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.

Tik Tok Can be a Very Dark Place: Speaking Sin into Your Child’s Life

Most recently, after posting an evangelism video on Tik Tok, a video showed up in my feed of a Mom and her baby boy. She was speaking evil over her toddler. And then he agreed with her. As a Christian father, I was very shocked to see this.

As adults, we have the choice to obey God’s commandments or to go our own way and do our own thing. Everyone has their own belief system, but they can make those choices as teenagers or adults. I will always be nice to people who are different than I am and show the love of Christ which lives in me.  

Speaking what one truly knows as a sin into their child’s life is opening doors of a demonic nature. Dabbling in the occult or encouraging another to willfully sin, can be very dangerous and open both you and your family to a demonic possession or oppression.

Although when Jesus was teaching the disciples about who the greatest was, in Matthew 18:6, Jesus said; “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Children are very vulnerable and their faith is great. To speak evil over a child is literally causing them to sin. It’s introducing sin into their lives and causing them to potentially be open to evil spirits.

Titus 3:2 reads, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

1 Peter 3:10, “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”

Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Mothers should be protecting their children as opposed to speaking evil over them. It is literally invoking sin over their lives. See Psalm 82:3-4, Psalm 127:3, Matthew 18:10, Ephesians 5:11, Proverbs 22:6, Psalm 139:13-16, and Ephesians 5:11. A mother influencing her toddler to potentially sin against God is chilling and many would consider it an evil act.

Apparently, this mother does not know Jesus herself. If she truly did, she would not be speaking evil over her son. The Bible says that the evil one roams our world like a lion who sets out to destroy everything in his sight. See 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour.” Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus is vulnerable themselves to the wiles of Satan.

Here are some Scriptures to pray over your child:

Psalm 145:1, “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.”

Jeremiah 24:7, “I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.”

Hebrews 12:6, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

I pray that you will choose to speak positive godly affirmations over your child. Pray for them as well as with them. Teach them the ways of the Lord and they will never leave the faith. See Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

References:

Photo Credit: Tik Tok

Copyright December 13, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Amazing Love. How Can it Be?

Can you imagine loving Jesus so much that you would weep over Him, use your tears to wash His feet, and use your hair to dry them? That is exactly what happened to Jesus when He went to visit the home of a Pharisee. According to Luke 7:36-50, Jesus had been invited to one of the Pharisee’s homes to eat a meal. Jesus went into the home and reclined at the table with the Pharisee. Then a woman from the city came into the home. She was most likely a prostitute as she was described as very sinful and was not the type of woman the Pharisee thought should be hanging around Jesus.

The woman started weeping and crying. It must have been dramatic crying as her tears were many. She was moved by the Spirit of God and started to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears. She used her hair to dry His feet and then anointed his feet with alabaster ointment.

The Pharisee who saw this thought to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39). Jesus said to the Pharisee, “Simon, A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Why is it that we do not see such great love today for our Savior, Jesus? Is our faith so weak that we have a low sense of obligation to the Lord? According to JC Ryle, “A low and feeble sense of sin will always produce a low and feeble sense of the value of salvation.”[1] The men and women who feel much forgiven are the ones who love much (cf. Luke 7:47).

If you have come to Christ but are lacking in a close relationship with Jesus, then you need to stop right now and pray and ask forgiveness of your sins. You then need to pick up your Bible and start reading it starting in the Book of John. Read at least one chapter each day and then pray for at least ten minutes.

Talking with God in prayer should consist of the following: According to Dave Earley, “Thanksgiving, Praise, Confession, Supplication, and Intersession. Thanksgiving means expressing gratitude to God for what He has done for you. Praise is worshipping God for who He is. Confession is agreeing with God that we are sinful and asking forgiveness for those sins. Supplication is asking God to provide for your needs. And Intersession is standing in the gap and praying for others.”[2]

Regardless of the problems we face today, giving everything to Christ Jesus means that you will trust Him. According to Ryle, “No problems, real or imagined, can dissuade the man or woman who loves Christ from obeying Him.”[3]

If you do not know Jesus, I would ask that you pray this simple pray to Him.

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.

References:

Photo Credit: Google


[1] JC Ryle, Daily Readings (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2020), 7 December, Morning.

[2] Dave Earley 28 Days to Powerful Prayer (Nashville, TN: Barbour Books, 2020), 16-18.

[3] Rlye, Daily Readings, 7 December, Morning.

Copyright December 7, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A Summons and We Must Answer

Today, I had the pleasure of looking through my Grandfather’s sermon notes. My Grandfather’s name was Reverend Joseph E. Hocutt, and he was a co-vocational minister who was a circuit rider preacher on Sundays and a school teacher during the week in Sharpsburg, NC in the late 1800’s. In one of his sermons, he preached on 2 Corinthians 5:10. But before I share that Scripture, I think it is prudent to read the preceding Scriptures to get a context of what verse ten should mean to us.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 (English Standard Version)

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The following are notes taken from RC Sproul’s Commentary in The Reformation Study Bible as well as my own understanding of Scripture. When we become “true” Christians, then our earthly home here on earth is only temporary. Even if we lose our home on earth, we still have a home, made for us in Heaven. In verse two, we groan means that we are sighing with frustration at the limitations of this present life, with its sin, weakness, and corruption. In verse three, “we may not be found naked” means that we are without a body. Verse four indicates that Paul is longing for the resurrection body, free of weakness and imperfections of this life. Swallowed up by life means the new heavenly life to come will overtake our presence existence. In verse five, God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee, which means the Holy Spirit’s work in us is a daily renewal and strengthening. It is the guarantee of complete sanctification and future completion of that work in resurrection bodies. In verse seven, we walk by faith and not by sight. This means that by trusting in the promises of God, we are have already begun to enjoy Christ, but we have not yet fully experienced our resurrection bodies. Verse eight means that the immediate state between our death and Christ’s return, when the Christian dies, their soul goes immediately into Christ’s presence and are at home with the Lord. Although their soul is with the Lord, their bodies remain here on earth and in the grave. When Christ returns, their bodies will be raised from the dead, glorified, and forever be reunited with their spirits. In verse nine, whatever our condition is, we are to praise God. In verse ten, the degrees of reward in Heaven are discussed in this verse. Although Christians are forgiven and will never be sent to Hell, they must still stand before the Judgement Seat of God and be judged.[1]

Rev. Hocutt wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ. This is a crownship of reckoning. The Bible is clear on this that there will be a settling day. We shall meet again and all we have ever done will be judged.” Then he gave an example of a young girl who was without Christ Jesus. He wrote, “A girl dying said, Father why did you not tell me there is a Hell? It will be the sinners doom and Christian’s joy!”

When Christ Jesus does return, as my Grandfather wrote, “There will be a summons and we must answer!” When Christ returns, on Judgement Day, we must all stand before Lord Jesus at the judgement seat. Those who are “true” Christians, will be judged on their life and receive various degrees of reward in Heaven. This judgement will include a disclosure and evaluation of the motives of our hearts. See 1 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 6:20, Luke 19:11-27, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.

Woe to the person who never gave their hearts to Christ Jesus. Their fate will be sealed and they will be cast into eternal damnation of Hell. See 2 Thessalonians 1:9, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”

Those who have trusted in Christ Jesus will receive eternal life. See Matthew 25:46, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If you do not know Jesus, I would ask that you pray this simple prayer to Him.

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 hope that you will come to Christ Jesus today! Don’t be like the little girl my Grandfather mentioned who was dying and saw that she was headed to Hell. She asked her Dad, why didn’t you ever tell me that there was a Hell? I pray that you will come to know the loving and living Savior today.

References:

Reverend Joseph E. Hocutt, Sermon Notes on 2 Corinthians 5:10, Date Unknown.


[1] RC Sproul. The Reformation Study Bible-Commentary (Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust, 2015) 2056.

Copyright © November 29, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thanksgiving: Why Not Thank God Daily?

Thanksgiving: Why Not Thank God Daily?

Why is it that we celebrate Thanksgiving only one time a year? Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate and gives thanks for the harvest and the preceding year. It is a national holiday and celebrated in United States, Canada, Brazil, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia; at various times of the year.

In the United States, Thanksgiving is rooted in English tradition and started from the Protestant Reformation and has evolved into a national holiday where families get together and enjoy a meal together. Although it has religious roots, it is now considered a secular holiday.

Let us look at the definition of “thanksgiving.” According to Dictionary.com, thanksgiving is defined as:

  1. the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
  2. an expression of thanks, especially to God.
  3. a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
  4. a day set apart for giving thanks to God.

Three out of the four definitions mentioned pertains to giving thanks to God, our Heavenly Father. According to Dave Earley, “Prayers of thanksgiving are some of the most common prayers of the Bible. Many men and women in the Bible opened their mouths and thanked God for the things He had done for them.” [1]

Although we celebrate Thanksgiving once per year, we should be praying prayers of thanksgiving every day. Prayers of thanksgiving should be part of our daily lives and daily prayer life. Even in a time of adversity, we should continue to give thanks to God. An example of this was when in the Book of Daniel, Daniel faced sure death when he learned that he was going to be thrown into the lion’s den as a punishment. See Daniel 6:10, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

When it came time for Daniel to be thrown in the Lion’s den, God had heard Daniel’s prayers and He shut the lion’s mouths and his accusers were executed instead. See Daniel 6:24, “At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.”

This gave Daniel much more to be thankful for. His life was spared and God had saved his life by sending an angel to shut the lion’s mouths. Giving thanks to God every day has eternal consequences. In Psalm 106, we are to give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. See verse 1, “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.

The Bible is full of Scripture verses telling us to give thanks to God. After all, our Heavenly Father is Infinite, Almighty, Majestic, the only One True God, Sovereign, Trustworthy, Faithful, Holy, Loving, True, Righteous, Just, Merciful, Gracious, Worthy of Worship, Redeemer, Savior, Deliverer, King of Kings, Lord of lords, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Good Shepherd, Great Physician, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Way Maker, Promise Keeper, and Miracle Worker. These are just a few of His names and attributes.

I have a challenge for each of you reading this. Why not incorporate thanksgiving and praise into your daily prayer life? Instead of only praying when there is an emergency or when something urgent comes along, pray every day, at least three times a day. Pray in the morning, pray at noon time, and pray in the evening. These times of prayer and thanksgiving should last longer than a four or five sentence prayer. Take time with the Father to dwell on Him and enter worship with Him. If you are not used to praying, start out thanking Him for everything that happened in the day. Include the small stuff, even if you think that it is not worth mentioning. Talk with God as if you were talking to a close friend. Give thanks for everything.

I pray that you will make “Thanksgiving” an everyday occurrence and that the Living God will mold you into the man or woman that He wants you to become. After all, God deserves to be praised and thanks every day until we go to meet Him at the end of life on earth.

References:

Dave Earley, 28 Days to Powerful Prayer (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2020)49.

Dictionary.com

Photo Credit: Jean Leon Gerome Ferris: The First Thanksgiving


[1] Dave Earley, 28 Days to Powerful Prayer (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing, 2020)49.

Copyright © November 28, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Are We Making the Most of God’s Kindness?

It is Black Friday and many will be going shopping, looking for the great deals so many merchants are offering. When people are out shopping, I doubt very seriously they will see the folks who are destitute, homeless, and without much. These people seem invisible when so many are rushing around trying to buy toys and things for loved ones for Christmas. I would ask that if you see someone, who is destitute, won’t you stop and give them a helping hand? After all, it is the season of giving.

Destitute and “the least of these” remind me of the invalid lying down at the edge of the Pool of Bethesda. He couldn’t get into the waters when they were stirred up for healing, and he just laid there waiting for someone to have compassion on him to take him down into the pool.

Jesus came along and saw this poor sufferer lying in the crowd and Jesus had mercy and compassion on him. This invalid was neglected, overlooked, and forgotten in the great crowd of people by the pool, but Jesus saw him and went over to minister to him. Jesus pitied him, healed him, and sent him on his way.

JC Ryle stated it very well, “He was full of undeserved, unexpected, abounding love towards man. He delights in mercy (cf. Micah 7:18). He was far more ready to save than man is to be saved, far more ready to do good than man is to receive it” (Ryle 2020).

Were you aware that every sickness and sorrow is the voice of God speaking to us? Ryle wrote, “Happy are they who have an eye to see God’s hand and an ear to hear His voice in all that happens to them. Nothing in this world happens by chance. … As it is with sickness, so it is with recovery. Renewed health should send us back to our post in our world with a deeper hatred of sin, a more thoroughness watchfulness over our own ways and a more constant purpose of mind to live for God. Far too often the excitement and novelty of returning health tempt us to forget the vows and intentions of the sick room. There are spiritual dangers attending a recovery! Well would it be for us all after illness to engrave these words on our hearts: ‘Let me sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto me’” (Ryle 2020).

Illnesses will help to draw us closer to God, even if the illness is very serious and could have life threatening consequences. If people were to survive such an illness like Covid, a heart attack, or cancer; and they made promises to God to change their life and they repent on their sick bed, and then they start to recover, God was in the mix of their healing. Then when these people recover, they go back to their old ways. They continue in their sin. According to what Jesus told the sick man, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing happen to you” (cf. John 5:14).

How many of you know people who were very ill and they made promises and then recovered and went back to what they were doing before the illness? There is a great chance that the next illness will be much worse or something entirely different happens to them.

Read Psalm 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your Word.” David found that affliction brought him back from wandering away from God. God often uses distress and suffering in our lives to bring us back to Him. David goes on to write in Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” David’s afflictions brought him back to God.

Because of broken promises to God, are we making the most of His loving kindness or are we building up His wrath against us? Let’s look at Romans 2:5, “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed.” We are to draw closer to Him, stay committed to Him once we are healed, and never go back to our old ways before repentance. Not only do we potentially face something worse happen to us, we will face God’s judgement and if one does not know Him as Lord and Savior, the final judgement is hell damnation.

There is hope today. Jesus came into the world to save it and not condemn it (cf. John 3:16-17). Jesus said, “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to our Heavenly Father except through Me.” The following are Scriptures pertaining to you coming to Jesus. Read them carefully and try to internalize them as to what they mean to you.

Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death (hell) but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”

John 3: 3, “Jesus replied, ‘I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”

John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 10:9-11, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, ‘No one who believes in Him will be put to shame.’”

2 Corinthians 5:15, “And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.”

Revelation 3:20, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.”

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish (go to hell), but have eternal life (Heaven). For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

If you would like to surrender your heart to Jesus and ask him into your life, then pray the 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!

I hope and pray that you have invited Jesus into your heart. Reach out to me via Facebook if you would like to talk further about giving your life to Christ Jesus. My Facebook is @JosephTLee777 or Instagram @PastorJoeLee.

I pray that you will come to know the living Jesus and that this Christmas season will be most meaningful to you! May the Lord Bless you and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace (cf. Numbers 6:24-26).

References:

JC Ryle Compiled by Robert Sheehan, Daily Readings (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2020) 24 February Evening.

Copyright © November 27, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart!

Happy Thanksgiving! I pray you will be blessed today spending time with loved ones and family. Thanksgiving is a time of year to give thanks to God for all the blessings received this year. Many wonder though with Covid, how is that a blessing? That itself is another story and we can expound on that in a future article. In short, Covid has brought many people closer to God through people seeking Him, working from home and having time for the study of the Word of God and in prayer.

Just this morning, I did a Tik Tok video under my user name @PastorJoeLee. The video was a Thanksgiving Scripture reading of Psalm 100. Please look at the words.

Psalm 100 – English Standard Version

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
  Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
  It is he who made us, and we are his;
  we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
  and his courts with praise!
  Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
  his steadfast love endures forever,
  and his faithfulness to all generations.

This Psalm calls the whole earth to worship Him. Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth! This call goes out beyond the “chosen people” but to all peoples of the earth. God is their king as well, whether they know it or not. We should serve the Lord with gladness, loving service is a grateful response to the grace of God. We are to know that the Lord is God and He made us all. We are His sheep of His world. We are to enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise. The Lord is good and His steadfast love is a covenant with His people. It is a forever covenant of His lovingness towards us.

My wife sometimes sings this song around our home when she is working in the kitchen. The song is called “Give Thanks” by Don Moen. Here are the lyrics:

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Give thanks with a grateful heart (with a grateful heart)
Give thanks to the Holy One (to the Holy One)
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

Give thanks with a grateful heart (with a grateful heart)
Give thanks to the Holy One (to the Holy One)
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich (I am rich)
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
Give thanks

We give thanks to You

I pray that today, you will find the peace of God which surpasses all understanding. I pray that you will give thanks for everything! Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. If you do not know Him, won’t you pray this simple prayer today?

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!

If you have prayed that prayer, please let me know by making a comment below. May the Lord bless each of you as well as your families. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. Happy Thanksgiving!

References:

Song Lyrics for “Give Thanks” by Don Moen.

Photo Credit: Askar Abayev, Pexels Photos

Copyright © November 26, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jesus Who Knows Us Completely Can Forgive Us Entirely

Today, we will continue in the study of Mark 2:1-12, Matthew 9:2-8, Luke 5:17-26. We are also adding Psalm 139:1-6. In our study from November 23, 2020, we are continuing in studying about when Jesus healed the paralytic. Today, we will focus on how God uses illness to bring us closer to Him as well as forgive our sins.

Can you imagine being healed by Jesus in that house after the invalid’s friends lowered him down on his bed through the roof? Jesus healed him, the man got up and took his bed and walked out of that home clean, forgiven of his sins and trespasses, and was healed and made whole. The man after spending years in a health affliction, suffering, so weak that he needed friends to carry him to Jesus. He walked home praising God for his healing.

JC Ryle wrote, “Let us beware of murmuring under affliction. Every cross is meant to call us nearer to God. Bereavements have proved mercies. Losses have proved real gains. Sicknesses have led many to the great Physician of souls, sent them to the Bible, shut out the world, shown them their foolishness and taught them to pray. Thousands echo David’s words from Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”[1]

In Mark 2:8, Jesus can see into men’s hearts. We cannot keep anything secret from Christ Jesus. Read Hebrews 4:13, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

The scribes thought that Jesus did not have the authority to forgave the invalid’s sins, only God could do that. And yet Jesus knew what they thought. The scribes thought Jesus had committed blasphemy. Jesus knew what they were thing and He knows what we think, even words before we speak them. See Psalm 139:4, “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”

Jesus sees us daily. He sees our actions and He knows our hearts and our minds. Jesus has the priestly power to forgive our sins. See Mark 2:5 and 10, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” There is no other person, angel, minister of any domination, can take away a sinner’s sin guilt and absolve them of their sins. That authority only comes through Jesus Christ and the sinner praying for forgiveness and turning from their wicked ways. Go has given His Son, Jesus, the authority to forgive sins.

If you are not a Believer in Christ Jesus, won’t you come to Him today? 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.

References:

Ryle, JC, Compiled by Robert Sheehan, Daily Readings (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2020) 24 February Morning.


[1] JC Ryle Compiled by Robert Sheehan, Daily Readings (Welwyn Garden City, UK: EP Books, 2020) 24 February Morning.

Copyright © November 25, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Is the Fall of Man the Cause of the Pandemic?

Today, we are continuing our study with JC Ryle. Before we venture into today’s devotion, let me tell you a little about Ryle. JC Ryle was born in 1816 and died in 1900. He was the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool. He was a writer, pastor and an evangelical preacher.

As I had mentioned yesterday, I felt the Lord leading me to the February 23rd Scripture study of Ryle in his collection called Daily Readings, Evening. This collection of notes on Scripture has a morning and evening reading and notes to coincide with the Scriptures.

The notes are based on the following text, John 5:1-17 and Genesis 3:13-19. In John 5:1-17, the text refers to a paralytic who is lying beside the pool of Bethesda, waiting for years to be healed. He is lying on a bed and every time he tries to get up and go into the pool for healing waters, someone else takes the place of the prior person.

This man had been an invalid for thirty-eight years and when Jesus approached, He knew the man had been laying there for a very long time. In verse 6, Jesus said to the man, “Do you want to be healed?” Now, it was the Sabbath and according to the law, no one was supposed to do any work. The sick man answered Jesus and said that he had no one to put him into the pool. Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and take your bed and walk!” (8). “And at once, the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked” (9).

Because it was the Sabbath, the Jews asked the man why he was carrying his bed and the man told him that the man at the pool told him to get up and take his bed and walk and he did and he was healed. After Jesus healed the man, he withdrew into the crowd. Later, in the day, Jesus went to the temple and saw the man whom he had healed. In verse 14, Jesus said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus that healed him. The Jews were angry and were persecuting Jesus because he worked in ministry on the Sabbath. In verse 17, Jesus said to the Jews, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

In Genesis 3:13-19, God was angry at Adam, Eve, and the serpent. God pronounced the punishment on their sin of disobedience and eating the forbidden fruit. This was the Fall of man and the punishment as a result of that fall from God’s grace.

Even back in the 1800’s when JC Ryle wrote these notes, there was sickness and infirmities. People got sick and many had dreaded illnesses and they died. The reason we have illnesses today stems back to the Fall of man when Adam and Eve sinned against God and disobeyed Him.

Ryle mentions the paralytic invalid at the waters of the Bethesda Pool. He wrote, “When we read of cases like this, we should remember how deeply we ought to hate sin! Sin was the original root and cause and fountain of every disease in the world, God did not create man to be full of aches and pains and infirmities. These things are the fruits of the Fall. There would have been no sickness if there had been no sin” (Ryle 2020).

Ryle also references Proverbs 14:9, “’Fools’, says the wise man, ‘make a mock of sin.’” Back in his day, he wrote, “Thousands delight in things which are positively evil and run greedily after that which is downright poison. They love that which God abhors (hates) and dislike that which God loves. They are like the madman who loves his enemies and hates his friends. Their eyes are blinded. Surely if men would only look at hospitals and infirmities and think of havoc sin has made on this earth, they would never take pleasure in sin as they do” (Ryle 2020).

Wow!  Did you read this last paragraph? It sounds very much like it was written about today’s society in 2020. But instead of being thousands of people, it is more like millions and millions of people who delight in things which are positively evil and run after poison.

I bet many are wondering if the current pandemic is a punishment of God? Based on what we have read and studied, yes, it is. It is along with all the other illnesses, the result of the Fall, but there is hope through Jesus Christ. Although mankind has been punished for what Adam and Eve did, we have salvation through Jesus Christ. It is through His death that we are granted eternal life, but with one catch. We must believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God, that He died to save us from our sins and that He rose three days later. We are to ask forgiveness and repent from our wicked ways, and live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him. Look at the verse one more time. In John 5:14, “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” We are to stay steady in Christ.

Until Christ returns again, we most likely will continue to have illnesses, infirmities, and pandemics. Look at Philippians 3:20-21, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” There will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more infirmities.

If you do not know Jesus, won’t you ask Him into your heart today?

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.

Works Cited

Ryle, JC Daily Readings. Edited by Robert Sheehan. Welwyn Garden City: EP Books, 2020.

Copyright © November 24, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.