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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Devotions on John 12

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Jesus and God Are One

by Wally Fry

John 12:44-50

“And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me” John 12:45

 

Jesus clearly understood just who He was and said it clearly here, so the only way to receive this statement is as a clear claiming on the part of Jesus that He was, in fact, God walking among us! This is so very important to the nature of what Jesus came to do, and what He is capable of doing.

In this same passage, Jesus states that He came not to judge the world but to save it. Of course, we all need saving from the very instant we become aware enough to understand the fact that we are all sinners by birth and choice. The question is never will we fall short of the glory of God, but when. That is simply a fact even though our nature is also to ignore or downplay this fact. Jesus has not come to judge us, because we exist in an already judged condition; Jesus came to save us from that.

Jesus and God are one. Friends, that is the key to it all right there. Jesus as one man could have only paid for one man. Jesus was a man, but not just any man. Jesus is God. God is the only infinite being who has ever been. The infinite nature our man’s sin requires that kind of power to redeem. Jesus did that when He paid the price for all sin, for all people and for all time. He offers it; will we accept it?

 

 

 

 

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Cowardice of Many Chief Rulers

by Wally Fry

John 12:42, 43

 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” John 12:42,43 

We sure like to throw rocks at those lousy Pharisees, don’t we? We like to sit back and judge them for their legalism, hypocrisy and rejection. Here is the bad news; we can very much be them. Atheism, the simple lack of a belief in any god or gods, has been replaced by the New Atheism. Rather than simply resting in their state of disbelief, the New Atheists have a plan and an agenda; that plan is the eradication of faith in general and the Christian Faith in particular. The tools of this are mockery, name calling, cultural pressure and even legislation. They want to put us out of the Synagogue so to speak.

As non-believers, we fall prey to this pressure and reject Jesus ourselves. Even as saved children of God, we fall prey to this and wander away under the pressures of this world. We too love the praise of that world more than the praise of God.

Friends, Jesus has this. Some 2000 years ago God made Himself in the form of the man Jesus Christ and walked this Earth for the specific reason to save us from ourselves and offer us a place eternally with Him. Jesus IS God and has all the power of God. The praise and approval of men today may satisfy us at the moment, but our eyes need to be on the praise of God in the forever.

 

 

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Prophecy of Isaiah

by Wally Fry

John 12:39-41

“He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them” John 12:40

 

Here, things get a bit complicated, as we see the incomprehensible balance of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. The prophet Isaiah had foretold the massive rejection of Jesus by His own people; in fact, in the eternal plan of redemption, this rejection was actually absolutely necessary. This is a difficult thing, for sure. It might even seem that God caused the Jewish nation to reject Jesus, as we see hinted at in the above passage. Yet, we see clearly the idea throughout Scripture that men make choices about God our Father and Jesus.

The eyes of the Jewish nation certainly did become blinded, rendering them unable to see. They absolutely made choices not to see the clear evidence before them. Friends, these non-believers hardened their own hearts, and God certainly allowed them to do that, and even knew that they would.

Despite our nature and tendency to reject and harden our hearts, God still reveals Himself to us all and offers all men and women the opportunity to come to Him. Jesus came as God in the flesh, not for a few, or a preselected group of humanity; He came to extend His offer to all humanity. The choice is ours and ours alone. As you take a look at your own relationship or lack of with Jesus always remember that. If you have that relationship always remember it as well as you move through a largely non-believing world.

 

 

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Lazarus a Living Testimony

by Wally Fry

John 12:7-11, 17-23

“But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” John 12:10,11 

The non-believing world in the day of Jesus was hostile to our Lord and got more and more hostile as His ministry continued. It seems fairly amazing that, in light of the clear and evident fact that Jesus raised Lazarus that the Pharisees still refused to believe in Him. Instead of believing, they were angry that others were choosing to believe in and follow Jesus. The solution of the Pharisees was to eradicate the evidence! Clearly, many of these men had seen the miracle of the raising of Lazarus and that many of those who chose to believe also had; yet, their response was to not simply ignore the evidence but to attempt to make the evidence go away. “If we only kill this guy Jesus raised from the dead, then our problems are solved;” this seemed to be the rather convoluted logic of the non-believing Pharisees.

Guess what, friends? Not a thing has changed. Even today, the non-believing world thinks if only they can erase the evidence of God, then God will cease to exist. Eternally sadly for them, that simply will not work. Just like the Pharisees could not actually erase the fact that Lazarus died and came back, the clear evidence of God and our Lord Jesus Christ likewise can never be erased. The only question is: who will we choose to believe?

 

 

 

 

 

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Evil Heart of Judas Iscariot

John 12:4-6

“Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” John 12:5 

Martha was not the only guest at this gathering who had something to say about what Mary was doing for Jesus. First, it seems beyond doubt that Martha loved her Lord, but was just somewhat distracted by the things going on; she had simply lost sight of priorities. Judas Iscariot, clearly, did NOT have good intentions in his heart. In fact, we know he rejected our Lord, and even today is eternally separated from Him in the torment of Hell.  What we see here is the posturing and preening of a man pretending to be righteous while really hiding evil in his heart.

Friends, that is true for many today. Of course, not all are hiding overt evil in their hearts while pretending to do good as Judas was. Many are simply convinced that they can actually do enough proper and good things to warrant the favor of God. It simply does not matter, as the end result is the same. We cannot earn the favor of our God, nor can we even do enough to balance the scales in our favor eternally. We may not be hiding the level of evil in our hearts as Judas was, but the fact remains that our hearts are evil due to the fact that we have all fallen short of the perfection of God’s glory.

We have a choice. Will we rely on empty posturing and good works, or accept the full payment Jesus made on our behalf?

 

 

 

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Precious Gift of Mary

John 12:1-3

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” John 12:3 

Many of us are very, very busy. Many of us are Marthas, so wrapped up in the things that we are “doing,” that we lose sight of many things more important. If we take a look at this story in Luke Chapter 10 we can see that Martha was “cumbered about much serving;” one translation says “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.

In the middle of all of the excitement and preparations, we see Mary seemingly doing nothing. In fact, in the Luke account, Martha calls out her sister for just that! To paraphrase, Martha more or less asks Jesus to make Mary get up and get busy doing something useful. Jesus quickly points out to Martha that Mary is actually doing the one thing that is important.

Friends, if you are one of the “busy” people, maybe it is time to take a step back and figure out if what we are “doing,” is the needful thing. Sometimes, let us just be a Mary, and spend some time with our Lord devotedly loving, worshipping and fellowshipping with Him. In this story, Jesus was heading quickly toward the appointed time at which He would allow Himself to be sacrificed as a payment for the sins of mankind. Today, this is finished and the sacrifice has been made. Will we respond like Mary, or will be so busy running around “doing” things that we forget what really matters?

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