“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
The doors were shut. They were closed in and assembled together. They were afraid. Yet, suddenly in the middle of it all…stood Jesus.
He had been crucified, and was now risen again and standing in the midst before them. He did not enter through a door. He didn’t have to. He is God and can do the impossible.
Have you ever been afraid of the circumstances around you, not knowing what to do next, when suddenly a peace fell upon your weary soul? In the midst of your trouble all the fear went away, why? Because Jesus was in the midst.
There is Peace when Jesus is in the midst.
“…when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
When we are fearful, He can speak peace if we will only stop and listen. What is He telling you today? Stand still and let Him lead you.
There is Payment when Jesus is in the midst.
“And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.”
When we were in need of a Saviour, Jesus paid our debt so that we might be free and live with Him. We need to trust in His payment, and we need to tell others about His payment.
There is Potential when Jesus is in the midst.
“And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”
When we are struggling with unbelief, our lack of faith can disappear when Jesus is in the midst. He can give us the faith to press on, the faith to trust Him, and the faith to believe the impossible is possible through Him.
You may be in need of peace, of payment, or of potential today.
Invite Jesus to be in the middle of it all.
Job 21-22 | I John 3 | Psalm 22
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.”
In the Old Testament the Lord revealed to the prophet Ezekiel the Truth of how the Lord Jesus would both search for and rescue His lost sheep.
“For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.”
“seek” – Jesus Searches For Us.
He came to us when we were unable to come to Him. He loves us even though our sin makes us unlovable. He searches for us when we think we cannot be found. When we have lost something, do we not search frantically until we find it? We must seek the lost diligently just like Jesus did. We must seek them with the purpose of winning their souls for Him.
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
“save” – Jesus Rescues Us.
As the Good Shepherd, He rescues the sheep that go astray. We are all just like that sheep that left the fold that the Shepherd came and rescued like we were His only child. He loves us that much.
“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”
When we had no strength to get to Him, Jesus came and rescued us by dying for us. As ungodly as we are, He gave His life so that we might have ours.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Just as Jesus did, we should seek or search for the lost. We cannot save them, but we can perform a “Search & Rescue” and point them to the only One Who can be the Saviour they so desperately need.
How can we go about a Search & Rescue?
Soulwinning is not a spiritual gift. Soulwinning is a spiritual discipline. It is something we inwardly choose to be obedient to, for the cause of Christ. Soulwinning is the greatest thing we can do in order to exhibit the image of Christ. Curtis Hutson said, “The only alternative to soulwinning is disobedience.”
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
Make an effort to “Search & Rescue” those that need Jesus.
Job 19-20 | I John 2 | Psalm 21
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
Our life’s purpose is to lift up the Name of Jesus! Every church, every pastor, every Christian…our purpose is to lift Him up!
Jesus told Nicodemus why the Son of Man must be lifted up.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Jesus told the murmuring Jews that conviction was necessary.
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus always exalted His Father.
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
The words “I be lifted up” not only refer to Christ being raised up on the Cross of Calvary, but they also show us that Jesus Christ is to be exalted and honored. May we follow Jesus’ example and live our lives to exalt Him!
Exalt Him with your loved ones and church family.
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Exalt Him by worshipping at His feet.
“Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.”
Exalt Him by proclaiming that He is your God.
“Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.”
Exalt Him by praising His lovely name.
“O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
We are to exalt Him so that others may see Him! When we give Jesus Christ His proper place in our lives, we are shining His Light so that others may see.
“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.”
Why are we to shine our Light by exalting Him? So that He may draw sinners unto Himself. You reach a loved one or a total stranger because you point them to Jesus!
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Lift Him up today!
Job 17-18 | I John 1 | Psalm 20
“And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
Despite the complaints and murmuring of the people, Moses pressed on and sought the Lord to provide for their need.
“And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree…”
A tree made the difference.
After the water was turned sweet and was drinkable, Moses began to preach to the people…
He begged them to listen to the Lord.
“and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God”
He begged them to do what was right.
“and wilt do that which is right in his sight”
He begged them to not only listen to the Lord’s commandments, but also obey them.
“and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes”
The Lord promised if they would do these things He would not bring any of the diseases or plagues He put on the Egyptians on them. He promised to heal them instead.
Jehovah-Rophe – “the LORD that healeth thee”
The Lord wants to heal us today as well. He is still Jehovah-Rophe. He is waiting for us to ask Him for help and healing. Just like God used a tree to take the bitter water and make it sweet, God also used a Tree to make our salvation possible.
I Peter 2:24
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Calvary hosted the Tree that held our Saviour in order for us to be healed from our sin. The Source of our Restoration hung on that Tree that day with all the sin of the world upon Him. It was our Saviour upon that Tree that made the difference.
Job 15-16 | II Peter 3 | Psalm 19
“So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”
Just after the children of Israel had experienced the Red Sea miracle, they journeyed three days through the wilderness of Shur where they were unable to find water. After days of traveling they finally found water in Marah. The water must have looked so tasty and refreshing; yet, they when they drank of the waters there because they were bitter. The water’s appeal was deceiving.
How often in our lives do we have a mountain top experience and pull back from the Water of the Word of God only to become thirsty days later? Sometimes we try to quench our thirst with something other than the Word only to be left disappointed. The devil has a way of making something look so appealing and refreshing, yet when we partake of whatever he has laid in front of us we only end up with a bitter taste in our mouth.
After tasting the bitter waters, the flesh of the people won out as they murmured about their situation.
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?”
Just three days prior, these same people walked up to the Red Sea with nowhere to turn. God showed Moses just what to do, and after he obeyed the Lord’s commands the unthinkable happened. What was once an uncrossable sea became standing walls of water with a dry path in between. Did they forget the miracle they had seen just days before?
Can you not imagine the tone of the voices? Too often the murmuring voices of those around us take our attention off of our ultimate goal and purpose in the work of the Lord. Why are people so comfortable in murmuring about the ministry? Often those who complain the loudest and murmur the most are those that contribute the least. And sometimes there are those who are willing to serve; yet while doing so all they do is complain.
“Do all things without murmurings or disputings:”
After hearing the people’s complaints, Moses sought the Lord for help, and the Lord answered by showing him the solution to the situation.
“And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet…”
May we follow Moses’ example when we hear murmurings or if we ourselves begin to murmur. Ask the Lord for help in dealing with the situation. He will provide just as He provided for Moses and the children of Israel.
Choose to drink from the Water of the Word of Life today.
Job 13-14 | II Peter 2 | Psalm 18
I Corinthians 1:26-27
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”
Have you ever noticed that God seems to call the most unlikely people to do His work? This is no accident, for there are no accidents or coincidences with God. He chooses the most improbable people and situations to manifest His power, grace and love through. Why?
I Corinthians 2:5
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
If He only used those who we in our human flesh deem worthy to be called we would put our faith in the ability of a person instead of in God’s power to use them. God gets the most glory when a situation seems most unlikely.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Moses had a stammering tongue and considered himself to be a worthless speaker. But God called him, and used him beyond Moses’ ability and the opinions of others. He allowed Moses to lead the children of Israel through the wilderness and used him to display God’s power in many miracles along the way. When they reached the Red Sea they had nowhere to turn…except to God. That most unlikely & impossible moment just allowed God to manifest His power in an incredible way that no one thought was possible at the time.
You may feel like there is nothing you can offer the Lord in service to Him. That is how He wants us to feel, for it is then that He can work through us. He is not looking for the wisest person to do His work; He only wants the willing. Disregard your ability or inability to accomplish something for Him. Ask Him to use you in spite of you. When we get ourselves out of the way, that is when He can use us. He just wants us to be willing.
What situation seems the most unlikely to happen in your life? You may feel as if you are standing at the edge of the Red Sea with nowhere to turn. This is where God wants to use the weak things of this world to confound the mighty. He knows right where you stand and just what you need. He will come through in the most unlikely way for it is then that He will get the glory He deserves.
I Corinthians 2:9
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Job 11-12 | II Peter 1 | Psalm 17
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.”
God wants us to go above and beyond what is expected of us. If we are asked to go a mile, we should go the extra mile. Be a Second Mile Christian.
“compel thee to go a mile”
Regardless of what is asked of us, when we feel compelled we must not only participate, but do so willingly. Submitting to the unreasonable demands of others allows us to display the love of Christ.
In this same passage Christ warns us of what is sure to happen when we live our lives by going the extra mile.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
Christ knew exactly what it was like to have enemies. He knew what it was like to be cursed and hated. He prayed for those that despitefully used and persecuted Him.
When we live our lives in service to others we will develop enemies. We will be cursed at and hated, and we will definitely be despitefully used and persecuted – even by other Christians and those we consider our friends. But we should never let that stop us from going the extra mile!
“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?”
Going the extra mile is not always easy.
There will be attacks. There will be burdens.
Going the extra mile is always worth it.
There will be joy. There will be rewards.
Those who go the extra mile for the Lord’s glory will never be disappointed.
Job 9-10 | I Peter 5 | Psalm 16
"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty."
When we give our resources, our time, or our talent to be used by God we are shining our Light for Him while also allowing Him to display His glory.
God has a way of multiplying our resources beyond our logic or comprehension. The Widow of Zarephath is a perfect example of this. She was down to her last meal for her and her son; yet, because she obeyed God’s command to give…the barrel of meal and cruse of oil never wasted. She didn’t understand how it happened; she just believed God had sustained her because of her obedience.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
On the flip side, when we withhold our resources and put them away “for safe keeping” we do more harm than good. God will not multiply that which we have not given to Him. We see this in the Parable of the Talents where the unprofitable servant “digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money” only later to have that talent taken from him and given to the one who had started with five, and wound of with not only ten, but eleven total. God multiplied what was given to Him, and decreased what was put away and “saved”.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
Whatever you have, no matter how much or how little, give it away to the Lord. You will not be disappointed or empty handed.
Job 7-8 | I Peter 4 | Psalm 15
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."
When we give our life to the Lord and are willing to do whatever He pleases and purposes with us, we shall find, save and preserve our life through Him.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it."
Isn't that just what Christ did in us?
He found us, when we could not find our way to Him.
He saved us, when we could not save ourselves.
He preserves us, because we could not keep our salvation on our own.
He also preserves us because He has plans for us that we cannot see right now so that His glory can shine through us.
When we delight in Him, He will change our fleshly aspirations for the desires that fit His will for our lives.
If we want to find our purpose in life...
If we want to be saved from everlasting destruction...
If we want to be preserved from the turmoil of this life...
We must lose our lives to Him.
Give yourself to Him. He is waiting with open arms to receive you and use you for His glory. Exchange your desires for his.
Job 5-6 | I Peter 3 | Psalm 14
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
The Blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the Cross of Calvary was for every single person that has ever been created. From Adam and Eve in the Garden to those walking this earth today and every person that will be born until Christ’s Second Coming. He died for us all that we might have faith in His shed blood and have a home for all eternity with God The Father in Heaven.
Cain’s sacrifice was insufficient to the more excellent sacrifice of Abel’s because of the blood. Those who were before the Cross looked forward to His sacrifice just as we look back to that same Cross today for “without shedding of blood is no remission” of sin.
Jesus Christ was the Propitiation, the Atoning Sacrifice, for our sin.
I John 2:2
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
I John 4:10
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Forbearance refers to the suffering of difficulties while continuing to love the person(s) in question. God The Father displayed His forbearing love for us by giving His Son’s life on the Cross which took His life and gave us ours. He patiently waited for the day we would see our need for a Saviour and place our faith in the finished work of Christ. He is also patiently waiting with longsuffering for those who still need to accept Him.
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Job 3-4 | I Peter 2 | Psalm 13
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