Acting Like God

“Who is this fellow?” asked the Pharisees when they heard Jesus forgive sins. “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5:21). Sin is an offense against God, so how could a human speak for God and say the offense is removed from the record? It was blasphemy, they said.


Jesus knew what they thought about it, but he forgave sins anyway. He even implied that he had no sins of his own (John 8:46). He made some astonishing claims:

* He said he would sit at God’s right hand in heaven—another claim the Jewish leaders thought blasphemous (Matthew 26:63-65).

* He claimed to be the Son of God—another blasphemy, they said, since in that culture it implied equality with God (John 5:18; 19:7).

* Jesus claimed to be in such perfect communication with God that he did only what God wanted (John 5:19).

* He claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30), which the Jewish leaders again said was blasphemous (v. 33).

* He claimed to be so much like God that people should look at him to see the Father (John 14:9; 1:18).

* He claimed to be able to send God’s Spirit (John 16:7).

* He claimed that he had angels he could send (Matthew 13:41).

* He knew that God was the judge of the world, but he also claimed to be the judge (John 5:22).

* He said he could raise the dead, even himself (John 5:21; 6:40; 10:18).

* He said that everyone’s eternal life depends on their relationship with him (Matthew 7:23).

* He said that the words of Moses were not enough (Matthew 5:21-48).

* He claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath—the Lord of a God-given law! (Matthew 12:8).

If he were merely a human, his teaching was arrogant and sinful. But Jesus backed up his words with some amazing actions. “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles” (John 14:11). Miracles can’t force anyone to believe, but they can provide powerful supporting evidence.

To show that he had the authority to forgive sins, Jesus healed a paralyzed man (Luke 5:23-25). His miracles give evidence that what he said about himself is true. He has more-than-human power, because he is more than a human. The claims that would have been blasphemous in anyone else were true for Jesus. He could speak like God and act like God because he was God in the flesh.


~ Discipleship 101 ~

Evening Devotional

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God.” — Psa 139:17

Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation. God is always thinking upon us, never turns aside his mind from us, has us always before his eyes; and this is precisely as we would have it, for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment beyond the observation of our heavenly Father. His thoughts are always tender, loving, wise, prudent, far-reaching, and they bring to us countless benefits: hence it is a choice delight to remember them. The Lord always did think upon his people: hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured; he always will think upon them: hence their final perseverance by which they shall be brought safely to their final rest. In all our wanderings the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us-we never roam beyond the Shepherd's eye. In our sorrows he observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes him; in our toils he marks all our weariness, and writes in his book all the struggles of his faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for; all the littles of our little world are thought upon by the great God.

Dear reader, is this precious to you? then hold to it. Never be led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an impersonal God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing matter. The Lord liveth and thinketh upon us, this is a truth far too precious for us to be lightly robbed of it. The notice of a nobleman is valued so highly that he who has it counts his fortune made; but what is it to be thought of by the King of kings! If the Lord thinketh upon us, all is well, and we may rejoice evermore.

~ Charles H. Spurgeon ~

 

Jesus Calling

When some basic need is lacking—time, energy, money—consider yourself blessed. Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. When you begin a day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts on the present moment. This is where you are meant to live—in the present; it is the place where I always await you. Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me.

The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My Power is made perfect in weakness.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.

—James 1:2

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

—2 Corinthians 12:9

~Sarah Young~

 

Daily Strength

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.

– Exod 14:15 NET

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

– Luke 9:62 NET

Be trustful, be steadfast, whatever betide thee,

Only one thing do thou ask of the Lord,—

Grace to go forward wherever He guide thee,

Simply believing the truth of His word.

—ANON.

The soul ceases to weary itself with planning and foreseeing, giving itself up to God’s Holy Spirit within, and to the teachings of His providence without. He is not forever fretting as to his progress, or looking back to see how far he is getting on; rather he goes steadily and quietly on, and makes all the more progress because it is unconscious. So he never gets troubled and discouraged; if he falls he humbles himself, but gets up at once, and goes on with renewed earnestness.

—JEAN NICOLAS GROU.

 

Jesus on God’s Love: For Enemies

But I say to you, love your enemies. – Matthew 5:44

People tend to base love on the attractiveness and likeability of the one loved. They love the so-called beautiful people, enjoyable activities, nice houses, and sharp cars. That list could go on, but Jesus’ kind of love is need oriented. In His parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29, 36–37), the Samaritan showed tremendous love because he sacrificed his own convenience, safety, and finances to help a desperately needy man.

The love our Lord sets forth here is translated from the Greek agape-, the noblest and best New Testament love. It is the form of love that strives to meet another’s utmost welfare. Such love may involve emotion, but it must involve action. Like every aspect of righteousness, love originates in the regenerate heart, but it shows its fullest potential by what it does. More than anything, this kind of love is the love God is, expresses, and provides (Rom. 5:5, 8; 1 John 4:7–12), which allows us to love as He loved.

When Christ told His apostles, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you” (John 13:34), He had just washed their feet as an example of agape- love. The apostles were self-centered, quarrelsome, envious of one another, and even sometimes challenged the Lord. Yet Jesus always did for them what was for their good. And this is how He wants all of us who claim to follow Him to show love—even for our enemies.

Ask Yourself

Few biblical mandates are more unnatural to our desires and experiences, but few make us a more sterling example of the difference Christ makes in an ordinary individual’s life. If you are currently dealing with situations that call for this kind of love, how do you intend to express it?

~ John MacArthur ~