Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

What is courage? How do we overcome fear?

What is courage? How do we overcome fear?

The five thousand had just been feed. It was a stunning day. God had been shown, through His son Jesus, to be an amazing God. As soon as the meal was finished, Jesus insisted that the disciples get in a boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people.

With the crowd dispersed, Jesus climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.

What does Jesus think about retaliation?

Jesus challenges us to not retaliate. It is in our core, when someone hurts us, to strike back.

Some, famously, brag about being a “counter-puncher”. 

That, is not the way of God. 

Jesus has a different way.

Don’t hit back at all. Just take it. Agree with your adversary.

God has a goal in mind for us. Jesus has higher standards for us than what the world expects.

Jesus expects us to be full of the love of God.

Love acts differently. Love is kind and patient. Love does not retaliate.

May I love like God. May I not be defensive and retaliate.

Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it.” ~Jesus

Matthew 5:38 The Message (MSG)

Jesus challenges us
Jesus challenges us

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Heroes Semester

CTCI’s Heroes Semester is a 10-week semester program 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, you will be renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.

Learn more here.

CTCI’s Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! Emphasizing the biblical truths of relationships, family, servanthood, and personal discipline, young men and women are challenged to live a faith that reaches beyond the four walls of the church and affects everyday life.

“The Heroes Semester is taking place, and all that I can say is that the Lord is showing me Himself! Christ is mesmerizing me; He’s opening my heart to fall more in love with Him!”

CB -Tennessee (Participant)

Participants ages 18-26 come from all walks of life with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord and seek Him for their lives and future. Each semester is filled with teaching, activities, and experiences designed to take you on the mountaintops with the Lord as well as train you to live a disciplined life in Christ in the plains and valleys.

Participants spend their days in study sessions, work duties, or on the unpredictable outdoor adventure. The evenings have a natural rhythm of group Bible studies, prayer & intercession, and recreational activities. Everyone pitches in with the usual chores that come with living life together. Electronics take a back seat in daily life, unplugging from usual habits helps to make space for new ones. Each day ends with a note of gratitude and lessons learned.

If you are ready to go deeper in relationships, devotion, and surrender to the Lord, then CTCI’s Heroes Semester could be the most purposeful 10 weeks of your life!

Learn more here.

Has Jesus provoked us to sarcasm?

Sarcasm
Sarcasm

We get consumed with our feelings. Jesus challenges us to move beyond that and see His world.

Jesus can provoke us to sarcasm. We see and feel reality. We are sad beyond belief.

Jesus is abrupt with us. We need Him to challenge us. We tell Jesus He doesn’t know what He is talking about. We really say that to Him.

Jesus doesn’t listen to us, thank God. He knows what His Father wants to do. He does it.

In spite of us and all our sarcasm. He raises the girl from the dead. That is what God wanted Jesus to do.

God is God. God has a plan.

He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.”

Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about.

Mark 5:37-40 (The Message Bible)

Backlot BBQ & Movie

Come join us for our Backlot Barbecue Event at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on October 5, 2019. Learn more here.

Your ticket includes a delicious BBQ sandwich meal, a donut roast over an open fire, fun and games. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy DreamWorks “Madagascar” under the stars. All proceeds go to missions around the world.

DATES / TIMES:

Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30pm – 8pm: Food, Games & Donut Roast

8pm: Outdoor movie featuring DreamWorks “Madagascar”

*BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR*

Learn more here.

What if Jesus said this to New York City?

Tyre and Sidon

Tyre and Sidon – Repent and ask for mercy

What if Jesus said this to Dallas? What if he said this to New York City? I can imagine it.

Jesus is in our midst. He is performing great and mighty acts of God right now. Do we see it? Do we change our minds and ask for mercy?

We should ask for mercy. We should beg for forgiveness. Jesus challenges us to do so.

We need to radically change our mind and act differently. This is known as repentance. The Greek word is  μετανοέω mĕtanŏĕō — Meaning: I repent, change my thinking, change the inner man.

God is God. We may not fully understand His ways but we must understand in our heart and act accordingly.

He is merciful.

He has forgiven us.

“If Tyre and Sidon had been given half the chances given you, they’d have been on their knees long ago, changing their mind (repenting) and crying for mercy.” ~Jesus 

Luke 10:13-14



Come join us for our Backlot Barbecue Event at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on October 5, 2019. Learn more here.

Your ticket includes a delicious BBQ sandwich meal, a donut roast over an open fire, fun and games. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy DreamWorks “Madagascar” under the stars. All proceeds go to missions around the world.

DATES / TIMES:

Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30pm – 8pm: Food, Games & Donut Roast

8pm: Outdoor movie featuring DreamWorks “Madagascar”

*BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR*

Learn more here.

Does Jesus know what He is talking about?

Miracles Happen

Miracles Happen

Am I the one Jesus brings into the room with Him or am I the one provoked to sarcasm and left out of His presence?

This is an essential question. Imagine telling Jesus he didn’t know what he was talking about. Oh my goodness. God is God. He will do what He wants regardless of what we think.

Being snarky with Jesus is deadly. Jesus has a way of dealing with it.  Telling Jesus He doesn’t know what He doesn’t know what He is talking about is way over the top. Why do we do it? What is in our heart?

Peter, James and John got in. I want to be one of the ones who goes in with Jesus.

I don’t want to be sarcastic about what our Lord can do. Nothing is impossible for Him!!

The events of the day had been stunning. A 12 year old had just been raised from the dead. At Jesus command, she got up from the dead and walked around. Everyone was beside themselves. She was 12. She had died. Now she was alive. God is great. Nothing is impossible with Him.

What is Jesus first concern after He has raised her from the dead? She is hungry. Get her some food.

Jesus knows what is important and when it is important. He never ignores what we need and when we need it.

That is just the way God is. God is good and in a good mood. He knows when we are hungry and will give us something to eat.

He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: ‘Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.’ Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about.

 

But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, get up.’ At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, ‘Give her something to eat.’

Mark 5:39-43

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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.  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.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

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

Who is in the drivers seat?

Jesus challenges us to live life with Him in charge. Now that is tough because we all like to be in control.

We may pretend we don’t but we know it is true. Jesus knows it is true. This is a very big thing. Will we let Jesus be the Master of our lives? Will we become a slave? Will we acknowledge that Jesus is King of God’s country.

Jesus is waiting for an answer.

We can’t fake it with Him. Jesus knows us down to our core.

So … Jesus looks us in the eye, pauses and says …

“You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am.” ~Jesus

Luke 9:24 The Message

This is the main thing about the main thing. Following Jesus means letting Jesus drive the car. Jesus gets to go where He wants to go. We must stop when Jesus stops and go when Jesus goes.

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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.  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.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

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

Radical Sayings of Jesus

Will we have courage and believe our Master Jesus the Messiah?

Faith takes courage and has risk

Faith takes courage and has risk

With faith comes a risk.

“What if ….”, we think. What if God doesn’t answer.What if we look silly.

We can have a whole bunch of “What ifs” rattling through our thoughts.

We need extraordinary courage to believe God will intercede.

God is faithful. When we step out in faith, take a risk, show extraordinary courage, He responds.

God is God, good and great.

What an amazing God we serve. All we need to do is believe Him. He will heal us and make us whole.

Will we have courage and believe our Master Jesus the Messiah?

“Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole.” ~Jesus

Matthew 9:20-22

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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.  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.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

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

Does it takes supernatural courage to love the way God loves?

God's standard for love

God’s standard for love

This is tough stuff. It doesn’t feel right. Our natural reactions, in relationships, can get us in trouble. Jesus has a different standard for us. Unless Jesus has invaded our life, relationships can be pretty difficult at times.

Real love in relationships can require supernatural courage. It can only happen after Jesus has changed us. Jesus demanded that the “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” world of natural and religious rules be completely changed.

God is love and that is not how He does things. It isn’t how He wants us to do things either. God’s goal for our lives is to love.

And so, it takes supernatural courage to love the way God loves. But that is the way He wants us to love. That is what relationships in “His world” look like. This is an example of how to be a servant in relationships. The other alternative is to be a follower of how our “friends” do things.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

Matthew 5:38-42

May we love the way God wants us to.

May our relationships be based on how He loves not the way that serves us and not others.

God’s goal for us to grow up and live the Life of Jesus, doing everything His way.

Victory in JesusJesus challenges us to be the person God wants us to be. Jesus challenges us to grow up. Grow up! Yes, you heard that right.

Grow up!

It is not about us or our unique personalities. God has given us His identity.

Jesus only does what He hears and sees His Father saying and doing.We need to get outside of our “me identity”. It isn’t about who I am. It is all about who I am in God.

Jesus wants the same for us. We have a God created identity. We are a new creation in the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. We share that with Him through baptism.

God’s goal for us to live the Life of Jesus, doing everything His way. God’s goal for us is to grow up.

“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

~Jesus (Matthew 5:48 The Message)

Jesus is radical and demands that we live in a radical way.

Unconventional Wisdom

Unconventional Wisdom

In listening to Jesus, much of what He is saying goes against the grain of what I have thought brings happiness. It is the Jesus Manifesto.

Jesus is radical and demands that we live in a radical way. Jesus wants us to change our minds and act differently (aka repent). Jesus will accept nothing less.

God has a goal for us. Jesus takes care to summarize what some of God’s principles are.

Have we missed God? Is anything left in our memory of his Message? Do we take his Messenger seriously?

Hear Jesus Voice

Hear Jesus Voice

God sent Jesus. Jesus is His plan. There is danger in missing all of this. We need to slow down and make sure we get it.

I don’t want to hear Jesus say to me that I missed it. I want to hear “Good and faithful servant”!

Jesus warns us. God’s goal for us is to hear His son’s voice. We need to be careful not to miss what God is saying to us. We need to take Jesus seriously. Jesus wants us to be saved.

The acts that Jesus completed are the message. Jesus lived the perfect life. Jesus died for all of us to pay the price for our having missed God’s goal (aka sin). Jesus rose from the dead into an incorruptible body. Jesus now sits at the the right hand of God and is charge of God’s Kingdom. Jesus is in total control.

We must listen for God. We must see His appearance. He sends Jesus.

“But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved. John was a torch, blazing and bright, and you were glad enough to dance for an hour or so in his bright light. But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me, confirmed me. And you missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously.” ~Jesus

John 5:34-38

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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.  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.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

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

The Conditions of Discipleship

Our Lord never proclaimed a cause— He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted bondservant motivated by love for the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not truly devoted to Jesus Christ. No one on earth has this passionate love for the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Spirit has given it to him. We may admire, respect, and revere Him, but we cannot love Him on our own.

The only One who truly loves the Lord Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and it is He who has “poured out in our hearts” the very “love of God” (Romans 5:5). Whenever the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to glorify Jesus through you, He will take your entire being and set you ablaze with glowing devotion to Jesus Christ.

The Christian life is a life characterized by true and spontaneous creativity. Consequently, a disciple is subject to the same charge that was leveled against Jesus Christ, namely, the charge of inconsistency.

But Jesus Christ was always consistent in His relationship to God, and a Christian must be consistent in his relationship to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to strict, unyielding doctrines. People pour themselves into their own doctrines, and God has to blast them out of their preconceived ideas before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.

People pour themselves into their own doctrines, and God has to blast them out of their preconceived ideas before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.

Source: The Conditions of Discipleship | My Utmost For His Highest



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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Do I really mean it?

Passion for God

Passion for God

Jesus challenges us to stop acting. And, He is serious. He means it. Jesus can’t stand hypocrisy.

How many times do we just go through the motions? What about our prayers at meals? What about how we sing (or don’t sing) the songs at church? What about our “gifts” at the offering time?

“They act like they are worshiping me, but they don’t mean it.” ~Jesus

Mark 7:6 The Message

Are we just acting? Do we really mean it?

The Bible has a lot to say about my motives. A motive is the underlying reason for any action. Proverbs 16:2 says, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the MASTER.”

Because the human heart is very deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), I can easily fool myself about my own motives. I can pretend that I am choosing certain actions for God or the benefit of others, when in reality I have selfish reasons. God is not fooled by my selfishness and is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

So what is the right motivation? First Thessalonians 2:4 says, “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (NLT). God is interested in my motives even more than my actions. First Corinthians 4:5 says that, when Jesus comes again, “he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

God’s glory is to be the highest motive of his people: God wants me to know that He sees what no one else sees. He knows why I do what I do and desires to reward those whose hearts are right toward Him. I can keep my motives pure by continually surrendering every part of my heart to the control of the Holy Spirit and seeking His glory.

God has a goal for us. He wants us to enthusiastically and passionately love Him. God want us to show that we mean it.

May we worship God like we mean it. May we be head over heels in love with Jesus and let our worship show it.



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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Am I pretending to be righteous just because I am acting legally?

The Law

The Law

Jesus challenges us to look at whether meeting the “letter of the law” means we are living right in God. God’s right way of living has nothing to do with “not doing” things but has everything to do with loving Him and others every day.

Following the letter of the law is really a not so subtle form of selfishness. We justify not doing things by the fact that “we go to church” or “we tithe” or “we pray”.

We can avoid loving the homeless because of our other religious activities. I take comfort in following the rules and regulations. Is my rule keeping really going to help me?

Jesus exposes that approach as a sham. Jesus is clear. I can have no doubt about it at all.

God’s goal for us is to stop pretending with our religious behavior and live in a right relationship with him. It is all about our relationship with God and with everyone else we know and meet. It is all about love.

May I be right in Him doing His right things everyday.

Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights’? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure. 

Matthew 5:31 The Message (MSG)



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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Am I being stupid or willfully stupid?

Jesus asks a question

Jesus asks some stunning questions. We don’t exactly know how to respond. Some days, there aren’t great answers. Jesus is waiting to hear what we think and say. His questions deserve an answer.

Jesus explains so many things to us. He challenges us to hear, really hear, what He is saying.

Jesus is blunt. He is straightforward. He really want us “to get it”. He has given us the Holy Spirit to help.

God’s goal for us is that we focus on our heart. It is all about our heart. That is the main thing.

May we listen and understand. It is important.

Jesus said, “Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you see that what you swallow can’t contaminate you? It doesn’t enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed.” (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.) 

Mark 7:18 The Message Bible



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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

Will we stand firm when Jesus challenges us?

Jesus Challenges Us

Jesus Challenges Us

You come to Jesus. Your son is sick and is going to die. You ask Jesus to come and heal him.

Jesus puts you off. That’s right, Jesus doesn’t just hop to it to do what you want.

In fact, Jesus challenges your motives. This is your opportunity to slink off or stand firm.

Jesus challenges us. Do we believe in him or will we give up?

Now he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile in Capernaum, there was a certain official from the king’s court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.”

But the court official wouldn’t be put off. “Come down! It’s life or death for my son.”

Jesus simply replied, “Go home. Your son lives.”

The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home. On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, “Your son lives!”

He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, “The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o’clock.” The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, “Your son lives.”

That clinched it. Not only he but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee.

John 4:46-54 (The Message)



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

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | 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. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

How much time do I spend jockeying for position with others?

This is how competing looks to God

This is how competing looks to God

Jesus challenges us to stop being competitive. We are always comparing ourselves with others. It is a serious problem. It makes us feel better that we are better off than someone else.

We have all fallen short of what God has in mind for us. We miss the mark.

Worrying about how we compare to others has us ignoring God.

God’s goal for us is that we spend time on the right things.

The first thing is to love God. All else pales with this goal from God.

The second thing is to love everyone. This is a full time job. This will consume our day. This is the only direction we need from Jesus.

These tow things will get us somewhere with God. Jesus knew this.

We can’t ignore God.

“I’m not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God’s love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God? ~Jesus  | John 5:41-42 (The Message Bible)



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What was the most important thing to Jesus?

Luke 23 46Everything was complete. The last thing Jesus says is so profound. This is the way it has always been with Jesus. Jesus is all about doing what God wants Him to do. That is it. Finished.

Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing. He only said what he heard his Father saying. He placed his life in God’s hand. Always.

Jesus never missed God’s goal for one single minute. Always on track. Always seeking God. Always placing his life in God’s hands.

From the beginning to the end. It is the last thing he said. The he died.

Having finished it all, Jesus puts His life in the hands of God who sent Him.

“Father, I place my life in your hands!” ~Jesus | Luke 23:46



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Is my heart in it?

Heart, dedicated, caring and committed

Heart, dedicated, caring and committed

Jesus challenges us to have our heart in the right place with God and everyone else. It is all about our relationships.

Just saying the right thing will not make a difference. Jesus demands that our heart be in it. Jesus knows that if our heart is in it, the results will come.

It isn’t the “big show” we make of saying things. Do we do the right God-things? Is our heart in it even if no one knows about what we do?

Another challenge is just going through the motions. We pray but is rote and meaningless. We’re just saying the words. We read the scripture but it doesn’t speak to us. We go to church and stand at the right times but are emotionally detached from our brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Emotion flows from the heart. Joy is a big deal. Jesus brings joy into our lives. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

God’s goal for us is for us to guard our heart. Everything starts with our heart. God wants men and women of God who have a heart for Jesus.

May my heart be in it every day!!

“These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it.” ~Jesus | Mark 7:6



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Why don’t our faithless solutions allow God to shine through?

Jesus feeds 5,000

Jesus feeds 5,000

Jesus challenges us. It had been a long day. It was beginning to get late.

His disciples came to him and said to Jesus, “Dismiss the crowd so they can go to the farms or villages around here and get a room for the night and a bite to eat. We’re out in the middle of nowhere.”

You feed them, he challenged them.

They came to him with a problem and a simple solution. They knew they couldn’t feed them because there were close to 5,000 men and there was no food. No one was prepared to be there so long with Jesus.

They also should have known that God can provide food when there is none. They had been around Jesus long enough to know this. Our faithless solutions don’t allow God to shine through.

And so … Jesus challenges us to seek God first, don’t depend on our own solutions even when we have one and let Him shine through.

God has a goal for us. It is to trust Him and not ourselves.

“You feed them,” Jesus said. (Luke 9:13)



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Am I caught up in the wrong priorities?

Right standing with God

Right standing with God

We get caught up in the wrong things. We don’t have the right priorities.

What church do we go to or what denomination do we belong to? How good is the worship team or choir? What school did we graduate from? What neighborhood do we live in?

What is my title at work? How much money do we earn? What kind of car do we drive?

The list goes on and on.

Jesus challenges us down to our core. Here are some important things that count with Jesus.

  • What is my relationship with our loving God and Father?
  • Do I love God and Him only?
  • Do I seek with all my heart to please Him every day?
  • Do I love the people in my life the way He loves me?

That is all that is important. Jesus challenges us to live that way.

God has a goal in mind for us. He wants us to live in right standing before Him. Jesus is the way to that right standing.

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.” ~Jesus (John 4:24 The Message)

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You don’t expect to bury your children.

Grief and Horror

Grief and Horror

She is 12 years old. She got sick. She died.

Everyone is beside themselves in grief and horror. You don’t expect to bury your children. It’s just not right. What kind of God allows that to happen?

Jesus arrives on the scene at the request of the father. The father believed in Jesus.

When he goes in to the room where her dead body is lying, Jesus says very little other than “Little girl, get up”. At that, she was up and walking around! They were all beside themselves with joy. Amazed. Stunned. Ecstatic.

This is stunning.

This is the power of God in Jesus.

We have the same Holy Spirit in us.

May I live my life knowing of this stunning power.

“Little girl, get up.” ~Jesus to a dead 12 year old girl (Mark 5:40-43 The Message Bible)

Another time Lazarus passed away. Jesus knew what was going to happen. He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.

Yet Jesus shared the grief of those who were morning. What did Jesus do?

Jesus wept. Jesus was deeply moved by the emotions of those who were grieving.



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Has Jesus finished everything He came to do?

John 19:30 - It is complete

John 19:30 – It is complete

Jesus had been thirsty. They gave him some sour wine.

Jesus knew everything God had sent him here to accomplish was done. This was the next to last thing he said from the cross.

Imagine knowing that you had finished it all. Nothing left undone. Every prophecy fulfilled.

All the suffering was over. Every single goal, plan and detail completed with never missing a thing. Only the Son of God could do this.

And Jesus, our Master and the Messiah did it.

Everything complete.

Well done Master Jesus.

Well done our Savior.

Well done our Redeemer.

The Scripture

A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit. | John 19:29-30 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

 

Christian Standard Bible (CSB) The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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Did Jesus finish it? Is it complete?

Complete the law and prophets

Complete the law and prophets Matthew 5:17

Jesus, God’s Son, shows how He completes what was started in the Old Covenant (Testament). Jesus is the completer in chief. He does it all. Nothing is left undone. Every goal accomplished. The mission of God is fulfilled.

Nothing, not a single thing, is left incomplete and undone.

Everything in the Old Covenant pointed to Jesus. He completed everything through His life and death for us. Having missed God’s goal for our life, His glorious resurrection and ascension brings the rule of Kingdom with God to our lives.

As He said on the cross, “It is finished”.

God loves us. He sent His son Jesus for us. Jesus reached the goal that God has in mind for all of us.

Jesus shows us the way.

“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures— either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. ” ~Jesus (Matthew 5:17-18 The Message)

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Why is Jesus thirsty?

Jesus is ThirstyHanging from the cross. He will die for us. The agony is unbearable. He didn’t say a lot. It was too painful. In His suffering, He has an unquenchable thirst.

He cries out in pain: “I am thirsty!”

Everything is almost done. God’s goal will be complete soon. A few last things to do.

It is not the first time he has expressed he is thirsty. He did it on his visit to Samaria.

An outcast woman helped that day. Jesus said to her, “Would you give me a drink of water?”  They had a long conversation. It wasn’t as much about the need for water as it was a chance to bring her to God. 

Jesus gives opportunities to help. Sometimes it is just with something simple like helping to quench thirst.

Do we hear Jesus? Will we answer? Will we help?

Jesus is on a mission. He knows what is ahead.

And yet, he is thirsty. They give him some wine.

Jesus is talking. He is thirsty.

Will we help?

Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.”

A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit. | John 19:28-30

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Will Jesus remember us?

Theif on the crossThree men  had been condemned.  Three men were hanging on crosses facing agonizing deaths. This is a horrific way to die. The Romans really knew how inflict the maximum amount of pain and agony. It wasn’t pretty.

One of the criminals hanging alongside our Master cursed Jesus: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”  

But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him — he did nothing to deserve this.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

“Today you will join me in paradise.” ~Jesus on the cross | Luke 23:43

The criminal seemed to think this would be sometime in the future. Jesus was clear it would happen that day. Jesus remembered him. Jesus will remember us. Our names are written in the book of life. We are remembered. 

Jesus has become victorious.

Will there be a day of judgement?

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Tyre and Sidon were well known pagan cities in Jesus time. It might be like saying Las Vegas and New Orleans will have it easy on Judgement Day compared to Atlanta that has a church on every corner.

Jesus is in our midst performing amazing miracles. Do we see Him? Do we hear Him? Do we believe Him?

It is easy to judge places like Las Vegas and miss what He is doing in Dallas. May I see Jesus in the here and now. May I respond to Him.

God is God. There will be a day of judgement.

We may like to believe that a loving God won’t judge us. That would be a mistake.

“Tyre and Sidon will have it easy on Judgment Day compared to you.” ~Jesus (Luke 10:13-14 The Message Bible)



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What does Jesus know about forgiveness?

Forgiveness Luke 23Jesus’ mission from God our Father was to bring forgiveness to the world. On the cross, Jesus accomplished the mission. Hanging on the cross, he was mocked by the religious leaders and the Roman soldiers.

They gambled to see who would get his clothes. His Holy attitude was they didn’t know what they were doing by killing him.

And they didn’t. And neither do we most days. Our missing God’s goal (aka sin) for our life put Him on that cross.

Jesus is all about forgiveness. He knows love like no other. God is in a good mood.

“Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” ~~Jesus on the cross Luke 23:34 | (The Message Bible)

Forgiveness in the Bible is a “release” or a “dismissal” of something. The forgiveness I have in the Messiah involves the release of sinners like me from God’s just penalty and the complete dismissal of all charges against me.

  • Consider this from the Apostle Paul. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in the Messiah Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in the Messiah Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1).
  • Colossians 1:14 says that in God’s beloved Son “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” The Amplified Bible translates the last phrase like this: “the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty].”
  • God’s gracious forgiveness of our sin is to be the measure of our gracious forgiveness of others.

Jesus the Messiah’s ministry of forgiveness was foretold. God has a plan. God executes it in His son Jesus. Jesus paid the penalty for me. Amazing!

  • But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Master appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” | Matthew 1:20–21
  • Now here is some good news!  The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! | John 1:29

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Will Jesus complete God’s mission and goals?

Crucifixion and darknessIt was a dark day as Jesus hung from the cross. Figuratively and literally. The sun disappeared. Jesus was alone.

Jesus just hung there. Waiting for death to come. Waiting for His mission to be completed.

And where is God?

What is God doing?

God is just letting it happen. Imagine the pain of seeing your Son suffer so. God did it. Jesus did it. The goal was achieved. The mission is completed. It is over.

But God has a plan. Both God and Jesus know that death will accomplish the reconciliation that is needed.

They both know death will be defeated.

They both know that Jesus will be resurrected to reign with God forever.

For the joy that was before him, Jesus suffered the abandonment. Victory would come but first must come the death.

God had a goal in mind. Jesus knew what it was. He would be abandoned and suffer death for us. It must be done. He and he alone could do it.

Jesus never missed God’s goal. Never ever. Jesus would suffer and die for us.

Completely abandoned.

Alone.

No one to help.

From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around mid afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” | Matthew 27:46 (The Message Bible)

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What is Jesus concerned about as he is facing a slow and cruel death for us?

Mary at the crossJesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. They witness the cruel death of our Master Jesus. Imagine the sorrow in their hearts and souls. 

Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her.

What is Jesus concerned about as he is facing a slow and cruel death for us? It is for his mother.

Jesus leads the way showing us it is not about us. It is about others. It is about family. He makes sure we are taken care of. No one is left behind. 

While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother. | John 19:26-27 The Message (MSG)

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Are we going to Jerusalem with Jesus?

JerusalemJesus destiny was in Jerusalem. God’s goal for Him would come to pass there. He would die and be raised from the dead by the amazing power of the Holy Spirit.

But notice how this was framed. He took the 12 aside and clearly said “We”. Jerusalem just wasn’t for Jesus.

The good news of the new agreement God has with us is that we have died and been raised to a new life in Him.

Oh my goodness. That is some very good news!

We went to Jerusalem with Jesus. We have shared in his death and resurrection. We have the power of the Holy Spirit, that raised Him from the dead, in us.

God’s goal for us is to live a resurrected life with Jesus.

Then Jesus took the Twelve off to the side and said, “Listen carefully. We’re on our way up to Jerusalem.” | Luke 18:31

May I see how I am a new human being in Him.

May I know that the old me was crucified with Him and the new me was raised up in Him.



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How does Jesus know about the generosity of God?

Generosity of God. He is in a good mood.

Generosity of God. He is in a good mood.

Jesus knows first hand the generosity of God. Everything starts from God caring and His generosity. Jesus has been with God from the beginning.

Jesus knows that God is a loving Father. Jesus knows God’s very nature because Jesus shares that nature. Jesus is God’s son. God’s DNA is in Jesus.

When we ask for a drink of water, Jesus reminds us (challenges us) to focus on what is important. Water will only quench our thirst for a brief period of time.

Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit (living water) who empowers us for all of eternity. We have that now.

May I drink from the living water of Jesus and realize the power of His Holy Spirit.

May I realize that now.

“If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”~Jesus (John 4:10)

7 things Jesus said on the cross as He died for us

Jesus on the CrossJesus hung on the cross and died for us. He said seven things during that time.

  1. Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.
  2. Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise.
  3. John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.
  4. Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
  5. John 19:28: I thirst.
  6. John 19:29-30: It is finished.
  7. Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

These are all stunning individually but taken as a whole, they say so much about our Master Jesus the Messiah. He died for us. We died with Him.

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How should ministries be financially supported?

Three Square MealsJesus sent the disciples out to spread the good news about how God rules. He recognized that they would need a place to stay and meals to eat. Jesus set it up so that they would not be in need.

The same is true today. Jesus takes care of His workers. Those of us being served should recognize that and help deserving ministers and ministries. It is for our benefit.

God is great. He takes care of us and our basic needs.

Imagine this. For over 3 years, Jesus and the disciples went from town to town proclaiming the good news. They weren’t working or earning a living. How did they survive?

They had benefactors who financially supported the ministry.

Will I help those who devote their lives to proclaim the good news of Jesus and who are making disciples in all the world?

“Stay at one home, taking your meals there, for a worker deserves three square meals. Don’t move from house to house, looking for the best cook in town.” ~~Jesus Luke 10:7 (The Message Bible)

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Jesus is whispering. He is talking. He is shouting!

Listen to God - 01Jesus is whispering. He is talking. He is shouting!

Jesus has some amazing things to say.

In what I read. In what I hear in my heart. I have ears. I can hear.

Jesus’ point is that just because you have ears doesn’t mean you will listen and hear. We all know that. Jesus makes it clear that He knows it as well. The key is a spirit to listen to God. And having listened, to act on what God wants us to do.

There are also things He is not saying. Am I asking questions about things He has nothing to say? Am I focused on what He is saying or not saying?

God has a goal for us today. It requires that we listen to Jesus. He is in control.

Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” — Jesus Mark 4:9

May I listen to His word.

May I hear what He is saying to me today.

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Is Jesus a lackey to the Sabbath? What is more important, rules or the Ruler?

Jesus is in ControlWhat is more important? Rules and regulations? Or the Ruler?

Jesus deals with the problem of “being religious” head on. The religious elites were giving his disciples a hard time about breaking a rule. Jesus establishes that He is in charge.

That is the central issue to be dealt with.

  • Do I believe Jesus is in charge (the Master) and act on it?
  • Will I believe it today or default to religious rules and procedures?
  • Am I willing to be a slave of Jesus?

God is God. He is absolutely in control. He has given all authority to His son Jesus.

“The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!” ~~Jesus Matthew 12:6-8 (The Message Bible)

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What Is God Testing You In?

Hope Morton shares what it is like to trust Jesus in her life. Hope lives in Franklin, N.C.

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God is God. His word is always true. We can count on it.

TrivializeGod means what He says.

What God says is important. What He says is not to be trivialized in any way.

When we trivialize what God says, we trivialize ourselves, not Him. His word will always be true. It can be no other way.

Jesus demands that we understand that. It is important.

God is God. His word is always true. We can count on it.

“Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Word and you will only have trivialized yourself.” ~~Jesus Matthew 5:19-20 (The Message Bible)

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What does faith require of us?

Summer intern Kyle Waugh shares his devotional in John Chapter 5.

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Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live!

Dead and buriedJesus lives. He is resurrected. God is a God of resurrection. God is a God of life. In Jesus we have life.

We live a resurrected life with Jesus. That is His promise to us.

Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live!

And live we do. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. When we believe in Him, we are buried in Him and resurrected in Him.

Jesus also clues us in that there will be those who live a resurrected life of judgement. We need to choose Jesus. Jesus give life to anyone He chooses. He chooses us.

Jesus doesn’t shut anyone out. Neither does God. They are both in a very good mood. God has handed authority over to Jesus. This is a fact. We can believe it.

God is God. He is good. He has a goal for us. We must choose to live it out every day. That is the resurrection life.

We must choose to hear His voice today.

“The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice.” ~Jesus  John 5:28-29 (The Message Bible)

Why don’t the religious elites know these things from Jesus?

Jesus Teaching

I can get confused. Nicodemus did for sure. His whole world was the bible and theology. He is a member of the Jewish religious elite. I have a similar background having grown up in the church and studied scripture my whole life.

I can get confused. Like Nicodemus I ask”How can these things be?”

There is good news. Jesus sets me straight. Jesus explains it to me. Jesus is patient.

“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.

“Are you a teacher of Israel [a member of the religious elite] and don’t know these things?” Jesus replied. “Truly I tell you, we speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?  No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.  | John 3:9-13 (CSB)

Nicodemus had described Jesus as a teacher. Ironically, perhaps even sarcastically, Jesus returns the compliment — and adds “the” and “of Israel” to heighten the irony of Nicodemus’s teacherly ignorance.

Nevertheless, the high rank of Nicodemus doesn’t rise to the level of Jesus as a teacher who, according to Nicodemus himself, “has come from God”.

Why should Nicodemus have understood these things? Because Ezekiel 36:25–27 quotes the Master as saying, “Then I’ll sprinkle clean water on you, and you’ll be clean.… Moreover, I’ll give you a new heart and put a Spirit in you.… And I’ll put my Spirit in you.…”

Now we know why Jesus told Nicodemus why he shouldn’t marvel. As “the teacher of Israel” Nicodemus should have understood Jesus’ words in terms of Ezekiel’s prophecy.

Here is the literal translation:

Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can these things [being born from above, from water, even the Spirit] happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and don’t know these things?”

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Sources:

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Jn 3:9–13). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (pp. 360–361). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

“At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman.” ~Apostle John

Justice

I can count on Jesus to be just and treat me fairly. That is way He is. Jesus is loving and Jesus is just. The big deal is that I need faith in Jesus and in His justice. As we learn from the Canaanite woman in Tyre, it starts with mercy and moves on to faith. Jesus is impressed with that approach to justice.

Having been made in His image, we humans long for moral justice to prevail upon the earth and are outraged when we see injustice happening around us. Why do we seek justice for crimes? It’s in our DNA. King David’s outrage when the poor man’s lamb was taken away by the rich man resonates within us. That is why Nathan told the story to David in the first place because it revealed David’s own injustice in taking Uriah’s wife from him. David’s immediate repentant prayer was effective because by admitting his sin against God, he acknowledged the righteousness of God. The Master told David through the prophet Nathan that even though his sin was forgiven, the child resulting from the adulterous affair would die, demonstrating the fact that his sin still had to be judged.

As for the future, the book of Revelation reveals the justice of God in all its glory during the end times. When the saints watch the destruction of the earth, their song will be of God’s righteous judgment upon the inhabitants for their ultimate sin of rejecting Him. We are promised that someday, when the Messiah physically reigns on earth, God’s righteous justice will finally be on full display.

  • John 4:9 — 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
  • John 4:27 — At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”
  • Matthew 9:10–12 — Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
  • Matthew 15:21–28 — Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Master, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Master, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Master; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

“What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.” ~Jesus

HappyAll heaven is applauding when I get in trouble for speaking the truth of the government of God. God is God and in control.

I am in good company when I am put down for making his rule known. God is light and shines truth on us all. I can’t hide His light. I can’t pretend He isn’t in control.

How often, though, am I considering what others will think if I speak the truth in love? God has a goal for us to speak the truth about Him and His government. He is in a good mood and wants us to let others know about it.

It may make them uncomfortable. That is OK.

May I speak the truth and seek our Father’s approval and not others.

“Not only that—you will be more than happy every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” ~Jesus | Matthew 5:1-12

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