John 18:36 No Physical Fight

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Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36

Jesus had been arrested and was going through a trial. The leaders did not believe that He was who He said He was. They were asking Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus points out that His kingdom is not one of this earth, it was not a physical kingdom, but one from somewhere else.

There has been times that Christians have been known to be violent in standing up for Christ. During the middle centuries, the church went on crusades in order to kill of the believers of false religions. It was a physical effort to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

In more recent times, there have been some “Christians” who have been extremely violent against unbelievers. Some have been known for blowing up abortion centers in an attempt to stop the sin going on there. In the process people are killed and not given the chance to believe in Jesus and change.

Jesus did not use any physical violence in the process of building His kingdom. He never harmed any person, no matter how good or bad that person was. His method of building His kingdom was using love.

Love is something that is not of this world. This world is ruled by the devil, who does not believe in love other than the love of self. The world claims to show love, but it is selfishness and hate for others.

People will not be won over to Jesus, by striking them and cutting them down. They can only be won over by showing love, mercy, and grace. These are the very same things that Jesus showed you.

The kingdom of God is from heaven. It is filled with love, not violence. You do not need to use force to get people into His kingdom.

Jesus did not need physical protection, because He was in God’s hands. In the same way, you do not need physical protection. You are in God’s hands and are of a different world.

Since you are from a different world, the ways of doing things are different. Live the life of love, mercy and grace as you reach out to build God’s kingdom, not force.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will use God’s love to reach the lost; that you will not fight in the physical against this world; and that God will strengthen you to show His love to this world.

John 18:11 Accepting What God Gives

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Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11

The disciples were in a garden and had just finished praying when a group of soldiers and leaders came up to arrest Jesus. Peter tried to defend Jesus and cut off a servant’s ear with his sword. Jesus rebuked him saying that He needed to drink the cup His Father had given to Him.

People love to accept gifts that are good gifts. The definition of good gifts, is gifts that are usable, helpful, makes a person feel good and are pleasurable. They are eager to accept these gifts because they are usually what the person wants.

There are many times that a person gets a gift that he really does not want. Such as a child getting a pair of socks for Christmas. The child wanted toys more than clothes. The child is very disappointed with the socks, because it is not what he desired.

Adults get the same way. They will get some gift that they really did not want. Although most adults don’t complain out loud, they do mumble under their breath at not wanting it.

Believers in God have the same problem. God gives things to people all the time. Sometimes those things are physical things, other times it is situations. When the good things come in, people are happy. They like when they get great favor, a pay raise, repairs done, a healing, the needed sleep, and other ‘good’ things.

However, along with giving ‘good’ things, God also gives, what appears to be ‘bad’ things. There are times of sickness, breakdowns, job loss, persecution, hatred and more. As with Jesus getting arrested, these things appear to be bad.

The important thing to remember is that God only gives you what is best for your life. God will not give you anything that will not be for your benefit. Even the bad things can be for your benefit.

When a bad situation happens, it is time to turn to God for strength and direction. It is not a time to fight back and complain of what is happening.

Trust God that He knows what is best for your life. So accept all things that He puts in your path. Do not accept only the good and reject what appears to be bad. With God, all can be used for good.

I pray today that you will see God giving you all that you need; that you will trust God’s provisions; that you will seek God’s strength in tough times; and that you will give God thanks for everything.

John 17:16 Not Of This World

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They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:16

Jesus is praying for the disciples and is telling God to protect them from the evil one because He will be leaving the earth. He points out that they are not of this earth, just as He is not of it.

All over the world one of the hot issues being talked about is people who are immigrants. These are people who are coming out of one country in order to live in another country.

Many people do not like the idea of people from another country coming in and living in their country. The new people are strangers. They have different customs, beliefs, and ways of doing things. In America it is often easy to spot a new person from a foreign country. Often they do not speak English and they act very differently. Since this is the case, many people treat them differently or even in a rough manner wanting them to leave.

Believers are very much in the same way like those immigrants. This world is not their home. The belief system is very different from that of the world. The world looks at life as eat, drink and be merry, get as much as one can as fast as he can and control others, all focused on self and today. Believers believe in serving and loving others, building others up, and are focused on eternity and God.

When a person is focused on eternity, the troubles of this world lose their impact. What a person has today or is going through is not as important as to holding onto what the future holds. The believer is focused on getting to his eternal home in heaven some day. There is a hope and life that the world does not and cannot know without knowing Jesus.

Knowing that you are not a citizen of this world, but are just passing through can build you up and strengthen you in the trials of this life. Everything that you are going through is temporary and getting you ready for your new home.

Go through each day looking forward to the day you step into heaven with Jesus for all eternity. Jesus had left this earth to prepare a home for you. Strive to be ready for that home and bring everyone you can with you. You are not of this world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that God will strengthen you to live for Him; and that you will be ready for heaven someday.

 

John 16:33 How To Find Peace

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus is giving His last minute warnings about what is about to happen to the disciples. He lets them know that He is about to leave for a time and that there will be much trouble in the world. Jesus lets them know that He told them these things so that they could have His peace because He has already overcome the world.

It is very easy to see that there is trouble in this world. Turn on any news channel and one will see very little outside of troubles. Very few people are not have troubles in their own personal lives. Trouble with jobs, relationships, addictions, bills, marriages, families, and the list of troubles never seem to stop. There does not seem to be any peace.

Then the believers look at the world and see even more trouble. Refusal to believe in Jesus, promotion of more sin than ever before, persecution of Christians on the rise and, again, the list goes on. There does not seem to be any peace to be found.

Many believers are worried about finding peace in this world. Yet, Jesus said He told believers things so that they would have peace. He had already stated that there would be trouble, but they could still have peace. That peace is found in Him. He has already overcome the world.

If Jesus has overcome this world, there is nothing to worry about with all the troubles that one may have to see or go through.

Believers are to be excited, because Jesus has overcome the world. He said, “Take heart!” He told you what was going to happen before it did. He also stated that He had overcome the world. If one statement is proving true, the other one will be true also. This can give you peace.

The peace is not that everything appears to be going perfectly in this world, but that everything is happening under God’s control, just as He said it would. If all these things are happening as He said it would, that also means Jesus will return as He said He would.

As a believer you have an eternity to look forward to in heaven with God. Take heart and be at peace!

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will believe the words of Jesus; and that you will know the peace Jesus gives to you.

John 16:8-9 Revealing The Truth

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“When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me;” John 16:8-9

As Jesus is telling the disciples that He is about to leave to go to the Father, He also gives them some hope. He tells them that He will send the Holy Spirit, a comforter and advocate for them. The Holy Spirit will prove to that world that the world is wrong about sin.

The majority of people in the world do not really believe that there is such a thing as sin. People try to be convinced that anything is acceptable and there will be no judgment against it. There is no higher power, who is in absolute control of everything.

Believing this way removes all responsibility or accountability. This allows people to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it.

Truth is something that the world is saying is a vague thing and cannot really be known. Truth is relative to the individual. And there are believers and churches that are starting to say the same thing and follow the ways of this world.

As good as this may sound, it is not truth. Jesus said that He is the Truth. When He left this world He sent the Holy Spirit to guide every person in the truth. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth.

If a person opens his heart up to God and allows himself to be led by the Holy Spirit, he will begin to see the truth. He will begin to realize the ways of this world are not truth, but sin.

God has standards set in place for the ways people must live. The world tries to reject those standards, but they still do not change and are not negated.

As a believer, you must not allow yourself to be led by this world. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into what is truth and what is not. Many things can look good, but are still false.

Through the scriptures and guidance of the Holy Spirit, you can know the truth. You can also begin to recognize the false statements of this world. He will prove that the world is wrong and that Jesus is correct.

Who will you believe today?

I pray today that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that God will strengthen you to not follow the ways of this world; that God will open your eyes to the lies of this world; and that you will know the Truth about Jesus and His ways.