Saturday, February 20, 2021

Thus Saith the Lord!


Every day or two I receive one or more texts or emails containing a link that will take me to someone giving a prophetic word for today. It seems many are looking for understanding of the times or direction for the future and some search for and listen to almost anyone who says they have a word, dream, vision, or revelation.

I don’t wish to follow in the footsteps of those who have missed it of late saying “God said” when evidently, He didn’t. God never apologizes for being wrong because He never is wrong.

Numbers 23:19  “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?”

With that in mind, I actually have a prophetic Word from the Lord this morning. If you have been searching for understanding or asking for direction, you can receive it today. I am confident and I can definitely say, “Thus saith the Lord!” on this prophecy. Before I get to the prophecy, let’s set the stage as we continue our study in the Gospel of Mark.

Mark 10 NKJV

17 ¶  Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

Matthew 19 and Luke 18 give us added details of this event. This man who came running and knelt before Jesus was, as Luke records, a rich ruler. By ruler Luke means that he was either a ruler of the synagogue or perhaps a member of the Jewish governmental ruling body of that day. He is a very wealthy man and from his position we conclude him to be of a notable family accustomed to power, privilege, and position.

Many scholars believe this man was young and it is certain he was eager and earnest in his anxious approach to Jesus. Both his address and his question show us what many believed about Jesus in that day. However, it also shows how people felt about heaven. It was believed that heaven was a place where good people who do good works get to go when they die.

“What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” he said.

18  So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

19  “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

20  And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

Notice what the scripture says about Jesus … no condemnation; no criticism; no rejection; no disproval. Jesus gave him nothing less than His full attention, heart-felt love, and honest encouragement.

21  Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

22  But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23  Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”

24  And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!”

25  “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

26  And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”

Their world had just been shattered. Almost everyone they knew was rich. They considered themselves to be rich. James and John’s dad owned a commercial fishing business and had hired servants; Matthew’s family were upper crust people who had the connections to get their son a very prominent position as a Tax Collector in the most fertile and wealthy part of the Galilee. The disciples were used to dining and interacting with people like Zacchaeus, Simon, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, wealthy publicans, notorious sinners, and rulers of the people in every city …

Their question was in earnest … they were greatly astonished … If it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God … “Who then can be saved?”

27  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

It’s not only impossible for rich men to be saved by their own merits, but also for anyone to be saved by themselves. As a group, Jesus said, rich people find it hard to trust God, they most often prefer their riches.

Peter is getting a little personally concerned about this time …

Bless Jesus’ heart. He is always having to stop what He is doing and deal with His disciples. If they weren’t interrupting Him, they were either asleep or missing the point. Now Peter is a letting his insecurities get the best of him here. He is wanting to be reassured Jesus wasn’t talking about him.

28  Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

Remember I said I was going to share a prophetic word that would help you understand the times and give you direction for the future? Well here it is … Thus saith the Lord! That’s what it says in the next verse:

29  So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,

30  who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.”

31  “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Those who put their trust in riches, power, good works, or high positions will pierce themselves through with many sorrows for it is impossible to cover your sin with money or good works, let alone when motivated by selfish and evil ambition. Being first in this life means nothing in the next.

If you miss heaven it will not be because:

·        Jesus does not love you.

·        You have not heard the truth.

·        You are too poor to help others in their times of need.

You won’t go to heaven because:

·        You didn’t murder anyone.

·        You didn’t commit adultery.

·        You weren’t a thief.

·        You didn’t falsely accuse or cheat people.

·        Were nice to your parents …

If you miss heaven it will be because you refused to follow Christ.

Jesus told a rich man, who was a good man and a prominent leader in Jerusalem named Nicodemus:

John 3:7  Do not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.”

Hear the Word of the Lord! Thus saith the Lord:

“Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

It’s not over … our hope is the hope of Christ that every rich ruler will leave all they have been given or achieved, (their title; their wealth; their power; their privilege; their position; their political affiliation; their personal and professional pursuits), to follow Jesus and come under His Lordship.

If this is not your hope and prayer, you may not be listening to Jesus yourself. Jesus, looked on the young rich ruler, loved him and had compassion on him and told him the truth. It is up to each person what decision they will make but the future belongs to Jesus and those who follow Him. Thus saith the Lord: “Take up the cross and follow Me!”

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Love and Mercy


This morning we are going to continue our study of the Gospel according to Mark by looking at three continuing passages from chapters 6 and 7. We will draw a conclusion at the end of each passage and when we finish, we will have put together an action list that is tailor made for the week we are about to enter.

Your challenge this morning is to take what I say personally.

Mark 6

30 ¶  Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.

31  And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

32  So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

33  But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.

Bless their hearts, these boys were tired. The demands of being sent out to preach and teach and cast out demons along with hearing that John the Baptist had been executed by Herod for doing basically the same thing they were doing was mentally, physically, and spiritually challenging.

Jesus had compassion on His disciples and wanted to find them a quiet place to rest. But multitudes still needed to be taught, given hope, and fed.

There will always be plenty of work for the worker. Almost 40 years ago my brother gave me a bit of wisdom these scriptures confirm. He said:

“Sometimes the Godliest thing you can do is take a nap.” (Roger Hammonds)

Now for the next passage: (Jesus taught the multitudes as the disciples tended to them and then Jesus multiplied the fish and loaves while the disciples served them. In the evening Jesus instructed His disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while He sent the multitude away and found a place to pray. After many hours of rowing hard against a strong wind, the disciples were worn out and still in the midst of the Sea … Jesus came to them walking on the water.)

Mark 6

51  Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.

52  For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.

The disciples were not against Jesus, and they were not in sin. Their hardness of heart was due to their lack of attention and conversation concerning the last miracle. Perhaps their own personal tiredness or weariness led them to go through the motions of serving Jesus and others without realizing what a miracle it was for Jesus to feed 5000 with a few fish and loaves. Here they were worried about a little wind.

So many times we get busy or perhaps tired and forget what we have seen Jesus do in the past. When we get into a situation where we need something, we can feel weary and become afraid.

That’s probably why the first thing Jesus said was: “Be of good cheer … Do not be afraid … It’s Me!” I’m right here with you. Come on … put your happy face on … I can handle this storm just as easy as I multiplied the fish and loaves. I know you’re tired or rowing but don’t let your heart become troubled. I’m here.

The last passage we will consider this morning is just below in:

Mark 7

1 ¶  Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.

2  Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.

Of course they did … that’s what they do. They found fault because they were fault finders. Look for something you don’t agree with long enough and you’ll find it, even when you are looking at Jesus, or His disciples. It so easy to blame others for our troubles and even our failures.

6  He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.”

The Pharisees claimed to love and worship God, but they hated His Son and everything He stood for. They pharisaical scribes were hypocrites.

In Matthew 23, Jesus levied 8 curses on those He identified as:

·        Scribes, Pharisees, and Hypocrites

o   Scribe – Someone gifted and trusted to search out, record and protect the truth.

o   Pharisee – A member of the elite group of leaders in Israel.

Jesus spoke so harshly against them, not because they were elite leaders entrusted to protect the people, (Jesus has nothing against scribes and pharisees), but because they were hypocrites.

When the embodiment of Love and Mercy (Jesus) has to tell you something is wrong with you, something is wrong with you, and you need to change. Listen to the people who love you … it’s not easy for them.

The word hypocrite comes from being an actor on a stage, speaking lines that are not your own, portraying someone you are not so to fool your audience as to your real identity. Don’t be a hypocrite.

Jesus loves you enough to be honest with you. Have you had a talk with Him lately?

So, our tailor-made action list for this week is fairly easy:

1.  Be sure to rest when you need it.

2.  Count your blessings.

3.  Listen to Jesus, He loves you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Power of a Parable


Mark 4 NKJV

1 ¶  And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.

2  Then He taught them many things by parables …

Jesus shared about the sower and the four types of soil; about the candle on the lampstand; the kingdom of God; and the tiny mustard seed which grows to become the greatest of all herbs …

33  And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.

34  But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

Jesus often used parables to convey truth. The word parable means to stand beside … like two ships ready for battle.

Parables offer people a chance to stand beside themselves and examine their hearts, their minds, and their deeds in the light of an illustrated truth. Parables are aimed at individuals even when they are standing in a crowd. It was the hope of Jesus that people would stand outside of the moment, beside themselves and see the truth so that they might judge themselves and not have to be later judged. The parables of Jesus are intended to help people find their way out of darkness and deception.

However, many people are apprehensive and don’t naturally like to see themselves in a bad light. The apprehension of individuals to expose themselves to such reflection causes many to not enter the parable but rather to avoid any truth they suspect will not confirm their current position. When a person refuses or rejects or rails against the light, things only get darker for them.

Parables serve a two-fold purpose of God – redemption and judgement. Redemption for the repentant sinner and judgment on the hardened heart. Parables are an opportunity to see ourselves as God sees us, but adjustments or changes of heart and mind are up to the individual.

Some hearers are ready to take a risk and enter the story and allow it to do its strange work and sweeten their experience with God. Others hold the story at bay and protect themselves from the light.

A parable tries to win a place for strange or unwelcome truth to burrow in the mind. It also guards the life of a truth until the truth can be received. Truth is the fruit of an encounter with God. Fruit has no value to those who have decided to not eat. Matthew Henry put is like this: “A parable is a shell that keeps good fruit for the diligent and from the slothful.”

The truth of God’s Word, like a seed, finds any crack in which to take root and bring forth its fruit. The key to making the most from the word of God is to allow yourself to enter into the story. This is the course taken by the Gentile woman who came to Jesus and asked Him to deliver her daughter.

Matthew 15  NKJV

22  And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

23  But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

24  But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

25  Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

26  But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

27  And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

28  Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

This woman did the best thing she could have done. She found her place in the Word of God and saw her path to redemption. The parable gave this Gentile woman a chance to enter into the kingdom of God and access the grace which is available to all.

Jesus was not saying this to the woman to be cruel. You see, something happens to a person when they hear the truth. Whether the individual is in a crowd or standing alone, the truth knocks on the door of a person’s heart. What they do with the truth will determine their salvation or their damnation.

This woman was not offended by the Truth. She understood the Truth and her daughter was healed that very hour.

There is power in the truth. Power to save and power to offend. Jesus said: Blessed is the man who is not offended in Me. (Matthew 11:6)

No one likes to be called a liar but if you are, you are … offense over or avoidance of that Truth won’t save you. Light has come and this is the condemnation: That men loved darkness more than light and would not come to the light that their deeds might be manifest. (John 3:19-21) Those who shun the light will remain in darkness.

Truth has a way of hardening the heart or setting it free.

Take for example those men in John 8 who brought the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and threw her down before Jesus in the Temple. Jesus spoke a parable to them: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

When Jesus spoke this truth, even though these men were in a crowd and all agreed to the task, they, each one individually, began to be convicted and found their way out of the darkness and into the light.

Each man stood there under conviction, the Word of Truth knocking on the door of their heart, deciding if they would risk opening their hearts and minds and allow themselves to enter into the parable and let the truth shine its light so they could see themselves as God saw them. This is a scary moment.

Sometimes we hear the truth from a spouse or from a co-worker or from even a stranger and it knocks on the door of our heart asking permission to enter. Only you can open the door of your heart in that moment.

If you do not open the door, you will grow a little more hardened to the truth. But thanks be to the grace of God, that the parables of truth will not change because you do not receive them. Nor will they leave you alone but will come back to haunt you in hopes of setting you free. If a person continues to refuse the light, the hardness will one day turn them reprobate, (Romans 1:28). Reprobates are people who have a mind void of conviction and without the ability to judge between right and wrong. People who have convinced themselves they are right when they are so evidently wrong. This condition of the heart and mind is a process and does not happen overnight.

Tell yourself you are right long enough, and you will believe it. The Bible says open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. It is important others see the light and experience the love of God when given a chance to repent and get right with God. We have been given the duty to be a light shining in the darkness of this crooked and perverse generation. Deception grows all around us.

Paul withstood Peter when Peter backslid and segregated himself from Gentile Believers because Peter didn’t want to appear unholy before the pious Jews who had come to visit. Peter later appreciated Paul saying he was a hard man but right. This was not Peter’s first time to be rebuked by a friend.

What shall we do in light of these things?

1.  Stand beside yourself.

2.  Open your mind to the Truth.

3.  Be a light for others.

Proverbs 26:9  As a thorn going up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Pressing In


Mark 5 KJV

25  And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26  And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28  For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31  And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32  And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33  But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

This woman heard about Jesus and used her faith to draw what she needed from Jesus. It appeared Jesus was unaware until she touched Him by faith. One touch was all it took, and her greatest needs were met. Pain; discomfort; embarrassment; fear; threat of being arrested or stoned; worry about finances; loneliness; isolation; stress; tortuous diagnosis; concern for her future; all the problems that come with anemic ill health … all gone! Now that was a good move on her part. She received some powerful virtue right there, and she knew it changed her life drastically and immediately.

The Greek word translated “virtue” in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible is also translated “power” in many other versions. It is the Greek word, “dunamis.” To best describe this word in a phrase would be to call this virtue the miracle working ability, strength, might, force, and power of God.

This morning we are going to discuss:

The Seven Virtues of Christ

1. Salvation

Acts 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (NKJV) 

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (NKJV)

2. Restoration

Psalms 23:3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. (NKJV)

Not only to save a soul from hell but to restore a soul from the hell they have experienced in this life … that is a virtue of Christ!

3. Revelation

1 Corinthians 2 (NKJV)

9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. (NKJV)

Ephesians 1:17 That … the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him … (NKJV)

We can know about God without knowing God. We cannot know God without the revelation which only comes through Christ. For the natural man does not know, cannot comprehend, nor can he receive spiritual things. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

4. Healing

1 Peter 2:24 Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. (NKJV)

James 5 (NKJV)

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

5. Provision

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)

Provision, like salvation, restoration, healing, and revelation, is a virtue of Christ and found only in Christ.

·        The fields will not yield their harvest without Christ …

·        Cattle will not give their milk but for Christ …

·        Trees won’t furnish their fruit if not for Christ …

·        Provision comes from the Lord! It’s a gift from God …

·        And God blesses the just and the unjust with life, food, and a chance to personally experience the virtues which are found in Jesus.

6. Empowerment

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (KJV)

Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (NKJV)

7. Regeneration

Matthew 19:28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (NKJV)

1 Corinthians 15:51 ¶  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 

Salvation; Restoration; Revelation; Healing; Provision; Empowerment; and Regeneration … these are the virtues; these are the powers of Jesus. Only Jesus has:

·        The Power to Save Your Soul

·        The Power to Restore You

·        The Power to Heal You and Make You Whole

·        The Power to Provide Whatever You Need

·        The Power to Fill You with the Power of the Holy Spirit

·        The Power to Make You Immortal

All through the Gospel of Mark we see Jesus going from city to city teaching the goodness of God, blessing the poor, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and rescuing those who were lost.

The woman in Mark 5 who was healed in Capernaum that day heard about Jesus and exercised her faith to believe He could change her life too. She reached out to Him in faith and virtue flowed to meet her needs.

Jesus was and still is filled with the virtue you need today. Perhaps you need peace in your life, joy in your heart, help for a friend, an open door for your future … Jesus wants to be your Savior.

Jesus will not only save you from an eternity in hell, but He will also save you from the hell this life has brought you. Today you have heard about Jesus, just like the woman in Mark’s Gospel.

What will you say to yourself, what will you do about what you have heard? Might I suggest you stand against the crowds and against the customs of the day if needed, and press in to touch Jesus by faith today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

More Than The Moment An Owl, Some Poems & A Picture


I don’t know if you have had a chance to visit the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, or not but if you do, keep your eyes open for 3 special things:

1.   An owl

2.   Some poems

3.   And a picture

The picture is a portrait of a man named Macajah Autry. He was the one of the defenders of the Alamo and to his credit, he also carved the owl and wrote the poems.

Macajah was born in North Carolina in 1793 and relocated to Tennessee after serving in the war of 1812. He left farming to practice law where he became acquainted with several Tennessee politicians including Sam Houston, Andrew Jackson, and Davy Crocket. Macajah supported Sam Houston, (Governor of TN & TX; Senator; Congressman; President of Texas), when he ran for governor of Tennessee. But it is believed his friendship with Crocket led him to join the cause of the Texans who were fighting for freedom from, Mexico’s revolutionary uncrowned monarch, Santa Anna.

On December 13, 1835, on his way to volunteer at the Alamo, Macajah wrote a letter to his wife while he was camping in Natchitoches, Louisiana. This is an excerpt from that letter:

"About 20 men from Tennessee formed our squad.... The war [in Texas] is still going on favorably to the Texans, but it is thought that Santa Anna will make a descent with his whole force in the Spring ... We have between 400 and 500 miles to foot it to the seat of government, for we cannot get horses, but we have sworn allegiance to each other and will get along somehow."

On March 6, 1836, Macajah Autry gave his life at the Alamo, fighting for the freedoms we now enjoy and must protect. He was under the command of Col William B. Travis, a 26-year-old patriot of the American Dream.

Why is Macajah Autry important to me? Because he is a cousin of mine. His daughter, Mary Autry Greer, later moved to Beaumont, Texas, and raised 5 sons who were lawyers, judges, and politicians serving our communities and the great state of Texas. My grandmother was an Autry, and I am proud to have a stake in Texas.

When I was a school-boy I remember hearing the battle cry, “Remember the Alamo!” When I’d play like I was a soldier with other kids, we would often shout that battle cry ourselves … on both sides … lol … as we ran together to meet and defeat the enemy.

Later on in life I questioned that battle cry. “Remember the Alamo!?” Wait … didn’t we lose that one? After all, this could just have easily been the battle cry of the Mexican Army as well – “Recuerda el Alamo!”

The inspiration we need to press towards the next battle and win the victory often comes at a high price. Take for example the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Victory cannot be measured by the moment.

Such was the case of the Cross of Jesus Christ. It must have seemed like a total defeat to those followers of Jesus in Jerusalem that Passover. I imagine they never expected to recover from His death or their loss. Hope must have appeared to be beyond the reach of mortal man … and indeed it was. There are some victories only God can reveal in His good time.

The crucifixion of Jesus was the most disappointing event ever in the lives of those who followed Him. It was still fresh on their minds that Resurrection Sunday when Mary told the eleven that she had seen Jesus alive. It was unbelievable. The Gospels record Him appearing to His disciples later that day and then in the evening He also talked with some followers who were distraught as they walked a lonely road.

Luke 24

13 ¶  Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.

14  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15  So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.

16  But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17  And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

18  Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19  And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

20  “and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

21  “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.

22  “Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us.

23  “When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.

24  “And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25  Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

The followers of Jesus saw what happened to Him at the cross as a defeat … But Jesus and all of heaven saw it as a victory.

All of Jacob’s sons saw Joseph defeated … Joseph saw things in a different light. It just took more than one moment to show that Joseph was right.  

Ten of the spies told Moses they would be defeated by the overwhelming odds … 2 said they’d win. All of them were right in their own time. It just took a little while for the plan to unfold in God’s time.

The message of the cross is a message of hope and redemption. Jesus paid the price for our souls to be redeemed from sin. The account also shines a great light on the fact that no event, past, present, or future, can stop the unfolding plan God has put in place to deliver His children from the power of darkness. Every step with God is a step towards victory.

King David proclaimed this truth when he wrote: “Why so downcast O my soul, put your hope in God. I will praise Him for He is my God and my Savior.” (Psalms 42:5;11 & Psalms 43:5)

Our main text for this evening will come from two passages written by the Apostle Paul who, like King David, Joseph, and Joshua, understood disappointment yet he remained victorious over every enemy of the cross.

1 Corinthians 1:18  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

“Remember the Alamo” to a Texan is no sign of discouragement or defeat. We are not ashamed of those who stood their ground, didn’t back down, and gave their all for what they believed. In fact, the enemies of Texas should fear and tremble and not consider it foolish when they hear the us say, “Come and take it!”

The men who died at the Alamo had but one regret. It was the same regret credited to 21-year-old American patriot Nathan Hale on September 22, 1776, just before he was hanged by the British for insurrection. His famous last words: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

These are not foolish words or a foolish sentiment. Those who say and mean such things are looking beyond the moment and they in no way see the moment as defeat. If anything, it is that moment that propels others to achieve the great victories that lie ahead.

The cross of Christ is foolishness to some but to us, it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:14  But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

There is no rightful claim to greatness without the cross of Jesus Christ. For this reason, come what may, the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. To live is Christ … to die is gain. Victory is more than the moment! Stand your ground and do not accept defeat. Jesus is Lord!