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JESUS SPEAKS

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on me will live because of me.” (John 6: 53 – 56) Then in verse 60 we read, ‘Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'” And further in verse 66 we read, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Jesus issues a proclamation requiring His followers to eat His body and drink His blood. Physically consuming human flesh and drinking a man’s blood were considered abominable acts which God would never ordain. And for this reason many of the disciples abruptly abandoned Him; foolishly renouncing their faith. However, had they patiently waited until the night before the crucifixion, their concerns would’ve been relieved. That evening, during the last supper, the Lord revealed that His seemingly cannibalistic assertion, was in fact, symbolic rather than literal. During the Last Supper the bread eaten and the wine consumed by the disciples represented His body and blood; a Christian practice known today as communion. If those foolish souls who abandoned Jesus had simply waited, their concerns would’ve been addressed and their doubts erased. Instead, they rejected the only faith that leads to eternal life.

Concerning faithfulness, most human beings are aware of the name Christopher Columbus. Still fewer are familiar with the struggles he endured during his journey to the new world. After nearly 31 days at sea the crew had become restless, believing they would perish before reaching any land. They therefore implored Columbus to turn back. Mutiny was a genuine concern. Some have even suggested that the crew was plotting to cast their leader into the sea. As the story goes, Columbus, yearning to salvage his flailing expedition, urged the men to give him 2 to 3 more days. He promised that if they hadn’t spotted land by then, he would submit to their desires and return to Spain. Two days later they encountered land. The new world had been officially discovered. Columbus reached the Americas because, even in the face of uncertainty and open rebellion, his faith remained unwavering.

Just as Columbus had discovered the new world, the bible also begs to be discovered; to be read and understood. During this process of enlightenment, many will encounter passages that can be initially confusing and difficult to comprehend. Certain questions will arise that can only be answered through continued study; but those answers will eventually be revealed. If we faithfully persist in His word, we will discover the fullness of the God’s truths. May we never give up or turn away; for in time we will know the beauty of every divine chapter and verse.

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we set sail on a journey toward an eternal kingdom. As we travel through a sea of trouble, God’s word will sustain us; feeding us with courage and hope whenever we experience fear and uncertainty. Still, no matter which questions we might encounter, we must trust that in time, God will provide us with the answers; and that those answers will conquer our doubts and devour our fears. Continue in the scriptures, and God’s work will continue in You.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your wisdom, and for your Holy word. As we discover Your divine scriptures, may we never permit fleeting ignorance to create lasting doubt. We trust that eventually all we desire to know will be known. Give us a hunger to read Your word daily; that through revelation, we might draw closer to You and to our only Savior Jesus Christ. We love You Father, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

Giving in Secret

JESUS SPEAKING

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a Trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and inn the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” (Matthew 6: 2 – 4)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The motivation behind every act of genuine charity and righteous affection is profoundly important. Throughout biblical history, the right hand has come to symbolize purity, spiritual cleanliness, and moral authority; on the contrary, the left hand is considered inferior and dirty. In this scripture, Jesus likens the right hand to those actions which are pure and designed to bring glory and honor to God. The left hand however, represents the carnal nature of man; which causes many to strive for social adoration and individual glory. This hunger for admiration is so powerful and cunning that accomplishing good works while maintaining humility can be difficult. Thus, in order to protect the purity of our motivations, Jesus has urged us to accomplish some of our acts of charity in secret; which prevents our desire for praise from infecting our desire to honor God. In turn, we are told that God will openly reward us for those things we’ve accomplished in secret. [Note: We must also continue to do good works publicly; as this draws others to the Lord.]

There once lived a wealthy shoe manufacturer named W. L. Douglas. At one point in his early life he had become completely broke. In fact, he had been unemployed so long that he was down to his last dollar. Still, when only God was watching him, he put half of it (50 cents) into the collection basket of his church. The next morning he heard of a job in a neighboring town. The railroad fare to that town was one dollar. However, with only a half dollar remaining he bought a ticket and rode halfway to the desired place. He exited the train and began walking into the town. Before he had reached one block he discovered a factory where they were employing men. Within thirty minutes he had a job at a salary five dollars more a week than he would have received had he gone on to the other town. God had seen what he had done in secret and rewarded him openly.

Like all Christians, we are called to perform public acts of kindness toward our fellows. Yet Jesus Christ has also instructed us to accomplish good deeds in secret, so that our motives might remain pure. We are told that what we do in secret will be rewarded, both eternally, and in our present lives. We can tithe in secret, we can give in secret, we can pray in secret, and we practice acts of love in secret. May we accomplish these endeavors and may we always give honor and glory to God our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we praise you and thank you for our many blessings. Give us the opportunity and the motivation to give in secret; to love in secret; and to serve our fellows in secret; devoid of the desire for worldly rewards. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, make our intentions pure, that we might continue to give the glory and honor to You; as You are worthy of all praise and all glory. We ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Peace of God

JESUS SPEAKING

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27) 

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The thoughts and emotions of the unregenerate (unsaved) human being fluctuate wildly; rising and falling based upon their shifting circumstances, carnal appetites, and mental preoccupations. Thus the tranquility that the world offers is fleeting, momentary, and unstable. However, the peace that comes through faith in Jesus Christ is permanent, steadfast, and unwavering. When an individual chooses to become a believer, they must then receive the Holy Spirit; which becomes a source of lasting joy that transcends every unstable circumstance, difficult trial, and present tribulation. Only through God can we know peace in the presence of our troubles.

As the story goes, Lady Hosie of England, on a visit to China, visited the leper hospital at Hangchow. She had photographed a group of lepers, when down the stairs was helped an elderly woman in a most pitiable condition; her sightless eyes, without their lids, were covered by a woolen mutch. A cry was raised that Chang Ma had missed having her picture taken, so the visitor prepared to take another with her in the midst. As she was focusing her camera, that worst leper of all started to sing, “There is a Happy Land,” and suddenly instead of poor lepers the visitor was seeing them as “saints in glory […] bright, bright as day.” She was taken to see one who was dying, and wondered what she could say to him. Steadying her voice, she called to him with politeness […] “Elder Brother, art thou at peace?” And from that frame, almost unrecognizable as human, with an affected tongue and from a lipless mouth, came a voice, cracked and yet steadfast, “Yes, at peace, at peace. And I shall soon see my Lord.”

Like those lepers, anyone can choose to know “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4: 7) Those who seek God’s peace must first be reborn; an act which includes sacrificing their old sinful lives for the new existence God has planned for them. Having placed their faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will enter them and renew and transform their hearts and minds. Only then can they know genuine peace; only then can they experience the true joy which isn’t circumstantial, but is rather the product of a regenerated relationship with the Living God. Through faith in Jesus Christ, accompanied by repentance, anyone who wishes can receive God’s Holy Spirit.

Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know Your peace; an everlasting tranquility that does’t change or fluctuate with our circumstances. Give us more of Your Holy Spirit, that we might have joy, even in the midst of our trials and tribulations. May others observe Your steadying presence in us and be drawn to You for the salvation of their souls. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ name we pray. Amen. God bless all of you!


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