Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sin Justification

I was reading in Luke 4 when Satan tempted Jesus this morning when something really stood out to me. See verses 5-7 below.

Luke 4:5-7

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [a]the world in a moment of time.And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [b]its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You [c]worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”

It occurred to me when I read this how easily our human nature could justify this deal with devil. How we might think, "if I did take over these kingdoms, look how much good I could do, look how great an influence I will have and how I will be able to reach people for God." Jesus of course made no deal with the devil, He knew better. He was sure in His calling and true to follow God's will.

We should learn from this. Even though the deal looks good and looks like we will be able to serve God through it, if it sin, if it making a deal with the devil, no matter how great the good we need to walk away from it. If we have to take matters in our own hands and go outside what God has asked of us, its not the right thing, no matter how easily it is justified.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Our Sunday School lesson this Sunday was over Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6. A crowd had followed Jesus to the Sea of Galilee and Jesus was asking his disciples how they were to feed all of them. A young boy had five loaves of bread and two fish and Jesus had everyone sit on the ground. He gave thanks and distributed the food to the group and when they were finished the disciples picked up twelve baskets of pieces left over.

After this the people are amazed and Jesus perceives they want to make Him king. His disciples had already left in a boat to go to the other side of the sea and Jesus walked on water to join them. At first they were afraid, but he told them to not be scared, so they took him into the boat and immediately they were at the place where they were going.

Three miracles in one afternoon. The crowd was obviously amazed and went to find Him at the other side of the sea. When the crowd found Him and asked Him when He had gotten there he responded v26, " seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

The people followed Jesus for what He could do for them physically. They were seeking to fill their stomachs but He was yearning to give them so much more. It made me think about how many times we seek God for our provision - be it food or finance or health or some other basic or physical need. And we should. But how much grander things God has for us if we will seek Him and believe Jesus Christ for everything He is. I want to live in such a state that I am relying on God for everything, not only earthly needs - for courage in approaching someone or something He may be calling me to, faith to not try to plan all the details, confidence, love when I don't feel like I have it for someone or something that might be difficult to love, wisdom and insight to follow His will fully, strength to move forward even if it seems impossible, belief - I want to believe everything about God, what He has said and promised, everything about who Jesus is and was has done and is going to do. 

I admit, I struggle with having faith for finances and other earthly provision. But, I want to get to the point where these are the last of my worries. These are basic needs and God promises in several places to take care of these, such as in Matt 6:25-34 where God tells us not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear.

God has so much more for us than these basic things and He promises to take care of them for us so let's move on to greater things. Let's set our minds on things above (col 3:2) and not be so focused on earthly things. John 6:33 - For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world. v35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst"