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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Education / Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20 Welcome Guest
    Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20
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    Sun, Jun 30th - 10:29PM

    Study in Luke



       Continuing this part of the study in chapter nine, it is seen that Jesus challenged His disciples to meet people's needs.  The people had been listening to Christ for hours and there was danger that they all would be unable to get food.  The disciples suggested that Jesus send the crowd away. Theirs was the wrong attitude.  The disciples had been called apart from the crowd to be alone with Christ.  It was supposed to be a time of rest and renewal for them.  They obviously didn't feel any personal responsibility for the hunger of this crowd.  The right attitude was illustrated by Jesus as He emphatically said, "You give them food to eat.". Jesus stressed that it was their responsibility.  They were to take care of the people's needs.   

       Obviously it was more important to God for the people to be hearing the Word than to be spending the time searching for food.  Seeking spiritual food is more important than the physical.  The problem here was insufficent resources.  The disciples knew, and freely admitted, that they had too little to meet the need of the people.  So, they told Jesus exactly what they do have.  They also discussed the only solution they knew of, to go and buy more food.  

       That is all for tonight, beloved.  Grace and peace be yours.

    Eric


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    Fri, Jun 21st - 7:00PM

    Study in Luke



    "And the apostles, when they were returned, told Him all that they h done.  And He took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.  And the people,when they knew it, followed Him: and He received them, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.  And when the day began to grow late, then came the twelve, and said to Him, Send the crowds away, that they may go into the towns and country all around, and lodge, and get food: for we are here in a desert place.  But He said to them, Give them food to eat.  And they said, We have only five loaves and two fishes; unless we should go and buy meat for all these people.  For they were about five thousand men.  And He said to His disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.  And they did so, and
     made them all sit down.  Then He took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven He blessed them, and broke them, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.  And they did eat, and all were filled: and there was fragments taken up that equaled twelve baskets."  

       In this passage Christ teaches how the disciples are to minister.  He taught and demonstrate the need for privacy and rest.  Yet He allowed the needy people to interrupt the rest.  He met both spiritual and physical needs.  He challenged the disciples to meet the peoples' needs.  He approached the needs in an orderly manner.  He looked to God in meeting peoples needs.

       Jesus teaches that when disciples return from ministering to people there is a need to gain privacy and rest.  The twelve returned and reported all that had happened.  Since time was growing short, Jesus needed to spend all of it with the disciples.  Christ was reaching the end of His Galilean ministry and there would be very little public ministry after this point in time.  Jesus would devote the majority of His time and energy upon His disciples, giving them intensive training ( Matthew 16:13-20; 16:21-28; 17:1-13; 17:22; 17:24-27; 20:17; 20:20-28).  Christ wanted to discuss and review their tour of ministry.  He pointed out to them both the strengths and weaknesses of how they went about doing it.  They must learn to minister in the most effective way possible.  This was an evaluation session between God and believers.

       The disciples needed to evaluate themselves; but they needed to do it in the presence of God alone so that they could restore both their spirits and their bodies.  Ministry can be exhaustive and demanding, renewal is required to avoid becoming "burnt out."  So Jesus took them off to a desert place away from all of the people.  It was a place of quiet and privacy.  They did not get together inside of the city of Bethsaida.  The point being made to them, and to us today, is that there is a definite time for ministry and for evaluating oneself and one's ministry; there is also a time for renewing one's spirit and physical body.

       I can clearly see that Jesus allowed the poor and needy to interrupt this session of privacy and evaluation.  We can see that the people followed Him, and that He received them.  The disciples had been out ministering to the people and were in need of rest and renewal, yet the people kept on coming and demanding more.  I need to notice the contrast between Jesus' reaction and that of the disciples.  The disciples became irritated, suggesting that the crowd be sent away to fend for itself or else they would have to go and buy meat for everyone.  Jesus responded by telling them to get everyone organized into smaller groups and have them sit down.  The lesson that Jesus taught the disciples here was that even while they require rest the multitudes of unsaved people still are in need of a shepherd to guide them home.  So Jesus blessed the loaves and the fishes, broke them into pieces, and gave it to the disciples to distribute among all of the people sitting down.  

       I must also see that people do not simply need to hear preaching all of the time.  They also require help physically and spiritually.  Body and soul need to be saved and restored.  Jesus spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed those who required it.  In preaching of the kingdom of God the people learned that God was the ruler and man is the subject.  The Word of God is Law and the obedience of man is demanded.  The need of physical healing is not always the greatest need in a person.  Sometimes God uses the physical need to meet that which is much, much, more important: the spiritual need and the glory of God.  Sometimes the believer needs to learn love, joy, peace, endurance, prayer, trust, faith, and hope through his/her suffering.  But there has been a problem with this truth down through the centuries.  Too many use the spiritual need as an excuse for not having the faith and godly power to be healed and to heal.  Jesus said that it is much easier to tell a person his/her sins are forgiven than it is to tell him/her to take up their bed and walk.  Jesus met both needs of a person, the spiritual and physical.  Disciples of Christ are to meet both of these needs in people today, just as His disciples were told to do this back in ancient times outside of Bethsaida.  

       That is all for today, beloved.  Grace and peace be yours this day!

    ~Eric
     


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    Wed, Jun 19th - 3:20PM

    Study in Luke



    Continuing chapter nine it can be seen that the disciples' equipment was to be the power and authority given by Christ. He equipped His disciples to use power and with authority. Power is the gift, the necessary resource to minister; authority is the right to minister. The awesome responsibility for exercising such power ought to keep a believer on his/her face before God. This should also keep a disciple seeking a closeness with God, experiencing a true sensitivity to the Spirit of God. How much power is readily seen in the lives and ministry of Christians today? The question is, how displaced or misplaced are so many believers? The face of God has not been sought, we resort to doing things under our power. We have taken the authority, the right to minister where we wish into our own hands. The results? 2000 years later and too many people remain unaware of the Gospel of Christ. 

        The mission of the disciples was to preach and minister. They were sent on the very same mission as Christ. So are we today. The disciples were to preach the Kingdom of God. So are we today. They were to heal the sick for it meets the needs of the physical body. So are we today. The disciples were not to seek success through personal appearance and materialism. They were to live in simplicity and humility. So are we today. Christ told His disciples to concentrate on preaching and ministering. They were not to become distracted or sidetracked. They were to learn to trust and believe God daily, then others could learn what is meant by believing and trusting God through their living example. We are to do the same today. We are to avoid all appearances of evil/wickedness. 

        We are to have our mind focused on the things of God, not on the things of this world. We are not to become attached to money, houses, cars, clothes, appearance, food, fame, or accumulating stuff. We are to minister in the homes of those who are interested and hospitable. We are to warn rejectors. We are not to engage in never ending debates, nor become angered with those who do not believe. We are not to create bad situations for ourselves or the unbelievers. We are to leave them to themselves as they wished. We also see here the method Christ chose for evangelizing was that of home evangelism. It involves searching out and identifying those homes which are receptive to the Gospel. This method emphasizes the family, making it the center of ministry. It stresses stability, security, and settled ness. It centers preaching and ministering in the community, right where people live and work. It makes the presence of Christ visible to all in day to day activities. It serves as the center from which the message can move in an ever widening circle, spreading from family to family. Finally, disciples are to go out and preach/minister in obedience to God. We are not to simply sit in the pews/chairs and not share Christ with anyone. In obeying Christ the effect of our actions will be phenomenal. The gospel and Christ's ministry will reach even the lofty halls of government. The impact will not remain local, it will reach far and wide. We simply must trust and obey Christ Jesus. Grace and peace be yours beloved. 

    ~ Eric 


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    Wed, Jun 12th - 6:56AM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.  And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.  And He said to them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats for each of you.  And whatsoever house you enter into, there remain, and then depart.  And whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.  And the disciples departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.  Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him and he was perplexed, because that it was said by some, that John was risen from the dead; And by some, that Elijah had appeared; and by still others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.  And Herod said, John I have beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things?  And he desired to see Him (9:1-9)."

       Chapter nine is the first recorded time that Jesus sent His disciples out from Him.  They went alone.  I need to understand this event, for it provides me with the structure of missional evangelization.  

     *  The call to come together for ministry.
     *  Becoming equipped: power and authority.
     *  The mission: to preach and minister.
     *  The method.
     *  Obedience: go out preaching and ministering.
     *  The effect.

       The disciples' call was to come together for ministry.  Jesus called His disciples back together and this word comes to us from the Greek sunkalesamenos.  It reveals some interesting things to us in this passage.  As with us today, these disciples had families and responsibilities.  We tend to forget that these men were ordinary people, just like us.  They were not with the Lord at this time and were spending some time at home taking care of families, businesses, and other duties.  Without doubt they spent the vast majority of their time with Jesus traveling as His evangelists, but obviously at certain times they returned to their homes to be with family and spouses.  God reveals to us that the basic ingredient in ministry is togetherness.  Christ called them together, not called them individually for one on one meetings.  The very words used here point to the importance of coming together to serve others in ministry.

       What is the purpose of coming together?  It is to minister.  Christ was completing His Galilean ministry and readying Himself to set His face towards Jerusalem.  His ministry had been immensely successful as multitudes knew of His coming to earth, many had been helped and some did believe and trust in Him.  Now He desired to reach out to this entire area one more time before leaving it.  He wished to touch those who were close to believing and to more deeply root and ground those who already had chosen to believe in Him.  This call was not meant to be simply a time of back slapping, conversation, and high-fiving. It was a call for the disciples to have power over all devils and to cure diseases.  Think about it.  Power over "all" devils.  The disciple was to have power over all kinds of evil, no matter how strong, enslaving, fierce, subtle, or undetectable.  Christ had come to defeat and conquer the evil forces of our world, to rout them and triumph over them all.
    "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12)."  Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out (John 12:31)."  Christ also gave them power to cure diseases.  This demonstrated to everyone the compassion of God and served to draw people to Christ.  This was also a means to help confirm the faith of those who already believed.  

    That is all for now, beloved!  Have a great and wonderful day in the Lord!  Praise and honor Him in all that you do this day!

    ~Eric


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    Sat, Jun 8th - 6:25PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "And a woman having an issue of blood for twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed by any, Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stopped and dried up.  And Jesus said, Who touched Me?  When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude press and gather around You, and You say, Who touched Me?  And Jesus said, Somebody has touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.  And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared to Him before all the people present for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.  And He said to her, Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole; go in peace.  While He yet spoke, there came one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to the ruler, Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Master.  But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not: only believe, and she shall be made whole.  And when Jesus came to the house, He allowed no one to enter it, except Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.  And everyone wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeps.  And they laughed scornfully at Him, knowing that she was dead.  And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.  And her spirit came again, and she arose immediately: and He commanded them to give her meat.  And her parents were astonished: but He charged them that they should tell no person what was done (8:43-56)."

       Here we discover the actions of an embarrassed and hopeless woman who yet had faith in Jesus.  These verses inform us of her situation in life.  She had been hemorrhaging for twelve long years, had spent all of her money on physicians in order to be healed, had been disappointed by lack of results, and her condition had grown worse (Mark 5:26).  She was not wanting to draw attention to herself and her condition, so she used the immense crowd around Jesus to draw close to Him in order to just touch the edge of His robe.  Her social standing was precarious at best for she was considered ceremonially unclean and this meant she was cut off from society and religious worship (Leviticus 15:19-33).  If married she would have been forced to get divorced (Leviticus 15:25-27).  This woman was forced to live with the shame of divorcement because of a medical problem.  She did not wish anyone to know about her condition.  

       Yet, we see her unusual touch of faith.  All sorts of people were pressing in all around Jesus in close proximity.  Probably many people were reaching out and touching Him, but none touched Him in faith.  Only this lone woman who hid herself within the press of people had come to touch Him in faith, to be made whole.  She believed that all she needed to do was to touch Christ's clothing and she would be healed.  Or, that is what she really, really, hoped would happen.  So she touched His robe and was indeed made whole immediately.  Her hemorrhaging stopped.  Is this consistent with what Jesus Christ had been teaching, and would teach in the future?  "Jesus said to him, if you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes (Mark 9:23)."  "Oh how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for them that fear You; which You have wrought for them that trust in You before the sons of men (Psalm 31:19)."  

       We can also observe her honesty when realization settles in that she did not touch Him without Him knowing that it had happened.  Jesus knew what had happened.  He healed her but secret discipleship is not possible.  She had to confess her deliverance in public.  Now she was a changed person, never the same again.  We can also observe in this incident that serving and helping others cost Jesus dearly.  Virtue (dunamin), spiritual power, flowed out from Christ's being into this woman.  It is what healed her.  The disciples and the immense crowd of people all around were oblivious to what had happened.  Christ's disciples were unaware of what it cost Him to heal people, to minister to their dire needs.    They were oblivious to the spiritual energy He exerted, ignorant of what Jesus was actually doing.  Even at this early time Christ was taking people's infirmities upon Himself and bearing their sicknesses.  He was teaching that public confession of Him was essential.  The woman spoke up and admitted to touching Jesus' robe and having been healed on the spot.  She came trembling and fearful, falling down at His feet as she declared the reason why she had touched Him.  This is how we are to come before Christ even today.  This woman's faith was rewarded immediately.  Her faith and honesty caused her to come face to face with Jesus Christ.  What did her faith do for her here?  She ended up being called "Daughter."  That was a distinct privilege in her day!  It signified that she had become a child of God's, she had become part of the "family."  She was given comfort (tharsei), cheer, courage, confidence, and boldness in her faith and healing.  She was assured that she was  permanently healed, her deliverance would last.  She was given peace.  

       Now to consider Jairus and his daughter.  The faith of stubborn, helpless parents is seen in this part of the passage.  Jairus and his wife are helpless, their daughter is dead.  While Jesus was still speaking with the healed woman word came to Jairus that his daughter had died.  His daughter had been critically ill and he had come to seek out Jesus' help.  He had been forced to wait while this other woman became healed.  His daughter died.  Disappointment, resentment, anger, grief.  Jairus is told to not bother Christ, it is too late.  Obviously many people thought that Christ's power was limited and ineffective in the case of death.  But Christ spoke up and told Jairus to not give up hope, to believe, and his daughter would be healed.  Jairus was not even given the opportunity to speak, Jesus told him to believe, and then they went immediately to Jairus' house.  

       Christ was teaching these people, as well as Jairus, to simply believe in His Word.  Come, and see what amazing things will happen by My Word.  Christ is mocked by the crowd coming along to see what will happen to this dead girl.  The parents expressed great faith in following Jesus inside their home.  A limited group of people were allowed into the home to witness the miracle about to happen.  Why?  The parents and their daughter would need quiet time to be reunited and to regain their composure before facing their friends and neighbors.  The inner circle of disciples would provide enough witness to verify and record the incident for all generations to read about.  The mourners most likely included relatives, neighbors, friends, and the obligatory professional mourners.  They all scorned Jesus and the disciples at saying she was only asleep and not dead.  Scorn and ridicule will inevitably come to the disciple of Christ, it must not alter our choices in serving Him.  Was she merely asleep and not dead?  Some readers of this passage will claim this to be the case.  But, the messenger who came with the news said that she was dead from the illness that had afflicted her.  It is highly doubtful that she had simply dosed off into sleep.  It is also seen here that stubborn faith is desperately needed by many parents in behalf of their children.  What must precede this faith is faith that forgets and denies oneself and that seeks Christ Jesus no matter the cost.  Christ honors their faith in Him by resurrecting their dead daughter.  He then commands them to keep silent about the matter.  Perhaps He wished to keep the huge crowds of people from becoming even greater?  

       Back to the issue of whether or not this girl was dead or simply fallen deeply asleep.  It has to be remembered that Jesus, and the Bible, speak of death as nothing more than sleep.  By sleep is meant rest and comfort in God (Matthew 27:52, Acts 7:60, I Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Too many people today believe that death means annihilation or ceasing to exist.  Jesus drew the contrast in order to say that death is not annihilation.  Believers continue to exist, resting in the life and comfort of God.  Jesus clearly knew that she was dead, He said so.  Note the words used, "her spirit came again."  Clearly the spirit had left her body and upon the command of Jesus her spirit returned.  Her life returned to her body at the voice of God.

       That is all for today, beloved.  Grace and peace be with you all!  Next up is the commissioning of the disciples into ministry.  

    ~Eric


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    Mon, Jun 3rd - 6:52AM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "And it came to pass, that when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received Him: for they were all waiting for Him.  And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and begged Him to come to his house: For he had only one daughter, about twelve years old, and she lay dying.  But as He went the people crowded Him (8:40-42)."

       The Gadarenes had rejected Jesus, but the Galileans welcomed Him.  As His disciples we must note that as one people drove Him away another people hoped in Him.  One country was closed to Him while another country was opened up to Him.  We, as His disciples, must see that Jesus sought to His Father's work and when people rejected Him He did not retaliate or strike back.  He did not start to moan, groan, grumble, or gripe.  He did not slip into feeling discouraged or depressed.  He did not quit.  What did Jesus do?  He promptly left those who had rejected Him and looked to minister elsewhere.  Believers must never forget the Lord's response to rejection, it is to be our response as well.

       We see here a ruler of the local synagogue, Jairus, coming to beseech Jesus to help him.  A desperate ruler, he comes to Jesus for help because his only daughter is dying and no one else can help her.  Jairus was a religious ruler and most likely the highest ranking ruler in this entire area.  He was the leader of the very center of Jewish life in this city.  He was evidently well known and highly esteemed among the people.  But here was a man who approached Jesus Christ willing to pay the price.  Despite the fact that the religionists were openly opposing Jesus and fiercely attacking Him, this man came to Jesus.  He risked the hostility of his peers and of being censored and losing his public position.  He was risking it all, for the sake of his young daughter.  He lay all of his pride behind him, denied himself, and ran up to Jesus and fell down at His feet begging for His help.  Isn't that a picture of how we are to come to Him asking for repentance?  Isn't that a picture of how any person today must come to Christ in repentance in order to become saved?  Jairus' concern was focused upon someone else, not himself.  He was willing to risk everything for the sake of someone else: his twelve year old daughter.  Jairus had faith in Jesus for he begged Him to come and help.  He was not asking Jesus to come and perform last rites.  He was not asking Him to come and hold her hand while she died.  No, he expected that Jesus would come and save her life.  But Jairus understood that he had to go to Christ and request that He come to his house and save his daughter.  This man clearly had heard the gossip going about, of how Jesus, if He were willing, would go and heal people of all sorts of afflictions and restore them to full health immediately.  "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not now know (Jeremiah 33:3)."  What do we see happen?  Jairus' faith was immediately rewarded.  Jesus went to his home. In response to Jairus' plea for help Jesus began moving towards his home.  The humble, self-denying approach to God caused Jesus to turn and begin meeting this man's desperate need.  We can see here that this is the exact same approach all people must employ today if they desire God to come and meet their desperate need/s in their lives.  I can't come to Christ pridefully and then expect Him to come and do anything in my life.  I can't come to Him arrogantly and still expect Him to meet my need.  I must come humbly in faith, believing that He is fully able to meet my need, and beg Him to come and help me.  Doing this, I shall discover that He will hear me and come to my home to meet my need.

    That is all for this morning, beloved.  Serve Christ diligently, faithfully, lovingly, with all long-suffering and gentleness.  Love all people, serve others, serve God, and grow spiritually.  Walk in grace and peace.  

    ~Eric


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    About Me

    Name: Eric Rajaniemi
    ChristiansUnite ID: ejroyal
    Member Since: 2007-09-08
    Location: Bedford, Virginia, United States
    Denomination: Born-again, Church of the Brethren
    About Me: I refrain from any denomination as much as possible since my faith has to do with Jesus Christ and not denominations. My wife and I are charter members of Lake Side Church of the Brethren for they desire to follow the New Testament precepts. We hav... more

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