Did Jesus ask for the impossible?

May the peace of the Lord and His great mercy be with you all. In one of his last prayers before His crucifixion, Jesus asked His Father the following:

John 17:20-23 – My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Jesus asked His Father that all who believe in His name may become one…just as He and His Father are one. When you take a honest look at Christianity today, when you look at your church, doesn’t it look like Jesus asked for the impossible?

How are we going to become one? Let alone the same way Jesus and His Father are One?

Jesus said…

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one

The only way to become one is through the “glory” that Jesus gave us. But what is that glory? In the same prayer Jesus said…

John 17:14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

I submit to you that the glory that Jesus speaks of is the Word (of God).

He said then…

John 17:17 – Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

So the Word of God is the truth!

We will only become One if we know and have the truth. So we see, that if we ever want to become one people in the Lord, it is not about tolerance and acceptance, nor is it about fanaticism and rejection. It is about TRUTH. We have to chase TRUTH…Jesus gave TRUTH to us. We have to embrace TRUTH. We have to dig for it, search it day and night. For TRUTH is the One standard, the One unmovable, the One constant in life. The Word of God is TRUTH. Set your opinions aside (they have no value), set your preferences aside (they have no value), set your doctrine aside (it has no value), set your logic aside (it has no value)…and chase the pure TRUTH of the Word…and, then, only then we will become ONE, just as Jesus and the Father are One.

Blessing to all, and Glory to our Master Jesus and His Father, our God and Father.

Do not be overconfident about your faith

Dear Children of the Kingdom;

May God our Father, and His Son, our gracious Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ be with you all, as you read this letter. Could it be that most of us are overconfident about our own faith? When we think of our own love for Jesus or how strongly we believe that the Bible is in fact the Word of God, we say “No one can take away from me what I believe. No one can take my Jesus from me”.

But aren’t those statements a declaration of how we perceive our own faith? We believe that our faith must be strong enough to the point where there is nothing that will ever take it away from us. However, and paradoxically, when times gets really tough, we try to encourage ourselves (or someone tries to encourage us) from the erroneous idea that Jesus said…”you only need faith the size of a mustard seed. Even if your faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, you can move mountains, you can surmount this challenge.”

Is our overconfidence pure ignorance or foolish pride? It must be at least one of the two.

Peter, a close of disciple of Jesus, got to learn just how overconfident he was about his own faith, and the lesson was perhaps the most painful one he had ever received.

On the night He was to be arrested, Jesus said this to His disciples:

Matthew 26: 31,32 – Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

But look at what Peter, being overconfident of his faith, said…

Matthew 26:33 – Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.

To which Jesus responded:

Matthew 26:34,35 – “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Not just Peter, but all the disciples confessed that they will never deny Jesus…and the THEY ALL DID IT THAT SAME NIGHT. You see, their feelings for Jesus was not the problem. Those feelings were genuine.

But it is not by the feelings that one lives, it is not by them that one stands, and it is not by them that one honors Christ. Instead, it is by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God that one lives, stands and honors Christ. And His words were… “This very night you will all fall away on account of me…”.

Are we better than the disciples who walked with Jesus? They were men and women just like us, and we are men and women just like them!

Have you considered the reason Jesus gave for why the time of tribulation will be shortened in the end days.

Matthew 24:21,22 – …there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

If those days of tribulations are not shortened, no one will make it! But those days are shortened so as not to break the elect!

Do not be overconfident about your faith, it will be your downfall. Instead, continuously strive to grow in that faith!

Look at how that same Peter – much later in his life and just before his death – expresses this truth to you and me

2 Peter 1:4-6 – …make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Take courage my friends. Since we have so many examples that have come before us, let us throw off everything that hinders and sin that entangles us so easily (Hebrews 12:1). Instead, let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, not being ignorant or prideful regarding our own faith, but trusting in His Word, for through His Word, and His Word only, we will rise or fall.

In His Name Only, majesty without end!

Who Will Lift My Burden?

To all;

May the grace and the peace of our Lord Jesus-Christ be with you all. Nothing crushes someone’s soul like a burden. The guilt from something you have done in the past, or your multiple failures of all kinds, will leach to your heart like a cancer, and will drag your soul, sucking life out of it every minute. Or how about the burden of not forgive someone who’s hurt you?

Unending rules and regulations from your church, supposedly designed to make you become more like Christ, end up turning you into anything BUT like Christ. You feel heavy and worthless, you will never be good enough for the church, let alone for Christ.

Who? WHO my people will deliver such a soul from that slow and painful death? Who can “really” lift that guilt I have been carrying all this time? Who, WHO my people will help me become like Christ? Oh, WHO? WHO will save me?

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Ephesians 1:7 – In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

You see, the only way to overcome a burden on your soul is to have it removed! It cannot be cured, it cannot be tamed, it cannot managed. Burden must be removed. And the Lord Jesus, ONLY HIM can do that. No amount of consolation will remove the guilt about what you did or did not do in the past. Anything short of the freedom that we have in Christ will do nothing but add to the sense of your inadequacy as a Christian.

In a personal relationship with JESUS is the antidote to burden. In a constant communion with Christ is the freedom and true power to become like Him. In the Blood of Jesus is the power to free a soul from burden.

Call on Jesus with your whole heart. Call on Him in earnest and with your heavy heart. Cry toward Him, and the King of all Kings shall rise from His Throne for You.

Blessings in the Lord.

The Price of a Soul

To the Children of the Kingdom;

May the peace and grace of God our Father, and of our Lord and Savior Jesus-Christ, be with you. Have you ever considered what a soul is worth? Today, we will not speak from the perspective of the blood of Jesus (His sacrifice), but in terms of the implications of that worth on our own life. In other words, we will consider what God might be willing to do in our life so that a soul (not ours, but another’s) will be saved.

Consider this:

Luke 15:3-7

Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

The passage illustrates just how precious one soul is in God’s sight, and the joy it produces when one of those repents.

Do you think that God could be willing to shatter ALL your dreams (career ambitions, business venture, vacations, bucket list, reputation, whatever) to save a single soul…ONE soul…like a coworker for example? The answer must be YES. Because otherwise, it would mean that those dreams, those personal ambitions (which are temporal) are more valuable in God’s eyes than a soul (which will go for eternity).

It is important that we understand God, that we understand Jesus, that we understand what it is that they are after, and that we understand what they could be willing to do to obtain what they seek.

The Apostles Paul, Peter, John, etc., and all the prophets of old, got to understand that…that God’s plan become your plans …at the cost of your own ambitions.

Philippians 3:8

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

So my friends, if you genuinely seek God, do not marvel if things do not go your way. They most assuredly won’t, unless they somehow align with God’s plan…like the one of saving a soul, such as your coworker’s, or your neighbor’s.

But just like Paul in the passage above, with that understanding comes also the understanding that our ambitions and aspirations etc. , were not that valuable anyway. Hence, it is a not a life of regret that awaits you, but one of true purpose. Paul got to understand it so well that of his own past, ambitions, aspirations, etc., he says…I consider them garbage!

Seek the Lord while it is called today, and may He be with you all. Let us not be foolish but let us understand what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:17).

May His name be praised. Amen!