Choose Jesus, Choose life!(Jesus or Barabbas?)

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Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash

Choose Jesus, choose life! (Jesus or Barabbas?)

Reading: Matthew 27: 1-26; Luke 23:1-25

  Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  – Matthew 27:17

Jesus was ordered to be arrested by the chief priests. The chief priests incited some people to bring false accusations against Jesus. (Matthew 27:1-2) Then Jesus was brought to Pilate. And the governor asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, ‘It is as you say’. Matthew 27:11

After examining Jesus and talking with Him, Pilate did not find any fault against Jesus.

“And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;  no, neither did Herod, for sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.” (Luke 23:13-15)

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, it was also the feast of the governor.

 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy, (Matthew 27:15-17).

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:.20)

Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”

But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”  (Matthew 27:23)

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.

And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—  who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)

Pilate felt he was powerless over the cry of the people of Israel, so he gave in to their demand. “Let Him be crucified!”. It was not Pilate’s wish or plan to execute Jesus, but Pilate did not want an uprising over the life of one person. Sad to say, it was the religious leaders of Israel who instigated the penalty for Jesus because of jealousy and envy.  (Matthew 27:18)

Sad to say when Pilate asked the people whom to release, the people chose Barabbas, a rebel and a murderer.

Reflection:

The people of Israel chose Barabbas over Jesus. They chose a murderer over a sinless man, similar to the people of today’s generation. Sad to say even today, it seems some people choose a life of rebellion against God. Thus, they choose death instead of life. Some people end up dead-physically and spiritually. They choose rebellion, a life away from God, therefore they make a choice of death over a life with Jesus. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life. If we choose Jesus, we choose life.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, it is our sin that crucified You on the cross. Lord forgive us, help us choose You, help us choose life and not death.

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

 

 

 

Because of Jesus, I am a child of God!

 

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:12 (NKJV)

Reading: John 1:1-12

(Galatians 3.26; Ephesians 3:6, Romans 8:16)

Title: Because of Jesus, I am a child of God.

The apostle John wrote his testimony about knowing Jesus who was there from the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2). John also testified that all life on earth was made through Jesus. (John 1.3). Jesus was life and the light of men (v.5). John further testified that another man, also named John, was a witness to the deity of Jesus.

“He was not that light but was sent to bear witness of that light”, (John 1:6).

The apostle John was referring to John the Baptist.

The apostle John further explained, Jesus was sent by God into the world, but the world did not receive Him. (v.11)

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1.12

What a great truth and blessing to be called ‘children of God’, because by nature, we, the people of the world are all born with sin.  (Psalm 51:5).

Ephesians 2:3 says we are by nature children of wrath.  And because of Jesus we are now called children of God.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”. (Galatians 3:26)

 He also wrote in Romans 8:16-17

 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God… heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”.

Reflection:

Through the Lord Jesus Christ we are adopted into the family of God and become part of His Kingdom.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, because of You, I am now a child of God, and a fellow heir with You. I am forever grateful to You!

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

John 1.12 PDF copy

In Asia_Spring 2019

David & Vicki Creel in Thailand and Indonesia, February 15-28, 2019.

 Indonesia

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David fixing a mixer in Jakarta.

 

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The user interface of the transmitter that David worked on

 

 

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David attended a local church in Jakarta

 

Thailand
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Praying for the many people in Thailand to be set free from the idolatry of Buddhism.  

 

 

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Riverside in Bangkok, Thailand

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Vicki helping with FEBC  Thailand admin staff .

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FEBC staff working with the Bible correspondence course

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FEBC Thailand Daily Staff Devotion & Prayer

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 David & Vicki enjoyed a lunch treat of Northern Thai flavor from the FEBC Thailand Director.

Creel Spring 2019 Prayer Letter-PDF

Jesus, the Eternal God

 

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Jesus, the Eternal God

Reading: John 1:1-11

v.1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (NKJV)

//Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

John 8:58 Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was I AM

Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 

John 17: 5 -And now, O Father, glorify Me together [b]with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Revelation 1:8- “I am the Alpha and the Omega, [d]the Beginning and the End,” says the [e]Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 19:3 – He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 

 The apostle John wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was there in the beginning with God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2NKJV).  John testified that Jesus was there all along with God even from before time began.  John saw and was with Jesus for three years during his lifetime. John saw Jesus in the flesh. John ate and talked with Jesus. They walked and traveled together on foot and in the boat. They prayed together and sang praises to God together. John heard directly from Jesus when He spoke and taught the kingdom of God. They laughed and cried together. John knew Jesus grew up in Nazareth. And John knew Jesus grew up in Galilee with His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. John knew even the brothers and sisters of Jesus. John saw Jesus got tired and hungry from a long day.

John saw Jesus wept when His friend Lazarus died. John saw Jesus became emotional and had expressed His frustration when He saw the temple of God was not revered by the people. John saw Jesus in the human flesh during his lifetime. However, after Jesus died on the cross and rose again, John was filled by the Holy Spirit, along with the other disciples.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God revealed to John that Jesus was there from the beginning with God. (John 17:5, Genesis 1.1; Revelation 1:8, Revelation 19.3).

Reflection: Jesus is the eternal God. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8) Jesus is the Great I AM (John 8:58, Exodus 3.14).  He is always with God the Creator.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise and worship You, my Eternal Creator. You are from the beginning to everlasting, You are there, the Existing One. From eternity to eternity, Lord Jesus You are there, who was and who is and is to come. Blessed be Your Holy name Lord Jesus, for You are God and Lord with the Father.

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

John1.1 study in PDF

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Jesus triumphed over temptation!

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Day 11

Title: Jesus triumphed over temptation!

Reading:    Matthew 4: 5-7

v. 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again,‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

Jesus was in the wilderness praying and fasting.  His earthly body was tired and hungry.  The devil took the opportunity to tempt Him. (Matthew 4:1-2) The devil tempted Jesus to use His power to prove Himself as the Son of God. The devil knew Jesus had the power to turn the stones into bread since He needed food for His body’s nourishment, (v.4). The devil also tempted Jesus to test God’s ability to protect Him. The devil knew Jesus could call on His angels if He was in danger or needed protection (v.5-7).

Jesus once again answered the devil with the Word of God.

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (v.7)

Jesus first of all knew who He was. He was the Son of God. The devil knew that too. But the devil wanted to try and tempt Jesus to use His power as the Son of God. When Jesus was still on the earth, though He was fully God, He was fully human too. He chose to limit Himself to live like other men. Like any other person, He needed food and water to nourish His body. Jesus needed shelter and protection from the elements. Jesus, though He was fully man, was also secure in His identity and His relationship with the Father.

Jesus knew He could use His power to turn the stones into bread.  Jesus knew He had the power to ask God to send His angels if He needed help, protection or  safety. However, Jesus did not take advantage of the power He had. Jesus knew who He was, the Son of God.  Jesus knew His Father God loved Him very much and would always be there to help Him when He called upon Him. However, He also knew the written Word of God as He quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 in the Old Testament:

16 “You shall not [d]tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah. 

Yes, Jesus knew He was the Son of God and God loved Him. Jesus knew God would help Him anytime He asked and called upon Him. However, Jesus knew also that He did not need to put Himself in a dangerous situation like jumping off the pinnacle of the temple and expecting the angels to rescue Him as the devil had tempted Him to do. (v.5-6)

Reflection:

Jesus knew He was the Son of God. As a follower of Jesus, I am also a child of God. God and Jesus love me and are taking care of me. I know I can always call upon the Lord Jesus when I need help. However, I should not put myself into a dangerous situation, expecting God to help me.  The Lord God gives us wisdom and the Holy Spirit gives us power not to put ourselves into situations where we can be tempted or be vulnerable to sin and temptation.  The Lord God gave us His written Word to resist the devil.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to be strong in the spirit and to have Your wisdom to resist the temptations of the evil one.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

Devotion in PDF

Bible reading from Bible Gateway

 

Only Jesus

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Only Jesus

Only Jesus can save

Only Jesus can do the impossible

Only Jesus can do what no human can do

Because only Jesus can save

Only Jesus can love the way He does

Only Jesus is the Savior

Only Jesus is the King of Kings

Only Jesus is Lord of lords

Only Jesus  is the Almighty God

Only Jesus is the God of love

Only Jesus is the God who came from above,

Only Jesus is the One who gave His life for us

Only Jesus can save our soul

Only Jesus can satisfy a hungry soul

Only Jesus can fill me up

Only Jesus is the bread of life.

Only Jesus can bring lasting peace

Only Jesus can give true happiness

Only Jesus can give eternal life and bliss,

Only Jesus!

 

– Vicki Creel

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+2&version=NKJV

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Jesus showed respect and honor to John the Baptist!

 Jesus is humble. Day 9_Mat3.21 in PDF

Reading: Matthew 3:1- 17 (NKJV)

v.15 “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

The life of baby Jesus who was born in the manger was protected as His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, obeyed the leading of God through the angel. (Matthew 2:13-23) From Bethlehem to Egypt and then back to Israel, Joseph and Mary brought up the baby Jesus. And Jesus grew up in Nazareth in the region of Galilee.  V.23 “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He was called a Nazarene”.

As Jesus grew up as a young man, his cousin John also grew up as a man of God.

Matthew 3:1 “In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”.

John lived a pure life, fully dedicated to the Lord as his parents were instructed by God. “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.”

John may have looked different in physical appearance compared to the people of his generation and culture, yet many respected his message. Many people from Jerusalem, Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him. (v.5)

Jesus, too, was aware of the ministry of John and respected him for his message.  “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” V.13

John was surprised to see Jesus coming to him. John’s message was primarily to call sinners to repent and return to God. So, John tried to prevent Jesus and said,

“I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”.  Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (v.15-17)

Jesus showed humility and respect for John by allowing John to baptize Him. Even though Jesus was fully God, and did not need to repent of sins because He was sinless, He still submitted Himself to the baptism of John to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was still fully human when He was on earth. Thus, He wanted to set an example for those who make a commitment to turn away from sin and follow God fully.

Jesus also honored the ministry of John by allowing Himself to be baptized by John, showing submission and humility. Thus, the Heavenly Father affirmed His love and pleasure for His Son Jesus.

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”

Reflection:

Jesus my Lord showed humility and submission by allowing John to baptize Him. As His follower, I too would like to be humble and submit to the servants of God.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for your humility and respect for the ministry of John. Help me also to be humble and show respect to the ministry of Your servants.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

Obedience of Joseph & Mary protected the life of Baby Jesus.

Day 8

Reading: Matthew 2:19-23 (NKJV)

v.21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel

Jesus was born in in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men from the East was guided by the Lord to see the Baby Jesus. As the wise men carefully listened to the leading of the Lord God, they left the country through another road. God knew the wicked plans of King Herod.

v.16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth, and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem, and all its districts, from two years old and under…

However, the Lord guided Joseph and Mary already before the horrible killings of children happened.  An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in his dream again.

v.13 “Arise, take young child and His mother, flee to Egypt…”

And Joseph carefully obeyed the leading of the Lord through the words of the angel in his dream. Joseph did not doubt, and he did not dilly dally. Joseph realized that his obedience was a matter of life and death for his family.

v.14 when he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt.

Joseph, Mary and their child Jesus stayed in Egypt until the Lord guided them again through an angel. The angel spoke to Joseph that Herod was dead, and he instructed Joseph to take his wife and child back to Israel.

v.21 Then he arose and took the young Child and His mother, and came to the land of Israel.

The Lord guided Joseph and Mary throughout, since Mary’s delivery of the baby, until the baby grew up. Since Mary’s obedience to God’s call and will, God protected her, kept and guided her, including her husband and baby. Joseph also was obedient to the leading of the Lord, thus the family was protected.

Reflection:

We could trust a faithful and True God, as we obey Him. He will guide and protect us.

Prayer: Dear Lord help me and my family be sensitive to Your leading and guidance. Holy Spirit please help us to carefully obey Your leading in our lives .

Your Thoughts:

______________________________________________________________ .

Your Prayer:

_________________________________________________________________ .

More photos from Mongolia trip.

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The city of Ulaanbaatar- the capital city of Mongolia, with 1.5M people.

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FEBC Mongolia operates Wind FM 104.5 in Ulaanbaatar.

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Baggnur city- one of the 10 stations that FEBC operates in the country.

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David working with the local technician in one of the transmitter’s site.

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Breakfast after a staff devotion in which David shared words of encouragement.

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A Ger in the city. A ger is the traditional dwelling tent of nomads and herders in Mongolia.

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The road trip to Baggnur with lots of herds of animals.

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Giant statue and museum in memory of Mongolia’s greatest leader Genghis Khan.