Confession is Great for the Soul–1 John 1 final

I heard in a sermon a few weeks ago that no one simply drifts into a great life.  We were designed by God to be intentional and God Like.  That is why sin has had such a terrible impact upon us and upon the world as a whole.  The natural man defaults away from God and drifts toward a selfish and empty life.  Even with eternity in the balance, men choose to be separated from God naturally.

But God chose differently.  Through his spirit, we are drawn back to him.  In that, if we confess our sin–our natural desire to be Lord of our own life, and follow his lead and begin the personal relationship with him as Lord of our lives–our affirmative decision to surrender allows him to forgive us and restore our eternal life and journey with him.

While simple, it is by no means easy.  we have to choose each day to follow him and not run our own show.  But, when we choose that life–we have a Great Life Indeed!

God Bless You

This is the message we heard from Jesus[c] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Matthew 11 part 1–John the Baptist

When the pressure increases and life gets difficult, our faith is really tested.  John the Baptist was the man that announced Jesus entrance into ministry.  He baptized Jesus and stepped aside as Jesus Ministry flourished.  Now as John was being persecuted for his faith, even he began to question the very center of his faith—Is Jesus the one???  Jesus didn’t get angry, he did not criticize his cousin.  Instead, Jesus comforted him with facts and answered his question directly.  Jesus then told the crowd of his love for John and the view God had of him—he was one of the great ones.

We often worry that if we have a bad day or a crisis of faith that God will somehow erase all the devotion and tireless following we have done and write us of as some worn out has been.  No Father does that to his child.  God is our main Cheerleader and coach.  He will meet us where we are and will draw us to himself to give us the strength to press on even on days that simply does not seem possible.  When we are feeling weak and discouraged—that s when we need to lean into the Lord.  Prayer, study and fellowship with others on the journey become the lifeline in times of crisis.  Never be afraid to ask the father for anything—at any time.  He alone is the Lord God and he loves us more than anyone.

God Bless You

2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

7 As John’s disciples were leaving, 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? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

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

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

 

 

Matthew 9 final–according to your faith

Jesus continued to minister–healing the sick, freeing the demon possessed, raising the dead.  As he continued, news traveled fast and crowds flocked to him.  Jesus reaction to the crowds was remarkable.  A Jewish Leader comes to him in the midst of the crowd and he stops what he is doing to meet his need.  A woman tried to sneak up on him…He not only recognized her, but he healed and validated her.  He was always busy but never too busy to meet an individual need.

When we remember that he was showing us a picture of God the Father in the flesh…we should take heart. That is also the father’s approach.  He is always busy but never too busy to stop, step aside and meet our individual needs.  As he does, people are drawn not as much to the miracle but to the ministry.  We also need to remain busy, but never so busy that we cannot take time to minister. We walk by faith and remain prepared to give an account of the Lord and his love for us.  Help me, Lord to never be too busy to minister for you!

God Bless You

18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.  20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. 23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. 32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

Matthew 8 Part 1–Faith

Faith is a great thing.  Jesus finished speaking God’s heart to his followers. As he was walking down the mountain, there was immediate evidence that the message was clearly received. Two men humbly came before the Lord and took him at his word.  They both had needs—one for himself, the other for his trusted friend and servant. The incredible part of the story is that both men came to Jesus KNOWING he could heal. They did not come HOPING—they knew he would be able to heal him. The level of faith astounded and thrilled Jesus.

In our lives, nothing has changed.  Jesus still simply longs for us to KNOW he is there to heal, protect and provide for our needs.  He does not want us to “hope” he will get to us. He wants us to walk daily by faith and learn to simply and completely trust him and follow his plan.  When we walk in this faith, not only do we see him do mighty things, we also bless him and bring him joy.  Like any dad—The Father simply wants to bless his kids and have them know he loves them.  Help me Lord to live a life that shows how much I love and trust you.

God Bless You

8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a man came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith…13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment