Living Water

I have many favorite Bible stories taken from the Word of God. One of my favorite is that of John 4:1-45. In this story, Jesus and His disciples were traveling and they took a short cut through Samaria to get to Galilee. You see, back in that day, Jews and Samaritans were not fond of each other. As a matter of fact, the Jews would cross the Jordan twice to avoid going through Samaria.  Jesus did not follow this practice and He led His disciples into Samaria, near the town of Sychar, in a field of where Jacob had given his son, Joseph. In that field was a well called Jacob’s Well. Jesus was so wearied from His travels that He sat down at the well.

Let us look at the text from John 4:1-6, “Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. (The sixth hour was noon and in the heat of the day.)

So, Jesus is sitting there and along comes a Samaritan woman to draw water for her household. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples were not there as they had gone into a nearby town to purchase food for them and for the journey. The woman asked Jesus why He had asked her for a drink since the Jews and Samaritan’s had no dealings together. As a matter of fact, Jews despised Samaritans. Jesus asked her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is asking you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you the Living Water.” The woman still did not understand as her response was that He did not have anything to draw water from the well because of how deep it is. Where do you get that Living Water?

See John 4:7-15, “A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Now look at verse 13, Jesus said “Everyone who drinks of this water (Jacob’s Well) will be thirsty again.” The water that Jesus was talking about is from Jesus and will provide a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Then the woman asked Jesus to give her the living water so that she does not have to come to the well anymore.

Then Jesus makes an astounding proclamation to her. See John 4:16-26; “16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

When Jesus told her to go and call her husband, He already knew that she did not have a husband but have had five husbands and that the man that she was with now was not her husband. With that, she perceives that He is a prophet. Jesus gives her an invitation to believe in Him when He tells her that the hour is coming that neither this mountain nor Jerusalem will be the places to worship the Father. He told her that she worships what she does not know but true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The time “is now here” because Jesus is present and has begun the work leading to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Jesus has opened an invitation for her to believe in Him and accept Him as the one and true Messiah.

Meanwhile, the disciples came back and saw that Jesus was talking with the Samaritan woman. Then the woman quickly went back to her town and started to tell everyone “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” The Word said that they “marveled” at the fact He was talking with her. See John 4:27-30, “27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.”

After the woman left, Jesus’ disciples urged Him to eat, but Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” Jesus goes on to explain that although harvest is four months away, the harvest of men’s souls is ripe and the fields of hearts changing are ready to harvest right now.

See John 4:31-38, “31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

In the final passages of John 4:39-45, it is learned that the Samaritans of the town believed the woman’s testimony. I can imagine that they came running as fast as they could across the fields to see the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus while He was at that town. They were so hungry for the “truth” that they asked Jesus to stay with them. Jesus stayed for two whole days, teaching and converting Samaritan’s to follow the God of Israel who will be the God of the world. When Jesus departed after two days, He went to Galilee where the Jews who were at the feast welcomed Him with hugs and open arms. The Galileans had seen all He had done in Jerusalem.

John 4:39-45, “39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” 43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.”

Jesus is no longer just the Savior and Messiah of Israel, but He is the Savior and Messiah of the entire world. He was well received by a hated class of people as their hearts were hungry for the “truth” of our Heavenly Father. They believed in Him.

Jesus came into the world to save it and not condemn it. See John 3:16-17.

Do you want to know Jesus? Do you want to drink the living water which only through Jesus can you obtain through belief and forgiveness?

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

Copyright February 25, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

For God So Loved the World

Today, we are going to study John 3:16-21. Although the most famous and proclaimed salvation Scripture used throughout history has been John 3:16, there is more to this story of belief and faith. Read through these Scriptures with me.

John 3:16-21, “16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Looking at my commentary pertaining to verse 16, RC Sproul wrote, “Some have insisted that God send Jesus to die in order to make salvation possible for everyone without exception. However, Jesus makes clear the salvation of those whom the Father gives Him is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty. All those whom God has chosen will come to Christ, who has laid down His life only for His sheep and not for those who have not been chosen from the foundation of the world. See John 6:37-40; John 10:14-18; and John 17:9. The point made by “the world” is that Christ’s saving work is not limited to one time or place or people (the Jews), but applies to the elect from all over the world no matter the era in which they live or their ethnicity. Moreover, in John, “the world” often opposes God (See John 1:10; 7:7; 14:17; 15:18-19), so the wonder of God’s love is displayed in the unworthiness of its object. Those who do not receive the remedy God has provided in Christ will perish. It remains true that anyone who believes in Christ will not die (be separated from God) but live in God’s presence forever.”[1]

In verse 17, Jesus will not judge the world because that time has not yet come. There will be judgement on the last day, but that has not occurred yet. The world was and is already in a threatened state of judgement before He came into the world. With Jesus’ coming, salvation becomes a reality to a hostile world.

Moving on to verse 18, Sproul wrote, “Unbelief is not the only basis for condemnation, but constitutes the climax of rebellion by resisting even God’s gracious offer of salvation in Christ. Jesus comes into a world that is already condemned because of its rejection of God’s self-revelation. (See Romans 1:18-32); and apart from the faith that unites one to Christ, individuals remain under condemnation for their sins (See John 3:36).”[2]

In verse 19, people loved the darkness more than they loved the light. It is shocking to realize that people even in today’s society would rather love and live in an abomination of sin against God as opposed to loving the light of God and of His Son Jesus. Jesus gave the reason for the worlds rejection of Him. The people loved the wickedness of the world more and as they came to the light; their wickedness would be exposed. The wicked hates exposure to their sin and they also hate the one who gives light which is Jesus, the one true Son of God.

In the last verse, whoever does what is true comes to the light. Jesus speaks of doing “truth.” Truth is a matter of both thought and practice. Living by the truth is contrasted with doing what is wicked (See v.20). “But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Where are you in your belief in God? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came into the world to save the world but not condemn it? Jesus is calling you to come to Him. He wants a personal relationship with you. If you do not know him, won’t you pray this simple prayer? But before we pray, please read through these faith Scriptures:

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

References:


[1] Sproul, RC; General Editor, The Reformation Study Bible (Reformation Trust: Orlando, FL, 2015), 1858.

[2] Reformation Study Bible, 1858.

Copyright February 23, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What Will Your Obituary Say About Your Life?

Have you ever thought about what you have done over the entire course of your life? Most recently, I was looking at the birthday list that popped up in Facebook and then saw a friend who has passed away. When looking at their profile of Facebook, there were family pictures, evidence of a fun life.

In one’s life, you could be the life of the party, telling jokes, and enjoying making people laugh. Some people might have enjoyed their lives cooking, volunteering with the rescue squad, volunteer fire department, or auxiliary police.

Others may have lived for traveling, going to the beach, or fishing. Some had a love for music, singing karaoke, or playing golf. Some have spent their lives playing computer games.

All these activities are done out of enjoyment for ourselves, but what evidences do we have in our life that showed that we were the hands and feet of Jesus? How have our lives made a difference for the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

When I was a police officer, I could have made a difference for the cause of Christ, but I failed miserably. Instead of sharing my faith, I got into the wrong crowd and lived a life of sin. I spent almost 10 years policing and could have made a tremendous impact for the gospel of Christ, but that did not happen.

It wasn’t until later in life that I came to the true salvation of knowing Jesus and I turned to Him completely. I repented of my sin and begged forgiveness for my sin filled life. Since that true day of conversion, I have had the hunger for the Word of God and a hunger to tell others about what Jesus has done for me.

When I die, instead of describing what I enjoyed in life, I would want my obituary to read that Joseph T. Lee wanted all his friends, family, and acquaintances to come to know the true and saving grace of forgiveness, only found through Jesus Christ.

Friends, time is short. For some of us, there may not be a tomorrow on this earth as a living and breathing human being. Why continue to put off coming to Him? Jesus wants a personal relationship with all.

The Bible says in Romans 3:23, that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Romans 6:23, it reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Look in John 3:3, “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Why did Jesus come to die?

In John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” One cannot get to Heaven unless they know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Look at Romans 10:9-11, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

In 2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

The final verse is from Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus stands at your heart’s door and knocks. He wants a relationship with you. Once you accept Him as your personal Savior, He will minister to you through His Holy Spirit.

Don’t put this off any further. Please pray this prayer.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

If you have prayed that prayer, please write to me and tell me that you did. You can write us at Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. I would like to send you a Bible so that you can develop your relationship with the Lord. The best way to grow in Christianity is to read the Bible and get involved in a local church.

Copyright February 2, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Who Do You Lean on in These Dark Days?

Friends, I truly believe that we have entered a very dark time in our nation. Most recently, our nation’s Capital Building was stormed by a mob professing to be Trump Supporters, but there were also reports of Antifa mixed into the riot. All we want is the “truth,” but the truth is also mixed with conspiracy theories as well as lies from our own government leaders as well as conspiracy theorists. For the last four years, the Democrats have worked hard in trying to remove a duly elected President. Even before he was elected, they spied on his campaign, impeached him, and because of the recent Capitol riot, are trying to impeach him again. I would dare say that he is the most hated President ever in the United States history by the Democrats.

This story is not about the President but I needed to set the stage for what I am about to share with you. Our President, like all of us, have morality flaws. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory. With all his flaws including his foul language, over 70 million American’s voted for him in his second Presidential election. He is a favorite for the working class of the American people. There are people who would follow him to the moon and back because they have placed their trust and faith in him.

In contrast, Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Our focus of salvation should be on our Heavenly Father and not on one man. Although God allows leaders to be heads of nations, God can allow Presidents to be removed as well. We do not know why God has allowed Joe Biden to be the next President, but we should be praying for the new leaders, for their hearts to change and turn to Christ Jesus. If the new leaders do not change, you have done your part to pray for them as well as our nation.

We have entered dark times this week with the Capitol Building being desecrated, the killing of life, looting, and property destruction. Then President Trump’s Twitter Account was permanently suspended by Twitter, Facebook has banned conservative’s pages, Amazon, Apple, and Google has removed the conservative social media platform Parler from the app stores and hosting platforms.

Just overnight, a new conspiracy story has been shared on Twitter, Parler, CloutHub, and even Facebook that the Vatican had a black out and the Pope was arrested for 80 counts Child Trafficking and Fraud. The Pope was not arrested and the child trafficking story is false. It was released by a small Canadian news blog that is not well known. I fact checked them and their assertion could not be verified. An independent fact check organization called LeadStories.com; fact checked this story and labeled it as a hoax.

There is so much misinformation flying all over the internet and we as Christians MUST NOT get caught up in this frenzy. As Christians, we put our trust and faith in Jesus. We must not get caught up in the world’s deception and lies. We must stay focused on the race that Jesus has called us to be a part of. We are to stay steady in Christ and lean on Him and Him alone. We must be praying, not only for the leaders, but for our neighbors, as well as ourselves.

But remember, even during trials and tribulations, God is still in control. He is in control! If you do not know the Jesus that I am speaking about, then you will be frightened. But if you do know Him, truly know Him, do not worry. He is with us. We know where we will go when it is our time to die. But those who do not know Him will live in fear.

Friends, here are some Scriptures of comfort during these dark days. Write them down and memorize them. Internalize them. Pour them into your heart so that you will be comforted when days become hard.

Isaiah 35:4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, he will come to save you.”

Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 34:4 “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

Psalm 94:19 “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”

1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for

you.”

Psalm 118:6 “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Psalm 115:11 “You who fear him, trust in the LORD— he is their help and

shield.”

Pray and ask Jesus to comfort you in this dark week of American History. Of course, be prepared for what may come. God wants us to be prepared. In the event of a 6 to 8-week lockdown, have enough food and supplies to get you by. We must always be prepared for what may come and of course, pray and ask God for guidance in all that you do and say. Encourage one another and again stay steady in Christ Jesus. Our focus must not be on a leader but on the Living Savior, Jesus. Certainly, a leader may help make our lives better in this world, but a leader is not going to save us from an eternal hell fire. Only Jesus can do that.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? If not, would you like to know Him? If so, please pray this prayer out loud in your own privacy.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

I pray that you will come to know Him as your Living Savior. If you prayed that prayer, I would highly recommend that you start reading the Bible and start your relationship with Jesus. The first books of the Bible to read would be the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Of course, you should read the rest of the Bible but for a new Christian, these are the best books to start in.

Copyright © January 10, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Do You Suffer from the Sin of Unbelief?

We are continuing today in our study of Chapter 1 of Luke. In verses 18-25, it reads, “18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. 24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Look at what happened to Zechariah. He doubted and questioned what Gabriel told him. He could not believe that Elizabeth, his wife would conceive and give birth to a baby boy. The angel Gabriel silenced Zechariah by making him mute until the birth of John the Baptist.

One would think that Zechariah, being a priest and a man of faith knew the previous miracles that God had performed in the Old Testament. But Zechariah doubted in his mind and in his heart that God would be able to give them a child. What Zechariah should have thought was what God has done before, He could do again. There is nothing impossible for God.

Unbelief is a sin and God is provoked by it. According to JC Ryle, Unbelief in what God can do is a “practical denial of God’s almighty power to doubt whether He can do a thing when He undertakes it. It is giving the lie to God to doubt whether He means to do a thing when He plainly promised that it would be done.”[1]

Do not let concessions to unbelief rob you of inward peace or destroy your hopes and dreams. According to Ryle, “Unbelief is the true cause of a thousand spiritual diseases. In all that respects the pardon of our sins and acceptance of our souls, the duties and trials of our daily lives, let it be a settled maxim in our religion, to trust every word of God implicitly, and to beware of unbelief.”[2]

Do you suffer from the sin of unbelief? If you do, you need to repent of that sin. Pray and ask God to forgive you. One should believe all aspects of the Bible as opposed to just parts of it. The Bible is the Holy Word of God, breathed into the men that wrote it by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is the inerrant Word of God.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? If not, would you like to know Him? If so, please pray this prayer out loud in your own privacy.

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

If you have prayed that prayer, please write to me and tell me that you did. You can write us at Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. I would like to send you a Bible so that you can develop your relationship with the Lord. The best way to grow in Christianity is to read the Bible and get involved in a local church.

References:

Reverend JC Ryle, Daily Readings, January 4th, 2020.


[1] JC Ryle, Daily Readings (Welwyn Garden City: EP Books, 2020) January 4, Morning.

[2] Ibid., January 4, Morning.

Copyright © January 4, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Prayers Are Not Necessarily Answered Immediately: Wait on the Lord

Have you ever prayed for something for a very long time and God does not seem to hear nor answer you? In today’s Bible reading, Zechariah had been praying for a blessing of children for years and yet the people in his society looked on it as if it were all in vain. Elizabeth was barren. Both he and Elizabeth had given up all hope in their advanced years.

Let’s look at Luke 1:13-17, “13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

As you can see, the very first words of the angel were “Do not be afraid.” Then he went on to tell Zechariah that his past prayers had not been forgotten (v. 13). When we pray, it is not for us to dictate as to the way nor the time when our Heavenly Father chooses to answer those prayers.

Verse 14 teaches us that no child will cause such great joy than a child that has the grace of God upon him or her. The grace of God can even be on children as infants and toddlers. The Holy Spirit can operate in small children and these children can grow up to be great evangelists for the Gospel of Christ Jesus (v.15).

How is greatness measured in this life? Our society may measure greatness in politicians, millionaires, generals of armies, authors, artists, and even presidents of corporations like Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter. Our definition of greatness is empty when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is left out. Can you imagine the angels of God consider those who work at evangelizing and doing the work of the Good News of Jesus as great? In contrast, those who do nothing for the Gospel of Christ are not great in God’s sight. Do not seek the praise of men, but seek to praise and worship our Heavenly Father.

With God, nothing is impossible! When you pray, just remember that prayers are not necessarily rejected because the answer was delayed. Stay steady in Christ and persevere in prayer. God will ultimately give you an answer of yes, no, or wait.

If you do not know the living Christ, please consider praying this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

If you have prayed that prayer, please write to me and tell me that you did. You can write us at Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. I would like to send you a Bible so that you can develop your relationship with the Lord. The best way to grow in Christianity is to read the Bible and get involved in a local church.

References:

Reverend JC Ryle, Daily Readings, January 3rd, 2020.

Copyright © January 3, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jesus: The Lord of Angels

Luke is one of my favorite authors in the New Testament. Luke was not only a doctor but a medical missionary and was a close companion of the Apostle Paul. Luke was not a disciple but was born a gentile and was converted by the Apostles to Christianity and had come under the guidance of Paul. Luke was also a historian and researched and wrote the accounts from interviews with the Apostles and others who knew Christ Jesus.

We find in Luke 1:5-12, the great announcement by the angel Gabriel that Elizabeth would bear a son whose name would be John. Of all the gospel writers, Luke is the only one who gives an accounting of the impending birth of John the Baptist.

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.”

In this article, we are going to focus on verses 8-12. In verses 8-9, Zechariah (Zecharias in Greek) was serving as a priest. Zechariah was one of eighteen thousand priests. Of all those priests, fourteen of the eighteen thousand were given the privilege of offering incense on the altar for one year. According to RC Sproul, “Only once could a priest have the opportunity to offer prayers of intercession for the people by means of the offering on incense, which was to represent the prayers of God’s people, a sweet aroma to God.”[1]

In verse 10 as the whole multitude of people were praying outside at the hour on incense. In verses 11 and 12, an angel of the Lord appeared at the altar and was standing to the right side of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled when he saw him and fear fell upon him. Can you imagine the fear that fell upon Zechariah? An angel of the Lord was fitted with armor and was ready to fight and do the work of God.

Were you aware that angels are mentioned more times in the New Testament than the word love and more than the word sin? Angels are an integral part of Scripture. This angel was Gabriel and he came to give an amazing message to Zechariah that would change his and Elizabeth’s lives forever.

At no time do we read about so many angels than regarding the Lord’s incarnation and entrance into the world. God was announcing the coming birth of John the Baptist by the angel, Gabriel. According to JC Ryle, “The meaning of this circumstance is sufficiently clear. It was meant to teach the Church that Messiah was no angel, but the Lord of angels, as well as men.”[2]

Ryle wrote, “One thing about angels we must never forget. They take a deep interest in the work of Christ and the salvation that Christ has provided. They sang high praise when the Son of God came down to make peace by His own blood between God and man. They rejoice when sinners repent. They delight to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation.”[3]

Ryle writes, “The appearance of Gabriel to Zechariah produced a marked effect. Zechariah was afraid and he trembled. The fear came from our inward sense of weakness, guilt and corruption. If angels are so great and terrible, what must the Lord of angels be?”[4]

We must pray to God and thank Him that we have a mighty Mediator whose name is Jesus. As we believe in Him, we will draw closer to God, and boldly live out our lives for the Gospel of Christ Jesus. We will look forward to the day of Judgement and hear the words, “Well done thy good and faithful servant!” In contrast, as for the wicked, I tremble to think of the Judgement Day when the wicked are lost without a Savior and will face the judgement of Hell eternal at the last day.

If you do not know Jesus as your personal savior, why not ask Him into your life? Pray this simple prayer:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

If you have prayed that prayer, please write me and tell me that you did. You can write us at Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. I would like to send you a Bible so that you can develop your relationship with the Lord. The best way to grow in Christianity is to read the Bible and get involved in a local church.

References:

Photo Credit: Public Domain


[1] RC Sproul, Luke: An Expositional Commentary (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2020), 7.

[2] JC Ryle, Daily Readings: From All Four Gospels for Morning and Evening (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2020), January 2 Morning.

[3] Ryle, Daily Readings, January 2.

[4] Ryle, Daily Readings, January 2.

Copyright © January 2, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Is a Closer Walk with God a New Year’s Resolution for You?

Last night, my wife and I toasted to the new year, 2021, with sparkling white grape juice. We were bidding 2020 goodbye and welcoming in the new year. Then right after giving her a kiss, we opened the Word of God as well as started reading Reverend JC Ryle’s “Daily Readings” from all four Gospels for Morning and Evening. What a better way to start the new year but in God’s Word and then praising Him for His blessings and praying for our future as well as the future of our nation.

In 2020, we had a global pandemic as well as racial riots. We were locked down and churches were ordered to be closed or limited to only 10 participants. Many thought the world was coming to an end and many thought Jesus was coming back in 2020. We must always be ready for Christ Jesus’ return, but no one knows of His return, not even the angels in Heaven (cf. Matthew 24:36).

One positive thing that has come out of 2020 with the Covid-19 Pandemic is the fact that Christians were placed in a situation where they could not attend a formal church service. Many of my Brothers and Sisters in Christ took the opportunity to lead Bible studies in their homes with their own families as well as disciple their family as well as others.

Our ministry, Marketplace Evangelism Ministries was already positioned to minister to those across the nation via Zoom, texting, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. These social media platforms allowed for the Word of God to be shared, taught, and many prayed to ask Jesus into their hearts. Hundreds prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer” via TikTok and came to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

I pray that this year, many will hear the call of the Holy Spirit and will act upon the calling to share your faith, disciple others via social media, Zoom, or some other platform. It could be as easy as making telephone calls and talking with friends, family, and people who are in your Sunday School Class, and possibly your neighbor who is lost without Jesus. Reach out to those who you do not know well and ask if they need anything? Offer to pray for them and then pray right then and there with them on the phone or in person while socially distancing yourself. Make 2021 the year that we respond to the Holy Spirit and become involved in Revival of America.

If you want a closer walk with Jesus, then I would suggest you start today by praying and asking forgiveness of your lack of communication with Him. Perhaps, you do not know Him? Pray this simple prayer:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

If you have prayed that prayer, then start reading the Bible. A good version for a new Christian is the New International Version. It is written in a translation that is easily understandable. Get connected with a local church who has Bible studies via Zoom or possibly in person. One of my favorite pastors is Alistair Begg. Alistair has a ministry called Truth for Life and is on Facebook as well as his app can be downloaded to your smart phone. Listen to his lessons taught daily. If you do not have a Bible, you could read on Bible Gateway on the internet for free.  You should read the Bible daily and get engaged in some sort of worship, either over the internet or connecting to a local church.

I mention the internet because we have people in other countries following our blog who are in nations where Christianity is illegal and they could be in danger of being arrested for worshipping Jesus. They are involved in a secret church where Christians worship in secret and their lives are in jeopardy. Please pray for these Christians, that God will protect them and their families.

I pray that you will start this New Year out right with God and start to read through the Bible this year. If you need a Bible, please write to us at the following address, Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. As long as funds are available, we will get you a Bible.

If you would like to donate to our ministry, you may send a donation to Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc., PO Box 1778, Ashland, VA 23005. Our ministry never charges for books or Bibles sent to those in need of discipleship or need a Bible to help them with their Christian walk.

Copyright January 1, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Birth of Jesus According to the Gospel of Luke

The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

From all of us at Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc, we wish you and your family a very Blessed and Merry Christmas! Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” I pray that you will find Salvation only found through the saving grace of Jesus, the Christ!

Photo Credit: The Nativity by Greg Olsen; Pexels.

Reference: The Bible Gateway

The First Evangelists After Jesus Was Born

Were you aware that the Shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep in the fields were the very first evangelists for Jesus? The Bible says in Luke 2:15-16, “ When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” The shepherds were not going to see Mary or Joseph. They were going to see this baby laying in a manger. This baby was going to be the Messiah, the anointed One; the Savior of the world.

Now look at Luke 2:17, “And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.” They made known all that concerned Jesus, the Savior of the world. They told everyone! They were the first evangelists after seeing Jesus because they opened their mouths and proclaimed the Good News of Jesus to everyone they knew. In Luke 2:18, “and all who heard it wondered at what the Shepard’s told them.”

Can you imagine the excitement over seeing all the heavenly hosts in the fields, then going to see this baby in a manager, being over whelmed by His glory, and telling everyone by shouting it from the housetops? The excitement must have been contagious!

I wonder today, if we should be displaying that same excitement over our Lord and Savior, Jesus? Are you excited about the fact that you have asked Him into your hearts? If so, have you shared the Good News of Jesus with others? If not, why? Why wouldn’t you want to share this glorious gift of eternal life with others?

If you do not know the Living Savior, Jesus Christ, won’t you pray this simple prayer right now?

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God and that you came into the world to save it. I believe you died on the cross to save me of my sins. I believe that you rose from the grave on the third day. I ask you to come into my heart and forgive me from all the sins and trespasses I have ever committed. Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul. I pray this in Jesus Name! Amen!

I pray that your love for Jesus will be strengthened and that you will know the wonderful Good News of Jesus Christ, whose salvation and forgiveness surpasses all understanding.

Copyright © December 21, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.