KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Chapters: Matthew 16, Mark 8
Message: Faithful Christians
Hello My Friend,
I think that one of the wonders of God is how He uses us to serve Him, while some of us serve Him in the church, the majority of us serve Him out of the church, the jobs we have, the activities we do, the hobbies we enjoy, all play a part in serving God. You do not have to be the best Christian in the world for God to use you, you just have to be a faithful Christian. Faithful Christians know they are sinners saved only by the grace of God through Jesus Christ alone, they do not attempt to bring themselves above anyone, even those who are not saved, but tend to stand out above the crowd because it is Christ who shines through them. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – I Timothy 1:15-17.
“for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” It is really scary sometimes to see God’s hand in the things that you do. It is the Holy Spirit in us that directs our thoughts as long as we are submissive to Him, and gives us the power to speak in behalf of Jesus Christ. Think about it, we are walking, talking billboards for Jesus Christ, everything we do reflects Him. One good thing about reading the Bible as the events took place is that you can see how each person saw Jesus and what they got out of witnessing His work at the same time. Matthew, which was directed to appeal to the Jews, goes into detail about a conversation Jesus had with His disciples, asking them who He thinks He is.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.” – Matthew 16:16-20.
“and upon this rock I will build my church” Jesus is referring to His church, not a church for Peter to be leader of. Jesus is the Rock, He is the Church, every soul, and every living body needs to stand upon Him for stability while we are here on earth. Jesus has the keys to the gates of hell and to His Kingdom, if we stand upon His Rock we will prevail and be heaven bound. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” – Revelation 1:18.
As you grow with Christ you learn that apart from Him, you are nothing, and this does not mean we are lowlifes and nothing we do matters, this means we realize He is our strength, our success, our reason for being. We must understand that we truly are precious to God otherwise He would let everyone just die, He created us, He loves us, He wants to spend an eternity with us, but that is up to each one of us to decide for ourselves. God made it easier for us to be able to spend eternity with us when He sent His Son. Jesus explains this further.
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” – Matthew 16:24-28.
“and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” This means whoever gives their life over to Christ, trusting only in Him to save them, and not their own works will find eternal life through Him. We have to get out of the mentality that what we do on our own is what saves us from being cast into hell. You know, it does not matter who we are, unless we are possessed by the devil and worship him, no one likes the thought of hell, you can pretend it does not exist or talk yourself into believing that your works will save you, but the only one who can is Jesus. The good works we do after we are saved are a result of our faithfulness, not obligation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10.
There is a big difference between a faithful Christian, who knows they are saved by grace and lives their lives to reflect Christ and one who is religious, and appears to be a faithful Christian, but are not. How can we tell? If you look real close you will see a difference in how they live their lives. Jesus explains this further as the disciples worry about bread they forgot to take with them.
“And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?” – Mark 8:15-21.
“have ye your heart yet hardened?” It is easy to get caught up in things when we see God working, we all like to believe that there is good in everyone and that God has saved everyone we come in contact with who speaks about Him, but the truth is it is not all God. The devil is good at blending in with the crowd of Christians, and he will use anyone he can to deceive people into believing they are one of Christ’s, and this is where we who are faithful need our blinders on to keep ourselves being deceived by them. As much as we are put to the test and as crazy as it is how God uses us sometimes, He will never tell us to do something that goes against Scripture. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” – II Timothy 2:15-16.
Now, one thing must be addressed is that the devil can use the faithful also in order to try to stop us from doing what God calls us to do, this does not mean that we are not saved, but it does mean that He will put some crazy thoughts in our heads to either keep us from doing what we are supposed to be doing or us keep others from doing something. Yes, we have all be used by the devil to discourage someone from doing God’s will, even and we never even knew it until we were convicted of the Holy Spirit. We find this to be true as the devil used Peter to put a distraction on Jesus as He explains what He was about to do.
“And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” – Mark 8:31-33.
“for thou savourest not the things that be of God,” Jesus knew that it was not Peter speaking, but the devil speaking through him. The devil did everything he could to keep Jesus from going to the cross, he even tried to tempt Him on the cross, but Jesus remained faithful and did exactly what His Father told Him. Faithful Christians are not perfect, they mess up every day, but they do not have to be because they are perfect in Christ. Yes, we are going to mess up, sometimes the devil will distract us, sometimes we will do things all on our own, but we who are saved belong to Christ and that means nothing or no one can change that. We can however minimize the affect the devil has on us by sticking by Christ and letting Him work through us. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” – Mathew 16:27.
Today’s Prayer: God, I want to be faithful to You and my life according to Your will, watch over me, guide me, and abide in me, keep Your truths in me. Help me to learn and grow in Your Word so I can tell whether or not people are telling me truth or lies. In the end, it is You who I follow to the truth, not anyone else. Open my heart to be receptive to You and only You, clear my mind of every doubt and fear and fill it with joy and peace only revealed as I yield myself to You. Let me be a godly witness that brings others to Your Son. I love You and ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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