For The Friend of Christ

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King James Bible Study[Mark 8:34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.]

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2021
Chapters: John 15-16
Message: For The Friend of Christ

Hello My Friend,

I am a little excited this morning or rather preoccupied in my brain with quite a few things poking around in there. I had a virtual job interview yesterday for what would be an amazing opportunity, weekends off, great benefits, paid holiday’s, a normal schedule that would allow me to be able to be in church every time the doors are open and spend more time with family. During the interview, you are given questions as though you are speaking directly to them, you record your response through a video, and there are no retakes. Well, there were a couple of times where flubbed over my words, but did a quick recovery and just kept going. At first, I thought I tanked it, but then God reminded me that at least, they will see the real me, not someone who recorded something ten times until they appeared to giving a recorded response. I do not know if I have the job, but I am not really worried if I do not get it because God is faithful to His faithful, [John 15:9-11  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.  10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.  11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.]

I am not going to lie, I am like every other faithful Christian, I mess up a thousand times a day, or it seems like it. I have things going on in my life, even though I see God putting them all right into place, and am a little concerned. However, I cannot help, but feel this deep sense of joy that I know only Christ can fill. Even though I do not know what tomorrow holds, at least, I do know who holds me, and that is Jesus Christ Himself. Praise God! Now, as we continue in the reading of the Gospels, John accounts to the conversation that Jesus had with the disciples while He had one last meal with them before His passion. Remember, the parable that Jesus had given regarding the husbandman and vineyard? Well, Jesus elaborates on who the husbandman is, and who the vineyard actually is, Jesus Himself being the True Vine.

[John 15:1-6  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.]

[and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it,] Naturally, since we abide in Christ through our faith in Him alone, He is going to cut off the dead branches within us that retard our growth. This is also a warning for those who believe in vain or have changed the Gospel either by adding works to it or reducing Christ to a mere man of God rather than the Son of God, born of a virgin, and He will cut that branch off, [1 Corinthians 3:13-15  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.]

[no more can ye, except ye abide in me.] Jesus is saying right here that there will be no more animal sacrifices, without Him there is no life nor is their redemption. Unless we truly believe in all that Christ is, and Him alone, there is no salvation, [Romans 10:3-4  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.]

[for without me ye can do nothing.] Now, that is an understatement, I say this to God several times a day. I truly am nothing without Jesus in my life, and have no idea how I had gotten through the years when He was not prominent in it. Thank God, that He does not base my future on my past because I would truly be among those branches cut off and cast into the fire. And speaking of fire, those trials and tribulations that we face in life, they are what Jesus uses to actually purge those dead branches from us so that we can become fruitful. What exactly does that mean? We are faithful to follow God’s commands and He not only blesses us, He ordains us to bring more fruit. Jesus explains it this way.

[John 15:13-16  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  14  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  15  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.  16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.]

[for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:] Servants do not associate themselves with their bosses other than their job. They do not know anything personal about their employer, but as for a friend, even though they may still work for them, they know everything about them. Employers choose their employees, not necessarily based on their experience, but based on how genuine they are. Yes, some jobs do require special skills, but most will gladly train someone who is genuine over the most qualified individual any day, [2 Timothy 2:15-16  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  16  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.]

I do not know why this passage came to mind as I was writing this, but I guess God does. Profane and vain babbling, that is what the world tends to use to get us to trip and fall whenever they see us prospering. Oh my goodness, watch how someone who has deceived their way to the top of anything reacts when they see a less then qualified Christian move to the top, and it is not pretty. Do you know why they react the way they do? Jesus has the answer, we expose their sin. Jesus goes on to explain that we are hated by the world because when they see us, they see Jesus and when they do, their sin is wide open for all to see.

[John 15:22-27  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.  23  He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  24  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.  25  But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.  26  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  27  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.]

[they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.] The world is oblivious to what sin is, they really do not know what they are doing. The religious world thinks they have no sin as they base their salvation on their obedience to their religion. What Jesus does is open their eyes to sin, in fact, He pierces their conscience as well as their ego, as He exposes the sin, and that is why they hate Him and everyone who follows Him as well. And Jesus goes on to tell us why we should not be offended by them.

[John 16:1-3,6-11  These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.  2  They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  3  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. 6  But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.  7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;  10  Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;  11  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.]

[that ye should not be offended.] The other day when I wrote about temptation, you may recall that I was referring to God testing us through adversity. Someone was quick to let me know that it is better to obey God rather than sacrifice. Well, I can honestly say that the temptation to sin (and praise God for that) has not even crossed my mind, at least, not intentional. There is not a day that we do sin, but we who are faithful are quick to admit our sin, and will not become offended when they falsely accuse us, [1 Peter 3:14-17  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;  15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:  16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.  17  For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.]

[because the prince of this world is judged.] The prince of this world, Satan himself, started all this when he brought sin onto the earth after he tried to overthrow God, and was cast down to earth. Satan is the one responsible for the curse of death that was handed down to man for their sin, and for a while Satan basked in that glory having had a hand in the fall of man. That was until Jesus gave His life and broke that curse when He resurrected three days later. Now, it is only those whom believe in and accept Christ as their Saviour that Jesus will come back for when He returns, and as for Satan, He will be judged as well, [Revelation 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.]

Let me remind you, that nothing, and I mean nothing, can separate us from Christ. Even though we cannot escape the persecution, Christ is right there with us, He tells His disciples and all of us that His death will cause much sorrow for His believers, and while the world will rejoice, we will have the victory, and if He can endure it, so can we.

[John 16:20,22-24,27,32-33  Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 22  And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.  23  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.  24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 27  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 32  Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.  33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.]

[but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.] Jesus is saying that since He has overcome the world, when He arose three days later after His death, so will those who believe in all that He is and accept Him as their Saviour. Let me tell you, I literally asked God this morning to help me shorten my time in studying the Scriptures so that it does not take me three hours to write the devotions. Well, God reminded me of how important my work is for Him, even if I have to rewrite one paragraph several times, He is depending on me to make sure that His voice is heard through the messages I write. Well, how can you argue with that? It is not about me, it is about those that God entrusts me with to teach His Word. Forfeiting a little bit of my “me” time is well worth the lost soul that needed to hear the Gospel or the saved soul that needed to hear that Jesus is still with them and they too will overcome. The only way and reason why we can overcome the world is through our faith and faithfulness to Christ, [1 John 4:3-4  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.]

Let Us Pray: God, I want to thank You for sending Your Son to save me, I am trusting fully in Him for eternal life with You. While I humble myself to You, help me to submit solely to You, with all the joy, peace, and comfort that only comes from Christ who is mine. Lord, just as You are the friend that sticks closer to me than my own brother, I want to be a friend that gives my life as a living sacrifice to be the faithful servant that You called me to be. Lead me and guide me, give me Your mercy, grace, and compassion on the lost. Let me keep studying Your Word with an open and tender heart so that I can be approved by You and teach others Your truths. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus, Amen.

God Bless You, I am praying for you,

Christina

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