The Mystery of Glory

John 13:26-27,31-32 WEB

Jesus therefore answered, “It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. [27] After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” [31] When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. [32] If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately.


Jesus knew he was destined to die. He understood that to bear much fruit a seed must fall to the ground and be buried. Jesus was not deluded. In his mind, Jesus did not think of everything from the perspective of his own good. Rather he thought about the Father’s will and the Father’s good. He read the truth in scripture and faithfully applied it to himself. He was a great seed, and the Father was about to plant him.

Jesus called this planting glorious. He knew he was going to die, and he considered it a matter of glory. What is this glory of which Jesus spoke? It is the glory of many lives coming to salvation. That glory was achieved on the cross, and it has been producing believers ever since. Through his obedience to the cross, we are saved if we believe. The mystery of glory is that what seems like dying produces life in Christ.

How do we achieve glory? Do we have to die in our flesh? Do we have to go to the grave? No. But we do need to be willing to persevere through trials. We must persevere in loving others more than we love ourselves. These are glorious behaviors. Giving of ourselves, even when it hurts, releases God’s glory. It is a mystery but one we must embrace. God wants us to be joyful. However, while we seek God for our good, we also seek God for the good of others. At times we must bear with another, even to our own hurt. These choices will lead to salvations and will bring God glory.


Lord, please give me the grace to love others even when it is hard. Help me lay down selfish ambition and turn to serve you willingly. Teach me to give you glory with my choices and actions. And let my life bring you glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Fruit and Authority

John 5:9-17 WEB

Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. [10] So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.” [11] He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’ ” [12] Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?” [13] But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place. [14] Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” [15] The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. [16] For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. [17] But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.”


The works of Jesus are good fruit. As Christians, we are often told that we should evaluate the fruit of a person’s life. In the above passage, Jesus has just healed, delivered, and restored a man. Jesus’ works bore good fruit. It is understandable that the healed man felt gratitude and loyalty to Jesus. Still, the man was under Jewish law.

The healed man had honor for the authority of the religious leaders. So, in accordance with the law, he went to the leaders to be declared healed. Here is where something interesting happens, the man who was healed followed the fruit. That is, he judged the fruit and showed loyalty to Jesus. Also, just a few lines later the man is telling the Jewish leaders what they want to know. The man did not dishonor the legitimate authority of the religious leaders.

Jesus was a man under authority. He watched and prayed and did what the Father showed him. When the Father showed him healing on the Sabbath, he obeyed. It did not matter doing a healing on the Sabbath was the best way to get into trouble with the religious leaders. Accordingly, it was not long until Jesus was challenged by religious hypocrisy.

The Jewish leaders persecuted Jesus for working on the Sabbath. Jesus answers them boldly when he says he is under the authority of the Father. In the same way believers are to name Jesus, Jesus named the Father. He truly did suffer as we do today. He faced challenges on behalf of the Father to serve His glory. He trusted the Father enough to obey him. He trusted the Father enough to bear good fruit.


Lord Jesus, please help me trust you enough to obey your word. Help me see what you are doing so that I may join in the work. Please forgive my love for the approval of others. Help me trust, obey, and bear good fruit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Saving Some

John 4:36-38 WEB

He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. [37] For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ [38] I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”


Jesus is telling his disciples they are about to reap a harvest that another planted. Jesus and the disciples are waiting for the Samaritan woman and her countrymen to return. While they are waiting Jesus lets the disciples know what is about to happen (Jeremiah 33:3). In the preceding verses, we get the idea that the disciples do not like what Jesus is doing (John 4:27). The disciples’ prejudice towards Samaritans would have caused them to walk through the area without stopping. That same prejudice has their minds dulled but Jesus tells them plainly what is about to happen (John 4:33). Namely, the disciples’ are about to reap a harvest of souls that they did not sow (John 4:39-42).  

This passage brings so much hope to those who labor to see the lost won for Jesus. It does not matter if we are planting, watering, or reaping. We all share the joy with Jesus when a lost soul is saved from damnation (Romans 2:7, Proverbs 11:23-25). For this reason, we must both wait and labor with patience. How we wait matters. We should be in a posture of readiness as we wait (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Thus, we present ourselves ready to labor in every situation so that some may be saved. That interaction with the sales clerk matters. That interaction with the postal worker matters. That interaction with the person who cut you off in traffic matters.

It matters that we do not uproot the work in the lives of people that others have planted and watered. It is important that we recognize God desires all people to be saved (John 3:16). So, how we treat all people matters. Holiness matters. We should be putting our best selves out for all people, not just those who can do something for us. Our most significant contributions may be bringing smiles to those that serve us out in the marketplace. You are meant to be sharing Christ, so it seems reasonable that many of the people you interact with recognize you are a Christian (Matthew 6:20-21).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not recognizing the immeasurable worth of the people around me both at home and in the marketplace. Please help me represent you well and have a word of salvation for all people. Please help me not uproot what others have planted and watered. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Suffering with Benefits

John 3:22-24 WEB

After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. [23] John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. [24] For John was not yet thrown into prison.   

John was not yet thrown into prison and Jesus was not yet crucified. So, they baptized. They served the Father’s will with humility and truth such that they both died horrific deaths. John was beheaded at the request of the daughter of an evil queen (Matthew 14:8-12 WEB). Jesus was crucified at the hands of the Roman government, at the request of the religious leaders in Jerusalem (John 19:15-18 WEB). Do you regularly see baptisms at your church? Do you ever see baptisms at your church? If people are regularly being saved and baptized, you probably have leadership that has experienced difficulties and has chosen not to draw back from obeying the Lord. On the other hand, if you have a group of leaders that is regularly bringing a message of wealth, health, and joy without the balancing message of suffering and pain in obedience, something is wrong. This group may have salvations, but the saved will probably fall away when the Father begins to discipline the new believer. Discipline will always come (Hebrews 12:7). The Father has an interest in growing people from the new birth in Christ to mature Christian walking and living the Christian life. The Father will convict of sin and will bring challenges to provoke change. He knows how to bend a twig. However, when a church only preaches the benefits of the kingdom and neglects to preach the obligations of the kingdom you will not see lasting fruit.  Attrition will be high. Being in obedience to the Father will bring great joy, with tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:6 WEB.)

Lord Jesus, I want to follow your example. Please help me to be bold and willing to suffer when necessary for the gospel. Let my life bring lasting fruit. Help me to be bold unto suffering while I rejoice in all the goodness that comes from walking with you. Please make me a holy vessel. In Jesus’ name, 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.