Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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December 31, 2011
Many people like to label those of us who believe the Bible as legalistic. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What is legalism? With regard to religion, it is the belief that salvation is gained through good works. One could also make the application that a strict adherence to rules is required. With that in mind, am I a legalist? Absolutely not.

First, salvation is by grace through faith. There is nothing we could ever do to earn our salvation.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Knowing that salvation is not according to anything one could do, it is impossible to use this definition to label me as a legalist.

As far as a "strict adherence to the law" goes, we have a schoolmaster in the law which shows us our need for salvation. Once a person is saved, we are made free from the law. As one who is saved, I enjoy the freedom to do whatever I wish. However, knowing I am free from the law and having been saved from the fires of hell (the fire I deserved), I willingly serve my Lord and do as He wishes. How can I know what the Lord wants for me? I can look to the Word of God.

Now that we see who the legalist is not, who is the real legalist? The real legalist is the one who looks for loopholes, the one who lives his life according to the exclusions and omissions from the Word of God.

When the Word of God is so clearly against the use of alcohol, the legalist will point out that there is no clear "thou shalt not drink beer."

When the Word of God is clear about worldly associations and entertainment, the legalist will say there is no clear commandment saying, "Thou shalt not listen to (supposedly) Christian rock." The legalist will point out that the Scriptures do not specifically prohibit going to movies, wearing pants (or other immodest apparel).

The legalist would point out that the Bible does not directly say, "thou shalt not date."

The legalist would point out that the Bible does not say, "thou shalt not go lay naked on the beach nor go with those who would lay naked."
**I know, some of you are saying you don't go to the nude beach, but the Bible gives a clear definition of "naked" and that standard is met at every beach.**

The legalist would point out that there is no clear prohibition against the abuse of drugs and tobacco.

When the legalist dilutes the Word of God into any of the corrupt versions, they may even claim there is no prohibition against women or sodomite preachers.

When we look at those who would twist Scripture or take things out of context to thwart God's Word or to suit their flesh, we also see a clear example of the true pharisee. The pharisees did not know Christ, but they knew the law. I am amazed at how well today's pharisees (let's use the modern term for them: liberals) know the Word of God when it suits them, and ignore it when it does not.

The point is, I am not the legalist. I am not living by a strict set of rules. It is the the modern pharisees, the liberals who are always looking for a way to escape the will of God who are the legalists. It is these modern pharisees who twist and ignore the Word of God to suit their own flesh.
December 29, 2011
There are many who claim Independent Baptist Churches are not really independent. Well, they are right. They got us. Our secret is out! At least, I am certainly not independent.

In his day, Paul dealt with an issue in the Corinthian church where people were following certain men. Some followed Apollos, some follow Paul and some follow others. Today, some follow Bob Jones, some follow Peter Ruckman, some follow John Calvin, some follow Jack Hyles and some follow others. Consider the following passage:
1Co 3:3-7 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (4) For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (5) Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Paul referred to these who followed men as carnal. So, following Paul's example, I refuse to be a follower of men. If we stopped there, many would label me as independent, but I am not. In fact, there is a man who I diligently try to follow. Who, do you ask, is that man? Jesus.

Am I independent? No. I am a bond-slave who has been bought with a price. I strive to do my Master's bidding and serve Him every day. Is this service laborious? Absolutely not. I am thankful for my Master's work in my life. He rescued me. I was on a broad path of destruction. There were many people on this path with me: co-workers, friends, relatives and strangers. Sadly, there are still many on this path. However, there was a day when Jesus, my Master, came along and showed me the end of this broad path. He offered me an alternative. He showed me that it was my sins which were taking me down this road. He also showed me how a debt had accumulated for my sin. Finally, through His Holy and Precious Word, He showed me that the debt had been paid. How was the debt paid? Who paid it? My master purchased my redemption with His own blood.

You may also be on this path, but the same blood which purchased me can set you free as well.
December 24, 2011
Do you believe??

SANTA IS OMNISCIENT – He knows exactly what everyone is doing, all year long and he keeps a record of when you are good and bad. Then, at the end of every year, children, who believe, are rewarded based on their works.
Ultimately, there is one who will judge: Jesus.
Re 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Re 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

SANTA IS OMNIPOTENT – The weather doesn’t hinder Santa at all. No matter how bad the storm nor how strong the wind, Santa was able to accomplish his goals. It is almost as though Santa can control the weather.
We know there is only one who has ever calmed a storm: Jesus.
Mark 4:37-39 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? (39) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

SANTA IS OMNIPRESENT – Let’s face it. The only way the fat man could make all the stops he makes, in the short amount of time he has (less than a second), he must be everywhere at once. That does not even take into account the creepy claim that he can “see you when you’re sleeping.”
Psalms 139:7-8 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? (8) If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Proverbs 15:3 ¶ The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
SANTA IS ETERNAL – Though generations are born, age and die, Santa never ages.
Mal 3:6a For I am the LORD, I change not
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

SANTA IS WORSHIPPED – This is, perhaps, the saddest fact of all. I received a card one day which depicted a child kneeling beside his bed as though he were praying. His hands were folded and his eyes were closed. Above his head in a cloud was a picture of Santa. To whom was the child praying? Many other children, when asked, do not know who Jesus is, but they certainly know Santa.
Ex 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
God is clear about this. We are to worship no one (or no thing) other than Jehovah.

Of course, it’s all in fun, right? After all, telling a kid to believe in something that isn’t real doesn’t really hurt anyone, does it? It isn’t like Santa is a lie or anything.
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
December 3, 2011
John 6:60-71 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (61) When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? (62) What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (64) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. (65) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (66) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (67) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (68) Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (69) And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (70) Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (71) He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
When the Spirit of God makes someone alive, there is a definite, certain change in their life. They are new, refreshed. They are a completely different person. Jesus was taking His message of eternal life to the multitudes. As Jesus delivered this message, there was one who traveled with them who was against Him. Judas was, as Jesus described, a devil. If a devil can get in among Jesus and the eleven other disciples, how easy would it be for us to be deceived by a devil? We need to always be walking with God and relying upon the Holy Spirit of God to guide us and to protect us.
December 2, 2011
John 6:52-59 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? (53) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (57) As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (58) This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (59) These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Jesus must shed His own blood and sacrifice His own body to pay for our sins. When we are saved, we are taking part in the blood which was shed for us and the body which was sacrificed for us. That is the eating and drinking to which Jesus is referring. We are not literally eating the flesh and drinking the blood to be saved but we are allowing the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood and body to be applied to our sin.
December 1, 2011
John 6:39-51 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. (40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (41) The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. (42) And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? (43) Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. (46) Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. (47) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (48) I am that bread of life. (49) Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. (50) This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. (51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
The Jews are upset with Jesus. When they think of bread from heaven, they think of the manna the Jews ate as they wandered in the wilderness. Now, Jesus comes along and claims to be the Bread of Life. This angers the Jews. They do not understand what Jesus is telling them. Jesus tries to explain to them that all the people who ate the manna in the wilderness (read the book of Exodus) have died. However, whoever eats the Bread of Life (or believes in Jesus) will be saved. The bread Jesus is giving them, His own body, is what will be sacrificed on the cross later in our study.
November 30, 2011
John 6:28-38 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? (29) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (30) They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? (31) Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. (32) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (36) But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. (37) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
As the people were traveling with Jesus, Jesus was doing miracles to show that He was God. The multitude enjoyed the miracles. Perhaps some enjoyed the show, perhaps some enjoyed being healed and there were some who enjoyed the free meals. But Jesus did not come to provide for their daily meals; Jesus came to offer them everlasting life. Many of the people who were following Him did not understand this. They were only interested in their needs for the moment. Which is more important: having your next meal or being saved?
November 29, 2011
John 6:22-27 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (23) (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) (24) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. (25) And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? (26) Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (27) Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
In yesterday’s devotion, we read about how Jesus fed this multitude then traveled to Capernaum. Remember how they all wanted to make Jesus their king. Now, they realize Jesus and the disciples have left them and they want to follow them. However, Jesus knows their hearts. 2 Thes 3:10 says, “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.” Jesus realized that this multitude was not following Him to see the miracles, nor were they following Him to be His disciple (to learn from Him). They were following Jesus to get the free meal. There are many people who even come to church and become free-loaders. No, they may not all ask for food. Some may just sit and soak up the blessings of being in a good church without doing anything in the church. What do you do for Jesus and the church?
November 28, 2011
John 6:10-21 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. (11) And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. (12) When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. (13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. (14) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. (15) When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. (16) And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, (17) And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. (18) And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. (19) So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. (20) But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. (21) Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
There was another great miracle here: Jesus took two little fish and five barley loaves (about the size of a biscuit) and fed five-thousand men, plus the women and children. That was an incredible miracle. Jesus not only fed this large multitude with this little bit of food, but they took up more scraps than they had to begin with. This proves that Jesus can provide for any need which we may have. At times, it may seem like everything has turned against us, but Jesus is still in control. Just as Jesus fed that multitude, Jesus can take care of our needs.
John 6:10-21 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. (11) And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. (12) When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. (13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. (14) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. (15) When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. (16) And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, (17) And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. (18) And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. (19) So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. (20) But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. (21) Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
There was another great miracle here: Jesus took two little fish and five barley loaves (about the size of a biscuit) and fed five-thousand men, plus the women and children. That was an incredible miracle. Jesus not only fed this large multitude with this little bit of food, but they took up more scraps than they had to begin with. This proves that Jesus can provide for any need which we may have. At times, it may seem like everything has turned against us, but Jesus is still in control. Just as Jesus fed that multitude, Jesus can take care of our needs.
November 27, 2011
John 6:1-9 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. (2) And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. (3) And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. (4) And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. (5) When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? (6) And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. (7) Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. (8) One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, (9) There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
Many people were sick and were following Jesus to be healed and to see how Jesus would heal other people. With so many people following, Jesus wanted to show his disciples another great miracle. So, Jesus asked Phillip how they would feed all these. Phillip answered saying they only had two hundred pennies. How would such a little amount of money buy food for this entire multitude? Another of the disciples pointed out that a boy was in the crowd with five loaves and a few fish. Jesus would use this to do a great miracle!
November 26, 2011
John 5:43-47 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (44) How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (45) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. (46) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. (47) But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
Many of the Jews know the Law of Moses. Some have even memorized the first five books of the Bible. As much as they knew about the Bible, the Word of God, they did not know the Living Word. When they stand before God, their accuser will be the very books so many of them memorized. It is proof that we can know about Jesus without ever really knowing Jesus in salvation. Do you really know Jesus in sweet salvation?
November 25, 2011
John 5:37-42 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (38) And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. (39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (40) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (41) I receive not honour from men. (42) But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
When Jesus stood to speak, He had His own testimony to show who He really was. People could look at the miracles Jesus did and see that He was telling the truth. In addition to the miracles, Jesus had the testimony of the Scriptures to show who He was. Still, the Jews did not know that Jesus was the Son of God, that He was their Messiah. If they had only trusted Jesus, trusted the Scriptures, trusted John the Baptist, they could have known the love of God and they could have known Salvation.
November 24, 2011
John 5:31-36 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. (32) There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. (33) Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. (34) But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. (35) He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. (36) But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” In verse 36, Jesus said, “…the same works I do, bear witness of me…” Can Jesus lie? No, of course Jesus cannot sin. Jesus cannot lie. In fact, Jesus cannot sin at all. So, if Jesus is saying He is God, is He really God?
We can stand and tell everyone around us how we know we are a Christian. However, no matter what we say, what we do will show the people around us what we really are. What do your actions tell people about you?
November 23, 2011
John 5:24-30 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (30) I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Jesus is trying to explain why He is here: to offer everlasting life to all who believe. You see, there will be a time when everyone will be resurrected (will come out of their grave). Everyone will stand before Jesus. Those who are saved will be a part of the Resurrection of Life while those who are not saved will be a part of the Resurrection of damnation. The saved will go to heaven and the ones who are not saved will go to hell. What makes the difference? Verse 24 holds the key. Those who believe will be a part of the Resurrection of Life. Do you believe?
November 22, 2011
John 5:17-23 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. (18) Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (19) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (20) For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. (21) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. (22) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (23) That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
You can almost imagine the Jew’s hatred for Jesus growing just as a pot boils harder and harder. Every word out of Jesus mouth made them more and more angry. Now, they are ready to kill Jesus, but His work is far from over. Jesus is here to save people from hell but the Jews want to keep their power structure in place.
Now, as if the Jew’s hatred for Jesus is not strong enough, Jesus explains how he and God the Father are indeed one and how God the Father has given power to Jesus. In the eye of the Jewish man, this is blasphemy.
November 21, 2011
John 5:10-16 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. (11) He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. (12) Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? (13) And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. (14) Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (15) The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. (16) And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
The more we study Jesus, the more we understand how the Jews did not like Jesus. Here, Jesus (who is God, by the way) healed someone and the Jews are accusing Jesus of breaking the law. Remember, Jesus is the one who created the law. By the way, Jesus is also the one who created the Jews, you and I. If Jesus wants to heal one of us, He can. If Jesus wants to do anything, He can. But, it will get more interesting before the end of this chapter.
November 20, 2011
John 5:1-9 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (2) Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. (3) In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. (4) For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. (5) And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. (6) When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? (7) The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. (8) Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. (9) And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Imagine not being able to walk, but knowing a cure was only a few feet away. Every year, you come to this healing pool, but you are pushed aside by people wanting their own healing. How would you feel after thirty-eight years of trying? That is exactly how this man felt. If only someone would help him into the water. No one ever did.
Ah, but one day, Jesus came by. When Jesus came by, this man who could not walk did not need help getting into the pool of water, he drank of the Living Water, he trusted in Jesus and Jesus made him whole.
November 19, 2011
John 4:46-54 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. (47) When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. (48) Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. (49) The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. (50) Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. (51) And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. (52) Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. (53) So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. (54) This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
When we get toward the end of the book of John, we will see that Jesus did many more miracles than could ever be recorded. Here, we see another miracle. A nobleman rushes in to see Jesus – his son is dying. This nobleman is rich, powerful and yet he cannot save his own son. Can Jesus save his son? Jesus said the Jews were looking for a sign. They wanted proof of the power Jesus had. Jesus gave them their proof. Jesus proved Himself to this nobleman by healing his son. Even today, the Jews are still looking for proof that Jesus is their Messiah. Even today, they do not believe. What do you believe?
November 18, 2011
John 4:39-45 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. (40) So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. (41) And many more believed because of his own word; (42) And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. (43) Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. (44) For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. (45) Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
This woman had just believed in Jesus – she had just been saved. As soon as she was saved, she ran back to her town, to her people and family and told them what had happened. She was so excited that her soul had been rescued. In fact, her joy was so great that others around her wanted what she had. They wanted to know more about Jesus too. When people are around you, do they see the joy of the Lord in you? Do you make people want to get to know Jesus?
November 17, 2011
John 4:27-38 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? (28) The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, (29) Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? (30) Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. (31) In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. (32) But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. (33) Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? (34) Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (35) Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (36) And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. (37) And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. (38) I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
Harvest time is upon us! Jesus explains to the disciples that the fields are white, or ready for harvest. Everywhere we go; there are people around us who need to be saved. There are people around us who are ready to be saved. However, we often fail to tell people about Jesus. How often do you tell someone what Jesus has done for you?
Jesus was also telling them that no one person is ever responsible for someone being saved. Sometimes, people may plant a seed of faith. Others may encourage that seed to grow. Finally, someone may come along with just the right words to help that person saved.
November 16, 2011
John 4:20-26 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. (21) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. (22) Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. (23) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (25) The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. (26) Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
The Jews are still looking for the Messiah, but what is the Messiah? The Word Messiah means anointed. Jesus is the Messiah, He is the one anointed by God. Not only is Jesus the anointed one, Jesus is also our Deliverer, our Salvation. Jesus is the Savior of the world. Today, there are many people who do not know Jesus as their Savior. The Jews are among these people. They are still looking for the Messiah to come. Are you looking for the Messiah or have you already accepted Jesus as your Messiah, as you Savior?
November 15, 2011
John 4:15-19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. (16) Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. (17) The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: (18) For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. (19) The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
This woman is asking for the water. At first, she still does not completely understand what she is asking for. Jesus is quickly able to prove that He is more than just another man. He explains to her that she has had five husbands. Jesus also tells her that the man she is with now is not her husband. How would a normal man, who she had never met, know this? A normal man would not, but Jesus is no normal man. What does Jesus know about you that no one else knows?
November 14, 2011
John 4:9-14 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. (10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (11) The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (12) Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? (13) Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (14) But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Sometimes, we refer to Jesus as the Living Water. Sometimes, we say that Jesus offers us the Water of Life. This woman had come to a well to draw water to drink. She was thirsty. However, she did not know just how thirsty her soul was. Jesus offered her this Water of Life or the gift of life. Jesus was offering to save her. At first, she did not understand who she was talking to and she did not understand how Jesus could give her water when He didn’t even have anything to draw the water. Soon, she will understand all of this.
November 13, 2011
John 4:1-8 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (2) (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) (3) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. (4) And he must needs go through Samaria. (5) Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. (6) Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. (7) There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (8) (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
What is a disciple? A disciple is someone follows another person or someone who learns from another. If we are following Jesus and learning from Him, we are His disciples. Are you a disciple of Jesus? Are you doing what Jesus wants you to do? Are you learning what Jesus wants you to learn?
November 12, 2011
John 3:32-36 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. (33) He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (34) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (35) The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. (36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John had testified of Jesus for some time, yet there were only a few people who believed him. Those who did believe the testimony of John the Baptist were saved. These people have everlasting life. However, those who did not believe what John the Baptist said have the wrath of God. Which is better?
What does it mean to be saved? What does it mean to not be saved? Pretend someone asked you how to get saved. Could you answer them? Use the next page to briefly describe what you would say to them.
November 11, 2011
John 3:27-31 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. (28) Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. (29) He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (30) He must increase, but I must decrease. (31) He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. .
Everything we ever get which is good comes from God. This includes our salvation. The Jews were still trying to get John the Baptist to say something they could use against him. John the Baptist kept telling these Jews that he was not Jesus. Then John the Baptist explains why he was so happy. John the Baptist explains that he was the friend of the groom and that Jesus was the groom. When there is a wedding, it is natural for the friends of the groom to be happy. This is why John the Baptist was happy. John the Baptist adds, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John the Baptist was telling the Jews that Jesus was the most important person. Do you see good in your life because of Christ?
November 10, 2011
John 3:22-26 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. (23) And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. (24) For John was not yet cast into prison. (25) Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. (26) And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. .
The Jews were always confused about Jesus. The Jews were also looking for every chance they could find to catch Jesus or His disciples in a mistake. This is just another example of the Jews trying to cause problems. They were asking who was right: Jesus or John the Baptist. They were both baptizing and the Jews didn’t know what to think. Of course, both John the Baptist and Jesus were right in what they were doing.
November 9, 2011
John 3:17-21 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. .
Can you imagine what heaven must be like? Can you imagine anyone leaving heaven and coming to the earth to live? That is what Jesus did. This passage tells us why Jesus left heaven and came to the earth. God came to the earth to save all of mankind. Everyone doesn’t want to be saved. Remember from chapter 1 where we saw that Jesus was the light, but most men don’t want to receive the light (Jesus). In this passage, Jesus is explaining that men love to live in darkness. People love to live in their sin. Sin is fun, no one wants to give it up. Jesus offers us a chance to come out of the darkness and come to Jesus – the light.
November 8, 2011
John 3:13-16 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. .
Jesus refers to Numbers 21. Because the people were speaking against God, God sent serpents in among the people. Anyone who was bitten by one of these serpents would die. God, in His mercy, gave them an escape. God instructed Moses to hold a brass serpent (snake) up on a pole. When someone was bitten, all they had to do was look at one of these serpents and they would be healed.
Jesus explained that He would be lifted up just as Moses lifted up a serpent. Jesus went on to explain that anyone, no matter who they were, could believe in Jesus and be saved.
November 7, 2011
John 3:7-12 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (9) Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? (10) Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (11) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. (12) If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? .
Jesus had already told Nicodemus that he must be born again and Nicodemus did not understand how this could be. Jesus was trying to explain to Nicodemus that there are many things that we do not understand. We don’t understand where the wind comes from or where it goes, but we believe in the wind. Likewise, we cannot see how someone can be saved or born a second time, but it is still true that we must be born again.
November 6, 2011
John 3:1-6 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. .
Jesus told Nicodemus something very strange. Jesus said a man must be born a second time. At first, Nicodemus did not understand this. He thought, “How can someone be born again when he is grown?” Nicodemus did not realize Jesus was talking about a Spiritual birth. When a baby is born, that is their physical birth. That is the birth of water Jesus was speaking of. However, Jesus said a person must be born of water and of the Spirit to see the kingdom of God.
November 5, 2011
John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. (24) But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, (25) And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. .
As we read in John 21:25, Jesus performed so many miracles that all of them could not be recorded. John 2:23 shows us another example of this. He did many miracles, but they were not all recorded.
Do you really believe Jesus did so many miracles? Can you image what it would have been like to follow Jesus when He was alive?
November 4, 2011
John 2:18-22 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? (19) Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (20) Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? (21) But he spake of the temple of his body. (22) When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. .
The Jews were always looking for a sign. They did not believe Jesus was the Messiah and they still do not believe in Him. When Jesus ran the merchants and money changers out of the temples, the Jews were almost mocking when they asked what Jesus was trying to show them. The answer is simple: Jesus wanted them to know that His house was not to be a store. But Jesus also said He could rebuild the temple in three days if it were destroyed. When Jesus said that, He was not talking about the actual building, He was talking about Himself. He knew that the Jews would try to destroy Him and He knew that He would come out of the grave after three days.
November 3, 2011
John 2:15-17 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; (16) And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. (17) And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. .
As the Feast of the Passover was approaching, Jesus went to the temple. When He got there, he found people selling things and changing money inside the temple. The temple was a place of worship – God never intended it to be a place where people bought and sold things to make a profit. However, that is exactly what these people were doing. They were trying to make a profit in God’s house. Jesus was very angry with them. He was so angry that He made a whip out of some small cords and drove these profiteers out.
Do you think it makes Jesus happy when people sell stuff in church?
November 2, 2011
John 2:12-14 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. (13) And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, (14) And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: .
The Feast of the Passover was a very important time for every Jew. This feast was when all of Israel looked back to the time when they were delivered from the Egyptians. Remember how the Israelites were slaves to the Egyptians? Remember how God killed the firstborn of all the Egyptians? Remember how God skipped over the houses which had lambs blood on the door? That was the Passover or the time when the angel of death passed over. This was a very important day for the Israelites and everyone wanted to go to the temple to make a sacrifice. Of course, whenever a lot of people get together, there will also be a lot of people trying to sell stuff and make a little money. Does Jesus want the temple (or the church) to be a place for us to sell stuff and make money?
November 1, 2011
John 2:9-11 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, (10) And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. (11) This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
The servants have filled the pots with water and Jesus made that water into sweet, unfermented grape juice. Now, the ruler of the feast is confused. They have been drinking for a long time. Usually, when they had a big feast like this one, they would put the best of the sweet-wine out first. When that was gone, they would put out some that was a little older out. So it would go until they would eventually get down to the wine which had spoiled. Now, the servants are putting out the best wine of the day. Some of the people there knew what Jesus had done. Jesus had performed His first recorded miracle.
October 31, 2011
John 2:5-8 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (6) And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. (7) Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. (8) And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
Jesus is the living Word of God. He would certainly never do anything to contradict (go against) Himself or His written word. Proverbs 20:1 tells us, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” God wants us to be wise. Do you think Jesus, Himself, would help people sin? Of course not.
As we study the Bible, we must remember that there are times when one word can mean many different things. The word “wine” is one of those words. It is used in the Bible to represent two different kinds of drink. One is sweet-wine or what we just call grape juice. It is not fermented and does not contain alcohol. Another kind of wine is fermented and does have alcohol in it. This is the wine which makes people drunk and which is sinful to drink.
What kind of wine do you think Jesus made?
October 30, 2011
John 2:1-4 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (2) And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. (3) And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. (4) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

We are reading about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. Jesus did many miracles. In fact, we are told in John 21:25 that there is not enough room in the world to contain all the books we would need to record all the miracles Jesus did. As we continue to study the book of John, we will see Jesus do many miracles.

In this passage, we also see a very interesting response. When Mary asks Jesus to make more grape juice, he says, “mine hour is not yet come.” What do you think He was telling her? Later, Jesus hangs on a cross to pay for all of our sins. That was his hour. As you will see, Jesus will go ahead and make the sweet wine for the wedding feast.
October 29, 2011
John 1:43-51 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. (44) Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. (45) Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (46) And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. (47) Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! (48) Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. (49) Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (50) Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. (51) And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” Jesus told Nathanael where he was before Phillip called him. He was under a fig tree. For Jesus, was this a great miracle? Is there anything Jesus cannot do? No. He could certainly tell one man where he was a few minutes ago. If Jesus could tell Nathanael where he was a few minutes ago, can He see where you were yesterday? What you were doing? What you said? Jesus knows everything we do, everything we think and everything we say. Would Jesus be pleased with everything you said or did?
October 28, 2011
John 1:35-42 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; (36) And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! (37) And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. (38) Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? (39) He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. (40) One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. (41) He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (42) And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

As these disciples see Jesus coming, they wonder and ask Jesus, Where do you stay? Where is your home? Jesus invites them to come and to follow him. Jesus is gathering the disciples which will follow Him. Notice how, when these men began to follow Jesus, they did not have any concern for the things they were leaving behind. They were not concerned with their houses or their jobs. Their very first concern was following Jesus and doing what Jesus wanted them to do.
October 27, 2011
John 1:26-34 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; (27) He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. (28) These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. (29) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (30) This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. (31) And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. (32) And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. (33) And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (34) And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

John the Baptist is being investigated by the Pharisees. “Who are you?” “What are you doing?” “Are you a prophet?” John the Baptist explains to them that there is one among them which they don’t know yet. John the Baptist explains how this one who is among them is far better than he is. John the Baptist even says he is not worthy to unlatch the shoes of this mystery person. Today, we know John the Baptist was talking about Jesus.

The next day, John sees Jesus coming and explains how he knew it was Jesus.
October 26, 2011
John 1:19-25 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? (20) And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. (21) And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. (22) Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? (23) He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. (24) And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. (25) And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

The Pharisees had a system set up where they used the Old Testament to control the people. There were many laws which God had given the people. However, the Pharisees had added many more rules to the Law. The law grew to the point where it made life very difficult for the people. Now, these Pharisees were hearing about John the Baptist and how he was baptizing people. This was not the custom and the Pharisees were getting a little nervous about it. So, they sent some people out to investigate things.
October 25, 2011
John 1:11-18 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. (17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (18) No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

We are beginning to see a theme. In verse five, we see The Light shining and the darkness does not comprehend or understand it. In verse ten, we see that the world was made by him, but did not know him. Now, in verse eleven, we see that Jesus came to His own people, and His own people, as a whole, did not know Him. For thousands of years, the nation of Israel has been looking for their Messiah - Jesus. The Old Testament perfectly describes Jesus. The Old Testament also describes how Jesus will come. Even with such a perfect description, the Jewish people did not recognize Jesus when He came. In fact, they rejected Him and later killed him.

We also begin to see the difference between the Law which came through Moses and the grace which Jesus gives us.
October 24, 2011
John 1:5-10 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (7) The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. (8) He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (9) That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

This passage continues the introduction of Jesus. Now, we are seeing Jesus described as The Light. Jesus is the Light of the World. He is not light in the sense of lighting our day. He is the light in the sense of lighting our walk toward God. We see an example of our relationship to The Light, or Jesus, in the relationship of the moon to the sun. The moon reflects the light of the sun. As Christians, we should reflect the light of Jesus.

We are also introduced to John. Just as sometimes we know many people who have the same name, there are some different people in the Bible who have the same name. We are studying the book of John, but in this passage, we are studying different man named John. This is John the Baptist. John the Baptist was sent by God to tell the world around him of the coming of Jesus.
October 23, 2011
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John takes us back to the beginning of the world and introduces us to The Word. John tells us that The Word was both with God and the Word was God. So, from the beginning of this book, we see that The Word and God are the same. This relationship is very important. It shows us that The Word (Jesus) and God are the same. This is the foundation of a very important doctrine, the doctrine of the Trinity. As you study the Bible and learn more about God, you will also learn more about the Trinity

It is also very important to see that the world was made by God. Without God, there would be nothing. We would not be here. The trees and animals would not be here. The oceans and mountains would not be here. Nothing would exist. Everything is here because God made it.
October 22, 2011
Esther 9:29-10:3 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim. (30) And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, (31) To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry. (32) And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book. (10:1) And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea. (2) And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? (3) For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
God’s will has been completed. Esther and Mordecai were willing to do whatever God needed them to do. Because they were willing, God was able to use them to save an entire nation of people. Meanwhile, Haman did not want to honor God. Because of Haman’s sin, thousands of people were killed. Who do you honor today? Do you want to serve God? Are you willing to do whatever God may want you to do? Sometimes, it will be hard. Sometimes, people will give you a hard time for serving God. Are you willing to serve Him despite all of this?
October 21, 2011
Esther 9:23-28 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them; (24) Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them; (25) But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. (26) Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them, (27) The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year; (28) And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
What did Haman’s sons do to deserve to die? Did we read any account of them doing anything to the Jews? To Mordecai? To Esther? No, we didn’t. Still, these ten sons were hanged. Why? Have you ever considered how one little sin might affect many people? Haman’s sin resulted in thousands of people being killed, including his ten sons. Is your little sin worth it? You can choose your sin, but you cannot choose the consequences.
October 20, 2011
Esther 9:15-22 For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand. (16) But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey, (17) On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. (18) But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. (19) Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another. (20) And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, (21) To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, (22) As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
God’s people were given a great victory. The victory was so great that Haman made the anniversary a national holiday. Do we need a special day, a holiday, to worship God and tell people about Him? Could we not be thankful to God all the time? Shouldn’t we always look for ways we can show people how thankful we really are?
October 19, 2011
Esther 9:7-14 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, (8) And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, (9) And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, (10) The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand. (11) On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. (12) And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done. (13) Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows. (14) And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
Go back in time for a moment. Go all the way back to when Esther’s mother and father died. Now, pretend Esther had gotten bitter. Pretend that she had been angry with God and didn’t want anything to do with him. Would God have been able to use her to save His people?
October 18, 2011
Esther 9:1-6 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) (2) The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people. (3) And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. (4) For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater. (5) Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them. (6) And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
After all that happened, there were still people who hated the Jews. Even though the king’s heart was turned toward the Jews, people hated them. Even though the king gave a decree that they would not be hurt, people still hated them. Sometimes, we must all realize that there will be people who will hate us just because we serve God.
October 17, 2011
Esther 8:11-17 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, (12) Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. (13) The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. (14) So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. (15) And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. (16) The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. (17) And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
The order has gone out from the king. No one would dare touch the Jews. God’s plan has worked. Do you allow God’s plan for you to work in your life?
October 16, 2011
Esther 8:7-10 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. (8) Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse. (9) Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. (10) And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
God used Esther and Mordecai in a mighty way to save all the Jews. God’s plan was being fulfilled through Esther. We never know what God may have in store for us. We never know when God may need to use us. It is our job to always be ready to do whatever God may need us to do. Are you ready?
October 14, 2011
Esther 8:1-6 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. (2) And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. (3) And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. (4) Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, (5) And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces: (6) For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

Esther’s moment has come. This was the point God prepared her for. Esther and Mordecai had the favor of the king, but the orders to kill all the Jews still stand. If the orders are carried out, all her people, and even the queen herself, will be killed. God has put everything in place to save his people.
October 13, 2011
Esther 7:8-10 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. (9) And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. (10) So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.

Sometimes, we must wonder if God does not have a sense of humor. The way everything worked out, Haman, Mordecai’s enemy, gets hanged on his own gallows. God’s plan is almost complete.
October 12, 2011
Esther 7:5-7 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? (6) And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. (7) And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

The tide has turned. The king sees Haman as the one who wants to destroy his queen. God’s plan is being fulfilled. Has God done things in your life that you don’t understand? Is it possible God is molding you so He can use you for something big?
October 11, 2011
Es 7:1-4 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. (2) And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom. (3) Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: (4) For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

God’s plan is coming to pass. The king loves his queen, Esther, and is willing to give her anything she wants. The king is even willing to give her up to half the kingdom. All she is asking the king to do is save her people. When she was a little child, she may not have understood why both her father and mother died. She may not have understood why she should be the queen. Now, we see God’s plan through it all. God was in control and God mapped every detail out for her.
October 10, 2011
Esther 6:12-14 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. (13) And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. (14) And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

Haman and his friends still thought they were going to win. They thought they would kill Mordecai and all the Jews. They did not know God and they certainly did not know God already had everything worked out. Mordecai and Esther were still just obeying and honoring God. Do you obey and honor God as you should?
October 9, 2011
Esther 6:6-11 So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? (7) And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, (8) Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: (9) And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. (10) Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. (11) Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

Sometimes, it seems as though God has a sense of humor. This is a perfect example of how God looked at all the details of this problem and worked out a perfect solution. God even worked out the details of how to get the king to favor Mordecai. It is absolutely amazing to see God work all this out. But, this isn’t over yet. What else is God going to do?
October 8, 2011
Esther 6:1-5 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. (2) And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. (3) And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. (4) And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. (5) And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.

The king remembers that Mordecai had saved his life and asks what had been done to honor Mordecai. The chamberlain tells the king that nothing had been done. The plot is really starting to thicken. What do you think will happen? Is God still in control?
October 7, 2011
Esther 5:11-14 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. (12) Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king. (13) Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate. (14) Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

Haman and his friends have everything figured out. Now, they believe they know how to get Haman’s enemy killed. Haman even thinks he is the king and queen’s friend. It really is starting to look bad for everyone, but God is still in control. This story is not over yet. In fact, it is really starting to get exciting. How will God work all of this out?
Esther 5:6-10 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed. (7) Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; (8) If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said. (9) Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai. (10) Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

God’s plan is falling in place. When she was younger, Esther may not have realized how God would use her. Now, she has been serving God and she is starting to see God’s plan for her life. You may not know God’s entire plan for your life right now. Just focus on your next step, not what is way down the path. Are you doing God’s will for your life today?
October 6, 2011
Esther 5:1-5 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. (2) And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. (3) Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. (4) And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him. (5) Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

I would have been afraid to go before the king without an invitation, but it was God’s will for Esther to do this. Though any normal person would have been afraid, Esther had prayed and fasted. She knew this was God’s will for her life and she was willing to die to see God’s will carried out. There may be times when we do not understand what God is doing in our life. We may not understand how God is moving and working in our life. Still, we must always obey God.
October 5, 2011
Esther 4:13-17 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. (14) For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (15) Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, (16) Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. (17) So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Mordecai has an excellent point. Esther is a Jew also. Even though she is the queen, she would be killed with all of her father's house as well. What did she have to loose? Perhaps she could have lived a lie and completely denied her heritage. Ultimately, this still would have been a lie and her family would be dead. What would she gain? Instead, Esther bathes her actions in fasting and prayer. She has her maidens to join her as well as all the Jews in Shushan. Since God promises to hear the prayers of the righteous. What do you think will happen to Esther? How great would your faith be?
October 4, 2011
Esther 4:9-12 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. (10) Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; (11) All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (12) And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
Esther was certainly afraid. Almost anyone who went in before the king, who was not called, would be killed. She had not been called but Mordecai was asking her to go before the king. If she did this, she could only hope that God would turn the king’s heart and not kill her too.
How far would you be willing to go for God? Would you be willing to risk your life? How much do you trust God?
October 3, 2011
Esther 4:6-8 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate. (7) And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. (8) Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.
God’s plan is unfolding before our eyes. Mordecai is asking Esther to plead for the safety of the Jews. God has made her the queen. God has put her in a place where may be able to save the Jews. What if she had refused to go? What if she had so much sin in her life that God could not use her? Is there something in your life which would prevent God from using you?

October 2, 2011
Esther 4:1-5 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; (2) And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. Es 4:3 And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. (4) So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not. (5) Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
An entire nation of people is morning. It seems as though they will be destroyed and there is nothing they can do about it. However, they still do not realize that God has a plan and Esther is a big part of that plan. God has put her in place as the queen. Soon, God will use her. Are you willing to let God use your life fully? Could He put you in a position to help someone?
October 1, 2011
Esther 3:12-15 Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring. (13) And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. (14) The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. (15) The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

Again, it looks like a very dark time has come. The command has been given: kill all the Jews. Would God stand by and allow His people to be destroyed? Before Haman was born, God knew what he would do. Before Esther was born, God had a plan to save His people. Likewise, God has a plan for each of us. We must make sure that we are ready and able for God to use us.
September 30, 2011
Esther 3:7-11 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar. (8) And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. (9) If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. (10) And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. (11) And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

Now, it is not just Mordecai who is in danger, but the entire Jewish population. An entire race of people is in danger. However, there is a Jewish queen sitting beside the king and no one knows it. Perhaps we are starting to see why God wanted Esther to be the queen. Perhaps God is working things out so that HE can use one person to save an entire race of people. Perhaps God is working things out to use one person to save HIS chosen people. What is God planning to do with you?
September 29, 2011
Esther 3:4-6 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. (5) And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. (6) And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
Now, people know Mordecai is a Jew and they hate him for it. Haman wants to kill him and all the Jews that live in the entire kingdom. Are you starting to see why Esther is so important as a queen? We never know what God has waiting for us on tomorrow, but we do know that God has already worked everything out for HIS glory!
September 28, 2011
Esther 3:1-3 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. (2) And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. (3) Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

The only person we should bow to is The King. No, we should not bow to a king here on earth, but King Jesus. Mordecai knew that this man was not worthy of a bow. How often do you and I put things ahead of God? Is there something in your life which takes you away from God? Is there something in your life which you honor or respect more than God? Would your actions say you have something in your life which is more important than God?