• God’s Heart For You

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”Psalm 139:13-14

    You were lovingly made by an exquisite Creator, who only makes remarkable things.

    You may have forgotten that. You may have never felt that. You may have never believed that. But it is wonderfully true.

    This is what we are going to discover in the Injeel.

    God has crafted your heart uniquely, so you can reflect him in wonderful ways no one else can.

    Not only are you special, you are loved. Deeply loved.

    The Messiah said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 31-10:29)

    You may not feel loved. You may not believe that God is love. But He is. And I’m going to prove it to you 🙂

    God has been writing the most beautiful love story, and the greatest adventure in history.

    His desire is a full life partnership with you. For you to know him with all your heart and to represent him with all your life.

    This is the journey we will be on: discovering more of who God is, the epic tale he is writing, and the glorious role he desires for you to live.

    The Messiah said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (use Scripture/fusha)

    You are going to come to see, from the eyes of your own heart, the full life God offers you. It is an everlasting gift offered from His all generous heart.

  • the journey back to God

    #

    All great journeys are inspired by great stories.

    I want to begin by sharing with you a story that was first shared many, many generations ago. This story has led many God-seekers to understand the longings of their hearts and discover the place where those longings find their perfect home.

    This story was told by Jesus, the Messiah.

    Jesus was speaking to a group of religious leaders who had spent their lives memorizing the words of God, performing all their religious duties, yet their hearts had completely missed the most important thing of all: real love for God.

    The Messiah told this story to try to lead them back to the place God designed for them to live: receiving the fullness of God’s love, blessings, and acceptance into their hearts:

    “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

    “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

    “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

    “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

    “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

    “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

    “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 32-15:11

    # Perhaps your life looks like the son who was lost, and you feel you have run away from God’s fatherly love, and the fullness of life he offers you.

    Or maybe you feel like the older son. You do all the right things on the outside, but inside your heart doesn’t feel near to God. You fear there is always more you need to do to gain his full acceptance and favor.

    Or, maybe your heart has some of both. You feel things and do things you regret, but you’re also your own hardest critic.

    Either way, this journey is for you.

    To truly grasp the fullness of the Father’s heart for you, we must travel back even further in time, nearly a thousand years before the birth of the Messiah, to see just how grand this love story is.

    Take a moment and ask God to give you an eager heart to enter into the greatest, and truest, story ever told.

  • #

    The Messiah Promised

    We’re so happy you are taking this journey with us into the story of God. It’s the story of why you were made, who you were made for, and what you were made to do.

    We’ll take 17 different passages from the Injeel to discover incredible answers to life’s important questions.

    (At the end of the passages, you’ll have the opportunity (if you’d like) to personally chat with a long-time follower of Jesus to ask any questions or share any thoughts you have.)

    Yes, you were made to seek. You were designed to discover. So let’s begin our story at the very beginning…

    God originally created a beautiful world. But our world is full of brokenness.

    God originally created a world of love. But our lives are full of strife.

    God originally created human hearts to experience deepest peace and brightest happiness. But our hearts are divided and anxious.

    What happened?

    Sadly, we don’t have to look further than our own hearts to know the answer.

    Deep down in our hearts, we know we were created by God and for God. Created to live in the reality of his glory and loving kindness.

    But this often isn’t the way we live from our hearts. We find ourselves trying fill our hearts with what we can from the world, and from those around us.

    Instead of pursuing wholeness from the generous hands of our Heavenly Father, we often pursue our own wants, desires, and plans.

    When this happens in our hearts, our souls begin to crack and fracture.

    When it happens in relationships, they fill with conflict, mistrust, and frustrated desires.

    When it happens it society, it leads to corruption, injustice, poverty, and war.

    Is there a way back to God’s beautiful design for your life?

    Praise God, there is a way back. What we have broken, God is restoring.

    Remember, the Messiah said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (use Scirpture/fusha)

    For over a thousand years, God had promised to send his Messiah, the “Anointed One (use Scirpture/fusha),” into our broken world. God promised the Messiah would bring the peace we long for and the blessings we were created for.

    In short, the Messiah would bring a new Kingdom onto earth. The Kingdom of God, dwelling among men. The beauties of Heaven revealed on earth. “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.” (use Scripture/fusha)

    The Messiah would not bring a physical Kingdom founded on military might, but a spiritual Kingdom, founded on divine love.

    This would not be a Kingdom divided by borders, ethnicities, class, or privilege.

    It would be a Kingdom united by passion for God, and sacrificial love for others.

    From the Taurat, this is how the Messiah was prophesied 700 years before his birth:

    “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 7-9:6

    Yes, this King and his Kingdom would be truly great. But his greatness would look very different from is valued in our corrupt world.

    His strength would be shown in suffering, his might displayed through meekness, and his Kingdom’s prosperity would be secured through sacrifice.

    Here is how the prophets spoke of how the Messiah would bring God’s Kingdom on earth:

    “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 10 ,6-53:5)

    “We all, like sheep, have gone astray.” (use Scripture/fusha)

    Yes, we have all seen our hearts turn away from God. To return to God’s love and prosperity, the power of sin must be broken in our hearts, the punishment removed from our lives.

    But how?

    “The punishment that brought us peace was on him.” (use Scripture/fusha)

    How would the life and the sufferings of this great King, the Messiah, bring God’s peace and prosperity into your life?

  • The
    Messiah
    Announced

    As we saw, the prophets had long promised the coming of the great Messiah. They spoke of the great blessing His Kingdom would bring.

    “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

    Yes, the great light of our hearts was coming into the world. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Scripture/fusha)

    But there was real darkness in the world. There are shades of darkness lurking in the hearts of every man, opposing the light. And darkness would oppose this new King, every step of the way.

    But the darkness would not overcome the light

    This is the story of how God delivered the announcement of the Messiah’s arrival: “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

    When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” Matthew 25-1:18

    “In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

    Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

    “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

    The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

    “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.” Luke 38-1:26

    The Messiah was arriving. The King was coming.

    His birth would be the dawn of a new age, and a new humanity.

    “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Scripture/fusha)

  • (Would you like to start reading more stories from the Injeel? There will be a link at the end of today’s entry for you to click to download your own copy. Would you like to speak to a follower of Jesus to ask a question or discuss what God is doing in your heart? There will also be a link below for you to click.)

    Now, back to our story…

    The thousand years of waiting was finally over. The times had reached their fulfillment.

    The Anointed One, the one who would bring us back into fullness of life, was coming. The Messiah, with the mission to restore the full glory of God’s Kingdom, was stepping into the world.

    The prophets had foretold the Messiah would be born of a young virgin, which, as we will see, is exactly what happened.

    What other events would surround this turning point of history? How would God orchestrate this most stunning of all earthly events?

    We continue our story in the Gospel:

    “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.). And everyone went to their own town to register.

    So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

    Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

    “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

    When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

    So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 20-2:1

    The Messiah was sent by God for your great joy. This good news of the Kingdom is about how you can glorify God by enjoying him forever.

    And as we will see, the Messiah didn’t come only to proclaim the good news, he came to be the good news.

    What would that mean?

  • The Messiah is revealed

    In the Taurat, it had been prophesied the Messiah would grow up in the rural, remote areas of present day Palestine, in Galilee. Of his childhood, the Injeel says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Scripture/fusha)

    When the time came for Jesus to begin his ministry, he astonished the people with both his tender compassion, and his miraculous power.

    He began to travel the countryside, teaching crowds the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing all who were sick or oppressed by darkness.

    Jesus chose certain men to live close to him, and join him in his mission. This is the story of the Messiah calling his first followers.

    See if you can imagine yourself on the this boat with Jesus. How would you feel? How would you have responded to Jesus?

    “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

    When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

    Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

    When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

    When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

    Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.” Luke 11-5:1

    Peter knew he had come terrifyingly close to real, divine power. He sensed this was the very power and purity that had created the universe itself.

    And he was undone with fear because he knew there was sin deep in his heart.

    But instead of condemnation, Jesus lovingly assures him. Jesus wants Peter with him. He wants Peter to play an important role in the story he is writing.

    Jesus wants to lovingly assure you. He wants you with him. He wants you to play an important role in the story he is writing.

    No matter how you feel inside, be it fear, shame, guilt, or sadness, God knows every single thing about you, and He still wants you in the boat with him.

    And as we will see, the Messiah is willing to go to the absolute extreme to fully restore you to God.

  • The Messiah’s Compassion

    As Jesus began to grow in popularity amongst the people, the religious leaders began to grow jealous and critical.

    They had spent their lives trying to please God so He would give them good things, but they had never truly loved God.

    In this story, we will see the beautiful picture of a broken heart seeking wholeness from God, and the Messiah teaching us the real meaning of true love.

    “When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

    When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

    Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

    “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

    Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

    Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

    Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

    The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

    Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

    God desires to forgive all of your debts. He wants to remove all of your sins. He holds out to you a life of peace. Do you believe this?

    It’s ok if you don’t. Consider praying right now,

    “God, it’s hard for me to believe you really love me like this. That you can forgive all of my sins, and we can live together in peace. If this is really true, will you teach my heart to believe?”

    Friend, God is pursuing your heart. He desires to be your perfect Father and loving King.

    If you ask him to keep your heart open and soft, he will begin reveal himself to you in more wonderful and personal ways.

  • The Messiah’s Authority

    We saw in the last story that many of the religious leaders were beginning to oppose the ministry of Jesus.

    But who could be opposed to someone so gentle, yet powerful? So tender, yet strong?.

    Sadly, we again must look no further than our own hearts for the answer.

    There is something inside of us that resists a full and complete surrender to God’s goodness. Something in our hearts that insists on the final say in choosing what is best for me.

    We often want God’s involvement when we feel there is something He can do for us, but we’re not nearly so eager to give him full claim over our whole heart.

    These religious leaders are merely a clear, strong example of the subtle tendencies of our own hearts.

    But Jesus came so this dark power in our hearts could be overcome, the consequences of sin fully removed, and the fullness of life with God finally restored.

    That’s what this story is all about.

    “One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

    When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

    The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

    Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.” Luke 26-5:17

    Where DID the Messiah get this authority to forgive sins?

    And how can just God forgive sins, seemingly acting as if they never happened?

    Indeed, if there is no consequence for sin, God would be an unjust Judge. If evil is not judged and punished, He would be an unrighteous King. If iniquity is not dealt with, God would become a parter to darkness.

    “Indeed, “The wages of sin is death.” (Scripture/fusha)

    But God had a plan.

    The deep answers to these questions lie further into our story…

  • The Messiah’s Teaching (part1)

    The Messiah came to teach us a new way to live. A new way to be human.

    Jesus came so our hearts, our relationships, and our communities could return to God original, beautiful design.

    Let us listen we eager hearts as Jesus teachers us the way of God’s heart

    “He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

    Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

    “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

    “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

    “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 49-6:17

    Do you read this and despair of ever being able to live a life this pure and this generous?

    The good news is the Messiah came not only to teach us God’s heart, but also to give us the power we need to truly live for God and love others.

    How, exactly, would Jesus secure this power? We’ll have to continue deeper into our story to find out…

  • The Messiah’s

    Power Over

    Disease & Death

    The angels had announced the Messiah’s would offer great peace and tremendous joy for our hearts. But we simply cannot experience any true peace or any lasting joy while the fear of death lurks in our hearts.

    If the Messiah’s reign is going to bring real joy, it must be immortal.

    “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.” (scripture/fusha)

    Jesus would have to display he has power over our last and greatest enemy… Death itself.

    “When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.

    A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

    At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

    “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

    But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

    While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

    Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

    He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

    After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.”

    “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (scripture/fusha)

    These are God’s words for you in this moment. This is his heart for you:

    “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (scripture/fusha)

    He desires for you to reach out to him in faith, believing he can satisfy your deepest desires.

    Even your desire to live forever.

  • The Messiah’s
    Teaching (part2)

    The religious leaders couldn’t believe the people Jesus wanted to spend his time with. People whose lives were messy, whose hearts were broken, and whose standing in society was low.

    But God is love. God’s heart is to take those who feel small or sad, weak or worthless, and transform them into the princes and princesses of His Kingdom.

    «Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

    Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

    “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 10-15:1

    There is only one type of person God cannot redeem. The person who thinks they can redeem themselves.

    Nothing grieves the heart of God like people striving in religious works as the way into his acceptance and blessing.

    This is not God’s perfect design. This is not his fullness of life.

    We were not designed to trust in religious activity, we were designed to trust in God.

    Like the women at Jesus feet with her tears, like the paralytic looking up from his mat, like the women with the flow of blood reaching out in faith, the way to receive God’s love is just that…

    To receive God’s love, through faith.

    Not to strive for it, through works.

    When we strive by good works, we glorify ourselves. When we receive by faith, we glorify God.

    Then, good works naturally overflow from a heart that is fully loved, and richly blessed.

    Here’s how Jesus teaches it:

    “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

    People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 17-18:9

    Are you willing to receive the Kingdom of God like a little child? Ask God right now to grant you the gift of humility. As you go low, He will lift you high.

  • the Messiah opposed

    Remember what the prophet had written:

    “The punishment that brought us peace was on him.” (scripture/fusha)

    We have seen how strongly the religious leaders opposed Jesus. Often, like ourselves, they simply didn’t want God’s full authority over their lives.

    They felt they were in control, and didn’t want that to change. They were willingly to go to the extreme to keep the Messiah from transforming their hearts and lives.

    “As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

    This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

    “Say to Daughter Zion ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

    The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

    “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

    When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

    Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

    The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

    “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

    “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

    “‘From the lips of children and infants

    you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

    And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.”

    Time and again, we have seen the religious leaders reviling Jesus. Rejecting the new way of life he was bringing.

    They wanted to work for their own righteousness, not receive it from God. They wanted people to adore them, not praise God. They wanted to lord over others, not serve before God.

    And so they hated everything Jesus came to establish.

    But in their hatred, they unwittingly planning the ultimate coronation of this immortal King.

    Remember what the prophet wrote…

    “The punishment that brought us peace was on him” (scripture/fusha )

    From the beginning, the Messiah had known his ultimate mission. And now, he begins to lay it out for his followers:

    “And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

    Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 26-9:21

    The power of sin in our hearts is real.

    It convinces us to desire the things of this world instead of the things of God.

    The effects of sin are real.

    If we study our history, observe our world, or examine our hearts we see it clearly and unmistakably… Sin devastates what God has made.

    The consequences of sin are real.

    “The wages of sin is death.” God is an all-loving Father, AND an all-righteous Judge. Righteousness reviles sin. Purity rejects corruption. If sin isn’t fully dealt with, God wouldn’t be truly Holy

    For the Messiah to truly inaugurate God’s new Kingdom on earth, he must break all the power of sin, heal all its effects, and crush all its consequences.

  • Religious Leaders Decide to Kill Jesus

    Jesus knew that not everyone who receive Him. He knew those who hated God would hate Him. But he loved his own. He would go to the very extreme, to see them fully free.

    “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

    They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

    “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

    “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the works of your own father.”

    “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 47-8:31

    Could there be anything in the world more terrifying than realizing “you don’t belong to God?”

    If that’s what you’re feeling right now, be encouraged. God has you on this journey for a reason. His love is pursuing you to set you free.

    This is what the Messiah is after: true freedom for God’s people. Freedom from sin. Freedom from death. Freedom to live close to God, and enjoy Him forever

    The religious leaders had decided to put Jesus to death. But God was using the plots of darkness to consecrate the Kingdom of light.

    The punishment that brought us peace was on him.”

  • The Messiah’s
    Last Moments
    With His Followers

    There is something deeply sacred about a person’s last words.

    Jesus is having his final meal with his closest friends. He knows what is coming. He wants to impart to these dear followers a beautiful vision of the love he embodied. And he wants to inspire them toward the high calling God has for their lives.

    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

    Love from God. Love for God. Love for others. And all for one glorious purpose: “That your joy may be complete.”

    Friend, be amazed at life as God has designed it for you. Be awed at the future he holds out for you. Fall down in worship at what his heart desires for you.

    Perfect happiness with him. Perfect love with others.

  • The Messiah
    Arrested

    Let us again remember what the prophets had foreseen about the Messiah, his mission, and how his Kingdom would be established:

    “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

    We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

    Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 10 ,6-53:5)

    The event long prophesied had arrived. The tribulation long planned was now set in motion.

    As we have seen, the cup of sin is a cup filled with consequence. It is a cup of intense sadness, bitter suffering, eternal loss, and righteous judgment.

    “We all like sheep have gone astray.”

    This cup sits before each of us to drink.

    Unless. Unless there is one worthy to drink the cup on our behalf.

    “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

    When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

    While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

    When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

    Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Luke 53-22:39

    Yes, He is worthy to drink our cup:

    “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” (scripture/fusha)

    Not only is He worthy, He is willing:

    “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (scripture/fusha)

    The Messiah had come for this very hour. He was born for this very death.

    “Though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” (scripture/fusha)

  • And now, the final hour of darkness unfolds.

    “Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

    “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate.

    “You have said so,” Jesus replied.

    The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”

    But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

    Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

    “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of selfinterest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.

    “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.

    “Crucify him!” they shouted.

    “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

    But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

    Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

    The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

    A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

    It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

    They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

    At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

    When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

    Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

    With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

    The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Mark 39-15:1

    On the cross, Jesus was forsaken by God so you don’t have to be. He drank the full cup of sin, the cup of judgment that each of us had poured for ourselves.

    Sin must be punished. Evil must be judged. Darkness must be overcome. Only the Holy One could uphold God’s holiness.

    “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

    God was willing to go to the absolute extreme to destroy every barrier between you and a love relationship with him.

    “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

    But how can a dead Messiah bring fullness of life to a broken world?

  • “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (scripture/fusha)

    Darkness had its hour… And lost.

    “On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

    When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb.

    Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

    Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.

    They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

    He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

    They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

    “What things?” he asked.

    “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

    He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

    As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

    When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

    They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

    While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

    They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

    When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

    He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

    Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 49-24:1

    Only God could write a story like this. Only God could purpose something so extraordinary.

    And he did it for you.

    “He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (scripture/fusha)

    Everything God had long promised, fulfilled.

    Sins forgiven. Glory restored. “Peace be with you.”

    This is the story God has written for you for. This is his purpose for your life.

    Let us not be foolish, and slow to believe all that God has for us.

  • “I AM

    At the end of the Injeel, it’s written:

    “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25

    In the new world to come, those who love God will experience the full glory of the Messiah and the full expression of his Kingdom.

    Let us reflect on different ways the Messiah expressed both his love for you, and his glory with the Father throughout the Injeel.

    Pay attention to your heart as you read. What do you feel as you read and consider the things Jesus taught about himself?

    “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 18-10:14

    “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

    “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 7-14:6

    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2

    “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 8-15:5

    “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 26-11:25

    Do you believe this?

    Let’s listen to one last story Jesus told, and consider his desire for our heart.

  • Our Heart

    In this parable, Jesus explains the possible realities for our hearts:

    “While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

    When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’

    “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 15-8:4

    There is a beautiful crop of righteousness that only your heart can produce for God.

    He has spoken to you the knowledge of the secrets of his kingdom. He has planted the seed of his word in your heart.Which soil do you desire to be?

    Which soil do you desire to be?

    With all my heart I long for you to choose God from a noble and good heart. May God grant you this heart, that you may have life and have it to the full.

    We would really love to talk with you more. Our passion is for other people to enjoy the fullness of life God has gifted to us.

    When your joy has has been made complete, there is nothing to live for but the joy of others!

    I’d like to leave you with the blessing and the commission which Jesus spoke over his disciples before he returned to the Father:

    “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 20-28:16