The Secret Life

John 1:47-51

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. KJV

EVERYONE has a secret life! Some are good others are not so good. There’s a great deal of talk about people’s secret lives. From celebrities to politicians – juicy gossip sells and the media loves to pounce! It has been said that Reputation is what you are when people are watching, while Character has to do with your secret life. What are we when no one’s watching? What decisions are we making when we feel no accountablilty? Let’s look at Jesus’ encounter with a man named Nathanael.

John chapter 1 is a chapter of “BEHOLD’S”.

(1) “…Behold the Lamb of God…”  vs 29

(2) “…Behold an Israelite indeed whom is no guile!”  (a man of God!) vs 47

1. “I SAW THEE”

The Lamb of God  sees everything. Unlike the mythical Santa, Jesus actually does know when we are sleeping, awake, naughty, and nice! He tells Nathanael that He saw him under the fig tree. We can be one thing in public and another in private. We all know that, but I truly believe that the Lord is more concerned with what we are in private. You may be saying, “why would that be more important than how we represent Him in public?” Because whatever we are in private will be what eventually surfaces in public. No one has the capacity to pretend forever!  Adam and Eve attempted to hide after their sin and we see how far that got them!

2. “NO GUILE”

Gal 6:7-8

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. KJV

Nathanael was seen “under the fig tree.” Could that have been his closet of prayer? His solitude with the Father? Whatever he was doing or more importantly being it caught the attention of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is Jesus proud today of our secret lives? He sees us! He knows us! What will be His estimation of our lives when we finally approach Him?

Let me hear from you in the comments!

 

6 Days in Jericho

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If you’re not familiar with the story of Rahab, Jericho, & Joshua, I would encourage you to take a few moments and read the complete story. You will find it in Joshua chapters 2 & 6.

I want to invite you to look at this story a little differently than you may be used to. Let’s join the citizens of Jericho for a few moments and look at things from the inside out.
There are some distinct points that demand our attention. The citizens understand that Israel is coming. They’ve heard of all the miracles that God has performed on their behalf, and according to Rahab, everyone was concerned about their future. Let’s look at how the Lord worked in this situation.

1. MESSENGERS SENT
God always sends a messenger!

Winners

A little motivation for your Friday!

Strength

I just like the image & message! Thought I would share!

Without Distraction

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“…that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” (KJV) 1 Corinthians 7:35b

Now, check your Bible and see if you had that verse highlighted. (unless you were at last Wed’s “Pastor’s Study”) That verse came out of nowhere last week and slapped me in the face! I just knew God had slipped in sometime in the night and added a new verse. I’d never paid any attention to that particular passage.
Think about what Paul is saying. “That you may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” Let’s examine this for a moment.

#1 ATTEND UPON THE LORD
Do you ever attend anything? Most likely. Hopefully, you attend church. You might attend a sporting event or a conference. Think about anything you attend. You make an orchestrated effort to travel to the place and get inside. You then shut the door behind you and focus in on the event. You are there to attend. Do we ever attend upon the Lord? Do we make a carefully calculated movement towards Him? Do we shut the door behind us and focus on nothing but Him? Do we have a time that we meet with Jesus just to attend His presence? Not often enough I’m sure!

#2 WITHOUT DISTRACTION
Here comes the tough one. Do we attend His presence without distraction? Not usually. We are multitasking while trying to get our minds upon Him and His plans for the day. We check email, scan Facebook, post something in Twitter, answer a phone call, and the list goes on. When was the last time we attended upon the Lord without distraction? If your like me, your saying to yourself, “that’s a tough one”.

I guess that’s why this verse hit me so hard. It’s not that I don’t pray or study the Word. The problem enters with the distraction part. It’s so hard to clear your mind and focus on anything for very long. Let’s practice this today. Start out small. Spend 5, 10, or maybe 30 minutes of uninterrupted attention upon the Lord. See just what a difference it makes!

Leave me your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!

A Time of Travail

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I seems to me that the greatest struggle on earth has to be the struggle for life. There is a great struggle to birth life, to protect life, as well as to sustain life. Is there a lesson for us in that struggle? I think so.

(KJV) Genesis 3:16-17 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;”

THE LAW OF TRAVAIL
There is an unmistakable law written into creation itself: the law of travail. It begins with the birth of the first child and culminates with the birth of the New Heavens and New Earth in the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation itself is a book of travail. We find churches in travail, nations in travail, and even heavenly bodies in travail.
In Genesis, the Lord informs Adam and Eve of the fact that because of their sin life would now be a struggle. It would be great travail to bear children, bring forth crops, and ultimately anything pertaining to life. Thus we find throughout history following the Fall, man struggling for life. The nation of Israel itself, God’s chosen people, would only come into being through great struggle and travail.

THE REASON FOR TRAVAIL
Why must it be this way? Why is everything in life such a struggle? I believe the answer lies in the beginning. God instituted this law of travail because of man’s disobedience. So what ultimate purpose does it accomplish?
In the garden man had access to the Tree of Life. Life was easy, delightful, beautiful, and perfect. Then came the great temptation, and with one suggestion man carelessly let go of life. How could he care for life so frivolously? How could he be so quick to let go of the most precious thing he had?
Before we take up stoning Adam and Eve let us examine ourselves. We have access to the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ, and yet we hold Him very carelessly. We sell out our devotion for much less all the time. So in light of this great injustice, God said life would come through great struggle and travail. I believe it was because man held the things of God so loosely.
You only value that which costs you something. Many Americans don’t value our great freedom because it hasn’t personally cost them anything. When you agonize, struggle, and travail for something, you guard it.

TWO SIDES OF TRAVAIL
(KJV) John 16:21 “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”

Thankfully, there is another side to this story! The Lord never intended travail to be the last word. It is only a means to an end and not the end itself. The verse above tells of two sides: travail and joy. Travail lasts only for a season then joy takes over. The hours of labor and agony disappear in the joy of the new born baby.
Remember, I stated that the law of travail ends in the Book of Revelation. Notice the last two chapters and the things it says will be “no more”:
* No more sea (separation)
* No more death
* No more sorrow
* No more crying
* No more pain
* No more curse
* No more night
In the last chapter, the Lord tells us what WILL be there:
* Water of LIFE!
* Tree of LIFE!
* Book of LIFE!

PRAISE THE LORD! I’LL TAKE IT!!!!!!

(KJV) Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

(KJV) Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Have you any thoughts about the struggle? Leave them in the comments section.