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He Came Along

When Jesus sent the apostles as told in Matthew 28:19-20, it was much different from the way we send people on any kind of errand or missions. We send people because we cannot or do not wish to go ourselves. The sender separates himself from the one sent. The one sent goes alone. This is with mutual agreement, for if the sender said that he would accompany the sent one, the sent one would reply, “Why do you send me if you are coming along? Go do it yourself.”

That is not Jesus’ way. He sent and then He said, “Lo, I am with you always to the close of the age.” Jesus sent, and then He “came along.” Isn’t that wonderful?

But that is not the first instance of “sending and coming along” in the Bible. Jesus said, “And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone” (John 6:29). The Father sent the Lord Jesus, and then He came along. “He who sent me is with me.” He sent us, and now He goes along with us. How great it is to realize that no matter where we are or what our mission, He is …
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Don't Be A Pharisee

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing, He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

"The first," they answered.

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him." (Matthew 21:28-32)

Jesus is not teaching the merits of delayed obedience here. He is teaching repentance for both the person who initially refused and the one who promised to obey. It seems to be easier, however, for those who know they are disobedient to repent than i…

Faithless Amazement

“When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get his wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked. ‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.’ And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:53-58).

The people in Jesus hometown were “amazed” but not positively so. They knew his power and authority were true. They did not like it. When they asked, “Where then did this man get all these things?” they did not want to know the answer. The question was accusative. They took offense. And because of their lack of faith, they deprived themselves of …

A Depth You Cannot Measure

In the last few days my time with the Lord has been in the Psalms. Psalm 145 made me pay attention this morning. Here is a part of it.

Verses 3-7: "Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness."

Verses 11-13: "They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the through glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made."

Notice that no one can fathom God’s great…

Our Work Assignment

“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’” (Luke 24:45- 47).

This is concise and comprehensive. First, it tells us about the person and work of Jesus. He is the Christ, and would suffer and rise from the dead.

Second, it tells us what we should do because of who He is and what He has done. Our work is to preach repentance in Jesus’ name to all the nations. Jesus’ work is complete; our work is still incomplete.

Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written January 1992.

Let This Mind Be in You

“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).

The way up is down. The way down is up. Contradiction, paradox, or simple truth? In Luke 14, at the conclusion of a parable about taking the place of honor, Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus came to the same conclusion in Luke 18 after telling the story of two men who prayed in the temple. “I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

In the second parable, the first man thanked God that he was not an extortioner, unjust, or an adulterer, that he tithed, and that he fasted twice a week. Jesus did not say that it was not true! What was wrong? He also thanked God that “he was not like other men, or even like this tax collector.” He exalted himself. The …

The Magnificent Adventure

Recently I finished reading a novel by a friend of mine who is with the Lord now. It is The Magnificent Adventure by Jim Hardie.

In this novel, a biology professor at the University of Colorado decides to present the gospel to his unbelieving peers. He divided up the Gospel of John and assigned three chapters each to be read by seven men. Their assignment was to find the answer to one question: Who did Jesus say He was? Each one was able to find the answer in his own three-chapter section.

This is the real issue of the New Testament: Who is Jesus, and what did He do?