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  • May 10 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The “No More’s” of Jesus (John 5:14)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The “No More’s” of Jesus (John 5:14)

05.10.2015

05.10.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

Download Notes in a .RTF file

The ‘No Mores’ of Jesus

John 5:14 (Pastor Brian)

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’”


 

  1. Isaiah 43:25 “For my own sake”
  2. Jeremiah 31:34 “No more”
  3. Hebrews 8:12 “No more”
  4. Hebrews 10:17 “No more”
  5. John 5:14 (also John 8)

Writer to the Hebrews is saying, “Hey! Don’t go back! Keep on keepin’ on! Keep on trusting in Jesus. He’s FINISHED it. You can’t go back.” There are many severe warnings about going back (apostatizing).

What was done in type and shadow in the Old Testament is now FULLY fulfilled in Christ. Don’t go back to Moses, Abraham -> they all spoke of Jesus’ coming.

Jesus is the ULTIMATE hope.

  1. The Law doesn’t offer forgiveness, it merely opens our eyes to our sins so that we can see more clearly. We know there are consequences for our wrongdoing and sin – he is just, he will punish, but he is also merciful.
  2. By our own experience and observation, we can also see that SIN HAS CONSEQUENCES.
  3. Satan, the accuser of the brethren piles it on. “Call yourself a Christian? Ha~~~ Look what you just did ‘Christian’!” But by the blood of the Lamb, we overcame him.

There is a way of victory – through Christ.

Through various demonstrations, God wanted to show his mercy – he gave LIFE where death was threatened – even in the Garden of Eden when they ate of the tree. He spoke of the coming of his Son – he promised salvation at the birth of humanity. LIFE was promised despite the act that brought about the deserved death of humanity.

Where there’s LIFE, there’s HOPE.

Throughout the Old Testament, there were examples of life and hope and the forgiveness of sins.

  1. The shedding of animal blood, the provision of the Tabernacle and the temple, the priesthood, the atonement, the sin offering. The Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement was the day that God expressed his desire to forgive sins and the people expressed their desire to be forgiven.
  2. There was also the example of the cleansing of the leper. Two birds were there – one killed, the other dipped in its blood and released – signifying Jesus’ blood sacrifice to free us from our sins.
  3. There was the type and shadow of the scapegoat – one goat was taken out into the wilderness “carrying the sins and the guilt” of the people and it was killed or pushed off a cliff or otherwise not allowed to come back into camp.

There is no approach to God without the shedding of blood. This ALL points to Jesus (Jesus IS in EVERY book of the Bible).

So, we can see throughout the Old Testament Laws and rituals, God’s willingness and want to forgive sins.

In fact, why repent if there is no forgiveness of sins? One goes along with the other. Repentance leads forgiveness and forgiveness grants repentance – one leads into the other. God prompts repentance, grants forgiveness, then grants greater repentance.

Jonah – the reluctant prophet.

He didn’t want to go to Ninevah – yet, God “persuaded” him with a “big” messenger (whale) – he was coughed up on shore and went to Ninevah and the king and the people and the animals repented, prayed, and left off sinning.

Jonah waited under a tree (with popcorn) awaiting the fiery destruction of Ninevah – which never came…

God chooses NOT to fulfill his just judgment when there is genuine repentance.

JOB: Elihu –

“He looks upon sin and if any man says, ‘I have sinned and it profited me not’ – he (God) shall save the man from the pit and carry him into the light.”

CHRONICLES: God –

“If my people, called by me, turn from their sins, and call on my name, I will heal their land.” (IF my people – God identifies with his people – “humble themselves” – “pray” – “I will hear from heaven” – “pardon their sin” – “heal their land”) Beginning with a conditional, this single verse walks through the entire process of repentance and forgiveness.

Throughout the Bible, we have Psalms and stories and the church (later) who prove and show that God WANTS to forgive his people.

“He who believes in Jesus is justified from all things that he could not be justified by in the Law of Moses.”

After OUR forgiveness…

We must FORGIVE.

Spurgeon: Was talking with a man, he left. The next man came up and told him of a previous misdeed of the former man. But Spurgeon said, “I’d totally forgotten – so it was a wonderful thing to be totally unbegrudging toward him.”

If you forgive someone, do it from the HEART – again and again and again (forgiveness often isn’t a ONE time thing – especially if you were painfully offended or hurt).

These things were seen in the Old Testament and reiterated in the New Testament – particularly Hebrews.

Here, today, let’s look at when and how JESUS says “No more.”

God in Christ (the 3 Fs)

  1. Faced up to sin
  2. Forgave our sins
  3. Forgot our sins (did not call to remembrance – remember that forgetfulness is an infirmity – but CHOOSING to not recall something is gracious)
  4. (Today) FORSAKE our sins – Jesus advocates this in John 5:14

Sometimes, when we forsake our sins (so long as we continue to LOOK to the Lord), he continues to forgive us and guide us, empower us.

  1. John 5: (a man’s story)
  2. John 8:1-15 (a woman’s story)

But Jesus went to the Mt. of Olives. At dawn, he appeared again and sat down among the people to teach them. The teachers brought a woman into the midst of the crowd who’d been caught in adultery – they were trying to trap Jesus by accusing her. But he bent down to write in the sand. They kept at it, but he said, “OK, whoever is without sin – you start the stoning.” Eventually, they all started to leave, until she remained alone.

“Go now and sin NO MORE.”

John 5:1-15 The healing at the pool of Bethesda

Some time later, Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda – there were a great number of disabled people lying there. When Jesus saw the sick man lying there, he asked, “Do you want to get well?” The man said, “No one can help me” Jesus said, “Pick up your mat and walk.” He did so. The Jews said to him, “Hey man, it’s the Sabbath – you can’t DO that.” But he said, “The man who made me well told me to.” But they couldn’t find Jesus as he’d slipped off into the crowd.

Later…

“Sin no more, or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There were many major feasts in Jerusalem – (but this was probably the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles – to remember the duration of the pilgrimage through the desert for 40 years).

Jesus went up to the Sheep Gate, there was a pool (Bethesda) – surrounded by 5 large covered areas. They were waiting for the waters to be “stirred” by an angel of the Lord to be healed. The healing mineral waters likely helped them get well – it may have been like a spa.

This man had been sick – very incapacitated – for 38 years. Jesus saw him and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” This might seem strange – he’d obviously wanted to get well for 38 years, right? Well, sometimes people who are ill give up hope – especially if they are getting a state pension for example – some people get a lot of attention – ego boost. There are various reasons WHY a person might NOT want to get well.

And actually, the man doesn’t give a straight answer. Jesus just cut through all of that and said, “GET UP!” Boom! He did. And he walked. Imagine that after 38 years.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath. The Jews said to the man, “It’s the Sabbath, buddy! That’s illegal!” He replied, “The man who healed me said, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” They said, “Who is he?” The man didn’t know because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd. The man later met Jesus at the temple – probably to offer thanks to God for his healing. Jesus said to him, “See, you are well again. Go and sin no more, or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus obviously knew that the cause of his suffering was sin. Perhaps sexual sin, or something else that had caused him to suffer in his body. (There is no CLEAR source of his suffering here, but this is a pretty good guess.)

That’s a pretty severe warning – he was lost, diseased, hopeless, helpless – until Jesus came along and healed him and then gave him a very solemn warning.

Peter, Jude, and others write of this “returning to sin” after receiving the blessing of forgiveness in such a way:

“A dog returning to its vomit.”

Peter knew well the meaning of sinning and repentance and forgiveness – what was actually the difference between Peter and Judas? Both sinned against Christ – only Peter went back to Christ for forgiveness.

Peter: “Be diligent, sober, watchful because your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” RESIST and be steadfast in the faith.

That’s what sin is in God’s sight: vomit. Would you be a dog who returns to it?

“Go and SIN NO MORE.”

Sometimes when people return to the original sin – it becomes WORSE than it was before. Some people think that they cannot go back to God again.

Hopefully the man took heed, certainly he was very grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus. He went on and demonstrated that it was Jesus who’d healed him.

John Piper’s thoughts on John 8: this section is either in italics, or footnotes.

Most NT scholars DON’T think this was a part of the gospel of John but was added centuries later.

“Despite the best efforts to prove this was part of the original version, the evidence is against them and the modern versions of the Bible are right to keep it separate.”

The conclusion: It wasn’t originally in John’s gospel, but was added later.

Piper agrees. Part of the conclusions are:

  1. The stories are missing from all the Greek scrolls before the 5th century
  2. All the scholars pass over this portion in their writings
  3. The story flows well from the previous story to chapter 9
  4. The Eastern scholars didn’t use it until the 10th century
  5. This shows up in DIFFERENT places in different manuscripts
  6. This story, in style and vocabulary is more unlike John’s gospel than any other part.
  7. Saying all that assumes a lot of facts – part of “textual criticism”

So, what’s a preacher to do?

Don Carson and Bruce Metsger think this event REALLY happened and that the story circulated and was later put into the gospel of John – it has all the earmarks of historical truth. It’s just the way it was juxtaposed and put into the gospel at a later point.

Yet, this doesn’t have the authority of Scripture – because it wasn’t in there originally – so, I’ll prove it’s points from OTHER Scriptures. Let THOSE be the authority.

  1. Jesus exalts himself above the Law
  2. He re-establishes the story of Grace over Justice

This is an effective echo of the WHOLE of the New Testament.

  1. The woman is caught in adultery
  2. The Pharisees put Jesus to the test (we’ve seen this more than once already) – will Jesus contradict Moses’ Law? Deut & Lev. say “if a couple is caught in adultery, BOTH of them must die.” – so…… how committed to the Law are they really?
  3. The were USING the Law to get rid of the woman and get rid of Jesus (bring a charge against him)
  4. Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – this is no way to work justice, right? even judges are sinful. Yet, here is Jesus standing against the Pharisees’ understanding of justice and showing grace.
  5. Go and understand this: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
  6. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” – Jesus exposes their own misuse of the Law.

The point is: Righteousness and Justice should be founded on a gracious spirit. Otherwise, there is no mercy – and no mercy for the one who shows no mercy.

When they leave, Jesus says, “No one condemns you? Neither do I. GO AND SIN NO MORE.” – She’s received grace and mercy and now she must walk in that grace and mercy and cease the sins she’s been walking in. He’s talking about a change in LIFESTYLE – a lifestyle CHOICE here – because people continually sin and stumble. No one is perfect.

“You’ve met God and been saved by his grace.”

This is the pervasive message of the New Testament: Jesus exalted himself ABOVE the Law

John shows that – and re-establishes the forgiveness of God based on Grace

Thus, John Newton, a slave trader, could write “Amazing Grace” based on his own personal testimony.

We must be holy if you want to see God – he hates sins – he knows what its done to his Son, he knows what it does to us. We may have that way before, but Jesus says, “I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Justice in life, in place of grace – makes us cruel and unmerciful.

Jesus came into this world to give grace and mercy and forgiveness. His appeal is “Come to me, all you weary and heavy-laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

  1. Come to Christ for grace, set your face to SIN NO MORE.
  2. His grace is accompanied by his direction: SIN NO MORE.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 31 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Walks on the Waters! (Matthew 14:22-36)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Walks on the Waters! (Matthew 14:22-36)

08.31

08.31.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus Walks on the Waters!

Matthew 14:22-36 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Walks on the Water

14:22-33pp — Mk 6:45-51; Jn 6:16-21 14:34-36pp — Mk 6:53-56

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.


 

As you know, before this event, the last time, Jesus fed 5,000 male adults + numerous women and children by a miracle.

After the feeding of this huge multitude, Jesus IMMEDIATELY compelled his disciples to get into the lake and dismissed all the crowds and went up on the mountainside to pray.

We can see here 3 “immediately”. Why? The answer is in John.

The crowds after this sought to make Jesus the KING by force. Their motives were not spiritual and purposes were against God’s will.

If the disciples had stayed there with them, they would have fallen in with the plans of the crowd. The disciples had previously been guilty of arguing over who was the greatest.

Jesus kingdom was to be a spiritual one, not a physical one. He didn’t want the passion of the crowd to deter them from their mission.

Actually, Jesus’ primary mission was death.

Never be confused by Jesus’ popularity among certain kinds of crowds – even today.

  1. They followed, weren’t followers.
  2. They sought, weren’t seekers.
  3. They believed, weren’t believers.

Even today, many people want Jesus to help, heal, solve physical problems. But very few want him to be Savior and Lord of their lives.

V. 22-23

Jesus wanted time to communicate with his Father, quietly, individually. He was in constant contact with the Father – a life of prayer. Sometimes he spent long seasons in prayer, even the whole night. He often sought seclusion to pray. He prayed before engaging in great tasks – before the missionary tour in Galilee, before choosing the 12 apostles, before going into the Garden of Gethsemane.

Think, if the SON of GOD needed to pray, how much more do we?

Also, let’s meditate on this:

Jesus told, ordered, commanded them to go to the other side, and they obeyed. Sooner or later, they were met by a storm, strong wind and waves.

  1. A storm came to them because they obeyed Jesus. Did Jesus know this storm was coming? YES.
  2. Did Jesus direct them into this storm? YES.

In the Bible, there are 2 kinds of storms:

  1. Storm of correction – when God disciplines
  2. Storm of perfection – when God helps us grow in faith

Think of Jonah – he disobeyed God and needed corrected.

Here, they obeyed Jesus and needed perfected (i.e. to grow in faith).

Still today, some Christians have a mistaken idea, that obedience to God produces smooth sailing. Not true. Jesus, “In this world, you will have many trials and troubles and tribulations…but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

v. 24

4th watch = 3am-6am

There is another reason for that storm.
The Lord needs to balance our lives.

They had just previously been filled with great excitement and a thrill of feeding 5,000. This was their lesson. The storm itself was their examination AFTER the lesson. Would they trust Jesus?

In our lives, sometimes, it is a desperate struggle with ourselves, sadness, sin. But in this story, we can get some lessons from this storm – because Jesus DELIBERATELY directed them into this storm. YES, Jesus Christ comes all the time in the storms of life. Isaiah “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you pass through the storm, they will not wash over you. When you pass through the fire, you will not be burned.”

Now, we are in the midst of the storms of life. Then, one day, someday, he will come for us and we will reach the boat safely.

“Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.” Hebrews

“Who is it that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died, was raised to life, and sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.” Romans

Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage, it is I! Don’t be afraid!”

When Jesus visits, everything will be changed. When Jesus comes in the storms of our lives, he will make a huge difference, because all he taught and did, our lives are different. We are not alone, not lost. We have the present help, the Holy Spirit, and our Father and Lord. All the problems WE have are THEIRS as well.

1 Peter “Cast ALL your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”

v. 28-33

Peter’s special experience

In this story, will you criticize or honor Peter?

  • Criticize? He acted on impulse, without thinking, OFTEN, and failed and came to sorrow and grief, and was sinking in the water here.
  • Honor? Praise him for his magnificent demonstration of faith. He was the ONLY ONE who reacted in faith in the first place. He was the ONLY ONE who experienced walking on the water.

Yes, he failed MANY times, but he never failed finally. (If you never try, you’ll never fail, but you’ll also never succeed.)

Peter’s failures brought him closer and closer, one step closer to Jesus. Every time he failed, he rose again.

Are you a saint? Yes, a saint by faith. A saint is NOT a man who never fails, but a man who can fail greatly, many times, and still get back up and continue going, continue following Jesus, get closer to Jesus through all these failures.

  • Peter said, “Tell me to come!”
  • Jesus said, “Come!”

How long? How far? Unclear – but as long as he affixed his eyes on Jesus, he walked. But as soon as he looked around him at the wind and waves that surrounded him, his heart began to fear, and he sank.

What made the difference? Not visible circumstances, but invisible faith in Christ.

In history, our church father, Adam failed in the best possible circumstances. But, the last Adam, Jesus, succeeded in the worst possible circumstances (the cross).

It doesn’t matter your current situation or circumstances. Whether up or down, as long as you affix your eyes on Christ, you can overcome those trials and troubles and problems! But as long as you concentrate and worry about and affix your eyes on your concerns, problems, fears, worries, and circumstances, you will sink~ This is the little faith, the doubt that his disciples also experienced.

But, AS SOON AS they accepted Jesus into their boat and believed in him, the wind and waves died down and fear turned to wonder, little faith turned into true faith. “Truly you are the Son of God.”

In the middle of the storm, why did they not recognize him? They weren’t waiting for him.

However, if they HAD been waiting on him and looking for him, they wouldn’t have jumped to the wrong conclusions.

  • Do you have faith in your heart? Then you will have no fear.
  • Do you have fear in your heart? Then you will have no faith.
  • Faith and fear cannot live together in the same heart.
  • Why did Jesus walk on the water? To overcome their fears.

Yes, many times in life, we fear. Loss of life, loss of job, loss of possessions, loss of love. But if we affix our eyes on Jesus, then even these experiences will only bring us closer to Jesus. “Affix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” Hebrews

v. 33-36

Three times “all”

  • v. 33 “All the surrounding country”
  • v. 36 “All their sick” … “All were healed”

Yes, Jesus healed all the sick.

Question: Did these people know that he had just come through a storm to meet their physical needs?

In our situation, do we remember that Jesus endured a storm before saving us? Yes, we need to remember that Jesus endured the storm of the wrath and judgment of God for our sins on the cross of Calvary so that we would never need to face this storm.

So, we must bow, recognize, acknowledge him as our Lord and Savior and Son of God and Lord of Lords, King of Kings. Can we acknowledge and recognize him like this?

All glory, honor, and authority back to Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 08 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is ALL the Signs of God to Us (Matthew 12:38-50)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Christ is ALL the Signs of God to Us (Matthew 12:38-50)

06.08

06.08.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus Christ is all the signs of God to us
Matthew 12:38-50 (Pastor Heo)

The Sign of Jonah
12:39-42pp — Lk 11:29-32 12:43-45pp — Lk 11:24-26
38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 43 “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
12:46-50pp — Mk 3:31-35; Lk 8:19-21
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”


This is the family of God in heaven.

This chapter (12) is the religious leaders continual challenge to Jesus.

  1. (v.2) The Pharisees condemned Jesus, “Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
  2. (v. 10) “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
  3. (v. 14) They want to kill him.
  4. (v. 24) “This fellow drives out the demons by Beelzebub.”
  5. (v. 37) “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”

Nah, they didn’t really want to see it to believe it. They were just challenging him. Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation wants a sign.” To ask for a sign = evidence of unbelief.

1 Corinthians = “Jews look for signs, Greeks look for human philosophy. But we preach Christ – a stumbling block and confusion… God will save some through the foolishness of what is preached.”

3 Responses today

  1. 38-42: Their history
  2. 43-45: Their (bad) hearts
  3. 46-50: He rejects their honor

#1: Reveals their history

  1. The sign of Jonah.
  2. The queen of the south = Arabia (Yemen)

2 stories: Jonah + the Queen of Sheba

  1. Jonah = in Jonah in the OT
  2. Queen of Sheba = 1 Kings 10, 2 Chronicles 9

Jonah (a Jew) was sent to the Gentiles – Ninevah – under the conquest of Assyria – one of the great enemies of the Jews.

The Queen of Sheba was a Gentile, but came from her country to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.

According to the culture of that time, the fact that Jesus mentioned Gentiles, probably irritated the Pharisees.

This sign of Jonah was important – Jonah experienced a kind of death, burial and resurrection in the belly of the whale. All the signs we need today are Jesus’ death and resurrection. That’s why the whole first half of the book of Acts focuses on this, and why Acts has many, many witnesses to the resurrected life of Jesus.

Jonah was in there for 3 days and 3 nights.

Jesus, however, was in there from Friday night to Sunday morning. At that time, the Jews used “3 days and 3 nights” for emphasis to mean simply “3 days” – also they would say “40 days and 40 nights” for emphasis though it would most likely be 40 days and 39 nights technically.

Jesus is much greater than Jonah here.

  1. Jonah = man, Jesus = man + God
  2. Jonah = disobedience at first, Jesus = obedience to death
  3. Jonah’s grave = in the belly of the whale, a symbol of death, Jesus = a true death and resurrection
  4. Jonah’s ministry = once, to one place, Jesus = one day for a timeless salvation for all people of the world
  5. Jonah’s love = non-existent, animosity in fact – he was a messenger of the wrath of God, Jesus’ ministry = a message of love, grace, and salvation

Jesus is greater in his wisdom, wealth, and works

Now, Solomon was very wise, wealthy, and had many works done for him – but Jesus was/is much greater. To see and hear his words is much more satisfying than to visit the kingdom of Solomon.

The moral: The citizens of Ninevah and the Queen of Sheba will witness against the Jewish Pharisees because (1) they repented (Pharisees rejected), and (2) she traveled a long distance to hear (they ignored). The greater the message, the greater the responsibility.

The wisdom of Solomon caused the Queen of Sheba to worship God. “Praise be to your God, he has delighted in you and placed you in the throne of Israel. God has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.” How unsearchable God’s ways. God can never be limited by our imaginations. Who would have imagined that this woman would become an example of Jesus’ for us today. Please, don’t put God in the small box of your imagination. Surprises may come – strange moments we could not predict. If we understand God clearly, we can take all accidents as Opportunities, not Problems. Please think of all people in your life as Willing Listeners. If we believe in God truly, we receive all Problems as Opportunities to pray.

Proverbs 16:19 “A man determines his way, but God sets his steps.”

What are our reactions when confronted with Jesus Christ? What do you think?

#2: Jesus reveals their hearts (v. 43-45)

Do you believe your heart is being revealed by Christ?

Even today, this is happening (”this wicked generation”). Satan’s house = the body of the person possessed by a demon. Our bodies can be the house of Satan. The demons are restless, peaceless, wandering all the time looking for bodies to rest in and dwell in.

When that demon left, that man’s life was changed for the better. BUT, if that man’s life is still empty, when the demon returns, he brings other spirits and the man’s life becomes worse than before – a tragedy.

Yes, evil spirits can be driven out, can be conquered, but cannot be destroyed. They are constantly looking for an opportunity to counter-attack and regain ground. They are never eliminated until Jesus’ Second Coming. So, we must be always vigilant, watchful, and alert.

Lesson 2: It isn’t enough to clean your house (your mind/body). After cleaning it, we must invite in the right tenant. A negative religion cannot be enough. A religion that has only “Thou Shalt Not” etc you will always fail. One religion around us = “Everything is useless. Desire makes our lives stressful and unhappy. So, you must try to remove all desire and passion. Remove all desire, all passion, become empty, become passionless, ambitionless.” Is this good? No, emptiness makes our lives only more terrible.

For example, if we try to eliminate bad habits, that’s good, but not enough. At the same time, we must decide to do something good.

The best way to rid a garden of weeds is to feed the plants good things. Fill your head and heart and energy and time with something good. What’s the BEST? Jesus. The only cure for evil action = Christian action. Our goal is not only removal of negative action, but also “regeneration” – replacing the negative action with positive action.

Revelation 3:29? “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…”

That’s why the Bible encourages us to constantly “be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Remember, our lives can never remain empty. They must be filled with something or somebody. With what, or with whom is your life filled now?

#3: Jesus rejects their honor

Even Jesus’ earthly family didn’t fully understand him or his ministry. Some of his close friends even thought he was mad (crazy). But he didn’t want human honor.

He wasn’t disrespectful toward his earthly family, but he emphasized the family of God. Why? They will live together eternally.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. I’ll give you peace. Peace I give to you, I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

1 John “This world and all its passions pass away but the man who does the will of the Lord will live forever.”

Matthew “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father.”

Do you have true membership in the true family of God? This is only found in obedience to the will of God in heaven – putting our faith in Christ and putting our faith into action.

“Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 18 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Exodus 4-6 (Bible-365.18): All Things to All People
Bible-365, Grow

Exodus 4-6 (Bible-365.18): All Things to All People

Back again with Moses and Aaron.

In chapter 4

Moses again hesitates about God’s calling. God says, “Alright, check it out. Here are three awesome signs and wonders I’ll do through you in front of Pharaoh. Now are you convinced?”

Moses says, “Ehhh…really? Really really?”

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So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen