Jesus Says

Jesus Says Make Disciples

Jesus Says Make Disciples

Encouragment, Jesus Says
We end our exploration of Jesus’ commands where we began. We started with Jesus’ final command, often called the Great Commission. In that first article, we examined the command to make disciples, not in the sense of force but in the sense of inviting others to follow Jesus. But in that first look we ended with a question – What are the commands Jesus is instructing His followers to obey and teach? That question launched the journey called “Jesus Says.” To refresh our memories. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20, NIV) This simplest way to phr
Jesus Says Love Each Other

Jesus Says Love Each Other

Encouragment, Jesus Says
To be honest, we could have skipped most of the Jesus Says commands and gone straight to this one. The simple fact is this, most of the previous commands are found in this one command. But exploring all of the Jesus Says statements inform our understanding of this command. Jesus said, “This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:17, NIV) Jesus spoke this command three times in John’s Gospel. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34, NIV) And, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12, NIV) Finally, “This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:17, NIV) I think Jesus really means it, what about you? Jesus describes the kind of love He has in mind by saying, “Greater love has no one th
Jesus Says Invite All

Jesus Says Invite All

Encouragment, Jesus Says
It so happened that a Pharisee invited Jesus to share a Sabbath meal with him. It was a subtle trap. Also, at the meal was a man suffering from painful and possibly life-threatening swelling. The unspoken question was if Jesus would heal this man on the Sabbath, a no-no in the mind of the Pharisees. Jesus revealed their trap, healed the man, and challenged the Pharisee's assumptions (Luke 14:1-6). But the lessons were not over for this dinner party which brings us to our next Jesus Says command. As the guests began to take their places Jesus noticed them jockeying for seats of honor. This lead to Jesus’ encouragement to take the lesser place. “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11, NIV) But Jesus wasn’t finis
Jesus Says Beware of Greed

Jesus Says Beware of Greed

Encouragment, Jesus Says
On the surface, our next Jesus Says command seems limited to only a few. But when we dig a little deeper, think a little broader, and really understand what Jesus is saying we see that it applies to everyone. Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15, NIV) This statement was Jesus' response to a man who wanted Jesus to command his brother to share the inheritance. Jesus responded by stating he wasn’t the judge or arbiter between himself and his brother. Jesus then spoke the command above and went on to illustrate what he meant with a story that can be summed up as “you can’t take it with you.” Jesus concluded, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich
Jesus Says Proclaim the Good News

Jesus Says Proclaim the Good News

Encouragment, Jesus Says
There are some of Jesus’ commands that we elevate and others that we hide in a box. We don’t throw them away, we know better than that, but push them into a corner. Maybe they don’t seem to apply to us. Surely Jesus didn’t mean for us to do that. It must have only been for the twelve apostles or the folks that immediately heard it. Our next Jesus says command has either been pushed in the corner or in a few cases elevated as an idol. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadl
Jesus Says Keep Watching and Praying

Jesus Says Keep Watching and Praying

Encouragment, Jesus Says
I think the best metaphor for our next Jesus Says command is something many of us do on a regular basis – drive our cars (or trucks, tractors, and motorcycles). Driving requires alertness. We are constantly warned about the dangers of distracted driving and none of us would think of taking a nap while navigating the highway. Those same warnings and habits also apply to our walk with Jesus. Shortly after the events of the Upper Room Jesus brought the disciples to a park near Jerusalem to pray knowing that the hour of his arrest was near. Taking Peter, James, and John aside Jesus said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38, NIV) Jesus then went a little way away and prayed for about an hour. When he returned the discip
Jesus Says Remember Me

Jesus Says Remember Me

Encouragment, Jesus Says
One morning, long before Lambchow was launched, I sat beside a rocky stream just outside of Yellowstone National Park. I love these alone moments with God. Especially when they are in different surroundings. The morning was mountain air cool with just a hint of haze. My creature comforts were simple, a Bible, a large cup of coffee, and a granola bar. While I sat on a water bleached tree trunk I read, prayed, listened, and unexpectantly wandered into our next Jesus Says command. Based on what I’d been reading that morning I felt I should do communion as an act of obedient worship. Now I don’t carry around a ready to go set of bread and juice. All I had with me was coffee and a granola bar. So, while praying for the Lord’s grace I used those instead. I can’t say that some huge revelation
Jesus Says Love Others

Jesus Says Love Others

Encouragment, Jesus Says
In our previous Jesus Says command, we explored the overarching command to love God with everything we are. This is found in Matthew 22:37-38. Jesus’ command was a response to a lawyer’s question “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37, NIV) This fulfilled the lawyer’s question, but Jesus didn’t stop there. Jesus continued, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:39–40, NIV) It must have been world-shattering to hear the entirety of Jewish Law distilled into two commandments. And if we give this just a little thought it will be world shattering for us as well. W
Jesus Says Love God

Jesus Says Love God

Encouragment, Jesus Says
Over the past couple of months, we have been covering the commands of Jesus. Those Jesus says statements found in the Gospels. Some of them have been surprising, some familiar, and more than a few have been challenging. Today we arrive at the core command. The root from which all other commands flow from and must answer to. This command is both our greatest joy and our largest failure. What is this Jesus says command? Matthew records a series of questions posed by the power players of the day designed in some way to trap Jesus. Lastly, a lawyer posed this question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” We know Jesus’ answer, but pause here for a moment and consider the question. The Israelites of Jesus’ day were obsessed with keeping the Law of Moses. Large volumes
Jesus Says Forgive

Jesus Says Forgive

Encouragment, Jesus Says
By Ben Hoerr:  In this series of posts, we’ve been taking a closer look at 28 “Jesus Says” commands. Whether we grew up attending church or not, almost all of us are familiar—at least in some measure of detail—with Jesus’ life-changing teachings and memorable parables or stories. Of all the things Jesus said, perhaps none is more challenging and difficult than his instruction to forgive others, especially when we have been deeply hurt or unjustly wronged. In Bible times, the Jewish rabbis often taught the need to forgive others was limited to three or four offenses—after that, one was entitled to “hold a grudge.” The Apostle Peter might have thought his suggestion to Jesus that one should be willing to forgive “seven times” seemed generous. But in his typical re-interpretation of the cu
Jesus Says Give to God what is God’s

Jesus Says Give to God what is God’s

Encouragment, Jesus Says
One day the power players of the day set out to trap Jesus. They cleverly devised a question that could be only answered in a way that would either paint Jesus as a rebel or a Roman sympathizer. The question was preceded with flattery and puffed up praise. “Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” They asked. But Jesus was no one’s fool and saw through their camouflage of praise. It is in Jesus’ answer that we find our next Jesus Says command. But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what
Jesus Says Rest

Jesus Says Rest

Encouragment, Jesus Says
By Kerry Rohman My daughter Ava turned 6 years old this week.  The main event of her unicorn themed birthday party was a combination bounce house and water slide. My husband Jake and I played referee to over 20 kids that were bouncing and going down the slide. To manage this we formed lines and allowed only 5-6 eager kids in at a time to help prevent any emergency room visits. Well, I am happy to say that during the three-hour party, there was only one bloody nose and tons of fun. I would definitely not describe the party as “restful”. After the last table was put away, I was more than ready to put my feet up and relax. If you ask someone “How are you doing?” It’s not uncommon to hear something like “busy, but good.” Rarely do we hear “rested.”  Is saying “rested” just an awkward an