JESUS UNDERSTANDS YOUR STRUGGLES
Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Imagine meeting the new politician who is to represent your district or neighborhood only to discover that he is not familiar with your neighborhood’s needs and problems. You will wonder, “Can this guy really represent us? Does he know anything about our living conditions? Is he familiar with the various challenges that families here are facing? Can he help me get my child into one of the schools here?” I am sure that you would prefer someone who truly understands your challenges to represent you!
In the same way, I am so glad that right now at the Father’s right hand, we have someone who came as a Man to redeem us, and who fully understands what man goes through. When Jesus walked on earth, He went through every human emotion so that He could identify with us in all points. Jesus is God, but He is in the Father’s presence as a Man, representing us.
My friend, you may feel that no one understands your struggles. Listen, while this may be true of man, it is not true of Jesus. He knows exactly what you are going through and He can sympathize with your weaknesses because He was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”.
None of us have been tempted in all points. But God allowed Jesus to be tempted in all points so that He can understand and identify with the struggles of every single person on this earth. He can be touched by our humanity—our weaknesses, tears, disappointments, griefs…all points!
There is no trial, difficulty, challenge or temptation that you face that Jesus cannot identify with. My friend, the moment you go through it, right there and then, He feels it too. That is the kind of representative you have in Jesus! That is the love of God so that you will draw near to His throne of grace (not judgment) to find mercy and grace in time of need! (Hebrews 4:15–16)
Thought For The Day :
There is no trial, difficulty, challenge or temptation that you face that Jesus cannot identify with.
YOU HAD TO ACT
No man ever spoke like this Man! —John 7:46
A US congressman, John Lewis, was 23 years old when he participated in the historic 1963 civil rights “March on Washington” led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Half a century later, journalist Bill Moyers asked Lewis how he was affected by Dr. King’s I Have A Dream speech that day. Mr. Lewis replied, “You couldn’t leave after hearing him speak and go back to business as usual. You had to do something, you had to act. You had to move. You had to go out and spread the good news.”
Many who encountered Jesus found it impossible to remain neutral about Him. John 7:25-46 records two different reactions to Jesus. While “many of the people believed in Him” (v.31), the religious leaders tried to silence Him by sending temple guards to arrest Him (v.32). The guards were likely present when Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (vv.37-38). The guards returned without Jesus and were asked, “Why have you not brought Him?” (v.45). They answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (v.46).
The words of Jesus compel us to act, and to move, beyond business as usual.
So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.
Jesus’ death forgave my past sins and inspires my present obedience.
Matthew 2:13, “…for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
Herod had ruled over Judaea for nearly forty three years at the time of these events. He had the title of King conferred on him by the Roman senate at the recommendation of Antony and Octavius. His accomplishments included the building of the temple in Jerusalem which was one of the most magnificent structures in the world. Most people would have thought that Herod had it “made”.
However, history reveals that Herod was extremely paranoid. He actually killed his wife and one of his sons because he feared they would take the kingdom from him. All his power and fame couldn’t buy him the peace that the angels proclaimed (Lk. 2:8-14). His paranoia led him to kill the innocent children in Bethlehem. His insecurity was evident. He had everything and yet he had nothing.
In contrast, the King that Herod was trying to dispose of came humbly, not exalting Himself. He gained the acclaim of others by serving them, not oppressing them. The scepter of Jesus was righteousness; not tyranny. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice; Himself, because of His great love for people.
Today, Herod’s only claim to fame is that he was the man who tried in vain to kill the King of Kings. Remember, it is worth nothing if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul (Mt. 16:26). Make today count for God.
IT HAPPENS ON THE INSIDE FIRST
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. – 3 John 1:2
The apostle John tells us that God’s wish is that we prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. This means that our outward success, whether it’s in our health, family life, career or finances, is linked to ourinward soul prosperity.
My friend, if in your heart and mind you can see yourself successful in a particular area of your life, it’s only a matter of time that you will experience it outwardly. For example, if you are chronically sick, stop seeing yourself weak and sickly. Start seeing yourself healed, healthy, strong and full of life!
How do you do that? Meditate on the Lord’s promises of health and healing for you, such as Isaiah 53:5 or Jeremiah 30:17. Meditate on Jesus’ healing miracles and see His compassion and willingness to heal you. Believe it. Visualize it. Thank Him for it, and you will experience it!
PRAYER (5) …
And He went a little further. – Matthew 26:39 KJV
Jesus left the crowd. He left the twelve disciples. In Gethsemane He even left the three who were closest to Him, went ‘a little further’ and fell on His face and prayed, ‘Not as I will, but as You will.’ (Matthew 26:39 NKJV) It was here, face to face with His Father, that He found strength to embrace the will of God for His life. Today God is saying to you, ‘The strength to handle this crisis and the wisdom to know what to do will be yours if you’ll just go a little further, stay in My presence a little longer, and dig a little deeper in My Word. If only you knew how close you are to the answer!’ Jesus was only a few hours away from the cross, a few days away from the resurrection, and on the threshold of launching the church. Are you in Gethsemane? Sometimes surrendering your will to God is hard, isn’t it? Look at Jesus. Before Heaven accepted the sacrifice of a surrendered body, it demanded the sacrifice of a surrendered will. Have you surrendered to God? Why do we trust others so easily while God longs for us to trust Him? You go to a doctor whose name you can’t pronounce, get a prescription you can’t read, take it to a pharmacist you don’t know, get medicine you don’t understand, and take it with confidence. Why is it so much easier to have confidence in these ‘unknowns’ than in God, Who is faithful in every way? The answer lies in where you place your trust. Trust comes from knowing someone intimately, listening to them and spending time with them. It doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time.
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