Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

Posts

Can achievements give us false security?

I have to be careful to not fall into the trap that anything I have is the result of something I have done. It is a dangerous way to think and Jesus challenges me to change my mind about that. Thinking and acting that way causes me to miss God’s goal for my life. I am getting clear on that.

If wealth makes a person proud, then he understands neither himself nor his wealth. “But you shall remember the Master your God; for it is He that gives you power to get wealth” (Deut. 8:18). We are not owners; we are stewards. If we have wealth, it is by the goodness of God and not because of any special merits on our part. The possessing of material wealth ought to humble a person and cause him to glorify God, not himself.

It is possible to be “rich in the world [age]” (1 Tim. 6:17) and be poor in the next. It is also possible to be poor in this world and rich in the next. Jesus talked about both. But a believer can be rich in this world and also rich in the next if he uses what he has to honor God. In fact, a person who is poor in this world can use even his limited means to glorify God and discover great reward in the next world.

Trust God, not wealth. The rich farmer in our Master’s parable thought that his wealth meant security, when really it was an evidence of insecurity. He was not really trusting God. Riches are uncertain, not only in their value (which changes constantly), but also in their durability. Thieves can steal wealth, investments can drop in value, and the ravages of time can ruin houses and cars. If God gives us wealth, we should trust Him, the Giver, and not the gifts.

Enjoy what God gives you. Yes, the word enjoy is in the Bible! In fact, one of the recurring themes in Ecclesiastes is, “Enjoy the blessings of life now, because life will end one day”. This is not sinful “hedonism,” living for the pleasures of life. It is simply enjoying all that God gives us for His glory.

  • 1 Timothy 6:17 — 17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
  • Luke 12:16–20 — 16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.” ’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?
  • 2 Kings 19:11–13 — 11 ‘Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared? 12 ‘Did the gods of those nations which my fathers destroyed deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 ‘Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’ ”
  • 2 Kings 19:21–28 — 21 “This is the word that the Master has spoken against him: ‘She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem! 22 ‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice, And haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23 ‘Through your messengers you have reproached the Master, And you have said, “With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, To the remotest parts of Lebanon; And I cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses. And I entered its farthest lodging place, its thickest forest. 24 “I dug wells and drank foreign waters, And with the sole of my feet I dried up All the rivers of Egypt.” 25 ‘Have you not heard? Long ago I did it; From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, That you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps. 26 ‘Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, They were dismayed and put to shame; They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb, As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up. 27 ‘But I know your sitting down, And your going out and your coming in, And your raging against Me. 28 ‘Because of your raging against Me, And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose, And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back by the way which you came.
  • Jeremiah 48:7 — 7 “For because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures, Even you yourself will be captured; And Chemosh will go off into exile Together with his priests and his princes.
  • Revelation 18:7–8 — 7 “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ 8 “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Master God who judges her is strong.

Source: Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 238). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

_____________________________________________________

History of the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

In the early 1970’s, Jay and Sally Fesperman had a vision to open a retreat center for businessmen.  It was from this desire that they founded the Inn of Last Resort.  In the simplest of words – “Life is Relationships” – Jay Fesperman defined the heart of the ministry. Since its inception, “The Inn” has been involved in training and giving counsel to numerous families, pastors and lay people. The “Inn of the Last Resort” aptly alludes to the condition of many people who have found their way to this sanctuary in the rural Smoky Mountains. As word of the ministry spread, our name was revised to Christian Training Center International. Learn more here.

Global Influence

In 1980, Larry and Susan Pons joined the Fespermans in the ministry. Before Jay’s passing in 1992, CTCI had grown to be more global in its influence. Expansion of the ministry’s impact began to reach overseas and has subsequently brought scores of fellow Christians here for training and renewal. During its existence, over 70,000 people from more than 60 nations have come through the doors seeking a deeper reality of God in their lives.

 Our Prayer

Our prayer and focus has remained the same for years. First, that Jesus be Lord over all, through all and in all. Secondly that healthy, Godly relationships will always be the driving force of this ministry. This is the heartbeat of the ministry that the Lord has given us, and it is one we trust the Lord will continue to lead us in until He returns. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Is joy experienced even in adversity?

Choose Joy

Literally, Peter wrote, “Be constantly rejoicing!” In fact, he mentioned joy in one form or another four times in these two verses (1 Peter 4:12–13)!

“Rejoice … be glad also with exceeding joy … Happy are you!” The world cannot understand how difficult circumstances can produce exceeding joy, because the world has never experienced the grace of God (see 2 Cor. 8:1–5). Peter named several privileges that we share that encourage us to rejoice during the fiery trial.

How do we help those who are weak in faith?

Faith

As a disciple of Jesus, I have accepted Truth, not just as a concept, but as a Person. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Truth exists.

Jesus is Truth.

Truth is not relative.

Truth, in the person of Jesus, is absolute.

Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. ~Apostle Paul | Romans 14:1

Toleration should be exercised for the benefit of those whose faith is weak. God is God and God will show us all the way. Note this is about believers, not non-believers.

How toleration of other believers should I be? Even when disputing/dialoguing over prominent doctrines, a disciple of Jesus should exercise restraint and show respect. It is one thing to disagree with a position; it is quite another to disparage a person.

I must hold fast to the Truth while showing compassion to those who question it. Like Jesus, I must be full of both grace and truth (John 1:14). Peter strikes a good balance between having the answer and having humility: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15).

  • Romans 14:2–6  — One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Master is able to make him stand. One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Master, and he who eats, does so for the Master, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Master he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
  • Romans 14:13–22  — Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and am convinced in the Master Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom the Messiah died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way serves the Messiah is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
  • 1 Corinthians 8:8–13  — But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake the Messiah died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against the Messiah. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

This acknowledgment of Truth distances the disciple from the so-called “open-mindedness” of the day. The disciple has publicly acknowledged that Jesus rose from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). If he truly believes in the resurrection, how can he be “open-minded” concerning an unbeliever’s assertion that Jesus never rose again? For a disciple to deny the clear teaching of God’s Word would indeed be a betrayal of God.

_____________________________________________________

About the Christian Training Center

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The Christian Training Center International was founded in the early 1970’s as The Inn of the Last Resort. It is now known throughout the world for its outreach to families, Christian leaders, and young people. Our focus is to enable individuals – especially young men and women – to face and overcome the mounting issues and pressures in their daily lives. Learn more here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

35 Questions that Jesus Asks in the Good News According to John

Jesus asks a question

It is stunning how masterfully our Master Jesus, the Messiah, uses questions (read more here) to teach vital spiritual truths.  Jesus never asked a question because he needed to know the answer.  He used questions the way a surgeon uses a scalpel, to delicately cut into a new level of understanding.

Compiled here is a list of questions Jesus asked.  Though it is probably not exhaustive, it is an extensive collection of interrogations still demanding answers of us.

Is God in the revealing business?

God is revealing things. God is in the revealing business. Sometimes it is a little fuzzy at first and then gets clearer over time. Some days it is BOOM! It is clear now.

I get to proclaim those revelations as I grow. Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed King of God’s country. At first it was Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Baptism came and the Lord’s Supper.

What does it take for me to change my mind about Jesus?

Woe

Jesus is upset. Jesus is upset with the elite religious leaders of the day.

Jesus hasn’t gotten over it. I am thinking I need to pay attention to this. It is too easy to think Jesus is saying this “to them”. The word of Jesus is like a sharp sword.

Uh oh! Here it comes! I better listen up and change my mind (aka repent). I better act different. I better give up acting religious. I better get serious about following Him. I better give up my selfish self pitying. I better listen up!

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have changed their minds (aka repented) long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” | Matthew 11:21

What does denying Jesus mean?

Jesus is the Truth

The truth is a person. The truth is Jesus. He is the anointed one and Messiah. Jesus is King of God’s country.

There is a whole lot of stuff going on some days that ignores that. I need to be careful because while it sounds interesting and “Christian” it is not.

What is it? It is a lie.

Is it rare to find true faithfulness?

Faithfulness

Jesus challenges me to be faithful. Loyalty and commitment within human relationships is important in the life of God’s people.

It is seen particularly in fidelity within marriage, fulfilling family obligations, honoring vows, dutiful service and trustworthy speech and conduct.

Justice, mercy, and faithfulness are the important qualities God is seeking. Obeying the rules is no substitute.

Are churches “houses of prayer”?

Image result for house of prayer

Jesus went to the temple after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on palm Sunday.

The ecstacy of that moment to the sacrilege of the place that should be devoted to prayer and worship of the Master of the universe.

It’s God’s house! Think of it; selling stuff in God’s house.

Does the birth of children bring joy?

Joy

What joy there is in bringing children into this world.

Consider this from Jesus:

When a woman is in labor, she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world. | John 16:21 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

That is the way it is. There is always pain but we forget the pain. All we experience is the pure joy of a new life.

Can we live at peace with all men?

Reconciliation

Jesus has a goal for me. It is to be a peacemaker.

Peacemaking is a big goal given to us from Jesus. Jesus says “Happy are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Peace means reconciliation, and God is the author of peace and of reconciliation.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. ~Apostle Paul | Romans 12:18

Is God’s motive the honor of his name?

God Knows

God is God. God is to be honored and His name is to be revered. This is a shock to many today. Our culture considers it okay to dishonor God. I must honor God. I must be proud of following King Jesus, His Son.

As followers of Jesus, because we honor God, we have an inheritance. God is God. God knows what is going to happen. He has determined what is going to happen (aka predestined). We can be confident it will.

Who does He consult with? Himself. It is His will that is the only thing that counts. It is all about God and I must honor His name.

What Jesus shows to his innocent newcomers.

Simpleton

Jesus sent the 70 out on a mission and they have returned report that God has done amazing things. That is what Jesus knew would happen.

Jesus prays. Jesus is ecstatic. Jesus is doing a happy dance! I can see Jesus. He is smiling. He is very, very happy.

Jesus thanks His Father and Master. The work is a miracle because used nobodies to accomplish His plans. In fact, that pleases God. God likes to use nobodies. God is ignoring the elites. That is just the way it is.

Is Jesus in the amazement business?

Amazement

Jesus is amazing. I am constantly stunned at what He did for me and how He teaches me. Jesus is in the amazement business.

Here are some amazing things.

  • The miracles
  • The teaching
  • His authority
  • Casting out demons
  • Raising the dead
  • His death, resurrection and ascension
  • His gift of the Holy Spirit to us

Are we treating Jesus with contempt?

Contempt

We live in a world that holds and treats Jesus with contempt. Jesus suffered greatly for us. That was why He came.

Jesus came to suffer and pay the penalty for my missing God’s goal so that I don’t have to. He did it with joy, knowing what waited for him on the other side of the grave.

And Jesus said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt?” | ~Jesus | Mark 9:12

Is joy experienced through conversion?

When we accept Jesus as our Master and commit to be a disciple, we are ecstatic. Joy is ours beyond belief. Jesus has paid the price we owe for missing God’s goals. We have been redeemed. Amazing! I am doing a happy dance.

The word atonement means “reconciliation, brought back into fellowship with God.” The term is mentioned also in Romans 5:10. In Romans 1:18–32, Paul explained how men declared war on God and, because of this, deserved to be condemned eternally.

But God did not declare war on man. Instead, He sent His Son as the Peacemaker that men might be reconciled to God. That is good news and brings joy to our souls.

A review of our blessings of justification shows how certain our salvation is in Jesus. Totally apart from Law, and purely by grace, we have a salvation that takes care of the past, the present, and the future.

Jesus died for us; the Messiah lives for us; the Messiah is coming for us!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

  • Acts 16:33–34 — 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
  • Acts 8:38–39 — 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Master snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him but went on his way rejoicing.
  • Romans 5:11 — 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Master Jesus the Messiah, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
  • Romans 11:15 – For if their rejection brings reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
  • 2 Corinthians 5:18 – 20 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.”

Joy is a positive human condition that can be either feeling or action. The Bible uses joy in both senses.

The Greek word in Romans 5:11 is καυχάομαι kauchaŏmai, kŏw-khah´-om-ahee. It means to boast and to vaunt (in a good or a bad sense). Also glory, joy, or rejoice.

Reconciliation

_____________________________________________________

There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What qualities should we look for in leaders?

Leader

It is a good thing to want to be a leader in the assembly (church) that is called out of this world. Paul makes that clear to Timothy.

This applies to someone who wants to be an overseer, who has other church leaders reporting to them. The word is episkopos. It is defined as an overseer, supervisor, ruler, especially used with reference to the supervising function exercised by an elder or presbyter of a church or congregation.

Paul has a very comprehensive list. I know I don’t qualify but that is okay.

Is resurrection real for believers?

Eternal Life

Resurrection of my body, after death, will happen. So is the eternal life I have right now as a follower of Jesus. They are not mutually exclusive. I have one now, and the other later. It is “yes / and”.

By His teaching, His miracles, and His own resurrection, Jesus clearly taught the resurrection of the human body. He has declared once for all that death is real, that there is life after death, and that the body will one day be raised by the power of God.

Are we prepared to be humble?

Humility

God has a goal for me. Jesus calls on me to be gentle and meek. I am to be humble. I am to love. I am to have compassion. That is the main thing about the main thing. Love is not haughty.

Jesus challenges me to learn from Him. Jesus is gentle. Jesus is humble. Jesus shows me how to have compassion and love. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” | Matthew 11:29

So I, the prisoner for the Master, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior — a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation, with all humility forsaking self-righteousness, and meekness maintaining self-control, with patience, bearing with one another in unselfish love. | Ephesians 4:1-2 (Amplified Bible)

We must understand what “meek” means. The Greek word translated “meek” is praeis and refers to mildness, gentleness of spirit, or humility. Other forms of this Greek word are used elsewhere in the New Testament, including James 1:21 and James 3:13. Meekness is humility toward God and toward others.

It is having the right or the power to do something but refraining for the benefit of someone else. Paul urged meekness when he told us “to live a life worthy of the calling [we] have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1–2).

Jesus is clear that I will be more than happy if I am meek and gentle. I will in fact inherit the earth according to the “Jesus Manifesto” (Matthew 5 -7; aka the Sermon on the Mount). I think my arrogance is an issue Jesus wants me to deal with. More humility would go a long way in my life.

According to our dictionary, to be meek means you are “showing patience and humility, gentleness … easily imposed upon, submissive”. The meek one doesn’t throw fits or fly off the handle under pressure. A good synonym is “gentle”. A meek person is under control.

Meekness is not weakness: it is power under control. As the writer of Proverbs says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (16:32). In contrast, the individual who is not gentle is likened to “a city that is broken into and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28). Gentleness always uses its resources appropriately, unlike the out-of-control emotions that so often are destructive and have no place in your life as a believer.

And don’t equate gentleness with cowardice, lack of conviction, or mere human niceness. It’s a virtue that draws courage, strength, conviction, and a good disposition from God, not from self-centered human resources. Jesus clearly could show His displeasure. Imagine being a merchant in the temple getting whipped and chased out. Imagine being a religious leader and getting called a snake.

_____________________________________________________

Susan Pons Book – “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning…”

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Have you read Susan Corbett Pons book “And There was Evening and There was Morning”? It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Check out Susan’s book here.

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more about our programs here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

I will make it. God has assured me. There is not doubt about that.

Every good and perfect gift

I must praise God. God is my heavenly Father. God is Father of my Master Jesus. Jesus is the anointed one, the Messiah.

God is the Father of all mercy. God brings healing counsel to me. God comes alongside of me when I go through hard times. It isn’t always clear what is going to happen but before I know it, I can get outside of myself because someone comes along who is also going through hard times so I can be there for them. I can be there for them just like God is there for me.

There are plenty of trials that come from following Jesus the Messiah. They pale in comparison to the good times of the healing comfort of Jesus. I get more than a full measure of that. That deserves a shout out. I’m jumping for joy at the goodness of God.

When I suffer for Jesus, it works out for my healing. It works out for my salvation. I am encouraged and have my boldness increase by how well God treats me. God works things out for my benefit. That spurs me on. I face forward and run the good race. I don’t flinch at all during adversity.

Endurance is the name of the game. I can endure hard times with the amazing power of the Holy Spirit. That makes for great joy in the good times.

I will make it. God has assured me. There is not doubt about that.

_____________________________________________________

There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What was Peter’s role in founding the church?

Church Building

Jesus is building His church with people who are called out to be citizens of the country where Jesus is King. The church is about people. I am a member. I have been called out.

The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people.

I repeat. It is not a building.

It is a group of people called out of the world. I need to rethink all of this.

To Peter Jesus said, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My assembly of people (aka church); and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”” (Matthew 16:18)

Jesus appears to be using a play on words. “You are Peter (petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church.” Since Peter’s name means rock, and Jesus is going to build His church on a rock – it appears that the Messiah is linking the two together. God used Peter greatly in the foundation of the church.

It was Peter who first proclaimed the good news on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-47). Peter was also the first to take the good news to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48). In a sense, Peter was the rock “foundation” of the church.

Jesus is responding to Peter’s confession of faith in verse 16: “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.” Jesus had never explicitly taught Peter and the other disciples the fullness of His identity, and He recognized that God had sovereignly opened Peter’s eyes and revealed to him who Jesus really was.

His confession of Jesus as Messiah poured forth from him, a heartfelt declaration of Peter’s personal faith in Jesus. It is this personal faith in the Messiah which is the hallmark of the true disciple of Jesus. Those who have placed their faith in King Jesus, as Peter did, are the church.

Peter expresses this in 1 Peter 2:4 when he addressed the believers who had been dispersed around the ancient world: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus the Messiah and anointed King.”

Many people today understand the church as a building. This is not a biblical understanding of the church. Period. End of story. Please understand this!

Disciples are sent out by Jesus the Messiah: What is their mission? The church is a creation of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 17; 15:9), founded and owned by Jesus the Messiah.

It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a denomination and a building. At best, early on, it was a geographic location.

_____________________________________________________

There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Did Jesus demonstrate His friendship with us in his death on the cross?

Jesus Friend of Sinners

I don’t understand completely why Jesus would die for me. That is mighty powerful love. And He did it because He considers me a friend. I don’t deserve it. I have missed God’s goal for my life (aka sinner). Jesus was famous for bring the friend of sinners. For that I am thankful.

Most of us have many acquaintances but very few friends, and even some of our friends may prove unfriendly or even unfaithful. What about Judas? “Yes, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Ps. 41:9). Even a devoted friend may fail us when we need him most. Peter, James, and John went to sleep in the Garden when they should have been praying; and Peter even denied the Master three times. Our friendship to each other and to the Master is not perfect, but His friendship to us is perfect.

However, we must not interpret this word friend in a limited way, because the Greek word means “a friend at court.” It describes that “inner circle” around a king or emperor. (In John 3:29, it refers to the “best man”, at a wedding.) The “friends of the king” would be close to him and know his secrets, but they would also be subject to him and have to obey his commands. There is thus no conflict between being a friend and being a slave.

It is this kind of a relationship that Jesus described when He called His disciples “friends.” It was certainly a relationship of love, both for Him and for each other. The “friends of the King” could not compete with each other for attention or promotion. They were a part of the “inner circle,” not to promote themselves, but to serve their King. What a rebuke this must have been to the selfish disciples who often argued over who was the greatest!

  • John 15:13 — 13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
  • Romans 5:7–8 — 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, the Messiah died for us.
  • Luke 12:4 — 4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.
  • John 3:16 — 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  • 1 Peter 3:18 — 18 For the Messiah also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

_____________________________________________________

There is power in prayer. At the Christian Training Center International, we see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

Leadership the Jesus: A Faith at work series — Looking how to focus your faith at work? | This series of leadership programs focuses on leadership skills that drive the purpose and passion for work as laid out by Jesus and based on sound scripture. We might see faith and work as estranged. It can be frustrating. But, in truth, faith and work should share a crucial aim: to see the unseen at work through the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing new has been made without faith in God. Nothing unseen has been seen without work. When the force of what we do hits why we do it, we wither, or we flourish. Learn more here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships. The foundation is an encounter with Jesus that leads to a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. Learn more about our programs here.

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. Learn more here. Check out our new online version “Marriage and Family the Jesus Way” here..

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Am I ready to hear the timely reprimand of a friend?

Right words

We need friends but we need wise friends that we can count on to say the right thing at the right time.

I don’t like it when someone reproves and reprimands me. It hurts. Mainly because I always immediately sense the element of truth and rebel against it.

Are they a wise friend? Then I should embrace their delivery of the word of God and welcome it in my life.

What are reasons for God’s people to know joy?

God is good

There is a whole lot of joy in knowing Jesus. God is good and always in a good mood. So how many reasons do we have to do a big shout out for Jesus?

Consider this small sampling. It is stunning in the breadth of its scope.

Our God is a God of hope. God will fill us with joy. We will know peace. That all comes from believing in Jesus. We have power because of the Spirit of God. Now that is a good word!

Is God good and in a good mood? Is it all the time?

God is good all the time

God is good. God alone is good. God only has good things in mind for me. Jesus wants me to know this and get it in my soul. This is core to the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 7 – 9).

Is it possible that I think God has it out for me? Do I act that way some days? Do see God as harsh?

Do I?

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” | Matthew 7:7-11

Why was Jesus criticized for breaking with tradition and opposed by the religious elites?

Hypocrite

Things are getting dicey. The fact that the religious elites (scribes and Pharisees) united in this attack and came all the way from Jerusalem to speak to Jesus, indicates the seriousness of their purpose. It is likely that this committee represented the leaders of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

Their accusation about “washing hands” had nothing to do with cleanliness. They were referring to the ceremonial washings of the rigidly orthodox Jews. It was bad enough that Jesus and His disciples mingled with outcasts, but they did not even seek to be purified! Of course, in making this accusation, these religious elites were forcing Jesus to deal with the very foundation of their religious faith. If Jesus rejected the sacred traditions of the nation, then He was a heretic!

Does Jesus have the power and authority to cast out demons from people?

Authority of God

Jesus has both the power and authority to cast out demons and unclean spirits from people. It is stunning. It is really good news in that the power of evil is defeated in the work of Jesus.

Since demons are fallen angels, they possess the same level of power and influence as angels. However, Scripture seems to indicate that God has limited their abilities (2 Thessalonians 2:6–7). The Bible indicates that not all afflictions are due to demonic influence (Matthew 10:1; Luke 8:2). The vast majority of demonic influence is spiritual, not physical.

Are human authorities instituted and established by God?

God is clear. I must recognize that authority comes from God. This is a foundational principle. I am challenged by Jesus to give to Caesar what is his and to God what is God’s.

In my core, I naturally don’t want to submit to authority. It is a new word in Jesus to learn this. This is first base in God’s baseball game.

“Give, then, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” ~Jesus

The Bible speaks very clearly about the relationship between the believer and the government. We are to obey governmental authorities, and the government is to treat us justly and fairly. Even when the government does not live up to its role, we are still to live up to ours. Finally, when the government asks us to do something that is in direct disobedience to God’s Word, we are to disobey the government in faithful confidence of the Master’s power to protect us.

Are you on the edge of God’s kingdom?

Love Him

The religious leaders and elites of the Jewish faith were constantly trying to trap Jesus. One asked “Which is most important of all the commandments?”

Jesus answered that the Master your God is one; so love the Master God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

There is no other commandment that ranks with these Jesus tells me.

Is joy experienced in a relationship with Jesus the Messiah?

Yes, joy is most certainly is experienced in my relationship with Jesus! I have good news. I want to shout it out.

Look at 1 Peter 1 below. My love for the Messiah is not based on physical sight, because I have not seen Him. It is based on my spiritual relationship with Him and what the Word has taught me about Him.

The Holy Spirit has poured out God’s love into my heart (Rom. 5:5), and I return that love to Him. When you find yourself in some trial, and you hurt, immediately lift your heart to the Messiah in true love and worship.

Have I gone out on a limb and committed to trusting Jesus?

Love of Jesus

Jesus lays it all out here. He wants us to understand how it is between Him and His Father.

This understanding comes when I go out on a limb. I commit myself to love like Jesus commands me to. I trust in Jesus. He is looking out for me. I believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Bingo! Here we go! God loves me directly. No intermediary.

Does legalism represent a fatal misunderstanding of the purpose of OT law?

The Law

I fall into the trap of thinking that if I just follow the rules, I will be seen as good in the eyes of God. That is a big error. My journey with Jesus must start with faith in Him. From there on, I must follow the commands of my Master to love but I must start with faith.

Here is a paradox: the Jews sought for righteousness but did not find it, while the Gentiles, who were not searching for it, found it! The reason? Israel tried to be saved by works and not by faith. They rejected “grace righteousness” and tried to please God with “Law righteousness.”

How do we live at peace with everyone?

The peace of Jesus

Jesus does not exhort me to get angry, as if this is anger were a good motivator or energy for positive action. My job is to live in peace with everyone.

My mission, given to me by Jesus, is to love. That is it. That should be my day. That should be my motivation. Love should be my passionate focus. Love leads to living in peace.

Paul says when you feel angry, don’t act on it! Don’t hold onto anger and don’t let it motivate you because it easily leads to unwholesome talk and other sins. It gives the devil a foothold in your life.

Is is a wise thing to do good?

Faith

It is a wise thing to “do good”.

I know that “good works” won’t save me. Only the redemptive act of Jesus can do that. We are saved by grace through faith, but we are saved “to do good works” .

Having been redeemed by Jesus, I am to do good.

Get insurance with God and do a good deed, settle down and stick to your last. Keep company with God, get in on the best. | ~King David | Psalm 37:3-4 (The Message Bible)

Is there encouragement for those facing temptation?

Temptation

I struggle with temptation. I know all followers of our Master Jesus do. I start with the good news that we are more than conquerors. Jesus gives us the power of His Holy Spirit.

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines temptation as “an enticement or invitation to sin, with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience.” Resisting temptation begins with knowing that Satan is the supreme “tempter” who has been tempting mankind since our Creator placed His first two children in the Garden of Eden.

What does it take to follow Jesus?

Radical Sayings of Jesus

Jesus demanded disciples become slaves of the Master (aka Owner). This isn’t optional even though it sounds repugnant. I am a slave of Jesus. I am totally devoted to Him.

The cost of discipleship involves a denial of all my self-interests and desires: Jesus’ followers were called “disciples” long before they were ever called “the Christians.” Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will to follow Him (Matthew 9:9).

Should we look out for the contamination of leaders and elites?

Hypocrite

I need to be careful. There is a slippery slope where being a religious zealot moves quietly into religious rule keeping.

Has it happened to me?

Yikes! I resemble that remark.

The Pharisees (religious leaders and elites) were an influential religious sect within Judaism in the time of the Messiah and the early church.

The Pharisees (religious elites) are often presented as hypocritical and proud opponents of Jesus. The Master stated it bluntly: “They do not practice what they preach” (Matthew 23:3).

Do I have joy because of the victory and deliverance that Jesus gives me?

Victory in Jesus

Jesus teaches us the great joy that there is in victory and deliverance.

There is a threefold joy here:

  • the joy of service (Luke 10:17–19)
  • the joy of salvation (Luke 10:20)
  • the joy of sovereignty (Luke 10:21–24)

We can well understand the joy of the Seventy as they returned to report their victories to Jesus. He had given them power and authority to heal, to cast out demons, and to preach the Word, and they were successful! In the midst of their great joy, they were careful to give God the glory.

Do I mistakenly think God won’t see what I am doing and come down hard on me?

Faith Matters: We all face the judgement of God | The Armidale ...

It is a distraction game. It is classic but I see it happening. I do it sometimes as well. I need to see it in myself and root it out.

I point my finger at others. I do it consistently. It is what about them. See how bad and evil they are. Just look at them.

Do we see justice in the righteousness of Jesus?

Justice

We start with justice. God has chosen His Son Jesus to deliver justice to us all. This will not be “social justice”. It will God Justice. I will see it. You will see it. We all will stand before God.

Social justice generally refers to justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.

The Hebrew word here is Justice (מִשְפָּט, mishpat; δικαιοσύνη, dikaiosynē). It is divinely righteous action, whether taken by humanity or God, that promotes equality among humanity. Used in relation to uplifting the righteous and oppressed and debasing the unrighteous and oppressors.

Why must we share with those who have none?

Jesus had a lot to say about the homeless, wealth, prosperity, poverty, riches, the poor, the needy and giving. Here is a compilation of everything I have found. It is worth reading this to get a sense of what Jesus thinks about wealth and what He requires of us.

But here is John the Baptizer weighing in as well. John is the cousin of Jesus. He came to pave the way for our King.

I should listen to him.

And the crowds asked him [John], “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”

Is the Holy Spirit real?

Holy Spirit

There are many misconceptions about the identity of the Holy Spirit. Some view the Holy Spirit as a mystical force. Others understand the Holy Spirit as the impersonal power that God makes available to followers of Christ.

What does the Bible say about the identity of the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.

The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is clearly seen in many Scriptures, including Acts 5:3-4.

Why should the last be first?

Last shall be first

Jesus drives the point home time and time again. Jesus wraps up a story with this statement of how it is going to be in the end.

Things aren’t as they seem to me. God is God.

Just because I think I am first and everything is okay doesn’t mean it is correct.

If I think I am the most important then I will be surprised and find out that isn’t the way it is in the country where Jesus is King.

“Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.” ~Jesus | Matthew 20:16

I don’t get to dictate to God how to do things. God is going to judge things fairly. I should be happy that I and others have an advocate, Jesus, on my side.

Is joy common among believers?

There is something I’ve noticed about followers of Jesus and His disciples. They are just plain happy folks. They are singing. They are shouting. Miracles follow in their wake.

They are praying for people. They have REALLY good news and share it.

They have a gladness of heart. They bring great joy to the brothers and sisters.

Many find it a drudgery to do what God wants. Not the brothers and sisters. They find joy in being slaves of Jesus.

Has it been granted to us to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God?

Mystery

Whenever I hear the word “mystery”, my curiosity kicks in. I want to know.

A “mystery” in the New Testament is something that had at one time been hidden but is now revealed to God’s people.

Now that is cool. We get to know stuff that no one else does. That shows you just how good God is.

To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. ~Jesus | Matthew 13:11

There are “mysteries” that are no longer mysterious to the child of God. “The mystery of faith” is the divinely revealed truth about grace, redemption, and forgiveness in the Messiah. It is hard (impossible even) to understand those until you begin to mature as a disciple of Jesus. As a citizen of the country that Jesus is King of, we get that insight. Unbelievers and atheist don’t get it.

Here are some the amazing things that are described as mysteries that we know about that others don’t.

  • Jesus’ incarnation (1 Timothy 3:16)
  • The indwelling of the Spirit (Colossians 1:26–27)
  • The unity of the church (Ephesians 3:4–6)
  • The rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
  • And the good news itself (Colossians 4:3)

The mystery of faith is a term that occurs in 1 Timothy 3:9. “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Depending on the English translation, the Greek phrase τὸ μυστήριον τῆς πίστεως is translated “the mystery of faith,” “the mystery of the faith,” or “the deep truths of the faith.”

Why does Jesus challenge us to self-sacrifice?

Jesus is challenging me. This is tough.

Am I willing to give up everything, including my life for King Jesus? Am I?

Jesus is clear. Jesus is really clear.

Am I ready to go the cross?

Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God. Jesus | Luke 9:23-27

Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to self.” It’s a call to absolute surrender. After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25 – ESV). Although the call is tough, the reward is matchless.

This is the essential issue we all face when we encounter Jesus.

  • Jesus spoke repeatedly to His disciples about taking up their cross (an instrument of death) and following Him. He made it clear that if any would follow Him, they must deny themselves, which means giving up their lives — spiritually, symbolically, and even physically, if necessary.
  • This was a prerequisite for being a follower of the Messiah, who proclaimed that trying to save our earthly lives would result in our losing our lives in the kingdom. But those who would give up their lives for His sake would find eternal life (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35). Indeed, Jesus even went so far as to say that those who are unwilling to sacrifice their lives for Him cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27).
  • Again, am I ready? Will I do that today?

The flip side of this the promise, if I lose my life, I will find it in obedience to Jesus. Jesus is life. In Jesus, I have abundant and mature life. Now that is some good news.

_____________________________________________________

There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training and experiential discipleship process at the Christian Training Center.

How do we make an impact?

  • We give a college age students (summer) a residential position as an intern. It is open to Christian candidates who want to deepen and develop their faith while experiencing the demands of day-to-day ministry. These individuals help serve and mentor during our summer programs.
  • We help impact college students during Heroes Semester. It is a 10-week semester program. This program is focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, young adults are renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.
  • We help impact teens through Heroes of Today Week long summer program Teens learn new life skills and they will discover more about their identity in Jesus and what it means to live as one of God’s Heroes of today.
  • Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Your gift will help bring healing and restoration to families all around the world.

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν

Translation: Master Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Does the Father affirm Jesus the Messiah is his Son?

Son of God

This is stunning. God Himself spoke. And the message? God is very well pleased with His Son. I can count on it. God has said it.

On three special occasions, the Father spoke from heaven: at the Messiah’s baptism, at the Transfiguration, and as Jesus approached the cross. In the past, God spoke to His Son; today He is speaking through His Son.

The Father’s statement from heaven seems to be an echo of Psalm 2:7 —

“I will declare the Lord’s decree. He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

Will we suffer for God?

Kingdom of God

I am to show respect to everyone. It starts with the fear of God.  It continues with love of my brothers and sisters. It extends to honoring government authorities.

That is pretty straightforward. It is my calling.

It may lead to trouble. Jesus shows the way for He was killed unjustly. He submitted however. He did it for us so as to redeem us. Now that is some good news. I am excited.

Is Jesus the good shepherd?

It should be understood that Jesus is “the” good shepherd, not simply “a” good shepherd, as others may be. He is unique in character. Jesus lays down His life for me.

Now that is stunning.

  • Who would do that?
  • Why would He do that?

The Greek word kalos, translated “good,” describes that which is noble, wholesome, good, and beautiful, in contrast to that which is wicked, mean, foul, and unlovely. It signifies not only that which is good inwardly — character — but also that which is attractive outwardly.