Encouraging Jesus

John 12:27-30 WEB

“Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this time?’ But for this cause I came to this time. [28] Father, glorify your name!” Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” [29] The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” [30] Jesus answered, “This voice hasn’t come for my sake, but for your sakes.


Jesus had just finished telling the crowd that a grain of wheat must die to be fruitful (John 12:24). Afterward, he was troubled in his Spirit. It seems clear at this point Jesus realized he was going to die. He was stressed because of this coming trouble. Yet, he did not turn away from the purposes of God. And as his growing understanding came to full fruit, the Father reached out and said that glory is coming. And Jesus believed.

He always believed. From the time he was a child Jesus believed in God and believed in his destiny in God. He did not always know how hard it was going to be. He didn’t pick the Apostles and joyfully declare they were on a death march. No, he gave the disciples hope that they would see God if they followed him. And in fact, the Apostles and the disciples all saw the miracles. They all ate the bread that Jesus multiplied (Mat 14:18). They saw the blind eyes open (Mat 12:22), and they saw men white with leprosy healed before their eyes (Mat 8:1-3). They had experienced God’s glory.

Now it was time for God to glorify his name. In fact, the voice from heaven said that God’s name had already been glorified. Moreover, the Jewish people refrained from speaking the name of God. Instead of calling him Yahweh, they called him Lord. So, God’s name was glorified in the Jewish people. But now he was going to glorify it again. This time the glory was going to be in the name of Jesus. When God said he would glorify his name again it was a promise to Jesus. It was a promise made after Jesus realized he was going to die and decided to continue with God.


Lord, when difficult things are expected of me, please help me say yes to you with full confidence. Help me recognize when you are asking me to do something for your glory and not for my glory. Let me be joyful in the offering. In Jesus’ name, amen.

True Victory

John 10:36-38 WEB

do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You blaspheme,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?’ [37] If I don’t do the works of my Father, don’t believe me. [38] But if I do them, though you don’t believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”


The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Jesus told the Pharisees he and the Father were one, but the Pharisees did not believe him. So, he offered the miracles for proof. God validated Jesus through the works he did. Jesus opened blind eyes, healed leapers (Mat 8:3), and healed the sick. He miraculously increased food and fed multitudes (Mark 6:44). He offered these works up as proof of what he was saying about himself. He offered up scripture as proof (John 10:34-35). But no matter how much evidence he produced, the Pharisees could not get past him being a Nazarene from Galilee. They were looking for a Judite from Bethlehem (John 7:42).

Why didn’t Jesus just explain his situation to the leaders? He could have told them his mother and father were both from the tribe of Judah and due to the census, he was born in Bethlehem. So why didn’t he do that? Since Jesus only said what he saw and heard from the father (John 8:38), it must be the Father did not want Jesus to explain himself. The Father was not taking Jesus to the palace. His goal was not for the Pharisees to understand. The Pharisees claimed to understand and the Father held them accountable for that.

But he also held Jesus accountable for his destiny. If Jesus had disobeyed the Father by justifying himself to the Jews, he would have missed the cross. He would have missed the true victory. Jesus’ cross led to the greatest victory of all time, victory over death. We also have a cross we are called to. If the Father leads either to the left or the right, at junctures we are going to have to lay our will down for the Father’s will. Those small deaths of the self, lead to true victories in our everyday lives.


Lord Jesus, please give me the grace to lay my life down when you ask me to. Help me not engage in dead works but save me with your grace. Increase my spiritual hearing so I do not miss instruction from you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus’ Truth

John 8:52-55 WEB

Then the Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and you say, ‘If a man keeps my word, he will never taste of death.’ [53] Are you greater than our father, Abraham, who died? The prophets died. Who do you make yourself out to be?” [54] Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is our God. [55] You have not known him, but I know him. If I said, ‘I don’t know him,’ I would be like you, a liar. But I know him, and keep his word.


White lies. American culture practically runs on them. We thoughtlessly go through conversational motions without realizing we casually tell white lies for the sake of good. But this was not Jesus’ problem. He did not tell white lies. Nor did he tell possible lies. He told what he believed to be true and for this choice, he was called a demon.

Jesus was also called a demon for bringing a new idea. That was, salvation comes from obedience to Christ versus obedience to the law. When you stop and think about how counterculture this idea of obeying Jesus was, it makes it easy to understand the crowd calling Jesus a demon.

Another reason for saying Jesus had a demon was because he said he knew God. Someone in our modern era would probably be called a demon for saying they knew God. It is stunning that Jesus went through everything we go through. Even being pressured to recant, he holds firm when he says of the Father, “…I know him, and keep his word.”


Lord Jesus, I want to be like you. Please forgive me for telling white lies to preserve myself. Help me trust you fully and teach me to kindly say the truth. Teach me to keep silent when appropriate so I do not cause harm in disagreement. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Compromise with the World

John 8:42-47 WEB

Therefore Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me, for I came out and have come from God. For I haven’t come of myself, but he sent me. [43] Why don’t you understand my speech? Because you can’t hear my word. [44] You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and its father. [45] But because I tell the truth, you don’t believe me. [46] Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? [47] He who is of God hears the words of God. For this cause you don’t hear, because you are not of God.”


Do you like to drink, smoke, live selfishly and in general always think about yourself? Do other godly people irritate you? Do you love the Father, or do you love the world? These are important questions for each of us to use to evaluate our heart condition. The one we serve is our father. Is God in heaven our Father, or is Satan of the earth our father?

We need to look out of ourselves to make these types of evaluations. Why? Jesus says when we hear Satan we become deaf to God. So, worldliness may not be easy to detect. For most of us, when we do not want to face sin we make an excuse to deal with it later. But it takes discipline and perseverance to self-check for worldliness and godliness.

However, most people change their doctrine to accommodate sin. Most of us cannot bear for our stated beliefs to be proven false. It’s called psychological dissonance. We all try to keep a balance so we do not experience dissonance. The easiest way to solve dissonance is to change our minds. We must resist this urge. When Holy Spirit starts to bring conviction, making excuses will cause your love for God to wax cold. In this place, strange perverted ideas can masquerade as godliness. For this reason, decision-makers in the Body of Christ need to be thoroughly tested and tried before they are given power over other believers. It is also why believers need to read the Bible with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.


Lord, open my ears so that I can hear you. Forgive me for partnering with the world. Please help me change to true godliness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Reprobate Jesus

John 8:39-41 WEB

They answered him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. [40] But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham didn’t do this. [41] You do the works of your father.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father, God.”


Jesus grew up being a boy that came from sexual immorality. Everyone knew it. And here, where Jesus is telling the crowd Satan is their father, they demonstrate their cruelty. Jesus says they are going to kill him, and the crowd does not deny it. When Jesus logically fences them in, they grab for something to change the subject. They throw Jesus’ shame of being born too early for a marital pregnancy. These are whitewashed sepulchers using religion for power but having no love in them (Mat 23:27).

If they had love in them and God was their Father, they would have the faith of Abraham. Abraham talked with God. He heard from God (Gen 17:22). Abraham loved God and loved the things of God. He wasn’t perfect in his behavior (Gen 12:10-11). Where Abraham was so amazing was his faith walk. For Abraham, if God said, Abraham was going to act on it (Gen 12:4). When strangers came Abraham fixed them the fatted calf and he believed these men were angels of the Lord (Gen 18:1-5).

If the crowd believed Abraham, they would have listened to Jesus because Jesus came to them as an angel of truth. For this, he was accused of being a reprobate by virtue of his birth. Praise God we are judged for our own merits because of the death of Jesus on the cross. Jesus did not have this luxury. Not in the eyes of the crowd nor in the eyes of Jewish leaders. He was viewed as the product of sexual immorality and was considered unfit for ministry.


Lord Jesus, please give me discernment to correctly view others in ministry. Help me love and honor those you have promoted. Alert me to wolves. Protect me as I stop trying so hard to protect myself. Help me, love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Who is Your Father?

John 8:37-38 WEB

I know that you are Abraham’s offspring, yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. [38] I say the things which I have seen with my Father; and you also do the things which you have seen with your father.”


Not only does Jesus realize people want him dead, but he also has the boldness to say it publicly. In our time, saying someone wants to kill you would lead others to consider if you are mentally ill. In Jesus’ time, they did not think about mental illness, they related it to demonization. Jesus was taking a huge risk saying his truth.

Jesus goes on to say the truth has no place in those listening to him. Jesus’ words are truth, and the truth cannot reside in the children of Satan. What Jesus see’s, he says. On the other hand, the crowd imitates their father, Satan. Jesus tells what he has seen. Those with a heart for God will receive his words as truth. Those who seek their own good instead of the Father’s good are children of the enemy.

This is why we must be careful in our self-centered culture. We easily compromise truth when we say God would never ask this or that of us. Actually, God will ask a lot of his people. If God is your Father, you are going to do a few things you would rather not do. God has a purpose through us, but first, he has to work his purpose in us. Only then can his truth work through us to save those we encounter.

Lord Jesus, please help me discern truth as I pursue a relationship with you. Reveal yourself to me, Lord. Help me put away selfishness and turn my face towards you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Father’s Bosom

John 7:32-36 WEB

The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. [33] Then Jesus said, “I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me. [34] You will seek me, and won’t find me; and where I am, you can’t come.” [35] The Jews therefore said among themselves, “Where will this man go that we won’t find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? [36] What is this word that he said, ‘You will seek me, and won’t find me; and where I am, you can’t come’?”


Did you catch that? In the above verses, Jesus says he is going somewhere the Pharisees cannot follow. He then goes on to say, “where I am, you can’t come.” What does Jesus mean when he says where he is they cannot come? He is talking to the Pharisees in person. Doesn’t that mean they are all in the same place? No, according to Jesus they are not because he is somewhere the Pharisees cannot come.

Where is this special place Jesus is at? Jesus is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18). The bosom is a central pocket or fold in a garment tied with a sash or belt. Thus, John gives us a picture of Jesus being carried in a fold of the Father’s garments. However, the bosom also means the center of one’s thoughts. Jesus was favored by God and had access to God’s thoughts (John 14:6). And that was somewhere the Pharisees could not go.  

Praise the Lord! We are not excluded from being present with Jesus. We also are in the bosom of the Father if we have learned to rest. When we are trying to please God with constant activity, we miss the chance to go where only he can take us. The Pharisees were the picture of striving (Hebrews 3:18-19). They had hundreds of rules they believed were necessary to please God. More, they kept themselves on the throne of their lives by remaining in control.

The bosom of God is not a place one can achieve striving in the flesh (Heb 4:6). It is a place of peaceful surrender to the ways and thoughts of God (Heb 4:10). We release our own desires in exchange for God’s desires. Then God places us in his bosom and carries us. More, the bosom is the place where God’s heartbeat can be heard.


Lord Jesus, please help me rest from works. Help me cease striving. I long to be carried in your bosom Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Evil Vs Truth

John 3:20-21 WEB

For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. [21] But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.”

It’s interesting that the verse does not read “he who does righteousness” but rather “he who does the truth” comes into the light. Evil, at its core, is functionally deceptive in nature. Dark and light have been separated by God in the creation. It was the very first creative act of the first day of creation. It is also the theme of the fourth day of creation. Two of six days of creation were devoted to separating the darkness from the light. And in our time, evil still separates itself from the light. This is done through deceptive means. Those who do evil in the church cover their deeds through sins of both commission and omission. They present a lie. They present as righteous and, in the light, but in truth, they are hiding their evil in the darkness. The Bible says that you will know them by their fruit. Matthew 7:18 and 19 (WEB) says, “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. [18] A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.” One of the easiest ways in the church to detect evil is to see what a life is producing over time. Anyone can polish up a rotten apple and make it look good for a little while. But in the long term, that piece of fruit is going to go bad. When ministries produce lasting fruit of lives changed and lasting righteousness you are witnessing good fruit. However, if everyone who gets “saved” ends up falling away, or, major sin issues are rampant in the church, you are seeing a tree that is producing evil fruit. That is an evil tree. That is a life with hidden and secret sins. Likewise, a congregant that whispers secrets and fails to reproduce salvation in others is also an evil tree. Gossip is a sin that has come to be accepted as “no big deal.” It is something that evil loves. Evil loves to destroy people with the fruit of their lips. Evil fruit. The life that is producing evil will allow itself to be deceived so that it can be comfortable. Another evil fruit is holding grudges. One of the evilest things a person can say or think is “I can never forgive them.” When you hear that coming out of a congregant’s mouth, and they refuse to repent, you are dealing with an evil tree. The Bible clearly says that if you do not forgive others the Father will not forgive you. In Matthew 6:14-15 (WEB) it says, ““For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” An unforgiving life is lost. However, a good tree making a mistake will repent when confronted in love. In Galations 6:1 (WEB) it says, “Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren’t tempted.” And in Acts 8:22 (WEB) it says, “Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.”

So where do you stand? As you have read this blog has the Holy Spirit brought conviction about a matter or issue in your life? It’s not hard, just repent. Ask to be forgiven and stop sinning. If that does not work talk to a pastor that is producing good fruit and be healed and restored in the love of the brotherhood of believers. Galatians 6:10 (WEB), “So then, as we have opportunity, let’s do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.”

Lord Jesus, I come to you with a contrite heart, please reveal to me sin that I have become hardened towards. Breath life in me and help me repent Lord. I want you forever rather than the praise of men for a season. I’m sorry Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.