Today’s Gospel A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. -John 13:34 Reflection This is the Lord Jesus’ requirement of us. We should love one another, be tolerant and patient, and help each other. In the past, I thought that loving brothers and sisters is helping them as much as I possibly can when they have difficulties in life. Not until I read some of God’s words did I understand that mutual love is not shown through external formalities to our brothers and sisters but through help in our spiritual lives. God says, “These relationships aren’t established on the flesh, but on the foundation of God’s love. There are almost no interactions based on the flesh, but in the spirit there is fellowship as well as love, comfort, and provision for one another. This is all done on the foundation of a heart that satisfies God. These relationships aren’t maintained by relying on a human philosophy of life, but they are formed very naturally through the burden for God. They don’t require human effort—they are practiced through the principles of the word of God.” From God’s words I realize that true love for brothers and sisters is from heart and established on the foundation of God’s love, we love brothers and sisters because we love God. This love is not expressed in the material assistance we provide but in the assistance and support in our spiritual lives. When brothers and sisters have difficulties in life and are negative and weak in spirit, we can help and support them voluntarily to let them feel God’s love and understand God’s will, so that they can obtain spiritual nourishment to be strong and regain faith in God. In real life, sometimes we will push the Lord’s words to the back of our minds. We often fixate our eyes on others’ flaws and shortcomings, and always compare our strengths to other people’s weaknesses. It is okay for us to get along with others for a few days. But after a long time, when we see others’ shortcomings, we come to feel disgusted, thinking that they are hard to get along with. As a result, we can’t get along well with most people. Just as when some brothers and sisters have done some ignorant things because they are weak, we generate resentment or complaint toward them, and don’t help them with a loving heart. Sometimes if their words hurt us, we will have a grudge against them and be stewing instead of practicing tolerance and patience; and so on. These are expressions of having no normal humanity. If we get along with others in this way, gradually we will hold secrets in our hearts, remain friendly in appearance but estranged at heart. As a consequence, we will have no normal interpersonal relationships. If a brother sins against us, we get angry at once and cannot tolerate him. At the time we need to come in front of God and pray to Him, “Oh, God! The brother’s words have hurt me, and they are too difficult to bear. I feel so annoyed that I neither want to talk to him nor want to forgive him. But I know that this is not in keeping with Your will. Please help and guide me to live by Your word, so that I can put down my grudge against him and live in front of You.” After our prayer, we ponder: How should I treat him to be after God’s heart? God says, “Whether you have truly renounced the flesh, depends on whether you are prejudiced toward your brothers and sisters, and on whether, if you are, you can push such prejudices aside. … you will not loathe them, despise them, make fun of them, or give them the cold shoulder. If you are able to be of service to them, you will commune with them….” When we carefully examine why we always hold biases against others, we will find the reason is that we are too arrogant. We only allow others to speak or do something beneficial to us, but if what they do affect our interests, we will develop prejudices toward them and can’t exercise patience and tolerance. When we practice according to God’s word, take the initiative to open up our own corruption to them, and communicate our own experience and knowledge, they will also recognize the truth that they should practice and enter into. As such, we all live in front of God depending on His word, and also become tolerant and patient for brothers and sisters. Then gradually we can love each other and be in normal relationships. » Read more in these articles: • How to Help and Support Brothers and Sisters in Christ: 3 Principles • How to Get On Well With New Partner • Three Principles for Serving God Harmoniously
Today’s Gospel Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. – John 11:47-48 Reflection At that time, the sermons the Lord Jesus preached and the miracles He performed shook up all of Judea, there were a lot of people spreading the Lord Jesus’ name and the facts of His work, and more and more people were following Him. The Pharisees knew clearly that the Lord Jesus’ work and words were full of authority and power; if He continued His work, then religious followers of Judaism would all reject them and follow Him; and finally the Judaism would be in paralysis and closed down. All these made them terrified and anxious. For the sake of protecting their own status and livelihood, they spared no effort in condemning, making up rumors, and framing the Lord Jesus. What’s worse, they even colluded with the Roman government to nail the Lord Jesus to the cross in the end. It is evident that the Pharisees’ belief in God was not for pursuing the truth, nor were their intentions of working and spending to do the will of God, and pursue loving and satisfying God. So they were unwilling to seek God’s work humbly even if they had seen the authority and power of the Lord Jesus’ work. The Lord Jesus prophesied that He will come again in the last days. So, who plays the role of the modern Pharisee? Watch the skit “A Warning From History – Church Skit” » Read more on our The Pharisees page, or click on the related articles below: • How Should Christians Prepare for the Day of the Lord? • Why the Pharisees Could Not Recognize the Lord Jesus Was the Messiah • Learn the Root of the Pharisees’ Resistance of the Lord Jesus in the Bible from 3 Aspects
Today’s Gospel And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. – John 9:39 Reflection The Bible recorded that on the Sabbath the Lord Jesus healed a man born blind. Though this man who was born blind couldn’t see with his physical eyes, his spiritual eyes were opened. From the miracles performed by the Lord Jesus on him, he recognized the Lord Jesus was not an ordinary person and that what He did came from God. Because he knew only God had such power and authority that could make the blind see light again, and because he had such knowledge, when the Lord Jesus asked him, “Do you believe on the Son of God?” He answered without hesitation, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped God. How about the Pharisees? They were not blind outwardly, but their spiritual eyes were blind when they faced with the Lord Jesus’ work. They saw clearly the Lord Jesus performed many signs and wonders, such as, letting the blind see and the lame walk, walking on the sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, raising the dead, and so on. But they still didn’t find He was the Messiah who was to come. These Pharisees only judged the Lord’s identity from His appearance. They insisted that the Lord Jesus was an ordinary man who was the son of the poor carpenter Joseph. Therefore, when they personally saw the man born blind was healed, they didn’t see the being of the Lord Jesus’ divinity at all and they blindly condemned and denied that the Lord Jesus is of God. In the end, they joined hands with the Roman government to nail the Lord Jesus to the cross—provoked the disposition of God—and committed a heinous crime. Although they saw with their own eyes the miracles that the Lord Jesus performed, they were numb and slow in spirit. This is why they could not basically see that the power of the Lord Jesus was from God, and that the Lord Jesus was the Redeemer they had desperately yearned for so long. God’s words say: “Go, and tell this people, Hear you indeed, but understand not; and see you indeed, but perceive not” (Isaiah 6:9). Now, most of the prophecies regarding the Lord’s return have been fulfilled. If we are as keen in spirit as the man born blind, from the miracles that the Lord Jesus had done on him, who recognized God’s identity, and that He is Christ, God Himself, then we won’t miss the chance to welcome the second coming of Jesus. » Most people also watch Christian Movie Clip: “What a Beautiful Voice” Clip: How Can We Be Sure the Lord Jesus Has Already Returned?
Today’s Gospel And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go. -John 11:43-44 Reflection The resurrection of Lazarus made me see that the Lord Jesus is the incarnation of God, because only God seizes the key to Hades. Only God has the final say about when we were born and when we will die. Only God Himself can do this miracle. One day, I read a passage from a gospel book: “When the Lord Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead, He used one line: ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ He said nothing aside from this—what do these words represent? They represent that God can accomplish anything through speaking, including resurrecting a dead man. When God created all things, when He created the world, He did so with words. He used spoken commands, words with authority, and just like that all things were created. It was accomplished like that. This single line spoken by the Lord Jesus was just like the words spoken by God when He created the heavens and earth and all things; it equally held the authority of God, the ability of the Creator. All things were formed and stood fast because of words from God’s mouth, and just the same, Lazarus walked out from his tomb because of the words from the Lord Jesus’ mouth. This was the authority of God, demonstrated and realized in His incarnate flesh. This type of authority and ability belonged to the Creator, and to the Son of man in whom the Creator was realized. This is the understanding taught to mankind by God bringing Lazarus back from the dead.” From this passage I know that God’s words have authority. Although the outward appearance of the Lord Jesus is ordinary and normal, the words from His mouth are truth, with power and ability, and can control people’s life and death, and can dominate the survival of all things. This is also God’s uniqueness, and none of the created or non-created beings may possess it. » You may be interested in reading more: • Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth • The Resurrection of Lazarus Proved 2 Aspects of God’s Essence
Today’s Gospel I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. – John 6:51 Reflection When it refers to the bread which came down from the heaven, we are sure to remember that God sent manna from heaven to feed the Israelites in the wilderness. However, this verse tells us that the Lord not only provide us with material needs, but also supply spiritual life. The Lord Jesus has expressed many words to supply us based on what we need when He did His work on earth. Thus “the living bread which came down from heaven” refers to the Lord’s words. God’s words are very important to us, because Jehovah God once said, “And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live” (Deuteronomy 8:3). We shall not live by the material manna alone, and what we need more is the provision of God’s words. Actually, God didn’t only express His words to supply us in the past, in the last days, He will continue to speak and bestow us more words. The Lord Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:12-13). It is also recorded in Revelation 2:17, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna….” Only the truth that God bestows upon us in the last days can open up the mysteries which we don’t understand in the Bible. What’s more, it will provide us with needs of spiritual life, so that we can truly experience the true meaning of “man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.” » Click here to watch more: “Who Is He That Has Returned” Clip – Only God’s Word Can Give Man Life
Today’s Gospel For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world. – John 6:33 Reflection From the Lord’s words, we can see that the bread of God is His words—the bread which supplies us with life. God Himself is life. The life from God refers to His words. God bestows His words upon us so that we can gain the way of life from Him. However, many people pay no attention to pursuing the way of life to have spiritual growth. Instead, they pursue fleshly enjoyments. I remember the Lord Jesus’ another requirement of us, “Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for him has God the Father sealed” (John 6:27). We all know that food can only satisfy the needs of the human body. No matter how much food we take, the emptiness in our spirits cannot be satisfied. But the words granted by God can bring us eternal life. This made us clear that it is crucial to read a lot of God’s words and practice according to His words. This is the only path for us to gain life. Just as God says, “The way of life is not something that can be possessed by just anyone, nor is it easily obtainable by all. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, and so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life.” » You may be interested in reading more on our Eternal Life page, or in the recommended articles below: • I Finally Know What Is Eternal Life and How to Get It • What Does Obtaining Eternal Life by Believing in the Son Mean? • Does the Bible Contain the Way of Eternal Life?
Today’s Gospel Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for him has God the Father sealed. – John 6:27 Reflection We all know the meat which endures to everlasting life represents the word of God. As long as we have the supply of God’s word, our spirits will be no longer thirsty and hungry, but full of strength. The meat which perishes refers to the food we eat to maintain the life of flesh. Countless facts show that what we will gain in the end is vanity if we just labor for the meat which perishes. Some people fight hard for their food, clothing, housing and transportation. As time goes by, they have worked hard for most of their lives, and finally satisfied their fleshly needs; However, they feel more and more empty in their spirits, and to an extent, they even more feel life is meaningless. If we pursue the meat which endures to everlasting life, our spirits will never be thirsty as God promised. With the nourishment of God’s word, we’re able to reverse the limp, weak and dark spiritual state. Pay attention to reading and practicing God’s word, seek God’s will in something against our will and obey God’s arrangements, we will be filled with faith in God, and won’t be passive or complain when we encounter difficulties. It’s clear that our lives are supported by God’s word. Pursuing the meat which endures to everlasting life is the most correct path for us. No wonder the Lord teaches us that “Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life.” » You may be interested in reading more: • What Is the Way of Eternal Life and How Can We Gain It? • What Is the Narrow Gate? How Can We Enter It and Gain Eternal Life in the Last Days? • Disclose the Mystery About the Bible: How to Gain Eternal Life
Today’s Gospel And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. – John 6:11 Reflection It is recorded in John 6:11, “And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.” Many people are familiar with the miracle of five loaves and two fishes. From this miracle of Jesus we can see His unique authority and almightiness. It proves that the Lord Jesus is the incarnate God Himself. However, is Jesus performing this miracle merely to allow us to know His authority? Recently, I have read one passage on the Internet, “When the Lord Jesus saw these five thousand people, they were hungry and could only think of eating their fill, so it was in this context that the Lord Jesus satisfied their wishes. When He satisfied their wishes, what was in His heart? What was His attitude toward these people that only wanted to eat their fill? At this time, the Lord Jesus’ thoughts and His attitude had to do with God’s disposition and essence. Facing these five thousand people with empty stomachs who only wanted to eat a full meal, facing these people full of curiosity and hopes about Him, the Lord Jesus only thought of utilizing this miracle to bestow grace upon them. However, He did not get His hopes up that they would become His followers, for He knew that they just wanted to get in on the fun and to eat their fill, so He made the best of what He had there, and used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people. He opened the eyes of these people who enjoyed entertainment, who wanted to see miracles, and they saw with their own eyes the things that God incarnate could complete. … Even though these people did not know who He was or understand Him, or have any particular impression of Him or gratitude toward Him even after they had eaten the loaves and fish, this wasn’t something that God took issue with—He gave these people a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the grace of God.” From this passage, we understand Jesus’ tolerance and compassion for mankind. These five thousand people were not truly following the Lord, but just wanted to have a good meal, or saw miracles to open their eyes. Although Jesus knew that these people wouldn’t follow Him with a true heart after the meal, He still treated them kindly and gave them food to eat. After they were filled, Jesus left without a word, but He said a lot of words and expressed His will to His disciples. So we can know that Jesus has principles in treating different people. And these gave us a caution: If we treat the Lord merely as spiritual sustenance, but don’t put the Lord’s words into practice, then such belief is no different from those people that only wanted to eat their fill. Therefore, only we give our hearts to God and practice His words in all things can we gain His approval.
Today’s Gospel And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. – John 5:27 Reflection Jesus’ words told us that only the incarnate God can be called the Son of man, and only the incarnate Son of man has the authority to execute judgment. The Bible also prophesied, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). Thus, we are certain that God does the work of judgment beginning at the house of God in the last days to purify and save mankind by becoming flesh. Why does God become flesh as the Son of man to do the work of judgment? God says, “Because the one who is judged is man, man who is of the flesh and has been corrupted, and it is not the spirit of Satan that is judged directly, the work of judgment is not carried out in the spiritual world, but among man. No one is more suitable, and qualified, than God in the flesh for the work of judging the corruption of man’s flesh. … Satan can only be fully defeated if God in the flesh judges the corruption of mankind. Being the same as man possessed of normal humanity, God in the flesh can directly judge the unrighteousness of man; this is the mark of His innate holiness, and of His extraordinariness. Only God is qualified to, and in the position to judge man, for He is possessed of the truth, and righteousness, and so He is able to judge man. Those who are without the truth and righteousness are not fit to judge others.” »You may be interested in reading more on our Gosple of Jesus Christ page about Final Judgment, or in the related articles below: • God’s Judgment in the Last Days Makes the Overcomers Before the Disaster • Judgment of God in the Last Days Is on Earth • The True Meaning of the Great White Throne Judgment
Today’s Gospel God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. – John 4:24 Reflection God is a Spirit and we can connect with His Spirit using our hearts. When in prayers, we ought to speak the words within our hearts to God. If we just say something against our will, or speak empty words or make great boasts, then no matter how much we pray, God won’t listen. Just as the Bible said: “For as much as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me” (Isaiah 29:13). Not praying with a true heart is just cheating God, so we cannot be praised by Him. Share a paragraph of God’s word: “People believe in God, love God, and satisfy God by touching the Spirit of God with their heart, thereby obtaining His satisfaction; when engaging with God’s words with their heart, they are therefore moved by the Spirit of God. If you wish to achieve a proper spiritual life and establish a proper relationship with God, you must first give your heart to Him, and quiet your heart before Him. Only after you have poured your whole heart into God can you gradually develop a proper spiritual life. … If your heart can be poured into God and keep quiet before Him, then you will have the opportunity and the qualifications to be used by the Holy Spirit, to receive the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and even more, you will have the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to make up for your shortcomings. When you give your heart to God, you can enter more deeply into the positive aspect and be on a higher plane of insight; in the negative aspect, you will have more understanding of your own faults and shortcomings, you will be more eager to seek to satisfy God’s will, and you will not be passive, and will actively enter in. This will mean that you are a correct person.” » You may be interested in reading more: • 4 Tips on How to Have a Close Relationship With God • 3 Principles of Prayer Help You Obtain the Lord’s Response Easily • How to Draw Near to the Lord in a Hectic Work Life
From the outside, it seems that the temple was burnt down by the Roman troops 2000 years ago, but there is a deeper cause behind destruction of the temple.
Today’s Gospel when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. – John 4:23 Reflection God likes us worshiping Him in spirit and truth. Therefore, we should open our hearts to God in prayer, truely seek and rely on God. No matter how many words we speak, we should speak from our hearts, and say what we think in our hearts without any falsehood, concealment or fancy rhetoric, nor the empty praise, or the wish to deceive God. God’s substance is faithful. God’s love for us is real, not false; He always treats us with faithfulness and sincerity and talks with us in direct words. So God loathes our prayer in falsehood and disguise, and He does not listen. As such, we should first start by being an honest person in prayers. We should come before God in trouble or committing sins, being a person with our outside and inside as one in front of God. This is the door to enter into being honest. » Read more on our Honest Person page, or click on the related articles below: • How to Be Honest: 4 Principles • Being Honest in Recycling Receives God’s Blessings • The Secret to Improving Interpersonal Relationships—Be an Honest Person