Tag Archives: Jesus

Self Examination in Times of Distress

Looking at Our Sin

Looking at the sin of others without examining ourselves leads to wrong thoughts, attitudes and perspectives. It separates us from God’s will for our lives. It’s important to our Heavenly Father how we use our thoughts and emotions. Yes, we can have emotions (like anger) but we can’t allow them to cause us to sin against God or our neighbor. Ephesians 4:26

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Flowers and Faith-Jesus Over Fear Series-Luke 12:27–28

““Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!”

Luke 12:27–28, NIV

Jesus gave this series of teachings in Luke Chapter 12 on his way to Jerusalem. We can imagine that he passed meadows of wildflowers on his way. He may have referred to the scene as he elaborated on his admonition not to worry but to trust in God’s provision.

Continue reading Flowers and Faith-Jesus Over Fear Series-Luke 12:27–28

Why Worry?- Day 7 Jesus Over Fear Series- Luke 12:25–26

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Luke 12:25–26, NIV

Worry is something that is hard for us not to do. Jesus wants to help. Read what he says in the Bible about worry and be comforted. Let’s look closely at a Bible verse in which Jesus teaches his disciples about worry.

Continue reading Why Worry?- Day 7 Jesus Over Fear Series- Luke 12:25–26

Consider – Luke 12:24, Jesus Over Fear Series

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”

Luke 12:24, NIV

Jesus wants you to trust him to provide for you. He also wants to know how valuable you are to God. Let’s look at Jesus discussing ravens using the AROMA Approach to Bible Study method.

Continue reading Consider – Luke 12:24, Jesus Over Fear Series

Food and Clothes: Jesus Over Fear Series, Luke 12:22-23, The AROMA Approach

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” Luke 12:22–23, NIV

Worry interferes with the Kingdom work of the Christian because it shows misplaced priorities. What does Jesus teach his disciples?Let’s use the action engagement steps of the AROMA Approach to study this passage more closely and see what God wants to teach us our worry and his provision.

Continue reading Food and Clothes: Jesus Over Fear Series, Luke 12:22-23, The AROMA Approach

Should You Hoard? Jesus Over Fear Series, Luke 12:16-21

“You have plenty of grain laid up for many years.”

“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.””

Luke 12:16–21, NIV

Faith in God vs hoarding. One man stored his treasures and wasn’t rich towards God. What happened?

Continue reading Should You Hoard? Jesus Over Fear Series, Luke 12:16-21

Preparedness: Jesus Over Fear Series, Luke 12:35–40

““Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.””

Luke 12:35–40, NIV

Toilet tissue. Hand sanitizer. Bottled water.

These are probably the first things that come to your mind when I mention “preparedness” in this time of pandemic. Preparedness is the state of being ready for what’s to come. It can give you peace of mind and confidence. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, a prepared person rejoices about the future. (“Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.” Proverbs 31:25)

For the follower of Jesus, what does it mean to be prepared? In reading the Gospels, particularly in Luke, we read what Jesus taught on this topic.

In going through my Bible survey course, I am in the book of Luke. A major theme in Luke is preparedness. We see Jesus contrast earthly preparedness with heavenly preparedness. He teaches in parables at times about the relative importance of each. In the story of the rich man who built storehouses, Jesus emphasizes that we can’t effectively prepare for earthly calamities. Why not? We can’t know what is coming. Other examples about the futility of worry continue the teaching of Jesus in this area.

Conversely, Jesus makes it clear that preparing for his return is something that we can control and should work towards, like the wise virgins who kept their lamps burning. Jesus wants us to focus on heavenly preparedness. Any other focus is dangerous to our soul’s eternity.

There is one future event we can be certain of. That is our death. You will die, I will die. The main question of our lives should be preparing for this certainty according to Jesus.Will Jesus greet you with “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21) or will you cast away as a goat from the sheep? (Matthew 25:31-46)

Why should we not be concerned about the future? Because that’s God’s job. He knows the end from the beginning. We are free to pursue the Kingdom of God by living in obedience. We don’t want our hearts and minds to have a misplaced focus when Jesus returns or calls us home.

Will you commit to dedicating your life to the most important preparedness of all and teach others to do the same?

Lord, Help us to keep our focus on serving you and getting ready for your return. Show us how to teach the truth of heavenly preparedness to others, starting with our families. You are a holy God, worthy to be praised and we seek to glorify you in all that we do. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Let God take care of your future while you focus on living in obedience to God today. Victoria Carrington

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How Many Hairs Do You Have? :Jesus Over Faith Series, Luke 12:6-7

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6–7, NIV)

God wants you to choose faith in Him over fear of being forgotten. In this passage, Jesus teaches his listeners about God’s attention to detail to dispel fear. To do this, Jesus makes an argument in a familiar pattern illustrating his skill as a master teacher.

Continue reading How Many Hairs Do You Have? :Jesus Over Faith Series, Luke 12:6-7

Who Should I Fear?: Jesus Over Fear Series, Day 1, Luke 12:4–5

““I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

Luke 12:4–5, NIV

Who do you fear?

Do you fear that which brings death and disease?

Is your mind often filled with “what ifs”?

Do you have the proper perspective on death?

Jesus wants you to take your thoughts off of people (or by extension things) that could kill you. Instead, he wants to fear Almighty God, the only One who has the authority to “throw you into hell”.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is needed as we face risk from a disease that can be deadly. A sense of God’s sovereignty and holiness is important as we navigate unfamiliar, stormy waters.

If you are a born-again child of God, you no longer need to fear death. Jesus died on the cross that you could be reconciled to our holy God and spend all eternity in heaven.

Psalm 27:1 says it this way-

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 (NKJV)

Jesus is our light and salvation. Trust in him today.

Prayer

Lord, free me from the fear of man, disease, accidents or any cause of death. Help me to put all my faith and trust in you. Amen.


Read, pray and then meditate on this word throughout the day.

For more background and context on this passage, consult an online commentary, study Bible or app using Bible Hub, Logos or Bible Gateway.

Christian Response in Times of Fear- Part Two

The Commandments of Jesus

Spreading fear on social media or anywhere else puts you in direct contradiction with the commands of Jesus.

Do Not Fear

We are not to have a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) so we definitely shouldn’t be sharing ideas about the future that cause fear. We are not to fear politicians, billionaires or experts who “may” do terrible things to us, restrict our freedom, or persecute us. We are to only fear “the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

Do Not Worry

Fearful posts are fueled by worry. What if…. or Let me warn you….. Worry is a sin. Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:34)
Jesus said we change nothing by worrying.
He wants you to trust in his love and care. He said
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

Once you obey and stop worrying, you can encourage others to do the same. In this way you fulfill the Great Commission, teaching others to obey the commands of Jesus. (Matthew 28:20)

Love

Jesus said love ❤️ your neighbor. “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:31
18% of the population, about 40 million adults, have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Many more suffer without being diagnosed. It is almost certain that someone reading your posts will already be quite anxious. Are you being a Good Samaritan, helping to heal their wounds or soothe their anxiety? Or are you spreading anxious perspectives with little thought of how the vulnerable may be affected?

Encourage One Another

The Bible has much to say as it addressed the early church about how believers were to help one another.

For every verse posted about fearing a possible future situation, how many have you posted to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ?

You can share posts that encourage others to:

  • pray without ceasing
  • think on things that are lovely and true
  • keep their hearts ? and mind focused on Jesus
  • be content in all things
  • remember that God works all things together for good for those who love him
  • pray and ask God’s help in all things, with gratitude.

Prayer

Lord, help us resist the temptation to spread fear in this time of uncertainty and heightened anxiety. Guide us is spreading our knowledge of you and encouraging others to love ?, know and obey you. Help us take our eyes off of the future and fear and to focus on you and love ❤️ you with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Amen.

You Must Be Born Again

John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and leader of the Jews, came to see Jesus at night after the crowds left.

He began by acknowledging who Jesus was, a Rabbi (teacher), sent by God who did miracles because God was with him.

Jesus, instead of thanking Nicodemus for the compliments, gave a warning. Jesus began by saying “truly, truly” or literally “amen, amen”. He wanted to make sure Nicodemus paid careful attention to what came next.

Jesus knew that his fellow Jews were looking for the Kingdom of God to come and end the reign of Roman oppression. Jesus also knew that curiosity about Jesus’ role in the Kingdom of God was what bought Nicodemus out to see him that night.

This theme of wondering if Jesus is the one to bring the Kingdom of God is seen throughout the Gospels. Jews, even John the Baptist, wanted to know who Jesus was in relation to the expected Kingdom of God.

Jesus gives a warning to Nicodemus- “unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. The Greek word for “born again” can also mean “born from above” and both meanings are likely in view here. Jesus pointed Nicodemus to the new life he needed to receive in order to be part of the Kingdom of God. Just as the breath of life from God above, “ruach” gave life to the first man Adam, so a man must receive this breath and be born again to live in God’s eternal Kingdom.

James uses the same Greek word used here for “born again” when he writes “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” in James 1:17.

The most perfect gift available for you today is the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. God is asking you to be born again.

Are you willing to become a new creation in Christ? Will you give your life to Christ and make him the lord of your life?

This Easter, in the spring season of newness, let God know your desire to be born again. He wants to give you newness of life in him. All your sins will be washed away and you can get a fresh start.

DM me if you would like me to pray with or for you.

Confronted By the Resurrected Jesus: Repent and Refresh

Confronted by the Resurrected Jesus- What Should You Do?

The events in the life of Jesus surrounding Easter demand a response. Jesus suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again to the fulfillment of the Scriptures. What will you do?

The events in the life of Jesus surrounding Easter demand a response. What happened to Jesus? In the historic words of the Nicene Creed, “…he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures.” The remainder of the New Testament commands that all who confront this truth make a decision. Will you choose to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? The verses in this series will show you what it means to accept the truth of a Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.

Acts 3:19 clearly states the requirement for forgiveness of sin- repent and be converted. What is the meaning of repent? metanoeo, the Greek word for “repent” in the New Testament, means a change of mind leading to change in behavior. It means to go in a new, different direction. This happens when you move away from your old life. Following Jesus means you no longer follow your own ways. The ways that seem right to a man lead to destruction, Proverbs tells us. (Proverbs 14:12)

What do you need to change your mind about? Two things- who you are and who Jesus is.

1)You must see yourself as a sinner in need of grace and forgiveness.

2) You need to recognize Jesus as the Son of God who died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sin.

It’s not enough to walk away. You must know what and who you are walking to.

To be “converted” means to go one from one state to another. You will pass from an unrepentant sinner, comfortable with your sin, to a child of God who knows the gravity of sin in the face of God’s holiness. You are converted into a believer in Jesus. Your life turns towards God as you seek to walk with him. Jesus is now your Lord. You are yoked to him and he carries your burdens. You learn of Jesus and desire to dwell with him forever. Walking in confidence with Jesus is only one of the amazing joys that come with repentance and conversion. What happens to your sin is an important fruit of repentance and conversion.

What do repentance and conversion do to your sin? They officially wipe it away. “Blotted out” is a reference to the way a scribe would clean up a mistake from a scroll he was writing. The ink needed to be completely removed from the scroll. Your sin is completely removed from God’s sight. Instead, your name is now written in God’s book of life and it will NEVER be blotted out! Hallelujah, God no longer keeps record of our sins!

Times of refreshing or relief will be yours. Along with the removal of sin from your record, you will feel relieved. Objectively, the sin is gone. Subjectively, God graciously allows you to feel this. You no longer need to fear the presence of the holy, sinless, righteous God like one who lives in sin must. Your sin no longer separates you from God. In his presence you will find fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)

If you have not already, repent, convert and be relieved. Put your faith and trust in the resurrected Jesus today.

Jesus and Thanksgiving Part 2- Raising Lazarus from the Dead

John 11:41-44

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

The scene is at first a sad one. Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus died. They sent for Jesus to come heal their brother when he fell ill but Jesus didn’t arrive before Lazarus succumbed to death.

Everyone is upset and many were confused. They saw Jesus perform many miracles. Surely he could have saved this one whom he loved dearly!

As before the miraculous feeding of the multitude, Jesus takes his time to proceed decently and in order. Everyone around him is overcome with grief. But Jesus will not be rushed. He knows he will do a miracle but he takes the time to thank his Father first.

Why? So that all who were listening would understand that he was sent by Father and only acts in obedience to the Father. The listeners also heard Jesus’ approach to the Father, gratitude. After Jesus gave thanks to God, the Father, he miraculously raised Lazarus from the dead.

Sometimes you need a miracle to come to you or through you. Expect God to do the impossible. Take the time to acknowledge and thank God for what he is going to do.

The Difference In Christian Leadership

It is important as Christian leaders to show others the upside-down Kingdom of Jesus through how we lead. The business world often argues that it is unrealistic or even wrong for a leader to act as a servant. Conversely, we know and follow a King who came to serve and we follow his example.

To be true leaders in our families, our churches and in our businesses, we must lead with humility and the constant goal to serve and provide value by meeting the needs of others. We can make a difference by leading well.