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  • Being Considerate of Others' Needs - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/16/2024 12:49:25 AM PDT · by metmom · 1 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’” (John 19:26). No matter what trials we have, it is still possible to be concerned for others’ needs. As the time for Jesus’ death grew closer, His mother’s well-being was on His heart and mind. His concern is consistent with what we have already seen in our brief study of some of Jesus’ last words on the cross—our Lord was faithful in ministry no matter what the cost. Here the object of Jesus’ focus shifted to a...
  • Reaching Out to Others - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/15/2024 6:00:35 AM PDT · by metmom · 2 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise’” (Luke 23:43). The circumstances are never too adverse, nor the hour too late, to offer the gospel of Christ to someone. Jesus was crucified between two criminals (thieves)—one on each side of His cross. At first the two men both joined the onlookers in hurling unbelieving rhetoric at the Lord (Mark 15:32). But one of the thieves obviously had a change of heart as the hours elapsed. He rebuked the other thief by pointing out Jesus’ sinlessness (Luke 23:40-41) and then expressed his need of salvation: “Jesus,...
  • Forgiving Others - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/14/2024 10:00:47 AM PDT · by metmom · 13 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). As Jesus forgave others (including us), we should extend forgiveness to those who wrong us. Jesus had a forgiving heart right up to the end, even after He had experienced a lifetime of mankind’s worst treatment. He came down to a world He had created, but that world rebuffed Him. Its inhabitants’ eyes were blinded by sin, and they could not see any beauty in Jesus. Almost immediately after His humble birth in a stable, King Herod sought to have Him killed (Matt. 2:13, 16-18). And...
  • Peter's Repentance - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/13/2024 5:04:03 AM PDT · by metmom · 4 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75). Even when a believer sins greatly, God is there to forgive and restore. Peter’s denial of the Lord Jesus was a great tragedy. But Peter had already taken a number of steps toward denial before uttering a single word that repudiated Christ. First, he presumptuously boasted that he would never fall away (Matt. 26:33). Second, Peter was insubordinate to Jesus and blatantly refused to accept the Lord’s prediction of his disloyalty (v. 35)....
  • The Unjust Condemnation - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/12/2024 12:09:15 AM PDT · by metmom · 2 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “‘Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?’ They answered and said, ‘He is deserving of death!’” (Matthew 26:65-66). Like many through the centuries, members of the Sanhedrin rejected Jesus Christ without fairly judging all the evidence. Lynching is an activity we don’t hear much about today. But during earlier generations, the heinous crime occurred quite regularly. Innocent people, or those merely presumed guilty (prior to any trial), were tortured and killed, usually by angry, hateful mobs. Often the person lynched was a victim of racial or political prejudice or some other irrational fear held by the...
  • The Unjust Conspiracy - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/11/2024 5:43:39 AM PDT · by metmom · 3 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “The chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death” (Matthew 26:59). The only evidence of guilt against Jesus was man-made and contrived. The essence of the Jews’ ancient legal system is found in the Lord’s words to Moses and Israel: “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial” (Deut. 16:19). Therefore, it is truly amazing to consider what twisted measures the Jewish leaders resorted to in their trial of Jesus. The Council, or Sanhedrin, was authorized to judge only those cases in which...
  • Disappointing the Lord - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/10/2024 5:46:35 AM PDT · by metmom · 3 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Then all the disciples left Him and fled” (Matthew 26:56). In defecting from Christ in an hour of crisis, the eleven disciples displayed certain marks of faithlessness. Sometimes no amount of truth and logic will ever persuade someone to change their mind. We all know that is true from times we have debated another person on a particular topic. Nothing we say will convince them that their plans may be wrong or their opinions unsound. Jesus knew that far better than us as he continued to face the hostile crowd in Gethsemane. As the Son of God, Jesus could confidently...
  • Taking up the Sword in Vain - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/09/2024 4:57:47 AM PDT · by metmom · 4 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword’” (Matthew 26:52). It is wrong to violently take justice into our own hands, even to defend or promote the name of Christ. The Body of Christ does not grow and strengthen itself by physical warfare. Every time it has endeavored to do so, the name and cause of Jesus Christ have been harmed. Such wars as the Crusades in the Holy Land or later religious wars between Catholics and Protestants in Europe served no scriptural...
  • Judas the Traitor - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/08/2024 4:50:27 AM PDT · by metmom · 4 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “He who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, ‘Whomever I shall kiss, He is the one; seize Him.’ And immediately he came to Jesus and said, ‘Hail, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you have come for’” (Matthew 26:48-50). Judas Iscariot, in his attitudes and actions, is a classic example of the false believer. As one of the Twelve, Judas was extremely disappointed at the kind of Messiah Jesus turned out to be. Instead of teaching the disciples how to conquer and control, Jesus taught them how to submit and serve. Any...
  • The Sinful Captors - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/07/2024 4:08:38 AM PDT · by metmom · 5 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “. . . A great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people” (Matthew 26:47). The crowd that captured Jesus at Gethsemane illustrates the world’s sinful, hateful rejection of Jesus Christ. A crowd can have a positive, uplifting influence, as when a large group of neighbors bands together to help someone in need. But crowds can also have a negative impact, such as when they incite riots or heckle someone who is trying to give a speech. The multitude that came to the Garden of Gethsemane to capture Jesus is a prime example of...
  • Jesus' Admonition in Gethsemane - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/06/2024 5:15:51 AM PDT · by metmom · 2 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’” (Matthew 26:40-41). The need for spiritual vigilance by Christians is constant, but it can’t be achieved in the power of the flesh. Jesus must have been terribly disappointed in the Garden of Gethsemane when He found the three disciples sleeping. As He labored diligently in prayer before the Father, Peter, James, and John began their...
  • Supplication Before the Father - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/05/2024 5:02:55 AM PDT · by metmom · 3 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt’” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane is a perfect model of perseverance in seeking God’s will. By humbly and submissively raising the option, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me,” Jesus was not questioning the validity of God’s plan of redemption or the Son’s responsibility in it. The thought of His becoming sin for us was weighing heavier and...
  • Struggle in Gethsemane - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/04/2024 5:51:33 AM PDT · by metmom · 5 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me’” (Matthew 26:38). In His time of greatest distress, Jesus realized His human weakness and His need to depend on the Father. As Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James, and John, He experienced a more profound anguish over sin and death than ever before. His deep and desolate distress was made more severe when He considered the many personal disappointments that confronted Him. First, there was the betrayal by Judas, one of His own disciples. Then...
  • The Start of Jesus' Final Challenge - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/03/2024 11:01:51 AM PDT · by metmom · 5 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane” (Matthew 26:36). The agony of Jesus’ death, beginning with His ordeal in the Garden of Gethsemane, is something finite believers will never fully comprehend. C.H. Spurgeon, in an 1880s sermon, said this to his congregation: “It will not be enough for you to hear, or read [about Christ]; you must do your own thinking and consider your Lord for yourselves. . . . Shut yourself up with Jesus, if you would know him.” However, even those who most conscientiously follow Spurgeon’s admonition to meditate on Jesus’ Person and ministry find...
  • Peter's Impulsive Self-Confidence - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/02/2024 4:47:10 AM PDT · by metmom · 4 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Peter answered and said to Him, ‘Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away’” (Matthew 26:33). Prior to Jesus’ death, Peter’s trust in himself rather than God distorted his judgment concerning loyalty to Jesus. Like a self-willed child, Peter often heard and believed only what he wanted to. He failed to grasp the Lord’s warning that his faith would be severely tested. At the Last Supper Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat” (Luke 22:31). But Peter was unfazed by these words. Instead, he boasted, “Lord,...
  • Anticipating Jesus' Death - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    04/01/2024 4:23:05 AM PDT · by metmom · 11 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “‘After two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be delivered up for crucifixion’” (Matthew 26:2). Jesus adhered perfectly to God’s timetable for His death, which was part of the Father’s larger plan of redemption. The history of redemption most definitely centers on the cross of Jesus Christ. Hymn writer John Bowring expressed this fact well: In the cross of Christ I glory, Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time. All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime. The apostle Paul was so convinced of the central importance of Christ’s death on the...
  • The Summation of Humility - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    03/31/2024 4:59:02 AM PDT · by metmom · 3 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). If believers fulfill their constant debt of love, they will have a continual attitude of sacrificial humility. Origen, the early church father, wisely said, “The debt of love remains with us permanently and never leaves us. This is a debt which we pay every day and forever owe.” The primary reason you and I can pay that debt is that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to...
  • God-Centered Teamwork - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    03/30/2024 5:58:28 AM PDT · by metmom · 1 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “He who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow-workers” (1 Corinthians 3:8-9). Humble teamwork in ministry gives God all the glory and promotes humility. Paul’s agricultural illustration of planting and watering makes it clear that the ministry works best in a team concept and that all credit for results must go to God. Paul (the one planting) and Apollos (the one watering) had done their God-appointed work faithfully and well, but they had to wait on the Lord for whatever was accomplished. Paul...
  • Servanthood: Humility in Action - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    03/29/2024 1:29:59 AM PDT · by metmom · 1 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “‘Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave’” (Matthew 20:26-27). In God’s sight, greatness is marked by a humble, servant’s heart. Bible commentator R.C.H. Lenski once wrote that God’s “great men are not sitting on top of lesser men, but bearing lesser men on their backs.” Jesus would have agreed with Lenski’s observation, but He did not see it as wrong to desire greater usefulness to God. Those standards of usefulness, however, are much more demanding than any worldly ideals for self-serving, domineering leadership. For...
  • Enemies of Humility: Selfish Ambition - Evangelical Caucus/Devotional

    03/27/2024 12:40:32 AM PDT · by metmom · 2 replies
    Gracetoyou.org ^ | 1997 | John McArthur, Grace Community Church
    “But Jesus answered and said, ‘You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able’” (Matthew 20:22). Selfish ambition in spiritual things shows that we are ignorant of the real path to God’s glory. Yesterday we saw that James and John, with their mother, posed a bold power-play question to the Lord Jesus. Now, as He answers them, they display another attitude at odds with the humble spirit: selfish ambition. If the brothers’ power-play request was brazen, it was also very...