Thursday, June 30, 2016

Learning How To Love Jesus

Learning How To Love Jesus More

By Dr. Norman R. Wise

"(22) If anyone does not love the Lord (Jesus the Messiah), he is to be accursed. Maranatha."   [1 Corinthians 16:22 NASB]


"(37) "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
[Matthew 10:37 NASB]


"(15) So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My lambs." (16) He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." (17) He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep." [John 21:15-17 NASB]


I.  Love comes from greater faith

"(6) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love." [Galatians 5:6 NASB]

II.  Faith comes from hearing the good news.  The story of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit creates greater faith in us. 

"(17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." [Romans 10:17 NASB]

III.  Seeing Jesus – Objectively

Read one of the gospels a chapter a day and journal each day any insight about Jesus this gives you.

Jesus the King Study Guide: Exploring the Life and Death of the Son of God by Tim Keller

Read a commentary with the gospel you read.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible by Matthew Henry

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah; by Alfred Edersheim

Jesus the Messiah: A Survey of the Life of Christ; by Robert H. Stein

Watch movies about Jesus

The new Jesus film (2013) -

Read books about Jesus the Messiah and defending the faith

The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus Lee Strobel

New Evidence of Jesus’ existence

12 Facts about Jesus

IV.  Seeing Jesus Subjectively

Art focused on Jesus

Songs focused on praying and praising Jesus

10 Amazing Songs About Jesus

Writing Your Jesus Journal

Begin with birth and write on how Jesus has helped you in your life.  Your experiences with Jesus in various ways. 

*    Your first encounter with Jesus as your Savior and Lord

*    Any healings from Jesus
o   Physical
o   Emotional
o   Spiritual

*    List the things that most impress you about Jesus Christ.  Read this to yourself 6 times a day for 90 days

Seeking a personal encounter with Jesus Christ

*    List of questions you would like to ask Jesus and then ask him.
*    Pray to Jesus and ask for a revelation of him to your soul
*    Come to church seeking to see Jesus
*    Devote time to just sitting at the feet of Jesus
*    When you read the Bible ask to see Jesus in the reading
*    How to Worship Jesus Christ: Experiencing His Manifest Presence Daily by Joseph S. Carroll  (Author), John F. MacArthur Jr. (Foreword)


"(1) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (2) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (3) And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." [1 John 3:1-3 NASB]

Learning How To Live with God as our Father


Learning How To Live with God As Your Father

I.  Common idea:  Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of humanity.

"(10) "Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?" [Malachi 2:10 NASB]

Creation:  This was true before the rebellion against God in the garden.  Here the idea of  “Fatherhood” was one as the source of life.   Clearly the idea of  “am my brother’s keeper” is found as a question that is based on care of other the life of other humans. 

All human beings are sacred, and made in God’s image.  Every life is precious.  There should be love and care shown to each other because we all bear thus image and this is what unites humanity.

Rebellion:  But after the rebellion against God this spiritual relationship was lost.  We became the children of the devil instead of the children of God.  We divorced God as our Father and adopted the devil as our dad.   We are spiritually dead to God due to our rebellion.

"(44) "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." [John 8:44 NASB]

"(1) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, (2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. (3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." [Ephesians 2:1-3 NASB]

II.  To have God as your heavenly Father you receive Messiah Jesus as your prophet, priest, and king which can only occur if you have been “born again” so you can see the LORD Jesus as the one hope we have of life.

Redemption:  This is why we must be “born again” in order to now be the children of God.

"(11) He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. (12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." [John 1:11-13 NASB]

III.  What does it mean to live with God as our Father?

A. Your heavenly Father provides and gives you every good thing in your life. 

You can trust your heavenly Father’s character, competence, and compassion.

"(17) Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (18) In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures." [James 1:17-18 NASB]

The heavenly Father is good
The heavenly Father is great
The heavenly Father is full of grace
The heavenly Father is with us in this life of grief.
The heavenly Father will make sure that all our grief will be used for good.

The greatest gift

"(13) "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"" [Luke 11:13 NASB]

Our prayers should be based on the idea that God is our Father.

"(9) "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (10) 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven." [Matthew 6:9-10 NASB]

B.  Father God cares for the poor and oppressed so we should also care for the poor and oppressed.

"(27) Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." [James 1:27 NASB]

C.  All humanity is made in our Father’s image and so we should never curse another human being.  To curse a person is to stand in self-righteous judgment of them and condemn, their very essence of their being. 

"(9) With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;" [James 3:9 NASB]

D.  God loves you more than you can understand for believers have been given the “Sonship “ of Jesus.  We are adopted “in Jesus”.

"(15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"" [Romans 8:15 NASB]

"(6) Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"" [Galatians 4:6 NASB]

III.  Final Thoughts

Meditation on Romans 8:18-25

Meditation on Romans 8:18-25

Lord, what is real to me is the intense almost unbearable depth and pain of the present sufferings we face.  Many times it seems that some people suffer near hell like pain on this earth.  The intensity of that grief and agony is very real to me.   East of Eden is not an easy place to live.  

Yet, you now come and say to me that this intense agony is not worth comparing with the glory that will be ours when we see you.  The greatness of the joy of being in union and communion with you will far exceed the Grand Canyon depth of our pain.  Even as the universe is far bigger than the Grand Canyon so also will our experience of YOU bring fulfillment,peace, happiness,and fulfillment. 

This seems impossible to me.  It is beyond my imagination.  The pain of this life is real but the glory of the Kingdom with YOU, I only see dimly.  Help me see YOUR GLORY more clearly.  

Lord, help me hope in the full and expanded restoration of Eden.  Help me see that Eden is coming back on steroids and that the great potential of YOUR creation will be reached. Although now we face frustration and futility, yet when you return we will see fulfillment and success.  

We will before from death, decay, destruction, and disease.  We will be free of sin and stupidity.   Finally whole in the full potential and  power of our image-bearing humanity.  Free finally free.  

Lord, I groan to see the fulfillment come.  Afraid at times of all that will mean.  Afraid at times that it will not come quickly enough.   

YOU saved me for the purpose of sharing your glory, goodness, and grace upon me.  YOUR desire was for me to be in union and communion with you so that in that light I might reflect light perfectly and without blemish.  This is not yet here.  I will trust YOU great, good, and graceful living Father.   

Lord, increase my hope and help me to believe in the face of suffering.  Lord have mercy on us all.  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Meditation on Psalm 118

Meditation on Psalm 118

Eternal Creator, YOU who are totally beyond all understanding and explanation, YOU are good, trustworthy in character.  YOUR perfection is one of a being a moral being that cannot fail to act, think, and feel but in a perfect moral character.  YOU are trustworthy.  

God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the ONE true ALMIGHTY you are filled with consistent love and keep all your promises.  YOUR steadfast love never ends and YOU keep your WORD, for you cannot lie.  

Lord, you who are good and great.  Good God of eternal and consistent love.  Come now to me this as I am distressed and need YOU to answer me in my distress.  Be on my side and overcome the contamination culture, the dark lord of evil, and my own selfish heart.  Be my helper now LORD GOD of Israel.  Defeat those who hate my soul. 

LORD, you are my refuge and hope.   Give me greater trust in you. 
LORD, I feel surrounded by my problems, losses, disappointments, and defeats.  They drown me.  I feel pushed down under them.  I fell like I am falling out of control.   Help me now for YOU are my only hope.  

Good, great, and graceful Lord, demonstrate your character, competence , and compassion on me this day.  Provide YOU to me as my strength, song and salvation.  Messiah Jesus YOU, have purchased me and delivered me at the cost of your blood on the cross.  YOU have done valiantly, defeating the devil and death.  YOU are my hero LORD Jesus.  

LORD, you have disciplined me for my good and I will remember and recount your deeds of grace and goodness to this generation by your grace working in me.   Help me not to see the greatness of my deliverance from darkness.  

In YOUR  rejection and suffering,  Lord Jesus you have brought  me to salvation and fellowship.  Through this darkness, you have brought forth light into my soul.  YOUR resurrection from the dead has made a new day.  A new creation now exists in YOU.  

Give YOUR people salvation and success!  Demonstrate your victory in us.  Lift us up out of our struggles and pour a vision of who YOU are into our hearts. Revive, renew and restore us.  Act in our generation.  

YOU, Lord if Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, John, and Paul are the absolute ruler of every atom in creation.  YOU are GOD.  May your wonder and goodness be seen by all creation.  Take joy in us today!  

Thank YOU for all YOU have done in my life.  For every good gift I have.  YOU are faithful, loving, kind, long-suffering, patient, and saving.  

Open our eyes that we may see you more clearly, that we may love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly.