Monthly Archives: April 2012

Have You Been Changed ?

Philippians 3:21″Who shall change our vile body,that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,according to the workings whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself “.

We use the word changed or converted quite alot in religious circles,but what does it truly mean to be changed.Is going to church,singing in the choir, or preaching in the pulpit evidence of change. And if we are in fact converted or changed what is it we are changed from, or more important what are we change into.The scriptue says Jesus will change our vile body, that it might be fashioned like his glorious body. Well biblical change is represented as a miraculous life transforming process,a process which is totally impossible without the direct,active intervention and participation of God. In fact he must initiate the conversion process. No man can come to Jesus unless the spirit of God draws them.

He first opens the mind of those he is calling, or inviting to change so they can begin to understand the scriptures with a clarity and depth they could never attain on their own.This wonderful miracle of transformation usually begins when those God is calling hear the truth of God ‘s word accuratelly from one of his true servants( faith come by hearing, but how can they hear without a preacher,and how can he preach unless he be sent). Our creator begins to open their minds at that time to comprehend the true gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God to salvation.God’s words now begin to make sense,just as a picture emerges when a puzzle is put together.Now the once lost soul begins to grasp the truth of  the Holy scriptures and become part of the miracle of God’s calling.

What follows depends on the choices they make when they hear or read God’s truth. They can respond to God and ask for His help to implement what they learn,or they can turn their back on the truth which they have received.Even though God encourages us to choose life, He will not force this choice on any of us.But as we will soon see, the consequences of our choices are enormous. The process begins with God’s calling it is then followed by the key steps of repentance,baptism,and the receiving of the Holy Spirit,and  finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ when those that are his will be resurrected to immortality and given eternal life.This is the ultimate transformation, being change from this vile mortal body, and fashioned into a glorious immortal being!  

Healing The Blind Man

                                                                   Sunday School Lesson
                                                                          April 29,2012
Lesson Focus:
Jesus power can change
blindness to sight
Lesson Scripture:
John 9:1-17

INTRODUCTION.  As serious as physical blindness is, there is nothing more serious than spiritual blindness.  In this week’s lesson, Jesus healed a man who had been blind since birth.  Jesus used this experience to teach an important lesson to His disciples and to all Israel: He is Israel’s Light as well as ours.

(vs. 1).Our text begins with “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.” After a lengthy conversation with the scribes and Pharisees that led to an attempted stoning of Jesus from which He escaped (see John 8:12-59), He and His disciples came across a man in Jerusalem who had been blind since birth.In essence, he was born blind.          
(vs. 2).At this point “his (Jesus’) disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”The question on their minds was had this man suffered God’s judgment and was born blind as a result of his sin or by some sin committed by his parents?Their question was a bit odd because if the man was being punished for a sin he committed, he would have had to sin in his mother’s womb.That would be absurd!The disciples were merely repeating the teachings of their rabbis that a person’s suffering was always the result of specific sins on the part of him or his parents.Unfortunately many people feel this way today.
(vs. 3).  Jesus’ response to His disciples was “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”  We should take note of the first part of Jesus’ answer that “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents.  There are those who are quick to accuse anyone who is suffering from illness or adversity of being chastised or punished by God.  Sometimes bad things happen to people in the normal course of things, and are not the judgment of God.  It is true that God chastens for all sins, but not all suffering is the result of specific, personal sins.  The second part of Jesus’ answer “but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” gives us the reason why the man was born blind.  It was so that God could use His divine power to make the blind man an instrument by which God could glorify Himself (see John 11:4).
 (vs. 4).  Jesus continued to say, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”  A divine compulsion caused Jesus to focus on His Father’s work.  He said, “I must work the works of him that sent me.”The phrase “while it is day” refers to Jesus’ time on earth as He carried out His public ministry.  However, the time was coming when He would no longer be able to continue what He was doing.  Jesus called that coming time “night” referring to His crucifixion.  Note: Christians are stewards of the time God allots to us (see Ephesians 5:16).  We should use our time on earth wisely before the arrival of “night,” that is, the end of our earthly sojourn when we can do no more.
(vs. 5).Jesus concluded His response to His disciples by saying “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”The first phrase of this verse, “As long as I am in the world” indicates that the Jesus’ public ministry in the world would last only about three years.His words therefore, contained a note of urgency.He needed to act decisively, for He had limited time.Christians should have this same attitude as we shine for God in the world (see Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:15).
(vs. 6).  At this point Jesus turned His attention to the blind man.  John wrote that “When he (Jesus) had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.”   After Jesus finished talking with His disciples, He spit on the ground and made clay and He put the mixture on the blind man’s eyes.
(vs. 7).  After applying the spit and dirt mixture to the blind man’s eyes, Jesus “said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”   As in most, if not all the miracles of Jesus, the object of the miracle was required to demonstrate faith.  In the case of this blind man, he had to exercise faith by going to wash the mixture off his eyes “in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.)”   When he did, he came away with full sight.  This was a miracle that produced complete ability to see instantly.
(vs. 8).  When the former blind man returned home John says, “The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?”  Able to see for the first time in his life, the man returned to his neighborhood.  When the surprised local residents saw him, they began discussing whether or not this was really the man they had known as the blind beggar.  They asked among themselves, “Is not this he that sat and begged?”  In other words, someone asked, isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?  It appears that whoever asked this question was a bit confident that this was the same man.  However, there also appears to be some doubt, for the speaker was seeking confirmation.          

(vs. 9).  As the discussion about the man born blind continued among his neighbors, John tells us that “Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.”  In answer to the question in verse 8, someone declared, “This is he.”   Another neighbor challenged that opinion and stated that “He is like him” suggesting that this was not the same man but rather someone who merely looked like the man born blind.  Since miracles, then as now, were not common or expected, mistaken identity was the easiest way to explain what they saw.  Overhearing this conversation, the healed man decided to end the speculation and simply said, “I am he.”  The healed man assured his neighbors that he was indeed the man who had been blind.
(vs. 10).  Having settled the identity question, this verse says “Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?”  The neighbors wanted to know how someone who had never seen before could all of a sudden have normal eyesight prompting them to ask the once blind man, “How were thine eyes opened?”They wanted to know how he was now able to see.

(vs. 11).  The once blind man “answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.”  The man simply told them what had happened, even though he didn’t understand it himself.  He told them that a man named Jesus had made clay, put it on his eyes and told him to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam.  When he did this, his eyes were opened and he was able to see.
(vs. 12).  This verse says “Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.”  The neighbors wanted to know where this Jesus was.  The healed man could only answer, I don’t know.  He didn’t know where Jesus was because he returned to his own neighborhood immediately after the miracle.  He had no idea what Jesus looked like.  Jesus could’ve been standing right in front of him and the healed man would not have recognized Him.  It would be sometime later when Jesus would come to the healed man and reveal Himself as the One who gave him his sight (see John 9:35-38).            
(vs. 13).  John now tells us that “They (the neighbors) brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.”  Instead of rejoicing with the healed man over this miracle, the neighbors took him to the Pharisees.  No doubt they felt something as unusual as this required the insight of their highly respected religious leaders.
(vs. 14).  In this verse, John gives us a significant bit of information when it comes to the opposition of the Pharisees to Jesus.  John wrote “And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.”  The Pharisees had a very legalistic view of the Sabbath which caused them to oppose almost everything Jesus did on that day of the week.  It provided them with numerous excuses for condemning Jesus and His ministry.  Note: Jesus had come to fulfill the law and was not bound to it legalistically as the Pharisees were.  In fact, He had informed them that the Sabbath was made for man and not the other way around. He also told them that He was Lord of the Sabbath (see Mark 2:23-28).  For this reason, it was not an issue for Jesus to give this man his sight on the Sabbath, but it was an issue for the Pharisees.          
(vs. 15).  Now John writes, “Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.”  The Pharisees immediately wanted to hear for themselves how the healed man received his sight so they asked him “how he had received his sight.”  The healed man simply repeated for the second time that Jesus put clay upon his eyes, he washed it off, and was able to see.  
(vs. 16).  After the healed man repeated how he received his sight before the Pharisees, this verse says “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.”  The Pharisees concluded that Jesus was not a man of God because “he keepeth not the sabbath day” meaning that Jesus didn’t keep it holy by not performing any work on that day.  Note: The Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, was the weekly holy day of rest.  The Pharisees had made a long list of what one could and could not do on the Sabbath.  Making clay and healing the blind man was considered work and therefore not allowed.  Jesus may have purposely made the clay in order to emphasize His teaching about the Sabbath—that it is right to care for others’ need even if it means working on a day of rest.  Since Jesus broke their petty rules, the Pharisees decided that He was not from God.  While some of the Pharisees considered Jesus to be a sinner, others wondered if he was a sinner, how could He do such miracles?  Of course this caused a division among the Pharisees.
(vs. 17).  Since the Pharisees couldn’t agree on who Jesus was, John says “They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.”  When the Pharisees asked the healed man for his opinion of Jesus, his conclusion was “He is a prophet.”  This man who had been blind from birth now had more insight into who Jesus was than Israel’s leaders.  It was because as the healed man would say later to the Pharisees, “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).  Since this man was open to the truth, Jesus later found him and he became a believer (see John 9:35-38).
                                        
CONCLUSION.  We can trust Jesus to shed light on our dark situations at any time today if we are willing to trust Him with our burdens and impossible predicaments.The blind man’s situation was something he had become accustomed to.  But when Jesus stepped in, it changed His life.  He not only received his sight because he was willing to believe and obey, but he also received Jesus for whom He truly is, the One sent from God.  We too need to see Jesus as the One who saves us from our darkness.  Indeed, He is the Light of the World!                       

          

  

Dressed to Be Blessed

Matthew 22:12 “And he saith unto him,friend,how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment”?

The Marriage of the lamb; Jesus gave a parable regarding a wedding feast in which those that were invited were not worthy.”So those servants went out into the highways,and gathered together as many as they found,both good and bad:and the wedding was furnished with guest.And when the king came in to see the guest, he saw a man which had not on a wedding garment:The King had the man bound and cast into outer darkness” every married person and every wedding guest knows the extensive preparation that goes into a wedding.No bride waits until her wedding day to decide what to wear. The marriage of our lamb is approaching, have you made preparations to have on your wedding garment?

When once the master of the house has raised up,and hath shut the door, and you are standing outside knocking at the door saying, Lord,Lord open unto me;and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not,who are you . The bible says “Be ye Therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not”.Saints we are to hurry up and wait,but while we wait we must remain faithful to our groom, being faithful in his absence.We must live a virtuous life worthy to be called the bride of our savior.We are to live holy and upright lives, that we might be clothe in the righteousness of our Savior.

Believers can neither be complacent nor inactive as we wait for his return, our waiting must include the telling of others about the good news of the gospel.We are to live in a way that when Jesus comes, we can face Him confidently, knowing that our lives have brought honor and credit to Jesus and the Gospel message.The only clothing we need, our wedding gown will be the righteous acts we have done in the name of Jesus,acts that reflect the character of Jesus. His righteousness bestowed on us will be the wedding garments worn at this wedding.Will you be dressed?

A Son Shiny Life

Matthew 17:1-2″And after six days Jesus taketh Peter,James,and John his brother,and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,And was transfigured before them:and his face did shine as the sun,and his rainment was white as light”.

As we embark on a New life let us allow the Son of God to shine in our Lives.Let us be a accurate reflection of God and His love to all in darkness,by allowing His light to shine so bright on the inside that a dying world can see on the outside that Jesus is the Christ ,the Son of the living God.While we dress up and look like christian, go to church and be around christians,taking part in religious activities to act like christians, let us be sure the Son can be seen in our life. Let us walk so the world will look at us and see the Son of God shinning in our life.Don’t let overcast and weather conditions, determine His visability in your live.

See we can block out the Son with the overcast of  un Christ like behavior surrendering to the cares of this world. We can over shadow him with self, not sharing him with those that are in great need of him. He can feel left out as we sometimes choose not to wait upon him.He is sometimes invisible in our life due to a lack of knowledge as to who he truly is.See we sometimes forget that he is a way out of no way, that he has all power in heaven and in earth. He said “Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.So how can we let the Son shine in?

Walk with him in faith, hold to him in hope and share him with others in Love.Jesus separated himself from the world,and with his inner circle,went upon a moutain top where he begin to shine,as who he truly was,was revealed to them. Let us allow Jesus to take us and our inner circle,Faith ,Hope,and Love,above the cares of this world,that he might reveal himself in our lives, and watch him shine.Let us live a bright Son shiny Life.