JESUS BROUGHT US GOD'S MESSAGE


Jesus makes it clear that His teachings come from God, and that He only teaches what God wants Him to teach. It's another way of saying, "Here is what God wants you to know". Jesus also tells us that He brings us the truth and shows us the path that leads us to a life with God. And He encourages us to accept and embrace His teachings.


"The things I teach are not my own, but they come from him who sent me. If people choose to do what God wants, they will know that my teaching comes from God and not from me. Those who teach their own ideas are trying to get honor for themselves. But those who try to bring honor to the one who sent him speak the truth, and there is nothing false in them."
John 7:16-18

"You will know that these things I do are not by my own authority but that I say only what the Father has taught me. The One who sent me is with me. I always do what is pleasing to him, so he has not left me alone."
John 8:28-29

"Whoever believes in me is really believing in the One who sent me. Whoever sees me sees the One who sent me. I have come as a light into the world so that whoever believes in me would not stay in darkness."
John 12:44-46

"I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives life."
John 8:12

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me."
John 14:6

"Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The teaching that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

"Others are like the seed planted in the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce fruit - sometimes thirty times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes a hundred times more."
Mark 4:20

"The person who belongs to God accepts what God says."
John 8:47


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GOD LOVES US


God's love for us is best illustrated through the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). This is a story about a son who demands that his father give him his share of his inheritance. The son then takes his money and goes away and wastes it all on foolish living. After his money is gone and he becomes destitute, he returns to his father and asks for his forgiveness and to take him back. The father is overcome with joy and welcomes his son home without hesitation, and he orders a lavish celebration to rejoice in his son's return. Jesus uses this story to tell us that God is like a good father who loves his children unconditionally. He wants what is best for us, and He wants us to be happy and safe. He will always love us, and He looks forward to the return of those who have ignored Him or have wandered off due to the distractions of this world.

Jesus also uses the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7) to tell us that we are each very precious to God.

Jesus understood that He would be killed by mankind, as told through the parable of the vineyard owner who leased his property to some farmers (Mark 12:1-8). The parable ends with the owner sending his son to collect his share of the harvest, and the farmers kill the son. And yet, Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to endure a cruel death to bring us God's Message.


"God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life."
Luke 3:16

"The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends."
John 15:13


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GOD WANTS US TO LOVE HIM


The parable portraying God as a good father (Luke 15:11-32) is instructive, because it helps us better understand the nature of God. As good parents of this world, do you desire and crave the love of your children? Of course you do. And do you want your children to fear you? Of course not. You are a provider and a protector, and you want your children to love and respect you. And so it is the same with God the Father.

So how do we show our love to God? One way is that we can spend time learning more about His teachings at church and through Bible study. Another way to show our love is to invite God into our lives and maintain a relationship with Him through prayer. But perhaps the most important way that we can demonstrate our love to God is by obeying the teachings of Jesus.


"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and most important command."
Matthew 22:37-38

"Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them."
John 14:21

"If people love me, they will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really mine; it is from my Father, who sent me."
John 14:23-24


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GOD WANTS US TO LOVE EACH OTHER


God wants us to love others through genuine and sincere kindness and compassion. This means that we will be humble. We will not be critical or judgmental of others. We will not be hurtful or take advantage of others. Likewise, we will not treat others with indifference. We will help those who need help. And if we are wronged, we will forgive. If we love God, we will do these things daily. Constantly. Not just to those who are close to us like family and friends, but to everyone.

Some will say that these things are too difficult or impossible to do, or that there are some people who do not deserve our love and forgiveness. But understand that Jesus is teaching something extraordinary. Jesus is teaching us the meaning of perfect love. It is the perfect love that exists in heaven. It is the perfect love that we receive from God and from Jesus, and it is the way that God intended love to be with us.

We should understand that sins are those things that are contrary to love. Sin is un-love. Sins are acting, speaking, and thinking in ways that are hurtful to others and also to ourselves.

We should also be aware that Jesus didn't just teach these things. He lived them. Jesus endured verbal attacks, torture, and crucifixion. And He did so with love and forgiveness in His heart.

So if we want to be true followers of Jesus, remember that every person that we encounter is a child of God who deserves our love and compassion. And we should struggle and fight against our sin every day and try our very best to achieve perfect love in every thought, word, and deed. And when we stumble, we can ask God for His forgiveness, and we will be forgiven. And we can ask for His guidance and strength to do better the next day.


"And the second command is like the first: Love your neighbor as you love yourself."
Matthew 22:39

"I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my follower if you love each other."
John 13:34-35

"Do to others what you want them to do to you."
Matthew 7:12

"The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child."
Matthew 18:4

"All who make themselves great will be made humble, but those who make themselves humble will be made great."
Luke 14:11

"The mouth speaks the things that are in the heart. Good people have good things in their hearts, and so they say good things. But evil people have evil in their hearts, so they say evil things."
Matthew 12:34-35

"I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me."
Matthew 25:35-36

"I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me."
Matthew 25:40

"And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don't know God are nice to their friends."
Matthew 5:47

"When you do good things, don't do them in front of people to be seen by them."
Matthew 6:1

"Don't judge other people, or you will be judged. You will be judged in the same way that you judge others, and the amount you give to others will be given to you."
Matthew 7:1-2

"If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also."
Matthew 5:39

"But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:44-45

"Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins. But if you don't forgive others, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins."
Matthew 6:14-15

"You must forgive him even if he wrongs you seventy times seven."
Matthew 18:22

"Yes, everyone who asks will receive."
Matthew 7:8

"Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock."
Matthew 7:24

"Happy are those who hear the teaching of God and obey it."
Luke 11:28


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GOD WANTS US TO JOIN HIM IN HEAVEN


Jesus teaches that God's greatest desire is that all of His children join Him in heaven. Jesus explains that those who have been baptized, have repented of their sins and asked for God's forgiveness, and have love in their hearts for God and for others will be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. And that this is more important and valuable than earthly possessions.

Conversely, Jesus uses the parable about a big banquet (Luke 14:16-24) to tell us that God has invited all of us to join Him in heaven, but sadly, there are many people who have rejected God and His invitation. He also tells us that there are many who are on the wrong path, and that they will not be allowed into the kingdom of heaven. And in the end, when these people come to understand that they will be separated from God and His love for all of eternity, their anguish will be unbearable.

But Jesus reminds us through the story about workers (Matthew 20:1-16) that it is not too late to change our hearts and lives, and that God is ever hopeful that each of us will find our way to Him.


"The Father gives me my people. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them. I came down from heaven to do what God wants me to do, not what I want to do. Here is what the One who sent me wants me to do: I must not lose even one whom God gave me, but I must raise them all on the last day. Those who see the Son and believe in him have eternal life, and I will raise them on the last day. This is what my Father wants."
John 6:37-40

"I tell you the truth, unless one is born again, he cannot be in God's kingdom."
John 3:3

"I tell you the truth, unless one is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter God's kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit."
John 3:5-6

"God's kingdom is within you." (Love!)
Luke 17:21

"Your heart will be where your treasure is." (Love!)
Matthew 6:21

"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure, and then he hid it in the field again. He was so happy that he went and sold everything he owned to buy that field."
Matthew 13:44

"Enter through the narrow gate. The gate is wide and road is wide that leads to hell, and many people enter through that gate. But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road."
Matthew 7:13-14

"Yes, many people are invited, but only a few are chosen."
Matthew 22:14

"Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At harvest time I will tell the workers, 'First gather the weeds and tie them together to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.'"
Matthew 13:30

"When it was full, the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put all the good fish in baskets and threw away the bad fish."
Matthew 13:48

"Not all who say that I am their Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants."
Matthew 7:21

"You will cry and grind your teeth with pain when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God's kingdom, but you yourselves thrown outside."
Luke 13:28

"In the same way, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner changes his heart and life."
Luke 15:10

"Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!"
Mark 1:15


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