Category Archives: Uncategorized

Honor Your Parents

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 15:4  God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’

Exodus 20:12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”

The ten commandments can be split into two separate sections, the first involves commands that tell us how to relate to God and the second section tells us the ground rules on how to treat our fellow man.

The first command that pertains to our relationships with people is the one that tells us how to treat our parents. We are to show honor to them, that means not only respect and submission, but also to take care of a person, to nurture and sustain them.

It isn’t any surprise that God wants us to treat our parents with the highest regard, after all he told us to love our enemies and those that persecute us. So then even if you think that your parents don’t deserve it, you are not off the hook, we have to love our enemies so how much better should we teat our parents. No matter how old we get to be or how independent we become, we are still obligated to love and respect them and to take care of their needs when they cannot.

Lord help me to love my parents and care for them as they grow older. Thank you for Christian parents.

 

Deny Yourself

The Commands of Jesus Series

Luke 9:22-25  “The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” He said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day He will be raised from the dead.”

23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.  24  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?

The most prevalent false doctrines that the world embraces is selfishness and greed. The world’s motivation is to get everything that it can get at any cost, but that is the problem, they have been deceived and they haven’t seen what the price tag is on what they are buying into.We have before us the most extreme example of a person that lived for others, Jesus was not selfish, he suffered for the sake of others, he was wrongfully rejected when he could have been the most popular guy in town, he was killed instead of being judgmental and punishing the people all around him that he had the right to condemn.

Here is the reality of the situation, even if you get every piece of wealth that the world has to offer, every treasure that there is but if you didn’t follow Jesus then you have lost it all.

I need to remember what the price tag was for my eternal destiny, I have been bought at a very high price, the debt of my sin has been paid and I need to show my gratitude for Jesus sacrifice by living each day for him.

Lord, help me to fight against the world’s economic policy, the stakes are too high, I need to give up my life for Christ sake so that I will be saved. Lord help us to never forget how great a sacrifice that you made for us.

Don’t Cast Your Pearls To The Pigs

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 7:6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.

Proverbs 9:7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.

Jude 1:10 But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction.

“I get no respect” the famous line from Rodney Dangerfield could easily be used by God. Some people love to make fun of Christians and show complete disrespect for the gospel message, Jesus referred to these people as pigs. The pigs are a good word picture for the Jewish audience that Jesus was speaking to since they knew that the pigs were ceremonially unclean and they were repulsive to the Jews.

It is difficult to understand somebody being so bad off that we are excused from trying to persuade them to understand the gospel. Most of the Pharisees probably fit into this category of people since they were so self righteous and stubborn that they could not see the value of Jesus message. Most people do not fit into this category and I endeavor to share the good news with almost everybody without excuse.

Matthew 10:14 If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.

Thank you Lord for your gift of salvation, help me to feel the urgency to share the good news more with those that I meet.

Pay Your Taxes

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 22:17-22  Now tell us what You think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

18  But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” He said. “Why are you trying to trap Me?  19   Here, show Me the coin used for the tax.”

When they handed Him a Roman coin,  20  He asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”  21  “Caesar’s,” they replied.

“Well, then,” He said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”  22  His reply amazed them, and they went away.

Everybody hates paying taxes, we all probably think, “those guys don’t have a clue how to spend our money wisely so why should I give them more of it.”

These religious leaders were posing as legitimate Christ followers that wanted to know what Jesus teaching is on supporting the civil government, but there has never been a disguise that could outwit Jesus, he knew what there purpose was in asking the question.

Out of this quick discussion comes two rules that a Christ follower is to live by:

Give to Caesar what he is entitled to have.

Jesus didn’t come to earth to fight against the civil government, doesn’t the Bible teach us that those that are in authority have been put there by God.

Romans 13:1-2  Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.  2  So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 

Give to God what he is entitled to have.

Isn’t it strange that most people are afraid to cheat on their federal income taxes but they don’t worry at all about cheating God out of the tithe.

Malachi 3:8-10  “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated Me! “But you ask, ‘What do You mean? When did we ever cheat You?’ “You have cheated Me of the tithes and offerings due to Me.  9  You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating Me.  10  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in My Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put Me to the test!

Thank you Lord for opening the windows of heaven and blessing me, you are faithful to those that trust you in every area of life, I pray that I will always be obedient to give back to you in my tithes and my talents.

Watch and Pray

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 26:41  Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Ephesians 6:18  Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

James 1:14  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

Jesus gives us the best strategy that we could possibly use to keep us from giving into temptation and he kept it simple too, that is important because we don’t need a plan that is hard to implement when temptation is so easy to fall for, we have to have something that is very doable.

Step one: Keep watch

Remember that your body is so weak and that it is easily enticed by the desires of our sinful nature. We have to keep a constant guard up because we are just one stupid decision away from doing something that will haunt us for a very long time. One decision away from wrecking our family, our homes and our testimony.

Step two: Pray

While it is good to be physically prepared and keep up your guard it is even more important to deploy the strategy of prayer to fight against the enemy. Jesus said that our spirit is willing but we have to overcome that weak body that is so ready to compromise. The only way to reinforce that wimpy body is to stay in prayer constantly, asking God to give us the strength and protection that we need everyday.

Lord Jesus thank you for providing a way out from every temptation. Help me to stay vigilant and praying at all times. I need to rely on you to help me to overcome.

Forgive the Offenders

Commands of Jesus Series


Matthew 18:21-27, 32-35 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22  “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

23  “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him.

24  In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.  25   He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold–along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned–to pay the debt.  26  “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’  27  Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

32  Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me.  33  Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’  34  Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.  35  “That’s what My heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Matthew 5:7   God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving, it never wears out or goes out of style, the one gift that we needed the most. As much as we love this gift we are also supposed to re-gift it and let others have some.

Forgiveness is our greatest need, the desperate situation that we are in if we do not receive this gift through Christ. We have been pardoned by the king of the universe, his mercy to us is overwhelming and it is a great example of how we are to treat the people around us.

How can we understand how miserable our condition was without forgiveness and then we decide to withhold forgiveness from those that hurt us? When we see ourselves for who we really are and realize how much mercy that was bestowed upon ourselves, we will have no other reaction that to extend mercy to the ones that offend us.

The Bible is very clear that if I do not show mercy in the same measure that it was given to me then I am in a very serious situation, maybe I didn’t really get it when Jesus forgave me, I need to always remember the best gift that I ever received is the gift that I need to re-gift.

Help me Lord to always remember that debt that was canceled for my benefit and help me to extend that same mercy to those around me.

Feed My Sheep

Commands of Jesus Series

John 21:15-16  After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these? ” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “You know I love You.” “Then feed My lambs,” Jesus told him.

16  Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “You know I love You.” “Then take care of My sheep,” Jesus said.

John 10:9-11  Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.

10  The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.  11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep.

Lost animals are very sad to see, most of the time in our society we see lost dogs instead of lost sheep but the look is the same, they have a desperate look and seem about ready to panic.

Jesus saw the crowds of people that were under the care of the religious leaders and he had to sympathize with the lost sheep of Israel, they were desperate for a shepherd. They didn’t have a leader that would tend to the flock and protect it, instead the religious leaders were exploiting the sheep and watching out for their own interest. (Matthew 9:36)

Just before Jesus left this world he told those of us that are leaders in the church to be his hands and feet while he is gone. The Great Shepherd took care of his sheep, he laid down his life for the sheep and then after he rose from the dead he told us to carry on his work and feed, guide and protect his sheep until he returns.

1 Peter 5:2  Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly–not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

Jesus transferred the responsibility to us, I need to be found faithful to my duty and be a better shepherd than the ones that he found the last time he was here.

Don’t Despise The Little Ones

Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 18:1-4, 10  About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

2  Jesus called a little child to Him and put the child among them.  3  Then He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  4  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

10  “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of My heavenly Father.

This is probably one of the easiest commands for most of us. After-all how could you not like children?

Jesus loves the little children and he told us that we need to be like a child in order to inherit a place in eternity with him and yet we spend so much of our time pretending to be so grown up.

We want to appear to have it all together and to be self sufficient, we want people to see our strength and we will go to great lengths to hide our weaknesses.The problem is, Jesus didn’t want his followers to be that kind of people, he wanted simple, obedient child like followers that would rely on him and would trust in him to take care of our weakness.

I need to be willing to do what ever my heavenly father ask of me.Increase my faith Lord that you will provide the strength and the guidance for anything that you ask me to do.

Baptize My Disciples

The Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 28:19  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

You can easily see the importance of the first part of this well known verse, the command to go and make disciples, that is obviously important, but we may not consider the second part of this verse to be such a big deal. Why is it so important?

It is through baptism that we testify to the world that we know that we are in need of getting cleaned up, it says that we have found the only way to get rid of the stain that sin has left on our soul, with baptism we acknowledge the fact that we cannot wash ourselves of our sin and that we needed someone else to take away the eternal penalty of our sin.

Romans 6:4-5  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was.

It is important to make it clear that baptism cannot make anyone right with God. It is only a testimony to the fact that I have already been cleansed and it tells my friends and neighbors that my life is now to be associated with my Savior who did the ultimate for me when I wasn’t even his friend.

It tells everybody that for now on I have a new way of living that for now on I will be striving to look like my savior, selfless, kind, patient and all of those other traits that we have been commanded to live by.

It is an oath by which we renounce the world and the flesh, as rivals with God for the throne in our hearts; and an oath of allegiance by which we resign and give up ourselves to God, to be his, our own selves, our whole selves, body, soul, and spirit, to be governed by his will.

Help me to always live for you Lord. I want to always keep fresh in my mind that you gave it all so that I could have it all. Thank you for loving me to the extreme before I was even your friend.

Jesus Is Punished For Our Good

Isaiah 53:2-5 There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

Good Friday, what a name for the day that Jesus was crucified for our sins, it seems like the opposite of good is what we should be thinking about when you say that Jesus has been executed.

Good Friday seems bad but if you know much about Jesus then you know that he is all about opposites. The first shall be last, the greatest will be the least, the rich will be poor and now the ultimate opposite: the innocent get punished for the guilty.

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Hymn by Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876)

The most innocent (perfect) man that every lived became the most guilty, he took the sins for everyone upon himself, he took the bondage of death so that we can be free, he took dirty rags and made them white as snow.

Thank you Lord for taking the punishment that I deserved.