Luke 7 Part 3–John, and the Crisis of Faith

Clearly, the crowds had moved on.  For a time, John the Baptist was the Rockstar.  People came from everywhere to see and be baptized by this man of God.  He spoke with authority and preached repentance to a world that had abandoned their faith.  He was rough and burley.  He was so different from the norm, that people would come to see him simply because of his oddity.  But, when they heard him speak of Messiah–well then hope was restored.  

Then, the day came when Jesus started his ministry.  John announced Jesus and baptized him.  John knew Jesus was Messiah–he had known it from the time they met in their Mom’s wombs!  Still as Jesus grew in popularity, John’s following dissipated.  His disapproval of Herod’s behavior landed John in jail awaiting execution.  John’s faithful team kept him up to date about what was happening and the growing popularity of Jesus.  There in the jail, John questioned his purpose and his call.  John sent his guys to confront Jesus–Are You the one?

Jesus, as he had with so many others, sent back a message of comfort and peace.  “Tell John what you have seen–the healing, the opening of eyes, the casting out of demons and the raising folks from the Dead.  In a word, Jesus assured His cousin that while His ministry was different, their purpose was the same.  Jesus was changing the world and Its picture of the Heavenly Father.  Jesus was not mad.  He did not take offense at John’s crisis of faith.  Instead, Jesus reminded all that were there–a large crowd, to say the least, that John was a superHero.  He changed the course of many lives and prepared the way for Messiah.  Still, compared to God’s chosen, Jesus reminded the people that even rockstars pale in comparison.We, as His people, are children of God. 

We will stand with the Lord for eternity.  When life gets hard and circumstances seem hopeless, we must take our hope from that promise! John knew and we must cling to the fact that Jesus Christ is enough. He must be enough in both good times and bad.  He must be our sufficiency whether we are hungry or well fed.  He has to be the center of our faith.  Jesus comforted His friend because sometimes it is hard to see the miracle that is sitting in front of us.  Because of Jesus, we are able to be in a personal relationship with God, Our Heavenly Father.  That is a great gift.

God Bless You


John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

Isaiah 63–A Story From Three Perspectives

Isaiah 63 could easily be a script to a Hollywood movie.  It looks At Israel from 3 perspectives; the Father that avenges His chosen’s enemies, a grateful child that recognizes and regrets their rebellion, and a humble recipient that begs for forgiveness for their wicked behavior.  The title could be “Three Genres”. 

In the first genre, the audience would see the rage of a Heavenly Father tired of seeing His chosen attacked and abused by all that are around them.  In His mind, these are His precious treasures, and no one will help them.  So, as any great Dad would–The Father interceded.  It was not pretty, and the enemies were destroyed “Hollywood Style”.  The Father wanted to make clear that while there are times when he has had to discipline them–no one can mess with His kids and not pay a price!

Act two is staged in a quiet forest, where a Lovely child tells the story of a Father’s patience and love for Children that chose to rebel.  She sings the praises of the patience of a Father that would love despite the rebellion.  One can hear the beautiful and humble grateful heart of this child of the King.  She knows she did not deserve the effort, but also that Her Heavenly father would Have it no other way.

Then the final vignette.  This vignette is in a chapel on a hill where a child who has given the Father a very difficult time realizes the err of their ways and repents and asks for the pardon the awful behavior.  In that, the Father gladly scoops up the child and forgives the child without a second thought.  It is a scene like the prodigal son with fine robes, fatted calves and celebration that lasts for days.  All are reunited, redeemed, and restored and the family of God walks in peace and unity…

The closing credits display three verses–Romans 5:8, 2 Chronicles 7:14 and I John 1:9…

God Bless You


Who is this who comes from Edom,
    from the city of Bozrah,
    with his clothing stained red?
Who is this in royal robes,
    marching in his great strength?

“It is I, the Lord, announcing your salvation!
    It is I, the Lord, who has the power to save!”

Why are your clothes so red,
    as if you have been treading out grapes?

“I have been treading the winepress alone;
    no one was there to help me.
In my anger I have trampled my enemies
    as if they were grapes.
In my fury I have trampled my foes.
    Their blood has stained my clothes.
For the time has come for me to avenge my people,
    to ransom them from their oppressors.
I was amazed to see that no one intervened
    to help the oppressed.
So I myself stepped in to save them with my strong arm,
    and my wrath sustained me.
I crushed the nations in my anger
    and made them stagger and fall to the ground,
    spilling their blood upon the earth.”

Isaiah 3 Part 1 They Did This to Themselves

The recurring message of Isaiah was and is God is pulling away His hand of Protection and allowing those that are his own to face the consequence of their actions.  As any father would say, “If you think you are so independent, GO FOR IT! In Isaiah’s prophecy what does that look like, it is a matter of support and supply.

Israel and specifically Judah had grown to expect God to meet their every wish and desire.  Protection, provision and prominence were the expectation for the folks in Israel.  So, the word was Given to Isaiah–I am pulling my support and supply.  All food and water, all military and civil protection and all wisdom and leadership will now be up to you.  You are going to be run by punks.  You are going to be led by immature and inexperienced children.  They will crumble and fall–naked and ashamed. They will be unable to recover because they are too busy bickering and blaming.

They will turn on each other–siblings, parents, friends.  They will be led away–cities in ruin and spirit broken they will become slaves and sycophants to their masters.Isaiah called them out–You have become militantly sinful praising your rebellion as a show of pride and courage. 

So be it! For you, there is a reckoning awaiting.  The righteous will be spared but the rest of you will have nothing left to hope for because the judgement is real. What an incredibly sad message. 

 In our lives, we have to understand that God’s judgement is not a beating he brings on us; it is so much worse.  It is Him simply removing His protection and His support. 

When that happens, those under his care become immediately vulnerable to the outcome of their pitiful choices.  They simply reap all that has grown from what they have sewn.  Please, Lord, do not remove your protection from those whom you have loved.  Help us to stand in your shadow and follow you closely and humbly.

God Bless You


For behold, the Lord God of hosts
    is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah
support and supply,[a]
    all support of bread,
    and all support of water;
the mighty man and the soldier,
    the judge and the prophet,
    the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty
    and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
    and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes,
    and infants[b] shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
    every one his fellow
    and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
    and the despised to the honorable.

Told Ya So, Part 2-Genesis 42, Continued

As Joseph received his first glimpse of the character of his brothers, the jury was still out.  Clearly, the brothers now knew their treatment of Joseph was wrong–but was it wrong because they may now have to pay a price, or was it wrong because they sealed an innocent boy’s fait. That is what Joseph needed to know.  As he listened, they clearly pointed fingers at one another placing blame, but they also at least intimated they were the reason for their own problems.  a beginning of recognition and repentance.  It broke Joseph’s heart, but, it also gave him some hope for their future.

We all fail! When we are willing to take responsibility and face our failure, that recognition and repentance begins the restoration in our lives.  Like any parent, God loves us and wants nothing more than to forgive and move forward. In order for him to do that, however, we have to be willing to be open, honest and submissive to his leadership.  There is no room for placing blame on others, there is simply the choice to submit and honor our Heavenly father.  It is tough, it is humbling–but it transforms us into his image so we can claim with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live–but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

God Bless You

They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

God Corrects His Own-2 Samuel 12 Part 1

God disciplines those he loves.  David sinned greatly.  He knew it and God knew it. David had hoped that covering up the sin, would somehow make everything better, but, God was not going to allow it.  God sent Nathan to expose David’s sin, and to help David understand the import of his actions.  The parable put things into perspective for David—David saw for the first time that he had become what he despised.  That was the beginning of repentance and restoration. 

As his kids, God also intervenes in our lives to mold and shape us into his image.  When we allow sin to stay in our lives, God has a way of exposing the sin and helping us to recognize what it has done to us and to others. If we are sensitive to his leadership, he can guide us to repentance and restoration.  He is first and foremost a loving Father—his desire is to shape us to be like him and enjoy the peace and freedom that comes with that. Help me, Lord to be sensitive to your leadership and humble and discerning to your correction.

God Bless You

12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!