OceanSide church of Christ

Read devotionals for December 2021

January 1, 2022

John 10:17, 18 – Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Thought: Is it possible to love someone, then love them for a specific point connected to them? Absolutely! The Father always loved the Son. However, His Son’s willingness to lay down His life for mankind garnered that love even more. Notice Jesus was not forced to give His life for sinners. He plainly said: “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” His willingness to lay down His life is something that garners our love for Him. He was not forced to die for us, but He did.

Philippians 2:6-8

January 2, 2022

John 10:19 – There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

Thought: Jesus’ teachings and works were difficult for the Jews to handle. They often divided the Jewish leaders. When Jesus talked about laying down His life, some of the Jews had a problem with His words. Others, however, were intrigued by them. Too, they were still grappling with the miracle Jesus had performed. Division among these religious elite was not something they commonly faced. Most of the time they were in agreement, especially over major issues. Truly, Jesus was their thorn.

Matthew 10:34-35

January 3, 2022

John 10:20, 21 – And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

Thought: In these two verses, we see the two different views about Jesus that caused the division among the Jews. One group believed Jesus was a mad man. His teachings to them were “far out.” The other group coupled His teachings with His works. The miracle that He performed on the blind man could not be denied. Thus, they said: “These are not the words of him that hath a devil.” Here is where every individual must stand, in the valley of decision. Will you decide based on the evidence?

Acts 26:24-25

January 4, 2022

John 10:22 – And it was at Jerusalem the feast of dedication, and it was winter.

Thought: The setting in the life of Christ now changes. It was winter in Jerusalem. The event was “the feast of dedication.” This was not a religious feast of the Jews that had been commanded by God. The feast was established by Judas Maccabaeus in 164 B.C. He recovered the city of Jerusalem and purified the temple that had been defiled by Antiochus Ephipahnes in 167 B.C. The feasted lasted eight days with many sacrifices and hymns of praise to God. Jesus’ presence notes His Jewish commonality.

Luke 4:16

January 5, 2022

John 10:23 – And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

Thought: At the feast of dedication, Jesus went to the temple, a gathering place of the Jews. He walked in Solomon’s porch. This porch was originally built by King Solomon and survived the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar. It was probably renovated by Zerubbabel and renovated again by Herod. The porch offered relief from the elements. It was a good place to congregate for both teaching and discussion. Jesus used all avenues to communicate His message to the Jews.

Acts 3:11

January 6, 2022

John 10:24 – Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Thought: As Jesus walked on Solomon’s porch, the Jewish leaders approached Him again. They charged Him with making them to doubt whether He was the Christ or not. Then, they said: “If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” This is a common ploy of enemies. They do not listen to past statements. They do not admit to evidence that is given to them. They just continually probe in an attempt to get a response from a person that will enable them to entrap and accuse him. This is dishonesty on steroids.

Luke 22:67-70

January 7, 2022

John 10:25 – Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed me not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

Thought: Notice Jesus’ answer: “I told you.” Why were the Jews asking Jesus this again? They had asked the question previously, and they refused to believe His claims. Not only had He told them, He had proven who He was by his works. “The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.” He had healed a blind man who had been blind from birth. That one work alone should have been enough proof. The Jews did not want truth. They only wanted evidence to convict Jesus.

Acts 2:22

January 8, 2022

John 10:26, 27 – But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Thought: The sheep of a particular shepherd can easily be seen. They hear the voice of the shepherd and follow him. The Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day did not give heed to His voice. They rejected Him completely. Thus, Jesus said unto them: “Ye are not of my sheep.” It is sad when men reject the Shepherd of all shepherds. It is troubling when individuals do not want to be in the care of the Good Shepherd. It is distressing when sheep turn from the voice of the True Shepherd.

I John 4:5-6

January 9, 2022

John 10:28, 29 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Thought: Our text is used by Calvinists to teach a doctrine called “the perseverance of the saints” or “once-saved, always-saved.” Two arguments are made from these verses. First, the sinner is given eternal life upon believing in Christ. Second, no one can pluck the believer from the hands of God and of Jesus Christ. One, eternal life is not a present reality. It is part of our hope. Two, no man can pluck the believer from Jesus’ hand, but the believer can depart therefrom if he so desires.

Titus 1:2

January 10, 2022

John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.

Thought: Based on this verse, there are some who teach that God the Father and Jesus Christ are the same being. Is this what Jesus meant by this statement? Or, is Jesus referring to the unity that exists between Him and His heavenly Father? A study of the Godhead will show that there are three distinct members of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three beings, however, are all deity. They are one in thought and purpose. If one of them is rejected, all of them are rejected.

John 14:8-9

January 11, 2022

John 10:31 – Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Thought: This action taken by the Jews should surprise us, but it does not. It should surprise us because religious leaders of the day are not supposed to act in this manner. It should surprise us because they are resorting to physical violence against Jesus instead of answering His arguments with their own answers from Scripture. It should surprise us because the actions go against the evidence they have witnessed. However, we are not surprised because we know the evil hearts of these men.

Matthew 21:37-39

January 12, 2022

John 10:32 – Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

Thought: The Jews were quick to condemn Jesus to death. Jesus, therefore, acts as His own attorney. He asks them: “For which of My good works do you stone Me?” Jesus had worked many miracles. These miracles were undeniable. In other words, they were not fakes. They were real. For which one of these works were the Jews going to stone Jesus? Jesus points them to the evidence of His identity. Too, He manifests their corruption. These were men who completely ignored the evidence and truth.

Psalm 35:12

January 13, 2022

John 10:33 – The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Thought: The Jews heard Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God. This angered them. They charged Him with blasphemy. This might have been the right judgment had there been no evidence. Jesus had backed His claims with miraculous proof. No mere man could have done the things He did. This fact was abundantly evident, but the Jews refused the evidence. They said: “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

Mark 14:61-62

January 14, 2022

John 10:34 – Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

Thought: Jesus knew the Law, and He answered their charge of blasphemy with Psalm 82:6. The psalmist wrote: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” This was a reference to judges or magistrates. The Jews did not object to this application of the word “god” to men. If the truth were known, some of the religious leaders may have applied this word to themselves. Jesus argued that if the word “gods” could be applied to other men, why couldn’t it apply to Him?

Exodus 7:1

January 15, 2022

John 10:35, 36 – If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God.

Thought: Jesus makes His case very logically. The writer of Psalm 82 called men gods. This Scripture was sure and authoritative. Jesus noted that it “cannot be broken.” If it were authorized in the Law, these religious leaders should not object to its being applied to Jesus. Too, if they had understood His relationship to the heavenly Father, they certainly would not have objected. Jesus was a master at using the teaching of the Law against the Jews. It was another reason for their hatred of Him.

Luke 1:35

January 16, 2022

John 10:37 – If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

Thought: Jesus continued to challenge the Jews with His works. He knew they were real. They involved miraculous abilities that belonged only to God. They could only be done by someone endowed with power from God. The Jewish leaders could reject the works if they desired, but Jesus knew that common people accepted them. Jesus told the Jews: “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.” The opposite of this was also true. “If I do the works of my Father, believe me.”

Matthew 11:20-24

January 17, 2022

John 10:38 – But if I do, though ye believe me not, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Thought: Jesus knew the religious leaders did not believe His claims. This is why He continued to point them to His works. The works were undeniable. The works confirmed His claims. If they honestly looked at the evidence of the works they would know, and believe, that the Father was in Him, and that He was in the Father. This was not something the Jews wanted to admit. The evidence only angered them more. Isn’t it interesting how truth is a threat to some people? Thus, they reject it.

Acts 4:8-12

January 18, 2022

John 10:39, 40 – Therefore they sought again to take him; but he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

Thought: The Jews were ruthless individuals. They did not hesitate to do away with any threats to their power or positions. Rather than accept the truth of Jesus’ miracles, they “sought again to take him.” Jesus, however, “escaped out of their hand.” Why would Jesus seek to escape? The time of His death was not at hand. Jesus would not allow man to hasten the plan of God. He came only to do God’s will. On this occasion, He escaped across the Jordan River “where John at first baptized.”

Luke 4:29-31

January 19, 2022

John 10:41, 42 – And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle; but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there.

Thought: It was difficult for Jesus to find a place of seclusion. The common people were always seeking Him out. On this occasion, “many resorted unto him.” These individuals had been influenced by the teachings of John the Baptist. Even though John performed no miracles to confirm his words, they found that his message about Jesus rang true. Jesus’ message and His works proved the teachings of John to be right. Thus, “many believed on him there.” Honest hearts will always believe.

Matthew 3:11-12

January 20, 2022

John 11:1 – Now a certain man was sick, name Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

Thought: What is recorded here is a very common occurrence today. In various homes throughout the world, individuals become sick. What makes this case unique is that it involves some very close friends of Jesus. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus often had Jesus in their home. They were believers. They were loyal disciples of the Christ. When those who are close to us become sick, the situation becomes very serious. Surely Jesus would respond quickly to this matter. We know He has the power to heal.

Luke 10:38-39

January 21, 2022

John 11:2 – (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

Thought: There are two times during the Lord’s ministry that women anointed Jesus. Which one of the incidents is referenced here is of much debate among the commentators. Which time is not nearly as important as the fact itself. Mary manifested much humility, love, and sacrifice when she bowed herself before her Master as a diligent servant. There are many today who call themselves Christians who will not do lowly tasks. Most likely, they would not have done what Mary did for Jesus.

Luke 7:36-38

January 22, 2022

John 11:3 – Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

Thought: Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus about the condition of Lazarus. They did this for several reasons. First, they were Jesus disciples. Second, they knew that Jesus loved Lazarus dearly. Third, they knew of the Lord’s ability to heal the sick. They contacted Jesus because He was their hope. We should seek the same help today in our affliction, grief, and despair. All it takes is a simple message. All it takes is calling unto Him for help. My friends, Jesus is still the hope for all men.

I Timothy 1:1

January 23, 2022

John 11:4 – When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Thought: Jesus knew the purpose of this sickness. It would be used to bring glory to the Son of God. It is ironic that bad things sometime have to happen in order for good things to be brought to pass. In such times, it is hard for man to be patient. It is hard to wait. It is difficult to endure. Man longs for an immediate response from God. God’s plans, however, run deeper than man’s longings. God’s plans are more important that man’s wants. God often tells us: “Stand, and see the glory that awaits!”

Exodus 14:10-14