Hello people today was a great day with my Church, today’s word focused on the way we look at things. Let us consider 5 Biblical examples.
- Abram and his nephew Lot (Genesis 13).
This is about the time before God named Abram, Abraham. The verse to focus on, needs some back ground information. Abram is very rich with sheep, goats, cattle, silver and gold. Lot also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and servants. And so there was not enough pasture land for the two of them to stay together, because they had too many animals. So quarrels broke out between the men who took care of Abram’s animals and those who took care of Lot’s animals. Abram one day approached Lot and told him of the situation and told him that since the land could not support the two of them, it would be better if they live seperately. Abram gave Lot the option of which land he would choose to live on, Lot was given the chance to choose first. Let’s check out what happened.
10 Lot looked round and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of the Lord or like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself and moved away towards the east. That is how the two men parted. 12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled among the cities in the valley and camped near Sodom, 13 whose people were wicked and sinned against the Lord.
As you can see Lot trusted his own sight, what appealed to him is what he chose. Now let’s move a little further to see what happens about Abram.
14 After Lot had left, the Lord said to Abram, “From where you are, look carefully in all directions. 15 I am going to give you and your descendants all the land that you see, and it will be yours for ever. 16 I am going to give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all; it would be as easy to count all the specks of dust on earth! 17 Now, go and look over the whole land, because I am going to give it all to you.” 18 So Abram moved his camp and settled near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
As you may see that Abraham trusted in God more than in what things appeared to be to him. And incase you do not know as time passes, Abraham is blessed even more & Lot practically looses everything even his wife.
- Peter walks on water with Jesus
22 Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away. 23 After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; 24 and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it.
25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. 26 When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear.
27 Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!”
28 Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.”
29 “Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried.
31 At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “How little faith you have! Why did you doubt?”
32 They both got into the boat, and the wind died down. 33 Then the disciples in the boat worshipped Jesus. “Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
As you can see from the above, Peter seeks to believe and call out to Jesus as Lord (almighty and sovereign) and says that if it is Him (Jesus) then let him (Peter) come walking out of the boat to meet with Jesus. What does Jesus reply? COME! Apostle Peter was indeed rewarded for his faith in Jesus for he walked on water right till a strong wind caused him to doubt. You see Peter did not try to rationalize; his eyes were the eyes of faith. He sought faith in Jesus and even asked for a sign to justify his faith in Jesus. These miracles are always on role for those who seek and find Jesus.
- The disobedience of the first man and woman against God.
As you may know the first man and woman God made was Adam and Eve. God made them and they were given the beautiful garden of Eden to stay in but God warned them not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of what was right and wrong, for then they would fall under their own condemnation. However Satan succeeds in tempting the man and woman into eating the fruit.
6 The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it.
You can see that Eve like Lot looked and gets taken in by what is pleasing to her eyes. She puts her perspective before God’s warning & what does this lead to …getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Why? Because in the same garden was the tree of life, whose fruit would enable them to live forever. Can you imagine a person living under his own condemnation forever? What misery will that be? Suicide would seem like a blessing in such a dammed situation.
However the tree of life we now have is God’s free gift for the world, on this tree hung a solution for condemnation from all sin. The tree I am talking about is the cross on which hung the perfect sacrifice (Jesus) for all sin….salvation purely by grace….Amen.
- Satan tries to tempt Jesus
1 Jesus returned from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the desert, 2 where he was tempted by the Devil for 40 days. In all that time he ate nothing, so that he was hungry when it was over.
3 The Devil said to him, “If you are God’s Son, order this stone to turn into bread.”
4 But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone.’ ”
5 Then the Devil took him up and showed him in a second all the kingdoms of the world. 6 “I will give you all this power and all this wealth,” the Devil told him. “It has all been handed over to me, and I can give it to anyone I choose. 7 All this will be yours, then, if you worship me.”
8 Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”
9 Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem and set him on the highest point of the Temple, and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here. 10 For the scripture says, ‘God will order his angels to take good care of you.’
11 It also says, ‘They will hold you up with their hands so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’ ”
12 But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
13 When the Devil finished tempting Jesus in every way, he left him for a while.
You can see that Jesus does not act violently or try to show Satan that he can be worse. You can clearly see that Jesus is in full control and Satan is the person who appears to be worried. All his efforts to lure Jesus, fail. You may look at the above and see that even in the weakness of Jesus’ 40 day fast; Jesus not only puts up a really good fight but has Satan all worried. Getting Satan worried was as easy for Jesus as twiddling His thumbs. Jesus in the weakness of His 40 day fast handles the baddest dude in all creation and still comes out victorious.
The above verse also shows Jesus trusting His Father, please do not make this to be that Jesus was just a man/prophet. Jesus is fully man and fully God. In fact the control which Jesus showed against Satan, even in His weakness of His fasting, was something not even the strongest of men has ever Biblically shown.
However the Bible does say that while Jesus was on earth, He lowered Himself to something lower than even the angels because He accepted His Father’s plan for the Salvation of man, all out of humility, for He alone could steer through with this plan.
But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, so that through God’s grace he should die for everyone. We see him now crowned with glory and honour because of the death he suffered.
14 Since the children, as he calls them, are people of flesh and blood, Jesus himself became like them and shared their human nature. He did this so that through his death he might destroy the Devil, who has the power over death,
Philippians 2:8 (About Jesus)
He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death — his death on the cross.
- The thief with the eyes of faith.
32 Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be put to death with Jesus. 33 When they came to the place called “The Skull”, they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 35 The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders jeered at him: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen!”
36 The soldiers also mocked him: they came up to him and offered him cheap wine, 37 and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews!”
38 Above him were written these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. 41 Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” 42 And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!”
43 Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.”
You can see that the criminal with the eyes of faith gets the free gift of eternal life ….by grace through his faith in Jesus.
From all the above 5 points, it is important to note that when God speaks to you, it mostly will be something you cannot rationalize, because if you could have rationalized it then you would have done it, without Him speaking to you. I would like to close with 4 lovely pieces of scripture.
6 No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.
1 Corinthians 2:8-10 (from the letter of Apostle Paul to the Church of Corinth)
8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:7
7 For our life is a matter of faith, not of sight.
So people listen not to your own perception but listen to Jesus & Him alone in union with the Father and the Spirit, for He knows what is best for you.