Focus

“….. for through Him [Jesus God] God [Father God] created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16 NLT


Why did Jesus leave heaven and come to earth? After all, the Universe was created by Him and for Him, and He was on His throne where He could observe everything and everywhere and everyone. Why leave the glories of a perfect place for this flawed planet, full of flawed beings? What was His focus once here? We go to the book of Hebrews and the words of Jesus Himself for the answers.

“Therefore, when He comes into the world, He [JESUS] says, “Sacrifice and offering You [FATHER GOD] have not desired, But a body You have prepared for Me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the Scroll of the Book it is written of Me) To do Your Will, O God.’ ” After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your Will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:5‭-‬10 NASB

Jesus came for the sole purpose to do His Father’s Will, and in doing so fulfill Prophesy: feeding on the promises God has made, verse 7 “In the Scroll of the Book it is written of Me.” God’s prophesies start in Genesis (3:15, 12:2); Isaiah 7:14, 11; 2 Samuel 7:16; through Micah and Hosea, books full of prophecies, and throughout Scriptures. Jesus is the “fulfillment of the laws and prophets”. Out of a thousand prophesies in the Bible, 500 have been fulfilled; 409 of them by Jesus! He is following the Father: in verses 7-9, He is speaking to God the Father, ready to do His Father’s Will. Jesus is defined by following God’s Will. In

John 5:30, He says I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And again in John 6:38, He says  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”


Our focus as Christians, as followers of the Christ, needs to be like Him: Obey regardless of the cost; be patient, honest, and steadfast. Our duty is not to find our freedom but to find our Master, otherwise we are enslaved by sin. Everything is ashes if we are not following the will of God. Remember His Mercy and His Grace! AMEN.

Testify!

Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God! Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:28‭-‬29 NASB

When I was 5 years old, I knelt with my daddy and prayed for Jesus to come into my heart. Yes, I was rather a precocious child. Strong willed. Over the years and into my teens, we had numerous missionaries in our home and church, teaching and preaching and discipling. Active in all aspects of church life, going to camp in the summer and lots of activities revolving around Jesus, it was easy for me to believe. As a teen, I knew I was called to serve God as a missionary. At 18, I left home to attend college, determined to follow my LORD. I attended a Christian college where I would be surrounded by by my peers, and I would be supported on my journey.

Life; the world, intervened. Let me assure you, Satan is alive and well at Christian colleges, looking for any cracks and openings in our shields of faith. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

He found my weakness, and I fell to his tempations. I strayed from my Lord and stayed away, running from God, for many years. Like Moses, I spent 40 years in the wilderness, only mine was a wilderness of sin. God gave me many opportunities to see His Mercy and His Grace. I mostly ignored Him, and chose to blame Him for my circumstances. I even fell back on that Mercy when I found myself in dire circumstances, but I wasn’t ready to let go of my worldly ways, so I would plunge back into that life.

I have compared my lost years to the Israelites 40 years of wandering in the dessert. I started out trusting God, then I slipped away from Him. The Israelites received His Mercy many times throughout their journey – manna and quail when they were hungry and had no food; water where there was none; deliverance from the Egyptians. His Mercy fed and clothed me at times, and He delivered me from certain death more than once. God didn’t destroy the Israelites because of the prayers of the righteous, and He didn’t destroy me – or allow the enemy to destroy me – because of the prayers of my family.

Some of us have to hit our “bottom” before we can see Jesus. We don’t take anyone’s word that He is real, He loves us, and He wants to forgive us. Sometimes we are like Thomas, Doubting Thomas, and we think we have to “put {our} fingers into His wounds” before we believe.

“One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the LORD!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His Hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.” Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” He said. Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My Hands. Put your hand into the wound in My side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My LORD and my GOD!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE WITHOUT SEEING ME.” John 20:24‭-‬29 NLT

I’m so far from perfect, it can’t be measured, but the LORD GOD of the Universe thinks I’m worthy of His pursuit. What a humbling thought! I continue to sin and to stumble. I have doubts and I worry. But…..

I am so grateful that He doesn’t give up on us; on me!

He Promises

“….. seeing that His [Jesus; Jesus as GOD] Divine Power has granted [past, present, and future] to us EVERYTHING [all inclusive, everything we need] pertaining to life and godliness [to live a godly life, a Christ-like life, for us to become like JESUS], through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own Glory and Excellence. For by these He has granted to us His Precious and Magnificent Promises [made throughout the Scriptures] so that by them you [every person who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour] may become partakers of the Divine Nature [looking more like Christ; living a life in His Image], having escaped the corruption [the rottenness, the stench of decomposition] that is in the world by lust [lust = evil desires of the human heart] – becoming less and less like the world.”

2 Peter 1:3‭-‬4 NASB

I KNOW

I KNOW by Big Daddy Weave
You don’t answer all my questions

But you hear me when I speak
You don’t keep my heart from breakin’
But when it does, you weep with me
You’re so close that I can feel you
When I’ve lost the words to pray
And though my eyes have never seen you
I’ve seen enough to say
I know that you are good
I know that you are kind
I know that you are so much more
Than what I leave behind
I know that I am loved
I know that I am safe
Cause even in the fire to live is Christ, to die again
I know that you are good
I don’t understand the sorrow
But you’re calm within the storm
Sometimes this weight is overwhelming
But I don’t carry it alone
You’re still close when I can’t feel you
I don’t have to be afraid
And though my eyes have never seen you
I’ve seen enough to say
I know that you are good
I know that you are kind
I know that you are so much more
Than what I leave behind
I know that I am loved
I know that I am safe
Cause even in the fire to live is Christ, to die again
I know that you are good
You are good
I know
On my darkest day
From my deepest pain
Through it all, my heart, will choose to sing your praise
On my darkest day
From my deepest pain
Through it all, my heart, will choose to sing your praise
On my darkest day
From my deepest pain
Through it all, my heart, will choose to sing your praise
I know that you are good
I know that you are kind
I know that you are so much more
Than what I leave behind
I know that I am loved
I know that I am safe
Cause even in the fire to live is Christ, to die again
I know that you are good
You are good
I know

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Benji Cowart / Hank Bentley
I Know lyrics © Word Music LLC, Weave Country, Howiecowie Publishing, All Essential Music
So that’s the question. I know. Do you know?

Listen

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15 NASB

Wow. America, we need to wake up and LISTEN. All the political garbage inundating television and social media, the ‘natural’ disasters taking place all over the earth, and the ‘wars and rumors of wars’ ….. (Mark 13:7, Matthew 24:6)

“And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” Mark 13:5‭-‬14‭, ‬21‭-‬23 NASB

Clear warning. Are you listening? Pray for yourself, your family, and your brothers and sisters; study God’s Word, and prepare your heart and mind, because we are headed directly into the storm.

Rescued!

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 NASB

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” Colossians 1:13‭-‬18 NASB

Jesus came as the Son of GOD, to save us and to forgive our sin: “For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son , Today I have begotten You ”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”? Hebrews 1:5 NASB

Why? Why would GOD sacrifice Himself to die for us? Because even though the Old Testament Law was important, it was insufficient to completely cover our sin. Sin came into the world through man, so Jesus was conceived without man to keep His human body pure. The preacher Adrian Rogers said that Jesus is all God and all man; man to be able to die, God to pay the ultimate price for our sin. Jesus died ONCE for ALL.

” ….. then He [JESUS] said, “Behold, I have come to do Your Will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:9‭-‬10 NASB

He died for me, and He died for you, so we don’t have to! ALL we have to do is to profess Him as LORD. AMEN.

Why Did Jesus Come?

“For [GOD] did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying, “What is man, that You remember him? or the Son of Man, that you are concerned about Him? You have made Him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with Glory and Honor, and have appointed Him over the Works of Your Hands; You have put all things in subjection under His feet.” (Psalms 8) For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, JESUS, because of the suffering of death crowned with Glory and Honor, so that by the Grace of GOD He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author [the pioneer, the trailblazer] of their salvation through sufferings. For both He Who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in Him.” And again,”Behold, I and the children whom GOD has given Me.” Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:5-‬18 NASB
(For more on angels, go to Hebrew 1, 10, and Revelations 4-22)

Why did God become man?
*To Restore Man’s Dominion Over the Earth: Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

*To Taste Death: His death was a Crown of Glory and Honor – God cannot die, nor can the angels, so Jesus became man in order to experience death for us so that we – man – wouldn’t have to. His Grace was His motivation: His death was for EVERYONE. We are so dearly loved, He died for us.

*To Bring Many Sons to Glory – Ephesians 5:2b “….. love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” 

John Donne (1572–1631), an Anglican minister, in a sermon on Psalm 2:10-12, asserting that the One who with the Father and the Holy Spirit creates and sustains all things has become our brother; the inconceivably transcendent God is present among us.

There is no person so near of kin to you as Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus your father created you; he is your brother because he took your nature. He is your father because he provided an inheritance for you; he is your brother because he divided this inheritance with you. And because he died to give you possession of that inheritance, he is the Nourishing One, your foster father who has nursed you in his house, in the Christian church. He is your twin brother, so similar to you that his Father and yours in him, will not know you from one another but will mingle your conditions: he finds your sins in him and his righteousness in you. “Kiss this Son” as your kinsman.


*To Disarm Satan and Deliver Us From Death – JESUS came to save us; therefore He had to defeat satan and render him inoperative. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”  We have no reason to be afraid of death…. we are delivered from satan’s control!

*To Make Propitiation For Our Sins – JESUS became a Jew – the most hated race – in order to become a high priest who would perform sacrifices, and to become the ultimate, final sacrifice. Christ was born and He died to turn around God’s wrath. Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

*To Help Those Who Are Tempted – God isn’t angry with me, because I believe in Jesus Who died to cover my sins. The angels can’t relate because they cannot die, cannot be tempted. That’s why Jesus became man, so that He could experience life as a man and suffer as a man. He has been tempted, lonely, broke, abandoned, hurt – to BE with us …. and He understands what we are going through. Jesus is “God with skin on.” Since sin comes into the world through the man, Jesus was conceived without man to keep His human body pure. Adrian Rogers: “JESUS is all God and all man; man to be able to die, God to pay the ultimate price for our sin.”Once and for All. AMEN!