 5000 or more!
Keep your eyes open for the wonders of God, and do not be afraid!
He is a very Big God capable of doing Very Big Things!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May 8

John 5:24-47    New International Version (NIV)
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Testimonies About Jesus
31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.
33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study[a] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God[b]?
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
Reading through the gospels, I find it so strange that all of the Jews didn't believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.
From the beginning of the scriptures, He is spoken of, and waited for.... even longed for, by the Jewish nation..
And yet, as He lived with them, and fulfilled all prophecy before their very eyes... they were blind to His identity.
I wonder whether we will be the same, when He returns?
Will some of us be so skeptical that we will miss who He is?
Keep reading the word, dear friends!
As you study scripture, the signs of His coming will be revealed to you.
Keep reading, so that when you see those events taking place, you will recognize instantly, the One and Only Son of God at His appearing!
Questions to ponder:
vs 24: Am I searching for a fresh word from God, fresh insight, revelations from Him that will enable my faith to grow?
vs 32: Do I trust the Holy Spirit and the testimony he gives concerning the Lord Jesus Christ?
vs 40: Do I have an inward debate going on about the truth of the scriptures concerning the Christ?
vs 44: What kind of effort am I making to settle myself before God, that He would be pleased with my life and my soul?


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7

John 5:1-23       New English Translation (NET)        

Healing a Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda

5 After this there was a Jewish feast, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool called Bethzatha in Aramaic, which has five covered walkways. 3 A great number of sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed people were lying in these walkways. 5 Now a man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and when he realized that the man had been disabled a long time already, he said to him, “Do you want to become well?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get into the water, someone else goes down there before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 Immediately the man was healed, and he picked up his mat and started walking. (Now that day was a Sabbath.)
10 So the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and you are not permitted to carry your mat.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” 13 But the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped out, since there was a crowd in that place.
14 After this Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “Look, you have become well. Don’t sin any more, lest anything worse happen to you.” 15 The man went away and informed the Jewish leaders that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Responding to Jewish Leaders
16 Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began persecuting him. 17 So he told them, “My Father is working until now, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason the Jewish leaders were trying even harder to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was also calling God his own Father, thus making himself equal with God.
19 So Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does, and will show him greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. 22 Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
questions to ponder:
Am I willing to step outside of the cultural or religious norms to obey what the Lord desires for me?
Have I left myself open to the world, so that sin in my life may have..or could in the future, cause me hardship?
Do I revere the Son of God, knowing all that the Father has placed in his Hands?
Help me Lord God, to understand enough of who You are, so that I can see the amazing future you have planned for me........that I may experience who you are in my life...that I may understand that the Lord Jesus Christ holds judgement in His Hands! Amen!

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6
What to Believe?

John 4:43-54                     New English Translation (NET)

Onward to Galilee
43 After the two days he departed from there to Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him because they had seen all the things he had done in Jerusalem at the feast (for they themselves had gone to the feast).
Healing the Royal Official’s Son
46 Now he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had made the water wine. In Capernaum there was a certain royal official whose son was sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come back from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and begged him to come down and heal his son, who was about to die. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will never believe!” 49 “Sir,” the official said to him, “come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus told him, “Go home; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and set off for home.
51 While he was on his way down, his slaves met him and told him that his son was going to live. 52 So he asked them the time when his condition began to improve, and they told him, “Yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that it was the very time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he himself believed along with his entire household. 54 Jesus did this as his second miraculous sign when he returned from Judea to Galilee.
Isn't it difficult in today's world to know "what to believe?"
We are given so much information each and every day, that it becomes a chore to sort it all out.
The studies, reports, reviews, newsletters, books, press conferences.... always feeding us new and "better" information....
We want the truth.... we want it NOW.... and the sources are willing to give it to us... constantly.
How precious is it, to know that we can turn off the media, tune out the current news, pick up our Bible and read the TRUTH!
Unchanging, unshakeable, undeniable.....TRUTH!
When the pressures of the world are overwhelming you~ turn to Jesus.
He holds all truth out to us everyday.
Questions to ponder:
vs 44: Do I need to remind myself that those most familiar with me may find it challenging to receive from me?
vs 48: Do I need a sign, or some miraculous wonder, to stretch my faith out? To believe  God for answers to those seemingly impossible situations in life?
vs 53: has my life been such a witness, that after a life changing, perhaps a near death experience,  every one around me would see and believe in the power of God?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 5
John 4:4-42                     New English Translation (NET)
Conversation With a Samaritan Woman
4 But he had to pass through Samaria. 5 Now he came to a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, so Jesus, since he was tired from the journey, sat right down beside the well. It was about noon.
7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone off into the town to buy supplies.) 9 So the Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you—a Jew—ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water to drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you had known the gift of God and who it is who said to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said to him, “you have no bucket and the well is deep; where then do you get this living water? 12 Surely you’re not greater than our ancestor Jacob, are you? For he gave us this well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock.”
13 Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16 He said to her, “Go call your husband and come back here.” 17 The woman replied, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “Right you are when you said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband. This you said truthfully!”
19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you people say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You people worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming—and now is here—when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ); “whenever he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”
The Disciples Return
27 Now at that very moment his disciples came back. They were shocked because he was speaking with a woman. However, no one said, “What do you want?” or “Why are you speaking with her?” 28 Then the woman left her water jar, went off into the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, can he?” 30 So they left the town and began coming to him.
Workers for the Harvest
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 So the disciples began to say to one another, “No one brought him anything to eat, did they?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work. 35 Don’t you say, ‘There are four more months and then comes the harvest?’ I tell you, look up and see that the fields are already white for harvest! 36 The one who reaps receives pay and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the one who sows and the one who reaps can rejoice together. 37 For in this instance the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you did not work for; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”
The Samaritans Respond
39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the report of the woman who testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they began asking him to stay with them. He stayed there two days, 41 and because of his word many more believed. 42 They said to the woman, “No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one really is the Savior of the world.”
vs 13-14: Do i have, residing in me, that well of eternal life, springing out from my soul. ready for any who are thristy for the truth, for The Christ?
Help me, Lord, to be spiritually aware of those around me who need to hear your Word of Truth so that they may receive eternal life!