Tag Archives: Faith

Is Jesus Ashamed of You?

March 31, 2014

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Calling of the Apostles - 1481 - Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494)

Calling of the Apostles – 1481 – Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494)

As incredible as Jesus’ miracles were, it is even more incredible that he had followers.

The Jewish establishment of the time had so many highly ranked detractors of Jesus, it was easy to convince people that what they saw was not important. It was easy to discourage them by insulting Jesus over and over again. In a previous post, we listed ten of those insults recorded in the gospels.

Not only was he insulted, they planted little seeds of doubt.

They made racial slurs.

They lied.

They even used their power and money to elevate themselves above him in the eyes of the people. Through that power and influence they were able to stem the flow of believers to Christ during his lifetime. In addition to the ten insults we looked at previously…

  • They said that no prophet could come out of Galilee (John 7:52)
  • They accused him of leading the multitude astray (John 7:12)
  • They said that since Elijah had not risen from the dead, it was impossible for Jesus to be the Christ (Mark 9:11)
  • They said he had an unclean spirit (Mark 3:30)
  • They said, “He is beside himself” (Mark 3:21)
  • They said he transgressed the tradition of the elders (Matthew 15:2)
  • They said, “This man is not from God” (John 9:16)
  • They said he forbade to give tribute to Caesar (Luke 23:2)
  • They said that he made himself a king (Luke 23:2)
  • They said he was an evildoer (John 18:30)
  • They said that Jesus claimed he would destroy the temple of God and build it in three days (Matthew 26:61)

Disciples of Christ

We often refer to the events recorded in Luke 9:18-22 as “Peter’s Confession.”

During that meeting, Jesus tells them that he has to suffer and be rejected by those in power. All of the negative chatter must have come up along with the other speculations of who the people thought Jesus was.

Not much has changed now:

We still hear similar lies about the Lord…

His teachings are challenged at every turn in the news media…

They even make movies that change “what the Bible says” in people’s mind.

There are many that believe in Christ right now that do not defend him when they have an opportunity. It doesn’t really matter the reason, not defending that belief in Christ is as good as not having it.

As much as ever, he needs good solid disciples that are willing to talk about him despite his current low popularity.

Jesus’ meeting with the twelve ends with a discussion on how important that it is to make the sacrifice and keep following him. (Luke 9:23)

Question: Will you be one of those Jesus is ashamed of? (Luke 9:26)




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How to Avoid a Shut Out

February 21, 2014

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Raising of the Daughter of Jairus - ca. 1546 - Paolo Veronese (1528–1588)

Raising of the Daughter of Jairus – ca. 1546 – Paolo Veronese (1528–1588)

Shut out!

Jairus’ daughter was dead. There were people telling him not to bother Jesus anymore. There were people in his house making great theater out of mourning her passing. There were people laughing at Jesus when he tried to restore order and calm to the group. (Mark 4:36-40)

Since we know we are going to read about the resurrection of the little girl, we usually forget about all those people who Jesus ran out of the house. Who were they?



The faithless.

They missed out on something incredible. They weren’t warned or given another chance. When Jesus was ready, he only took the believers into the room to see the miracle.

Through Jesus’ examples and the parables, we have been told how it will be. From everything we can read in the Bible, we shouldn’t expect warnings or second chances when he returns.

To avoid being shut out, the time to believe, obey and serve him is now.


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How to Get Adopted by Jesus

February 18, 2014

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jesusteachingJesus looked directly at you!

Sitting in a crowd of fellow followers you notice he makes eye contact with every person. Then he announces:

“Here are my mother and my brothers!” – Mark 3:34

Jesus wants to adopt each and every soul to his family. To get in, there is a simple requirement:

For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother. – Mark 3:35

Doing the will of God takes a lifetime of dedication.

But then, so does keeping any family strong.

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How Faith Makes us Strong

February 17, 2014


Christ Heals a Man Paralyzed by the Gout. Mark 2:4 - 1780 - Bernhard Rode (1725–1797)

Christ Heals a Man Paralyzed by the Gout. Mark 2:4 – 1780 – Bernhard Rode (1725–1797)

They had to tear the roof off the place.

How often does it happen that we set our mind to finally fix something in our life and roadblocks suddenly appear? It doesn’t seem to matter whether it is financial, physical or spiritual in nature. Show me an airtight plan and I’ll show you the pin that can pop it.

That is probably what those four guys felt like when they were trying to get to Jesus to help their friend. (Mark 2:1-12) The crowd was pressed in so tight, there was no way to force the bed through there. They faced the exact same decision that we do when something tries to get in the way of our faith. They could have…

  1. …said, “Oh well, we tried” and went home or
  2. …looked for another way to make it happen

Of course we know they climbed up and opened a hole in the roof. By the time they lowered their friend down to Jesus, they had made quite an impression.

Look at what Mark 2:5 says about their faith:

…when Jesus saw their faith …

Faith is much more than some mental acknowledgment. Faith is something that is visible to others. Faith makes you act so that others are not surprised that you are a Christian. Faith makes you respond to tough situations in the way you know would please God.

That is why a little faith can move mountains, (Matthew 17:20) those with a living and active faith don’t let a little challenge or worry get between them and God.

Tough question of the day: How many of your coworkers would pick you out as the Christian in the group?

Bonus: Here’s what I wrote previously on Mark 2:1-12

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Hebrews 11 – Faith is an Action Word

February 15, 2014

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Here is an exhaustive listing of the places in the Bible that mention “faith only” (Or “faith alone” depending on your version)

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. – James 2:24 KJV

Yes that’s it. The complete and unabridged list.

Belief is a Milestone

While faith is definitely a foundational step in salvation, it does not end there. God has never once in the Bible accepted a man at his word. Faith has been seen outwardly or demonstrated through an action each and every time God required it.

Sacrifice of Isaac - 1635 - Rembrandt (1606–1669)

Sacrifice of Isaac – 1635 – Rembrandt (1606–1669)

We can see that God requires the same kind of demonstration from us on our path to salvation:

  • We must hear and believe God’s word – Romans 10:17
  • We must repent of (turn our back on) our sinful lifestyle – Acts 17:30
  • We must be willing to confess Jesus name – Mathew 10:32, Romans 10:9-10
  • We must be baptized for the remission of our sins – Acts 2:37-38, Galatians 3:36-27
  • We must live a Christian life – Revelation 2:10

When discussing the “faith only” doctrine with those who teach it, we can make some very solid points to show that it contradicts the rest of the Bible:

  • In Ephesians, the works Paul said wouldn’t save us were works of the Law of Moses.
  • In James’ letter, he is talking about works of obedience without which, our faith is dead.
  • John 6:29 shows us that faith is a work
  • Romans 2:6 is very clear that the judgment will include an account of our deeds.
  • In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus saw the faith of the friends of the man with palsy
  • In Luke 7:36-50, Jesus told the sinful woman that her faith saved her even though she never vocalized it.
  • In Hebrews 11, a list of faithful men had to act on their faith to please God.

Faith is a necessity of salvation, to be sure. What is also a necessity is to teach and follow the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:26-27)

The “Heroes of Faith” Didn’t Get Away With Faith Only

The Hebrews writer wanted us to understand that salvation does not come from some mental acknowledgement of God and Christ. If the world cannot see our faith, then it is not the kind of faith the Bible is talking about.

When we read through Hebrews 11, we can examine each and every hero and see that they had to go do something before God’s promise applied to them:

  • Faith led Abel to make the correct sacrifice – Hebrews 11:4
  • Enoch lived so that God was pleased with what he saw – Hebrews 11:5-6
  • Noah built an ark from believing that God would do something he had never seen – Hebrews 11:7
  • Abraham packed his family up and moved at God’s bidding – Hebrews 11:8-10
  • Abraham and Sarah had innumerable descendants through the faith that overcame doubt – Hebrews 11:11-12
  • Abraham was not afraid to give because he knew God could raise Isaac if he sacrificed him – Hebrews 11:17-19

….the list keeps going. We absolutely need faith to please God, (Hebrews 11:6) but we can also see that if any of these Hebrews 11 folks had failed to obey God, the outcome would be very different. (A great example is from the account of Moses striking the rock: Numbers 20:8-12)

If faith comes from hearing the word of God, and what we practice is different from his word, how can we say we have faith?

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