He sees, he knows, he loves

Jesus knows.

He knows stuff. He knows the future and he knows the past. In Matthew 21 Jesus predicts not only what would happen within days but then what would happen in about 37 years.

“33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone;

the Lord has done this,

and it is marvelous in our eyes’[h]?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”[i]

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.”

It all came true. They will arrest him. They will try and convict him. They will beat him. They will force him out of the city. They will kill him. And then God will boot them (the religious leaders) out of the city, destroy the temple and the city in 70 a.d.

Jesus knows stuff. Not just general events kind of stuff but heart and mind stuff. He knows my heart. Even when my heart wants something bad, something wrong, or when it will not forgive, or when it hates. He knows that stuff about me, about us. And yet…

And yet he died for me, for us. He died the death we deserve. And then…

And then he rose from the grave! Jesus is alive! Today, right now, he is alive and well and is waiting for us to choose to accept his deal, the deal of all of eternity, we confess we need him, and he forgives all of our bad and we become part of his family!

He knows stuff. He knows stuff about us. And he still loves us.

Today is a good day to accept his offer.

Let the remodeling begin

Change. Jesus brought it with him. He could change people physically and change them spiritually. He changed water into wine. He changed blind and lame and deaf and mute people into seeing and walking and hearing people. He changed dead people into living people. When he entered the temple he changed it from a market back into a house of prayer.

I can change my house, we’ve done a lot of changing it. I have the authority to do so because I own it. (I will own it after 456 more payments).

In Matthew 21 the religious leaders of the day questioned Jesus’ authority to make the changes that he did.

“23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”‘

Does the owner of a thing have to show his deed to the place at the hardware store? I never have. There are times when I should have. Maybe not questioned my authority but my ability.

Jesus has both, authority and ability. He has a master plan for each one of us. He is standing on the front porch of our lives with blueprints and tools and supplies patiently knocking on the door. He is the owner, we are only tenants.

Remodeling is a lengthy and messy business. Last night I just finished painting over the spackle that I used to fill in holes that I made by mistake. It was a project that I started almost a year ago. There is dust and junk and unexpected detours. But God has a plan. He actually knows how best to change us to make us into what he needs to expand his kingdom. That is the goal, kingdom expansion. God wants his flag flown over every home.

Will we let Jesus into our lives so he can change us?

Today is a great day to get started.

The fig tree is up to bat

Strike four!

4 strikes? My mom would give us unlimited strikes in wiffle ball or kickball. As I got older and started playing those same games at school It was a shock to find out there was a 3 strike limit. Mom was merciful.

Usually we find Jesus being merciful, he died to save us from our sins. In this next section of Matthew 21 we see him use his authority in a different way.

“18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”’

The disciples seemed to be amazed at how he did it. I am amazed at what he did. The tree failed to have fruit but it wasn’t fig season.

Strike one! You’re out!

I’ve been hung up on this. It is scary to see Jesus as judge.

Jesus our gentle and merciful savior has authority on the earth, over the earth. This is one thing we see.

He left to prepare a home for us. He will come back as OUR judge.

We are not saved by our works, however, our works will be judged. Will we have fruit on our branches?

Here is another story about a fruitless plant told in Luke .

“6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. The offer that Jesus makes to us is a one size fits all, but we must take possession of it.

Paul said this in his letter to the Romans, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Paul also said this in Ephesians 2,”

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10 –

We are saved for a purpose. God has stuff for us to do in our lives. He has fruit he wants to produce in us, through us he wants to reach the word with. Message of Jesus. He wants to use us to produce more believers.

How are we doing with that?

If you the reader are a believer in Jesus I rejoice and celebrate with you. But I must ask you, who have you shared the good news with?

If you the reader are not yet a believer I ask you, will you receive God’s gift today?

Today is a good day to accept Jesus’ offer.

Hear an angel Chorus say “home run!!!”

We fail him and yet he loves us

He knows and yet he loves us anyway.

John 18

“Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants[e] and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself…..,

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.”

Jesus said that Peter would deny him 3 times before rooster crowed. That is exactly what happened.

What does this mean for us? It means God know our failures before we fail them. Yet, and yet, he still loves us. I don’t get it but I receive it.

It’s early Sunday morning. Join me in worshipping this great and awesome and forgiving and merciful God. Our church service starts at 10. Find a church and join us in celebration of Gods great love and mercy.

Even if church isn’t an option please Receive his forgiveness today. He is waiting with love to forgive us.

Meekness, power under submission

Meekness is power under submission. In the dictionary there should be a picture of Jesus next to the word.

John 18

“When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.

2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”

5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”[a]

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

When the soldiers fell to the ground, was it Angels doing sweep kicks to the back the knees? It could have been the force of his breath. The one who created the air and the wind that moves it was speaking. Maybe the ground was yanked like a throw rug. However it was accomplished it shows that Jesus was in charge even while he was submitting to His Fathers’ plan to be arrested, tried, convicted and executed.

That plan would lead him to die on a cross. That death would change my eternity. Change eternity for all people. We now have a way back to our Father God. The door, the path, the way, the only way is through Jesus death on the cross.

He went willingly because he loves us. Will you accept his gift of life today? If you have already accepted His gift, will you tell someone who hasn’t heard the good news yet? God has forgiven our sin. We can come home.

Finished

I am damaged goods. I’m not just talking about my body. My heart, my soul are damaged. They are always wanting their own way. I am sitting in church listening to songs about how much God loves me, but my mind keeps flashing back to my failures, telling me I don’t belong here. Then over all the other voices and memories I hear Jesus words from the cross, “it is finished”.

Jesus finished the work it took to forgive my sins. I entered black with sin, but bathed in his red blood I am washed white. I don’t understand it but I cling to it like a drowning man to a life raft.

Join me if not in this place at least in this position. I have Asked Jesus yet again to cleanse me and his blood is just as effective today as it was the very first time a I called out to him to save me.

Church starts at 10 am here but there are church’s every where and if you can’t make it to church Jesus is available 24/7 and makes house calls.

Join me.

Is change possible?

Can people really change? Does meeting Jesus and having him become our master really have any affect on us?

(Col 4)

Once upon a time there was a slave who lived in Colosse. He was a young man born into slavery. He stole some money from his master and ran away to the big city of Rome. He was hoping to lose himself in the crowds. In stead he met a man named Paul who introduced him to a God/man/savior named Jesus. This slaves name was Onesimus. Paul had this to say about the character of this guy; “He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.”

And this “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[b] who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.”

The second quote is from the book of Philemon. Philemon was Onesimus’ owner. How strange to own another human yet he did and it was within his rights to do anything to his slave. Paul asked for mercy and forgiveness.

The name Onesimus means useful.

Jesus can change people from useless to useful. He can set the the heart of one enslaved free, even if his body is still owned.

There are many modern slaveries that we get sold into. Jesus can set us free by washing away sin and breaking chains, spiritual chains the keep us locked into patterns and behaviors.

Can people change? Hmmm. Can Jesus change people? Yes.