Tag Archives: friend of Jesus

Joyce Meyer – Raised from the Dead

 

Martha then said to Jesus, Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. John 11:21

John 11 records the illness and death of Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus. By the time Jesus arrived Lazarus had already been dead for four days. Like Martha, Mary also told the Lord, If You had been here, my brother would not have died (John 11:32).

We all feel like that sometimes. We feel that if Jesus had only shown up sooner maybe things would not be so bad. Verses 23 and 25 tell us how Jesus responded to these words of hopelessness and despair: Your brother shall rise again. . . . I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live.

As He promised, Jesus called Lazarus to come forth from the tomb and he did so, totally restored. If Jesus can raise a dead man, surely He can raise a dead circumstance.

 

John MacArthur – The Characteristics of Hypocrisy (Judas Iscariot)

 

The twelve apostles included “Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:4).

Hypocrisy is a spiritual cancer that can devastate lives and destroy ministries.

On a recent trip to New Zealand I learned that sheepherders there use specially trained castrated male sheep to lead other sheep from holding areas into the slaughtering room. Those male sheep are appropriately called “Judas sheep.” That illustrates the commonness with which we associate Judas with deception and death. Pretending to be a friend of Jesus, Judas betrayed him with a kiss and became for all time and eternity the epitome of hypocrisy.

Several characteristics of spiritual hypocrisy are clearly evident in Judas’s life. First, hypocritical people often seem genuinely interested in a noble cause. Judas probably didn’t want the Romans to rule over Israel and he saw in Christ an opportunity to do something about it. He probably had the common misconception that Jesus was immediately going to establish His earthly kingdom and put down Roman oppression.

Second, hypocritical people demonstrate an outward allegiance to Christ. Many of those who followed Jesus in the early stages of His ministry deserted Him along the way (John 6:66). Not Judas. He stayed to the end.

Third, hypocritical people can appear to be holy. When Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him, none of them suspected Judas. Even after Jesus identified Judas as His betrayer, the other disciples still didn’t understand (John 13:27-29). Judas must have put on a very convincing act!

Fourth, hypocritical people are self-centered. Judas didn’t love Christ—He loved himself and joined the disciples because he thought he could gain personal prosperity.

Finally, hypocritical people are deceivers. Judas was a pawn of Satan, whom Jesus described as a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Is it any wonder that his whole life was one deception after another?

Judas was an unbeliever, but hypocrisy can also thrive in believers if its telltale signs are ignored. That’s why you must guard your motives carefully, walk in the Spirit each day, and immediately confess even the slightest hint of hypocrisy.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to purify your love for Him and to protect you from the subtle inroads of hypocrisy.

For Further Study

Read John 12:1-8.

  • How did Mary demonstrate her love for Christ?
  • What objection did Judas raise?
  • What was his motive?

Alistair Begg – The Purpose of Living

Alistair Begg

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.    Ecclesiastes 1:7

Everything on earth is on the move; time knows nothing of rest. The solid earth is a rolling ball, and the great sun itself is a star obediently fulfilling its course around some greater luminary. Tides move the sea; winds stir the breezy ocean; friction wears the rock: Change and death rule everywhere. The sea is not a miser’s storehouse for a wealth of waters, for as by one force the waters flow into it, by another they are lifted from it.

Men are born to die: Everything is hurry, worry, and vexation of spirit. Friend of the unchanging Jesus, what a joy it is to reflect upon your changeless heritage, your sea of bliss that will be forever full since God Himself shall pour eternal rivers of pleasure into it. We seek an abiding city beyond the skies, and we shall not be disappointed. The passage before us should teach us to be grateful.

The ocean is a great receiver, but it is also a generous distributor. What the rivers bring, it returns to the earth in the form of clouds and rain. The man who takes everything but makes no return is out of joint with the universe. To give to others is still sowing seed for ourselves. He who is so good a steward as to be willing to use his substance for his Lord shall be entrusted with more. Friend of Jesus, are you rendering to Him in proportion to the benefit you receive? Have you been given a great deal? Where is your fruit? Have you done all you might? Can you not do more?

To be selfish is to be wicked. Suppose the ocean gave up none of its watery treasure; it would bring ruin upon our race. God forbid that any of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of living for ourselves. Jesus did not please Himself. All fullness dwells in Him, but from His fullness we have all received. Oh, to be like Jesus and no longer live for ourselves!

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The family reading plan for October 26, 2014 * Daniel 11 * Psalm 119:25-48

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Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

John MacArthur – The Characteristics of Hypocrisy

John MacArthur

The twelve apostles included “Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:4).

On a recent trip to New Zealand I learned that sheepherders there use specially trained castrated male sheep to lead other sheep from holding areas into the slaughtering room. Those male sheep are appropriately called “Judas sheep.” That illustrates the commonness with which we associate Judas with deception and death. Pretending to be a friend of Jesus, Judas betrayed him with a kiss and became for all time and eternity the epitome of hypocrisy.

Several characteristics of spiritual hypocrisy are clearly evident in Judas’s life. First, hypocritical people often seem genuinely interested in a noble cause. Judas probably didn’t want the Romans to rule over Israel and he saw in Christ an opportunity to do something about it. He probably had the common misconception that Jesus was immediately going to establish His earthly kingdom and put down Roman oppression.

Second, hypocritical people demonstrate an outward allegiance to Christ. Many of those who followed Jesus in the early stages of His ministry deserted Him along the way (John 6:66). Not Judas. He stayed to the end.

Third, hypocritical people can appear to be holy. When Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray Him, none of them suspected Judas. Even after Jesus identified Judas as His betrayer, the other disciples still didn’t understand (John 13:27-29). Judas must have put on a very convincing act!

Fourth, hypocritical people are self-centered. Judas didn’t love Christ–He loved himself and joined the disciples because he thought he could gain personal prosperity.

Finally, hypocritical people are deceivers. Judas was a pawn of Satan, whom Jesus described as a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Is it any wonder that his whole life was one deception after another?

Judas was an unbeliever, but hypocrisy can also thrive in believers if its telltale signs are ignored. That’s why you must guard your motives carefully, walk in the Spirit each day, and immediately confess even the slightest hint of hypocrisy.

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to purify your love for Him and to protect you from the subtle inroads of hypocrisy.

For Further Study: Read John 12:1-8.

•             How did Mary demonstrate her love for Christ?

•             What objection did Judas raise?

•             What was his motive?