Digging The Word


"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure."


Give Thanks To The Lord

God's chosen people should be grateful and tell everyone about his greatness. 


1 Chronicles 16:7-36  On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the LORD:

Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises. Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds. Exult in His holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD. Search for the LORD and for His strength; continually seek Him. Remember the wonders He has performed, His miracles, and the rulings He has given, you children of His servant Israel, you descendants of Jacob, His chosen ones.

He is the LORD our God. His justice is seen throughout the land. Remember His covenant forever--the commitment He made to a thousand generations. This is the covenant He made with Abraham and the oath He swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant: "I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession."

He said this when you were few in number, a tiny group of strangers in Canaan. They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. Yet He did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf: "Do not touch My chosen people, and do not hurt My prophets."

Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround Him; strength and joy fill His dwelling.

O nations of the world, recognize the LORD, recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong. Give to the LORD the glory He deserves! Bring your offering and come into His presence. Worship the LORD in all His holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before Him. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, "The LORD reigns!" Let the sea and everything in it shout His praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise, for the LORD is coming to judge the earth.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Cry out, "Save us, O God of our salvation! Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank Your holy name and rejoice and praise You."

Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shouted "Amen!" and praised the LORD.

Gratitude and Worship 

Realizing our moment-by-moment dependence on God the Creator for our very existence makes it appropriate to live lives of devotion, commitment, gratitude, and loyalty toward him, and scandalous not to.

—J. I. Packer, Christian theologian
In this season and all year long we should be overwhelmed with gratitude for the greatness of our God which is beyond our comprehension. Our gratitude should inspire us to worship, that is the only appropriate response for the deep level of gratitude that we should have to someone who has done so much for us.

I Am The Good Shepherd

Jesus provides outstanding care and protection for his sheep.


John 10:1-5  "I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!  2  But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.

3  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4  After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.  5  They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice."

John 10:9-11  Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.  10  The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.  11  "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep.

In the previous post we saw the Light of the world in action bringing light to a man that had never seen it before. This should have been a great reason to bow down and worship Jesus but as we saw there was only one man that responded correctly to Jesus. The Pharisees reaction to Jesus miracle was horrendous, the very men that had been appointed to take care of the sheep made it very clear that they didn't care at all about the condition of the flock. (John 9:39-41) The response that you have to The Light of the World is an indicator of what your spiritual condition is.

The Sabbath rules were more important than the man, we saw the same thing in John 5, when Jesus healed the lame man by the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath. They were the worst shepherds, more concerned with making money off of the sheep and promoting their self righteousness, Jesus didn't let their obvious lack of concern for this blind man go without a lesson on how the good shepherd should behave.

The Good Shepherd loves his sheep and he makes his love known by the great lengths that he will go to in order to take care of them. He left the riches of heaven to join us in our world and experience our heartache but he went way beyond our experience and suffered much more than most of us will ever endure.

Who has ever seen love like this? Nobody has ever loved like Jesus loved. I imagine that this blind has never felt love at all, he was a burden to his parents, he was accused of sinning before he was born, he lived in a culture that didn't have any social programs to give him any care or relief from his circumstances.

Psalms 23:1-6  The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.  2  He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.  3  He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.

4  Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.

5  You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.  6  Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

Jesus is the Shepherd that we need, the only source of salvation, safety, and sustenance for the sheep, his personal care for the sheep reminds me of the intimate relationship that David had with God. I don't think that anybody else has ever spoken of their relationship with almighty God in such a warm affectionate manner.

God Provides What Is Best

God is almighty, powerful and we should fear him but that isn't a good way to build a relationship with anybody. The Warren Wiersbe Bible study points out that many of the compound names for Jehovah in the Old Testament focus on the type of relationship that David talks about in Psalm 23:

"I shall not want”
Jehovah-jireh, “the Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14)

"He leads me beside still waters”
Jehovah-shalom, “the Lord our peace” (Judges 6:24)

"He restoreth my soul”
Jehovah-Rophe, “the Lord who heals” (Exodus 15:26)

"He leads me in the paths of righteousness”
Jehovah-Tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16)

"thou art with me”
Jehovah-shammah, “the Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35)

"presence of mine enemies”
Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord our banner” (Exodus 17:15)

"anointest my head”
Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, “the Lord who sanctifies” (Leviticus 20:8)

David said that because we have such a Good Shepherd there isn't anything else that we need.

Despite God’s Care There Will Be Danger

It is interesting to me that even though he "guides me along right paths" sometimes those right paths will lead us to places that we don't really want to go. Sometimes the right paths will lead us to the dark valley but we do not have to experience the scariest places in life all alone.

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the One who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

The Good Shepherd will be there with his rod and his staff to defend us from danger and to pick us up when we fall. Jesus isn't going to throw away something that he paid such a high price to obtain, he has already given his life to protect his sheep from the sting of death, so don't you think that he will take care of you through any other catastrophe that comes?

God Gives Special Attention To His Guests

I have an invitation to God's house, a house that he has been preparing for me to live in, he has been preparing this place for a long time because I will live there forever. The house is amazing but the host is even better.

The Shepherd honors me by anointing my head and he prepares a feast for me, a benefit that my enemies do not have, and he also takes care of the enemy so I can enjoy being at his table. Imagine how refreshed I am and ready to cope with anyone that is against me.

Jesus provides outstanding care and protection for his sheep.

Under the old covenant, the sheep died for the shepherd, but under the new covenant, the Shepherd died for the sheep! The old covenant had been twisted into a huge burden that kept the sheep in bondage, there wasn't any thought of allowing for mercy, the shepherds of God's flock told them that you had to do everything right or else. (Matthew 9:13)

We will have trouble in this world, Satan is against us, we are objects of scorn because of our attachment to the Shepherd. (John 16:33) We may suffer, we may loose our family, our job, we may be deprived of our rights but in every circumstance we should look to the one that loved us enough that he "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” (1 Peter 2:25)

The Light Of The World In Action

The Light of the World has left us here to be the light of the world while he is gone.


John 9:5-11  "While I am here in the world, I am the light of the world."   6  Then He spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man's eyes.  7  He told him, "Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam" (Siloam means "sent").

So the man went and washed and came back seeing!  8  His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, "Isn't this the man who used to sit and beg?"  9  Some said he was, and others said, "No, he just looks like him!" But the beggar kept saying, "Yes, I am the same one!"

10  They asked, "Who healed you? What happened?"  11  He told them, "The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.' So I went and washed, and now I can see!"

God sent light into our world because we desperately needed it, we had the sun for physical sight on this planet but we were still in the dark spiritually. Just like this blind man, we had sunshine all around us but we couldn't see it, we need Jesus help to give us spiritual light.

This man had no hope of seeing the light, nobody ever healed a man that was born blind, and he didn't have any reason to believe that his situation was going to change. He lived everyday knowing that he would never see, he would always be a beggar, and he would always be stuck depending on others.

This man never knew the light of the sun so he couldn't know that the light of the world was on the way. He may have been physically blind but there must have been some amount of spiritual light that gave him the faith to follow Jesus instructions. He didn't have to obey and go to the pool, what if his faith in Jesus wasn't any better than the Pharisees?

John 9:15-16  The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, "He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!"

Some of the Pharisees said, "This man Jesus is not from God, for He is working on the Sabbath." Others said, "But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?" So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

Now what do you do with Jesus? The religious leaders are really in a bad way. There are too many witnesses to the fact that this man has been blind all of his life but now he can see. The fact that he is healed seems to be undeniable, at first they try and say he isn't the same man but that opinion was quickly shot down and now they need a new story.

What can we do with Jesus? He isn't the Messiah, the Messiah wouldn't break the Sabbath, he wouldn't tell us Pharisees how bad we are, but how can we deny his power? Maybe we can say that his power is from Satan. As God's number one creation, man will go to great lengths and create outrageous stories to deny God's glory. We will explain away what is so easy to accept when you aren't spiritually blind.

John 9:30-33  "Why, that's very strange!" the man replied. "He healed my eyes, and yet you don't know where He comes from?  We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but He is ready to hear those who worship Him and do His will.  Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind.  If this man were not from God, He couldn't have done it."

Now what do you do with an ex-blind man? Someone that is pointing out the obvious about Jesus. Someone who just received physical sight has more spiritual sight than the religious leaders. They were sure that he was born in sin, a total sinner, how could he think that he is going to teach them anything (John 9:2, 34)

The simple logical reasoning of this guy couldn't be denied, he broke it down and made it plain, there wasn't any other explanation for the facts. No pressure from the Pharisees would make him change his mind, not after what he has just experienced, so they verbally attack him and expelled him from the synagogue.

John 9:38  "Yes, Lord, I believe!" the man said. And he worshiped Jesus.

Jesus never left people wondering, he found the man and helped him understand, if they had mustard seed sized faith then he was going to water it and help it increase. There are a lot of different responses to Jesus but this man gets it right and responds in worship, he even does it right there in front of the Pharisees, he doesn't care what anybody thinks or what the consequences will be. Out of all of the people that were a part of this story there was only one that was worshiping.

Giver Of Light

2 Corinthians 4:4,6  Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
The "giver of darkness" has been defeated by the "giver of light." God said "Let there be light" and shortly after that Satan brought us back to the dark but that dark has been defeated by the Light of the World.

To those that believe in Jesus it is difficult to imagine standing right there in front of him and not having a clue about who he is. We look back and think how could they be so blind? The giver of light is right there in front of you. We need to remember that if they are blind then it doesn't matter how much light there is, there isn't any way to comprehend it, everything about the gospel will be foolishness to them. (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)

John 10:24-27  The people surrounded Him and asked, "How long are You going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly."  25  Jesus replied, "I have already told you, and you don't believe Me. The proof is the work I do in My Father's name.  26  But you don't believe Me because you are not My sheep.  27  My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

I was amazed when I did a search on Google for "giver of light." A lot of the search results had nothing to do with Jesus or the gospel, Satan knows that we want to live in the light so he has developed a lot of counterfeit sources of light.

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

The Light of the World has left us here on this dark planet with a job to do, since Jesus our Savior has opened our blind eyes for God’s glory, we should work to point others to Him. Now it is our turn to be the giver of light, sure we are small candles compared to the true light of the world but as a community of believers we can shine very bright as we live for him and love like he did.

I need to remember that this world is blind, they live and behave like they do because they can see nothing better. I need to be the light and pray to Jesus that their eyes will be opened so that they will see the glory of God through my life. (Matthew 5:16)

Help me to be a light house for you in this dark world. Amen.

You Have Work To Do

The days are short so work for your Savior while there is still time. 


John 9:1-5  As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man who had been blind from birth.

"Rabbi," His disciples asked Him, "why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents' sins?"

"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.  We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the One who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.  But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world."

Isaiah 35:4-5  Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you."  And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf.

The disciples asked the right person about sin, if anybody knew the answer to the question about the man born blind it would have to be Jesus, but Jesus takes the disciples question and redirects them to a different conclusion. They think there are only two possible reasons that this man has been blind from birth but Jesus tells them that there is a reason for his blindness that they haven't thought of.

The reason this man has suffered for all of these years cannot be blamed on a person, Jesus said that he was blind for a higher purpose, all of these years of suffering so that God's power could be displayed for everyone to see. That goes against our sense of fairness, all of the suffering wasn't anybodies fault, God wanted to give us a miracle so big that we would know that Jesus is the Messiah.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

Jesus said that the purpose of his work was to glorify God, guess what, you also have work to do that is designed to bring glory to God. If you thought that being a Christian was about saying a magic prayer and then waiting for your turn to go to heaven then you are wrong. Jesus had work to do and we have work to do as well.

Matthew 5:15-16 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Jesus said that the night is coming and then our work will be over. Our life is our day, we must be busy and not waste daylight, it will be time to rest when our day is done. The approach of death should motivate us to cultivate every opportunity to do good works that bring glory to God.

Committed To Good Deeds

Titus 2:14  He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
We didn't become a Christ follower so that we can sit still and do nothing. When Jesus told his disciples to follow him that automatically meant that they were going places and they were going to do things.

God has a plan for my life, he has work that he created me to do, I am so amazed that he would bother to want to use me. (1 Timothy 1:12) We don't get too many days on this planet so I need to look for opportunities to do good and not allow the missed opportunities of the past to get me down.

Night is coming for all of us. Let's be busy glorifying God through our good deeds while the day is here.

Who Is Your Father?

My eternal security cannot be found in my ancestry, religion or in my good works.


John 8:39-42  "Our father is Abraham!" they declared.

"No," Jesus replied, "for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.  40  Instead, you are trying to kill Me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing.  41  No, you are imitating your real father."

They replied, "We aren't illegitimate children! God Himself is our true Father."   

42  Jesus told them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on My own, but He sent Me.

Imagine standing in front of Jesus and making the claim that you are right with God because you are an ancestor of Abraham. The nerve that these guys had to say that their lineage was all that they needed to keep them from hell. Obviously they didn't know who they were talking to.

The Jews really believe that being a Jew is the only thing that God cares about. Their Rabbi always taught there people that  "Abraham sits beside the gates of hell and does not permit any wicked Israelite to go through." Jesus warns them about that false doctrine and tries to set the record straight.

The Pharisees didn't want Jesus around pointing out their sin, they were trying to kill the promise that was made to Abraham, the Messiah that they claimed they were looking for was right there!

Eternal Security

John 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
My eternal security cannot be found anywhere else except in the gospel. My ancestors, my religion and my good works are not going to do me any good. The gospel is the only thing that is going to make me a real child of God and allow me to have peace with God.

Are you placing your trust in baptism, sacraments or church tradition? How about morality and ethics? It is a sad thing to be deceived into thinking that you are safe when you are not. It reminds me of the people on the news that are told to evacuate their neighborhood before an approaching storm and they decide that everything is going to be okay.

True Christ followers are the only people that accept the fact that they can never be the right person, believe the right religion or have enough good works to get you in the gates of heaven. The Catholic church, the Mormons and the Latter Day Saints all try to sell us some extra theology that isn't in God's Word.

I need to love the Savior with all of my heart, exalt him as the son of God and look to him alone for salvation. My ancestors, my religion and my good works will never be the reason that I have peace with God.

Serving Your Master

You have to choose because you cannot be a slave with two masters.


John 8:34-36  Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  35  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.  36  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

Matthew 6:24  "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Deuteronomy 13:4 Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

The news is filled with stories of war everyday, they are evidence of the spiritual battle that we cannot see, the battle wages on in the physical and spiritual realm. You may not like to think about it but there is a relentless force for evil that will stop at nothing to get you to choose any of his options over the single best choice.

Our loyalty to God is constantly being challenged just as it was for Adam and Eve back in the Garden of Eden. Satan is always questioning God's right to have our praise and worship. He wants to be God and he will stop at nothing to have us treat him that way. Satan knows that we were made to worship and that we will serve something or somebody so he is always looking to take advantage of this God given trait.

There is a lot at stake and we need to keep in mind some important advice:

Remember That God Won't Share 

1 Corinthians 8:6, Exodus 20:3-6, Deuteronomy 6:14-16

Over and over again God told the Israelite's that they needed to make a decision. They could choose from a long list of gods, they could choose to serve themselves, or they could choose the real God. God made it clear that he will not share what belongs to him with anything else.

Don't Serve The Things The World Serves 

Luke 16:13, James 4:4, 1 John 2:15-16

There is one true God and since is the only one that means there is nobody like him. Therefore he alone is to be worshiped and served. If you truly love God then you will have an unfavorable opinion of the world and it's philosophy.

Don't Value The Things The World Values

Matthew 6:19, 6:33, Luke 12:20-21

Jesus cautioned us to crave or value the right things. The world finds pleasure in craving what they can see, the toys that they have, pride in their accomplishments at work or school, all of the things that are temporary.

We love to seek our own kingdom, to stress how good we are and build up our treasure, we burden ourselves with the pursuit of the temporary. Seeking God's kingdom means that I must set aside my own kingdom and declare my allegiance with the eternal kingdo

Who You Serve Is Who You Trust

Romans 6:16, 18  Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

Do you serve yourself? Do you serve money? If you think about it, whatever it is that you serve, that is the thing that you are putting your trust in. Why would you serve something you don't trust? If you feel secure enough to trust in something then it is reasonable to assume that you will probably serve that thing.

In our previous post we saw that Jesus called us all slaves, we are all serving something or someone, Jesus made it clear that a slave is usually a slave until the day they die. Because we are “in Christ” (Romans 6:11; 8:1), and He died in our place (Romans 5:6-8), we are counted dead with Him. I have become a slave to righteous living!

It is clear that I cannot serve both God and mammon, I cannot serve the god's that the rest of the world serves, they all want my full attention and my allegiance. I must choose everyday who I will serve, I must choose to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.(Joshua 24:14)

Truly Free

I was born into slavery and I will be a slave until I die.


John 8:31-36  Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, "You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings.  32  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

33  "But we are descendants of Abraham," they said. "We have never been slaves to anyone. What do You mean, 'You will be set free'?"   

34  Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.  35  A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever.  36  So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free."

It is amazing that there have been so many efforts to end slavery around the world and yet there has not been any progress made in ending slavery. Some anti-slavery websites indicate that it isn't legal anywhere but it is going on everywhere.

We all want to be free. Nobody wants to be a slave and nobody wants to be forced to do things that they cannot refuse to do and yet so many get trapped into a hopeless situation where they have no control.

The crowd at the temple was very confused, their opposition to Jesus got in the way of common sense, they had the nerve to say that they had never been a slave to anyone. The Romans had taken control of their country and placed ridiculous demands on them, before that the Babylonians and the Persians and the Egyptians all had a turn at making the Jews their slaves.

Psalms 51:5  For I was born a sinner--yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

Even if they had never been slaves to anyone physically, Jesus is talking about their spiritual condition, there is a bondage that is far worse. Jesus makes it clear that we are all slaves to sin and as a slave we cannot change our condition, death is the only way out, we will never be free until the day we die. Everybody knows that you cannot make a dead slave do any more work for you.

The Slave Set Free

Romans 6:6-7  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.
The truth has set me free, Jesus offers us an opportunity to have a close intimate relationship with him as his child, a dearly beloved member of his family! In Romans chapter seven the apostle Paul asks "Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?" and then he tells us about our hope "Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord."

1 Peter 2:24  He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.

When I received Jesus I became a dead man to this world, I am no longer a slave to sin, my old life dies and the obligation of being a slave dies as well. I didn't have any rights as a slave and now Jesus has made me a family member and an heir.

Thank you Lord for releasing me from the bondage of sin!

This Is My Story

Do you need God to change the direction of your story?


Big Daddy Weave - "This Is My Story" 

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell
For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long 

Proclaim His Greatness

1 Chronicles 16:8-9 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
My story is a story of:

✔  Hope
✔  Love
✔  Life
✔  Victory
✔  Freedom

It is an amazing story that should have never happened, you have to realize that I didn't do anything to deserve the story, it is only through God's grace that my story has a new twist in the plot.

The story didn't look good when it started but God has taken all of the broken pieces that I made of my life and made me a new creation.

You can Find Peace With God today and he will turn your story around.

No Phony Believers Allowed

I am a "son" in God's family because of real faith in the "Son."

John 8:31-36 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

In the previous post we saw the cost of refusing to be a follower of Jesus. Scripture makes it very clear that we don't have any hope if we reject Jesus. The entire book of John focuses on the fact that Jesus is God and he came to make us an incredible offer that has amazing benefits.

A group of people seem to accept Jesus claim to be the Messiah, there are some that believed in Jesus and it is a little bit surprising to consider Jesus next words, he tells them that there is a way to know if they are really his disciples.

Jesus comment brings up some questions that we should consider:

✔  I believe in him, isn't that enough?
✔  What is a true disciple?
✔  Am I truly a disciple?
✔  What does it mean to be faithful to his teaching?

That's a little bit unsettling, we like to think that a believer is a believer, but Jesus knew better.  Maybe we should test our own personal belief with these questions to see if we get the correct answer.

Not All Belief Is Real

We think of people as believers and nonbelievers but the Bible tells us about another group of people, it is a group of people that are in a very dangerous category. These people seem to be real believers but Jesus knows their heart and he doesn't think so. This concept has already been brought up in my study of the book of John right after Jesus cleaned out the temple. (John 2:22-25, 6:26)

There are people who obviously don't have any connection with Jesus, there are others that say they follow him and have a surface connection with Jesus, and there is another smaller group that truly follow him.

Not All Disciples Are Real

So what is a true disciple? Jesus disciples are saved from God's wrath, their sins are forgiven and we are born into God's family. (John 1:12-13 3:36, 8:24)

Plenty of people have tried to fake it, they look good to you and I for a while but for most of the fakers it doesn't stick for too long. It really doesn't make sense to not be a real disciple, you are dealing with God so what do you think you are going to get away with? (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:13)

Be Faithful To Jesus Teaching

Jesus says that the challenge that proves that we are really his is our faithfulness to his teaching. In the gospel of John Jesus has said that he is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the Living Water and the Good Shepherd and he said that he is God.

1 John 5:3  Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.

In fact all of Jesus teaching points us to himself. I need to be faithful to believe and apply his teaching to my life. My obedience to his commands prove my love for Jesus and my appreciation for what he has done for me. I need to treasure God's word and gain my strength and protection from God's word.

Be Jesus Disciple

If you are an unbeliever I pray that God will change your heart and draw you to him, if you are a phony believer I pray that the light of God's word will show you the truth and reveal to you that you are playing games with someone that you cannot fool.

Matthew 11:28-29  Then Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  29  Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Jesus called disciples and he made disciples, he didn't invite people to become worshipers, tithe givers or workers. He invited them to be a disciple, a student of the Rabbi, he gave us an offer to come and stay awhile, long enough for him to teach you so that your life will be changed and your faith will be genuine.

Don't Reject Jesus

Believe the truth about Jesus and count on him to save you from your sins.


John 8:23-26  Jesus continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not.  24  That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins."

25  "Who are You?" they demanded.

Jesus replied, "The One I have always claimed to be.  26  I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won't. For I say only what I have heard from the One who sent Me, and He is completely truthful."

We have seen in our study of the book of John an overwhelming amount of evidence and great proof that Jesus is God. I have only studied the first seven chapters of John's gospel and it is very obvious that Jesus is God in a body. The claims that Jesus made are very important to consider and the consequences for ignoring the evidence are quite severe.

At the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus made it clear that He is the Living Water and he is the Light of the World that they have seen in the symbolism of the ceremony. The crowd knows what Jesus is talking about and it should have been obvious to them that he is the Messiah.

The crowd was okay with a lot of the stuff that Jesus did, when he taught the crowd, he healed them and fed them, that was fine but as soon as he talked about being their Messiah people started getting upset.

John 10:31-33  Once again the people picked up stones to kill Him. Jesus said, "At My Father's direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone Me?" They replied, "We're stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God."

Sounds a lot like the logic that people use these days, they like the social programs and the good deeds prompted by Christ love but if God's people start talking about Jesus being our Savior then it's time to throw rocks. (John 8:59, 10:30-33)

You may think that these people were so dense to ignore the facts but according to this John MacArthur sermon it is easy to know "How To Die In Your Sins."

Four ways to be sure that you'll die in your sins:

✔ Be self-righteous
Put all of your faith in how good you are at being good. (Romans 3:9-20)

✔ Be earthbound
This world is temporary and living for it's pleasures won't get you to heaven. (Philippians 3:17-19)

✔ Be unbelieving
Look at all of the evidence and decide that it isn't enough. (John 15:24)

✔ Be willfully ignorant
Don't bother with the facts because my mind is made up. (John 8:25-27, 53)

Jesus has been telling them who He is, he has been performing miracles and the people that are around him saw more proof than we know about, we only have a small portion of the teaching and miracles that actually happened, and yet they still didn't believe.(John 20:30-31)

Ultimate Proof

John 8:28  So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM He. I do nothing on My own but say only what the Father taught Me." 
The ultimate proof that Jesus is God in a body is that he predicted his death, he predicted how his death would take place and he predicted that he would not stay dead. If anybody can do that then you should be willing to believe anything that he says.

Will you reject the evidence? There are many ways to miss out on going to heaven but there is only one way to be sure that you will be there. You need to believe that Jesus was God in a body, he is God's son and he lived a sinless life which makes him the only spotless sacrifice for the sin of the entire world.

A holy and just God cannot allow any sinners to go unpunished.Thankfully there is a sacrifice that has been made so that I can be made right with God.

Thank you Lord for your abundant love and mercy that allows me to stand before you without fear of punishment.

Light Of The World

The Bible proves that Jesus is the light that we need.


John 1:4-5  The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 8:12  Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

John 12:35-36  Jesus replied, "My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going.  36  Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light." After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

John 12:46  I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.

There has been nothing but darkness in the land, the Bible and world history tell us that when Jesus came to our world it was a very dark time. The world was in turmoil as various conquering empires came and then they became the conquered.

After the Babylonian captivity the Jews had to deal with the Persians and the Greeks and finally the Romans came along. Each of these groups brought wars to Israel, changes in government and attempts to change their religious beliefs. On top of all of that the Bible shows us a four hundred year gap in between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The people of Israel had been through a lot of suffering, harassment and there was only one thing to hope for. May the Messiah would come.

The Bible tells us that at just the right time Jesus came into our world. (Romans 5:6, Galatians 4:4) I have to wonder if maybe part of it being the right time meant that the world was so dark that surely the people would take notice of the Light and come running to it. 

Man has an appetite for darkness and his passions will push him further and further into the dark as he continues to look for what he is missing. We keep looking for the good life where it cannot be found. Even if we say that we hate the dark and the lost, desperate situation we are in we still have a carnal desire to plunge deeper and deeper into the blackness to find our own answers.

Suddenly, in this dark world where immorality, injustice, and sin is glorified, where separation, death, sorrow, and hopelessness reign, the darkness is shattered and it happens just like the prophet Isaiah said that it would. (Isaiah 9:1-2)

Matthew 4:12-16 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He left Judea and returned to Galilee. 13 He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah:  

15 "In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined."

The Great Light appears and it cannot be hidden, Jesus gave light to everyone, too bad that everyone didn't welcome the light. Some people are happy with Jesus as long as he keeps providing free lunch and healthcare. There are some that cannot stand to be around him and they run from the light just like the Pharisees that turned and left the adulterous woman at Jesus feet. (John 8:7-9)

Jesus is teaching in the Temple the day after the seven day long Feast of Tabernacles. During the Feast Jesus was the focus of a large commotion which grew when Jesus told the crowds that he is the source of living water. (John 7:37-38)

During the Feast of Tabernacles a priest went to the Pool of Siloam, drew water in a golden pitcher, and returned to the temple, and poured it out at the base of the altar. This part of the feast commemorated God’s provision of water from the rock that sustained Israel during their stay in the wilderness.

The people that heard Jesus offer to give them living water knew the symbolism. They knew that Jesus claim meant that he was declaring that he is the Messiah, that's why his statement caused such a stir, but wait there's more.

Another symbolic act that was a part of the Feast of Tabernacles was the lighting of huge candelabras in the Court of Women. This was to commemorate the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night that led the Israelite's through the desert. The huge light from those candelabras was gone and they were probably smoldering as Jesus says to the crowd, "You remember the light last night in the temple here which made you remember the light that led Israel...I am the light of the world."

Malachi 4:2  "But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

Light is a characteristic of God that the Messiah was predicted to have. (Isaiah 9:2, 49:6, 60:1) Everybody in the temple knew that Jesus was telling them that he is the Messiah, they know that the light of the Messiah is what their hopes have been longing for, but this guy doesn't look like a Messiah to them.

God's Light Came

John 3:19-21 And the judgment is based on this fact: God's light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.
God sent light into our world because we needed the light. He gave us the sun for physical life on this planet and he gave us the Son so that we could have spiritual life.There wasn't any way that we could get out of the dark on our own, out of God's love and mercy he gave us light so that we wouldn't have to live without hope in darkness, misery and death.

When salt is applied, it dissolves inward and disappears, the salt speaks of the inward part, the character of the Christian. Jesus also described His people as being like light, which is on the outside, the light speaks of the testimony of a follower of Christ, revealing and illuminating the truth.
-Adrian Rogers

I need to love the Light and allow it to expose the things that God wants to change in me. I need to allow the Light to shine through me so that the world can see the truth of the gospel and have the opportunity to see their sin, choose to repent and live in the light.

Caught Needing Mercy

Only Jesus can satisfy God's demand for justice and our need for mercy.


John 8:2-12  but early the next morning He was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and He sat down and taught them.  3  As He was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.  4  "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  5  The law of Moses says to stone her. What do You say?"  6  They were trying to trap Him into saying something they could use against Him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger.

7  They kept demanding an answer, so He stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"  8  Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust.  9  When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.

10  Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"  11  "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."  12  Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

What's going on here? The crowds must have wondered, they have never seen anybody stoned for adultery by themselves, did the man get away? How could he get away, the sun is out, there isn't any way that he could be nameless.

Maybe the guy was a Pharisee, they wouldn't haul one of their own to the temple and throw him down at Jesus feet and risk having him stoned. But it didn't matter to the Pharisees, they weren't looking for justice, the only thing on their mind was setting a trap that Jesus wouldn't be able to get out of. They were happy to have a question to ask him that didn't seem to have a safe answer.

The scribes and Pharisees came armed with the law as a weapon, that shouldn't surprise you, we have all seen it before in Christian circles. Our churches are full of people that use the Bible for their own selfish agenda, they judge others and they put down their enemies but they never apply the same rule to themselves.

Matthew 7:1-3  Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  2  For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.  And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own?

The Pharisees and Jesus are standing here in front of the woman at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Pharisees are all charged up and poised to act immediately but Jesus is calm and cool. By stooping down and doodling in the dirt he allows them to show their hatred and their animosity toward him while he just remained calm.

They came to condemn the woman but instead they were condemned. They wanted her condemned and stoned with Jesus approval so that Jesus would be in trouble with the Romans for carrying out a job that was only for them to do.

Jesus said that they could throw the rocks at her but they needed to meet the qualification for administering Godly justice. He told them that the only requirement is that they be sinless. That should disqualify all of us from throwing rocks at each other but it doesn't slow us down very much.

Instead of falling down at Jesus feet and asking for mercy and forgiveness, the Pharisees turn and run away, they could see that a just God was demanding that they change.

The one that was sinless and therefore qualified to throw rocks asks the woman "Where are your accusers? The sinless Son of God wasn't going to accuse her even though he had the right to do so.

Does that sound odd? God demands justice but the Son of God let her go without punishment. God's demand for justice is the polar opposite of mercy. How can mercy be accomplished in the face of justice?

Justice and Mercy

Isaiah 53:5-6  But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.
The cross is the place where justice and mercy meet. The greatest mystery of all time is why our creator loves us so much that he would provide a way for us to be righteous when we stand before him. My sin was dealt with 100% and the full payment for it was made at the cross and since the sacrifice was made I can receive mercy 100%. When God gave me mercy he didn't have to overlook my sin and let me off the hook and ignore the need for justice.

Micah 6:8  He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

This verse has new meaning to me as a result of this study. It occurred to me that God requires from me the same thing that he did. My God did justice, he expects me to do justice, my God did mercy and he expects me to do mercy. If I follow his example then I will be able to walk humbly with him. I will have to be humble. The act of giving mercy out to those that have done me wrong helps me to understand the cost of the mercy that was given to me.

Like the adulterous woman, I was guilty and condemned before Him, and like the adulterous woman I have experienced mercy through God's sovereign grace He loved me enough to die in my place and offer me a full pardon. Like the adulterous woman I have met God and I am forgiven!

Thank you Lord for loving me so much that you satisfied your need for justice with my need for mercy!


When Justice And Mercy Meet (relevantmagazine.com)