A first for Jesus

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Jesus performs his first miracle at a wedding in Cana —
John 2:1-11

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”
 

Since this wedding was in Cana, Jesus had grown up just miles away. Now Jesus and his first five disciples found themselves at the wedding of family or a close friend. Sadly, whoever invited them now was about to suffer a great embarrassment.
 
Previous to the miracle described below, Jesus had performed no miracles. By performing this miracle, Jesus began to claim his role as Messiah. By fulfilling the request of his mother, He honored the family (the first institution God created for humans on Earth).
 

5His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

Jesus performed this miracle not to quench his own thirst, but to satisfy the needs of others (like his anxious mother, the conquered Israelites of Cana, and two families who would have been embarrassed had the wine run out). And this wasn’t a watery wine. Not to repeat the words of the headwaiter too much, but this was the good stuff. In fact, it was probably the best wine this side of heaven.
 
By turning this water into wine, Jesus took his first steps toward the cross. When He lifted the cup of this wine, did He taste the blood flowing from His scourging?
 

11This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

His disciples believed — and hopefully you will also.
 
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A sad day for many American Christians

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The Shocking Speech Wheaton College Doesn’t Want You to Hear

In a 11 January 2019 Black Community News article, Ryan Bomberger provides perspectives on two speakers at Wheaton College.

This is the tale of two lectures at Wheaton College, a Christian evangelical college in the suburbs of Chicago. One was given in September 2017 and the other in November 2018. Though only a year apart, the responses to the two presentations were universes apart. The reaction is very telling and tragic for those who believe that a Christian education is different than a secular one.

The first speech was given by Dr. George Yancy, a philosophy professor at Emory University (huge thanks to Jamie Dean at World Magazine for excellent article on this and uncovering actual audio recording). It was sponsored by Wheaton’s Philosophy department and held in the esteemed Billy Graham Center on campus. It was entitled: “A Post-Racial America? White Gazes and Black Bodies”. It can only be described as an expletive-laced, pornographic, racist, anti-biblical screed. His theme? “To be white is to be racist.” Listen to these shocking excerpts from that speech here.

There was no backlash from Wheaton’s leadership. There were no letters sent out by any staff or student government leaders denouncing him or raising concerns about the hostile, f-bomb-laden speech. There was only internal praise by the school’s own Wheaton Record.

Then there’s that second speech. Wheaton College Republicans courageously invited me to speak about abortion and race. Keep in mind, there’s never been anyone—ever—to address racism and the abortion industry at Wheaton. In fact, no one has addressed the issue of abortion at their thrice weekly chapels but once (briefly) in many years. Wheaton, founded by slavery abolitionists, doesn’t lead whatsoever on the abolition of abortion. One would think a school that (sort of) espouses a prolife worldview, at least in text on its website (“followers of Jesus Christ will uphold the dignity of human beings, from conception until death…”), would encourage students to put that into action by attending the March for Life Chicago or volunteering at a local pregnancy resource center.

Needless to say, I did not speak in the center named after the school’s most famous alum. But I did speak to a standing-room only audience in another Wheaton lecture hall. My multimedia talk was entitled “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb”; it was an expletive-free, fact-based, statistics-driven, Biblically-rooted, deeply personal and grace-filled discussion on the systemic racism of the abortion industry and the hypocrisy of the pro-abortion #BlackLivesMatter movement. As an adoptee and adoptive father who was conceived in rape, I challenged students to see the most vulnerable, the most marginalized, and the most powerless among us as having equal intrinsic worth and God-given Purpose.

Six days later, I was severely denounced by a campus-wide email sent out by two Wheaton staff members and signed by three student government leaders. My entire message was branded as “offensive rhetoric” that made “many students, staff and faculty of color” feel “unsafe” on their campus. And now, the school has cancelled the College Republicans’ next event, because leadership claims their speaker approval process needs to change so Wheaton students aren’t exposed to such factivism (aka truth) again.

(Read more at Black Community News)

While this shows that at least one Christian college has gone full-bore liberal instead of full-bore Christian, this will not be the first time a faithful Christian and pro-lifer has been discriminated against. For examples, refer to my blog posts in

Since Wheaton College so flagrantly contradicted the examples of the Old Testament and the commands of the New Testament, maybe a review of how Christians must not discriminate racially and must not discriminate among Christians is in order.

Galatians 3:28 tells us that “(t)here is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In other words, there are no divisions between Christians (no matter the gender, race, or financial status) due to the uniting properties of Jesus Christ. Let me be more clear: Christ makes all Christians into one body. We must not discriminate against the other parts of our own body any more than the mouth should denounce the nose.

In the Old Testament, we receive the example of a leader who did not consider skin tone and a God who stood by his prophet. In Numbers 12:1, we find …”Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married” … In verses 9 and 10, God shows his backing for Moses when we see …”the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow.” From this, we see that God stood against Miriam’s bigoted disapproval of Moses’ black wife. Not only that — God punished Miriam for her bigotry.

Additionally, Christians are commanded to “(b)e devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” We should love other Christians like brothers and put the needs of other Christians over our own. Similar commands can be found in 1 Thessalonians 5:11; John 13:34; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2 and 32; 1 Peter 4:8; and 1 John 4:7.

An Old Testament example of a man who was devoted to his fellow believers comes to us through Joseph, who — when presented with a chance to get back at people who sold him into slavery and thereby caused him to go to prison — said “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

More offerings from Bible Lens in 2018

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Psalms 121:8 — The Lord will guard

The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.
Psalms 121:8 NASB

I compiled this image using Bible Lens during March 2018.

Hebrews 11:10 — the city which has foundations

for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:10 NASB

Bible Lens_1547260931219.jpg

I compiled this image using Bible Lens during June 2018.

Galatians 5:22-23 — The fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I compiled this image using Bible Lens during January 2018.

Central tweets to November

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Tweets important to November

30 November – Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

28 November – Psalms 87:4

Delight yourself in the Lord ; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

27 November – Jeremiah 33:3

”Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

26 November – Psalms 100:5

For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

25 November – 1 Corinthians 6:20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

23 November – Romans 15:5-6

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6 NASB

22 November – Psalms 100:4

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

21 November – Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

21 November – Isaiah 25:1

O Lord , You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

19 November – Psalm 3:3

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

18 November – Psalm 9:1

But You, O Lord , are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

17 November – 1 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

14 November – 2 Corinthians 12:9

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

13 November – Acts 20:24

But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

12 November – 1 John 3:1

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

11 November – Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

11 November – 3 John 1:2

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

10 November – Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

8 November – 2 Corinthians 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

7 November – Hebrews 9:28

so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

6 November – John 1:14

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

5 November – James 1:2-3

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4 November – Ecclesiastes 11:5

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

3 November – Proverbs 13:20

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

1 November – Pslam 42:11

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

My most important tweets of December 2018

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December tweets on the verse of the day from the YouVersion app and the Bible Eye app

As I prepare to study my Bible, I generally review the verse of the day (that usually has up to 6 illustrating images) by the YouVersion app. When I find it moving (which is most of the time), I tweet the verse along with the image that most moves me.

At other times, I see a scene that makes me think of a particular Bible verse. Now that the Bible Eye app has been modified to allow the user to pair an image with a verse, I have started doing that.

31 December – James 1:5

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

This is one of several images created through the Bible Eye app.

31 December – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

This, like most of the verse-of-the-day images, came from the YouVersion Bible.

30 December – 1 John 4:15

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

29 December – Luke 6:35-36

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

29 December – 1 John 2:6

the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

27 December – Matthew 4:4

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘ man shall not live on bread alone , but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God .'”

27 December – Colossians 1:16

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him.

25 December – Isaiah 9:6

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

24 December – Luke 2:14

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

22 December – Matthew 1:21

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 December – 1 John 4:9

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

22 December – John 3:17

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

19 December – Isaiah 26:9

At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

19 December – Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

16 December – Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

15 December – Matthew 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

14 December – Matthew 5:17

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

13 December – John 4:20

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

12 December – Mark 8:34

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

10 December – Romans 13:10

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

9 December – Proverbs 5:21

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord , And He watches all his paths.

9 December – Proverbs 13:6

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord , And He watches all his paths.

6 December – 1 Corinthians 16:14

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

4 December – 1 Corinthians 13:2

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

2 December – Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

1 December – Romans 8:37

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.