Have Faith

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2

So that you may discern the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect, renew your mind through Christ by abiding in His Presence.  Sometimes we all have pain and sorrow, fear and negativity, anxious moments, and hopeless thoughts– Jesus rescues you from these.  In His living Presence He resets your mind to a faith view.

Jesus is the best thing to ever happen to you.  Rely on His compassion with your faith.  Your assurance that Christ is powerfully moving to align your mind in God’s best gives you spiritual maturity. Trust Christ.  Expect Him to transform your mind– it is His anointing, again and again, of the Holy Spirit.  Discern Jesus’ holiness.

Together

People who gathered around Jesus were ready to get on with right  living.  Roman government was violently overbearing and Yahweh had seemed far off and silent.  Yet with Jesus, the living presence of God personalized, near Him those yearning people found their hearts cleansed and their minds cleared.  In Jesus’ Presence, while listening to His teachings and seeing the miracles, life was right and good again.  Let us enjoy His living Presence in our midst, together, too.

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Books That Would Be Written

But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25

After Jesus tells Simon Peter how he will die then Peter asks how beloved disciple John will die. Jesus cautions Peter that he is not to presently concern himself with his brother’s death but to keep his full focus on following Him. “Follow Me,” He commands. (John 21:22) Like Peter, loving Jesus with your heart, mind, and soul means your focused service for Him has continual moments of opportunity. Do not pass this moment by– move Christ’s emphasis here to the forefront of your life too– Christ is giving continual moments of opportunity for you to take action Following Him.

When we consider together that in each believer’s life Christ is vitally alive and so much so that if all of these activities of Christ’s are written down then we know that there would be so many books that the world itself could not contain all the books. “Can I get a witness?”the Preacher asks and each believer resounds with, “Yes! My Lord Jesus Christ Savior and Redeemer is vitally alive in my life and I have so much to say to everyone about what He is doing in my life and all around me!!” Work your witness into conversations.

Witness includes wonder and joy that Christ is energizing, healing, forgiving, righting, loving, securing, persuading, accepting, directing, renewing, motivating, and guiding, He sits on the Throne Of Heaven and at the same time lives within our hearts. Without hesitation during your service He strengthens you to live without fear, not to be afraid– to talk and commune with Him, sing of His blessings, tune your life to His heart song, and delight in His ways. Keep in mind that where you are weak He is strong and notice His Holy Spirit’s power moving among you and others. Notice His Kingdom within others.

Glorify Christ With Your Life and Death

Jesus says: “Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.). After this He said to him, “Follow Me.” John 21:18-19

Disciples see death’s approach as another way to glorify Christ’s Spirit within us and have trusting confidence in Christ. Jesus advises Peter he will be martyred under Nero of Rome; A.D. 64-68. As Christ speaks of his death Peter may realize that this is not only informational but it is a gift so that he remains solid in faith. Like Peter, when each Ash Wednesday the ashes are placed on your forehead in the sign of Christ’s Cross then you are instructed to look at your death and get done for Christ was has to be done, live without fear of your tombstone, and anticipate the finishing breath of life here as you are glorifying Christ.

Glorify Christ with your life now and then when the time comes for your death Christ our Lord says, “Be not afraid.” Now there are some folks who like to know what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, and prepare for what is to happen. Peter is one of these. Christ knows this and allows him to know ahead of his death that he will be lead around with a belt, mocked for his faith, and he will suffer at the hands of tormentors. In our text today, Peter’s command by Christ with, “Follow Me,” instills Holy Spirit fullness of faith, hope, and His Love.

My friend, have you listened to Christ say to you, “Follow Me”? When satan tries to dredge up your sins and have you live in nagging guilt and quiet despair, in silent sadness and low down motivation, and says that you’ll never do life right for Christ then hear His Spirit within you saying, “Follow Me.” Christ’s mercy and goodness forgives and scrubs you clean; forgiven and sins forgotten. Greater is Jesus Christ within you then satan’s wiles within this world. Christ victoriously claims you, names you His disciple, energizes you with His forgiving grace and motivates you. Hold your head up, bring your shoulders back, walk and live with confidence in Christ.

New Motivation

A second time He said to him, “Simon son of Jonas, do you love me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:16

Our loving Lord Jesus Christ is calling Peter by the name his parents gave him rather than the name ‘Peter’ which our Lord has given him. Why? The reason is simple. Peter’s denial of Jesus three times has caused him to slip back into thoughts of those old old experiences of when he was younger and messed up, didn’t get it right, and failed to do what he should have done. He has failed Jesus with three time denial and he knows he’s lost his motivation and momentum. Yet Christ clearly wants to lift him back into being Peter, His disciple. Christ heals our mess-ups.

When you came to Christ He renamed you His disciple. Hear once again Jesus’ first naming of Peter, this is when his brother Andrew brings him to Jesus: ‘He (Andrew) brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of Jonas. You are to be called Cepheus” (which is translated Peter).’ (John 1:42) From that moment on ‘Peter’ stuck. Peter means Rock Man; His solid disciple. In our text today we see that through Christ’s intimate Post-Resurrection dialogue with Simon he will right Peter and it will stick this time because of Christ’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit into His disciples (believer’s) hearts.

Peter needed the Holy Spirit and so do we. Spirit counteracts our human failings as we are anointed with New motivation in all that we do by Christ. Christ’s sheep hear His voice by the power of the Holy Spirit. You also help shepherd the sheep under the Holy Spirit’s guidance of our Good Shepherd Jesus. Let Him lead, direct, inspire you while you humbly yield to Him as He fills and re-fills you with Holy Spirit motivation. Catch and sincerely abide in the Spirit of the Living Lord Christ.

Peter Is Propelled

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.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” John 21:15

Peter, by Jesus Christ’s charcoal fire, has just had breakfast with Jesus and the other disciples and Peter is about to be propelled. He loves Jesus more than anyone he knows. And during this third Post-Resurrection appearance our wonderful Savior Jesus Christ is showing us, again, He IS forgiveness. He IS loving compassion– compassion to salvation. He IS everything that saves and redeems us. We love victorious Christ, Good Shepherd, the beloved Son of the Living God, our Emmanuel– with us completely and fully.

Now, Jesus uses Peter’s three denials as a one-on-one celebration of Peter’s true love for Him. In the original Greek the word love is with unity, intimacy, and mutuality with God. Just as Peter had denied Him three times so Peter affirms His love for Him three times, now with honestly and faithfulness. Undeniably, Christ knows what’s within hearts and minds and as you love Him in quiet humble celebration He draws you even nearer to Him, like Peter.

This is how Christ propels Peter into service for Him, with His three commands to ‘feed His lambs and sheep’ and here He propels us. My friend, love Him with all that you are and serve Him with faith’s Power. Turn not your back on Him to rely on yourself alone for you reap what you sow. Galatians 6:7 says, Sow Christ and His forgiving Love. Victorious on the Throne Of God, ask Him to scrub you daily from all unrighteousness then carry on your day loving Him. Love Christ and say with Peter, “You are the Christ! The Son of the Living God. I love You in all ways!” He propels you to feed His lambs.

Christ At The Charcoal Fire.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are you?” Because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. John 21:12-14

Gathered beside a charcoal fire with the wind off the sea as reminder that He will soon give the Wind of the Holy Spirit to His followers, Jesus breaks bread and then serves. Our Suffering Servant Lord Jesus Christ will feed them until they want no more food. He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” as He is true to His word. He hands each of them the cooked bread and the toasted fish and as His arms extend giving sustenance they plainly view the fresh marks of the nails which brutally pierced His Sacred flesh.

The memories of His death on the tree have not been erased. They remember well and so do we. Evil within humanity hung our Savior on the Cross. He took that evil onto Himself and vanquished it. Evil never had any power over Him then, now, and in time to come. Yet evil may have a hold on the hearts of men and women who have not yet His Power within them to overcome it. For when your faith in Him quickens, belief in Christ transforms your heart and you’ll find time and time again that the source of your strength is directly in Savior Jesus Christ’s heart as His arms extend to you.

Christ’s heart is compassion, Holy mercy, kindness, patience, pure love, and the charcoal fire of your hope each day. He never stops serving His believers as we learn more from Scriptures, rely on His Holy Spirit to guide, and commune with each other to place our hope in Him. Just as the embers of the fire will die out when moved away from the main fire, so our faith may falter. Choose your times to be with other Christians and share faith’s witness in hope. Make this a spiritual habit. Christ prepares a table before us near the charcoal fire and then He serves, giving faith.

Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them. Psalm 5:11

153 Fishes

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of fish, a hundred fifty-three; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. John 21:9-11

Jesus had commanded his disciples to meet Him in Galilee after His Resurrection. Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John, and two other disciples had fished all night in Galilee and caught nothing. Jesus glorified, in body and Resurrection Power, stands on shore and they listen to His instructions, at first not realizing it is Him. He asks, “Did you catch anything?” They answer and He tells them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. He directs, guides, strengthens our nets, and gives plentifully. This is our Resurrected Savior acting in their lives and how He acts in your life. “Have you caught?”

Beloved author John has spiritual perception; Jesus is guiding believers. In all your activities recognize the Lord Jesus Christ is instructing as you cast the net of Christ’s loving compassion onto others to be caught. Catch. Go ashore; go up to where our Savior and Master is ready to make the meal from 153 fishes caught– 153 shows us the net holds.

Our Lord uses what is available for His salvation– fish, bread, charcoal fire, wind, sea shore, disciples, and catching. As they eat this Holy meal with the Risen Lord we remember the feeding of the over 5000, the over 4000, and New Covenant meal of Holy Communion. Disciples are to feed Christ’s lambs, His sheep, with spiritual provisions readied by Him. The New Testament accounts of Jesus Christ are His provisions, like bread and fish to feed on as He nourishes our souls in Spirit. My friend, go ashore to our Resurrected Christ through your Scriptures then go out to feed sheep gloriously and miraculously! The net of His salvation holds!!

More Of Jesus Christ

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this Book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in His Name. John 20:30-31

Author Apostle John says that there is more that he can put into his Gospel about Jesus our Savior and Lord. Isn’t it true that you can say the same thing about Jesus Christ because in the fullest sense possible you firmly and securely faith-filled agree that glorious He is, that He’s wonderful beyond your ability to express because of His loving compassionate activities in your life and in the lives of others, and that disciple John has shown you more than enough of Jesus Christ because you too could add, expand, and write about Christ’s awesome Holy Spirit Presence in your life and in this world too?

Your witness as Christ’s disciple, as with John’s, is that Jesus Christ is alive within you and the power of the Cross is Christ victorious. You are influencing other’s lives with His abundant Love and gracious Holy hospitality. Like Jesus, when you see an opportunity to help someone you do not hesitate to offer as you serve Christ with all that is of Christ within you. You are blessing, encouraging, giving, uplifting, motivating, preaching, prophesying, listening and responding with His goodness within your heart.

Like author beloved John, you realize each day that this life you live is not about you; life is lived to show and offer Christ to others. You have no hesitation to pray the Holy Spirit’s conviction into someone else’s situation, to take responsibility to see things through with them, you’re speaking the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior to claim His victory over evil, self destruction, distress, tension, worry, and confusion. Yes, Jesus does many other signs in the presence of His disciples today which we have not yet written down. Yes, He Lives and we dearly love Him. And thank you beloved disciple John in heaven, for writing down the best of Jesus for us.

Tell The Gospel, Show Christ To Others

A week later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it in My side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” John 20:26-29

Jesus Christ comes in bodily form right through the shut doors. And as I sit here at my Father’s desk, I consider ‘the doors were shut.’ I know that the front door and the back door of my house are shut and locked securely. Shut doors help me not to worry, nor concern myself, so I can fully concentrate on writing this commentary on John for you. Now should Jesus Christ in bodily form come into the house to me through the shut door, speak “Peace be with you” and draw me near to His dear heart of loving compassion then I believe I would reach right out and tenderly take my Savior’s face into my hands and tell Him thank You, over and over.

You and I already know and believe in His Resurrection. Thomas did not believe until he touched His hands and put a finger into His side. Thomas says, “My Lord and my God,” making the first and best statement of faith for the Church. ┬áThomas has a Scientific mind; he believes when he has proof and he sees Him for himself.

What proof today is there for the Scientific minds to believe in the Gospel of Salvation in Jesus Christ? My friend there is a conviction put into the hearts of believers through His living Holy Spirit Advocate which is proving ground in believer’s hearts. The Holy Spirit was given as an anointing at Pentecost. Thomas is pre-Pentecost– Jesus Christ’s bodily Presence thus convinces him to believe and trust Him all the days of his life. So it is with you dear friend. Ask, pray the Holy Spirit’s anointing on unbelievers today and speak the Gospel to all, no matter what their age.

Peace To Live By

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that He had said these things to her. When it was evening on that day the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After He said this He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. John 20:18-20

Jesus Christ says, “Peace be with you,” then later adds, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me so I send you.” Here Christ’s first Peace is linked with Mary Magdalene’s witness to joy when in the garden she meets beautiful Jesus Resurrected. As Christ speaks, “Peace be with you,” to the men and women disciples His real and certain peace filled presence returns to them and they rejoice.

The second Peace which Christ gives is preparation peace, This is the peace that we find in Worship, in prayer, while we study Scripture, as we live Christ-like lives, and when we are truly loving as He loves. His peace readies our souls to share Him with others in very personal ways. This peace entails Holy Spirit motivation to confidently talk about about Jesus Christ alive Presence and equips you for His service as His disciple.

Notice that Christ shows His hands and his side to them then the disciples rejoice. I ask you to focus on His scars like this because He did not need to keep the scars after death and Resurrection. He could have returned to us without scars. His disciples would have still recognized Him and loved Him. Yet He kept the scars to show us the inestimable price that He paid for our freedom and for our peace.

Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live. Isaiah 53:3.

At Jesus’ Tomb Mary Magdalene Is Transformed

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” … But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one a the head and the other at the feet. John 20:1-2, 11-12

The angels ask Mary Magdalene why she is weeping and she responds, “They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.” She does not quite know what we already know– He Is Risen!! For Mary, Jesus’ blood, bones, and body are Holy and she has a religious duty to sit shiva with His body. (Genesis 50:1-14) Yet, all four Gospels agree that Jesus died on Passover which cancels shiva. He is the Passover Lamb slain for the sins of the world, victorious over any and all evil within humanity; His sacrificial blood, the Holiness of His being, cleanses you from all unrighteousness when repentance is very truly present in you.

Jesus of Nazareth the Savior dies on Friday, Passover. Jesus Christ the Redeemer is Resurrected on Sunday, our new day of Worship as His New Covenant Church (ekklesia). Because of the depth of Mary’s sorrow the angels make no difference in Mary’s understanding of the finality of His death. Does she not notice the empty head and body wrappings and the limp napkin with His facial imprint laying dormant? Her sorrow causes an inability to think. She is in mourning shock from His death.

She turns back into in the garden in front of the tomb entrance and then Jesus speaks her name to her. Her recognition is instantaneous v.16. “Mary.” “Rabboni” Master. (Christ teaches us here to speak the name of the one sorrowing to them.) As He speaks her name Mary is transformed in Him by the renewing of her mind. Afterwards, she goes from Him to tell the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection. Dear “Mary” is the first Evangelist, the first to announce Christ’s Resurrection, and the first to Preach the Good News of Jesus Christ Resurrected — let us give all praise to the Heavenly Father for giving us Jesus Christ Savior and Lord Resurrected!