20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negeb!
5 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Street Preachers. Does it work? My second cousin Ward is a street preacher. He was autistic until he was 13 and couldn't speak. His mom took him to a Minister and they prayed for God to be glorified if Ward would be healed. He was. His street ministry is near his small Church. He says it ebbs and flows. Ward says about the time he decides he is called to retirement, someone joins the Church and they start growing again.
We all are called to different ways to preach. We call that sharing the Gospel.
I'm not called to Street Preach and I pray for those who do.
We have the same Vast God.
At some point we should ponder what He requires of us.
Today, we are too "with it" to fear God. To truly comprehend God, we must understand His Authority.
John walked with Jesus, calling Jesus, God is Love. And then we understand, Perfect Love Casts Out Fear. God would never have us walk in fear, for He has given us a Spirit of Power, the Holy Spirit, Jesus gave us by cancelling our sin in His Sacrifice of Atonement. Joshua spoke of this in the balance God told him as he took upon himself the mantle of the failed Exodus. In Joy!
To do this path, we must speak with God and pray knowing He has set us on a course, like the way we want our kids to go to college. God is distant. And completely within us and completely in our thoughts. We are not far from God - ever. Nothing takes God's love from us.
God again covers us - He loves us first. We return that love like scraps from under the table for the dog.
And He doesn't leave or forsake us. A God who wants to save His world, Loves!
Peter and Paul were street ministers. Positioning themselves where the faithful would listen. Man, they made the Synagogues angry. When they set out in pagan areas they asked intelligent questions - "This Unknown God - could He be like ... this."
When you read the writing of Peter and Paul - they LOVED. Harsh words were written to the mature about growing up, like a parent writes to a child. But Peter and Paul met with Governors, Synagogue leaders, Caesar, eunuchs working at a Palace, beggars, ill people, slave owners, slaves and people grappling with a New Covenant from God.
Peter and Paul expected God. They expected that His message of Love would be respected and carried beyond their lives. They held up God and knew that His Work would go forth. They were not desperate. I'm sure they looked worried when towns descended upon their work. Empowered and equipped to try again tomorrow.
When you really study how Love works - there is awe.
Imagine you are the Disciple John. Imagine we are sending you to another planet. John's 1st Chapter is very bland. Glorious. Simply glorious when you realize John is speaking of something as unfathomable as the Exodus. The workings of Jesus Christ. You can't just jump in there. John explains the impossible. Probably after 40 sheets of papyrus. Except, because we know the Holy Spirit is helping John, perhaps it was a first take.
When you look at John ending His Gospel. Probably Mary was sitting with John, the Gospel ends by saying Jesus was so complex and so many things surrounded Jesus that the Gospels can't contain them all.
Jesus begins as personal relationships. People are mostly privately healed, privately directed to participate in the healing. A Deaf man is pulled to privacy and shown, so his healing is his. Lives change. People leave their lives and travel to the wilderness to find the Lamb of God.
And Jesus didn't say wilderness, He said HE was going on a journey and He called people into vistas of the milk and honey of Israel. The verdant hills of Capernaum overlooking the Sea of Galilee. And Jesus taught as summers became dry and the fields were wheat colored. The message that life just isn't perfect, but we are to rejoice where we are.
Jesus said He would go to lonely places to pray. I doubt where Jesus prayed with God remained lonely. The Holy Spirit filling the prayers as conversations. The fullness of Christ Jesus.
And these personal miracles grew. And more people showed up. People began to see the dead were raised. Jesus was creating an atmosphere of belief. He wasn't requiring them to believe what they couldn't understand. This is why the Mediterranean Ocean from one side to the next was rocked to the core in 16 years.Why a persecuting Empire went another 200 years after almost collapse from 300 years of persecution, to hope. Christianity propped up and propelled the Roman Empire.
Life changes. People in their temperaments are affected when societies don't foster families. When governments don't expect the best of people. We are now in knowledge of the Gospel. Mostly. Except when we have children who have no idea who Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are. We cannot hope to give them the Light of God in speeches about Hell. It's not Scriptural. Jesus sure didn't. Jesus did believe Hell exists, He just chose instead to say Bring Heaven to Earth Now and Expect God. So Many miracles have Jesus giving a task. We should all expect a task from our gratitude.
The Body of Christ needs to encourage and build up.
Why be like every news program you hear grousing the same old problems? That's deflection. Deal with your own salvation. Build up the Body of Christ to Love. It's not necessarily emotion. It's duty and it's looking and being told what is good. Knowing what is Good. Encouraging Good. Knowing Love. Rejoicing when the spots come clean. Being grateful.
Consider an example of Jesus.
The tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
That's a great reminders for those bringing the Gospel forth. We need that lesson - like I do - today.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †