The Angry Jesus….?

30th November

Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, He told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!””

John 2:15-16

Soon after the wedding in Cana, after Jesus had turned water into wine, Jesus headed toward Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. As He entered the temple, His heart was filled with anger towards what faced Him: He saw scheming and conniving people trying to profit from the large crowds that had gathered in Jerusalem for the Passover; Money exchangers ripping off foreigners by most probably charging a ridiculous handling fee to change their own currency into money fit for the temple offering; Cattle and sheep probably being sold at extortionate prices for monetary gain; Holiness for God’s house non-existent.

Jesus was filled with anger and made a whip to drive out the defilers of His Father’s house. Jesus didn’t just want to give a lecture about what wrong with the situation. He got mad and wanted to drive them all out. He wanted purity and holiness in His Father’s house.

Sometimes we overlook this story and don’t see the personal reflection and application for our own lives. Jesus was angry because people abused and mocked His Father’s house. If we believe that Jesus lives in us and our bodies are the temple of God, then what do we think Jesus feels about our temple? This is not to say that Jesus will make a whip to beat the sin out of us when we stumble. But it does mean that God doesn’t tolerate sinful, disrespectful and God neglecting lifestyles. He wants our lives to be a reflection of Him in purity and holiness. If they’re areas of your life that are not that, then reach out to our loving, gracious Father and ask Him to help you deal with it. God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness. God is love and that is why He wants to make us holy!

Do Whatever He Tells You..

29th November

But His mother told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. . . Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”. . ”

John 2:5-6a, 7a

The wonderful miracle of Jesus turning water into wine is often noted to be Jesus’ first miracle on the earth as a human. Of course the fact that Jesus turned water into wine, and not just any wine, but into a fine wine, is in and of itself an amazing miracle. Yet it is the manner that Jesus did it, that intrigues commentators and readers a like.

Jesus’ mother Mary, a wedding guest or perhaps even one of the organisers of the wedding feast, noticed that the wine had run out and authoritatively told the servants of the wedding feast to ‘do whatever He (Jesus) tells you’. If Mary was just a mere guest at the wedding, then she probably wouldn’t have been able to tell the servants what to do. Perhaps she was so concerned the wine had run out and knew who her Son was, that she took matters into her own hands. Whatever the reasons, Mary knew there was a problem and she knew her Son, Jesus had the solution.

So Jesus, encouraged by His mother, told the servants to fill the stone jars with water. What is worth noting, is the fact that these jars were used for ceremonial cleaning, a fact that John purposefully tells his readers. The stone jars that were used for ‘ceremonial cleaning’ would soon become vessels for Jesus’ first miracle and a miracle that led many of the disciples to put their trust in Him. The significance of the stone jars being used, symbolises that Jesus didn’t work in the ‘religious’ way people expected. He broke church customs and religious practices to reach greater needs and show people who He really was.

Sometimes Jesus doesn’t always work in the ways we expect Him to, but our hope in Jesus’ miracles in our lives, should be approached in the same manner as Mary did, ‘do whatever He tells you’. Trust Jesus, trust His miracles and watch Him work powerfully in your life.

The Stairway To Heaven

28th November

Then He said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the One who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

John 1:51

Jesus is our stairway to heaven.

If we just stopped this devotion there, that would be enough to fill us for the day right?! What a powerful and deep statement. Yet what elevates this passage to an even deeper and surreal understanding, is that Jesus said it about Himself. It is such a clear demonstration of Jesus’ role in our salvation and our relationship with the Father, that it cannot be denied. Moreover Jesus Himself spoke this truth. When Jesus says, ‘I tell you the truth’, we can pretty much guarantee that what He is about to say is 100% the truth. He plainly and clearly told His disciples that they will all see angels ascending and descending into heaven from earth, on a heavenly stairway, which was HIMSELF.

It is Jesus Himself, who is the connection, the link and the stairway for not only the angels to ascend and descend into heaven, but for us too. It is through Jesus that we pray to the Father. It is through His sacrificial ransom for us that we stand before God forgiven and free. It is through Jesus that we can enter the Holy of Holies. It is Jesus that stands before the Father as our representative and on our behalf. He is the One that allows us access to a Holy God, regardless of how we see ourselves. Friends, Jesus is your access to Heaven. It is only through Him. He is your stairway to Heaven. Believe in Him, put your trust in Him and walk into God’s throne room through Jesus. It is the truth. Jesus said it Himself.

Behold… The Lamb Of God

26th – 27th November

Weekend Edition

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward Him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the One I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for He existed long before me.’”

John 1:29-30

John’s two fold prophetic statement are words which echo throughout eternity. John’s statement not only implied that somehow Jesus would forgive the sins of the world, but also that Jesus was greater than John because He existed long before him. We know both to be true and both are foundational in our belief and our salvation.

Firstly, Jesus truly was the Lamb that was slain for the sins of the world. He humbly went to the cross, knowing what awaited Him, knowing the pain and suffering, and gladly become the unblemished sacrifice for us, taking our sins upon Him, forgiving us and showering His love upon us. That is foundational to our re-connection with God, as it is through Jesus, that we can commune and have fellowship with the Father. He is the bond that sets us free.

Secondly, is the knowledge that Jesus existed long before humanity. John’s terminology may have simply been to imply that Jesus’ ministry started before his, yet the underlying truth is that Jesus truly was around longer than John. In fact Jesus was around longer than the earth itself. He created the world. He was there from the beginning and will be there at the end. He is beyond time. It is this fact that shows us that Jesus and God are ONE; an absolute truth that cannot be comprised on. It too is foundational for our faith and salvation.

This is why John’s words still ring true today. They are a prophetic picture of salvation in the King of Kings and the Creator of all things. Do you echo John’s words in your heart? Can you stand in agreement with John and welcome the Lamb of God into your life?

Your Way

25th November

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.”

Psalm 24:4-5

Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth1

The Psalmist often spoke of the necessity of God’s guidance throughout his life because he knew that without it, he would be lost. Moreover, there was no plan B for his life. It was God’s way or nothing. He knew the importance of being led by an all seeing and all powerful God. If we too could just trust God more, imagine how much more at peace we would feel in our lives; the release that we don’t have to have all the answers or know every step we have to take in our lives because we are being led by our God whose ways are higher than ours.

Isn’t interesting when you view things from a higher perspective it changes your perception of those things. For example when you go to the top of a high rise building or climb up a tall mountain, everything beneath you seems so small and even toy-like. God has the same perspective over not just a period in our lives, but all of it. He knows our beginning and our end. He knows the next step and one hundred steps from now.

Today, just take a step back from your worries, concerns and stresses for the future and trust in God’s way. Not just for ‘life’ but in order that we might live for the Lord in all we do; as the Psalmist says, to live in God’s truth for all of our lives. May we too, all day long, put our trust in Him.

1Psalms 86:11a

Use What You Have Well

24thNovember

If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be be honest with greater responsibility. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of Heaven?”

Luke 16:10-11

in Luke 16, Jesus tells us an interesting story about a rich man who was unhappy with the way his manager had been dealing with his wealth. The rich man told his manager that he was going to be fired because he had been wasteful with his money. With no other options for a new job after being fired, the manager sought to make alliance’s with his master debtors, so shrewdly discounted their debts, and sent them on their way. Much to our surprise, and probably to the disciples and Pharisees surprise, who were listening to this story, the rich man commends his shrewd (wise, prudent) manager! So what does this ironic story mean for us?

Well, Jesus in verse 9 partly reveals the lesson in saying this, “Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone they will welcome you to an eternal home!” In verse 8, Jesus too affirms the managers actions and says that the ‘children of light’ (a phrase referring to His disciples), could also learn from the managers shrewdness. Perhaps what Jesus is simply saying is that the master, “instead of simply being a victim of circumstance (although brought upon himself) transforms a bad situation into one that benefits him and others”1; Perhaps he was making amends for his foolishness and wanted to honour his masters business by pulling back the debt.

Yet the key verses in understanding what this really means is found in verses 10-11. Jesus goes on to say that in everything we have or do, we should be faithful and make the best out of it in order that we might gain greater responsibilities. In other words, use what you have (both worldly and spiritual resources), in whatever circumstance you are in, however large or small, to benefit and extend the Kingdom of God and honour Him in all you do. In all things, we should make God and His Kingdom our priority and not worldly wealth for self gain.

Turn The Light On

23rd November

..God’s Light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the Light and refuse to go near it for the fear their sins will be exposed.

John 3:19b – 20

According to some, the scientific definition of darkness is the ‘absence of light’, rather than darkness just being the opposite of light. This can be demonstrated when in a room, which has no light, a match is lit and the brightness begins to dominate the darkness and bring light to the room. Moreover, light exposes the darkness, reveals what is hidden and shows what cannot be seen when there is no light.

Interestingly, have you ever tidied your desk under the watchful eye of a desk lamp? You will soon realise that the desk is more dusty than you first imagined. As you begin to move things around, the dust particles are exposed by the light and it is revealed that.. you have a lot of cleaning to do!

The same principle can be adopted into God’s Kingdom. In fact, it is actually rather a principle we have adopted from Jesus’ teaching. Jesus, the Light of the world, came to this earth and through His teaching, acts and deeds, exposed man’s sinful nature by bringing light into what was and is a dark world. However, Jesus’ light wasn’t to tell us how bad we are and to point fingers at us but rather it was a way to get back onto the right the path, almost like a lighthouse protects boats from crashing into mountains and rocks.

Unfortunately many avoided the Light, not wanting their dark deeds to be exposed and for that reason, continue to live in darkness, headed towards danger. However, there are many that accepted the Light and now follow the path to eternal life. For those of us who have accepted the light, we now also stand as a beacon of Jesus, bringing hope and light to the darkness that we see around us everyday. Let your light shine bright for the King.. May we sing together ‘Shine, Jesus Shine’, ‘Blaze, Sprit Blaze’, let our hearts be set on fire for YOU!

Turn The Light On

23rd November

..God’s Light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the Light and refuse to go near it for the fear their sins will be exposed.

John 3:19b – 20

According to some, the scientific definition of darkness is the ‘absence of light’, rather than darkness just being the opposite of light. This can be demonstrated when in a room, which has no light, a match is lit and the brightness begins to dominate the darkness and bring light to the room. Moreover, light exposes the darkness, reveals what is hidden and shows what cannot be seen when there is no light.

Interestingly, have you ever tidied your desk under the watchful eye of a desk lamp? You will soon realise that the desk is more dusty than you first imagined. As you begin to move things around, the dust particles are exposed by the light and it is revealed that.. you have a lot of cleaning to do!

The same principle can be adopted into God’s Kingdom. In fact, it is actually rather a principle we have adopted from Jesus’ teaching. Jesus, the Light of the world, came to this earth and through His teaching, acts and deeds, exposed man’s sinful nature by bringing light into what was and is a dark world. However, Jesus’ light wasn’t to tell us how bad we are and to point fingers at us but rather it was a way to get back onto the right the path, almost like a lighthouse protects boats from crashing into mountains and rocks.

Unfortunately many avoided the Light, not wanting their dark deeds to be exposed and for that reason, continue to live in darkness, headed towards danger. However, there are many that accepted the Light and now follow the path to eternal life. For those of us who have accepted the light, we now also stand as a beacon of Jesus, bringing hope and light to the darkness that we see around us everyday. Let your light shine bright for the King.. May we sing together ‘Shine, Jesus Shine’, ‘Blaze, Sprit Blaze’, let our hearts be set on fire for YOU!

Turn The Light On

23rd November

..God’s Light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the Light and refuse to go near it for the fear their sins will be exposed.

John 3:19b – 20

According to some, the scientific definition of darkness is the ‘absence of light’, rather than darkness just being the opposite of light. This can be demonstrated when in a room, which has no light, a match is lit and the brightness begins to dominate the darkness and bring light to the room. Moreover, light exposes the darkness, reveals what is hidden and shows what cannot be seen when there is no light.

Interestingly, have you ever tidied your desk under the watchful eye of a desk lamp? You will soon realise that the desk is more dusty than you first imagined. As you begin to move things around, the dust particles are exposed by the light and it is revealed that.. you have a lot of cleaning to do!

The same principle can be adopted into God’s Kingdom. In fact, it is actually rather a principle we have adopted from Jesus’ teaching. Jesus, the Light of the world, came to this earth and through His teaching, acts and deeds, exposed man’s sinful nature by bringing light into what was and is a dark world. However, Jesus’ light wasn’t to tell us how bad we are and to point fingers at us but rather it was a way to get back onto the right the path, almost like a lighthouse protects boats from crashing into mountains and rocks.

Unfortunately many avoided the Light, not wanting their dark deeds to be exposed and for that reason, continue to live in darkness, headed towards danger. However, there are many that accepted the Light and now follow the path to eternal life. For those of us who have accepted the light, we now also stand as a beacon of Jesus, bringing hope and light to the darkness that we see around us everyday. Let your light shine bright for the King.. May we sing together ‘Shine, Jesus Shine’, ‘Blaze, Sprit Blaze’, let our hearts be set on fire for YOU!

God In Jesus: Jesus In God

22nd November

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honour at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”

Hebrews 1:3

If you want to know who God is, then look no further than Jesus. If you want to know what God’s character is like, then look at Jesus. Jesus was God in the flesh, when He walked on this earth more than 2000 years ago. This is often a fact that we know in theological thinking but not a fact we can reconcile with reality; how we truly think of God the Father. The writer of Hebrews, boldly and clearly claims, that God the Father and Jesus His Son, are the same: The Son radiates God’s glory and expresses the very character of God. Moreover, He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command.

Yet this knowledge sometimes can still come as a shock to us, when we read of Jesus’ life. Does the creator of the world really spend time with harlots, tax collectors and society’s maligned and outcasts? Well, look at Jesus’ life to find your answer. A comprehensive YES! Is God really a God who gives second chances? Again, look at Jesus’ restoration of Peter after his denial or Thomas when he doubted Jesus’ resurrection. The answer, again YES! Jesus was and is the fullness and very real reflection of God. They are and always have been ONE! Jesus and God cannot be separated. In God and Jesus we have hope, forgiveness, restoration, kindness, acceptance and love. We have a great Judge but also a great Saviour. Jesus is all that we believe God to be, and God is everything that we see in Jesus. The God who is above all, who sees all and who is in all, in the same God that lives in us!