Jesus

8 Reasons to Grieve Over the Orlando Massacre

Like most of you, I am grieved about the massacre that happened in Orlando this past Sunday. We are called in God’s word to hate what He hates and to love what He loves; I also believe we are to be grieved by what grieves Him. Here are some of the things related to the Orlando massacre that grieve me, and I believe grieve God too: · I am deeply grieved that 49 people –all of whom were precious to Jesus who created them and gave His life for them–were unexpectedly and violently killed, souls who may never have received the gift of salvation for which Jesus paid the price and longed for them to receive. I am greatly grieved for those victims who didn’t know Jesus who were killed, because they will spend an eternity in hell separated from Him and all that is good. I am certain that if they could speak to their family and friends now, they would beg them to turn to Jesus and accept the forgiveness He freely offers to all who repent! (See the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke 16:19-31) I pray that God would teach us all to number our days so that we would get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) and live for the purpose each one of us was put on the earth: for the pleasure and glory of God. (Isaiah 43:7) I greatly rejoice that many potential victims were spared, and I pray for the full recovery of those who were injured, especially for the salvation of those who don’t know the Lord.

· I grieve for the victims’ families and friends, and for all who mourn the loss of the victims. I grieve realizing they may hold the false notion that has infiltrated our culture that everyone who dies– or ‘good people’ as defined by the world– go to heaven. I pray that if they are not already saved, that they would come to know that the only One Who is truly good is God, and that the only way to heaven is through Jesus who gave His life for all who would put their trust in His work of atonement on the cross. (See Mark 10:18; John 14:6; John 11:25; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9)

· I grieve for the killer Omar Mateen and for all Muslims who have been deceived by Satan into thinking that it is a ‘good work’ to kill ‘kafirs’ (all non-Muslims) and to die as a martyr, and who falsely believe that such actions will lead to their going to Paradise. I pray that all people—including all Muslims– will come to know the love of Jesus, Who rather than wanting us to shed the blood of innocent people or to die a martyrs’ death, willingly shed His own blood on the cross and laid down His life for us, giving the assurance of heaven to all who put their trust in what He did for them. In sharp contrast to the god of the Muslims, the true God does not ask us to kill others; rather, He asks us to love everyone and to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. (See Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:35)

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· I grieve that under the guise of ‘tolerance’ and ‘multi-cultural diversity’ many in our nation have become indoctrinated to believe that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’, when in fact it is not, rather, it is a political ideology more than it is a religion. I am grieved Omar Mateen’s action was totally aligned with the teaching of Islam, a belief system that separates people into two groups: Muslims, and ‘kafirs’ (non-Muslims) who are to be annihilated if they do not accept the tenets of Islam. (https://www.politicalislam.com/about/) I am grieved that so many people around the globe, and increasingly so in the United States, are being deceived by what some people– even those in leadership positions in our government and our media—falsely say about Islam. I grieve that some people think—even some ‘professing’ Christians– that the God of the Bible and the god of the Muslims are the same. That is because they are ignorant of Who God really is as revealed through the Bible, and they are also ignorant of the teachings of Islam as stated in the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sunna. I am also grieved that many Christians have been more interested in their own comfort than in the salvation of others and therefore they have failed to carry out the great commission that Jesus entrusted to us, ‘to go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:16-20) so that people around the globe, including Muslims, would know the truth that would set them free from falsehoods, and receive the love their hearts long for that can only be found in knowing Jesus. · I am deeply grieved that a pastor who professes to be a Christian proclaimed that it was not a tragedy because the victims deserved to be killed since they were homosexuals, and spewed other vitriolic statements regarding the victims. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/06/14/pastor-refuses-to-mourn-orlando-victims-the-tragedy-is-that-more-of-them-didnt-die/) It is heart breaking because that pastor and anyone else who believes what he stated obviously does not understand the true heart of God and grossly misrepresents Him. Yes, homosexuality is a sin—an abomination to God—and He is grieved that we in America have legalized homosexual marriage and promote and approve of that which He in His wisdom knows is destructive to our good. However, it is a sin—like every other sin– that His blood is able to cover and He gave His life so that ALL people, regardless of their particular sins, could find forgiveness through His atoning work on the cross. I believe Jesus is grieved whenever a person dies who did not come to Him and receive the forgiveness of sin that He offers. The Word tells us in Ezekiel 18:32, “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live." Yes, I pray that we as a nation would turn from our sin of accepting and promoting homosexuality, but I also pray that we as professing Christians would repent of the sin of pride that has led some to believe that the sin of homosexuality is somehow worse than their own sins against a holy God. We ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and we are ALL desperately in need of the forgiveness of our sins that Jesus purchased for us on the cross. (Romans 3:23)

· I grieve that politicians, the press, and others in the public arena are once again looking to blame someone– or ‘something’, like guns—rather than the perpetrator of the act. I grieve because I know that God will hold each person accountable for his or her sin, and our culture of ‘blame’ is being stirred up and used by Satan to lead people to think that they will be able to get away with their sin by placing the blame for their actions on someone or something else. God’s word is very clear that each of us will reap what we sow, (Galatians 6:7-8) and that each of us will have to stand before the throne of God and give an account of what we have done while we lived on earth. (2nd Corinthians 5:10)

· I am grieved that Satan is not only behind, but is also using all of these violent terrorist acts as another way to instill fear, distrust, and division in our nation as we blame one another for the crisis we are in. I am grieved that our country– that still has as its pledge, ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all’– has become more divided than at any point in my life as a sense of both personal and corporate ‘entitlement’ has swept over our nation and the reality of personal responsibility has seemingly be swept away . I see divisiveness as one of Satan’s tactics to destroy us, the country that for so long was the ‘city on a hill’. (http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-city-on-the-hill-american-exceptionalism-and-redemptive-violence/5350265) Satan knows the truth of God’s word that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand’. (Mark 3:25) I am grieved that our nation that was founded upon ‘the rule of law’– laws inspired by God and based upon the fundamental liberties that He as Our Creator gave to us and that granted us greater freedoms than any other nation has ever known–is moving rapidly toward ‘lawlessness’ where we will be subject to the rule of whoever wields the most power. I pray that we as a nation will wake up and realize how uniquely blessed we have been to have liberties and laws based upon God’s Word, and we will safeguard the Constitution that our founding fathers sacrificed their reputations, homes, fortunes and very lives in order for us to have, a Constitution and Bill of Rights that has enabled us to enjoy the freedoms that we have taken for granted and are dangerously close to forfeiting.

· Most of all, I am grieved that even many Christians in our nation are looking to political figures to ‘save us’ and fail to grasp the root cause of the increasing violence and terror attacks, as well as our nation’s other grave problems: we have forsaken God. And He is the only One Who can save us! He blesses the nation that trusts in Him and obeys His commands; He brings judgment on the nation that rejects and disobeys Him. (Romans 15:4; 2nd Timothy 3:16; Jeremiah 12:17). We in America have turned our back on God, and He is turning His back on us, for He longs for judgment to cause us to consider our sins, to cry out to Him, and to turn back to Him. Crises are going to increase in number and intensity unless we repent and turn away from the sins our nation has committed against a holy God. I am grieved that many people think that we ‘deserve’ to be blessed by God, even though our nation has defied His commands by: committing idolatry in so many ways, including but not limited to materialism and covetousness, an obsession with entertainment, alcohol and drugs and other forms of ‘self-indulgence’; legalizing abortion that has murdered over 58 million children God created in His image; accepting as normative fornication, adultery, divorce, homosexuality, and various other forms of sexual sins; embracing injustice and corruption in our government; and turning our back on God’s firstborn, Israel, to name just some of our nation’s sins.

We are in a spiritual battle for the souls of those in our nation. Satan has done a great job of getting us to listen to him and to turn on one another; God desires that we turn to Him, repent of our sin, and forgive one another. Only God has the power to deliver us from the muck and mire we have gotten ourselves into!

When we as a nation put our trust in God and realized our dependence upon Him, we were blessed, and we proved the truth of His Word: ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!’ (Psalm 33:12 ESV)

His plea to America today is the same as the one He gave to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament when they too forgot the God Who had been the Source of their blessings: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations…. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin (Ezekiel 14:6; Ezekiel 18:30 ESV) But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 12:17 ESV)

God, Who is merciful and Who even relented in judging wicked Nineveh when that city repented during the days of Jonah, also makes a promise in His Word,’… if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. (Jeremiah 18:8 ESV)

May we who know God and His merciful, compassionate heart of love be found faithful to fervently pray for our nation to repent, to boldly stand for the truth of His Word regardless of the cost, and to share the good news of His love for everyone and His desire that all should repent and be saved!

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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What Does Easter Mean to You?

Christmas and Easter mornings were the highlights of every year of my childhood. From December 26th on, I anticipated celebrating Easter and all that went along with the holiday: going shopping with my Mom and sister to buy a new and frilly dress to wear to church; coloring eggs that mysteriously appeared outside our house for my siblings and I to hunt on Easter morning; singing favorite hymns like “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”; sharing a special meal with all my in-town relatives following church; and capping off the day with a huge Easter egg hunt at my Grandparents’ house, which resulted in an Easter basket filled with a bounty of egg shaped candy that I feasted on for days. I knew that Easter was a celebration of Jesus being raised from the dead, but like most children— and I venture to say even many adults— my focus was more on the accoutrements of the holiday rather than on the true significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. My family and I always attended Good Friday services, where I faithfully remained somber during the sermonettes on Jesus’ last words from the cross. I remember thinking it peculiar that the day that Jesus died and suffered so much pain was labeled as ‘good.’ Now, with a much greater understanding of all that His death and resurrection accomplished, I consider it not just ‘good’ Friday, but GREAT Friday! Life giving, death-defying Friday!

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I realize that Jesus Christ came to earth for the express purpose of delivering me from the pain, suffering and eternal death that I deserve for my sin of rebellion against a Holy God. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and awe that Jesus, the perfect Son of God, chose to take on human flesh and died in my place on the cross! Yes, Christmas Day when we celebrate Christ’s birth is noteworthy, but Easter—or as I prefer ‘Resurrection Day’—is now ‘hands down’ my favorite holiday. It commemorates the day that Satan and death were defeated! It is the day that reminds me that ‘because Jesus lives, I can face tomorrow’, and every tomorrow after that, no matter what! Death has lost its sting! It has been ‘swallowed up in victory’! (1st Corinthians 15:54-55) I no longer have to fear the death of my body and eternal damnation; I can embrace death when it comes as the doorway to seeing Jesus ‘face-to-face’ and spending eternity in His glorious Presence!

The ultimate significance of Easter is that what we believe about what happened on that day divides the world in two: those who believe that Jesus atoned for their sin on the cross and receive Him as their personal Savior and ‘Lord of their life’ and therefore will be resurrected to eternal life with Him, and those who reject Him as their personal Savior and Lord and therefore condemn themselves to being resurrected to eternal damnation.

What separates Jesus from every other so called god in the world is that He alone claimed to be God, and proved His claim by His perfectly obedient life…. and by His power to overcome death as evidenced by His resurrection from the dead! His tomb is empty! Jesus, ‘the Word Who became flesh’, is alive! (John1:14) His Words are just as alive today as when He walked on earth in the flesh, and they produce life in all who believe them. Jesus is alive; He is at the right hand of the Father; and He is praying for those who draw near to Him! (Acts 2:33; Hebrews 7:25)

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. “ John 11: 25

After making that claim, Jesus asked Martha, Lazarus’ sister, ‘Do you believe this?”

Imagine Him asking you that question right now. What would your response be to the One Who knows you best? Do you truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God Who laid down His life as the perfect sacrifice, and thereby paid the penalty that your sin deserves? (Romans 6:23)

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and His words and His life reflected and proved His claim to be true. If you claim to follow Jesus, do your words and actions support that claim? Would your family and friends say, “Wow! She’s a Christian!” or “Wow, she’s a Christian?!”Are you clinging to His words and closely following in the path that He has laid out before you and called you to walk in? Are you daily ‘denying yourself and picking up your cross’—in other words, putting aside your own selfish will and desires and living for the desires and will of God? (Luke 9:23)

Or, are you following Jesus from a distance…like Peter did when the authorities arrested Jesus? From a distance, it was easy for Peter to deny Jesus. Do not be deceived: from a distance, it will be easy for you to deny Jesus too. While they were in Jesus’ Presence and before the reality of the cross, all of the disciples had claimed that they would follow Him, even if it meant their death. (Matthew 26:35) However, their claim was proven to be false because their faith was proven to be weak. They all abandoned Him rather than follow Him to the cross. Why? Because their fear of man was greater than their belief in Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man. Because they saw Jesus as their friend—even the Messiah— who was supposed to conquer and rule the world, but they had not yet seen Him as their personal Savior Who had died in their place, conquered death, and Who longed to reign in their hearts.

However, following his death and resurrection they saw and knew Him as the ‘Risen Savior’, which solidified their faith in Him and simultaneously diminished their fear of man. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Son of God and the fulfillment of God the Father’s promise to send a Messiah to His people. The same men who had feared man and death prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, would post-resurrection willingly lay down their lives for what they knew to be true and could not deny: the reality that Jesus is God, and the Way, the Truth and the Life! (John 14:6)

Do you know Jesus personally and experientially so that there is no doubt in your heart and mind that He is indeed God? Have you received the free gift of salvation and eternal life that He offers to all that humble themselves and believe that He paid the price for their sin and took on the death they deserve?

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3

If you do not know Him, you can! Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and to give you a heart that seeks after Him. If you ask, He will answer! (Matthew 7:7)

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8 “Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:29 "Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” Isaiah 55:6

May God grant us all hearts that seek after Him, believe in Him, receive His love, follow Him, and obey His word, proving ourselves to be His disciples!

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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Christmas Prayer

Thanks to all of you who have followed us on our True View website and watched our shows, read our blogs, and supported our ministry with your finances and prayers. You are a blessing in our lives!  It is our hope that this Christmas prayer will be a blessing to you and that the Lord will fulfill this prayer in your life in the New Year. Committed to Jesus, Who is the Way, Truth and Life!

Jamie and Julie

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 Lord, as I reflect upon the nativity scene and Your birth, I pray that You will be born anew in my life today.  Please enable me by the power of the Holy Spirit to have the receptivity of Mary that says, “be it unto me as your handmaiden”. Like Mary, may I be willing to respond to the call to carry You with me wherever I go into a world sorely needing Your love, regardless of the personal cost to me.

May I be like Joseph, willing—despite criticism, mocking and humiliation, disbelief and unbelief— to go wherever you say whenever you say.  May I act immediately upon the visions You give me, regardless of my own plans and desires.  May I be like both Mary and Joseph, willing to leave the comforts of the familiar to go into the realm of the alien and defiled, trusting that You who called me will protect and guide me.

Lord, please give me the persevering faith of the kings who were willing to travel great distances and experience discomfort to seek You until arriving at your feet to worship and adore You.  Give me their heart to follow You, the Bright Morning Star who alone gives light to the darkest sky and life.  Give me their humility to bow down and worship the One who came then— and Who still comes today—without fanfare to a world desperately needing a Ruler Who is “Faithful and True”. May I be willing— as the kings were in giving their frankincense, gold, and myrrh— to sacrificially give Jesus gifts that will bless and glorify Him: my time, talents, resources, and most of all my will and life.  May I be like the Magi in that I too will be willing to disobey guidance and instruction given by mankind when it conflicts with the vision and voice of the Lord.

May I have the heart of the shepherds who with exuberant joy and without delay left their assigned “task of the urgent” to minister to the “most important”.  May I walk in the reality that the only thing that will bring joy to my life and leave a mark on this world forever is when, like the shepherds, I leave my own field behind so I can go to and enter the place where I wholeheartedly worship the Unblemished Lamb of God.  May I too be willing to leave behind the good—tending to “my sheep”—in order to do the best— tending to the Perfect Lamb and ministering to His needs and desires.

May my life never be too full— like the innkeeper’s was— that I cast you outside the primary place and do not make room for the ‘King of Kings’ and ‘Lord of Lords’ to have preeminence in my life. May I recognize that my heart—like the manger on that first Christmas— was made for the sole purpose of receiving the Messiah, the greatest One ever born of woman who also came to be born in me, and in all who are willing to receive the One and Only truly life-changing Christmas gift!

Most of all, I pray that I will be like You, Jesus, consumed with the desire to do the will of Our Father, who also has called me and sent me to minister to a lost and dying world.  May my life also be a perfect reflection of God the Father’s sacrificial, unconditional, everlasting love.  I pray this in the Name that is above all Names, the Name of Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, Who alone is worthy of all glory and honor!  Amen

Prayer written by Julie Van Gorp

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Gifts: As Described By God

As I contemplate my own shopping list for this year’s Christmas gifts; I

wanted to see what God’s Word said about gifts, and after I found out what

He said, I wanted to share the gift of His Word with you!

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Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].  James 1:17

And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 3:13

Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him! Matthew 7:11

As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].  1 Peter 4:10

Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him,and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness andrains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.  Hosea 10:12

For since He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaims God’s own message], God does not give Him His Spirit sparingly or by measure, butboundless is the gift God makes of His Spirit!  John 3:34

And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of andrelease from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2:38

I pray, that your gifts from God lead many to the free gift of salvation through your witness in the Name of Christ Jesus.   God bless you.

Written by Jamie Shaver

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8 Traits of God to Be Thankful For

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As a family we regularly praise God for Who He is, His Nature and Character during our prayer time.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving we will again be praising Him for the many amazing and pure qualities that He is.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4

Here’s a list of 8 traits to get you started.  I’m thankful God that you are:

Pure Knowledge. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)

Pure Presence. “Am I a God near at hand” says the Lord, “and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24)

Pure Power. “God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.” (Psalm 62:11)

Pure Ability. “Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you.” (Job 42:2)

Pure Sovereignty. “The earth is the Lord’s and its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.” (Psalms 24:3-4)

Pure Holiness. “For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:45)

Pure Justice. “The Lord is righteous in her midst [Israel and the rest of the world], He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, but the unjust knows no shame.” (Zephaniah 3:5)

Pure Truth. “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)*

in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

That I may make the voice of thanksgiving heard and may tell of all Your wondrous works. Psalm 26:7

What are some Thanksgiving traditions that your family has that honor the Lord?  Share them with us!

*(“Pure” list above is an excerpt from blogger “Nobody”)

Written by Jamie Shaver

 

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Don't Want to Deny Jesus? Don't Be Offended.

The only “climate change” I believe in, is the “climate change” that is occurring in our culture towards those that hold firmly to the Word of God.  As the number of incidents where Christians are discriminated against are adding up, I believe soon they may begin multiplying!  Would you deny your faith?  Would you deny Jesus if your job was threatened?  What about if your house or children were threatened?  What if your very life was threatened?  “Deny Jesus, or else!…”

Scripture gives us a glimpse of our human frailty in this area when we look at Peter.  Here he is, bold, courageous and proclaiming that he would die before disowning Jesus!  Jesus knows their hearts and states otherwise.  Later, we know that Peter denied Him by his words, the others deserted Him, denying Him by their actions.

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Then Jesus said to them, You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night [distrusting and deserting Me], for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.

But after I am raised up [to life again], I will go ahead of you to Galilee.

Peter declared to Him, Though they all are offended and stumble and fall away because of You [and distrust and desert You], I will never do so.

Jesus said to him, Solemnly I declare to you, this very night, before a single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times.

Peter said to Him, Even if I must die with You, I will not deny or disown You! And all the disciples said the same thing. Matthew 26:31-35 AMP

First, we must consider that Jesus says to his disciples “you will all be offended and stumble.”

The dictionary.com definition of offended is:

1.to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in

2.to affect (the sense, taste, etc.) disagreeably.

3.to violate or transgress (a criminal, religious, or moral law).

4.to hurt or cause pain to.

5.(in Biblical use) to cause to fall into sinful ways.

When our government, schools, workplaces, communities etc. want to “kill” Jesus and anything that may slightly resemble Him (including you hopefully, if He resides in you), many of us may feel offended.  We must recognize that those who are offended, stumble and fall away.  Instead, as Mark 4:16-18 points out our faith must have roots!

And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy;

And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.- Mark 4:16-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Why does Jesus tell us these things?

I have told you all these things, so that you should not be offended (taken unawares and falter, or be caused to stumble and fall away). [I told you to keep you from being scandalized and repelled.]

They will put you out of (expel you from) the synagogues; but an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God.

And they will do this because they have not known the Father or Me.

John 16:1-3

Amplified Bible (AMP)

What can we do to increase our faith, grow roots and not become offended and “fall away” when Jesus our Lord and Spirit in us in under attack?

Seven times a day and all day long do I praise You because of Your righteous decrees.

Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.

Psalm 119:164-165

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Are you in love with His law?  Are you easily offended?  Do you praise Him all day long?

I pray that we all- “Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” Col 2:7

Written by Jamie Shaver

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?

Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your 'Right to Be Right'?

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I know very well the sting of feeling betrayed, of feeling that a knife was stuck in your heart and twisted unmercifully. One of the greatest trials in my life came when a person I considered a dear friend deeply wounded me and refused to even engage in a conversation where we could work together on being reconciled.

After being wounded by someone, it’s completely natural for us to focus on our pain and to harbor hostility toward the person who offended us.  It’s natural to replay every aspect of the offense to try to justify our actions or seek to understand the actions of the other person. However, as natural as that is, God has called us to die to our sinful nature, which is exactly what comes naturally for us to do. What God has called us to do—and through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit we can do—is what He did: to give up ‘our right to be right’. When you are disappointed, angered, or hurt by someone, you have a critical choice to make. You can either focus on and insist on your ‘rights’, or you can focus on being in ‘right relationship’ with Your Heavenly Father.  You can nurture resentment or nurture a relationship with God:  you cannot do both.

What had been one of the greatest trials of my life became a great blessing when I chose to focus my eyes on Jesus and what He endured for me, rather than focusing my thoughts on my own pain. Like looking through binoculars, the lens was either going to be on Him, or on me: I had to choose.  I recalled that I had prayed to be conformed into His likeness, and He led me to know that I could never have an inkling of what He suffered and willingly gave up for me if I never experienced betrayal, rejection, or suffering from the wounds of a friend.

If we are to be disciples of Jesus, we must ‘pick up our cross’ and follow after Him (Luke 9:23).  Philippians 2: 1-11 portrays what it means to ‘pick up your cross” and follow Jesus’ example:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus was willing to humble Himself to the point of a horrible death on the cross out of obedience to His Heavenly Father, Who knew Jesus’ death was the only way that you and I could have the possibility of fellowship with Him, a holy God. Are you willing to ‘empty yourself’ of any and everything that stands in the way of you being in ‘right relationship’ with Jesus — including your ‘right to be right’?  Ask Jesus to fill you with the same humility He demonstrated when He chose the cross for your sake and mine and put our interests ahead of His own.

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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