Instruction From the Lord – Stressing the Rails – January 25, 2021


Instruction From the Lord

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. Matthew 16:21-27

The incident in today’s passage demonstrates a common struggle for believers: At times God’s Word or ways might be different than what we want. When the Lord does something that’s not in line with the result we hope for, we may respond with anger, fear, rebellion, or despair.

This conflict between us and God can happen whenever our desires clash with His or when we consider our own reasoning to be superior. Although we may think our disagreement with the Lord is no big deal, Jesus’ response to Peter indicates otherwise. When the apostle set his mind on man’s interests rather than God’s, he was distracted by the devil’s lies instead of supporting Jesus’ work. That’s not a place any believer wants to be in. Although some passages in the Bible may challenge our faith and call for self-denial, we shouldn’t let any initial reluctance keep us from obeying the Lord.

Remember, God’s understanding far exceeds ours because He is eternal and omniscient. Everything in His Word is true and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The exchange between Peter and Jesus should serve as a reminder that God knows what He’s doing and is worthy of our trust and obedience.

January 25, 2021

Scripture: Romans 3:23

What is my focus in this scripture? Meditate

Pray in your own way; Please pray for:

Your Big Issues – Which include:

• 3 family members and friends that you know need to be saved or come into closer relationship with God

• Pray for your own issues and needs in your life

• Pray that others will catch the wave of spiritual revival that is going on in this nation and in the Church.

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A Declaration of Dependence

We are Created to Live in Dependence

BG hear


Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV).

BG believe


“My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17). To the Jewish leaders, these were blasphemous words. They were already angered by Jesus’ total disregard of their Sabbath traditions. Now this man from Galilee was claiming equality with God. The Jewish leaders heard his message loud and clear, and their resolve to kill him grew all the more.

The response of these leaders makes it difficult for us to deny Jesus’ claims to be God. That is who He is. He brought this world into existence. He created everything, and as Colossians 1:17 states, “in Him, all things hold together.” The issue of his identity was a recurring theme throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry. He underscored the truth that he was and is God time and time again. But many times when he made such claims, in the next breath, he said things like “The Son can do nothing of His own accord,” or “I can do nothing on my own” (John 5:19, 30). Why would the creator of the heavens and earth say such things?

Jesus chose to live in dependence on His Father. He didn’t have to, but He did so willfully. Paul put it this way, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV).

Jesus lived in dependence upon his Father to teach us how to live. When Adam and Eve decided to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they in essence declared their independence from God. And mankind has tried to make it on its own ever since. All we have to do is watch the evening news to see how that has worked out for us. Our independent, rebellious attitude toward God has made a mess of things.

Jesus, the independent one, came to earth, and through His life showed us how to live in dependence.

BG live


You were created to live in dependence on your creator. When you do, life makes sense. When you depend on yourself, you will quickly fall into the trap of self-effort and ‘working’ to make yourself acceptable to God.

Declare your dependence on the Son and recognize that only he can create good from evil, peace from conflict, and security from doubt.

In Him,


Bob Christopher

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Pearls of Grace – January 25

January 25

The Fellowship of the Cross

“and as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross”.

Matthew 27:32

There is a communion born out of pain that brings a fellowship of joy far greater than the sorrows of our circumstances. When the rugged beams of Calvary’s cross were laid upon the bleeding back of Jesus Christ, it was more than any one man could have carried in the condition He was in. His back had been scourged over and over again until there was no longer a human form easily detected. Jesus had lost massive amounts of blood and now to have the weight of these beams laid upon the open wounds proved to be too much for our Savior to bear alone. When our Lord could walk no further, He gave beneath the weight of the tree before the crowd that had gathered to watch His agony. From the blood stained soil a name is called…a carrier is needed…”you there, carry His cross.” His name was Simon and from this moment forward his life would be eternally remembered. He was a stout Cyrenian and unlike the Lord’s shoulders, his were sturdy, strong and without wound. In this captured moment of agony, Simon became what no other man or woman had ever been or would ever become…the substitute of Jesus.

When Simon came into Jerusalem in order to celebrate the Passover, he had no idea the tragedy that was taking place. He was innocent standing in the crowd of hate; and engulfing hate for the one who was truly innocent, Jesus. He found himself trapped in the midst of ungodly people intent on killing. In the scene he was forced to be a part of, he must have positioned himself in such a way that he could get a glimpse of the One who had been condemned. God gifted Simon this day with a vantage point that none would ever have. He came face to face with living grace, unending mercy and tenacious love. It was no accident that a soldier, one of the Lord’s persecutors saw the Cyrenian in the crowd. Out of all the faces in the mob that day, his was the one marked for a holy act of service; the soul chosen to be drawn into the tragedy. Whatever it was that caught the soldier’s eye, one thing is for certain, Simon was chosen. Before he knew what was happening he was dragged out from the shadows of the spectators and the cross was upon him and he was walking beside Jesus to Calvary. His presence in that hour had won him a place of honor that even earthly kings would never be privy to.

There upon the blood stained street they journeyed together, side by side. They were shoulder to shoulder, inseparable of the weight of agony, two men yet one cross to bear making their way up to the place called Golgotha. There would be no greater act of service one could ever offer to Jesus, than to carry His cross. The Lord spoke to Simon privately, as if only the two of them occupied the world. This tragedy brought the privilege of intimacy, a communion of two yet a burden of only one. What words the Lord spoke to this cross bearer we are never told. But one thing we can know without doubt: in the moment of such darkness, great tragedy, Simon met Jesus. They were united in the sadness, going on together under one single cross bearing one common shame. What treasures we gather along the road of suffering when we make that pilgrimage with Jesus. And although it was Jesus who carried the sins of the world, it was Simon who carried His cross. What an honor!

Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Will you come out from the crowd and take up the Lord’s cross today? He carried the world, we are to carry His cross.

Is your cross bringing redemption?

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Somebody Loves You – January 25, 2021

MONDAY January 25, 2021

God Shows No Favoritism

But from those [Peter, James and John] who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.
Galatians 2:6

The Apostle Paul referred to Peter, James and John as those who thought themselves to be something, when indeed, they were not. Paul taught them a lesson in humility. God does not show favoritism to any man. I like Paul. His exhortation deflated their thinking. Paul wanted these leaders to know, “I am unmoved and not intimidated or nervous to approach you.” They were just like Paul, human!”

Notice how quickly Peter, James and John had forgotten how to be servants. That is why Paul came to speak with the Apostles as they had come to a place of being a respecter of persons––to the Jews. Jesus did not act this way; He gave us an example of servanthood to follow (Philippians 2:1-8). These men had compromised their position concerning their faith in Jesus Christ.

Honestly, I have often seen this problem of favoritism with pastors who are on the radio, television or featured in magazines. People in the church have lifted them up like celebrities. Pastors are not movie stars. They are just common people like anybody else. As Christians, we are on the same level. We are all the same––human.

At times, people you have known, who have grown up with you, and have made something of their lives can look down at you. If you ask to speak with them, they may reply, “Make an appointment.” This happens to people, they forget where they came from––sad.

Christians cannot be respecters of persons and treat those who are richer with favoritism over those who are poor. In Christ we are all the same. Understand, none of us would be here if it were not for God’s grace.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
~Galatians 3:28~

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