Knowing Jesus

Christmas 19cThere is a popular Christmas song, which I love, “Mary, Did You Know?”  A few years ago I turned the words around and wrote a blog post titled, “When did Mary Know?” (12/20/15)

Like how did she know he could turn water into wine before she asked him to?  When did she know he could heal the sick and set the captive free?  Or walk on water, and feed 5000 men?

I can picture Mary with Jesus on her lap talking, asking questions, and then Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet as he shared stories of the creation, and from the Old Testament.  I think she knew because she had spent a lot of time with God’s Son.  She knew him, but more importantly, she believed in him.

Imagine what you would ask Jesus to do if you really knew him.  Would you ask him to heal you, a friend or a family member?  What about heal your finances, or your broken relationships?  Would you ask for a better job, food, or a place to live of your own?  My point isn’t to get things from Jesus, but believing in him enough to ask.  Knowing that he could if that was best for you.

Sometimes it’s better to go through something than to be delivered from it.

It is good to spend time with Jesus no matter your circumstances.  This Christmas, I pray you find time to sit and just hang out with him.  Put on some Christmas music too.  After all, He is the reason for the season.

‘These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.’ Matthew 15:9 J.B. Phillips New Testament

Don’t just worship Jesus because it’s Christmas, and don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all, because it will be over before you know it.  And so will your life, and after that you’ll have lots of time to spend with Jesus, oh, if you accepted him when you were on earth.

Knowing Jesus intimately, is the greatest gift you can give yourself, and others all year long.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

People’s Peephole Perspective

Charlie 485Peepholes are kind of cool.  Instead of seeing what is directly in front of the door you get to see all around the door and porch area.  It may be called a “fish eye’s” view?  Some cameras have a similar, attachable lens.  The point is though, the peephole provides a secured view of who is at the door, but the truth is, it’s a distorted view.

People sometimes will look at their world, and other people, in a distorted way as well.  Things that have happened to them in the past, their upbringing, and other people’s opinions affect the view.  This can cause some to have trouble trusting, or believing people.  Sad, but this distorted view can also be applied when Jesus shows up.

Jesus says in Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (NKJV)

You notice Jesus doesn’t barge in or break the door down?  He’s a gentleman.  He comes to you, where you are, because he knows you, sees you, and even knows what is happening in your life.  Yet, he waits for you to invite him into your life.  He knows how much you need him, but he still gives you a choice, free will.  Unless you are willing to let go of your peephole perspective, and give Jesus a chance, you will never know perfect love.  A love that can help you overcome, anything!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Jesus Wept

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“Jesus Wept” statue at the site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. 4-19-1995

As a child growing up in church, the title of this post, John 11:35, was my favorite verse to quote.  I think the reason is obvious.  Saying it with accuracy would help earn me a candy bar, or something.  But these days, it has a whole new meaning.

These days, I know why Jesus wept.  I was taught it was because his good friend Lazarus had died, but I don’t believe that anymore, for Jesus already knew he was going to raise him from the dead.  Verse 4; When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not lead to death, but to God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (NET)

Jesus wept because the people, and his friends, who had lost their loved one were hurting.  My point to telling you this is Jesus hurts when you are hurting too, even today.  Jesus sees you, knows your name and knows what you are going through now and will go through in the future.

Verse 32 Now when Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the people who had come with her weeping, he was intensely moved in spirit and greatly distressed. (NET)

When you are hurting, distressed, be confident that Jesus knows, he cares, and he can’t wait for you to invite him to do something about it.  It’s true, he holds the whole world in his hands, but he’s holding you as well.  Now rest in that knowledge.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

If Jesus Put Out a Flyer

Jesus’ Return

Heaven

When

 

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Mat. 24:14 (NIV)

 

Where

 

The whole wide world

All Ages

Event

Advance Decision Required

Entrance fee paid for by Jesus Christ if you accepted him, and asked for forgiveness of your wrong doing.

At the Door

You will have to pay with your life!

 

Sponsors

God
Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit

 

Benefiting

For all have sinned and have fall short of the Glory of God.  Romans 3:23

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

When Quitting Isn’t an Option

Charlie 99Have you ever said, “This is too hard.  I can’t do this anymore!”?  Or something similar indicating you were giving up?    I have.  But what happens when you quit something God has chosen you to do?

I read that when Billy Graham started preaching there were two other young men who had been called about the same time.  One of those men was an excellent preacher.  I read he could preach up a storm.  So what were their names?  I don’t remember either.  You think Satan didn’t attack Rev. Graham, and do you think he never got discouraged, or thought for a minute, “Why am I doing this?”   He kept at it because God called him to do a task, and Rev. Billy Graham was not going to stop until his body did, and he knew what would happen if he did, Satan would win.

Are you in a position or place and you know you were there because God put you there?  If so, please don’t stop.  Be encouraged, that you are anointed, for what you are doing, for such a time as this.  (Esther 4:14)  And yes, if you quit, people will get hurt, until God raises up someone else to do what He has already chosen you to do.  So put your big boy pants on, and just do it!

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Still Looking?

Charlie 75Do you know the first thing Jesus said, when he exited the tomb?  “Ta-Da!”  Answered a third grader in a Sunday school class one Easter.  He probably didn’t, but should have.  Perhaps he said, “I told you!”  I don’t really know, but it doesn’t matter.  What does count is what he did for you and me by dying, being the perfect sacrifice for our wrong doing, and then defeating death at its own game.

Something I had never thought of before; the word “tombstone” probably came from Jesus’ tomb stone.  Although his never got engraved with something like:

Here lies Jesus Christ
Son of God, and Mary
0 – 33

Luke 24 1-3 At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus.

4-8 They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.

9-11 They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn’t believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.

12 But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that’s all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head. (MSG)

I love when the angel said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery?”  Are you still looking for answers to your life?  Are you looking for them in a cemetery?  Why?  Jesus, is the One you are searching for, or for more of, even if you don’t realize it.  Your spirit is crying out to be reunited with God and that is only possible through accepting Jesus.

So where is Jesus then?  He is right there with you now.  Waiting for you to turn to him either for the first time, or again.  Everything else in life, and every other place will be empty.  As empty as the tomb Jesus borrowed for three days.  Stop looking, and start accepting that Jesus Christ has risen, and is alive, and he’s been pursuing you, waiting for you to believe.

Copyright © 2019 Mark Brady.  All rights reserved.

Three Days of Darkness

dispelThere is nothing like the fear that comes from physical, or emotional darkness.  When you can’t see your way, and you have no clue on when and where light will come.  Your heart can pound like a concert bass drum.

Exo 10:21-23 MSG   GOD said to Moses: “Stretch your hand to the skies. Let darkness descend on the land of Egypt–a darkness so dark you can touch it.”  Moses stretched out his hand to the skies. Thick darkness descended on the land of Egypt for three days.  Nobody could see anybody. For three days no one could so much as move. Except for the Israelites: they had light where they were living.

Another time, when there was darkness on the earth, for three days, was when the Son of God, Jesus died.  You talk about your only ray of light going out and sickness settling in, to the very depths of your being.  Jesus had once said, “I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.” (Joh 12:46 MSG)  Three days of darkness, until Jesus was resurrected from the dead, then Light once again walked on the earth.

Are you stumbling around in life desperately running your hand along the wall, panicking as you look for the switch?  Has your darkness lasted much longer than three days?  Don’t get angry, as Pharaoh did.  Don’t let your heart be hardened, as his did, and definitely don’t shake your fist at God.  He may be allowing the darkness, to move you toward Him, who is Light.  Accept Light.  Accept God.  Try living in a way, where you can see your way, by believing in God’s way.

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Your View

Jesus 1

“Jesus” by Titus (age 6)

Your view of Jesus has a lot to do with how close you are to him.  Is your knowledge of the Son of God first hand, or secondary?  Do you look at him from above, therefore looking down on him?  Or is your perspective from his side, as if equal?  Perhaps one should look at Jesus from the foot of the cross.  Feeling crimson forgiveness of sin drip on you.  Hearing deep gasps of air as he spoke his last words.  Smelling the stench of death waiting in the wings to take him.  Watching the Savior of the world, arms opened, exhibiting love, even in death.

He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” (Mat 16:15 MSG)

This is the truth about who Jesus is; He is the Son of God, the only one born of a virgin, who fulfilled 400 prophesies concerning the Messiah, who healed the sick, the lame, the hurting, who spoke truth, and was without sin, therefore being the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, who died and was resurrected three days later whether this is your view or not.

We will all stand before Jesus one of these days, and he will ask us the same question, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”

 Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

How Much?

book 1I would go visit them, and before I knew it, they would be giving me a guided tour of their latest acquisitions.  Antiques, what nots, weird things, but things that appealed to them.  I would hear the story of where they found it, and why they liked it.  The one fact that never went unnoticed was how excited they were over their latest find, and the one thing that always struck me funny was when they would ask, “You want to know how much I paid?”

I was reminiscing the other day about those times and chuckling when I begin to envision Jesus showing me his latest acquisitions.  “This is John.  He was in a bar when he realized his life needed to change. He asked me to help.  This is Manjola from Albania.  I pursued him a long time before he finally accepted me.  Oh!  Over here is Akemi.  She’s from Japan.  She was desperate for real love, and a friend told her about me.”

Person, after person.  Jesus was enthusiastic over every one of them.  He told me their story.  How long He looked for them, as they were lost, but the one thing He never asked was, “You want to know how much I paid?”

“You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for by Christ]” (1Co 7:23 AMP)

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Confession

20180618_161958Confession:  I have never been inside a confessional booth.  I grew up in a church where doing so was not part of our spiritual practice.  I am at a temple where there is one.  I am writing this blog post while sitting inside it.  Not intended, but in order to see I brought a small, but bright LED light.  It is casting such a white glow I think it scared a couple checking out the temple.

Here I sit, in this small, wooden structure.  It smells old, musty, perhaps from tears soaking the carpeted board beneath my feet.  There is carpet on the walls as well.  I guess to absorb the sound, but aren’t confessions meant to be heard?

I think there is also supposed to be a man in the booth next door.  A man to hear my sins?  My wrong doing?  What if he is actually a newspaper reporter?  Wait, when Jesus died on the cross, didn’t his selfless act of love cut out the middle man?  After all, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom.  The veil that once separated man from God.  Now Jesus is our High Priest.

I guess while I am in here I might as well start talking.  Heavenly Father bless me.  It has been 23 minutes since my last confession.  You remember.  Oh, you don’t?  Then maybe I should choose to forget it also.

Now, I confess all my sins.  The ones that denied you, dissatisfied you, destroyed me and demolished others.  The sins that dishonored you, discomforted you.  The ones that would disqualify me from your presence, if it were not for your Son.  The sins that diminished others, disgruntled my employers, and devalued my wife and children.  And don’t forget the one that deflowered me before I was with the proper one at the proper time.  The ones that delayed me from being obedient unto you and your plans.  I also confess the times I digested things that defiled my body, your temple.  The words I spoke that derailed others on track to finding you.  The times my actions denounced you.  The sins that I allowed that wound up discouraging me and damaging my faith.

Forgive me Father.  I ask for your mercy and grace.  Thank you for not deleting my name from your Book of Life.  Thank you for forgiveness, and for your Son, Jesus who gives life through his death.

Now what do I do Lord God?  “Go and sin no more.”

Copyright © 2018 Mark Brady, All rights reserved