John 8:23 Not of This World

“But he continued, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” John 8:23

Jesus was starting to describe that He was getting ready to go away to a place that the people could not follow. The people thought that He was going to kill Himself. Now Jesus explained that He was from heaven, not the earth.

Being from heaven made a difference in the perspective Jesus had on life. He was able to look down and see the big picture. He knew God directly and knew what God wanted and was doing. He knew the value of heaven. He knew the futility of the things of this earth.

As a human, your view will be from the bottom looking up. Looking out into life on earth, things do not look very good. When something happens you do not understand. Giving up something looks like a high price to pay for something you cannot see–heaven.

The world will tell you that you must eat, drink and be merry now. You must be willing to indulge in any pleasure for yourself now. You must look out for yourself.

As a believer in Jesus your view of this world should be different. This world is here for you to use to get yourself through to heaven and to bring others with you to heaven.

Since you are now one with Jesus, you, as He is, are not of this world. Your focus should not be on just the here and now, but on the eternity in heaven.

Are you concerned with doing what your Father in heaven wants you to do? Are you concerned with living your life the way God wants you to live it?

Remember that as a believer in Jesus this world is not your final home. You are a pilgrim just passing through. Keep that in mind in your day-to-day struggles and challenges. Life will be challenging, but every journey has challenges, some exciting, some are boring, some are painful, but all are worth it in the end.

I pray that God will give you a vision of the glories of heaven; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will keep your eyes on Jesus and heaven; that you will live in light of eternity in heaven; and that you will bring others with you.

John 8:10-11More Than No Condemnation

“Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10-11

Some leaders of the Law had brought a woman to Jesus who had been found guilty of adultery. They wanted to see if Jesus would have her stoned as according to the Law. Jesus challenged them that anyone without sin could cast the first stone. No one did and they left. He then tells the woman He won’t condemn her either, but she is to leave her life of sin.

People love to point out that Jesus did not condemn her. They love to see the forgiveness that Jesus had. All of this is true and very good, but Jesus did not just stop with not condemning her, He told her to leave the life of sin.

Forgiveness is great but there must be more. There must be a change. The repentance must include a turning away from the sin.

Many people want to be able to continue living in their sin while asking God to forgive them. They will also tell other believers that they must be forgiven because they are sorry for the sin, yet they will not flee the sinful activity.

God is more than willing to forgive you. The reason for the forgiveness is for you to have a chance to change and start over. This gives you the ability to do things correctly, not to go back into the same sin.

Along with your own personal changes, you must be willing to forgive others, then tell them about the need to change. Believers need to tell others that living the life of sin is wrong once you believe in Jesus. Encourage others to turn from the sin and fully follow Him.

Are you turning away from your past sinful lifestyles? Are you encouraging others to turn from their sinful lifestyles? Are you just forgiving? Or are you condemning?

I pray today that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will embrace the new life Jesus has given you; that you will forgive others; that you will encourage others to turn from sin; and that you will love of Jesus loved.

John 7:24 Judging Correctly

“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” John 7:24

Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath day. Many of the people were very upset with that because the Law stated no one was to work on the Sabbath. Jesus then pointed out that they were willing to do circumcision on the Sabbath if it was needed, a type of work. He then states to not judge by mere appearances.

The world is very quick to state that Christians are not to judge anyone for anything. Even many Christians will state the same thing.

No where in the Bible does it say you should never judge. It does give many guidelines on how to judge and when to judge. Judging has to be done with the correct heart and mindset.

It is very easy to look at a situation and quickly come to a conclusion as to what happened and be completely wrong in the conclusion.

An example of this would be: A man suddenly pushes a little child down very harshly on the sidewalk. Watching just this part of the scene it looks like the man is rude and mean. Yet, his side of what happened was he saw someone on a bicycle about to hit the boy. If he did not move the boy quickly he would have been hit and seriously injured. The pushing actually helped the boy.

Only God can fully know the actions and thoughts of a person correctly. Just appearances can be deceiving. It may look one way, but be completely different.

Not everything is a sin for every person. God may tell one person to stop jumping. If that person jumps then he has sinned. Yet, another person can still jump because God has not told him not to do so.

Jesus said to judge correctly. Know and understand the situation and the person before you judge.

As you judge, remember that God and other people are watching you. Are you judging fairly? Or with vengeance? Are you judging to build a person up? Or to tear him down?

Be willing to judge, but be sure to judge correctly. And never forget grace and mercy in the process.

I pray today that God will fill you with His wisdom; that you will know God’s desires; that God will help you to understand other people; that God will help you to judge correctly; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

John 7:6 The Right Time

“Therefore Jesus told them, My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.” John 7:6

Jesus had been in Galilee and the festival in Judea was about to start. His brothers told Him that He should go in order to become more well-known. Jesus then told them that this was not the right time to go to that festival. Later Jesus does go to the festival, only in private, not public.

Timing is a very important thing that many do not fully understand. Yet, timing is used in nearly everything. Some things it is extremely important, while in other things not so important.

When someone is cooking a fancy dessert, timing can be very important. This can extend all the way down to a matter of a few seconds too long or short in cooking something can wreck the dessert. Some desserts are extremely delicate in this matter.

When a person is playing football, timing is important. Throwing the ball too soon, or a second too late will result in a fumble or an interception.

While those have extreme timing importance, when a person leaves for work is not so close of a timing measure. Leaving for work can be a ten minute window. A person can get to work a few minutes early or just on time, the timing in the leaving will determine how soon he will get there.

God’s timing is perfect. He is looking at the big picture and knows just when everything should occur. Waiting for God to do something can be frustrating in your short mind-set. You see only the here and now. It often looks like God will be late.

Be willing to trust in God’s timing. Wait for Him to make the move. Wait for God to tell you to move forward. He is waiting for the perfect time. That time will be when everything is in its place.

If you start too soon, maybe the person you talk to is not ready. If you start too late, maybe that person you talk to already gave up. God knows the perfect time. Are you waiting for His time?

I pray today that you will know God’s desires; that you will have the patience to wait for God’s desire; that you will act upon God’s timing; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

John 6:67 Do You Want to Leave Also?

“You do not want to leave too, do you? Jesus asked the Twelve.” John 6:67

Jesus had just finished talking about that He is the bread of life and that people have to eat of His flesh and drink His blood to have that life. Many people chose to walk away from Him at that point. They had a hard time with His teaching. He then asks the disciples if they were going to walk away also.

You hear of people choosing to no longer follow Jesus a lot. The reasons for their choosing are many in number. Some it is because of some major loss. Others were hurt both other Christians or the church. Still others have a difficult time with the teachings of Jesus.

Ultimately choosing to not follow Jesus is due to the choice of refusing to accept His teachings. Jesus stated that there would be difficult times and hard choices to make. He had to go through massive persecution and had to make the choice to go through with the crucifixion. Jesus never asks you to do anything less or more than what He would do in your situation.

While there are many that completely walk away from Jesus, there are still many other believers who step away for a short time. They will choose to walk into sin even while the Holy Spirit is urging them not to do so.

Being willing to do a sinful act is choosing to leave Jesus for a time. Jesus cannot be with sin. If you are choosing to sin, you are also choosing to move away from Jesus and leave Him. Do not make that choice.

Realize that Jesus is the only one with true life. His teachings may be difficult at times, but they are worth it. He taught only what was needed to give you an abundant life here on earth and forever in heaven.

Are you seeking Jesus? Are you staying with Him? Are you accepting His teachings? Or are you walking away from Him?

I pray today that you will stay in the teachings of Jesus; that God will reveal the life He has for you; that you will know and follow Jesus all the way; and that you will pass on the teachings of Jesus.

John 6:28 The Work God Requires

“Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28

The day after Jesus had fed the 5,000, the people were searching for Him again. He told them not to work for bread that spoils or physical things. They asked the question of what they must do to do the work that God requires. He answers with believing in the one He has sent.

There are many people who state that they believe in God. Yet, as they are “believing” in God, they are not doing what He asks. They will still do their own thing.

Others will state that they believe in Jesus. They will know all the parables Jesus taught. They will know what He did and why He did it. They may have even read all the gospels multiple times. Yet, that belief stops there.

Belief in Jesus is trusting Him in everything He says. It is easy to trust Him for the salvation He provides. It is easy to trust that He loves us and cares for us. But there is yet another level to that belief.

Are you trusting Jesus when He says be His witness? Or when He tells you to walk on the water? Or be willing to be persecuted for His name?

You may never walk on water like Peter did, but you will go through trials in your life that you must choose to step out of your comfort zone into a dangerous location to do His will. You may have to walk in the dangerous areas in order to be a witness to someone who only you can witness to. It may bring some hurt to be an honest person of integrity, yet that is what Jesus wants from you.

Jesus said and did only what He saw His Father say and do. He is telling you to do the same thing. God’s work is to save the world from sin. He sent Jesus to do that. Jesus is now sending you to spread that news.

Are you really believing in Jesus? Are you following Him, trusting His guidance? Or are you doing your own thing, believing in Him when it is convenient and comfortable?

I pray today that you will learn to trust Jesus fully; that you will believe all the words of Jesus; that you will obey the words of Jesus; that you will do the work God desires; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

John 6:9 Anyone Can Be Used

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will that go among so many?” John 6:9

Jesus had been teaching for an extended amount of time in a remote location. There were about 5,000 men there, not to include any women or children. As it came to evening time Jesus asked about how the disciples were going to feed the people. They did not have any clue as to how to do it. Andrew then brings up a boy with a few loaves of bread and some fish. Jesus blesses the food and feeds everyone with leftovers at the end.

Often people come up against a situation in life that needs a solution and quickly. They look around and do not see any easy solution, while in God’s eyes, the solution is right in front of them.

God can take a very little and make it a lot. Read the rest of the story, they end up with twelve baskets full of left over bread crumbs. That is more than they started with.

In my family of just ten people, we can go through a whole loaf of bread in one meal easily. How can five loaves feed 5,000? It is by the work of God. He multiplied the loaves to meet the need.

Along with taking just a little food to feed the many, Jesus also used a boy. Most people do not even look at a child as a solution to a major food issue.

Many people also look at themselves like a child. They feel they are too small to really do anything big for God. They do not see how God can possibly use them in a real way.

Compared to God, you and I are nothing. You really have nothing of value, except giving your own self. Give God your life and you have given Him the most valuable thing available. God can then use you and what little you have to do great things.

Are you a willing little child? Are you available to God? Are you willing to give God what you have to use for His glory? Seek God today on how you can be used by Him. You may be surprised at what can happen.

I pray today that God will reveal to you how He can use you; that you will be willing to be used by God; that you will trust God with what you have; that God will work miracles through you; and that God will build His kingdom through you.