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 your service He strengthens you not 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.

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 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 give a second call to Peter and it will stick this time because of Christ’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit into His disciples 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 the Spirit of the Living Lord Christ.

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

How To Use Jesus’ Name As You Close Your Prayers

Jesus says, “So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.  On that day you will ask nothing of me.  Very truly, I tell you, ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name.  Ask and you will receive that your joy may be complete.”  John 16:22-24

The disciples pain was to watch their loving Savior Jesus suffer and die on the Cross; then three days later showers of joy are given to them with His Resurrection and gift of salvation!  This is the third time that Jesus mentions praying in His name.  To obey Jesus Christ and to love other people as He loves you places you within His Holy Joyful Presence that gives you not only His Peace, but also allows you to seek His will as you lean into the day with anticipation, expectation of His best, and quiet joy that the abundance of His love is here with you.

Yet, you cannot simply add, “In Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior’s name,” to the end of your prayers as an arbitrary ending and expect to get what you wish.  Remember that the disciples had never asked anything in His name before.  So in using this ‘new’ way to pray Jesus is teaching believers that by using Jesus Christ’s name we prompt the Holy Spirit to interceed for us to the Heavenly Father God’s heart with a reinterpretation of what we are asking for, in order that our asks align with God’s will.  

God’s glorious will is the best, right, good, most loving way to go– whether we are asking in prayer for others or asking in prayer for ourselves.  With the abundance of the heavenly Father’s love all things work together, in tandem, and with an outcome that you may not understand at first and yet through time will see the benefits of this blessed Christian life which you have committed yourself to– obedience to Christ with all you have, with all that you are, and with Jesus’ name foremost in all that you do.

Jesus Wants To Keep You From Stumbling

Jesus says, “When the Advocate comes whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify on My behalf.  You also are to testify because you have been with Me from the beginning.  I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling.”  John 15:26-16:1

With these instructions Jesus completes His Upper Room discourse.  As Jesus was with the men and women disciples so the fullness of His Holy Presence has been given to you through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.  You are to generously witness to  His Presence alive within you.   Here, and many others places in Scripture, Jesus expresses His desire to give you all that He has, everything that He is, and lift you out of this world into His rhelm of continual joy and peace.  Jesus completes His discourse with heartfelt love and pure kindness.

Yet in this closing fragment of text Jesus includes rebuke: that we are to love one another with the same love He has for us.  Love one another, He says.  Christians are to love one another even with our differences, flaws, preferences, and misunderstandings.  Love, He says.  And if Jesus had not come and openly shown you the Heavenly Father then the greatest sin, that of rejecting Jesus Christ, would not have been revealed to you.  Denial of Christ would put you in the same category as Judas Iscariot, who turned his back on Jesus.  

There is heaven on earth and there is hell; let us love one another so intently to choose to witness to His gift of Holy Spirit Presence within our hearts and minds, let us offer His salvation to each person.  All praise to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior that He has given us His blessed Way so one stumbles.  Receive His strength to stand firm through your prayers.

Step Into Holy Spirit Living

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:  “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.  Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”  His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of Him and had been done to Him.  John 12:14-16

It is Jerusalem entry Palm Sunday for Savior Jesus.  The believers who had been at Jesus’ resurrection of Lazarus (those who enthusiastically keep telling others about that event over and over and thus bring others to faith in Jesus) and the many many who are already followers of Jesus the Son of God, shout out the “Hosanna” passage from Zachariah 9:9.  Notice, Jesus corrects this reference and redirects us to Zephaniah 3:16 through the Fourth Evangelist beloved John.

This is big!  John points us to Jesus’, “Do not be afraid” passage in Zephaniah as John (for Jesus) proclaims that the work of interpretation and reflection is through the power of faith enlivened within you by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit given at Pentecost is key to your faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

Even the apostles and first disciples had to have Pentecost of the Holy Spirit to understand.  With the Holy Spirit you then make conscious effort to understand!  So, Jesus is ‘glorified’ in His crucifixion, death, Resurrection, and ascension– and the faith with which an understanding of that is given to you when you make conscious effort to understand; during which you are being guided by the Holy Spirit.  

Footnote:  Zephaniah 3:16 and John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.”        

The Kindergarten Girl

Jesus says, “The Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.”  John 10:38

To know Jesus Christ is to know God the heavenly Father.  Knowing is not believing.  When you believe in Jesus Christ and are His disciple, then you have the fullness of understanding of who God is.  This was shown to me by our Lord at the third Church I served as Minister for the Lord Jesus Christ.

A kindergarten age girl would stop and chat with me after every Worship service.  Every one!  Her questions were always about God and my answers always pointed her to Jesus Christ.  But her questions proved to me that she understood who God is (knowing), yet something more was needed (believing).  That something more came by way of her Mother, who approached me, asking that she and her two daughters (one in kindergarten and the other a newborn) receive Baptism to accept the Holy Spirit’s anointing.  

After the Baptism, the kindergardner girl continued to seek me out and have a chat after Worship but her questions had changed to summaries of her understanding of our compassionate, caring, guiding, and instructing Lord.  Each time as she summarized what the Lord had given to her in the Worship Service I found myself in awe of the transformation Jesus was making in this dear little one’s heart and mind.  I was awe of the Holy Spirit’s schooling this girl received each time she Worshipped, and when she listened to and loved Jesus Christ.

I believe in Baptism, the earlier the child’s age the better benefits and blessings, because it is essential to receive the Holy Spirit’s anointing for salvation in Jesus Christ.  He is the Way to the heavenly Father.

Careful Walking

Walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Romans 8:4

Born into the struggle against selfishness, God has given you the Holy Spirit which works within your conscience in order to open your heart-gate of compassionate loving whose source is Christ.  Paul is writing about selfish desires and passions.  Do not live selfishly.

Use the Holy Spirit as your decision gadge and compass each day.  For it is up to us to care for the last, the least, and the lost.  The last are those folks who are slower and need kindness extended perpetually.  The lease are children and the poor.  The lost are the ones who are adrift from Christ and may be gently turned to face His Cross and to witness the empty tomb’s Resurrection Light of Christ.