101. “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” -John 8:51 Context: John 8:42-52
Hebrews 11:4 tells us this about Adam and Eve’s son Abel: “even though he is dead, he yet speaks.” In Luke 23:43 the thief on the cross next to Jesus who believed in Him was told by Jesus, “today you will be with Me in Paradise.” And in 2 Corinthians 5:8 we read that to be absent from the boy is to be present with the Lord. With integrity Christians can speak of departed believers as ones who will never see death, specifically what Revelation 20:15 calls the second death. John 8:51 goes along with these great promises and concludes the true Christian shall never see that death. But it also makes clear that those who can claim these promises are those who “keep” Christ’s word! Having believed in Jesus, they have prioritized doing what Jesus said. This doesn’t mean believers always obey perfectly, but their trajectory is set – they love Jesus and desire to do what He says. When they sin, they agree with God’s Word that it was sin, repent, and get back on track with Jesus. The ones Jesus rebuked rejected following Jesus, and will experience the second death, which involves being in the Lake of Fire forever (Revelation 20:15). Those who have followed Jesus will never see that death.
102. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” -John 9:3 Context: John 9:1-3
I love these words of Jesus! There’s really no such thing in God’s eyes as people that aren’t “normal.” God delights in the different kinds of people He has made. The important thing is that every person as an individual realizes the chief reason they are here is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” “Challenged” people who understand this are much better off than those who just don’t get it. The disciples were products of their society, and thus asked Jesus who had sinned to cause the man’s blindness, him or his parents. What I love about Jesus’ answer is that no miracle needed to happen to make His response in John 9:3 true. God has received great glory through blind people like Fanny Crosby, the writer of wonderful hymns like To God be the glory and Blessed assurance. In John 9 Jesus does open the blind man’s eyes to see, but He also makes clear that those who are spiritually blind have the real problem.
103. Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” -John 9:41 Context: John 9:35-41
Sinful pride is a bigger problem than any physical challenge anyone has. Willfully staying spiritually blind and rejecting your need of Jesus is the real problem the world has. Every individual on earth needs to ‘see’ that they are a sinner incapable of saving themselves, and that their only hope is believing in, trusting in, and giving their allegiance and obedience to Jesus. Give yourself to Jesus right now if you never have! Pray a prayer like this: Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, and You are right to judge my sins. Thank you Jesus for taking the punishment due my sins on Yourself at the cross. I believe You died for my sins, but rose from the dead to show Your power over Satan, sin, death, and Hell. I turn from being the lord of my own life to receiving You as my Savior and Lord. I will follow You the rest of my days! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
104. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. -John 10:5 Context: John 10:1-5
A lot of Christians whine and complain about how hard it is to know what the right thing to do is in these crazy times we live in. That’s simply not true. What it means to follow Jesus is clearly laid out in the Bible. Obedience isn’t complicated, it just takes courage to do what the Bible clearly says instead of giving in to the thousands of voices of strangers. For instance, God’s Word makes clear that sex is only to be engaged in within the marriage covenant of a man and woman for the purposes of bonding and possible procreation. Every other use of sex is sin, a perversion of God’s intent. All non-biblical uses of sex need to be repented of as part of fully turning to Jesus. Here Jesus says His followers, His sheep, don’t follow the voice of strangers. Why not? Because they have spent so much time listening to the voice of Jesus, their Shepherd, they only respond to that voice. To spot counterfeit bills agents are trained to know the real thing. They don’t spend a lot of time looking at counterfeits. They don’t have to! Counterfeits are obvious when you are very familiar with the real thing! The sheep flee strangers because they know the stranger’s voice is not the Shepherds. Jesus will always lead you in the right way. Follow His voice, and flee from others. Obedience isn’t complicated, it just takes the courage to act on what you know to be true!
105. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” -John 10:10 Context: John 10:9-18
The thief wants to steal your joy, kill your innocence, and destroy your effectiveness. Jesus wants you to know pure joy, innocent laughter, and great effectiveness. He wants you to have REAL life! Sin always takes you further than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs more than you were ever willing to pay. Wise up! Repent of sin and follow Jesus. He loves you, and anything He asks you to do in His Word will be for your good and His glory!