How Would Your Neighbors Describe You?

By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

For our family devotions, we have been dealing with the issue of love. One of the Bible passages that we looked at was from John, chapter 13. In this chapter, Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, predicts His betrayal by Judas, then gives His disciples the following command:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34, 35).

As we talked about this verse, I asked my kids to describe for me the people who live in our neighborhood. They talked about some neighbors who were not friendly, other neighbors who always complained or caused problems, and others who would do anything to help you out. In response to their descriptions of our neighbors, I then asked them how they thought our neighbors would describe us. Specifically, would they describe us as a family who showed love?

I explained to my children that we should not be surprised to find differences in how we lived from the way many of our neighbors lived. In fact, we should not be surprised to find some neighbors who may not even like us because of our Christian faith (John 15:18-21). However, despite this reality, I told them that we should never have anyone in our neighborhood describe us as a family who did not live out a love for God and for others (1 Peter 2:11, 12).

So how would your neighbors, coworkers, etc. describe you? Would they describe you as a person (or family) who lives out God’s command to love one another? In a time when our world is full of hatred, violence, and discord, let all of us be reflections of Christ-like love.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:7-11).

Fasting – Amazing Benefits Part 3

by Bill Rudge

Three part series on the biblical principles of fasting. Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast, pray, study Scripture and eat nutritiously.

To download this podcast please click here.

Fasting – Amazing Benefits Part 2

by Bill Rudge

Three part series on the biblical principles of fasting. Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast, pray, study Scripture and eat nutritiously.

To download this podcast please click here.

Fasting – Amazing Benefits Part 1

by Bill Rudge

Three part series on the biblical principles of fasting. Bill Rudge has challenged thousands of believers and Christian leaders to fast, pray, study Scripture and eat nutritiously.

To Download this podcast please click here.

How Could Jesus Speak to Large Audiences?

by Bill Rudge

Scripture indicates that Jesus spoke to large audiences (thousands of people) by the Sea of Galilee. Skeptics said it would be impossible for Him to speak to thousands of people without amplification equipment.

However, I was in Israel at the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The hill forms a natural amphitheater that slopes to the Sea of Galilee and amplifies the speaker’s voice. The air above the Sea of Galilee is very static so that sound waves travel easily. It’s possible Jesus stood at the bottom of the hill and spoke to the crowd who sat above Him.

Matthew 4:25-5:2 gives the following account:

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him. Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them ….

While standing on the site of the Sermon on the Mount, I was talking in my normal voice to one of the pastors in our group who was almost 100 yards away, and he could hear me plainly. Then, while standing on the shore, we became very quiet and, although several hundred yards away, we could hear two fishermen talking to each other on a small boat.

Once again the Bible is authenticated and skeptics are silenced.

It’s Your Move, Daughter … Son

I gave you life
but I cannot live it for you.

I can teach you things
but I cannot make you learn.

I can give you directions
but I cannot always be there to lead you.

I can take you to church
but I cannot make you believe.

I can teach you right from wrong
but I can’t always decide for you.

I can advise you about friends
but I cannot choose them for you.

I can teach you about sex
but I cannot keep you pure.

I can tell you about alcohol
but I can’t say NO for you.

I can warn you about drugs
but I can’t prevent you from using them.

I can pray for you.
but I cannot make you walk with God.

I can teach you about Jesus
but I cannot make HIM your Savior.

I can teach you to OBEY
but I cannot make Jesus Your Lord.

I can tell you how to live
but I cannot give you Eternal Life.

Author Unknown

 

Have You Asked The Question?

by Jim Weikal

Three different groups of people — citizens, religious leaders, and the twelve disciples — asked “Who is this?” about Jesus. The first group were the citizens of Jerusalem at Jesus’ triumphal entry. “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’” (Matthew 21:10). They were told “the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee” (v. 11).

The next group were the religious leaders who watched Jesus heal a paralytic. This paralyzed man was lowered from the housetop by his friends in hopes that Jesus would heal him. Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20). The Pharisees and teachers of the law “began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (Luke 5:21).

The third group were the disciples. They watched Jesus calm a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee and “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him’” (Mark 4:41).

The common people asked “Who is this” because of His popularity. The religious leaders asked because of a theological question — only God can do what Jesus did, forgive sins. The disciples asked the question because of His power over the forces of nature.

How you answer this question of Who He is will determine your eternal destiny. Bill Rudge has written an excellent book, Who Is This Jesus?, which we will be happy to send you free of charge. Request a copy for yourself or a friend. E-mail brm7@me.com or write to P.O. Box 108, Sharon, PA to request Who Is This Jesus? You can also visit the store at our web site, billrudgeministries.org, and download the free e-book.