Tag Archive | come to jesus

Luke 5:16 ” But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

During His ministry here on earth, Jesus often sought out quiet places to pray.  But why?  It tells us in Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”  The answer to “why He did this” is in what happened the night before.  The town of Capernaum had witnessed Jesus healing someone in the Synagogue…and so later that night the entire town converged at the house where Jesus was staying…bringing in tow every sick and demon-possessed person they could find.  And it says Jesus healed them.  When we give much, our emotional gas tanks gets low.  And the only way to fill them is to find a place of quiet reflection so that God can renew us .  Jesus was practicing the discipline of silence in order to replenish, restore, refresh, and revive His soul…and it’s something we could do well to imitate.

Hebrews 7:25 ” Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.”

What does the Gospel mean to you?  I’ve been thinking about this all week in preparation for a meeting this Sunday.  To me, it boils down to Religion vs Relationship.  It’s the difference between ceremony and connection, liturgy and linkage, ritual and relationship.  For Religion is mostly man-made, piling on the things we can’t do…while a Relationship with Jesus Christ is about freedom.  It’s about freedom from sin and death and freedom from the Law we can never keep.  But the biggest difference between Religion and Relationship is this…Religion can’t save you.  Only Jesus Christ who lived a perfectly sinless life has the ability to bring you into His glorious Kingdom and eternal life…it’s only through Jesus that you can make your way back to God.

Luke 23: 39 ” One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: ‘Aren’t You the Christ? Save Yourself and us!’ “

It could have been me speaking with such irreverence towards Jesus.  The Greek word for “hurled insults” in this verse is Blasphemeo, where we get the word blaspheme from.  The robber who reviled Jesus, mocked Him by saying, “If You call Yourself the Messiah, then show us by rescuing Yourself from Your own impending death!”  So any time I operate in disbelief and mistrust of the Lord…I’m basically hurling insults His direction also.  Yes, it could have been me.

John 19: 15-16 ” But they shouted, ‘Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him!’ ‘Shall I crucify your King? asked Pilate. ‘We have no King but Caesar,’ answered the chief priests. Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified. “

It could have me with that agitated crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!”  Or worse yet, it could have me standing within that frenzied crowd too scared to open my mouth and object to the injustice I was witnessing.  Would I have just stood there silently condoning the atrocity as it played out before me, more afraid of man than God?  Yes, that could have been me.

Luke 8:50 ” Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’ “

Jairus was the President of the Jewish Synagogue in Capernaum, but at this moment in time all his power and authority meant nothing to him… for he had a little daughter dying.  He was desperate enough to actually plead with Jesus to come to his house and heal her.  But it would get worse.  While they were headed there, someone from Jairus’s household ran up to tell him his daughter had just died…but it would get worse.  When they got to the house the scene was utter chaos with people weeping, wailing and milling around.  That’s when Jesus took control of the situation…moving all the people out except for the parents, Peter, James, and John.  He then took a hold of the child’s hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”   And she did.   So what practical application can we take from this story?  When you’re going through tough times,  position strong people of faith around you…people that can believe for breakthrough and won’t give up or become discouraged.   It’s friends that will gather around you and pray when you may not have the strength or ability to.   Finally, realize it may get worse before it gets better.  But through it all Jesus is saying to you,  “Don’t be frightened, just trust in Me.”

Mark 8:1-4 ” During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to Him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with Me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.’ His disciples answered, ‘But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?’ “

His time on earth was getting short and Jesus wanted His disciples to understand their mission.  Everyday He had guided, demonstrated, and shown them what to do…to think outside the box of human nature.  For this wasn’t the first time Jesus had fed a crowd with only a few loaves and fish…but the disciples still didn’t get it.  The disciples had witnessed and actually helped distribute the food to that crowd…but when challenged to come up with a plan for this hungry group, they quickly reverted back to their humanness.  How many times have you sold yourself short by your limited vision of what God could do?  We need to be asking for God’s vision in our life, not ours…and we need to be thinking outside our “human” box and  seeking God’s unlimited and miraculous vision instead.

John 11:44 ” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’ “

Jesus had called Lazarus from the grave, and out  he stumbled.  But he was still bound  by the grave-clothes wound around his body and face.  Others had placed these winding cloths on him, and now it took others to free him from them.  When we become a Believer we are raised from the dead unto eternal life, but for many of us, we continue to wear the trappings of the tomb.  These hindrances  cling to us like grave-clothes, impeding our movement forward and blinding us from the truth.  And just like Lazarus,  it was someone else that placed them on us, binding us up in sin, addiction, and pain. So it takes others to free us from these grave clothes…to come along side  to encourage, exhort, and unloose the sins that still bind us to the past.