The Journey with Ron Moore

Read John 1:1-18

John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Moses, the great prophet and leader in the Old Testament, laid down the law. He was God’s instrument in revealing the ceremonial, civil and moral law to the people of Israel. However, the law was “a shadow of the good things that [were] coming — not the realities themselves” (Hebrews 10:1). Jesus came to fulfill what the law had been purposed for all along — grace and truth.

The law was a reminder that we couldn’t meet God’s expectations. We could not obey the law outwardly with our actions. Neither could we obey the law inwardly with our thoughts and attitudes. We needed grace, so Jesus came as the greatest expression of God’s grace. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He bore our sins in His body on the cross. He died so that we could live. Jesus provides the free gift of grace.

The truth of the law called us to holy living — set apart for God. Again, on our own we could never reach such a high calling, so Jesus came to reveal God to us. He is the “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus is the perfect way of conveying God’s truth.

Father, I pray for anyone who does not know the grace and truth of Jesus. I pray that You will open their eyes to see the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus and show them that only through Him can they have a personal relationship with You. Open their eyes, soften their heart, and make them Your child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

A Matter of the Heart

Read John 1:1-18

John 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Early in your life you were told, “Never, ever look directly at the sun!” The brightness of the sun, even at a distance of ninety-three million miles, can damage your eyes and cause blindness. The majestic brilliance of the sun is to be experienced, not seen.

So it was with God. He is spirit. He is omnipresent, existing everywhere at the same time in His full being. God is too much for us to take in (that’s an understatement). A person cannot look directly on God and live. However, we  can look on Jesus.

Jesus — God in the flesh — came to show us the Father. He came to make God known in an intimate and personal way. He came so that we could enter into a relationship with God and enjoy Him forever. Jesus came so that we could call God “Abba (Daddy), Father.” A person cannot look on God and live, but we must look on Jesus as the only way to live. Jesus has come to make God known. Has He made God known to you? If not, let this prayer be your guide.

Lord Jesus, I want to have a personal relationship with the living God. I want to know Him intimately. You are the One — the only One — who can make God known to me. Today I trust in You and Your work on the cross as the only way to have a relationship with the Father. I trust that You paid for my sins on the cross. Right now I trust in Your work as the penalty for my sin. Thank You for making God known to me. In Your name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Defiers of God

Luke 1:11-15
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.”

Long before Franklin Graham conducts an outreach in a city, he sends an “Advance Team” to get things ready. The team communicates with churches, conducts training sessions, and holds prayer meetings. They work to prepare the hearts and minds of people for a time when they will hear the Gospel. That “ministry model” is not new. It was first used to prepare the world for Jesus.

Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, had been unable to have children and were well past the normal childbearing years. They had given up hope until the angel, Gabriel came and communicated the startling news. They would have a boy and call him John. The divine purpose of this child’s life was to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. God’s “Advance Team” was led by John the Baptist.

Over the next few days we will get familiar with this man who had a special assignment from God. Really though, John’s purpose was no different than ours. You and I are uniquely called to prepare our worlds for Jesus – our homes, schools, places of work, neighborhoods. Here’s the solemn question: Are we living our lives in a way that attracts people to Jesus?

Father, my words and actions echo through my world. Protect my heart, mind and mouth. Help me prepare those in my sphere of influence for Your Son and the eternal life that comes only through Him. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

The Slippery Slope of Success

Luke 1:57-58
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

When the angel Gabriel speaks, you listen. After all, Gabriel’s usual position is standing in the very presence of God! However, the angel’s news was hard to believe. The announcement that Zechariah would be a father in his old age was…unbelievable. As a result of his unbelief, Zechariah was rendered silent.

God often works outside the norm. The One who spoke the world into being still speaks miracles into existence. He comes to us in ways we least expect in order to accomplish things we most desire. Sometimes His actions are welcomed — an answered prayer, the yearning of our heart fulfilled. Sometimes doors are closed. He barricades a road to put us on His path.

When the baby was born Elizabeth named him John. This didn’t sit well with friends and family since she didn’t follow the tradition of naming her child after a relative, so Zechariah wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.” That pronouncement loosed his tongue and allowed him to speak again. Unbelief left him silent. Belief produced an outpouring of praise.

Father, I do believe…sometimes. Help me to believe all the time and never doubt that Your words are true and Your path is always the right road to travel. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Characteristics of True Friendship – Part 1

Luke 1:76-79
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.

Zechariah had given up hope that he would ever have a son. Now his son, John  had arrived and Zechariah burst out into praise. Let’s look at the rich truth in this portion of the song.

  • A prophet of the Most High. John’s purpose was to be a spokesman for God.
  • A preparer of the way. Like a farmer prepares the soil for seed, so John prepared hearts for Jesus.
  • Knowledge of salvation. In our sinful state we cry out in desperate need of a Savior.
  • Forgiveness. The downloading of guilt and shame. The uploading of cleansing.
  • Mercy. In His grace God gives us what we do not deserve. In His mercy He doesn’t give us what we do deserve.
  • Light. Sin produces a darkened life living in the shadow of death. Jesus brings the light.
  • Peace. We run after things that never satisfy until Jesus shines His light, showing us the path of peace.

Father, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for His forgiveness, mercy, light and peace. Thank You for the salvation we find only in Him. Thank You for those who prepared the way for me to come to the knowledge of salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Characteristics of True Friendship – Part 2

Luke 3:2-6
The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation. ’”

John the Baptist understood why God put him on this earth. He knew that he was born to prepare the way for Jesus. It had been four hundred years since God had spoken through a prophet. The people needed to be prepared for God to speak through His Son. John embraced his mission as the preparer of the way.

Why did God put you on this earth? What calling has He put on your life? What job does He want you to do for Him? What path does He want you to make straight? What rough road does He want you to make smooth? How will the people in your life see the great salvation that God gives?

Life is too short to miss our mission. Let’s pray for God to make our life’s purpose clear and let’s pray that He will give us the courage to be about His business.

Father, this life goes fast. I don’t want to miss a single day’s assignment. Help me know and accept my mission in life. Help me sense Your pleasure in whatever vocation You have called me to. Help me experience the joy in using the skills You have given me for Your purpose. Lord, give me the courage to do the things You have called me to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Mark 1:4-8
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

You couldn’t miss John the Baptist. He strode into town dressed in camel’s hair clothing, a big belt around his waist, snacking on locusts and wild honey. You also couldn’t miss John’s message. He boldly proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Baptism was not a new concept for John’s audience, but it was a new experience. The Jews had seen Gentiles baptized in order to be accepted into Judaism. Now John was using baptism to prepare them for the acceptance of a new covenant through Jesus. John’s baptism was for repentance — a turning from the old ways of sin and turning to God for forgiveness and cleansing. The water was an outward symbol of what God was doing in their hearts.

A path of faith is paved with repentance. True repentance involves two things. First, we are sorry for our sins. We are sorry for rebelling against the Holy God. Second, we are willing to turn from our sins. Continuing in our sins demonstrates a lack of true remorse. Have you experienced true repentance?

Father, help me understand the gravity of my sin. Convict my heart for my rebellion against You. Help me experience a true sorrow. Give me the strength to turn from sin and turn to You in obedience. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


This Week on The Journey Broadcast:

 

I and II Samuel

John 1:22-23
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

Bob Rogers, the former president of Development Dimensions International, Inc., notes the difference between a big ego and a strong ego. He says that a person with a big ego has their “picture on the cover.” A person with a strong ego gives credit instead of taking credit.

John the Baptist was a strong leader with a strong ego. He did not back down on the truth. He boldly told people that they needed to change their ways, but he did not put his “picture on the cover.” John always deflected the attention from himself to Jesus. When asked, “Who are you?” he explained that he was simply the one sent to prepare the way for Jesus.

In a world that feeds on celebrity obsession, which in turn, feeds big egos, John the Baptist stands as an example for all believers. It is not about us; it’s about Jesus. We are simply voices pointing people to the Savior. We are spiritual beggars who, by God’s grace, have found the living bread. Our purpose is to tell other “beggars” where they can find it too. How would you answer the question, “Who are you?” I hope the answer has a lot of Jesus and little of you.

Father, please strengthen my ego and keep it from growing big. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Characteristics of True Friendship – Part 3

Matthew 3:13-15
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

When John spoke of Jesus his words carried a sense of awe. He knew his life mission was to prepare the way for Jesus. He was calling people to repent—change their ways—and get ready for the coming Savior. John was no lightweight, but he explained that one more powerful was on the way. He was not even worthy to untie and carry Jesus’ sandals.

Then one day Jesus showed up! Jesus came from the northern part of Israel down to the Jordon River to be baptized by John. John’s response was, “Are you serious?! I can’t baptize you. I need to be baptized by you.” John finally agreed with Jesus’ request, “Let it be so now….”

I recently heard someone say of an influencer in his life, “I never met anybody as passionate about Jesus.” That’s what people said about John. His life mission and awe of Jesus demonstrated his passion for the Savior. “I never met anybody as passionate about Jesus.” Isn’t that what you want people to say about you?

Father, help me know Jesus more intimately, love Him more passionately, and serve Him with all of my heart. Help me to be known as a person zealous for Jesus. In His name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Surviving a Spiritual Slump

Matthew 3:14-15
But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 

Why did Jesus desire to be baptized? He didn’t have to repent; He was sinless. There was no need for an inward change or an outward symbol. So why was Jesus baptized before launching His public ministry? Let’s consider three reasons.

Jesus publicly consecrated Himself to God’s plan.
Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.” In the act of baptism He publicly dedicated Himself to the Father and the Father’s plan for Him on Earth. Jesus’ baptism was His first step towards the cross.

Jesus completely identified Himself with humanity’s sin and failure.
Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. John’s baptism was to show that the person wanted to repent of their sins, live in obedience and get ready for the Messiah. Jesus was baptized to identify Himself with us.

Jesus left us an example to follow.
Jesus demonstrated the importance of baptism by participation so we would follow His example.

Baptism does not make you a Christian, make you more of a Christian, or complete your faith. It is an outward sign that you desire to know Jesus intimately, follow Him passionately, and obey Him wholeheartedly. It is a powerful sign of us identifying with Jesus. Going into the water identifies us with His death, going under the water is a symbol of His burial, and coming up out of the water is a beautiful picture of His resurrection. Have you taken the step of believer’s baptism?

Father, thank You for the opportunity to make a public profession of faith through the act of baptism. Move in the hearts of those who have not taken this step of obedience. Help them make that public statement that they are all in for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Today on The Journey:

Reaction

Mark 1:9-11
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

I love it when all of our family is together. I love listening to the conversations between our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren There is talk about life’s journey and future dreams. There’s a lot of laughter. And in our family bits of sarcasm—our love language—sprinkled throughout. Lori and I love them, are proud of them, and are excited to see what God is doing in their lives.

Right after Jesus’ baptism, the three persons of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—came together for, as someone put it, a family celebration. The Godhead was demonstrated in visual and audible ways. The Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove. The Father spoke in a distinctive voice, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The Father and the Holy Spirit expressed their approval of Jesus and His mission on Earth. No doubt, they encouraged Him for the journey ahead.

This family celebration constituted the launch of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The next three years would not be easy. Ahead were forty days of fasting, severe temptation, persecution, rejection, and, finally, the cross. But all along the way,  Jesus would be surrounded and encouraged by His “family.” Like us, He would never be alone.

Father, thank You for coming to encourage me, build me up and prepare me for what is ahead. Thank You for never leaving me when times are tough. Thank You for the reminder that even when I am by myself, I am never alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Revenge

Matthew 4:1-2
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Jesus grew up in the little village of Nazareth in the northern part of Israel called Galilee. He learned carpentry from His earthly father, Joseph. It is possible that both worked in Galilee’s capital of Sepphoris, located three miles northwest of Nazareth. It was being rebuilt during this period of history. When Jesus was thirty years old He headed south to begin His public ministry. After He was baptized a series of severe temptations followed.

Satan did not lure Jesus into the desert. It was the Holy Spirit who escorted Him into battle. This showdown was a planned part of Jesus’ human training. While Jesus told about three encounters that we will consider over the next days, the battle seems to have taken place during the entire forty days. As if the clashes weren’t intense enough, Jesus endured the conflict while growing weaker each day from fasting.

The Father took away every human advantage from His Son. Hungry, weakened, and alone, Jesus took on temptation in its most powerful form. Holding back the power to wipe Satan off the face of the earth, Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). He was tempted in every way, yet He never sinned. Jesus understands the power of temptation. Take your temptations to Jesus and allow Him to give you the power to resist.

Father, when I face temptation on my own, I fail every time. Remind me that I can take my temptation to You and receive Your strength to resist. Help me not give in to the things that entice me. Help me look to You for the needed strength and victory in the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Can a Christian Suffer from Depression?

Matthew 4:3-4
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Satan’s first shot at Jesus was practical and physical. Jesus was starving and Satan offered the enticement of warm loaves of bread. Satan wanted Jesus to use divine power to meet His earthly needs. While Jesus would demonstrate divine power often, the miracles were always for others, never for Himself.

Jesus rebutted Satan with Scripture from Deuteronomy 8:3. This Old Testament passage describes God providing manna for the Israelites during their forty years in the wilderness. God gave them food one day at a time. Every day they had to depend on God for their daily bread. In the process they realized it wasn’t the bread keeping them alive but the Giver of the bread. They were not surviving by bread alone. They had to trust God for their daily existence.

Jesus’ refusal to turn the stones into bread demonstrated His trust in the Father to not let Him die in the desert. He was unwilling to disobey for instant satisfaction. He trusted God for His future, even though He had to wait, even though in His humanness He desperately wanted food. Are you willing to follow Jesus’ example? Will you trust God with your future . . . even if He asks you to wait . . . even if instant satisfaction is yours for the taking?

Lord Jesus, thank You for refusing to thwart the Father’s plan . . . as tempting as it was. Thank You for the example that I can push aside instant satisfaction in order to wait for better things. Help me trust You with my future. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Matthew 4:5-7  
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Picture Satan’s offer.  A crowd would gather below as Jesus stood on the highest point of the temple. Hear the collective gasp as Jesus jumped to His certain death. Listen to the “oohs” and “aahs” as Jesus’ body slowed just before impact and He landed gently on His feet. Everyone would say, “He’s the Messiah! He’s the one God told us about in Psalm 91. The angels did not let Him die!” The people would accept Jesus . . . according to Satan’s plan, not God’s plan.

Jesus responded to Satan’s scheme by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. These words of Moses referred to a time when the Israelites wondered whether God was really on their side. In assuring them that God was always with them, Moses exhorted the people to never doubt God’s promises, never put Him to the test.  

Jesus came to provide sinful people a relationship with the Holy God. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Jesus knew that the Father’s plan did not include an angelic rescue. Rather, it meant being lifted up on a cross, forsaken and alone, paying the penalty for sin. Jesus was willing to trust the Father, even in His weakest moments, even when He knew following God’s plan would lead to His death. 

Father, sometimes I like my plan better than Yours. It is often the easier, quicker path and that’s what tempts me. Help me follow Your plan even when it calls for pain and suffering. Help me learn from Jesus’ response to this temptation. Help me be like Him. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


This Week on The Journey:
1 and 2 Samuel

Matthew 4:8-10
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Standing on a very high mountain Satan tried to dazzle Jesus. In an amazing vision Satan flashed all the kingdoms of the world in front of the Lord. The Father promised that He would give every nation to Jesus as an inheritance (Psalm 2:8). It was His destiny to rule over all people and kingdoms. In this final temptation Satan appealed to Jesus’ pure and sinless ambition.

The temptation was this: God’s plan involved the suffering and agony of the cross. Jesus’ death on the cross would be the sacrifice that “purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9-10). God’s plan was the cross then the kingdoms. Satan’s plan was the kingdoms without the cross. A shortcut. Satan is all about shortcuts.

Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:10-13 to resist this temptation. In that passage Israel was tempted to leave God out of the picture, to think that their achievements were a result of their efforts. That’s a struggle we all have; but here we learn from our Lord that nothing is worthy apart from God’s plan. There is no worthwhile success or achievement apart from Him.

Father, drive that truth home in the heat of my battle with Satan. Shortcuts are so enticing. Help me see the dangerous destination before I start out on the hazardous path. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Finishing Well

Luke 4:13
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

After the showdown in the desert, Satan left but he didn’t leave. He waited for a strategic time to come at Jesus again. Satan never gives up.  Beaten today, he returns to battle again tomorrow. He is always looking for an opportune time.

  • When we are physically worn down, Satan attacks. Failure is often in the midst of fatigue.
  • When we experience loss, Satan shows up. He fills our minds with “What if…?” and “Why didn’t I…?” “Why didn’t God…?” Satan desires to turn grief into regret and bitterness.
  • When discouragement tackles us, Satan piles on. He knows a discouraged soldier is vulnerable and ineffective in battle.
  • When job loss hits, Satan comes along as an “understanding” companion. He tempts us to respond in anger with words that should be left unsaid. Reckless words pierce like a sword and he wrote the dictionary of reckless words.
  • Satan stands by us when we look in the mirror. He tells us that we are unattractive, that we should be embarrassed with such an unfortunate physical trait. He convinces us that God must have some twisted sense of humor to have created us the way He did.
  • Satan is there when we flip through a fashion magazine. The airbrushed models provide a platform for him to tell us that we are way out of shape, even repulsive. He shouts, “How could anybody love or accept you?”
  • Satan loves it when we carry a chip on our shoulder. He reminds us that everyone is out to get us, from the person who cut us off on the road, to supervisors at work, to family members.

Satan is always looking for an opportune time. Unfortunately he doesn’t have to look for long.

Father, remind me that I belong to You. Help me find my significance, security, acceptance, forgiveness and empowerment from You and You alone. Help me be aware of Satan’s schemes. Protect me from the evil one. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Strong Hands, Tender Heart

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

The Israelites were given specific instructions. Sacrifice a lamb, spread the blood of the lamb on each doorpost, and eat the lamb as the last meal before leaving Egypt. In the final plague on Pharaoh, the angel of death swept through the land killing all the firstborn, but he passed over the houses with the blood of the lamb on the doorposts. The Passover became a yearly remembrance in Israel.

Centuries later, John introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God. Jesus was God’s one-time-for-all-time sacrifice. In 1 Corinthians 5:7b Paul exhorts, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” When we apply His death to our lives, we are freed from the slavery of sin and death.

Jesus, our Passover Lamb, gives us the right to become children of God and protects us from the final enemy — death. Because of Jesus we will pass from death to life. One commentator explains it this way:

[Lamb of God] combines in one descriptive term the concepts of innocence, voluntary sacrifice, substitutionary atonement, effective obedience, and redemptive power like that of the Passover Lamb.

-Tenney, EBC, p. 38 from Gangel, John, (Vol. 4, p. 16)

Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, my Passover Lamb! Thank You that Jesus voluntarily went to the cross so that I can live. Thank You that Jesus died as my substitute and His death provides the atonement for my sin. Thank You that through the death of Jesus You have redeemed me — purchased me from the slavery of sin. Thank You for the Lamb of God. In His name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Tenderizing Process of Waiting

John 1:40-42
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

What did you recently discover that you just couldn’t keep to yourself? A new product? A great book? A tasty recipe? A cool diner? A fun vacation spot? A crazy Internet sale? What was it that had you posting, tweeting, and texting to all your friends?

Do you ever get that excited about Jesus?

When Andrew heard about Jesus he couldn’t contain himself. The first thing he did was to tell his brother Simon Peter. He knew that Jesus was the Messiah — the One they had been waiting for — the Life-Changer! He not only told Peter about Jesus, he brought Peter to Jesus. Let’s follow Andrew’s example — the person who couldn’t keep Jesus to himself.

Father, help me to be so excited and thankful for my relationship with Jesus that I can’t keep Him to myself. In His name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Winning at Work, Losing at Home

John 1:44-46
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.

The hometown of Jesus was an obscure village in the northern part of Israel called Galilee. The region was known for breeding political revolutionaries who did not take the Jewish religion all that seriously. One Pharisee, after serving in Galilee for eighteen years said, “Galilee Galilee, you hate the Torah.” Jewish literature also portrays Galileans as culturally backward, the butt of ethnic jokes. Nathanael was skeptical about anyone coming from this area of the country.

However, Jesus changed Nathanael’s mind by revealing to him what only God could know. His prejudice was purged when he met the Lord. By the end of their first conversation, Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

What is your preconceived notion about Jesus? Do you see Him as a great leader whose example you desire to follow? Do you see Him as a great teacher whose words inspire you? Do you see Him as a miracle worker who can fix all your problems? Or, like Nathanael, are you a little skeptical? All our notions about Jesus must be shelved until this becomes clear and primary in our hearts and minds: Jesus, You are the Son of God; You are the King of my heart.

Father, break down my selfish desires and preconceived opinions about Jesus until I can proclaim with clarity: Jesus, You are the Lord of my life! In His name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Joy of Loving God, Part 1

John 2:7-9
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.

Jesus and His disciples were attending a wedding in Cana of Galilee. For whatever reason, those in charge of drinks underestimated the crowd. The wine was gone. The parents of the bridal party were facing the ultimate embarrassment. Jesus’ mother was there, as a friend of the parents, presumably helping with the arrangements. Mary explained the situation to Jesus.

Responding to her request and the need of the moment, Jesus instructed the servants to fill to the brim six stone water jars used for ceremonial washing. He then instructed them to take the water to the master of the banquet. In the process of delivery Jesus turned the water into wine.

Maybe today you feel like you have run out of wine. Your energy is gone. You feel spiritually drained and dry. You underestimated the emotional toll of an illness, loss or personal setback. Tell Jesus that you need recharged.  Ask Him to restore your physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Ask Him to turn this stale stage of your journey into a fresh and joyous one.

Father, sometimes I run out of wine. People in my life need things that I don’t have to give. Restore my energy. Refresh my emotions. Return my joy. Through Your strength help me rise above my situation and serve those in my life in a way that honors You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer

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RON’S SERMONS

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