Category: Bible Study & Life Lessons

6 Ways People Show Unbelief Towards God


THIS BIBLE STUDY ARTICLE IS MOSTLY BASED ON THE EVENTS IN NUMBERS CHAPTER 13 & 14

Numbers 14:11 NKJV
Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?”

The story of how the Israelites initially failed to enter the Promised Land but were instead cursed for 40 years by God in the wilderness is a tragic one. The fact that an entire generation were so close to the promise but because of their rebellion, rejection & unbelief of God’s word, the Lord prohibited & cursed an entire generation of people from obtaining the promise.

As Christians, when we walk with God, do we sometimes behave like the ungrateful & unbelieving Israelites? Do we sometimes complain & walk in unbelief before God who has given us His promises or do we walk by faith in Him and not according to sight?

Through studying the Israelites until the point when God sent them into the wilderness for 40 years, this article is about revealing some of the ways in which we as individuals can sometimes behave as these Israelites did towards God. Instead of walking by faith, they walked in unbelief & rebellion towards the plans and promises of God.

 

Background & Summary of Numbers 13 & Numbers 14

  • God promises the children of Israel that He is going to give to them the land of Canaan which is the Promised Land. (Numbers 1:1).
  • God however wants them to spy out the land & discover for themselves the nature & quality of the land before they all enter into the land and possess it as promised (Numbers 13:2-21).
  • People from each of the 12 tribes are assigned & sent out to spy out the land including Caleb & Joshua. Then 40 days later they return from spying the land & the spies give a report to Moses, Aaron & all the congregation of the Israelites (Numbers 13:22-26).
  • The majority of the spies (more than 98% of them) give a very bad report & reasons about why it would be impossible for them to possess the land. The negative & unbelieving spies spoke of giants who resided in the land who were too large and too strong in stature to defeat (Numbers 13:31-33)
  • Out of all the spies who went to spy on the land, only Caleb & Joshua believed in the promises of God and that despite the giants that lived in the land, Caleb & Joshua believed that God will give the Israelites victory to overcome the giants so that they may possess the Promised Land (Numbers 13:30; Numbers 14:6-8)
  • However the children of Israel complain & reflect their unbelief not only towards Moses, Aaron, Caleb & Joshua – but they also reflected their lack of belief towards God Himself who on many occasions had shown them His presence & power (Numbers 14:1-4,9,10)
  • God eventually decides to punish the Israelites for 40 years into the wilderness & by not allowing the older generation to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:21-45)

 

So How Are We Like The Israelites In Our Personal Lives?

It’s easy as a reader to judge the children of Israel for failing to trust God even after the many miracles & signs that God showed them like parting the Red Sea & the fact that they constantly had a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Therefore the presence & power of the Lord was always with them, yet the Israelites still had unbelief in their hearts.

Why did they have unbelief? Why were they rebellious? Why did they reject the promise of God? Do we as individuals sometimes behave like the children of Israel?

 

6 WAYS PEOPLE SHOW UNBELIEF TOWARDS GOD

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Allowing Our Circumstances & Challenges to Negatively Affect Our Faith in God & in His Promises.

The Israelites Complained & Focused More on their External Circumstances

The Israelites had a habitual characteristic of sulking, murmuring & complaining. They always wrongly believed their external circumstances & problems were bigger than God who had brought them out of Egypt.

Numbers 11:1 NKJV – Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.

In Your Personal Life: – Do you only focus on your problems & circumstances instead of putting all your attention and meditation on God who is bigger than your problems & is able to deal with your situation? Do you mediate on your problems instead of meditating on God’s promises?

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Leaning On Our Own Logic & Reasoning Instead of Thinking According to God’s Word & Promises.

The Israelites Leaned On Their Own Understanding

Numbers 13:30-33 NKJV – Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The negative spies used their own limited understanding and convinced themselves & the Israelites that they would not be able to defeat the giants who currently occupied the land. By leaning on their own understanding, the Israelites focused more on their own personal & limited abilities and not on the limitless abilities and almighty power of God to defeat the giants.

The negative spies clearly forgot that God was on their side & that God was able to defeat the giants in Canaan just as He had defeated the Egyptians.

In Your Personal Life: – Do you lean on your own logic & understanding instead of having the mind of Christ. Do you trust your own reasoning & knowledge rather than trusting in the infallible word of God? Do you think with God or do you think outside God’s plans.

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Not Trusting in God’s Motives. God’s Motives Are Always Good.

The Israelites Didn’t Trust God’s Motives

Numbers 14:3,4 NKJVWhy has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

The Israelites presumed that after escaping Egypt that their life would become smooth-sailing and somehow free from problems and challenges.

Therefore whenever they faced various trials they assumed God delighted in their suffering or that He didn’t care that they were suffering. However, facing problems in life does not indicate that God has forsaken us or that God is delighting in our suffering.

God sometimes uses trials to test our faith and if we respond correctly tests or trials can produce a good character within us.

In Your Personal Life : – Do you question God’s motives whenever you face challenges in your life?

James 1:2-5 NKJVMy brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Romans 8:28 NKJV – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Being Rebellious Towards God’s Word & Teachings

The Israelites Were Rebellious & Unteachable

Numbers 14:6-10 NKJVBut Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’   9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” 10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

Have you ever found yourself rebelling against somebody who was actually trying to help you, correct you and encourage you?

Or have you ever tried to help somebody & tried to correct them & encourage them in the Lord only to receive a rebellious reaction from the person you’re trying to help? This is what Joshua & Caleb encountered when they attempted to correct & encourage the Israelite congregation. Joshua & Caleb were almost stoned.

In Your Personal Life: – How good are you at listening to godly or Biblical advice? Do you delight in obeying the word of God? Are you a teachable person or are you rebellious towards anyone who tries to correct you?

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Rejecting The Goodness & Perfect Nature of God

The Israelites Rejected God’s Perfect Nature

Numbers 23:19 NKJV“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

It seems that no matter what good things God did for the Israelites, they were never satisfied. At every sign of a problem, they would murmur, complain & rebel against Moses & God.

God had administered the 10 plagues in Egypt as a sign to the Egyptians that He was more powerful than the Egyptian gods. God gave them manna daily to prove that they need to trust Him daily and that He will supply their daily needs. God used the pillar of cloud by day & the pillar of fire by night to remind them of His direction and presence in their life and that He would never leave them or forsake them.

Yet despite these many signs, the children of Israel did not learn or appreciate God’s blessings and goodness in their lives. Instead the Israelites only focused on what they did not have rather than on what God was currently doing & the promises He had planned in their lives.

Numbers 14:11 NKJVThen the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?

In Your Personal Life:– Do you doubt the faithfulness & goodness of God?

 

  1. We Can Show Unbelief By Allowing Fear to Control Our Choices & Decisions

The Israelites Were Fearful; They Seemed Fear Man More Than God

Numbers 14:9 NKJV“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

In Numbers 13:32-33 most of the spies gave a bad report that the giants in the Promised Land were so huge that they made the spies look like mere grasshoppers. When they heard the bad report, the Israelites responded with fear and weeping (Numbers 14:1). Their fear & weeping eventually turned into complaining & bitterness against Moses & God to the point that they wished they could digress and go back to Egypt – the very nation that enslaved them (Numbers 14:2-4).

Fear can cause people to make bad decisions.

In Your Personal Life:- Do you make decisions based on fear or based on faith in God’s word?

 

 

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

As we walk with God, let us be reminded that God is not a man according to Numbers 23:19.
Unlike man, God is good, God is faithful; God will never leave us or forsake us; God has our best interests at heart; God is to be fully trusted for without faith it is impossible to please God.

 

Lessons from the Thief on The Cross


Luke 23:39-43 NKJV
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

 

If you have only a few minutes to live, what will you want? What will be most important to you?

  1. Will you find comfort in all the material possessions you acquired during your lifetime?
  2. Will you find solace in looking at your certificates, diplomas & degrees one more time?
  3. Will you find security by reading your financial statement?
  4. Will you find comfort that you attended church as often as you could?
  5. Will you hope that God will take into account your personal merit & personal good works and allow you to enter His kingdom of Heaven?

WILL ALL OF THESE THINGS MATTER WHEN YOU DIE?
WHAT IF YOU WERE STILL GOING TO HELL DESPITE THE ABOVE ACHIEVEMENTS?

When Jesus was crucified, there were 2 criminals also being crucified with Him.
Both criminals were guilty of their crimes but Jesus Himself was innocent of any wrongdoing.
One of the thieves was repentant, but the other was unrepentant even unto death.

The repentant thief on the cross was a criminal & guilty of his crimes. In his final moments before he died, this thief came to the realization that there was only one thing that was important in this life & in the next – AN ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP & FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

 

In the thief’s final minutes…

  1. The thief understood & confessed that he was a sinner who deserved to be punished not only for his crimes on earth but also for his sins against God (Luke 23:40, 41)
  2. The thief believed that Jesus was not only perfect and innocent, but that Jesus was the Messiah being crucified for the sins of mankind (Luke 23:41)
  3. The thief believed that Jesus was the only way by which he could enter God’s kingdom and not because of his own personal merit or works. He knew that Jesus was not an ordinary Man. He knew Jesus had a Kingdom and he asked Jesus to remember him. (Luke 23:42)
  4. The thief believed that his salvation is by God’s grace and Christ responded to his faith by promising the thief that he will enter Paradise (Luke 23:42, 43). The thief knew that he could not enter Heaven on the basis of his own merits. He was a criminal. He knew that only the grace of the Lord would allow him into God’s kingdom.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Titus 3:5 NKJV
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit

 

IF JESUS COULD SAVE A CRIMINAL – WILL HE NOT SAVE YOU?

I once read a poster image that said the following: “IF JESUS DIED FOR PERFECT PEOPLE – THEN HEAVEN WOULD BE EMPTY”

In Luke 5:31,32 Jesus says the following: Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

 

Therefore God’s grace & salvation extends to the worst of the worst kind of people. God’s love and grace extends to thieves, murderers, rapists and all kinds of people. You might be reading this article, and thinking “I’m not worse than a murderer or thief or rapist”. However, you’re still a sinner and fall short of God’s glory and therefore you need Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

The writer of more than half of the New Testament was Paul the Apostle. Paul used to persecute the church and kill Christians, yet God used him for His divine purposes after he repented.

Do you feel as if your sins are unforgivable? Do you feel as if it’s too late to turn to God and receive His salvation?

As long as you are alive, it’s never too late to receive forgiveness and salvation from the Lord. God’s FREE gift and God’s love and grace are still ready to be received by you.

 

  1. God LOVES YOU unconditionally & He sent Jesus to die for your sins (John 3:16)
  2. We are all sinners. There is none righteous and the wages of our sins is death which is eternal separation from God. (Romans 3:23), (Romans 6:23)
  3. There is no sin too big for God to erase. Jesus died for our sins so that we do not have to suffer eternal separation from God. Therefore as sinners we need Jesus as our personal Lord & Saviour (Romans 6:23), (John 14:6)
  4. Salvation is a FREE gift from God through Christ. We are saved by God’s GRACE (unmerited kindness) and not by your personal merit or works (Ephesians 2:8)
  5. We must believe, trust and accept Jesus to be our Lord & Saviour so that we may become children of God; born again; a new creation in Christ (John 1:12, John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

salvationcall

WILL YOU BELIEVE, TRUST & ACCEPT JESUS TO BE YOUR PERSONAL LORD & SAVIOUR TODAY?

Why not make your eternal decision now and pray the following prayer?

You can say this prayer below. This prayer is only an expression of your trust & belief in Jesus.

 

Pray this prayer to receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour right now:

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.

I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.

I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.

Thank You for forgiving my sins.

From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.

I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Saviour

Amen”

 

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Life Lessons From The Story of The Rich Man & Lazarus

 

 

If you had a choice between the two – what kind of life would you prefer to live? The good life here on earth or the good life in Heaven?
If you read and study Luke 16:19-31 you will discover that there are some very interesting life lessons that we can learn from the story that Jesus gave of the rich man & Lazarus.
The story is about 2 very different men. The first is The Rich Man; a man who was rich, wealthy, respected and lived in extreme luxury on a daily basis.
The second man is Lazarus; a man who was extremely poor, had a physical illness and who lived his life as a beggar. Lazarus was so poor that he desired to eat from the left-over food or crumbs that the Rich Man threw away.
Both men eventually die with Lazarus going to heaven but the Rich Man going to hell. Lazarus is carried by angels to live in comfort to Abraham’s bosom, while the Rich Man is sent to hell to suffer torment in flames.
Why would Lazarus go to heaven and the Rich Man go to hell? The conversation that occurs between Abraham and the Rich Man in Luke 16:24-31 give some insight and some life lessons that we can learn and apply to our personal lives.

LIFE LESSON # 1
WEALTH OR RICHES DO NOT INDICATE SPIRITUAL MATURITY OR THAT A PERSON HAS SPIRITUAL FAVOUR & BLESSINGS ON ONE’S LIFE. (LUKE 16:19-21)
The Rich Man was materialistically rich & wealthy but spiritually he was poor & bankrupt. Though the Rich Man was dressed in fine linen clothes & lived in extreme luxury, his outward appearance did not match his inward condition. One indication of his spiritual state was the Rich Man’s indifference to Lazarus’ plight despite the fact that this beggar stayed by his gate. The Rich Man had no compassion, love or sympathy for the poor.
In your personal life, what are you pursuing? Are you pursuing after riches & wealth at the expense of having a sound relationship with God? Are you measuring your spiritual condition based on the amount of money & possessions you have? Do you believe in the false “prosperity gospel” doctrine that material prosperity is indicative or evidence of spiritual prosperity?
Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Mark 8:36-37 – For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

LIFE LESSON # 2
POVERTY DOES NOT ALWAYS INDICATE THAT A PERSON IS CURSED (LUKE 16:19-21)
Lazarus was extremely poor. He lived on the crumbs of the Rich Man and lived his life as a beggar. He also had sores all over his body, indicating that he had some kind of sickness. As a beggar Lazarus was clearly in the lowest social class in society and the world did not care about him as indicated by the Rich Man’s indifference towards him. A person would be tempted to believe that God’s wrath and displeasure was upon Lazarus and that Lazarus was probably being punished or under a curse.
Yet the fact that Lazarus went to heaven when he died indicates something about his spiritual relationship with God. While Lazarus’ reasons for being in poverty are unknown, the fact that he was living in poverty did not indicate that God had cursed him or that he was doomed to go to hell.
For Lazarus to go to heaven, he obviously had a sound & genuine relationship with God. His poverty did not hinder him from believing in God and nor did his low social status & lack of possessions mean that he had a bankrupt faith.
In your personal life – are you looking at your poor financial situation and concluding that God has cursed you or is unhappy with you? Are you persuaded that people who are poor are probably in that particular state due to a bankrupt faith? Do you believe in the false prosperity gospel that feeds on people’s covetous desires rather than on having godly contentment?
Luke 12:15 – And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
1 Timothy 6:6-8 – Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

LIFE LESSON # 3
HEAVEN AND HELL ARE REAL PLACES (LUKE 16:23)
Heaven and hell are literal places that exist. After death people will consciously know they are in hell or that they are in heaven. There are various false doctrines and teachings that claim that hell doesn’t exist or that a loving God cannot allow His creation to suffer torment in hell. The Bible also does not mention any type of purgatory. However, on many occasions Jesus spoke about hell and the Bible clearly indicates that a literal hell and a literal heaven exist. The story in Luke 16:23-31 indicate that the Rich Man was in a literal hell in which he suffered unbearable torment to the extent that he requested something as small as water from the tip of Lazarus’ finger in order to cool his tongue.
In your personal life – do you take the existence of hell seriously? Do you take seriously that you may have friends, colleagues, family members who might go to hell if they do not have a relationship with God? Are you aware that hell is a literal place?
Matthew 25:41-42 – “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:”
John 14:2 – In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

LIFE LESSON # 4
HOW YOU LIVE IN YOUR LIFETIME WILL AFFECT WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY (LUKE 16:25)
Even though he was rich and wealthy on earth, the Rich Man did not have a relationship with God. If he did, he may have treated Lazarus better and would have been compassionate towards Lazarus. The Rich Man’s wealth was not evidence that he would spend eternity in heaven. Instead his life choices on earth sent him to hell.
In contrast, Lazarus suffered on earth, but ended up spending eternity in comfort in heaven. This clearly indicates that even though Lazarus lived in poverty and suffering, he clearly had better life choices in God’s eyes than the Rich Man.
In your personal life – what kind of life choices are you making? Do you know where you will spend eternity when you die – heaven or hell? Are you making choices that have an eternal benefit or are you making choices that gratify the flesh only and have a temporary benefit?
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

LIFE LESSON # 5
JUDGEMENT TO HELL IS PERMANENT. THERE ARE NO SECOND CHANCES OR ESCAPE OUT OF HELL (LUKE 16:26)
Abraham told the Rich Man that nobody can walk out of hell. Also we discover from Abraham’s statement in Luke 16:26 that nobody who is in heaven can travel into hell.
Being in hell is an eternal punishment in which there is no second chance as soon as a person dies.
Therefore as long as a person is alive on the earth, that person has many, many chances and opportunities to repent before he/she dies. However, that chance is no longer available when the person dies.
In your personal life – are you resisting Jesus; are you refusing to repent and accept Christ as your Lord & Saviour? Are you aware that life is short and we can die at any moment due to a variety of causes? Therefore it’s important for us to accepted & trust Jesus to be our Lord & Saviour before we die?
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

LIFE LESSON # 6
THE SCRIPTURES BRING US TO THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. SIGNS & WONDERS DON’T (LUKE 16:27-31)
In Luke 16:27-31 the Rich Man tries to persuade Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth from the dead to testify to the Rich Man’s brothers of their need to repent to avoid the torment of hell.
Imagine a person you know, perhaps a loved one, resurrecting from the dead and testifying to you that you need to repent. Imagine hearing the testimony of a miracle healing of a terminal disease. Would such signs & wonders convince certain people of their need to repent & receive Christ as their Lord & Saviour? The Rich Man believed that such a sign as someone rising from the dead would convince people to repent, but Abraham rebutted this claim by saying that people have Moses & the Prophets to listen to. Abraham was basically referring to the scriptures and all that people need in order to come to a knowledge of the grace and need of repentance is the word of God.
The irony is that Jesus Himself died & resurrected but yet people such as the Pharisees did not repent. In fact they tried to spread lies & rumours that Jesus’ body was stolen (Matthew 28:11-15).
Jesus also healed the blind & the sick before the presence of the Pharisees but yet they did not believe or repent despite seeing miracles.
Therefore Abraham was correct by saying “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”
God’s word will bring us to a knowledge of our sinful nature & the need that we need Jesus and that we need to live according to God’s values.
In your personal life – are you busy looking for signs & wonders instead of searching for God Himself; Are you searching for the gift instead of the Giver? Do you believe that the Bible is infallible & the final authority on matters concerning life? Do you believe we must be doers of the word and not just hearers?
Galatians 3:24-25 – Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Therefore the above are very important life lessons we can learn about the Rich Man & Lazarus.
Was Jesus’ story of the Rich Man & Lazarus a parable or a real-life account / event? Unlike other parables that Jesus spoke, Jesus uniquely named 2 of its characters in this particular story making it very different from any of Jesus’ other parables.
Whether we believe it’s a parable or real-life account, what’s most important is that this story came from Jesus Himself & the Bible is infallible & inspired by God Himself.
The life lessons from Jesus’ story in Luke 16:21-31 are therefore to be taken seriously.

 

 

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU WILL GO WHEN YOU DIE?
DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A CHILD OF GOD & A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting” (John 3:16). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16)
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.

5. RECEIVE: “He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Saviour and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why not make your eternal decision now and pray the following prayer?

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

This prayer is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I make You my Lord and Saviour
Amen”

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3 Things To Do When You Are Desperate

Have you ever been desperate for help in your life? What do you do when you have a problem, and every possible solution you try fails you? You have tried all you can do with your own strength but nothing works; You even try to get friends and family to help you with your problem, but nobody can help you through your trials and affliction. When in such a situation, it can be very easy to give up hoping that things will get better. It can also be very easy for one to give up on life.

However, the Bible talks of a woman who had a disease and who was desperate for help after having tried all that she could on her own and still failed.

Mark 5:25-26 NKJV
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.

The Condition of The Woman with the Issue of Blood

  • It is believed that the type of illness that this woman had for twelve years was perhaps a type of chronic cancer or tumor of the uterus.
  • Her illness had caused her to continuously lose blood and therefore she would constantly be in a weak, frail and overwhelmed state.
  • She was socially alienated because of the custom / tradition at that time. Her issue of blood was perceived as being “unclean” and therefore most likely caused her to be constantly isolated from society and from family. (Leviticus 15:19-30 NKJV). Everything and everyone she touched became ceremonially unclean, so she would have been shunned by everyone, including her family and friends.
  • Her illness had caused her much affliction. Therefore she was frequently in physical pain. Therefore whenever you are in a state of unending physical pain, this will begin to have some negative effect on your mental and emotional state.
  • Her finances had suffered because of her illness. She had spent all the money she had on getting treatment from doctors but no physician could successfully help her with her affliction.
  • Her problem grew from bad to worse. Clearly her illness was going to kill her.

In summary: Her health was failing; the experts had failed her; her finances had failed her; her friends & family had failed her; and society had failed her.

Mark 5:27-29 NKJV
When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.

Despite the physical pain; despite the failures; despite the isolation from society; despite the financial meltdown; despite the mental and emotional anguish, during her 12 years of affliction, this woman did not lose at least 3 important key principles & characteristics that were pertinent to her receiving her breakthrough from her afflictions.
Even in her desperation she still showed the following 3 positive attributes from which we can learn:

  1. Don’t Give Up – This woman did not want to give up looking for a solution to her problem. She never resigned to the notion that her illness was not curable. All her doctors had failed to cure her for 12 years, and the doctors had probably given up trying to help her. This woman “heard about Jesus” and so therefore she was not going to waste an opportunity for Jesus to help her. There are some people in life who have “heard about Jesus”, but whenever they have problems, they do not come to Jesus. They would rather focus on resolving issues with their own strength and influence; There are some people who have “heard about Jesus” but they do not believe that Jesus can help them in their time of need. Even under desperate circumstances they don’t believe that Jesus has the power to help them and so they seek help elsewhere or they give up hoping. When this woman “heard about Jesus”, she wanted to go to Jesus; she believed that Jesus would fulfill her exact needs. (Read also Luke 18:1-8 NKJV)
  2. Be Bold & Courageous – Remember that because of her issue of blood, this woman was considered to be “unclean” by society & by law and therefore she was not supposed to have any physical contact with anyone. She was supposed to be isolated from the public, because if anybody touched this woman, that person who touched her would also become ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:19-24 NKJV). This woman however showed boldness and courage by ignoring the potential backlash from the multitude of people that followed Jesus. When she saw Jesus, this woman did not feel embarrassed about her uncleanness but rather went through the multitude to approach Jesus so that she can receive her healing. As she went through the crowd to approach Jesus, she told herself “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Sometimes in our own lives, do we fear achieving our goals and doing the right thing because we fear what other people will say? Are we afraid of standing up for the right thing even if it is not the popular thing? Do you fear being ridiculed and embarrassed or are you bold like this woman who had the issue of blood? (Read also Joshua 1:9 NKJV)
  3. Have Faith in God – This woman had faith that Jesus would heal her simply by touching His garment. Therefore despite being failed by money; despite being failed by doctors; despite being failed by society; this woman did not lose her faith in God. She believed that Jesus would heal her. She believed that Jesus would not fail her. This woman was going to die from her illness and she had lost many things in her life, but this woman was not going to give up her hope and her faith that God would heal her. (Read also Mark 11:22-24 NKJV)

Sometimes when we are in a desperate situation – we may not have the money; our friends & family may have failed us; the experts who could help us may have given up on us – however even under such desperate circumstances – the only thing that you can hang onto is your FAITH in God. Your only choice is to have faith and let God do the rest.

Mark 5:30-34 NKJV
And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

This woman was made well by her faith in Jesus. She finally believed that only Jesus would help her. Her faith in her finances failed; her faith in the doctors failed – but her faith in Jesus did not fail.

Sick Man at Bethseda Pool

John 5:5 NKJV
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.

The man whom Jesus healed at the Pool of Bethseda had a very interesting attitude. The man’s attitude was one which can be typically found in how we relate to life and to God.

  • (John 5:6 – When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”)
  • This man had an infirmity for over 38 years and when Jesus first sees him, He asks the sick man if he wants to be healed. Sometimes in life we can be comfortable with the status quo.
  • LESSON 1: When God asks us a question – it’s not because He does not already know the answer – however when God asks us a question it is because He wants us to look deep into ourselves and our deep needs and motives.
  • (John 5:7 – The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me)
  • Instead of replying to Jesus with a simple “YES!!! I want to be healed”, the sick man begins to complain about how he has been failing to get healed because of the rest of the crowd who were also seeking to be healed at the pool. The sick man had a victim mentality. He blamed other people for his failure to be healed.
  • LESSON 2: Sometimes if we are not careful, we too can be quick to have a victim mentality. Do you blame others for your failures to achieve a desired goal?
  • (John 5:8-9 – Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked)
  • Jesus responds not by joining the sick man in a pity-party, but instead Jesus heals the sick man and commands him to stand up, take up his bed and walk. Jesus focused on meeting the needs of the sick man, rather than to spend time agreeing with the man about how unfair life is to him.
  • LESSON 3: Even in your own life, Jesus is able to meet your exact needs. You might not be able to achieve your goals with your own effort just like how the sick man had tried to get into the pool by his own effort and failed – however, when Jesus comes on the scene, He is able to meet your exact need.
  • (John 5:12-13 – Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place). 
  • It’s interesting that after the man was healed, that he did not even know the name of the wonderful Man (Jesus) who healed him. The man did not even bother to be interested in learning who Jesus was just after he had been healed. For a man who had been sick for 38 years, it would have been good to at least know the name of the One who removed his infirmity after being in bondage for such a long time.
  • LESSON 4: Is it possible in our own life that God is doing so many great things in our life, but yet we fail to acknowledge that God participates and is the author of every good thing that happens in our lives? Do we recognize God’s presence and God’s specific move in our life?
  • (John 5:14-15 – Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”). 
  • When Jesus saw the man for the second time, it is interesting that Jesus told the man that he not sin again lest a worse thing happens to him. This may imply that the cause of the man’s sickness for the last 38 years was due to some sinful behaviors that he may have committed. He was not born with the infirmity, but his sinful behavior may have caused the infirmity.
  • LESSON 5: In your own life, ensure that you do not engage in any sinful activity that may cause sickness in your life. It could be an addiction to drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and the like. Or it could be promiscuous sexual behavior which may cause sexually transmitted diseases. Even though Jesus had healed the man and met the man’s physical need, Jesus wanted to work on the man’s attitude because the man clearly did not have the right attitude as his attitude may also have been the source of his sickness.
  • (John 5:15 – The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well).
  • After the second meeting, the man finally knew that it was Jesus who had healed him.
  • LESSON 6: It is important that we always recognize Jesus when He appears or speaks to us.

TODAY. Have the right attitude towards life and towards Jesus.

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