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He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear  ( Matthew 11:15-30 )
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"One thing is needful"
The Word of God

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Where do you have Jesus? On the Cross, in the Tomb, in Heaven, or "within you?"

Luke 10:38-42 - Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

 

(See also: Jesus, the Word of God became flesh and Are we worthy?)

 

No matter how often, while walking with the disciples, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith or their pride, even until the Last Supper, this outward teaching of Christ was not sufficient for the world or them to conquer their sins. However, once He was in them, as light overtakes darkness, they were able to overcome. The indwelling of Christ, His humility replaced their pride. The Holy Spirit created a new spirit within them. "Be ye holy for I am holy" no longer appeared as impossible as before the indwelling. With the Holy Spirit, living up to the Sermon of the Mount no longer seemed like such a struggle as it was in the flesh.  

 

Are not many Christians still occupied with an external Christ? Do they keep Him on the Cross? Have they raised Him to heaven but left Him there?  

 


 

Human wisdom and intelligence are insufficient for fully understanding the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is necessary for having the Word of God fully revealed. See The world by wisdom knew not God .

 

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:7
 

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. John 16:12-13  

 

Why couldn't the disciples "bear them now?" They walked beside Jesus for three years, but Jesus was not dwelling in them until the Day of Pentecost.  

 

While reading John 14 (below), compare Peter denying Christ three times with Peter on the Day of Pentecost.

John 14 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.

Thomas said unto him, Lord, we don't know where you are going; so how can we know the way? Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it will suffice. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how do you say, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, you might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Ezekiel 11:19 - And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 - A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Luke 17:21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Psalms 119:165 - Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.

Romans 8:6 - For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 14:17 - For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 


Blessings from Brokenness: A Bible Study by Anne Graham Lotz

When we experience problems or pain, suffering or stress, rejection or persecution, illness or weariness, depression or death, poverty or treachery, hardship or hate … or anything else that’s unexpected, unwanted, unplanned … we tend to feel that for some reason God is not pleased with us. That we are not as blessed as those who 
have none of the above.

Yet, actually, the opposite may be true. Some of the richest blessings come out of the most severe brokenness. There are four blessings in particular that are uniquely reserved for those whose hearts and lives have been trampled in some way. Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph perhaps said it best when he named his second son Ephraim … because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering (Genesis 41:52).

One year ago this August, my husband of 49 years moved to our Father’s House. He left suddenly … without saying goodbye. The shock was horrific. But even during the days that followed, I knew that God had not been caught by surprise. Danny’s move was not an accident—at least from Heaven’s perspective. So I began to look for God’s blessings. They were easy to find because He showered them down in abundance, and is still doing so today. But I have had to choose to open my eyes and focus on the blessings instead of on the pain and grief.

If you are broken for whatever reason, be encouraged. Maybe you, too, need to adjust your focus. Could it be that God has also singled you out for His blessings?

The Blessing of Confidence in Faith

  • What was one primary reason Jesus allowed Lazarus to die, according to John 11:15? Give the phrase.
  • How was this same reason applied to Lazarus’ sister, Martha? Read John 11:21-27, 36-44.
  • In 1 Peter 1:6-7, what does Peter say is one purpose of our suffering?
  • How should this affect our attitude, according to 1 Peter 1:6?
  • Give phrases from the following verses that refute the idea that God wants everyone to be happy, healthy, wealthy and problem free: 1 Peter 4:19; Isaiah 48:10; Luke 24:25-26.
  • How did the Apostle Paul’s personal experience also refute the idea that a blessed life is a problem-free life? Consider 2 Corinthians 11:23-33; 12:7-10.
  • How did hardship affect the faith of Habakkuk? See Habakkuk 3:16-19.
  • How did hardship affect the faith of Job? See Job 23:10-12.
  • According to Hebrews 12:2-3, what was our Lord’s attitude when He suffered the ultimate humiliation, rejection and pain of the cross?
  • How does the writer to the Hebrews encourage us to handle hardship, in Hebrews 10:32-36?
  • How have hardships affected your faith?

The Blessing of Compassion for Others

  • What is one compelling reason God allows followers of Jesus to suffer? Consider 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.
  • How is this reason also evident as a result of the suffering of Jesus Himself? Read Hebrews 4:15-16.
  • When we suffer, especially at the hands of others, what attitude are we not to have? See Ephesians 4:29-32; Hebrews 12:14-15.
  • When we suffer at the hands of others, what attitude should we have? See 1 Peter 3:8-9.
  • What encouragement do you receive from 1 Peter 4:19? 5:10-11?

The Blessing of Companionship with God

  • What phrase indicates that triumphant suffering underscores your identity with God? See 1 Peter 4:16; Zechariah 13:9.
  • As Paul reflected on his experience of facing the Roman emperor Nero and an arena of hungry lions, what dominated his memory, in 2 Timothy 4:16-18?
  • What goals had Paul set for himself previously that would have carried him through the horrific persecution he experienced? See Philippians 3:7-11.
  • What do you think the “fellowship of His suffering” means? Put it in your own words.
  • How is the fellowship of His suffering reflected in Holy Communion? Compare Matthew 20:20-22 with Matthew 26:26-28.
  • Next time you take Communion, would you take a moment to thank God for His sweet companionship and the blessed privilege of being identified with Him in His death … and in His life?

The Blessing of Christlike Character

  • How has Jesus set the example for us? Read Hebrews 5:7-8; 1 Peter 2:20-22.
  • In 1 Peter 1:7-9; 4:12-14, what does Peter say suffering reveals?
  • What was revealed in the suffering of Paul in Galatians 6:17-18? Of John in Revelation 1:9?
  • Apply Malachi 3:3-4, 17 to the effects of suffering in a believer’s life. Write out the example in your own words. See 1 John 3:2-3.
  • When you are in pain or under pressure or being persecuted, what do your close friends and family see in you?

The next time you experience something unpleasant or unjust or unkind or undeserved, “consider it pure joy” because you know that there are blessings in store for you (James 1:2-3).  ©2016 Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Prayer, is available from major booksellers. 


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