John 1:9-13 – Receiving Jesus
John 1:6-8 – John The Baptist
John 1:6-8 – John The Baptist
John 1:6-8 HCSB There was a man named John who was sent from God. (7) He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. (8) He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.
If you have been watching the news about Iraq recently you may have heard about the persecution of the Mandeans – modern-day followers of John the Baptist. In fact in the first century John the Baptist got such a large following among Jews and other folk in the Middle East that quite a bit of the New Testament is spent explaining the connection between the two cousins – John and Jesus. In Acts 19 Paul has to explain the gospel more fully to a group of John’s disciples in Ephesus as the changeover from following John to following Jesus was not as automatic as we may think.
In Matthew 11:11-13 Jesus says that His cousin John was the culmination of the Law and the Prophets and the “greatest of those born of women”. Yet John, despite his greatness “was not the light”, but rather, like all the prophets of old, John ‘bore witness to the Light”. John “prepared the way of the Lord” by helping Jews take the necessary steps of faith so they could be ready to hear the message of Jesus.
“There was a man named John who was sent from God.” Those “sent by God” are apostles (that is what the word apostle means). Apostles are not sent from a nation as an ambassador, or from a company as a representative but directly from God so as to speak on His behalf.
Those sent from God are sent with a particular message to a particular people – just as Jonah was sent to Nineveh with the commission to warn them of impending judgment. Thus John the Baptist was sent to the desert of Judea with the message “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” and a purpose “to be the voice crying in the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord.”
John thus prepared the way for Jesus by calling the Jewish people to repentance, so Jesus could call them to faith in Him. The New Testament makes clear that we cannot have biblical faith apart from moral regeneration. The faith of the positive thinkers is not enough. New Testament faith has a direction and that direction is into God, and into His nature.
We cannot remain in sin and truly believe in Jesus, because if we truly believe what Jesus said we will believe what He said about sin and righteousness and repentance.
Believing in Jesus is not just believing that He exists, or that He is loving and nice, or even that He is God, it is also believing what He said and thus obeying His commandments. If Jesus says “do not lay up treasure on earth’ (Matthew 6:19) and we do so then we are not believing what He said.
Believing in Jesus requires stern moral commitment. It is more than a warmed heart; it is a morally changed life. John came as a preacher of righteousness and moral regeneration so that people could be convicted of their sin and turn to God for mercy and a new life in Christ.
The modern debate on grace is often misconstrued. Grace is not God excusing you from all sorts of abhorrent moral behavior, nor is it a free pass into heaven for the unrepentant. Grace is given to make us holy. Grace calls us from wickedness to repentance, grace reveals the way from repentance to faith in Christ, grace grows us from initial faith to deeper sanctification and grace frees and transforms us along the path from sanctification to ultimate glorification.
Grace gives people the chance to become like Jesus. Grace makes the highway of holiness one that is free from condemnation so that we have the courage to travel along it. Grace is not the same as freedom from condemnation, which is only part of the story. We don’t sit down in the road saying: “Wow, I am free from condemnation.” The idea is to keep moving toward Christ-likeness.
It is much easier to tell a convicted and repentant sinner about Jesus, than a complacent and self-satisfied person who is uncaring of the state of his or her soul. So John came to stir people up so that they would care about their souls and seek God.
John came “so that all might believe through him.” He was a prophet who had as his objective – that others would believe in Jesus. Our ministries should be the same – pointing always to the Savior.
“He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.” No matter how great our intelligence or insight or calling we are not the Light. Only Jesus is the light. Sometimes we make a preacher or teacher or founder of an organization or denomination another “light”. That is wrong, they may give witness to the light, but they are not the light. You can disagree with me and still be wonderfully saved, but you cannot disagree with Jesus and be saved. Jesus is the Truth and I and all other ministers of the gospel merely point to Him.
The Mandeans need Jesus. They need the Light. No man born of woman can guide us. Only Jesus is the Light of our lives.
Miracle Money – How to receive miracles
Miracle Money is a vital topic that is recurrent in Christianity and a largely misunderstood one for that matter. This article is however not written to create another arguement on Miracle Money – there are too many already. But note that your level of understanding of any biblical concept determines your experience. I believe in seeing a cup as half full rather than half empty. Hence, the scripture says, ”with God, ALL THINGS are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Miracle Money then is very much possible. My prayer is that your faith will be stirred and released to produce miracles in every area of your life and not just miracle money as you go through this article.
Many questions often come to my mind when I see people bluntly refuseing to believe in the possibilities of God – the God who made Elizabeth who was called barren fruitful; who made barren Sarah the mother of many nations and the list continues. Why is it so easy for you to believe that Philip and John disappeared and appeared elsewhere in the Bible than it is to believe that God can cause money to appaer in your bank account if He wills so? Why do men condition God and determine the way He oughts to act?
There are many instances of miracle money in the Bible besides those of Elisha and Elijah with the two women but I will like to focus on Jesus Christ taking into consideration the present dispensation of grace (in case you are reading this before the rapture).
The Coin in the Fish’s Mouth
A glaring instant of miracle money is the apparition of the coin in the fish’s mouth.
You need to truly understand why God may choose to perform miracle money.
The miracle of the coin found in the fish’s mouth (miracle money) (Matthew 17:24-27) may be among the least dramatic of Christ’s miracles, but it is certainly instructive. The context involves the paying of the Temple tax, and not surprisingly, only Matthew, the former tax collector for Rome, reports it. Although he did not collect this particular tax, it still interested him. His account of Christ’s life tends to highlight the King and His Kingdom. Why, then, should the King be subject to a tax? Is He not the Son of God, the Heir of all His Father’s house?
Coming to Capernaum, the tax collector asks Simon Peter, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” and Peter replies in the affirmative (verses 24-25). This tax was not a Roman civil tax but a religious one supporting the Temple in Jerusalem. God inaugurated this tax in the wilderness, instructing Moses to take a half shekel from every male twenty years and older (Exodus 30:11-16). It provided for the work of the Tabernacle and later of the Temple, including during the time of Christ. This tax was not an evil one per se, helping to cover legitimate costs of the worship of God, but as with almost all taxation, the money was often misused.
1. Does Peter err in how he answers? Matthew 17:25, 27.
Peter appears concerned that Jesus would not be esteemed a good Jew if He did not pay the tax. Not wanting to bring dishonor and danger on Him, he acknowledges Jesus’ liability to pay the taxes as if He were a mere son of Israel. His reply implies that Jesus had paid the tax and would continue to do as every devout Jew should. When Peter enters the house, Jesus immediately asks him about taxation: “From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” This demonstration of Christ’s knowing what Peter had discussed elsewhere proves to the disciple that His divine omniscience is not limited by distance.
Peter answers the question with the only possible answer, “From strangers,” and Jesus replies, “Then the sons are free.” He refers to Peter and Himself as both sons of the Father, the Sovereign of the Temple, and therefore, free from the tax. However, rather than cause offense, Jesus arranges for the money to be found in a most miraculous way.
Technically, Peter errs about the legality of taxing the Son of God, but Jesus uses the principle of not needlessly offending a brother (Luke 17:1-2) to positively express His divinity and spiritual power: He performs miracle money miracle. Christ is so considerate that He would rather pay any amount, however unjust or objectionable, than endanger God’s work by unnecessarily provoking negative comments that would hurt its credibility, saying, “lest we offend them” (Matthew 17:27). His example should inspire us for when we feel slighted or taken advantage of (Romans 14:21-22).
2. How much control over the situation does Christ demonstrate? How precise is this miracle? Matthew 17:27.
Jesus’ miracle of miracle money consists, not only in His omniscience—knowing that the fish would yield the necessary money—but also in the fact that the first fish that took Peter’s hook contained the precise sum required. The purpose and pleasure of Christ’s will—which all creation obeys—guided that single fish out of multiple schools in the lake to Peter’s hook. Christ, the Lord of Creation, controls all things, even the sea’s fish and the earth’s silver.
In describing Christ as the Word, the apostle John writes, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). Paul confirms this in Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
Using His spiritual power, He makes a fish produce the exact amount of silver coin to pay the Temple dues. This miracle reminds the disciples that He is indeed the omnipotent Son of God who controls all creation.
God can perform miracle money in your life as a way to show you that He is your Provider – that He cares for you. He could also perform miracle money to lift up your faith.
3. How carefully conceived is this miracle of miracle money? How does Jesus view His relationship with His disciples? Matthew 17:24, 27.
The Greek word behind “tax” (NKJV) or “tribute” (KJV) in verse 24 is didrachma, equivalent to the Jewish “half-shekel,” the Temple rate paid by every male Israelite above age twenty. Those responsible for collecting these half-shekels came to Peter. Unlike tolls, which were duties on goods, the Temple tax was levied on individual Israelites. The collected money, paid into the Temple treasury, defrayed the cost of Temple services. The Jews were much more willing to accept this collection than to pay the despised publicans who extracted taxes for Rome.
The miracle’s preciseness is seen in the coin found in the fish’s mouth, a full shekel (two didrachmas)—half a shekel each for Christ and Peter (“for Me and you”; verse 27)—the exact amount to satisfy the requirement. In this way, Jesus puts Himself alongside Peter as sharing His position and relationship as a son of the Kingdom. All true Christians fill this amazing position: They are no longer servants, but sons in Christ (Galatians 3:26). With His brethren Jesus shares His family relationship to His Father (John 20:17).
This account contains two principles. The first is doctrinal, teaching Jesus’ place in God’s Kingdom as the rightful Son. The second is moral, showing that greatness in the Kingdom derives from service and humility. Jesus’ phrase, “lest we offend them,” should motivate us to employ meekness and wisdom.
I hope this message on miracle money has lifhted up your faith. I f so, comment below. Tell us your experience. My team and I are praying for you. May you not just experience the miracles of God like miracle money but may you come to know God more in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
Daily Devotional with Prophet Shepherd Bushiri
God Hears You When You Cry by Prophet Shepherd Bushiri
Scripture Reference: Psalms 34:15
““The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; His ears are open to their cries for help.”
I remember a certain occurrence that took place many years ago. One evening, I arrived home very late from the office and unfortunately, I found that I didn’t have the door key. Needless to say, everyone else was inside sleeping. I tried knocking on the door but no one opened. I tried ringing the doorbell repeatedly but this too was not heard. So I went to the other side, yelled next to one of the bedroom windows for my brother to open the door and then seconds later, I saw him at the front door. I asked him, “You didn’t hear all of the noise I was making?” He said, “No!” I asked, “So then, what woke you up?” He said, “I heard your voice.”
For years and years the children of Israel had cried out in agony for help. They wanted to escape the torment of slavery- but despite God loving Israel, it seemed as though He was inattentive to their plea.
Till one day, the Bible tells us that God heard their cry (Exodus 3:7).You may wonder, why was God not hearing them all this time? The answer is simple. Though they may have been crying out, they were not crying out to God but crying out to each other. Just like how I kept on knocking on the door.
Tantrums, emotional fits, depression and acting out accomplishes nothing at getting God’s attention. And in the same context, complaining to your neighbor and your best friend will achieve nothing as well, as long as you negate God Himself.
God’s ears are attentive to your cries! He is near to the brokenhearted and will draw close to you when you draw close to Him. He is ready to intervene in your life and in your situation. All you need to do is ensure that you cry out to HIM. Let Him be the one to hear the cry of your heart, let God hear your voice!
The Rayon Anointing
Rayon Anointing is mental conception, grasp, thoughts and visualization. When your thoughts change, the quality of your life changes too. The Rayon Anointing is said to be in action when the Spirit-led believer’s imagination, thinking, mental pictures materialise and become reality by faith.
This Rayon anointing makes you visualize things that you need to possess in your life. Your thinking helps your imagination that creates visions and form dreams.
You must see beyond in life from where you are. See yourself blessed, see yourself loaded, see yourself victorious and not the victim of life. Rayon anointing breaks all the limitations placed upon your life because thoughts are things and your vision is the boundary of your blessings.
Think it, See it , Dream it and Possess it.
Refuse to think negatively over your life but positively. The grace of God is released on good thoughts . Think big and dream big to get out of stagnation. All the people that achieved big things in life just thought differently. You must tap into the power of concentration and release the unused resources that God has placed in you. Let your mind concentrate on one thing at a time.
The Rayon Anointing Establishes You