WHY DID PETER SINK? (Am I a faith enabler?)

MATTHEW 14:30-33: “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” NKJV
‭‭
OBSERVATION: Jesus walked on water. Peter sank.

Why did Peter sink?

The usual answer that is given is that Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to look at the wind and the waves. However, what does it mean to take your eyes off Jesus? The traditional answer to this question never seemed sufficient to me.

As we consider the question of why Peter sank, we need to deal with another misunderstanding from this passage. Was Peter simply impetuous when he stepped out of the boat? Many believe that when Peter saw Jesus, he jumped out of the boat and started walking on the water, while the other 11 disciples simply stayed in the boat. This is not what happened.

  • “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew‬ ‭14:25-27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

After Jesus fed the 5000, He told his disciples to get in the boat and set out for the other side. Jesus dismissed the multitude and then went to a solitary place to pray. As the disciples began to struggle in the boat, at the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them walking on the water. This was a startling experience to all the disciples – even Peter. They thought they had seen a ghost! At that moment no one was thinking about walking on the water!

When Jesus assured them it was He, Peter then responded,

  • “…Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew‬ ‭14:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Notice, Peter did not jump out of the boat and begin walking on the water toward Jesus. Peter was a seasoned fisherman. He was a little smarter than that. Peter asked Jesus to command him to join Him on the water. Peter asked Jesus for His word before he stepped out of the boat. This is the pivotal point of the entire story!

  • “So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.” Matthew‬ ‭14:29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Peter waited for Jesus’ word. He knew that when Jesus spoke His word things happened. When Jesus commissioned the 12 to cast out demons and heal the sick, this is exactly what happened. As they proclaimed the Gospel, and prayed for the sick, they saw the miraculous happen. And, Peter knew, that if Jesus commanded Him to come to Him on the water – he would be able to walk on the water!

So Peter stepped out of the boat, with faith in the word of Jesus. As Peter stepped out in faith upon the word, he began walking on the water towards Jesus. Everything was going great, until the word that He had stepped out on, began to be tested. Peter was faced with the reality of Jesus’ word and the competing reality of the wind and waves of the storm. It was Jesus’ word or the storm, Peter’s faith or his fear. And, Peter chose fear and succumbed to the storm.

I love what Jesus did then. He reached out His hand, rescued Peter, and corrected him for his lack of faith in Jesus word.

  • “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

It was not that Peter took his physical eyes off Jesus. Rather, Peter took his spiritual eyes off the command and promise of Jesus. When God’s word was tested, like the parable of the sower and the seed that was sown on the rocky ground, Jesus’ promise did not take root in Peter’s heart. Peter succumbed to his fears.

How many times have I been just like Peter? God has spoken to me through His word, has called me to a pathway of obedience, and when faced with persecution (wind and waves) on account of the word, I folded. Yet, each and every time, there was the hand of Jesus to pull me out of the storm, set my feet on a solid rock, call me to a restored faith, and remind me of His promise and calling. God is so loving and faithful.

He never lets us sink!

I have so much respect for Peter. He was willing to take a risk of faith in Jesus’ name. None of the other disciples echoed – “Can we come too?” They all stood on the sidelines, probably thinking, “There goes that show-off again. I know he is going to sink!” And, when Peter did sink, I bet there were some muttering under their breath – “I told you so!”

When someone takes a leap of faith into the wind and waves of obedience we should never be like the other 11 disciples. We should be there to encourage, support, and pray for them! If they stumble or sink, we should be there to help restore them. We all have chosen fear over faith at times in our life. What would happen if we all became faith enablers and fear disablers? What could we accomplish for the Kingdom of God?

Lord, give me the grace and courage to step out of the boat! May I always wait for Your word before I do. And, may I cling to Your word in faith and stand against the storms of fear that will try to steal away Your promise.

Let me be a faith enabler and a fear disabler!

In Jesus Name!

Posted in Leadership, Matthew | Leave a comment

THE TIMING OF THE LORD…

NUMBERS 9:22-23: “Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. At the command of the LORD they remained encamped, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses.” NKJV
‭‭
OBSERVATION: Have you ever missed the timing of the Lord? Have you ever grown so impatient waiting for God’s answer that you moved ahead and tried to help Him fulfill your request? I have done both of these things. They say hindsight is 20-20. I wish I had understood the timing of the Lord at a younger age!

I was 26 years old and on fire for the Lord. I had spent the last 3 years pastoring a wonderful congregation in Mt. Baldy, California. When we started there were less than 12. Our attendance grew to fill the little mountain chapel. Most of the people would make the drive from the neighboring valley communities to join us for worship. God’s was blessing our ministry.

In my youth I thought – “What if our church was in one of the towns down the hill? Surely then our growth would explode!” So, in my youth, and in my presumption, I resigned as the pastor of this wonderful mountain church and planted a church down the hill. I really was sure that I was following the leading of the Lord.

We had a great start as far as church plantings go. We were an independent work and had no finances or support from a denomination. We began meeting in a school auditorium. I bought a sound system, printed cards, and we were off and running. Our attendance would run between 35-50 on a Sunday. This new church was plugging along for about 3 months when I heard the word of the Lord.

There are a few times when the Lord has spoken to me in a way that might as well have been an audible voice. It wasn’t, but the message was so crystal clear I knew it was not my imagination. I heard the Lord speak to my heart and ask – “What are you doing?” I thought this was a very strange question. Of course my answer was – “I am planting a church for Your glory.” And, then the message came to me again crystal clear – “Did I ask you to do that?”

This was one of the most humbling moments in my life. I knew the answer. Yet, I struggled within myself to admit the truth. The truth of the matter is that God did not ask me to do this. I did this out of my own enthusiasm and the presumption of my youth. I was so focused on planting a growing church that I forgot to ask the Lord of the church if this is what He wanted me to do.

It was a humbling and sobering Sunday when I had to stand in front of everyone and tell them that I had moved in presumption when planting the church. The Lord was instructing me to close the work and help each person find a home church that they could attend, grow in, and serve – including myself. I did this and I thought that I had failed God so badly that I would never pastor again.

The truth of the matter is that I really did not fail God out of a sinful heart, I simply missed His timing. Timing in life is everything. And the story of the Lord’s cloud by day and fire by night teach us this very important lesson of waiting upon the Lord. I will never know what might have happened if I had waited on the Lord. Yet, in the years that followed, I finally learned the importance of this truth.

Imagine what the children of Israel felt like. God had promised to lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Yet, He told them to only move when He lifted His presence from the Tabernacle. Sometimes the cloud or pillar of fire (at night) would lift from the tabernacle after only a day. Other times it would stay in the same location for a year or possibly more. It was a test of Israel’s willingness to obey the Lord in everything.

As I write these thoughts I am in the middle of launching a new ministry to serve churches with attendance under 200. I have been working on this project all my life, and in a concentrated way over the past year. When I left the church that I had planted in Texas it was with a heavy heart and an expectant heart. I thought things would move faster than they have. There were many times I was tempted to push the timetable forward. Yet, by the grace of God I have waited.

This wait is almost over. The cloud has not yet lifted, but I feel the winds blowing. In this time of waiting I have had many godly men and women speak into my life and into this project. The finished product is more of a collaboration of gifted men and women of God than simply my work. And, it is better than I could have ever hoped. What would I have sacrificed if I had rushed God’s timing?

What are you waiting for this morning? What prayers seem to be delayed? What doors have not yet opened? Before you rush ahead, break down any doors, or are tempted to throw in the towel – trust in God’s perfect timing! At 26 I thought I would never pastor again. I had the privilege of pastoring two great churches and helping with several more. I finished my pastoral ministry strong and now am ready to be launched into my next phase of ministry.

It always pays to wait on the Lord! And, as we humble ourselves before Him, He will give us the grace we need to walk in step after the leading of His Holy Spirit. Don’t be in a rush. In reality, the plans of God for your life are eternal. They don’t end when you die. They simply transition into God’s eternal plan!

  • “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah‬ ‭40:28-31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Lord, give me the grace to wait!

In Jesus Name!

Posted in Leadership, Numbers | Leave a comment

DOES THE TRUTH BRING PEACE – OR – A SWORD?

MATTHEW 10:34-36: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’” NKJV
‭‭
OBSERVATION: Does the truth of God’s Word bring peace – or – a sword? Why does our culture seem to be increasingly tolerant of every tenant of faith and personal belief – except Christianity? Are politics really the cause of the cataclysmic divide in our country, or is it something else?

The concept of the message of the Jesus and the gift of peace are greatly misunderstood. The principles of the Bible, when proclaimed to a fallen world that is ruled by the enemy (until Jesus Christ returns), brings a sword of division rather than the pathway to peace and utopia. Why is this?

The pathway to true peace is not found in a political manifesto. The pathway to true peace is found in the heart of one who repents of their sin and embraces Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. And, this is where the rub is. People don’t like to deal with their sin. In our culture today, more than a political divide, we have a moral divide.

The ruling Jewish classes during Jesus’ day were content in their position of power and with their lifestyle of hypocrisy. They covered their sin and their need for a savior with their outward show of piety. However, they lacked the true righteousness that only comes through heartfelt repentance and faith in God. When Jesus challenged their institutions and their personal lives, He became enemy number one of the state.

The truth always divides. When light is shined upon darkness, those who are reveling in the darkness are not happy. Before I gave my life to Jesus Christ I would party and drink with my friends. When I committed my life to Christ, and when I was invited to party with them, I answered by inviting them to church. It did not take long for our friendship to be dropped like a hot potato. The truth of the Gospel, even when shared in the most loving and innocent of ways, divides!

Jesus came to restore us in relationship with the Father. When we are forgiven by God’s grace, when we are given the privilege of becoming sons and daughters of God, we enter into His peace. Peace is not something we attain, it is something we are given. It is a living and loving relationship with the Creator of the Universe through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. We enter this relationship through the Cross. We must die to ourselves so that we can live in Christ. He is our peace!

  • “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

So, is it Jesus’ mission to break up families? Absolutely not! In fact, Jesus Christ is the only hope for peace in the family. Yet, let us be perfectly clear, the Gospel will divide, and it can even divide families. Our call of devotion to Christ supersedes our call to our friends, our families, and even our own lives. This is what Jesus means when He says,

  • “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew‬ ‭10:37-39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There may come times when we will have to stand up for God’s truth even if it means being estranged from friends and family members. We will be accused of being intolerant and unloving. However, we are called to a higher love. It is the love of God and faithfulness to His Word. In this day of rampant compromise, even in the church, to stand for the truth, even in love, is seen as a hate crime. The question is – are we willing to count the cost in order to be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ?

During World War II many Christians in Germany turned a blind eye to the atrocities of the Third Reich. Those who took a stand and spoke out the truth of God’s Word were rejected by their friends and families, imprisoned, and killed. Throughout history, those who have stood up and proclaimed the unwavering Gospel of Jesus Christ, have been ridiculed, marginalized, and persecuted. What will history have to say about our generation as we stand as the light of God’s truth in an ever darkening world?

Lord, I don’t like it when people reject me for standing up for the truth. Like everyone else, I want to be loved and accepted. Yet, I want to be loved, accepted, and faithful to You above all else. Grant me the grace to love You more than life itself. Give me the courage to stand for Your truth. Let me be like Daniel and his three friends who were willing to pay the ultimate price rather than compromise their faith.

Help me to take up my cross and follow You!

In Jesus Name!

Posted in Matthew | Leave a comment

HOW TO IDENTIFY A TRUE CHRIST FOLLOWER…

MATTHEW 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” NKJV

OBSERVATION: How can we know if someone is a true follower of Jesus Christ? In a day when people stand in the public forum and proclaim their Christianity, how can we discern between true and false believers? Is it possible to quote Scripture, claim to be a Christian, and yet be eternally lost?

These three verses in the Gospel of Matthew are some of the most sobering verses in the Bible. Jesus pulls the curtain back from those who merely make a public profession of faith but are not true believers. The pivotal point of discernment is not what they have done in Jesus’ name. It is what they have done that is counter to the teachings of Jesus.

A true Christ follower is not one who does a few good works in Jesus’ name. A true Christ follower is someone who embraces the totality of Jesus’ teachings and lives their life upon them. It is easy in this day of relative morality to pick and choose a few Bible passages about helping the poor and loving your neighbor, while dismissing the passages that deal with sin and obedience.

Notice the defining factor that distinguishes a true believer from a false believer. The false believer is public about their faith, yet they still practice lawlessness. Some may rise up and object saying – Christ is the end of the law! We are now under grace! Yet, this is a gross misunderstanding of the Scriptures. Christ is not the end of the law – He is the fulfillment and clarification of the law. All the law and the prophets are fulfilled in Him!

  • “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

With respect to the ceremonial laws of sacrifice, Christ has fulfilled them completely with His one and final sacrifice (read the book of Hebrews). With respect to the moral laws of the Bible, Christ is the clarification and light upon these laws and calls us to faithful obedience by grace through faith. The New Testament is the clarification of God’s commandments under the New Covenant. A true believer will both honor them and follow them.

  • “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew‬ ‭5:19-20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There are a multitude of examples that could be used to illustrate this. However, the most glaring is the issue of abortion. Abortion as a means of contraceptive is murder. Murder is lawlessness. It is completely incongruent for one to claim to be a Christ follower and be pro-choice as defined in our culture. The Bible demands that we uphold the sanctity of human life for the unborn, the elderly, and all men and women. To do anything less is lawlessness.

This may seem harsh to some, but it is the truth. I would rather be honest than give a false sense of security to someone who is on the pathway of hearing these final words from the Lord –

  • “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Last night I listened to a debate of candidates who were proclaiming their Christian faith while defending the right to kill innocent unborn children and normalizing immoral behavior that is counter to the revelation of Scripture. God is not interested in hearing us quote a Scripture or two. God is looking for those who are willing to count the costs, enter in the narrow way, and live a life that upholds His commands and His nature. Anything else is merely a house built on the sand!

  • “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew‬ ‭7:26-27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Lord, in this day or relative morality, give me the courage to stand up for the truth. Give me the love to be willing to put myself in harms way to shine the light upon the pathway of righteousness. Give me the grace to teach Your Word in its truth and entirety.

Lord – help me to build my house upon the rock!

  • “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Matthew‬ ‭7:24-25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

In Jesus Name!

Posted in Matthew | 1 Comment

LIGHT – OR- DARKNESS?

MATTHEW 6:22-23: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” NKJV
‭‭
OBSERVATION: Have I had my spiritual eyesight checked lately? How do I see the world and others? What do I allow to enter into my life through the lamp of my eyes? As I read these verses I am moved to contemplate these questions.

Have you ever flunked an eye test? I have, and it was one of the most embarrassing moments in my life. It was the simple test – “Which looks clearer, A or B, 1 or 2.” I don’t know what was going on that day but the optometrist said – “We are going to have to start all over because your answers are all over the place.” I flunked my eye test!

I am nearsighted. When I take my glasses off I can only see things that are close up. Everything else becomes very fuzzy and indistinguishable. This is true in my physical life. Yet, it is also true in my spiritual life. My spiritual eyes can become cloudy and dim if I am not careful. Just as with my physical eyes, the issue is focus. Without my glasses, I lose my visual focus. Without understanding the words of Jesus, I can lose my spiritual focus.

We have two dominant senses. They are sight and hearing. The other senses are important but these two lead the way. And, of the two, I believe sight is the most important. We can hear a noise, but it is through our eyes that we gain understanding of what the noise is and where it is coming from. Our eyes truly are the lamp of the body.

What we give our eyes to will determine whether we are walking in darkness or light. What we look upon, what we focus on, what we read, these all have a dramatic impact on who we become and what we do. If we allow our eyes to look upon the wrong things then our thoughts will be focused in the wrong direction. And, what we think about we will eventually act upon. This is why Jesus said,

  • “If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.”

Being a child of God, and allowing our light to become darkness, is like being nearsighted and driving without corrective lenses. We lose our focus. We begin to allow thoughts that we should not allow to enter into our mind. Our convictions begin to weaken as our spiritual sight becomes dimmer. And, like a driver who takes his eyes off the road, we soon find ourselves driving off the side of the road and into a rut!

Job understood the importance of what he allowed into his eyes. When faced with the temptation of lust, Job proclaimed,

  • “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?” Job‬ ‭31:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

When I received my new Florida drivers license it specified that I need to wear corrective lenses when I drive. In essence, I made a covenant with my eyes to be given the privilege to drive. I know how dangerous it is to drive without my glasses. In the same way I need to make a covenant with my spiritual eyes. I need to give my eyes to the Lord and use them for His glory.

When I set my eyes apart for the Lord, when I covenant to use them for His glory, my mind, soul, and body are filled with light. His Word becomes my daily focus. His glory becomes my daily pursuit. His will becomes my daily prayer. If ever there was a day when I needed my spiritual eyes to be 20-20 – it is today!

Lord, help me to make a covenant with my eyes today. Help me to give my eyes to Your light. Fill my heart, soul, mind, and body with Your light and lead me in the pathway of Your righteousness. And, if my eyes begin to wander, convict me and correct me by Your Holy Spirit.

Let the light in me be Your light!

In Jesus Name!

Posted in Matthew | Leave a comment

I WANT OUT!


PSALM 55:6-8: “So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.” NKJV
‭‭
OBSERVATION: I want out! I want out of this relationship. I want out of this crummy job. I want out of this responsibility. I want out of this church. I want out of this marriage. I want out of this trial and struggle.

I WANT OUT!

Have you ever felt like this? Are you feeling like this now? What a wonderful comfort the Word of God is to us at times like this. It reminds us that we are not alone. Even a man after God’s own heart, King David, wanted out! If he could, he would be lifted up from all his problems on the wings of a dove, and just fly away from the windy storm and tempest he was facing.

YET, THIS IS NEVER THE REALITY!

We cannot escape our problems. We can try. Many people leave jobs, marriages, responsibilities, churches, relationships, and locations. They think they can simply run from the problem and get a new clean start somewhere new, or with someone new. Yet, they have forgotten one important thing. When they run away from these circumstances they run away with the same heart that they had in the circumstances they are trying to escape.

A HEART CHANGE IS WHAT IS NEEDED!

David was facing one of the greatest trials anyone can go through. It was the betrayal of a dear and close friend.

  • “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.” Psalms‬ ‭55:12-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

As a pastor I know this pain. It is one of the most painful experiences any pastor or person can face. Someone whom you have confided in, someone you have trusted, someone you have poured your heart and life into – becomes your enemy. Without explanation, without an apparent cause, you are suddenly cut off. All attempts at reconciliation are rejected. You feel alone, confused, deeply wounded, and lost.

In the ministry this is where many pastors leave their churches. Pastors are no different than anyone else. They think that a new opportunity will fix the problem. It doesn’t. We can never run from our problems.

WE NEED TO FACE OUR PROBLEMS!

When you read the remainder of Psalm 55 it has some pretty tough and raw language. David wants to see God judge those who are his enemies. This was common in many of the Psalms and it is an honest assessment of how we often feel.

HOWEVER, DAVID NEVER TOOK ACTION ON HIS FEELINGS!

David entrusted His care and God’s dealings with those who had hurt him – to God alone!

  • “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in You.” Psalms‬ ‭55:22-23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

From a New Testament perspective we understand that we should pray for our enemies to be saved and restored. We don’t want to be like James and John, the sons of Thunder, calling down fire from heaven to consume them! Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Jesus also came to heal the broken-hearted. And when we are broken-hearted, when we feel like we are trapped in a corner, when there looks like no way out…

WE NEED TO CAST OUR BURDEN ON THE LORD!

David, in faith proclaims – “…And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” I have found that running from my problems never works. It only creates new and greater problems. Yet, when I cast my cares upon the Lord, when I determine to stand steadfast in the faith, and when I come to Him in humility and surrender…

HE ALWAYS MEETS ME WITH HIS GRACE!

Lord, this morning there are things that I wish I could fly away from. Yet, I come to You in humility and surrender and ask You for grace to cast all my cares upon You. And, as I cast my cares upon You today…

HELP ME NOT TO PICK THEM UP AGAIN!

In Jesus Name!

Posted in Psalms | Leave a comment

THE GIFT OF REVELATION…

LUKE 24:45: “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” NKJV
‭‭
OBSERVATION: There is a difference between information and revelation. The world is filled with information. Yet, there is a dearth of revelation. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes all were masters of the Scriptures in Jesus’ day. Yet, they too were filled with information but lacked the revelation needed to truly see Jesus.

The greatest gift that we can receive from the Lord is revelation. The word revelation simply means to unveil something. It is not something that cannot be known. It is something that can only be known with assistance. It is like a grand sculpture, that is veiled from the public, and is just waiting for the artist to remove the tarp so all can behold what is behind it.

Following Jesus’ resurrection there were several encounters that Jesus had with his disciples and followers. In each of these encounters we find a common experience. They did not immediately recognize Jesus. It was not until He opened the Word of God to them and revealed Himself that they saw Him as the risen Christ. Such was the experience of the two men on the road to Emmaus when they met Jesus.

  • “And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Luke‬ ‭24:32-34‬ ‭NKJV

Then, as the disciples were gathered together, and as Jesus began to give them His final instructions, He opened their understanding to the Scriptures. He revealed the fulfillment of all He had taught them and He promised them that they would receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, so that they could walk in this gift of revelation as they fulfilled His call to proclaim the Gospel to the world!

  • “Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” Luke‬ ‭24:46-49‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

In the Gospel of John, Jesus elaborated on this gift of revelation through the Holy Spirit.

  • “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John‬ ‭14:25-26‬ ‭NKJV‬
  • “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” ‭‭John‬ ‭16:13-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬

Why is it that there is so little transformation in the life of believers today? It is because there is so much information but so little revelation. We can attend church services, bible studies, go to concerts, and read book after book. However, if we are not abiding in the Spirit of God and receiving His revelation it is nothing but information. Information alone can never bring transformation. Only the Holy Spirit can bring the revelation of God that is needed for true transformation – into the heart of man.

  • “And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.”

Lord, this morning I pray for revelation. I pray for an unveiling of Your Word in my heart. I pray that I can see Jesus in every page of Scripture in all of His glory. I pray that my heart will be transformed and that my eyes will be opened to Your will for my life. Lord, open my understanding that I might comprehend the Scriptures.

In Jesus Name!

‬‬

Posted in Luke | Leave a comment