Jesus Commandments

Posted: 27th July 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

3. The Command to “Rejoice”
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12).

“The crown of martyrdom has been thought to be the brightest that any of the redeemed shall wear…” (Albert Barnes) Following our Lord’s commands are difficult, some more at times than others, nonetheless, Jesus’s command to “rejoice” in the midst of suffering and trials is very challenging. It is easy to rejoice on the mountaintop of praise and thanksgiving, but quite another thing to rejoice in the valley of despair. Learning to truly follow this command means to be completely surrendered to His Lordship – no matter what the cost! It is a journey that will cost you your life.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 24th July 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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2. The Command to “Follow”
“Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” (NLT, Matthew 4:19).

Once we truly repent and throw off the shackles of pride and self-reliance, we must choose to follow Christ. It is a day to day, sometimes minute to minute, continuous struggle between the old self and the new, reborn self. In Matthew 16, “… Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. “ (Matthew 16:24)

What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD)” becomes our motto. Not merely a pithy slogan, it becomes the real guiding criteria by which we base all of our choices and decisions.

Jesus Commandments

Posted: 18th July 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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1. The Command to “Repent”
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17)

We all must repent to be part of the Kingdom of Heaven. In our Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9), Jesus teaches us that our deepest prayer need is for us to change. Repentance in the starting point of that journey. We need to stop praising ourselves and know that our Heavenly Father is holy. We need to get down from our thrones and put Jesus in His rightful place in our lives. We need to forget our selfish agendas and schedules, be emptied of self, so that God’s will can be done in and through us.

In Galatians 5, Paul says we cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, if we do not live by the Holy Spirit’s power to lead and guide our actions. Pastor Rick Warren said this about our choices in life, “we either do God things or selfish things.” We live in a “sin-broken” world. We are affected by it everyday. We must surrender “our will” to allow the Holy Spirit to empower our lives. In King David’s awesome testimony of repentance he cries “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:17) We must repent to love Jesus.

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus left his disciples with this final commandment. We call it the “Great Commission.”, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-2, NLT) Jesus said Go! Make disciples of all nations, baptize them, and teach them “His commandments.”

Starting with the Book of Matthew, it is written that after Jesus commanded John to baptize Him, he was led into the dessert. From His temptations we learned that Jesus proclaimed “God is our provider. He is Holy and He is sovereign over all.” One could argue that Christ’s responses to Satan’s temptations in the dessert were His commandments. In my generalized summary of Christ’s responses, I believe Christ’s first response was “to live by faith in God.” His second response was “to trust in God’s word.” And His last response was “to worship God alone.” We are tempted in in the same way as Christ. There is no temptation we can not overcome, if we know His word. When Jesus returned from the desert He began His ministry and declared the favor of the Lord and His words are the food by which all Christians truly live and worship. I believe the most important of all His commands was given in John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” I believe if we all could just get our heads around that one, God’s Kingdom would come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Keeping the commands of Jesus begins with recognizing and knowing them. The following are a collection of Jesus’ commands (taken directly from the Bible’s “Red Letters”, various translations) are presented, as best as I can manage, in New Testament order. My main goal is to help you along your worship journey with Christ. As you read through Christ’s quoted commandments, pray for God to help you understand, observe and obey them throughout your life.

The Message is Still the Same

Posted: 31st May 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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After being filled with the Holy Spirit, and led into the desert to be tempted, Jesus begins his ministry by returning to his hometown of Nazareth and reading the Gospel from the scroll of Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
(NLT, Luke 4:18)

In Mark 1:14-15 Jesus says, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Jesus sends out 72 evangelists instructing them to “Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:9)

Our message to a lost world is still the same. “Bring the Good News to the poor.” Freedom, healing, truth, and God’s favor are all key components in our Gospel. But, repentance is necessary to start the journey of faith with Christ.

None are Expendable!

Posted: 30th April 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Not expendableGod’s fingerprints are on all of His creation. Still, His word tells us that Man is His most prized creation, and I believe His greatest disappointment. (Genesis 6:6) His Word says He delights in us and if we love one another, we are His children. He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, so that we could eternally live with Him. How precious we are to Him. Yet, many stubbornly refuse to recognize Jesus Christ as our Savior.

God loves us so much that He frees us to make our own choices. Good or bad! Right or wrong! He gave free will. There is an old adage by Kahlil Gibran; “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” This freedom separates us from all other earthly creation. And every time it is exercised, it defines how great our God loves us.

He gives us all the freedom to make choices for ourselves or for His glory. No one is born by mistake. God has a plan for every one that has received His gift of life. No one else can accomplish what God has purposed for you! Just as you are unique, your purpose in His story is uniquely yours. To live a life in testimony to His glory is to live a life of obedience to His commandments. His will for your life is not hard to figure out. It’s not a mystery. It’s so easy children do it without question. Love Him! Love Others!

Your love is important to ushering in the kingdom of Heaven.

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See!

Posted: 24th March 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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Your imagination plays a critical role in determining your reaction when trouble comes. Paul says this, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (NIV, Philippians 4:8) Jesus said this “22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (NIV, Matthew 6:22-23) The Living Bible puts it this way “If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul. 23 But if your eye is clouded with evil thoughts and desires, you are in deep spiritual darkness. And oh, how deep that darkness can be!”

It is not wise or beneficial for anyone to clutter their mind with an imagination consumed with worldliness. Entertainment that focuses on delivering messages of fantasy, horror, lust, greed, corruption, suspense and drama, is the artwork of the world. Once this information is planted in your imagination it works it way into your entire body. You will respond and react according to what fills your heart and soul. Fill it with love, humility, service, and truth.

“Art is meant to inspire, not dissuade, pervert or subjugate.”

Deny Yourself!

Posted: 7th February 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship
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It is very difficult for us to change a bad habit or poor attitude. We know ourselves so well that we become comfortable with ourselves. Comfortable with complacency. Comfortable in doing “just enough.” We avoid going the “extra mile” and any personal sacrifice because its disrupts our agenda of comfort. It makes us feel like we are losing control.

We are people with “hope” and we should embrace change. We are not perfect, but we are in the process of being perfected in Christ. The adversary to our faith is a culture that promotes individualism and criticism. Though our parts have different functions, the goal of the Body of Christ is unity – to become like Jesus. We need to rid ourselves of our personal agendas for His will to be done in our lives. “To serve and not be served!”

Each day is a new creation of God’s mercy to give us time to love one another. The seed of all sin is selfishness. If planted, it will raise a crop of suffering and death. Idleness, personal comfort, and doing just enough is not living – it’s surviving. Looking to fill the needs of others, being truly kind, enjoying the opportunities to sacrifice personal comfort to help others, these are Christ-like actions and they reflect passionate, dedicated followers of Jesus.

Matthew 16:23-25
“But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.… ” (Berean Study Bible)

Before You Speak, Think TRUTH

Posted: 19th January 2017 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

Is it the TRUTH?
Does it REVERE God?
Does it reflect THANKFULNESS?

The words we speak reflect how Jesus influences and impacts our lives. He is the Way, the Truth an the Life. Speak words that show the Way (Love). Speak truth! Speak life!

Do you really love Jesus?

Posted: 5th December 2016 by Marshall Mabry in Praise and Worship

christs-loveThe greatest commandment is to love God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s pretty much everything that makes you — you! Of all the desires you have in this world, is Jesus the first and foremost. Do you love Him more than your spouse, your children, your friends, your home, your hobbies, your job? Do you talk to Him as much as you do with your family, friends or co-workers? Do you spend as much intentional time working with Him, fishing with Him, watching the game with Him, shopping with Him, eating, dancing, playing — living with Him as you do yourself? Do you sing to yourself more than you do to Him? Is He just the prayer before a meal, at bedtime, or in the morning? Do you only meet with Him on Sunday?

His love is endless, everlasting, and it never fails. He is faithful, good, and patient. He will never leave or forsake us. In this world, our love compared to His tends to be lop-sided, but may our intentions never be less than complete surrender to His will. We were His in the beginning, we are His now, and we will be His forevermore. This journey of life through His story is our lesson in love. It will be a lesson that takes an eternity to perfect. Only Jesus Christ is worthy of all praise!