God greatly encouraged by heart yesterday as I spent time in His Holy, inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved word the Bible. Normally when I read my Lord and Savior’s Word, I like to read from the Old Testament, from Psalms or Proverbs, from a Gospel, and from the epistles. So I am currently reading 2 Kings, Psalms, Luke, and Romans. God’s Word is so delightful, encouraging our hearts and correcting our walk with Him. How can we adequately thank Him for all of His mercy, grace and love given to us on a daily basis because of the great love with which He loved us when He sent Jesus Christ His Son to die on the cross in our stead, taking the punishment for our sins that we deserve, giving us the justification before God that we can never earn or deserve, and then giving us the greatest of all gifts, eternal life, to know Him, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and God our Father, through His resurrection from the dead. We are indeed abundantly blessed. Amen!
In the Scripture passage from Luke chapter eight, Jesus distinguished between true and false converts by their reaction to His Word, genuine believers further portrayed as those who love God and obey His Word, and then the majestic rule of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, over all aspects of creation.
And it came to pass afterward, that He went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him, (2) And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, (3) And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance. (4) And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable: (5) A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. (6) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. (7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. (8) And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when He had said these things, He cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (9) And His disciples asked Him, saying, What might this parable be? (10) And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (11) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (12) Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. (13) They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. (14) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. (15) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Luke 8:1-15
God’s Word shows us the many important attributes of those who genuinely belong to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. The first is they minister to Jesus Christ through their substance, or belongings. We must always be careful that our giving is never used by the enemy to support his error and treachery, we must always make sure our giving glorifies and honors Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. At times this ministry to the Lord may be rooted in staying faithful to Him during apostate times, but the end result is the same, His children love Him and support Him through their giving.
The next attribute is God’s children listen to and receive God’s Word. We not only listen to and receive God’s Word, but Jesus Christ reveals to us the meaning of His Word through the indwelling Holy Spirit. If the Word of God, the Bible, is not our delight, if the Holy Spirit doesn’t illuminate it for us, then one of two things is true about us, we are either sinning or we do not belong to Christ Jesus. Understanding of the Word of God is given to us because we belong to Him through faith in Him, Jesus Christ.
It is true of believers in Jesus Christ that we will bring forth fruit for His glory through the ministry of His Word to our hearts either through our own study of the Bible, or through the godly exegetical preaching of His Holy Word to us by faithful men of God who serve the Lord Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit will produce this fruit in our lives so that we express His character and holiness and concern ourselves with Christ’s continued ministry here on this earth, His testimony to the truth of God and the preaching of the gospel of salvation for the eternal salvation of lost sinners. Jesus continued to teach about the true nature of saving faith and the impact that it has upon the life of those who believe in Him.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. (17) For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. (18) Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. (19) Then came to Him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at Him for the press. (20) And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see Thee. (21) And He answered and said unto them, My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. Luke 8:16-21
My beloved brethren, we see again the difference between those who know and love the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and those who have a said faith. We will be earnest witnesses for Him, in word and deed. We will be blessed by Him to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit and so be lovingly instructed by Him from the Bible. We will be those who are of the family of God and because we belong to Him we are those who hear God’s Word and obey it, by doing what it says. The next passages show Christ’s authority to hold everyone accountable to Him because He is God and rules over all.
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that He went into a ship with His disciples: and He said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. (23) But as they sailed He fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. (24) And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Master, Master, we perish. Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. (25) And He said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of Man is this! for He commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey Him. Luke 8:22-25
When Jesus walked upon this earth He had complete power to control the elements. It is amazing to see His authority so powerfully displayed in this passage, but to also be reminded that He walked as the Son of Man, a Man who had the same need for sleep that we have. We see in this passage Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and the Son of God, man and yet fully God, displaying His authority over the wind and the waves. This is the same authority that He exercises when He calls all sinners to repent and believe in Him. This is the same authority that He will exercise when He raptures His people before the tribulation. This is the same authority to judge all sinners during the tribulation and when He comes again. This is the same authority that He will exercise when He rules and reigns during the millennial kingdom. This is the same authority that He will us to create a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells. Sinner repent so you may know Him as Gentle Shepherd and loving Lord. Sinner repent so you don’t have to meet Him in His Holy judgment. Jesus Christ gives us hope that He loves us through the following passages in which He displays His authority over demons, disease and death.
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. (27) And when He went forth to land, there met Him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. (28) When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God most high? I beseech Thee, torment me not. (29) (For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) (30) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. (31) And they besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep. (32) And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought Him that He would suffer them to enter into them. And He suffered them. (33) Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. (34) When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. (35) Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. (36) They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. (37) Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought Him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and He went up into the ship, and returned back again. (38) Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought Him that he might be with Him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, (39) Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. Luke 8:26-39
Jesus Christ, God the Son of God, had compassion on this poor evil beleaguered man, possessed of many demons. Jesus Christ did for this man what no one else could do, He delivered him and also saved his soul. That is why Jesus Christ came into this world, to save sinners. He alone has the power to deliver us from all evil, from the enemy of our souls, from the lure of the world and from the destruction of our sinful natures. Oh sinner, won’t you repent and believe in Jesus for your salvation? Jesus also gave His grace to these others who had no one else to turn to for help.
And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received Him: for they were all waiting for Him. (41) And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought Him that He would come into his house: (42) For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as He went the people thronged Him. (43) And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, (44) Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. (45) And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? (46) And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. (47) And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. (48) And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (49) While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. (50) But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. (51) And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. (52) And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. (53) And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. (54) And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. (55) And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her meat. (56) And her parents were astonished: but He charged them that they should tell no man what was done. Luke 8:40-56
Two helpless sinners beseeched Jesus for His aid, one publically the other in private. The result was the same; what man could not do Jesus Christ did on the behalf of these two witnesses to His power, glory and love. The unnamed woman was healed. Jesus said to her that her faith had made her well. Despite the insurmountable obstacle, the death of his daughter, Jesus Christ told Jairus to believe. Jesus went in and raised that little twelve-year-old precious daughter back to life again. Oh sinner, you may be dead in trespasses and sins, but God is pleased to give you eternal life through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Oh sinner, sick and depraved in your rebellion against God, Jesus is pleased to make you a child of God through repentant faith in Him. God is willing to bring you to Himself as you repent and put your faith in His Son Jesus Christ, who was crucified for our sins and resurrected for our justification. Christ’s death in your place, taking the punishment that you deserve has appeased the wrath of God so that you can be forgiven and reconciled to Him. Christ’s resurrection from the dead has proven that His death is efficacious for all sinners who repent and put their faith in Him and that He has the authority to make you a child of God and give you eternal life. Oh sinner, repent and turn to Christ as Savior and Lord. Receive His mercy and grace just like these sinners who turned to Him. Please repent and believe so that you will not have to meet Him as vengeful judge. Please turn from your path leading to the Lake of Fire and turn to Christ for eternal life.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (12) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. (13) Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit. (14) And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1John 4:9-14
Lord Jesus Christ all authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to You. You have the power and authority to save any sinner who comes to You in repentant faith. May Your work of salvation be established during this time of apostasy. Amen!
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: (2) And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John 1:9-2:2