Saturday, March 16, 2019

Hardened To The Way!

How is it that the Pharisees and Jews chose to release Barabbas over Jesus? What had Jesus done to deserve the punishment He was receiving? Absolutely NOTHING!

But the people hated Him because He told them that their deeds were evil. And they wanted someone like themselves and Jesus was and IS completely opposite of who they were.

John 7:7

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." 

And like my Master, Jesus Christ, I also testify that the works of this world are evil and have grown worse and worse over the last two millennia since Jesus walked this earth in a physical body.

The times we live in today are not much different than the days of Jesus earthly ministry, and I often wonder how could so many resist God manifested in the flesh? How could they deny His great grace and love? Why didn't they recognize their Messiah? And how could they ultimately charge Him with blasphemy? Crucify and murder the Lord of Glory who was absolutely perfect in every way, without sin and holy, keeping the law of God perfectly.

So many questions and I could go on, but the answer would be the same for them all. They were HARDENED to the WAY! Hard in the heart, depraved in the mind, full of evil and devoid of the love of God. And so is every soul today that is not filled with the Spirit of the Living God and pressing on towards holiness, righteousness, and the kingdom of God!

And if you are thinking within yourself that you would have recognized Jesus, followed Him, obeyed Him, and loved Him to the death, be very careful, and remember the first disciples all said the same thing and all of them left Jesus when the hour of evil came against them. Peter followed at a distance and later denied Jesus three times even after being with Him day and night for three and a half years!

Jesus said this to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:29-32

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt."
Even after the resurrection of Jesus, His disciples hearts were still hard!

Mark 16:14

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

The woman at the well didn't have a clue who Jesus was and didn't even perceive He was different from anybody else until He spoke the revelation He received from the Father about the woman's life.

John 4:7-10, 16-19, 25-26

"A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

"Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet."

"The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
Wow! What an experience the woman at the well had with the Savior of the world!

Paul had to deal with the same hardness of people who reject the gospel.

Acts 19:8-9

"And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus."

How easy it is to harden your heart to God's word, His grace, His love, you just do what comes naturally when the Spirit comes to convict and lead you to repentance, you just say no, you resist Him, you walk away and go on with your life, loving the pleasures of the flesh and this world.

2nd Timothy 3:1-5

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!"

Did you know that you can become so hard that you can be beyond feelings?

Ephesians 4:17-19

"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Hebrews 3:12-15

"Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

If the word of God pricks your flesh and His Spirit convicts you of sin, righteousness, and judgment, don't resist Him, surrender and humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up!

In Jesus,

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