Why Did Humanity Throng Jesus?

Why Did Humanity Throng Jesus?

A THRONG means a multitude, crowd, mass of people, or swarm of people.  The Bible points out that everywhere that Jesus traveled, people swarmed to Him.  They ran to Jesus in hope, out of need, and due to a yearning to see the hand of God operating among them.

The people not only crowded around the Lord, but they were actually pressing in upon Him—trying to get as close to Him as they possibly could.  Let’s turn to the Bible:

And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.  (Mk 5:24 NASB)

And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”  (Mk 5:31 NASB, emphasis added)

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret . . . (Lk 5:1 ESV)

. . . because his twelve-year-old child was dying. She was his only daughter. While Jesus was on his way, people were crowding all around Him.  (Lk 8:42 CEV)

Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” While everyone was denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing in on you.”  (Lk 8:45 ISV)

The people wanted and needed to experience the forgiveness, the love and the mercy of God that Jesus radiated to all who were exposed to Him.  All human beings desire love and acceptance, and no one conveyed that as powerfully and as genuinely as Jesus Christ did.

In the physical presence of Jesus, I believe that every human being on earth would react in just the same way today as people did in Bible times. 

What we would do well to remember is that we already having a loving and personal relationship with Jesus as our Savior, Lord, and Messiah.  We have access to all of His blessings and to His presence in our lives.  All we need to do is to stop, and get alone with Him in a place of prayer and worship.  At once, the Lord’s presence will be magnified as we focus upon Him, alone.  God bless you.

Why Forgiveness is Important

Why Forgiveness is Important

Jesus is our perfect example in all things, and He demonstrated forgiveness to us.  (See John 8:7 & 11)  Let’s see what else the Scriptures teach us on this topic.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (Mt 6:14-15 ESV)

Whenever you stand up to pray, you must forgive what others have done to you. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.  (Mk 11:25 CEV)

Both preceding verses remind us that as we forgive other people for ways in which they hurt us, our Father God also forgives us for our sins.  And they warn that if we don’t forgive others their transgressions, then the Lord won’t be able to forgive us.  Why?  Because our unforgiving attitude separates us from God, and from His loving plan for all people.  Unforgiveness can become a bitter root within us corrupting our faith in God.

But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  (Lk 6:35-36 NASB)

In Luke 6, we’re taught by the Lord to love our enemies and even to do good to them.  We’re told to lend, without expecting repayment—but then the Lord will give us a great reward.  The reason for that is that the Lord is kind to ungrateful and evil people, and when we act the same way, He is mightily pleased with us.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  (Col 3:13 NIV)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  (Eph 4:32 NIV)

The two verses above in Colossians and Ephesians emphasize that we should be patient with each other and kind to one another.  And again, we are urged most definitely to forgive others in honor and remembrance of the fact that the Lord has forgiven us repeatedly.  As we humbly recall the many occasions that our Savior has forgiven every one of us, we can begin to recognize that the Lord is not asking us to do anything that He has not already done!

After forgiving someone, it may be necessary for us to forgive them again for the same issue.  Not because they have offended us again, but because the enemy of our souls tries to tempt us by reminding us of the offense to break our fellowship with Jesus. 

That gives us the opportunity to submit to the Lord and pray, telling ourselves and the entire spiritual realm that we forgive the one who hurt us, and we do so freely in obedience to the Lord.  The Lord will give us the grace that we need to be able to arrive at the peace that He so fully provides as the Prince of Peace.  God bless you!

The Light Shines in Darkness

The Light Shines in Darkness

We all know that in a dark place, even the tiniest light—say from a lit match—introduces light that is quite CONSPICUOUS.  In John 8:12, Jesus declared that He is the light of the world.  In the dark world that contains death, sin, and evil intentions, Jesus brought light and life and the precious gift of eternal salvation to mankind.  Glory to God!

Let’s see what the Bible says on this topic:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  (Joh 1:5 NIV)  Light will always win over darkness, thanks to our Creator God.

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  (Joh 3:19-20 RSV)  Notice that a lot of evil deeds are done in the darkness and in the nighttime hours.  Criminals will often break lights on a street or in a hallway in order to hide their cruel activities.

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”  (Mt 4:16 NKJV)  Light dawned upon the earth in the form of baby Jesus, born in a manger in a stable.  Jesus brought us the gift of salvation.

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.  (Ps 18:28 ESV)  The Lord “lights” the lamp of our soul within us.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, the Holy Spirit makes His home within each one of us.  Hallelujah!

Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”   (Joh 8:12 CEV)

Here is the same verse as above, but in a different translation:

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  (John 8:12 NKJV)

As we continue in our relationship with Jesus Christ, our light shines into the world.  Our interactions with every person that we meet, whether loved ones or strangers, makes an impact upon each one. 

When we follow the example of our Lord Jesus, then our interactions will reflect His love, forgiveness, and mercy.  We will extend a loving and helping hand to all who need it, and encouragement to others.  In this way, we shine the light of God’s eternal love into the earth.  Shine brightly, dear brothers and sisters!

Mercy, Peace & Love be Multiplied

Mercy, Peace & Love be Multiplied

Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.  (Jud 1:2 NKJV)

Take another look at that verse!  The Holy Spirit chose to intensify the blessings of mercy, peace and grace by using the word multiplied.

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (Rom 1:7 NIV)

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  (2 Pet 1:2 NIV)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.  (Gal 6:15-16 NKJV)

MERCY means:  1) compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm; 2) compassion, kindness or goodwill towards the miserable and afflicted.  Mercy is when God decides not to punish us for our sins and wrongdoings.

PEACE means:  1) freedom from disturbance; tranquility; 2) to experience tranquility, harmony, and agreement.  Psalm 7:11 (NKJV) says, God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.  But the Lord is not angry with believers.  Jesus has purchased reconciliation and peace between believers and God.  This is the peace that Jesus promised in John 14:27 (NKJV):  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  This is the peace that Jesus experienced in the core of His own pain and suffering that He shares with us.

LOVE:  agape, Greek agapē, in the New Testament; the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God. In Scripture, the transcendent agape love is the highest form of love.  This kind of love is not based on performance or precision; it flows from the pure heart of God.  This is a miracle-working type of love that has been given to us through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.  It’s the most selfless and generous form of love we can imagine. 

Jude begins his letter by praying this triad of blessings on all believers:  Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.  (Jud 1:2 NKJV)  And he prayed for these blessings to be multiplied to us.  He desires these blessings to come upon each believer in waves of blessings.  He wants these blessings to flourish, proliferate, and be magnified in our lives—that they exceedingly abound!   The blessings of God are found in His mercy, His peace, and His love— which are all revealed through His Son and extravagantly imparted to us by the Spirit.  Glory to God!

God Makes Wars Cease

God Makes Wars Cease

Jesus is the Prince of Peace referred to in Isaiah 9:6.  It makes sense that the Prince of Peace, sent by His heavenly Father, is opposed to war.  Instead, He chose to make changes on earth through His love and His self-sacrifice even to the point of dying on the cross for us.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.  (Ps 46:9)  God’s mighty power extends all over the earth in every country, region, and land.  He has power to demolish weapons and bring an end to war anywhere on earth.

Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand.  (Ezek 39:3)  The Lord can cause weapons to be forcefully removed from human hands and to fall out of a person’s strongest hand! Wow!

He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  (Isa 2:4)  In God’s perfect timing, He will cause nations to destroy their weapons and cease from attacking one another. 

Until that time, Christians are to “make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”  (Heb 12:14) The gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News for all human beings.  It establishes peace between God and man through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. 

We should always promote peace instead of discord, and be instruments of God to demonstrate His love, mercy, and forgiveness to all.  We are blessed!

The Importance of Forgiveness

The Importance of Forgiveness

Today we meditate upon God’s Word concerning forgiveness.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.  (Mt 18:21-22 NIV)

The Lord is telling us that we must practice forgiveness, and grow so accustomed to it that it becomes habitual.  Does that surprise you?  But that is the way that God forgives each and every one of us!  Whenever we repent of any sin, whether small or large, God faithfully forgives us.

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”  (Lk 17:3-4 NKJV) 

Again, we understand that forgiveness is something that all who follow Jesus Christ must do without grudging.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  (Mt 6:14-15 NKJV)

Now, we see that it can even be self-serving to forgive other people, because God’s Word says that if we forgive other people’s sins that God also forgives our sins.  Thank God!

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”  (Mk 11:25 NKJV)

This verse encourages us to forgive anyone who has injured us. 

Of course, it requires the grace of God for us to be able to forgive someone who has betrayed us, wounded us emotionally, or injured us physically.  All we need to do is to ask the Lord to give us His grace to be able to forgive.  And He will.

When we give it all to God and know that God sees all of the hurts that we have endured and that He stands with us, empowering us to forgive, we find that we have the grace that we need to do what God has asked us to do.  And never forget that He blesses our obedience to His Word. God bless you.

Make Every Effort to Do Good to All

Make Every Effort to Do Good to All

The Bible invites us to do good to everyone.

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  (1 Thes 5:15 NIV)

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Gal 6:10)

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord . . .  (Heb 12:14)

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.  (3 Joh 1:11)

As children of the most High God, we desire to live holy lives that obey the Word of God.  We serve a good God who is full of mercy, forgiveness, and love.  God has given every believer the blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who leads us and teaches us. 

We should:

  • Strive to do whatever is good—for each other and everyone else;
  • Never pay back a wrong; never seek revenge;
  • As we have opportunity, do noble, virtuous, kind things for everyone—especially other believers;
  • Seek to be at peace with ALL; and
  • Pursue holiness always.

Jesus, our Good Shepherd, demonstrated “doing good” to all.  If we follow His example, and emulate our Prince of Peace, we will be blessed.

The Message of the Cross

The Message of the Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18 NIV, underlining and emphasis added) 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (Rom 1:16, emphasis added)

 . . .  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  (1 Cor 1:23-25, emphasis added)

. . . because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  (1 Thes 1:5 ESV, emphasis added)

The message of the cross is sometimes referred to as the:

  • Gospel of Christ (Rom 1:16)
  • Good News (1 Thes 3:6)
  • Power of God (1 Cor 1:23-25)
  • Wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:23-25)
  • Resurrection Gospel (1 Cor 15, entire chapter)

What is the message of the cross?  It is that God LOVES the world, and desires to be in RELATIONSHIP with each and every one of us.  Thanks to this truth, the Father God provided salvation to all mankind through Jesus Christ.

Jesus humbled himself in coming to earth as a newborn baby.  He grew up as a normal, human boy and learned the trade of carpentry.  He lived a sinless, perfect life serving His heavenly Father.  Jesus preached Good News, and demonstrated the love of His heavenly Father by performing signs, wonders, and miracles. 

Jesus displayed the need for continuous fellowship with His Father, as well as drawing apart for prayer.  He modeled forgiveness, wisdom, and walking in the Spirit for us all.

The symbol of the cross is an icon of grim human suffering and public humiliation.  Jesus’ suffering and subsequent death and resurrection are all part of the message of the cross.  In the light of Christ’s resurrection, there is restoration of hope, complete joy, and utter triumph.  Hallelujah!

Notice that the preaching of this gospel of salvation is always accompanied by the POWER of God.

The message of the cross proves the magnitude of the love that God has for mankind.

The Way, the Truth & the Life

The Way, the Truth & the Life

Why did Jesus connect Himself with these three words and how does it impact a life of faith?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  (Joh 14:6)

Jesus said this to His followers the night before He was crucified.  He was preparing them for the challenging days that were ahead of them.

  • Jesus asserts that He is the Way which suggests that faith in Him is the open door to salvation and to eternal life.  This is the truth that the Good News is based upon, and we need to share it with everyone.  God has made the plan of salvation clear, and we have been given the honor of sharing His Gospel with everyone.

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  (Joh 10:9) This is the Lord saying that He is to Door to Salvation and Eternal Life.   “Finding pasture” means that the Lord will supply all of our needs just as a shepherd cares for all of the needs of his sheep.

. . . that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (Joh 3:15)  Believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior is the only road to God.

  • Jesus says that He is the Life because He is also the author and source of all of life. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  (Joh 1:1-4)  Jesus is the Word made flesh and this verse is the foundation for that truth.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  (Joh 11:25-26)  Jesus makes His claim clearly here that He is the resurrection and the life.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.   (Col 1:16)  All forms of life were created by the Lord.

  • No one would care about or remember Jesus’ claim to be the Way and the Life if He was not also, in reality, the Truth of God.  Jesus’ actions and entire life demonstrate the love, mercy, forgiveness, and miracle-working power of the Father God.  It is no wonder then, that Jesus prays the following prayer:

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.  (Joh 17:15-19, emphasis added)

Jesus prayed, “Your word is truth.”  Jesus is known as the living Word of God.  (John 1:1, 14)

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  (Rev 19:13)  This verse is referring to Jesus Christ and says that He is called The Word of God.

Jesus is the living Word of God and God’s Word is truth.  Jesus was speaking the truth about Himself!  Praise the Lord!

Union With Christ

Union With Christ

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  (Rom 6:5-6 NIV)

. . . always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  (2 Cor 4:10 NKJV)

. . . even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . . (Eph 2:5-6 NKJV)

These Bible passages are discussing a believer’s union with Christ.  Union with Christ refers to the relationship between the believer and Jesus Christ.  It also refers to a willing loyalty of Christ to the believer, as well as a loyalty of the believer to our Lord Jesus. 

The first 14 verses of Ephesians, chapter One, explain some of the blessings that we receive from being united with Christ.  These passages reinforce our understanding that we are blessed and highly favored by God. 

Unity in Christ—a result of our salvation—brings about an ongoing redemptive work in a believer’s life and conduct.  As we come to know and understand our Savior, and through the Bible learn about our untold blessings, we yearn to live in a manner that is completely pleasing to the Lord.  This is understandable. 

Even as a small child who is loved, valued and protected by their parents will choose to please and obey those good parents—so also does a believer desire to please and to obey our loving and merciful Savior.  From His hand we receive forgiveness, favor, health, prosperity, protection, provision, and the gift of grace to enable us daily. 

Our God is a good God.  He blesses people and nations, whether they acknowledge Him or not.  He places people in governing positions for the sake of giving people order and safety in the world.  He blesses believers individually as we love, obey, and serve Him.

In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. (Hos 3:5b NLT)  As this Scriptures states, in the end times we will tremble with awe because of the Lord’s magnificence and His unimaginable goodness to mankind.  Glory to God!