The Journey with Ron Moore

John 2:9-11
The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Yesterday we considered Jesus’ first miracle—turning water into wine—and focused on the Lord’s power to refresh and renew. Today let’s consider two additional points of this miracle.

  • John notes, “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” The word “glory” was originally a commercial term that referred to a pair of scales. The word meant “to be heavy” or “to have intrinsic worth.” Later, the word came to describe a person’s “weightiness” or “worthiness.” This miracle demonstrated Jesus’ significance and worthiness. He demonstrated His creative power by bypassing the natural process.
  • Not coincidently, the substance of this miracle was water used for ceremonial washing. Jesus replaced the old ceremonial water with rich new wine—the old covenant water became new covenant wine. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament laws and ceremonies with a new covenant of grace.

At the Last Supper, Jesus held up a cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” From that point on, wine became a symbol of the newness of life and the relationship we can have with the Father through the work of Jesus. Each time we participate in communion we are reminded of this covenant of grace provided by Jesus.

Father, when I trust in Your Son as the only way to have a relationship with You, You promise that the old is gone; the new has come. Thank You for the new life that comes through the work of Jesus. In His name. Amen.


This Week on The Journey: 1 and 2 Samuel

John 2:13-16
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market.”

The Passover, held in Jerusalem, was one of three required celebrations for religious Jews. Some came from long distances, so for convenience, sacrifices were sold at the temple . . . for a profit. The purchases could be made only with Jewish coins, so money changers were on hand — exchanging money . . . for a profit.

Jesus had a passion for the temple — the place where God dwelt. When He saw the abuse, He could not contain Himself. He drove the animals out of the temple with a homemade whip. He overturned the tables of the money changers, sending coins scattering everywhere. He told the dove handlers, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”

Today, the temple is not standing in Jerusalem. Church buildings are not the present substitute. Now every believer is the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells in us. Today Jesus is just as zealous that we keep our lives free from the love of money. Is there any action or attitude regarding money that Jesus needs to drive from your heart?

Father, show me what attitudes need to be driven from my heart. Show me what actions need to be overturned in my life. Give me the desire and zeal to get these things out of Your temple. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Joy of Loving God, Part 2

John 3:1-2
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

The story of Nicodemus is a memorable encounter that we will consider over the next three days. Today let’s get to know the man Nicodemus.

By all accounts, Nicodemus was a heavyweight in society. As a Pharisee he was a member of a political/religious party committed to keeping the written law of the Old Testament as well as the oral tradition recorded in the Jewish Talmud.  He was also one of the seventy experts in the law who made up the ruling council known as the Sanhedrin. This council tried cases of idolaters and false prophets. It was Israel’s supreme ruling body.

Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. We don’t know why he came in the evening. Perhaps so no one would see him with Jesus. Maybe he wanted to be with Jesus away from the crowds to capture some uninterrupted time. The point is that he came. This rich, highly educated, well-known religious leader came to Jesus as a humble seeker.

Coming to Jesus always means leaving any manmade credentials at the door. Seekers realize that something is missing. Material possessions, positions of power, fame — these things have left them wanting. Fear and a sense of desperation fill their hearts. They come helpless and hopeless, beggars starving for bread. Nicodemus led a full life with an empty heart. Know anyone like that?

Father, help me to always come to You without pride or pretense. Help me come seeking the food that only You can provide. Humble my heart. Help me seek the only One who can fill the void I experience apart from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
When God Says NO

John 3:3-4
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Nicodemus was not a religious lightweight. He was an expert in the Jewish law. He was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He was respected and admired. However, he couldn’t grasp spiritual transformation. He was so busy trying to fix himself with external laws that he couldn’t understand inner repair. His only concept of rebirth was physical.

Jesus, the carpenter turned rabbi, looked this esteemed ruler right in the eyes and told him that he must be born again. This would not be the result of keeping laws or participating in ceremonial practices. There was nothing he could do that would cause such a radical regeneration. Rebirth called for a confession of sin and a submission to the Spirit for cleansing and renewal.

Have you struggled all your life to be good enough for God? Have you checked the spiritual boxes of confirmation, baptism, and communion for entry into a relationship with God? Do you think going to church is the ticket for eternal life? Think again. Jesus is looking you right in the eyes and saying, “You must be born again.” It’s time to let the Spirit perform His inner renewal.

If you would like to trust in Jesus for the rebirth He promises, make this prayer your own: 

Lord Jesus, I have lived my life trying to be good enough for You. I can see from the life of Nicodemus that my efforts fall short. I trust in You as the One who can forgive me and place me in a relationship with the Father. I desire to be born again and I trust in Your work on the cross to make me new from the inside out. In Your name I pray. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Grace Given, Grace Received

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus explained the entire plan of salvation in one sentence. Let’s break it down and consider this powerful truth.

For God so loved . . . Our relationship starts with God. God’s love for us led Him to drastic action.

. . . the world . . . God’s love is extensive, piercing through every stage of history all the way around the globe to every individual.

. . . that he gave his one and only Son . . . God’s love sent Jesus — the perfect, one-time-for-all-time sacrifice to bear our sins in His body on the cross.

. . . that whoever believes in him . . . Belief is not a simple consent of knowledge. It includes trusting in Jesus alone as the only one who paid sin’s debt for us. We enter belief by being sorry for our sin. Next we believe that God will cleanse us from our sin. Then we live believing that God will empower us through His Spirit to live for Him every day.

. . . shall not perish . . . In Christ we are protected from God’s judgmenton sin. He took the punishment on the cross so we can live in freedom. He died; we live.

. . . but have everlasting life. Our new life in Christ applies far beyond the few years we have on this earth. Because of Jesus we pass from death to eternal life. Because of Jesus we will never die.

Have you experienced God’s love through Jesus that results in eternal life? God’s provision in Jesus can be yours forever!

Lord, words could never express my gratefulness for Your amazing love. Help me to show You my thanksgiving with my life. In Your name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
What is Sin Anyway?

John 3:30
He must become greater; I must become less.

Have you heard the term – celebrity pastor? Yeah, I know, it’s an oxymoron. But it’s become the buzzword as social media and slick marketing propel certain people to rock star status. Today, more than ever, we need to learn from John the Baptist.

John came on the scene and made quite a splash (no pun intended). People flocked to hear his message and responded in the baptism of repentance. John’s dress and diet let people know that this was a man whose life was simple. He was real, authentic and certainly not in it for himself. John was on a mission to prepare the world for Christ. His message was simple: Jesus must become greater; I must become less. That should be our message as well.

You are the object of God’s love, but not the subject of His message. Jesus must be the one always lifted high, always seen as greater. He reserves the center stage and doesn’t share it, so step off the platform and bow before the King.

Father, help me to keep Christ as the focus of my life. May He become greater. May I become less.  In His name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Classic Pattern of Disobedience

John 4:4-6  
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

As Jesus’ popularity grew in Jerusalem the jury was split. Some wanted to make Him king by force; others wanted to kill Him. The cross would come, but not yet, so Jesus headed north from Jerusalem in Judea to His hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. In between Judea and Galilee was the area of Samaria.

When the Assyrians overthrew Israel in 722 BC, they took most of the Jews into captivity. They left behind the poor and the weak and populated the land with captives from other countries. After a time the Jews living in Samaria intermarried with foreigners and began worshiping the gods of other religions. They read only the first five books of the Bible and built their own temple. Because of this the Jews hated the Samaritans with a passion.

The direct route from Judea to Galilee went straight through Samaria and most of the time the Jews took the long way around to bypass the region. On this day, however, Jesus went straight through Samaria to meet a woman at a well. Think about the day you met Jesus. Where did He go to find you? 

Lord Jesus, thank You for going out of Your way to find me, meet me and call me to Yourself. In Your name I pray. Amen.

John 4:7-10
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

She was neither young nor beautiful. She had been worn down by life and looked years older than her age. Her clothes were likely old, worn and dirty. If each person wore a personal description, “Used” would be tattooed on her forehead. With her reputation and what was left of her self-esteem, she came alone to draw water at a time when no one else would be at the well, when no one could remind her of her shame with turned backs and judgmental looks.

She had been married five times and now was living with a man. Perhaps she entered into marriage number one or two with some hope. Now she had become a domestic slave, an in-house prostitute. She stayed with a man until he tired of her and threw her out on the streets. Then she went looking for another man who was looking for a woman like her.

Little did she know that the man waiting for her by the well was Jesus, bearing the gift of God’s grace and water that quenches the thirst of the soul. He was there to meet an outcast, a sinner. In fact, that is what He left heaven to do. He came to meet us in our place of brokenness and need. He came to bring living water to our thirsty souls.

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to me in my sin, brokenness and despair. Thank You for bringing the satisfaction that I longed for to my thirsty soul. In Your name. Amen.


This Week on The Journey:
1 and 2 Samuel

John 4:25-26
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you — I am he.”

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He meets you at His appointed time.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He’ll wait until you’ve tried everything.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He came for the bruised and broken.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

 He receives the rejected.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He feeds the famished.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He gives living water to the thirsty.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

 He lifts up the discouraged.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

 He clears up the confusion.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He calms the anxious.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He makes us feel worthy.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . .

He gives us lasting identity.

Jesus is the One you’ve been waiting for . . . He is “I AM.” 

Father, thank You for waiting for me. Thank You for being the One I’ve been waiting for. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Need for Nathans

John 4:39-42
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well was gentle, but truthful. He didn’t hesitate to confront her sin and explain that He was the Messiah — the One she had been waiting for. He was the One who would give her the significance and acceptance that she longed for.

The woman could not contain her newfound joy and freedom. She left the well and went back to tell everyone in her village about Jesus. They wanted to meet Him firsthand and when they heard His words “many more became believers.” They believed, not from the testimony of the woman, but because they heard from Jesus Himself.

Trusting in Jesus is not a secondhand experience. We don’t acknowledge Him as Savior through our parents, grandparents, or friends. We must meet Jesus intimately and live for Him personally. Have you met Jesus face to face? If not, He is waiting. It’s time to schedule the meeting.

Father, thank You for the powerful experience of knowing Jesus intimately and following Him wholeheartedly. Help me never to be satisfied with a secondhand spiritual experience. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Principles of True Repentance – Part 1

John 4:49-51
The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.

“Your son is dying.” I cannot imagine more devastating words for a father to hear. The father was a royal official, a powerful man. He was used to making things happen and getting things done. Now, however, as his son lay sick in Capernaum, he was helpless. There was one man the official had heard about who could possibly help.

When Jesus arrived in the area, the father found Him and “begged him to come and heal his son.” I imagine the father on his knees, tears flowing down his cheeks, desperately pleading with this man from Nazareth, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus simply replied, “Go. Your son will live.” I love the man’s response. He took Jesus at His word and departed. On the way home the father learned that his son was healed.

Taking Jesus at His word. Believing what Jesus says is true. Having confidence that Jesus always delivers. Jesus has so much to give us. There is a great adventure He wants us to enjoy. There is freedom, strength and deep joy waiting . . . for all those who take Jesus at His word.

Father, help me take You at Your word. Help me to live knowing that what You say will always be true. Give me the confidence to move forward in faith experiencing Your freedom, strength and joy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
The Principles of True Repentance – Part 2

Luke 4:18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

I grew up in a small town where everybody knows everybody and everybody knows (or think they know) everybody’s business. This was certainly the case of Jesus growing up in the small village of Nazareth. More than likely the synagogue was just down the street from the carpentry shop and home where Jesus worked and lived.  Most certainly everybody knew everybody in Nazareth.

It was Jesus’ habit to worship each week and on this particular Sabbath He had the Scripture reading. The scroll of Isaiah was handed to Him. Jesus found Chapter 61 and read verses one and two. Then He rolled up the scroll and told the worshipers that Isaiah was writing about Him. Tomorrow we will consider the reaction of the people. Today let’s consider the significance of the passage.

The Messiah would come empowered by the Spirit of the Lord. Along with His physical miracles, He would proclaim good news to the spiritually impoverished, set the prisoner free from sin and open the eyes of the spiritually blind. He would release those held down and held back by sin. Because of “the year of the Lord’s favor” we live with overflowing spiritual blessings.  We are spiritually rich. We have been set free. Our blind eyes have been opened. We have been released from sin’s oppression. Jesus has come and changed everything.

Father, thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who has come to change my life now and for eternity. Help me to live in thanksgiving and praise. In His name. Amen.


Today on The Journey:
Living With the Consequences of Sin

Luke 4:28-30
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Today we accept the Virgin Birth as foundational to our faith. In the little town of Nazareth, however, Mary’s pregnancy was whispered humiliation from father to son, from mother to daughter. Philip Yancey writes:

Nine months of awkward explanations, the lingering scent of scandal—it seems that God arranged the most humiliating circumstances possible for his entrance . . . when the Son of God became a human being he played by the rules, harsh rules: small towns do not treat kindly young boys who grow up with questionable paternity. [1]

The “scent of scandal” followed Jesus throughout His life, particularly in Nazareth; so when He read the Scripture in His hometown synagogue about the coming Messiah and applied Isaiah’s prophesy to Himself, those in Jesus’ hometown were furious. How could Jesus, who grew up down the street, be the Son of God? The worship service ended with Jesus being driven out of town to the nearby cliff.

Preconceived notions form a barrier to understanding. Something you heard in Sunday school or from your parents or friends may be keeping you from grasping the Person of Jesus. Here is the issue: Have you fully embraced Jesus as Lord of your life?

Father, I don’t have to try to throw Jesus off a cliff to reject Him. Open my eyes to see Jesus in His fullness. Then help me bow before Him every day in every area of my life. In His name. Amen.

[1] Phillip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1995).

 


Today on The Journey:
Till Death Do Us Part

Luke 5:5-7
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.

Simon Peter and his business partners were exhausted from a long, unsuccessful night of fishing. You can almost hear their groans when Jesus asked them to put their boats out a little from the shore so He could teach the crowds. The inward groaning turned to outward complaining when Jesus asked them to go into deep water and let down their nets.

Fishing in the Sea of Galilee was best in shallow waters at night. Jesus wanted them to go into the middle of the lake during the day. Peter said, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” Then he acquiesced, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Jesus miraculously provided a catch so large that the nets began to break and the boats began to sink. There in the boat Peter realized that Jesus was no mere man. He fell to his knees and, waist deep in fish, said to Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” From that point on, Peter and his partners followed Jesus.

The closer we get to Jesus the more we see our sinfulness. When we see who He is we fall to our knees and acknowledge Him as Lord. Sometimes we are waist deep in our successes, accomplishments focused on the wrong things, or achievements that seem significant. Sometimes we fall waist deep in the mess we have made of our lives. But on our knees is the best place to recognize who Jesus really is. From our knees is the best place to follow Him.

Father, help me see Jesus for who He really is — my Savior and my Lord. Help me respond in worship to His person. Help me follow hard after Him. In His name. Amen.

 

Luke 5:8-11
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.

Jesus never asks us to follow Him blindly. Before He calls us to follow Him, Jesus provides proof. Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Where does that confidence and assurance come from? Divine proof.

  • God proved Himself to a rebellious Paul when his name was still Saul and he was headed to Damascus to persecute Christians. The blinding light and the voice from heaven. Proof.
  • God had promised Abraham he would be the father of a great nation, but he and Sarah were old and had no children. Then a miraculous pregnancy!
  • Moses was a reluctant leader. “Send someone else to do Your work,” was his mantra until God proved Himself by turning Moses’ staff into a snake and then back to a staff, produced plagues on Egypt, opened the Red Sea and closed it on the Egyptian army, and sent manna from heaven. Proof.
  • Joshua was stuck on the wrong side of the Promised Land until God opened up the Jordan River. Then He caused the walls of Jericho to come crashing down. Powerful proof.
  • Would Simon Peter, James and John have left everything if not for the miraculous catch of fish — the proof?

I believe that Jesus has great things for you. Keep your eyes open for the proof.

Father, help me keep my eyes open for the proof of who You are. Then give me the courage to follow hard after You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


This Week on The Journey:
Big Questions

Mark 1:21-22
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.

The religious leaders had turned the teaching of the Old Testament into passionless rhetoric. They presented the truth as a religion of regulations, a system designed to judge motives by actions. Their teaching was memorized and stale. They aimed at the head and ignored the heart.

Jesus was different. His teaching engaged the intellect and emotions. He believed what He said and it showed. His words came forth with love, grace, gentleness, and boldness. His passion was as fresh as His message. Jesus called people to a new life that demonstrated a renewed love for God. He “taught them as one who had authority.”

Howard Hendricks used to say, “It’s a crime to bore people with the Word of God.” That goes for parents, teachers, and preachers. We all must teach biblical truth with passion and freshness. As one says, “We must present old truth in fresh ways.” Teachers should never bore people with the words of eternal life! Sit under teachers who challenge your mind and heart. Challenge yourself to present God’s Word in the same way.

Father, please help me to never bore people with Your living Word. Help me teach like Jesus — with authority. In His name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey:
Evidence or Invention: Does God Exist?

Mark 1:27-28
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

Today’s passage takes place when Jesus was teaching at the synagogue in Capernaum. In attendance that day was a man possessed by an evil spirit. The man cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!”

Jesus commanded the evil spirit to be quiet and ordered him out of the man. The evil spirit shook the man violently and “came out of him with a shriek.” Can you imagine the scene? The people were amazed at the power of Jesus. Not only did He teach with authority, the evil spirits obeyed Him! This news about Jesus spread over the region.

Why did Jesus direct the evil spirit to be quiet? Jesus did not want people following Him for the wrong reasons. Jesus taught with authority, but He did not come to be a great teacher. Jesus commanded the demon out of the man, but He did not come to be a miracle worker. Jesus — fully God and fully man — came to pay the penalty of our sin on the cross. He came to address this supreme problem: We are sinners in need of a Savior. He came to be that Savior.

Father, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son to die on a cross for my sins. Thank You for knowing that I need a Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey:
Guru or God: Is Christ the Only Way?

Mark 1:29-34
As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s mother- in- law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon- possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Little is known about Peter’s family, but from today’s passage we learn that he was married (see 1 Corinthians 9:5). From the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus taught to the home thought to be where Simon’s mother-in-law lived was about a minute walk. Many believe that this house served as Jesus’ headquarters during His ministry in Galilee.

The fever that had overtaken Peter’s mother-in-law was debilitating. She was in bed, unable to function. In this case, Jesus did not pray for the sickness to be relieved. He simply took her by the hand and helped her out of bed. As she was getting up the fever left. To demonstrate her full recovery, Mark says that she began to prepare a meal for Jesus and His disciples. Incapacitated one moment; cooking a meal the next. The nourishment was needed. That evening the whole town gathered at the home. Jesus worked late into the night and possibly into the early morning, healing the sick and the demon-possessed.

Jesus never healed anyone halfway. The blind were not restored to fuzzy images; they had 20-20 vision. Withered hands were not healed to functionality, but to perfection. The lame were not healed to remain limping, but to leap. So it is with the spiritual healing that Jesus provides. He deals with our sin problem fully. We become new creations empowered by the Holy Spirit. We were not spiritually healed in order to limp the rest of the way home. Our recovery is complete; therefore we can live fully for Him!

Father, thank You for making me new from the inside out. Help me realize that through Jesus I am fully recovered. Help me to run freely all the way home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey:
Divine or Disaster: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Mark 1:35-37 
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you.”

During His time on earth Jesus was in great demand. Stories of His miracles and teaching spread throughout the land. Crowds marveled at His authoritative words. Many brought the sick to be healed. Some pushed in as close as possible just for the chance to touch the hem of His robe. Jesus’ days were packed with people from morning to night.

On this particular morning, Jesus got up early to spend some uninterrupted time with the Father. It was before sunrise when He left the house to find a private place to pray. Unfortunately, the quiet time didn’t last long. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John found Jesus and said, “Everyone is looking for you.”

The point of this passage is clear: If Jesus needed to pray, how much more do we need to be doing the same? If Jesus found time to pray, we are without excuses. Prayer is not a matter of finding time; it’s a matter of priority. Will you make quiet time with the Lord a matter of primacy in your life? Jesus did.

Father, help me carve out the time to meet with You daily. Take away my excuses. Help me make this my priority. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey:
Finite or Forever: Is there a Heaven?

Mark 1:40-42
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

It’s located in one of the poorest parts of New Delhi. Behind what we would consider a slum area is a small colony of lepers. On either side of a narrow walkway there are small connecting rooms that house the outcasts who sit by their doorways to pass the day. One result of leprosy is the loss of feeling in the extremities. Many of the people I saw that day had lost their hands and feet due to repeated injuries and infections.

It’s no wonder this man with leprosy came to Jesus, fell to his knees, and begged for healing. The disease had caused him to be driven from his home, family, and friends. As leprosy was eating away his body, loneliness was breaking his heart. He was rejected, sidelined, and left to die. Then he met Jesus and everything changed.

Jesus was filled with compassion when He saw the leper’s state. With two words He changed the man’s circumstances and life’s direction. He can do the same for you. The disease of sin may be eating you up from the inside out. Loneliness is your constant companion. “Rejected” seems to be your theme. Come to Jesus. Experience His compassion. He changes everything.

Father, I pray for the person who feels alone and rejected. I pray they will come to You and ask for Your compassion. Change the course of their life by Your gentle touch and Your powerful healing from the inside out. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 


Today on The Journey Broadcast:

 

Good News or Good Grief: Is Sharing Christ Pushing My Faith on Others?

Prayer

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RON’S SERMONS

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