Wednesday, August 31, 2016

John 14: How to Go to Heaven

The thought of Jesus going away was unsettling beyond belief.
Jesus spoke to comfort their hearts, to give them needed relief.
“You believe in God,” the Lord reminded, “Believe also in Me.”
Remember all I’ve said and done, and the blind and lame set free.

“My Father has many beautiful mansions; He has one for you.
If this were not so, I would tell you. These words are totally true.
I have to go soon unto My Father. It will feel like you’re left behind,
But I will come again for you at precisely the right time.”

“I am going to prepare a place for you in the wonder of heaven’s glory.
In the interim proclaim to the world salvation’s wonderful story.
When the time is right and you have completed all your earthly toil,
I will take you unto Myself with rewards that won’t fade nor spoil.”

“How can we know where you went,” said Thomas with some doubt.
“How do we know where you will be and what you will be about?
If others ask us where you went, what do you want us to say?”
Jesus replied, “Tell each one that I will show them the way.”

“Tell them Thomas, I am the way. Truthfully there is no other.
Salvation Is won not by good works nor simply loving your brother.
No one comes to the Father above except He comes through Me.
I alone am the Mediator, the bridge between God and thee.”

That, my friend, is the sum of salvation. Jesus died for our sin.
justice fulfilled, we can stand forgiven, all because of Him.
Man’s salvation will not come through pastor, prophet or priest;
Nor does it hail from mystic religion that comes from far away east.

Only one stands between God and man, His name is Jesus the Lord.
Only He could perform salvation’s plan, man’s spirit to be restored.
He is the perfect Lamb of God, unblemished by mankind’s sin.
Fully God and sinless man, salvation is found in Him.

The Bible tells us how to be saved, to be sure of heaven to gain.
We place our trust in what Jesus gave, not in our earthly campaign.
We simply bend our knee to God, confess our sin and shame,
We trust Him to guide us on this sod as we rise to live for His name.

The Bible says He will flood our mind with salvation’s calm assurance.
His Spirit comes to live within, His presence our heavenly insurance.
Soon we feel His spiritual power, our mind and Spirit transformed
All because of our wonderful Lord and the saving grace He performed.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

John 13: Jesus Washes the Feet of His Disciples

The night of His betrayal had come; Judas had been corrupted.
Jesus was in the Upper Room with disciples uninterrupted.
Knowing He would soon depart, He sought to prepare His friends
Loving, serving, and caring for them to the very end.

Though he knows what Judas will do, He shows him no hostility.
Instead He washes all their feet to demonstrate humility.
Here is Jesus, the Son of God, wrapped in the flesh of man
Washing the feet of the ones He loved with servant heart and hand.

Peter impulsively blurted out, “Lord, you must not wash my feet!”
But there were instructions in this act, lessons we need to repeat.
The first is about humility and love, for He who is great is small.
The second is the cleansing of Christ, the greatest lesson of all.

Peter may seem hasty here, but he was one who quickly learned.
Upon hearing our Lord’s words, his heart immediately turned.
“Wash me all over,” Peter said, “I want to be totally clean.”
This is what salvation does when faith and trust convene.

What do I mean when I write a phrase like the one above?
Our only hope of salvation comes through our God of love.
All of our deeds are as filthy rags compared to God’s perfection.
Our sincere effort and very best deeds are worthy of rejection.

Having established there is no way to earn our way to glory,
It is now time to humble ourselves; examine the gospel story.
We learn how deeply God loved man, standing condemned by his sin;
That Jesus became our salvation plan that we might live with Him.

Having paid the ultimate price to satisfy God’s perfection,
He gave the Bible and gospel advice to lead us to reflection.
Only the fool says, “There is no God,” and pushes salvation away.
Even a simpleton understands there is an accounting day.

So here is the essence of the message that our savior was teaching.
It isn’t only the words you say that form your strongest preaching.
No servant is greater than his master or an ambassador his king.
If you want to avoid disaster, follow Jesus in everything.

Do what is right and you will be blessed; if you don’t you won’t be.
Follow the Lord in love and deed. Walk with humility.
Let the washing of God’s Word cleanse your soul each day;
This is how joy and peace and love come within to stay.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

John 12: Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;
but if it dies, it produces much grain
 (John 12:24)   

The timing here is very clear, just days before Passover feast.
The anger among the Pharisees was intense to say the least.
Jesus knew the time was near, His mission on earth to complete;
Preparing those who needed to hear, He told the parable of wheat.

Unless a grain of wheat is planted into the ground and dies,
It will not reproduce itself; it will not multiply.
Unredeemed flesh exalts this life thinking of very few others;
But godly saints pour out His love on many sisters and brothers.

Jesus calls every servant of God to make the proper choice.
Do you embrace the ways of this world or listen for His voice?
Those who die to worldly things, unfettered by fleshly goals
Are the people the Spirit uses to rescue many lost souls.

Jesus could have asked the Father to spare Him from this mission,
But not for a moment did He yield to this fearful position.
He affirmed His purpose anew, said “Father, glorify your name.”
He faced Golgotha resolute in embracing its pain and shame.

Suddenly a booming voice from heaven resounded from the sky.
Some of them thought it was rolling thunder; other’s an angel’s cry.
It was the voice of the Heavenly Father responding to Him then,
Saying, “I have glorified your name and will surely do it again.”

Jesus said, “This word was for you. God has spoken for your sake.
Even though I be lifted up, salvation’s provision I make.
The false ruler will be cast out, the kingdom of God introduced,
Salvation won, the devil stunned, with freedom from his abuse.”

“But why O Lord, do you have to die? Messiah lives forever;
We have been taught His glorious rule is an eternal endeavor.
How could it be the Son of Man should speak of His own demise?
This kind of teaching is new to us. It takes us by surprise.”

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; you may become sons of light.
Without Me, you walk in darkness, remaining the children of night.
Trust my Word; follow Me, soon it will be quite clear.
You will live with God forever in a Kingdom without peer.

I imagine I would have questioned our Lord the very same way
If I had been there with the Savior on that fateful day.
Calvary made the message clear and now we understand:
To live by faith is to walk each day trusting in God’s plan.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

John 11: The Resurrection of Lazarus

This is an account totally true but long and complicated.
Several directions I could expound, but on one I have concentrated.
You really need to read John’s gospel; read it with great care,
You will be blessed by the encouragement you will find in there.

Now Lazarus became quite ill; because of the sickness he died.
Martha knew Jesus could heal had He been at the man’s bedside.
Jesus understanding her pain and the weaknesses of all men
Said, “I came here to comfort you; Lazarus will rise again.”

Martha thought Jesus meant the great resurrection day,
But Jesus already rules over life; no grave could make him stay.
Even today when a loved one dies, his life has not ceased;
A believer goes to be with our Lord with no more pain or disease.

Jesus would do a miracle, but He wanted to comfort dear Mary.
He heard the agony in her voice and felt the grief she carried.
Deeply grieving Jesus said, “I loved Him too, where is he kept?
When they took Him to the tomb, He stood before it and wept.

He wasn’t weeping primarily to ease the grief within.
His tears fell because He felt the consequence of man’s sin.
He, who was the world’s Creator, who formed it in utter perfection,
Saw how Satan, God’s great hater, ruined it with sin’s infection.

How he groaned, troubled within, because of man’s sin affliction;
The way he covers his slavery to sin with elaborate pious tradition.
The world doesn’t need more Pharisees or man-made liturgy.
It needs repentance, from guilt set free, God’s spiritual energy.

This is what Jesus meant when He said “I am the Resurrection.”
Only God can cleanse our soul, removing sin’s infection.
Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha was sure he would stink.
But God is able to do far more than whatever we ask or think!

That’s when Jesus lifted his voice unto the Father above.
He prayed to God to minister for the sake of those He loved.
Then he shouted for all to hear, “Lazarus, it’s time to come out!”
Out from the tomb came the one so dear, alive without a doubt.

I once heard a preacher say, “It’s good He called him by name.
Otherwise all the dead would rise; nothing would be the same.”
That’s mere speculation on my part; it’s not for us to say,
But this I know deep in my heart: It will surely happen someday.

Lazarus came forth all wrapped up, His face still covered as well.
O how the joy flowed as Lazarus told the story he had to tell.
Many nearby who saw this thing quickly believed in the Lord
But Pharisees and Sadducees unleashed the hatred they stored.

From that day on they never stopped creating plans to kill him.
As he continued to teach the folks, it didn’t exactly thrill them.
Soon we will see a devious plot that would take Him to Calvary.
Our salvation would be blood-bought, from sin and death set free.

© Copyright 2016 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved