Tag Archive | inspirational

Matthew 18: 21-22 ” Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘ Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘ I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ “

Jesus was explaining to Simon Peter that the number of times we need to forgive one another is just arbitrary.  It’s not about keeping a score card on that other person…for the act of forgiveness not about them at all.    Forgiveness stems from the unlimitless  capacity to forgive that Jesus first showed us while we were still sinners.  So as Christians, we are compelled to show each other the same kind of forgiveness…for forgiveness comes out of love for the Lord and each other.  The act of forgiveness is for our benefit, not others.  For if we allow unforgiveness to fester inside, blame escalates,   and with it,  growing bitterness, which leads only to spiritual blight.

Mark 4:16-17 ” Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the Word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word they quickly fall away.”

In these verses from the Parable of the Sower we see the Word of God being sown over rocky ground.  The plants  spring up, but because they have no adequate root system, they die off  quickly.  In the Amplified Version of the Bible it gives us insight into this shallow faith. It states in Mark 4:17,  ” And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.”  So how can we pray for this person? They have to go deeper.  In I Timothy 3:9 it talks about keeping ahold of the deep truths of the faith…the divine secrets, revealed truths, and revelations from God.  To move from shallow faith to a vibrant and intimate relationship with the Lord,  a person has to go deeper with God…allowing Him to speak to them through the Scriptures, revealing important truths to them.   And with these new revelations, they are then able to send roots of trust down deep.

Mark 4:15 ” Some people are like seed along the path, where the Word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the Word that was sown in them.”

This is from the Parable of the Sower, where the farmer sows the Word…the Logos…the Word of God,  onto a hard-packed path.  The seed just sits on top of the surface, unable to germinate and grow because of the hardpan – the unbroken subsoil beneath.  To have a hardened heart towards the Gospel is to have an indifference towards the things of God…or to have an unfeeling conscience.  So how can we pray for that person?  We can ask the Lord to plow up that hard soil of rebellion in their life… that the Word of God may germinate and flourish there.

Romans 14:13 ” Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”

The Apostle Paul wasn’t speaking to non-Believers in this passage.  Rather, he was directing the faithful to stop judging one another.  You probably know someone who has been deeply wounded at Church by some hyper-critical  Carnal Christian, and now because of that, has turned their back totally on Christianity and anything to do with God.  For them, they can only see hypocrisy in fellow Believers that should be showing the love of Jesus…but instead are negative and critical.  Such Carnal Christians are a hindrance and a barrier to the Gospel Message.

John 4:13-14 ” Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ “

We’ve all been very thirsty. An interesting note about the human body…hunger pangs will eventually subside, but thirst will never go away, for our bodies need water to operation and maintain homeostasis, (a stable and normal condition of all systems within the body.)  In this Scripture, Jesus is offering the Samaritan woman the kind of water that will not only satisfy immediately, but will become  an Artesian well within her.  Like a spring rising up with a new and constant supply of fresh water, this living water fills and quenches our thirst unlike anything the world can offer.

Philippians 1:27-28 ” I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”

Declaring the Gospel to those around us can be scary.  We’re afraid of rejection…afraid of adversity…afraid of failure, so hence, we say nothing.  My favorite excuse is, “Someone else will share the Good News with that person…someone like the Pastor, or someone else more experienced than me.”  But there may not be a “someone else” in that person’s life.  For you may be the only one that will ever share the Gospel, or ever say the words, “Jesus loves you” to that person.  I Corinthians 16:13 says, …” we are to stand firm; be men (and women) of courage; and be strong when contending for the faith.”   So how do we overcome the fear of sharing our faith with others?  First realize,  you can never fail, even if you don’t see immediate results.  What you’re doing is planting seed that needs to be watered…maybe by someone else… and maybe an entirely different person will be there to see the harvest.  Secondly, it’s not about you and your abilities or lack there of.  For your dependence should be on the Lord Jesus Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit to show you the way.  So with them in your corner, don’t be afraid, you can do it!

Mark 7:14-15 ” Again, Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, ‘Listen to Me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean.’ “

The long-held Jewish Law was being turned upside down by Jesus in this scripture.  He was in a way giving the crowd an Anatomy and Physiology lesson in explaining that nothing they could ingest would ever defile their hearts…their inner self.  Rather,  Jesus explained to them that it was what came out of a man…in word and deed…that degraded and profaned him.