Saturday, July 27, 2019

Jesus asks, ‘Do you love Me?’ Part 1

By John Foll, written 01/29/2019, 03/29/2019 – 03/30/2019, 7/12/2019 -7/27/2019.
© Copyright 2019 John Foll

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?’ He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.He saith unto him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ He saith to him again the second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’ He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.He saith unto him, ‘Feed my sheep.’ He saith unto him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, ‘Lovest thou me?’ And he said unto him, ‘Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.Jesus saith unto him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” John 21:15-17 KJV. Jesus asked Peter these questions after His resurrection before He went back to Heaven. Peter had denied His Lord Jesus three times after Jesus had been brought before the courtyard of the high priest. Mark 14:53-72. At the Last Supper before Peter denied His Lord, Jesus had warned him that he would deny Him: He said, “‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.’ And he [Peter] said to Him, ‘Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!And He said, ‘I say to you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.’” Luke 22:31-34 NASB. “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.’ Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.’ Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.’” John 13:36-38 NASB. Now after Jesus was taken to Caiaphas the High priest, in the courtyard of the priest, Peter was there and denied that he knew Jesus three times. His faith had given way; he was embarrassed to profess that he knew Jesus when the servant girl and some others recognized that he had been with Jesus. “Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know the man!’ And immediately a cock crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” Matthew 26:74-75 NASB.

After the resurrection Jesus had three questions for Peter: ‘do you love Me?’ This was the key to Peter’s recoveryhe must confess three times that he loved Jesus in front of his brethren, to redeem himself for the three times he had denied his Lord.

Do you Love Jesus?

Do not suppose that Jesus is only addressing this to Peter here, since he denied his Lord. This is written for our benefit too. If you have learned about the love of God, and your great need of Jesus and for forgiveness, confessed, repented, were baptized and decided to follow Jesus, then He has asked you this question too! Did you know that what Jesus asked Peter is just as important in our day as it was to Peter? This question is just as relevant to us in our day - to all followers of Christ - to all Christians as it was to Peter in his day. What did Jesus' ask Peter? ‘Do you love me?’ To all of Jesus' followers He asks, ‘Do you love me more than these others?’Then feed My sheep.’ This includes you too, dear reader if you are a Christian and follow Jesus. Do you love Jesus? Then feed His sheep. What is your answer to Him? Again Jesus asks you, Do you love Me?’ What will you answer? If you love Him feed His sheep. And again He asks you, ‘Do you love Me?’ Decide if you love Him or not… If you do then feed His sheep. At the end of time, after Jesus comes back there will only be two groups of people, the sheep and the goats. Matthew 25:31-46. Only one question then will be asked: Did they love Jesus? If they did they fed the hungry, clothed the naked, helped the sick, visited those in prison, lodged the strangers, preached the gospel or helped someone. Those that didn’t will have to depart from Jesus, because they denied their Lord.

The answer to Jesus three questions determines whether you love Him or not. If you love Him, feed His sheep. If you are not there yet, but feel that you should feed Jesus' sheep, you can ask God for the change needed in order to be able to want to feed His sheep and care for them properly. This is something God will be happy to do for you if you want it! God promised: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27 KJV. Notice that God promises to help you to walk in His statutes and keep His judgements, which includes Jesus' command to love your neighbor as yourself and to love one another. He does this by putting His Spirit in you, if you allow Him to. So in order to walk in or obey Jesus' commandments and statutes, you must allow God to put His Spirit within you, and take away your stony heart and give you a new heart. If love from Jesus fills your heart no one will have to tell you to feed His sheep - you won’t have to think about it very long…but just do it. Taking care of Jesus' sheep will be natural for you once you learn to love Him. If you love Jesus, you will follow after Him and go in the path that He travelled. You may not have the same gifts and responsibilities that Jesus' disciples had when He walked the earth, or in the book of Acts, or in the other New Testament books, but you can do something to help feed Jesus' sheep, or to help those who are feeding His sheep, monetarily or otherwise. But on the other hand if you give yourself completely to God and ask Him for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) and get the Holy Spirit, God may give you gifts you never had before! Who knows, maybe you would be given a special spiritual gift like what He gave to His disciples? Who knows, maybe you would be given a gift to tend to Jesus' sheep? How to feed Jesus sheep? Seek to emulate His example in the description of The Good Shepherd below.


The Good Shepherd

Jesus declared, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.” John 10:11-17 NASB.

Points about the Good Shepherd:

  1. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
  2. The Good Shepherd takes care of the sheep even when troubles, trials, or problems come; He never leaves His sheep.
  3. The Good Shepherd is the owner of the sheep. (Jesus).
  4. The Good Shepherd is concerned about His sheep.
  5. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep and His sheep know Him.
  6. The Good Shepherd has sheep in other folds or Churches or groups, seeks them out and brings them into His fold, that there be one fold and one Shepherd.
  7. The Father loves Jesus, the true Shepherd, because He lays down His life for His sheep.

Points about the hireling (those who don’t know or love Jesus):

  1. The hireling (those who don’t love Jesus) don’t lay their life down for His sheep.
  2. The hireling (those who don’t love Jesus) when troubles, trials or problems come leave His sheep.
  3. The hireling doesn’t love or know the owner of the sheep, Jesus.
  4. The hireling is not concerned about His sheep.
  5. The hireling doesn’t love Jesus' sheep, and doesn’t love or know Jesus.
  6. The hireling doesn’t go to other folds or Churches or groups to seek out Jesus' sheep and bring them into His fold.
  7. The Father is not pleased with the hirelings, because they don’t lay their life down for His sheep.

Points about those who love and know Jesus:

  1. Those who love and know Jesus lay their life down for His sheep.
  2. Those who love and know Jesus, who have been given charge over Jesus' sheep, when troubles, trials or problems come do not leave His sheep.
  3. Those who love and know Jesus, know the owner of the sheep.
  4. Those who love and know Jesus are concerned about His sheep.
  5. Those who love Jesus' sheep, show that they love and know Jesus.
  6. Those who love and know Jesus go to other folds or Churches or groups to seek out Jesus' sheep and bring them into His fold that there may be one fold and one shepherd.
  7. The Father is pleased with and loves those who love and know Jesus, because they lay their life down for His sheep.

Are you a hireling or among those who love and know Jesus? Or maybe you haven’t tried to do anything to help others yet? If you find that you have been a hireling Christian, there is still time to repent. If you haven’t done anything to help others yet because you still need help yourself – hang in there, and believe that God loves you and will help you. Jesus loves you and died to save you! If you have been a hireling Christian and not cared enough about Jesus' sheep, if you will just confess your sin to God, throw yourself on His mercy, and pray for that change where you would learn to love Him all the way and really know Him - then He will fill you with His love and give you the power to love Jesus' sheep. If you find that Jesus' sheep irritate you with their problems, sins, and wanderings from God, you may need a conversion, or at the very least to confess this to God and ask for His help to be patient and kind and loving to them. When you are converted you will start to care for Jesus' sheep, and not get mad at them for wandering from God or for their sins. When you really love and know the owner of the sheep, a wonderful change will come over you, and you will finally have love, patience and mercy for Jesus' sheep, including those in other folds. (If you love Jesus' how can you do otherwise?) Jesus said to Peter before the cross:but I have prayed for you [Peter], that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 NASB. Jesus is praying for you too! If you will believe this promise, He will help you to turn again and strengthen your brethren, and you will start to live like the true shepherd, getting His character and caring for His sheep, and may want to help bring in His sheep from other folds (other denominations), so that there may be one fold and one shepherd. It is only after you have ‘turned again’ from denying your Lord, and receive new life from Him that you will be able to strengthen your brethren and feed Jesus' sheep. It is only then that you can truly strengthen your brethren and be a blessing to others. This is one of the reasons for the problems in the church, because many have not completely ‘turned again’ or are denying their Lord.

Listen to the song: Someone is praying for you!

Faithfully feeding your Lord’s sheep:


Jesus said,Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Matthew 24:44-47 KJV. Do you want to be that faithful and wise servant, who at His lord’s return, was found faithful in giving His lord’s household their meat in due season, whom Jesus was speaking about? Blessed is that servant! Now read our theme text again from the NIV: “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” Matthew 24:44-47 NIV.

If you are Jesus’ sheep, you will hear His voice and follow Him. John 10:27. If you continue in His word, then truly you are His disciple. John 8:31. If you don’t love Jesus you will not hear Him or keep His word. John 14:24. Those who don’t love Him do not hear His voice; they don’t hear Him tell them to feed His sheep. You are His disciple if you keep His word, this means that you love Him, and He and His Father have come to you and made their abode in you, by the Holy Spirit. John 14:24. You are His friend if you do whatsoever He commands you (John 15:14) – this makes you His disciple. This means that you love one another as He commanded you (John 13:34-35) and are going preaching and teaching and making disciples of all men, or helping others to do so, as He commanded all of His disciples to do. Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus said, ‘He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me’ John 14:21 NASB95. What commandments? All of them, especially His command to love one another and help the gospel go to the whole world, helping in some way to make disciples of all men, as we just stated. Any place Jesus talks about His commandments or His Father’s commandments, you can also include loving one another and making disciples of all men too, since these are His commandments. Do you have Jesus' commandments in your heart, keep them in your thoughts and ask for help to keep them? If you do then you love Jesus and are His disciple or you will be soon! You are Jesus' disciple if you bear much fruit for God – this is how you glorify God! John 15:8.

If these things are true about you, then you are doing your best to set before others the best spiritual food that they might be saved and grow spiritually. How can you give others their spiritual food at the proper time? In what way has Jesus inspired you to do this? Have you received any benefit since you gave your heart to the Lord and were baptized? Are you happy he took all your sins and burdens away? Do you wish to share this good news of what He did for you to others? Do you know anything or have anything that can help someone else? Do you have a testimony to give about how you were lost but now are found, was blind but now you see? Do you have any skills or resources to help others with? The world is filled with those in need: the sick, the hungry, the naked, etc., and those who are dying spiritually who need help. Do you hear Jesus' voice? If you love Him you will hear His question: ‘do you love Me?’, and will hear and heed His command to go and feed His sheep. Don’t deny your Lord, but confess the wonderful things He has done for you, when He rolled your burden of guilt away and forgave you. How will you know when you really love Him? When no one and nothing can hold you back from spreading the news of His love to everyone you can, regardless of the trials and troubles that come upon you because you won’t be able to help yourself, once you learn to love Him.

Do you love Jesus?


Dear Reader, Jesus asks, ‘Do you love Me?’
Yes Lord you know I love you.
Jesus says, ‘Then feed My sheep.’

Dear Reader, Jesus asks, ‘Do you love Me?’
Yes Lord you know I really love you!
Jesus says, ‘Then feed My sheep.’

Dear reader, Jesus asks, ‘Are you sure you really love Me?’
Yes Lord, you know that I really love you!
Jesus says, ‘Then feed my sheep!’

May the grace of God be with you as you decide if you want to feed Jesus' sheep. Rich blessings of love and joy await you if you decide to do so! Then you won’t be denying your Lord, and Jesus will confess that He knows you to the angels of God at the end of the age. Luke 12:8-9. And He will take you to His home in Heaven where you will know the endless peace, the endless joy, the endless love, and the endless delight of the eternally saved! Amen.




Songs for Today:


Listen to the song: Feed My Sheep Song


#Feed #My #Sheep #Jesus #Peter #Love #Follow #Deny #Lay #Down #Life #Holy #Spirit #Good #Shepherd #One #Fold #Goats #Hireling #Know

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Truth

By John Foll, written between 2/23/2019 and 2/27/2019
© Copyright 2019 John Foll


Do you know the truth? Many people think or say that they know the truth, but do they really? We want to get to the bottom of this. What is the truth? And how do you know if you have found it? It’s important to know if you know the truth or not.


“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’” John 14:6 NASB.

If someone doesn’t know Jesus, really know Him, then they really don't know ‘the Truth.’ Someone may think that they know ‘all truth,’ but not know ‘the Truth.’ Knowing right from wrong is a good place to start, but in order to do what is right you need a power beyond yourself. Many make the mistake of thinking that a mere knowledge of the truth and the belief in it is enough, but it is not unless they know Jesus, because He is the only way and the truth and the life. Without the power to be good, knowing the truth is not enough. If you don't know Jesus, you will not have that new life that He wants to give you, or have life more abundantly. John 10:10; 1 John 5:12. You need to know Jesus in order to be born again. Jesus declared that only those who are born again will be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3, 5. If you have the Son you have the life, if you do not have the Son you do not have the life! 1 John 5:12 NASB. If you want to know 'the truth,' you must get to know Jesus, because He is ‘the Truth.’ Otherwise you do not have it. This life from Him that He longs to give you is a vibrant relationship with Him, where He opens to you the way of the truth and gives you the power to do it! Do not be deceived, without knowing Him you cannot do or keep the truth and will stumble on the way.

What did Jesus mean when He said that ‘no one comes through the Father but through Me?’ Those who think that they are going to be saved because of their knowledge of the scriptures, or because of their knowledge of the truth as given by other inspired Christian authors, or because of their own good works, without having to go through Jesus to be saved will be in for a rude awakening at the second resurrection.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power ***” Revelation 20:6 KJV. But what is the second death? And why is it that we don’t want to be resurrected at the second resurrection? Because Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29 KJV. The two resurrections Jesus describes here are: 1) the resurrection of life, and 2) the resurrection of damnation. This is why Revelation 20:6 declares that ‘blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ because the second death is the resurrection of damnation! The second death does not sound good, does it? We don’t want any part of that!

Many people think that a knowledge of the truth or their belief in it will save them, but it will not, unless they get salvation from Jesus. No one can be saved, except those who come through Jesus to get to the Father. Only Jesus’ blood forgives their sins and makes them acceptable to God.
There may be some people who are saved, who didn’t know Jesus or the basics of Christianity. God can choose to forgive them based on the blood of Jesus,’ this is His prerogative, since He is a God of love and justice and fairness. But doesn’t this contradict what we just stated? No. God doesn’t hold someone accountable for what they didn’t know and couldn’t learn in their lifetime. This is important to understand. People who don’t know about Jesus can still be saved by Jesus, not by anything that they have done or not done. We are all saved by the merits of Jesus’ blood alone. Are we saying that you don’t have to be a Christian at all to be saved? Not exactly. In the times of ignorance God winked, but He is now commanding men and women everywhere to repent and believe in Jesus. The apostle Paul declared: “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:29-31 KJV. Jesus loves poor sinners who don’t know Him, and will plead His blood for them if they were honest and doing the best that they could with what they knew. But no one can be saved without Jesus’ blood. No! It is impossible! That is what Jesus meant. But as Paul plainly indicated, even though that in the times of ignorance God winked, there will come a day when people who don’t know Jesus will be held accountable for their ignorance (including those who believe that they are Christians but don’t really know Him), if they fail to avail themselves of the opportunity of learning about Him, and they resist the Holy Spirit. So once they learn about Jesus, they need to come to Him for forgiveness and life, and not try to be saved in any other way, or through their own merit or goodness. It must be remembered, that the unpardonable sin for a sinner is resisting the Holy Spirit or failing to obey His pleading in their heart. John 16:8-11; Acts 7:51; Mark 3:22-30. The unpardonable sin is the one sin that will keep someone out of Heaven - which is resisting the Holy Spirit.

It is possible to study the truth of the Bible your entire life and not know the most essential truth of them all - Jesus. This is the one thing you cannot do without! How does this happen? It is done by doing your own thing, or by rendering less than a full consecration to God, and resisting the pleas of the Holy Spirit. If you cooperate with God and listen to the Holy Spirit, He will testify to you of Jesus, so that you can know Him. John 15:26. It’s your choice what you will do and whether you will have the new life that Jesus is offering you or not. Someone who “knows” the truth, who doesn’t know Jesus and has not devoted themselves to Him cannot help but have deep spiritual problems. When someone tries to keep the truth without knowing Him, they will either sink into a legalistic quagmire, or into a careless state that some folks have who think they can do what they like, since they are ‘saved.’ (This is the way they have been taught by the lukewarm professors of ‘the truth’, where ‘the truth’ is picked out and made to contradict other portions of the Bible and against itself.) A lot of God’s people seem to fall in either one of these categories. Neither of these groups know Jesus, because He plainly declared that if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NASB. Jesus stated this in response to what took place here: “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free?'” Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.’” John 8:31-35 NASB. Jesus’ response indicated that they needed to be made free. They believed that they were OK since they were descended from Abraham. But Jesus told them that since they had committed sin that they were slaves of sin, needing to be made free. Thus they were not really free like they thought they were. They were in as much need of being free as we are in our day! No human being is not in need of being made free; we all need this freedom which only Jesus can give. Those who have addictions to sin that they can't break out of are definitely not free indeed. Clearly these do not know Jesus yet, because He came to free the captives (Isaiah 61:1-8; Luke 4:18) and make them free indeed.

Therefore if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed! Just believe it. He cannot lie! If He has made you free, you will be free indeed! Has he made you free dear reader? This is the real gospel that Jesus and the disciples preached. Freedom! This freedom can be yours too if you greatly desire it! Jesus has promised this to you if you are tired of being a slave to sin! Why not claim this promise for yourself and finally be free? You owe it to yourself to do this! This is the best thing that will ever happen to you and will help you on your way to Heaven!

Those who do not know Jesus cannot be free indeed. Those who do not know Jesus cannot obey Him. Those who do not know Jesus cannot possibly please Him, regardless of how many Bible texts they try to stack up to indicate that there is no need to. They try to drown out God's requirements in the Bible that declare that the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23] and that we need to live holy lives for Him [1 Peter 1:15-16], confessing our sins to Him. 1 John 1:9. And unfortunately many today also teach that confession of sin to God is not needed for someone who gets 'saved,' because they say 'it was finished' at the cross or some other mumbo-jumbo nonsense. But someone who knows Jesus will want to please Him! It is automatic. They won’t be doing it to save themselves, but because they love Him, and because He gives them the power to obey. Those who don’t love Him, don’t please Him and don’t obey Him. Maybe this is the problem.

The Bible should never be read or studied in such a way as to make it contradict itself; we should seek out the closest harmony in it, because God is a God of order.For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV. And: “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV. Yes you are saved by grace alone, not by your works. But this does not negate the rest of the Bible. Yes God offers forgiveness for your sins and mistakes when you confess them, but He wants you to live a holy life, and He has provided a way for you to do so, if you will become a partaker of the divine nature through Jesus.For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 NASB.

Jesus declared: “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 NASB. Many people live, teach and act as if Jesus didn't mean what He said, and said what He meant here! They seem to think that it is impossible for them to live a good life this side of Heaven. But what did Jesus say? He said be ye perfect therefore as your heavenly father is perfect. This is a command, not something you can do if you want to. If what Jesus said was not true, this would make Him a liar! God forbid! Now who is the liar? The liar is the one who says we don’t need to concern ourselves with what Jesus said here; they use other scriptures to try to negate it. The liar is the one who says that Jesus didn’t come in the flesh (living as we do, tried and tempted as we are in all points, yet without sin [Hebrews 4:15] – thus showing us how to live). John writes: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” 2 John 1:7 KJV. And: “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23 NASB. Anyone who teaches that we don’t need to obey all of what Jesus taught, or that we can be saved by any other way than through Jesus is the liar. (Including that they can be saved merely through their knowledge and belief in ‘the truth.’) How can anyone be right, regardless of their quotes or reasoning if they contradict Jesus? Who does John say this is? The antichrist! There, I have done it! I have invoked the title of the arch evil one for that lie, for he is the father of lies! The liar is the one who contradicts Jesus. The liar is the one who says that we do not need to crucify the flesh with its sinful passions and desires. Paul declares, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24 NASB. The liar is the one who teaches others to not believe Jesus or teaches unbelief. There can be no misunderstanding of what Jesus stated here in Matthew 5:48 with someone whose mind is open to ‘the way, the truth and the life’ - Jesus. You don't have to have a doctor's degree in theology to figure out what He meant. He said be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, and that is what He meant.

Jesus also stated that those who love Him keep His word, and that those who don't love Him do not hear Him or keep His word.Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; …’” John 14:23 NASB. And: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” John 14:24 NASB. And: “Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. *** If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.’” John 8:42-47 NASB.

The problem here is that unbelief blocks the plain words of Jesus, making them seem obscure or something that is unimportant or something that cannot be right, without considering the ramifications of this view. Of course many people don't view this as making Jesus a liar, but it's true. Either what Jesus said is true or what they believe is true that contradicts Jesus. But they cannot both be right. Those who truly believe in righteousness by faith, learn true faith. When they learn that God is to be fully trusted, they start to take the word of God as it reads, and stop quibbling over what it says and simply believe it. All would do well to get to this point in their spiritual life, where they simply believe the word of God without any doubt. (Take the Bible as it reads, unless you are reading a passage which is clearly symbolic and needs interpreting, but then study other portions of the Bible to learn what it means. The Bible will explain itself if you let it and want to know ‘the Truth.’) But this language that Jesus used is so unmistakable, so unavoidable - a child should be able to understand it. So why is it that many adults cannot understand what He said? It is because of unbelief! People schooled in years of unbelief, stuck in addictions or trying to be good by themselves are those who come up with humanistic theories that contradict the plain word of God, such as the error that we do not need to be perfect or cannot be perfect. Jesus would not have commanded His followers to be perfect if it were not possible through His help to do so.

If you wish to be saved and please God, you must believe what is written in the Bible, because it is the word of God. You must believe in the promises of God to free you from sin and save you, otherwise you have no hope of being saved. John 3:16-17. Why waste your time with a religion that doesn't offer you hope? This is not the gospel of the Bible at all, but another gospel. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-26. This is not the gospel that Jesus, Paul, David or John or the many cloud of witnesses in the Bible preached. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV. But the devil's sophistry blinds people to the clear truth. If you want to be undeceived by his lies and deceptions, pray to God to be merciful to you a sinner and He will help you! Luke 18:13. This is something He will be happy to do! We promise you! And He will open your mind to ‘the Truth.’ Is that what you want? But what truth is that? That you would know the one and true God and Jesus His Son, who made the sacrifice for your sins, that you might be forgiven and be made free indeed! Jesus prayed to His Father for all of His disciples (which can be you too if you want to be His disciple): “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NASB. This is the true gospel! Everything outside of this is another gospel and not the truth. Stop wasting your time on spiritual rubbish or half-truths that are of no value (Isaiah 55:1-3), and learn where real life comes from, and where the real power comes from – Jesus. There is no other name than Jesus, given among men, whereby you must be saved. Acts 4:12. If you just get to know Jesus, your life will be changed forever, as long as you abide in Him. John 15:4-6, 9-10. God guarantees it!

All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 KJV. But this does not mean that God cannot provide you a robe that is pure and spotless! Oh no, this is not true! For this is the promise of the Gospel! The gospel is useless if it cannot make you a better, kinder and gentler person. The gospel is more than forgiveness, it takes away your shame and gives you hope - that you don't have to be or continue to be a miserable failure! The way many preach ‘the gospel’ today is no gospel at all. The real gospel doesn't give you a pass on your sins, or just heap upon you legal requirements that you can never meet. The real gospel forgives your sins when you confess them. The real gospel helps you to keep God’s requirements and makes you happy! The real gospel provides a way to lift you up out of the mud and set you on high, in Heavenly places! If the Son has made you free, you shall be free indeed! When will people start to believe what Jesus said, that if He has ‘made you free, you will be free indeed?’ Why is it that so many people don't see their need of being free, or how or why Jesus will do this? Why can't people believe the word of God as it is written? Why is it that they can't see that Jesus wants to make them free? Have they not heard that He loves them? Have they not heard that He died on the cross for their sins? Have they not heard that He promised to give them freedom and change them and save them? Do they not love Him? Do they not desire these wonderful gifts for themselves? Or do they think that these are beyond the ability of Jesus to give? Or do they think that they can do this on their own without Him? - as many believe, because pride doesn’t have to take the back seat when the person does it themselves, instead of humbling themselves before God. But pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18), and no one can be saved without humbling themselves before God and getting His forgiveness and help to live a good life for Him.


To summarize this lesson:

Jesus said, that He ‘is the way, the truth, and the life.’ Do you believe now? No one can enter into Heaven or get out of this world of sin, but through the blood He shed on the cross for their sins. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus. There is nothing you can do that will give you an entrance into Heaven, except through the atoning blood of Jesus for your sins. There is no way for you to know ‘the truth,’ unless you know Jesus. No one can know ‘the truth,’ if they first do not know Him, really know Him, and have given themselves to Him. No one can know ‘the way,’ unless they know Him. There is no universal salvation that everyone gets. There is no salvation that anyone gets without knowing ‘the Truth’ - Jesus. And no one can have ‘the life,’ if they do not know Him: It comes through Him alone. Salvation is given only to those who know the way, the truth and the life. Regardless of how many ‘truths’ someone learns from the Bible or by any other inspired writer, unless they know Jesus and are born again (John 3:3, 5) they will in no wise enter the kingdom of Heaven, regardless of which Bible texts they quote to show they can be saved in another way. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself, and nothing that contradicts Jesus is correct. Any interpretation of any Bible text which contradicts the plain words of Jesus cannot be the truth and is a lie, for He is ‘the Truth.’ Those who think that because they know and believe all of the truth in the Bible, who think that this makes them good and will save them, who haven’t been changed by Jesus and softened by His love and made into kinder gentler people filled with His Spirit, have deceived themselves. Jesus is coming back to save those whom He knows. Jesus declared, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day [the judgement], Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 KJV. In the day of the judgment, those who do not know Jesus - will have to depart from Him, and will be cast out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Dear reader, if you have found that you have relied on your own knowledge of the truth to save you, and did not really know Jesus, there is still time to repent and get to know Him. Dear reader, if you didn’t know that you needed to obey Jesus’ commands, you can now seek for God’s help today. This will bring you much joy and power! None of your Bible knowledge or anything else, no matter how correct it is, will save you unless you know Jesus and are born again. Unless you love Him and His Father, and have allowed Them to fill you with the precious Holy Spirit, you cannot know the way, the truth and the life, regardless of how much you have studied the Bible or what any minister has told you. God loves you and wants to save you. Do not resist Him! Put your full trust in Him, and in the merits of Jesus’ blood to atone for your sins, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin, fill you, and help you to live a righteous life for God. Let Jesus make you free indeed, breaking your slavery to sin and bad habits that are destroying you or hurting others. This is our prayer for you. Amen.


May the grace of God be with you, as you get to know ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ - Jesus! Amen.

#Essential #Truth #Know #Knowledge #Way #Life #Jesus #Father #Perfect #Abundant #Believe #Belief #Save #Legalism #Son #Made #Free #Gospel #Liar #Antichrist

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Every Plant that My Heavenly Father did not Plant will be Uprooted

By John Foll, 9/2/2018 to 9/3/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

They Were Offended by Jesus’ Rebuke:


“Then the disciples came and said to Him [Jesus], ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?’ But He [Jesus] answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’” Matthew 15:12-14 NASB.

The Pharisees had a lot of pride which caused them to be offended by Jesus’ rebuke to their sins. They were wrong, but their pride wouldn’t let them see it. What happened that caused Jesus to rebuke them?

Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And He answered and said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,' and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, he is not to honor his father or his mother.' And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'" After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, "Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." Matthew 15:1-11 NASB.

We will only go into the main point of this passage. So don’t relax thinking that this article is not a lesson for you, since you are not a Pharisee who lived back in the days when Jesus walked this earth with His disciples. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for holding the tradition of ‘the elders’ above the requirements of God, and in some circumstances ignoring the requirements of God. Their sin was pointed out, and it offended them. Why? Because they did not want to admit they were wrong. Jesus proved to them from the Bible they were wrong. This is the main problem here! We are all sinners and have sinned and maybe have had wrong beliefs at one point, but if anyone refuses to listen to the truth, when their sin or wrong view of the truth is pointed out, then this is a big problem.Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 KJV. So what is the answer to the question what defiles a man? It is what comes out of his mouth. Is it not pride and all sorts of hurtful words? It is pride and sin on the inside that defiles the man, producing all kinds of evil.


An Enemy Has Done This:


Who planted these plants that Jesus said that the Heavenly Father didn’t plant, that He would uproot? Pride and disobedience to God are fruits that the Heavenly Father did not plant.  An Enemy hath done this!

Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' But he said, "No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."' Matthew 13:24-30 NASB.

The devil is the enemy that did this! Jesus only plants the good seeds! But some people do not keep Jesus in their heart, and some have never known Him. These received the seed from the enemy of righteousness, who planted the bad seed in their heart. If they do not let God uproot these plants, they grow up unchecked and produce a harvest of tares. Which in turn causes other people to have tares growing in them too.

“Then he [Jesus] left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field." He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age [the end of the world], and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. [The end of the world.] The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.” Matthew 13:36-42 RSV.

Let the tares and the wheat grow together until the harvest. Within each person’s heart they can be either a wheat or tare, and sometimes both at one time in their life. Every one is born a sinner, but this is no excuse for anyone allowing the devil’s seed to grow in their heart. God has provided a way for us to overcome and be protected from all of the darts of the devil. See the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 for more on this.

What is the harvest and when will it be? The harvest is the close of the age (RSV), or the end of the world (KJV). As Jesus said, at the end of the world, He will send His angels and they will ‘gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and evil doers’ (RSV), they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness (NASB), and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity (KJV). So there you have it from three different Bible versions, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible and the King James Version.

What are these bad seeds that God didn’t plant that He will uproot? Pride, doubt, suspicion, temptations to sin, sinful entertainments, etc. We listed many of the plants that Jesus or the Father didn’t plant below. The seeds may have been planted, but have they been watered and nourished until they grow up and fully manifest their evil? You can water and nourish and cultivate the plants growing out of these bad seeds, or you can allow God to uproot them from you. The choice is yours.

Plants Which Your Heavenly Father Didn’t Plant:

1) Pride
2) Stubbornness
3) Doubt
4) Anger
5) Lust
6) Unforgiveness
7) Impatience
8) Irritation
9) Covetousness
10) Unkindness
11) Unlovingness
12) Hate
13) Drunkenness
14) Hurtfulness
15) Revenge
16) Selfishness
17) Lack of Self Control or Intemperance
18) Drunkenness
19) Sin
20) Disobedience
21) Rebellion
22) Putting off doing what God has asked you to do

This is not a complete list, but it gives you the idea.

Dear reader, do you have any plants growing in your life that the Heavenly Father didn’t plant? God may have spoken to you and asked you to do something or to get rid of something. Have you taken care of it yet? Or did you put it off? Have you allowed Him to deal with it yet? Maybe you were reading your Bible one day, and a text in it pierced through your very being, as you realized it was talking about you! Or maybe you have forgotten what God had asked you to do, and your spiritual ears have grown dull or deaf. (We hope not.) If you are hearing what we are saying now, and your conscience is bothering you, even if you are not sure what is wrong, there is still hope, if you would pray to God and beg Him to reveal it to you! Be like David who wrote:Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 KJV. Or ‘try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me’ Psalm 139:24 NASB. If you pray this prayer and mean it, God will hear it. You can also pray this prayer from David too: “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12-13 NASB.

Of all of the plants planted by the enemy, pride is probably the worst one. Pride will get you lost, unless you let God help you get rid of it. It was what caused the Jewish leaders to reject Jesus, because He rebuked their sins. This is what He always will do at some point, rebuke sin. He may let someone point out your sin or you may read about it in the Bible. It is your choice what you will do when your sins are pointed out. But every plant that your Heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted, as Jesus plainly declared. So you have a choice: you can allow God to uproot them from your life now, while there is still hope, through confession and repentance with the help of the Holy Spirit, and submit yourself to Him. Or you can allow these evil plants to grow unchecked, until they choke out the good plants that were growing in you, which were planted by Jesus when you gave your heart to Him, and then you will be uprooted at the judgement, unless you repent quickly while there is still time.

John declared, ‘The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.’ 1 John 3:8 NASB. Since Jesus came for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil, you have two choices: allow Him to destroy all of the works of the devil in your life, during your life’s probation: your bad thoughts, your bad words, bad deeds and bad habits, etc., or He will deal with it at the end of the world, and you will be lost. Sorry if this is too candid for you, but these are the only two options. If you are already clean with God, we are happy for you, then you have much peace! Make Jesus your friend while there is still time, confess your sins, give your heart to Him, and allow Him to destroy the works of the devil in your life: to uproot all of the bad plants that have been growing there. Do not wait until tomorrow, tomorrow may be too late. Give your heart to God now, all-the-way, and plead with Him to help you make the changes that are needed. He will help you if you will let Him and want His help. If you have already given your heart totally to God today, and for awhile, then we are very happy for you, because this means that you have the Holy Spirit in full and are happy, with no guilt! This is the way everyone should be!


Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the Deeds of the Flesh:


But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:16-21 NASB.

If you confess all of your sins and allow God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), you will receive the Holy Spirit to help you be good, as long as you continue to cooperate with Him and do whatever He asks, without dragging your feet or being stubborn and doing your own thing again, against His will. You can and should ask for the Holy Spirit: Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" Luke 11:13 NASB. Why not take up Jesus’ promised offer here for the Holy Spirit? If you ask and want this wonderful gift, it will be given to you. Amen. If you ask for the Holy Spirit, He will help you to live a righteous life, and will help take away your shame that sinning again and again brings.

No matter how hard it is to do what God has asked you to do, if you humble your heart before Him and plead for His help, He will help you to do what He has asked you to do. If you feel like you are losing your faith again, as storms of doubt seem to sweep you away, you will need to keep praying over and over again: “Lord, help me to be more willing.” “Lord, save me before I perish.If you will continue to pray like this every time you have this need, God will save you every time! Jesus and His Father love you and know that you are but dust. Psalms 103:14 NASB. Don’t let go of their mighty hand to save! They will help you with your pride and embarrassment, if you have something particularly nasty to make right, but you will feel better once you have done it. It is not worth it to have those nasty weeds planted by your enemy growing in your life, choking out the very life of your soul! If you want to have peace, be truly happy, filled with much love and joy, allow God to do some weeding in the garden of your soul! He is the Husbandman, the true Vine Dresser. John 15:1-8. Allow His kind and tender hands to prune away all of the dead growth and sinful things that have attached themselves to you like leeches, and all of the evil plants that need uprooting. Allow Him to give you a new heart and a new life, life more abundantly. He will help you greatly if you allow Him to do all of this for you, and you will wonder why you took so long to let Him do it for you! And always stay connected to the vine, Jesus! You will lose your strength the minute you lose your connection to Him. Stay connected to Him at all times.


Conclusion:


Please allow God to uproot these noxious, poisonous plants from your life if they are still growing there before it’s too late! If you want to be free from these bad plants in your life, Jesus will make you free indeed. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV. If you need extra help, pray this prayer: ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Luke 18:13. If you pray this prayer and mean it, you will go home justified or made righteous as Jesus promised in Luke 8:14. But don’t we all need extra help? The Bible says that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6. And not one of us is good, not even one. Psalms 14:3. We have no hope of being good apart from God or cleared from our sins apart from confessing them to Him and receiving forgiveness. 1 John 1:9. So you might as well pray that prayer, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’ Why not? You have nothing to lose!

May the grace of God be with you and help you to uproot all of the evil plants growing in your life! May you receive forgiveness for all of your sins, and a cleansing from all unrighteousness. May you receive God’s precious gift of the Holy Spirit to help you to be good and to be pleasing to God. Then your life will sing for joy! And you will have wonderful peace, and will get God’s righteousness that flows like the waves of the sea! Isaiah 48:17-18. Amen.

May the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.



#Good #Seed #Bad #Plant #Weed #Blind #Pride #God #Vine #Enemy #Uproot #Gather #Tares #Burn #Fire #Wheat #End #World #Works #Devil

Sunday, June 10, 2018

You will seek Me and find me when you search for me with all your heart

By John Foll, Finished 6/9/2018, 6/10/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll


“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB.

No matter where you have been, or what you have done, or how much of a failure you have made of your life, don’t lose hope. God has a better plan for your life. He wants to give you a future and hope for a better life. Being able to be good and having eternal life are not beyond your reach, if you will grasp the Lord’s hands and allow Him to save you. If this is what you want, seek after God with all your heart, no holding back. Is that what you want? What do you have to gain by holding back yourself from this wonderful hope and peace that God wants to give you?

Do you feel like God doesn’t hear your prayers? Are you unsure of what your future holds, or whether you can be saved? Are you sure if you have what it takes to succeed and be the victor at last? Do you wonder if you are good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or wise enough, talented enough, and industrious enough to be able to provide for yourself and your family’s needs? Are you worried you will fail? Do you want to have the assurance of your own salvation? God declares here through His prophet Jeremiah that if you will search for Him with all your heart you will find Him. Much peace, hope, love and joy await you if you will just search for Him with all your heart. Then you will find Him. Are you tired of what your human nature and this world have to offer? Are you tired of its empty promises and lies? Are you tired of trying so hard and failing? Then it is time to try it God’s way, and search for Him with all your heart. When it is in your heart to do so, pray to Him and He will hear your prayer and answer it to the fullest! Oh so full! If you are not there yet, then come to Him as you are, sins, failures and all, and beg Him to help you. Don’t wait until you are ready all the way, or you never will be. But if you have been following Him and are ready to take your next step with Him, why not search for Him and seek to find Him with all your heart? What do you have to lose? If you are new to all of this, or a new Christian, or are not a Christian yet, why go through all the perplexity and trials of following God half-way and failing, when you can throw yourself on His side all the way and find Him and get all the power you need to succeed and to have a new life with Him? You will never regret it, we promise you. Cling to God, He is your only hope, Oh sinner! He is your path, your light and your life. Deuteronomy 10:20; 13:4 NASB. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 NASB.

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.” Proverbs 8:32-35 KJV. What is Solomon talking about here? He is talking about wisdom. To be wise one must be willing to receive instruction. Wisdom is receiving instruction - learning what you need to know to get life and have it more abundantly, and then do it. Seek after it daily from God’s Holy word, the Bible, and through much prayer with Him. This is where you will obtain instruction from Him. This is how you will find life and obtain favor from the Lord, by receiving His instruction for your life. Note the counsel that king David gave his son Solomon: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 NASB. There is no hiding from God. There is no hiding your words, your actions or your thoughts from Him, He knows them all.

Now put it all together: If you wish to have life and not die, receive the instruction that you need to seek after God with your whole heart and a willing mind. If you will seek Him, He will let you find Him. Is that what you want, dear reader? Then seek after God with all your heart, and He will be found by you, and your whole life will change for the better.

As God told Abraham, ‘I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward Genesis 15:1 KJV, He also tells you, if you will seek after Him, He will be your shield and exceedingly great reward. Abraham was called the friend of God. James 2:23. Many people cannot understand those who want to live a life of love and devotion to God, to give up the sins and pleasures of this world, and it’s wealth and ‘baubles’, with a willingness to give themselves to God all-the-way and serve Him, living an unselfish life to serve Him and others – it seems like there is nothing in it for them. Why would they want to do it? But they have vastly underestimated the great reward in finding and knowing the Lord, a great reward indeed! God and His precious Son Jesus are both great rewards to those who love and serve Them. This great joy can only be known by those who seek after God with their whole heart. Those who only seek Him half way are shortchanging themselves, and will never know this sweetest, full joy. And those who do not seek after Him, and those who do not find Him will know an eternal loss.

God tells the saved that He is their great and exceeding reward. In contrast to this Paul tells us that the real loss of the lost - is to be forever shut out from the presence of the Lamb: “*** when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 NASB. Jesus and His Father are the source of life and of every blessing that you would ever need. They are your eternal security blanket, if you will just put your trust in Them. But those who will not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, who do not accept His salvation, will be cast out from His presence, paying the penalty with eternal destruction, away from His loving presence that alone can bring peace, everlasting life, blessings, love and joy.

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah 59:12 NASB. This is one of the chief reasons why God does not answer everyone’s prayers, and why He doesn’t hear them. There is no room for halfway measures, half-hearted love and devotion to God. Your sins have separated you from God until you confess, repent and humble yourself before Him. He will save you regardless of how bad you are or what you have done, if you will just throw yourself on His mercy, and seek after Him with all your heart. Half-hearted seeking is for all who would fail. If you have only sought after God half-way or have not been consistent in seeking Him every day with all your heart, you can still seek after Him with all your heart and find Him, there is still time! But wait not another day or for a convenient season. Do not be like Felix who said to Paul, ‘when it is a convenient season I will call for you – a season which never came for him. Acts 24:25 KJV. Now is the day of salvation, while you hear God’s voice, His call to your heart. “For He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION” 2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB. Harden not your heart against Him, He loves you! Listen to His counsel to you here: “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:7-12 KJV. Do not harden your heart against God, or have a heart of unbelief, not believing that He will save you or not wanting His salvation. Do not have a heart of unbelief, which is departing from the living God.

Consider Jesus’ message here:

“Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:5-13 NASB.

Consider the message that Jesus is trying to teach here: If you will be persistent with God, making your petitions known to Him for a new, better life with Himwanting a change from the failure and the wreck that your life has been, He will hear your prayer. If you cling to God and persist in making your petitions known to Him for your desire to be saved and to be a better person, He will hear your prayer. God is not like your earthly parents, who sometimes made mistakes or sometimes forgot your needs or sometimes only thought of themselves, but God really cares. If your parents gave you good things in this life, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit when you ask Him? But you must ask Him, you must seek after Him, you must knock, and the door will be opened to you – the door to eternal life! You must be persistent and cling to God, not giving up, praying to Him and making all of your requests known to Him, of your desire to have a new life with Him, and for the spiritual blessings that He wants to give you, until you get these desired blessings. After God’s gift of His dear son Jesus for the world, His other most precious gift to those who belong to Him, is the gift of His precious Holy Spirit. He will give the Holy Spirit to all who ask, to all who seek after Him with all their heart. This is one of the gifts that all are required to have to enter Heaven and have eternal life. John 3:3, 5. All who wish to enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven will have to be born again of both the water (have the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, symbolized by baptism in the water) and by the Holy Spirit. These gifts from God allow you to become born again, Oh sinner, that Ye might be saved and be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, like Jesus said in John 3:3, 5. The Holy Spirit is a most precious gift and reward for those who seek after God with all their heart, no holding back. (Why would anyone want to hold anything back, not getting this sweetest of rewards? This is a great mystery.) Dear reader, why would you want to hold anything back and not get this sweetest reward for yourself?


The Conclusion of the Matter:

Everyone who seeks after God with all their heart will receive the joy of their salvation, and have great peace, love and joy! Everyone who seeks after God, and knocks, the door will be opened to them, the door to eternal life! Especially when they persist in clinging to God, and keep humbling their heart before Him every day, every hour, and learning to commune with Him in prayer. Everyone who asks, and really wants it, can receive the best gift from God after forgiveness, the Holy Spirit. They will receive the Holy Spirit, the pledge of their redemption (Ephesians 4:30 NASB), and have the assurance of their salvation, because God will tell them He loves them, and His precious Spirit will dwell in their heart and help them on their way to Heaven. They will have the continued assurance of their salvation, if they continue to seek after Him with all their heart, every day. But the presence of the Holy Spirit gives them the strongest inducement to want to keep all this peace, love, joy and hope that He brings them. When they have all this peace, love and joy and really value it, why would they want to give it up? We do not know why anyone would give up God’s offer of mercy, forgiveness, peace, love, hope – much less the wonder and joy of having the Holy Spirit in their heart, and know that their life is pleasing to God, because they are letting Him save them, and He is giving them the power to live a righteous life. What more could you want? This is everything your heart has been searching for! Just give yourself to God now, and forevermore and enjoy your new life with Him!

The secret to having a better life, with peace and hope for tomorrow, is to seek after God with all your heart, and then you will find Him! You will be so glad you did! We promise you, that if this is what you are searching for, you will be so glad you did, and God’s love for you will be a well of water inside of you springing up into eternal life! John 4:13-143. God will be delighted to give this to you!

May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.


Songs For Today’s Message:


If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Truth Songs)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zfb4HK6mKvk

If you seek Me, You will Find Me: (Hawaii Baptist Academy choirs)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7jl61jkIDg




#Lord #God #Plans #Hope #Seek #Me #Find #Search #All #Heart #Prayer #Love #Peace #Joy #Holy #Spirit #Half-way #Wisdom #Eternal #Life

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Abide with Jesus awhile…

By John Foll, Finished 5/12/2018 – 5/13/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll


Abide with Jesus awhile. Tarry with Him awhile. Abide with Him the rest of your life, why not?

Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 NASB. Jesus invites all who are weary of all the troubles and trials of this world, who are weary from their burdens, worries and guilt, to take His rest, to take His yoke upon them, because His burden is easy, and His burden is light. The yoke of love that Jesus offers you dear reader is much easier than struggling with your problems by yourself. It is a hard thing to try to order your steps and make all the right decisions and do all the right things and not make a mess out of your life. Or worry about how you can make your life a success. But Jesus can take all your worries about not being good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to succeed, and help you fight the good fight to receive the crown of righteousness in the end, if you will give all of these worries to Him. 2 Timothy 4:7-8. No reason to worry about failure. No reason to be afraid or be in bondage to addictions or sin anymore, because Jesus came to set you free, dear reader! He came that you might be free! Free from guilt, worry and shame and from the fear of failure. “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 NASB. This is what Jesus promised to you dear reader and all who will “come” and allow Him to make them free. If He makes you free, ye shall be free indeed!

John declared, “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 NASB. Jesus appeared on this earth and died on the cross to take away your sin. In “Him” there is no sin, because He was the spotless Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29. John declared that He came in order to take away sin. Think on this, meditate on it, believe it. It is a most beautiful promise when you see it and believe it! Tarry with Jesus awhile and He will help you to be good and live a righteous life for Him. And He will give you rest! This is because He can break your yoke of bondage if you let Him. Better yet, why not abide with Him the rest of your life? What do you have to lose? He will help you to be a better, kinder and gentler person! --> Derived from our article: If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, Part 2 .

Dear reader, God says to you, “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David.” Isaiah 55:1-3 NASB. What were the faithful mercies shown to David? David loved God but had lost sight of Him several times and sinned greatly against Him, but God forgave him, even though he deserved to die. But don’t we all deserve to die for our sins?For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 KJV. Not only did God forgive David, but chose to send Jesus His son through his lineage. This text in Isaiah, when it talks about ‘the faithful mercies shown to David,’ is talking about the promise made to David, that his throne would be established forever, which was a prophecy about Jesus, the Messiah, who would die for the sins of the world and would reign forever and ever. 2 Samuel 7:12-16, 25-29. What a promise God made to David! Not only did David not deserve this honor and privilege, but God was going to use his lineage, through Jesus, to save the world! No human that has ever lived has ever deserved God’s gift of His son to die for their sins. John 3:16-17. So even though David and no human being who has ever lived deserved God’s mercy, God still sent His only son to die on the cross for their sins. This is what it means when God declares that if you will listen to Him, He will make ‘an everlasting covenant’ with you ‘according to the faithful mercies shown to David.’ Do you want the faithful mercies shown to David? Do you know that you are a sinner? Do you want hope? Do you want to listen to God and accept His covenant of grace for you? Then Isaiah 55 is for you! Everyone who thirsts can come. All who are hungry can come. Turn no one away who is thirsty, hungry or weary!

It is especially noteworthy what Jesus proclaimed in the synagogue on the Sabbath: “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book, and found the place where it was written, ‘THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE DOWNTRODDEN, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.’” And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’" Luke 4:16-21 NASB. After he closed the book and gave it back to the attendant all eyes were on Him! Here Jesus declared in so many words that He was the fulfillment of this prophecy from Isaiah. The Holy Spirit was trying to convict all who were there listening to Him, that He was the Messiah, the hope of Israel, that was why all eyes were fixed on Him after He read this passage and declared that this prophecy was fulfilled that day in their hearing! This was the event that the children of Israel had been waiting for, but sadly not all accepted Him. But what does this passage really mean? Study it carefully! Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor, and to set the captives free! And to set free all those who are downtrodden. Jesus also declared, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” John 12:32 NASB. Yes, Jesus was lifted up on that cross for you, He paid the penalty for your sins. This act will draw all who will to Him who want it, who see their need and want His help. This is the power of the Cross! His death on the cross allows you to get rest and peace! Jesus proclaimed that His mission was to preach the Gospel (the good news) to the poor, to set the captives free, and to set free all those who are downtrodden. That is to say, He came to give you rest and to give you peace!

Oh soul are you weary? Do you long for rest? Do you long for peace? Do you long to be free? Free from all your guilt, sin and shame? Then let Jesus draw you to the cross, let His love move you, let it break your heart. Take His yoke upon you and He will give you rest. His yoke that is easy and His burden that is light is the sweet bond of love He has for you that binds you closer to Him. Oh such love! I cannot fathom it! No words I write can fully describe it! Oh hungry soul, there is a Balm in Gilead and the great Physician there who has healing for your soul if you want it. Why thirst for the water of life or the bread of Heaven, when He is within your reach? There is no reason to be thirsty or go around hungry anymore when He offers this life to you freely.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 KJV. Do you long for a new, better life? Then hunger no more, because Jesus wants to fill you. Just let Him! This promise is not for those who are happily filling themselves up with the spiritual “husks” of this world or with the false ideas that some have of how to be saved or to be happy, etc. This promise is not for those who don’t truly want it. But this promise is for all those who are tired of sinning, tired of living in shame, tired of failing, tired of hurting themselves and others, tired of guilt who just want a better life. Those who are tired of filling themselves up with the spiritual “husks” of this world, or with false ideas of how to be saved or be happy, can come, come to Jesus. To all whose desire is this – come! Come to Him that you might have life and have it more abundantly! Jesus said ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ John 10:10 KJV. Is this what you want?

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” John 7:37-39 KJV. Yes, all who are thirsty come unto Jesus and drink, and out of their belly will flow rivers of living water! “And Jesus said ‘come to the waters stand by my side, I know you are thirsty you won’t be denied.’ And I saw every tear drop when in darkness you cried. And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.’” * From the song: “For those tears I died”.

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” Revelation 22:17 NASB.

So all who are thirsty, all who are weary, come and tarry with Jesus awhile. Abide with Him for as long as you will. He will supply all your needs according to the riches of His grace. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NASB. And He will give you peace, and joy, and will take away your guilt and fears that you cannot make it; He will give you a new life! Is that what you want? He wants to give it to you! He wants to be in you a well of water springing up unto eternal life!

May the grace of God and the fellowship of Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit be with you all! Amen.

Songs for the Message Today:


Abide with Me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYYyRcuNFZ0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbkvjnwEDEw

Listen to Heritage Singers sing: ‘For Those Tears I Died’:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZQv2_sS7oo

Read the lyrics to 'For those tears I died' here:
http://www.songlyrics.com/heritage-singers/for-those-tears-i-died-lyrics/






Watchword:

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.'” John 14:23 NASB.



White Raiment Evangelism Revelation 3:18:

In Revelation 3:18 Jesus said, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment, and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not


#Abide #Tarry #Jesus #Rest #Peace #Weary #Heavy #Laden #Yoke #Burdens #Light #Free #Thirst #Hunger #Faithful #Mercy #Gospel #Captives #Downtrodden #Spirit

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Worthless Servant

By John Foll, finished 5/5/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll


“Then another came, saying, `Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, `I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' And he said to those who stood by, `Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' (And they said to him, `Lord, he has ten pounds!') `I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'" Luke 19:20-27 RSV.

The NASB has this as, “you worthless slave”:
"He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?” Luke 19:22 NASB.

Jesus’ words here apply to all who make the claim of being one of God’s people and have been in the church or the synagogue for years, who are not doing enough or anything at all to help others or show them how much He or His Father love them. They are ‘worthless servants’, ‘worthless slaves’. They knew what their master required of them, but did nothing about it. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 KJV.

Did you know that everyone is a ‘slave’ or a ‘servant’ to someone or something? Paul declares: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16 KJV. So there are but two choices in this life, you can yield all the way to God and become His servant or you can become a slave or servant of sin and death. Which will you have? If you are a Christian that means that you are Jesus’ servant or disciple. Those who are not Jesus’ willing servant are not really a Christian at all. Jesus will especially judge all who ‘claim to be a Christian’ by higher standards than those who don’t. Out of their own mouth they will be judged. To know whose side you are on, you must know who you are yielding yourself a servant to obey. The Holy Spirit or ‘the flesh’. Once you know who you are yielding to, on a regular, daily basis, you will understand your life’s final destiny. That is why this parable of the worthless servant or worthless slave is so important! For God will hold all of His servants accountable in the day of Judgement as we shall see below.

This parable by Jesus in Luke 19:20-27 is an illustration of the coming judgement. The “worthless slave” and the “wicked servant” represent the people of God who do not let their light shine for His glory. Jesus called them a “worthless slave.” Also note what He said here: “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8 NASB. In another related parable Jesus said: “And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ "” Luke 13:6-9 NASB. This parable represents the coming judgement. But it happens before the final judgement, because this was primarily a prophecy about the Jewish nation who were rejecting Him. We are not saying this to bash the Jews, for many Christians also are not bearing fruit for the Master. This prophecy applies to all ‘Christians’ as well who bear no fruit for Him. This parable is a warning to all of God’s people everywhere who are fruitless and lifeless. Eventually everyone’s life’s record comes up before God. He gives all a chance to repent and get to know Him and bear fruit for His glory. Of all who make the claim of being His people, He looks at them carefully, longing for His own to finally bear fruit for His glory. James says, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7 KJV. Here ‘The husbandman’ is God the Father. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:1-2 KJV. Oh how our loving Heavenly Father waits for His ‘people’ to finally bear fruit for His glory! He has long patience for it. Every branch He prunes that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2) and every lifeless branch, gets cast into the fire to be burned. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6 NASB. And so all who do not abide in Jesus - they will not bear fruit for God’s glory, and sadly they eventually will be gathered up and cast into the fire to be burned.

James 5:7 is also making a reference to the coming judgement when he says, ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. This message from James has a special application to all those who claim they are waiting for Christ’s Second Coming. Those who make the claim they are waiting for Jesus’ Second Coming, if they really believe it, will ask God to help them bear much fruit for His glory. Those who do not heed this message to bear much fruit for God will be in trouble. Jesus was repeating what the Father said when He said, ‘I have waited three years for it to bear fruit, cut it down.Jesus represents the gardener who said fertilize it and give it more time to bear fruit. Jesus represents the vineyard keeper in this parable in Luke 13:6-9, because he said, ‘I will fertilize it and dig around it – if it doesn’t bear fruit next year then cut it down.Jesus pleads with the Father to give His people more time to repent and bear fruit for His Father’s glory. Yes, the Father has long patience that His people would finally bear fruit for His glory, and if they would do all that He asks them to do, and seek Him with all of their heart. If they would seek after Him with all their heart, He would grant them the precious blessing of bearing fruit for His glory!And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NASB. But make no mistake! The vineyard keeper or the gardener in the parable of Luke 13:-6-9, said, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ Luke 13:9. Jesus said, leave the tree alone a year, until it has been fertilized, and if it bears fruit next year fine, but if not, ‘cut it down.’ This is in answer to God’s command and question: Cut it down, why does it even take up the ground? All of the true subjects of God’s kingdom are not ‘cumberers of the ground.’ They just don’t take up the ground, soaking up all the blessings from God, and the rich root of the vine, Jesus, but they bear much fruit for the Master.

Back to our original text in Luke 19:20-27: Jesus called that man a “wicked servant” in the King James Version. The NASB version calls the man a “worthless slave.” Both are right. Those who make the claim of following and believing in Jesus, yet do not bear fruit for the Father’s glory are not only a “worthless servant,” but a “wicked slave.” God has provided everything we need to love and serve Him with: He gave us Jesus His Son for the sins of the world (John 3:16-17), and He gave us the promise of the Comforter or the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB. But those who will not take the time to get to know God, love and obey Him, will not have this blessing, and will not be able to live a righteous life, which makes them “wicked” and “worthless.” Those that are trying to work out their own righteousness by their own skill or will, or those who make the claim of being God’s people who are not too concerned about the sin in their life, alike will not receive the blessing of righteousness that God wants to give them through the Holy Spirit, and will be that “wicked servant” whom God will take away even what they don’t have. Both of these examples are self-righteousness, because real righteousness only comes from God. Those who will not bear fruit for God, who make the claim of being one of His children will eventually be judged for this. God will eventually say, “Why does it take up the ground! Cut it down!”

Unfortunately, someday soon these sad words will be uttered against all who refuse to let Jesus dig around the soil of their heart and receive the spiritual ‘fertilizer’ from Him, the dew of Heaven or the gift of the Holy Spirit. This would have given them the spiritual growth they needed in order to please the Master of the vineyard. This is what God will say someday to those wicked, worthless and lazy servants, unless they repent and allow Him to make a change in them that they cannot make themselves. Bearing fruit for God is not salvation by works, but the lack of good works in these “wicked servants” shows that they had no vital connection with God, did not know Him, and had not availed themselves of His many precious promises.Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 KJV.

All are promised salvation if they would only believe in Jesus, God’s only Son. And if they truly believe, they would get to know God, keep His word, and the Holy Spirit would be abiding in them, and then they would bear much fruit for Him. No! The wicked, worthless and lazy servants of God have not claimed His rich promises, nor believed in them, and have not been born again of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:3, 5), and will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. Then it will be a sad day for their soul, because at the end of their probation at the judgment they will be accounted with the enemies of God, as Jesus said: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.’” Luke 19: 27 KJV. Those who will not avail themselves of the wonderful salvation that God has provided them through Jesus, and allow Him to fill them with the Holy Spirit, unless they repent, will become His enemies, and will be that “wicked”, lazy and “worthless” servant who doesn’t want Jesus or His Father to rein over them; they will not have God rule over their heart, because they do not love Him. Jesus reiterated this when He said: ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’ John 14:23-24 NASB. So only those who truly love Jesus and His Father will keep Jesus’ word and have Him and His Father making their abode in their heart, through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

From the words of their mouth will God judge those wicked servants. They knew that their Heavenly Father wanted them to bear much fruit for Him, so at the very least they should have put His talents that He gave them out to “the exchangers” and traded with it to increase it in some way. They could have at least given money to God’s servants who were preaching the Gospel to the poor, and to His missionaries in foreign lands, instead of doing nothing. But instead, they hid their talents that God gave them, showing their disdain for Heaven’s blessings. While it is true that God is love, many people forget that they have a responsibility to others in this world to help them, and follow all of His commandments, which are to love Him more than anyone or anything else, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Matthew 22:36-40. If you do not want to be that “worthless” or “wicked slave,” ‘trade your talents’ in such a way as to enrich God’s kingdom and help it grow. This is to teach your neighbor of God’s love or help them in some way, so that God’s kingdom can grow. Those that do not love God enough to help Him grow His kingdom, do not really love Him or Jesus, and will eventually become that “wicked” “worthless” slave who is God’s enemy.

Be not like that “wicked,” lazy, and “worthless” servant of God who did not avail themselves of God’s many promised blessings, and allow Him to make them all that He wanted them to be. Let Jesus dig around the soil of your heart, allow the trials that He sends you to mold you and shape you. Allow Jesus to fertilize the soil of your heart, and give you the water of life, that you may become born again. When you become truly born again, and get the Holy Spirit for yourself, it will be the most natural thing in the world for you to bear much fruit for God, it will be your greatest desire! This will be proof that the Holy Spirit is in your heart and that you know God.

Conclusion:
Let’s finish out that parable by going back to the beginning of it, which takes place in Heaven, as those who love God are ushered into the Pearly gates:

When he [Jesus] returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.' Luke 19:15-19 RSV.

And the Parallel passage from Matthew:
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:20-23 KJV.

So whether you have received 10 talents from the Lord, or 5 or 2 or even 1, invest them all for the glory of God, so that when Jesus comes back to take His people home He will say, ‘well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Enter into the joy of Heaven, that Jesus has prepared for all those who love Him. And there will be much joy throughout the endless ages of eternity – for those who have invested the Master’s talents for His service that He gave them! Amen.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, and give you the refreshing dew of Heaven, and grant you many precious fruits to bear for the Master. That you may enter into the joy of your Lord. Amen.



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