John 13:7 Understanding Later

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Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

The night that Jesus was going to be taken captive to be crucified, He sat down with His disciples to eat the Passover meal with them. He went up to Peter and washed his feet. Peter did not understand what Jesus was doing at the time. Jesus told him that later he would understand.

Parents often have to make choices for their family or children that the children do not understand. They will tell the child to do something a certain way and the child thinks it is crazy and does not understand why it has to be done that way.

Or in the workplace, the boss will change up how something is done. The workers do not always understand at the moment, but must comply with the change.

In both cases, often later the child or worker begins to understand why it was done a certain way. With the child, it may take years before that happens, but with growth and learning, the understanding begins to come about.

Believers run into the same situation with God. God will guide them down a certain path to do a certain thing, and the person may not understand why or what is going on. God is in heaven looking down on the earth from beginning to end. He sees the whole picture of all creation and all time. God is guiding everyone to walk in His path.

In order for God to do that, there will be times He will do things that do not make sense. Only with time will a person begin to understand. Looking back at situations will open the eyes as to what was really going on and why it occurred.

There will be times God will do things in your life, that at the moment you will not understand. Some of these things you will never understand until you step into heaven. Other things you may understand at a later time, after seeing the bigger picture.

Peter had to just trust Jesus in washing his feet, so that later he may understand what had happened. You also must trust God in working in your life, so that later you may also understand what He had done and why He had done it. Allow God to be in control and trust Him.

I pray today that you will see what God is doing in your life; that God will give you understanding; and that you will trust what God is doing.

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Mark 8:21 Do You Still Not Understand?

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He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” Mark 8:21

Jesus had just finished feeding over 4,000 people with a few loaves of bread and fish. Afterwards, He and the disciples left by boat. On the boat Jesus gave them a warning about the Pharisees, yet, they did not understand. He asked how they could still not understand.

Understanding what is going on is often missed by a lot of people. They see things from the surface and do not see the deeper meaning of something that is occurring.

It is common for people to see the immediate situation rather than the big picture. When the big picture is not seen, there is often a misunderstanding of what is happening or could happen.

Many in the world know how to see the big picture of what is going on. Plans are made years in advance to change the mindset of the people to follow unacceptable behaviors. There are many actions that are acceptable today, that thirty years ago were not commonly accepted. In order to see that, one must be willing to see and understand what was happening to make the change.

Believers often see God at work in their lives or in the lives of others. They see or hear of some miracle, but then, almost immediately, do not believe God will meet a need they have.

Jesus had just revealed that He could make the impossible happen with feeding the 4,000. Yet, shortly afterwards, the disciples were feeling that they were in trouble because they did not bring enough bread. They did not understand what had just happened and what Jesus was now warning them about.

Every day you can see God doing great wonders and miracles. As you see these things occurring, you can know and understand that God is in control.

Take a moment and remember the last time God had provided something for you. That something could be a physical item, healing or a spiritual item. If He could do it then, why can He not do it now?

Think about how many times God has met your needs. Those needs may have been met by providing you a job, or through someone else, or by a miracle, but they were met.

Do you not understand how much God loves you? Do you not understand how much God can meet your needs?

Understand and trust God today?

I pray today that you will know the provisions God has given you; that you will know God can raise you above any circumstance; that God is in control; and that you can trust God in all things.

Hosea 14:9 Being Wise And Discerning

Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

Hosea finishes out this book with telling whoever is wise and discerning to understand the ways of the Lord. Those who will be righteous and following God will walk in the ways of the Lord. Those who are rebellious will only stumble in the ways of the Lord.

Often the ways of God are very strange to a person. On the surface many of the things that God has done in the past does not always make sense, until it is looked at from a bigger picture or afterwards.

Looking at the bible, why would God take the Israelites out of the desert and trap them between an impassable body of water and the enemy?

Why would God tell David he is the next king, then make him wait 30 years to become king?

Why would God tell Hosea to marry a prostitute?

Why would God have the Messiah, who was supposed to reign forever, die on a cross?

It is easy now to look back at each of those events and see what God was doing and why. It makes sense, when the end picture is also seen.

However, in day-to-day living right now, one cannot see the end, and often, not even the big picture. God asks people to do things that do not always make sense. He allows things in the lives of a person that appear to be horrible and wrong. God asks a believer to give all he has. God asks one to forgive and love the enemy.

If you are wise and discerning, you will be able to know that ALL the ways of the Lord are right. He is perfect in all that He does. If you want to be righteous, you will walk in them.

Those who are rebellious will find every reason to not walk in God’s ways. They will reject the things of God. They will claim to love God, but refuse to love and forgive their enemy. The ways of God will appear to be foolish to them and they will reject them.

Are you being wise and discerning today?

I pray today that you will know the ways of God; that you will trust the ways of God; that you will obey all of God’s directions to you; and that you will be wise and discerning of the path God has for your life.

Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge Is Power

With schools starting up around the nation, one of the common statements being heard is that knowledge is power. Students from kindergarten, all the way through graduate schools are told this statement. It is believed to be started by Francis Bacon, a philosopher and scientist, in 1597. This makes the statement several hundred years old.

The thought behind this statement is that if you have knowledge, you will have more power than someone else who does not have that knowledge.

Having this power is something that can be used in positive or negative ways. Some positive things that can occur with knowledge are: being able to read and communicate clearly; knowing how to do something safely; knowing what is happening around you correctly; knowing the warning signs that are showing; and knowing how to make things better. These are just a few of the many examples of how knowledge can help be a positive thing. They give you the power to do the correct thing in the best way possible.

Positive Power

At the same time, knowledge can be used in very negative ways. Having knowledge of a person’s past can allow one to destroy that person. Having knowledge of a person’s habits can allow one to overcome and hurt that person. Criminals use knowledge to steal from a person or business, or harm someone. Their knowledge gives them power over another person, who does not realize what they know. The media uses knowledge all the time to make or destroy a public person’s reputation.

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As a believer, the question can be asked if knowledge gives power or not? And is that a good thing or not?

Proverbs 9:10 New International Version (NIV)
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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Here is a common verse that many know. Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to correctly use knowledge that you have been given or learned. To fully understand anything correctly, you must have knowledge of God. Without God at the forefront of all knowledge, there will be faults in the knowledge.

There is great power in knowing God. It is in knowing God that a person can know who He really is. In knowing God, one can also really know who he, himself, is.

The world tries to make knowledge a god. However, knowledge is just a tool that God can use. Knowledge, alone, does not make a person powerful, but it is in how that knowledge is used and what knowledge is used.

As you get to know God and gain knowledge about God, you will be empowered for greater things to be done. It is in knowing God that you get to know how much He really does love you, regardless of what you have done in the past. This knowledge empowers you to live more for Him.

Knowing God allows you to know the gifts that He has for you. God has given you His Holy Spirit to allow you to do greater works for Him.  Knowing that you have His Holy Spirit in you, also gives you power to have His peace and comfort at all times, in all situations in this life.

Knowing God

Knowing God and what He has done for you, gives you power to be able to tell others who He is, what He has done, and what He can do for them. If you do not really know God, you will not be able to stand up and really tell others about Him or what He can do.

Knowing God allows you to understand what is going on around you from an eternal perspective. You can realize the sin that is occurring or the work that God is doing in the lives of others. You can have understanding and insight into what people are really saying or how they are really living.

Knowing God also takes away the fear of what the world can do to you. In knowing God, you will know that you have a future in heaven that no man can take away from you. You have an eternal life to look forward to, if anyone on this earth should take your life here.

God of power

Having the correct knowledge does really give you great power. It is not just in knowing things of this earth, but in knowing the God who made it all possible. It is knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior that gives you greater power than even the devil, himself, has.

It is God who has all the power. It is God who gives all the power. So, yes,  knowledge is power, but do you have the correct knowledge? The world’s? Or God’s?

Isaiah 57:1-2 A Reason To Be Removed

The righteous perish, and no one take it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Isaiah 57:1-2

Death is something that most people have been around at least once or more times in their life. The older a person is, the more that he has seen death. As it occurs, often the question is asked, why?

Death is very hard on those who are still living. Those living are hurting from missing the loved one. Many go through struggles as to why the person had to die, especially when the person was very young, and maybe in great health.

It is even more difficult to see a person die young, who was a strong believer in Jesus and very active in being a witness. Looking at that person, others ask why God would remove that person because he was doing great work for God.

Although the reasons that God takes the life of a believer are as numerous as the stars in the sky and no one can fully understand the reason, Isaiah gives one good reason. That reason is to spare that person from evil, to give him rest and peace.

God knows the past, present and future of every person on this earth. He knows exactly what is going to happen to that person. As a human being, you do not know those things. you do not know how rough life will get for a person if he stays alive, but God does. God in His great wisdom and mercy will take the life of a person in order to spare them from a great evil.

Although as a human, you will miss the person, keep in mind where a dying believer will be when he dies. When a believer dies, he gets to go to Jesus and be at peace and rest for the rest of eternity. He steps into a world that is without pain, suffering or any evil.

As hard as it is to let someone go, let God’s wisdom prevail and let that person have the peace and rest God provides. Keeping a person here on this earth may be worse than the pain you are feeling in losing him. Trust God today and seek His peace and strength in your loss.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that God will comfort any loss in your life; that you will know the joy of others going to heaven; and that God presence will be strong in your life.

Isaiah 42:20 Not Paying Attention

You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen. Isaiah 42:20

God was talking to the Israelites when He made this statement. They had seen God do many miracles, they had heard the law read to them time and time again, and they heard what the prophets were saying. They knew what God wanted, yet they still rejected Him and chose to follow idols instead. The Israelites were unwilling to really see what was happening or hear what was being said.

It is very easy for a person to see what is happening and not really see what is happening. They will only see on the surface or they will ignore the signs. How many people drive down the road and ignore some of the signs? The speed limit is lowered with signs telling the driver to slow down, yet he does not slow down. Suddenly he is stopped by the police and given a ticket for speeding, all because he did not pay attention to the signs in front of him.

Many believers go to church every Sunday morning and hear the pastor preach God’s word to them. They hear the words of God, but are not really listening. As they sit in the chair ‘listening’ they are thinking about going fishing or shopping,  or the meal that day. When the service gets out, many will say it was a great sermon, but very few can tell what it was really about. They were listening without hearing.

God is speaking and doing things all the time. You must be willing to see and hear what He is up to. Jesus spoke of many signs of the times. As you go through life are you seeing those signs?

Those signs may be that a person is ready to hear about Jesus; or not to go down a path that is one of destruction; or maybe a warning of persecution about to come. God will not leave you in the dark, if you are willing to watch and listen. He will show you great things, but you must be willing to see them. He will tell you great things, but you must be willing to hear them.

Are you really listening?

Are you really seeing?

I pray today that you will have your spiritual eyes and ears open to what God is showing and saying; that you will be aware of what is happening around you in the spiritual realm; and that you will pay attention to what God is saying and doing in and around you.

Isaiah 11:1-3 What You Have

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him–the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD–and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. Isaiah 11:1-3

God had promised David that he would have a son on the throne of Israel forever. At the time of Isaiah, the nation had been split and was about to be destroyed. It did not look like there would be anyone to sit on that throne.

In this passage, Isaiah gives a prophecy about one, who was from the lineage of David (Jesse was David’s father), who would sit on the throne again. This one would have God’s Spirit resting on him, giving him wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge of God. He would delight in fearing God–following and obeying God. The one to come was Jesus.

As Jesus walked on this earth, all of these things described Him very well. The people saw that He was one who delighted in God. Jesus became the root for those who would come after Him.

One of the things that Jesus said was that He was the vine and you are the branches. Jesus is the original branch, and you are to be like Him.

This means that everything that Jesus has, you can also have. You are attached to Him and are nourished by Him. When Jesus left the earth, He sent His Holy Spirit to be upon you, just as He was on Him.

Having God’s Holy Spirit on you gives you wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, and knowledge of God, just as it gave all those things to Jesus.

Do not rest your wisdom, understanding, counsel, power and knowledge on yourself, or in that of other people. Look to God’s Holy Spirit to guide you. God is with you and wants you to be just like Jesus. Jesus was the perfect example of how to live a life for God.

How are you living your life today?

Are you living it in the ways of this world, under your own power?

Or are you living and walking in the Spirit of God?

I pray today that you will know God’s Holy Spirit in your life; that you will trust in God’s counsel; that others will see God’s Spirit in your life; and that you will delight in serving and obeying God.