Judas and Jesus

Hey there BCU Fam!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

  • This week, many Christians are especially remembering the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.
  • As we recall the events leading up to the death of Jesus, it’s important we examine how He treated people, including Judas.

KJV Scripture references

Matthew 5:43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

4But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 26:14-30; 47-50

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.


What I marvel at, BCUFam is this:

Jesus knew Judas

Jesus chose Judas

Jesus served Judas–all while knowing that Judas would betray Him. That’s love.

And even when Judas delivered Him to the chief priests and elders, Jesus still called Him friend. Not in a snarky, sarcastic way, He meant it. That had to have moved Judas, along with watching Jesus being brought to Pilate, because the Scriptures say he realized he betrayed an innocent man. After he confessed, Judas threw the money down and hung himself (Matthew 27:1-5).

BCUFam, as trying as it is sometimes, we are commanded to walk out Matthew 5:43-48 in all our challenging interactions. If Jesus in the flesh continued to love, bless, do good, pray for and serve the man who would betray Him, how much more should we be doing? It’s a challenge, yes, but we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Amen? Amen!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts.

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Cold love….

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!


  • Matthew 24 reminds us that one of the signs of Jesus coming back is iniquity abounding and “love waxing cold.”
  • A quick look at the local, national and even international news confirms what the Bible says.
  • Acts of non-love are based in selfishness.
  • For love to “wax” cold means it has solidified with time.
  • Cold love does nothing but exacerbate tense situations.
  • While love doesn’t mean we allow people to take advantage of us, it does mean we treat people how God says.
  • As people of God, we should not allow the world to be our blueprint on how we love. (See I Corinthians 13).

KJV Scripture References:

Matthew 24:1-13.

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9)

 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:34-35).

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22:39).


BCU Fam, I know it’s “popular” to love certain people “long distance” or out of a “long-handled spoon”, but that doesn’t line up with the Word of God. We have to be ever so careful that we don’t allow our hearts to become cold toward one another. I understand how it feels when we love someone and they do not treat us right in return. More importantly, God knows who has offended, hurt, and disrespected us–nothing gets past Him. While Jesus heals our broken hearts, He will deal with the offender accordingly. In the meantime, with His help, our job is to walk out Matthew 5:43-45:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

To sum it up, we are to love, bless (speak well of vs. post/talk about them in the wrong way), do good, and pray for those who use us. Is this a challenge? Yes! But at the same time, we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13). By doing so we will be called the children of our Father in Heaven. And that’s our goal, BCUFam! Amen? Amen!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights––we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Racism, love & vengeance? | Part 2

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

 

BlenCouragesU · BCU Podcast | Racism, love & revenge | Part 2 | (Ep 217)

Podcast highlights

  • Last time we were together,we talked about living in a time of unprecedented and open racism.
  • Hatred and injustice of any kind coming from anyone is NOT of God.
  • As wrong as the perpetrators are, the people of God are STILL and ALWAYS called to reflect Christ in our reactions to people.
  • Of course we are to speak up and defend people as God leads.
  • Vengeance is self-serving, vindictive, never meted out correctly, and is NOT God’s answer to anything.
  • The Lord is the Perfect Avenger.

 

Scripture references:

Matthew 5:43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

1 John 2:10-11

10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

1 John 3:14-15

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 4:19-21

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Romans 12:17-19; 21

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Luke 18:6-8

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Colossians 3:23-25

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Bonus Scriptures:

James 3:9-12

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

BCUFam, as challenging as it is, we are called to love people and resist vengeful thoughts and actions. Along with the love, with God’s help, if we change our thought patterns to line up with  Philippians 4:8, (thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtue and praiseworthy), we will find ourselves in a place where we are less agitated and more satiated, knowing God keeps exact records and will reward all of us according to our own works. This is a reminder that we should make sure OUR works are in good standing with Him, right?

The bottom line? It is in our best spiritual interest to trust God to take care of whatever was done incorrectly in His way and in His timing.  In the meantime, let’s just love, bless, do good and pray. (Matthew 5:44). Amen? Amen!

So BCU Fam, what stood out to you? What are your thoughts on revenge? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!

If you have not already subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by! God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

The GREAT assembly.

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

We’re back with our Nehemiah series  where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval , the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall and last time we were together, we started chapter 5, where we talked about the enemy within. That’s where we pick up this time, so let’s dig in!

Scene: Nehemiah was informed that the nobles and rulers were unfairly charging their brethren for food, which obviously  was effecting the families,  morale and well-being of the workers. Moreover, this was a public sin and was caustic to the work of the Lord. Nehemiah was a leader who was able to discern and work through issues, so it was apropos to get everyone together.  

v6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.

Part of the reason Nehemiah was angry was because the Israelites were forbidden from charging “usury,” or interest, on loans to one another (see Deuteronomy 23:19). Having to pay back the loan interest would only put them further into debt and was not beneficial for either party.  This law served as a reminder to the Jews that helping those in need is something that should be done without expecting anything in return. In essence both the law and the people were being broken.

v7 Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.

We talked about confrontation last time and we also talked about it in our forgiveness series. Confrontation is biblical and needs to be done the way GOD instructs us to do, according to Matthew 18. In this situation, Nehemiah had to address a group of leaders who were fleecing the people, so this had to be done publicly. A similar situation happened in the book of Joshua.

Joshua (chapter 7) was losing this battle and the Lord told him there was an “accursed” thing in the midst and Joshua could not stand before his enemies (or get the victory) until this was dealt with–the accursed thing was taken away (v 13).  It turned out there was sin in the camp, as someone named Achan had stolen some spoils from a battle in Ai–he was NOT supposed to have done that! Because of Achan’s foolish decision was effecting everyone, Joshua sought him out and confronted him in front of everyone (verses 21-23). 

v8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.

He reminded ALL the people that their own folks (and maybe many of them) had been sold to their enemies and finally bought back with their own ability or money, and here they are doing the same thing. The truth was so evident, the people could not even answer. back. Whenever we confront someone, we want to be sure our facts are based in evidence versus emotion.

v9 Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?

Nehemiah is asking:

We we NOT JUST  released from Babylon (the enemy) and you charging this usury–is that GOOD?

Don’t you fear God at all?

What type of examples are we to our enemies about the God we serve?

God is asking:
That meme you posted or status you liked..did I get any glory out of that?

The way you cut your eyes or “cussed” someone out…was that a good example to the unsaved?

Do you want your enemies to make fun of you/mock God? (in the sense that we are no different than them)?

Do we care how our actions will look to those who do not know Christ?

v10 I likewise, and my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.

 If you want to charge—yes, I am charging, too! We’re in business supporting one another–that’s fine. Just stop all this excessive interest.

v11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive yards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.

Be merciful and given them their stuff back–this was the proper thing to do. 

v12Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.

Your word was your bond. Once you promised to do something, you did it. Psalm 15 reminds us in a form of a question and then answer. Lord, who shall abide in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Your holy hill… He that swears to his own hurt and does not change (Psalm 15:1,4).

v13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise.

Shaking your lap was like shaking out the outer parts of a garment, something like you shaking crumbs off your clothes, but this was MUCH more serious. It represented that if you failed to keep your words, just like those crumbs are scattered asunder, God would scatter YOU asunder. It was better to keep your promise. 

Also, notice that these folks readily received the Word–they had a teachable spirit. There was no arguing or justification, they were wrong, were called on it,  agreed to that fact, terms and conditions of restoration. And on TOP of that, rather than sulk, they praised God after the correction. That’s an example we should all learn to follow, especially when we know the rebuke comes from a place of love. And even if it doesn’t, we can still give God praise. 

This also speaks highly of Nehemiah’s leadership.  He had to rebuke the people, yes but did it in a way that was effective and impactful. Obviously, he had a relationship with God so he knew how to pray to know what to say, when to say it, and how to express it so God got the glory out of it. Whether you are correcting someone or being corrected whenever we go to God and ask for/follow His directions, things always come out perfectly. Amen? Amen!

Next time, we’ll finish up chapter 5–where we discover more about Nehemiah’s character and how we can apply those characteristics to our lives. In the meantime, we’d love to dialogue with you so, please post your thoughts in the comment section below!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

An enemy among us..

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

 

We’re back with our Nehemiah series  where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval , the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall and getting back to work on the wall. WHEW!!! Let’s dig into chapter 5!

Scene: Nehemiah and his crew survived the attacks of Sanballat, Tobiah and their posse only to be confronted with another deadly enemy that worked right among them.

Nehemiah 5

v1)And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

So the poor among the people and their wives came to Nehemiah because some “predatory lending” practices were taking place.

v2)For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.

Situation 1: This is a BIG family—there are a LOT of us here. We have borrowed for corn to just to eat/survive.

v3)Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.

Situation 2: Others had to take out a mortgage to get corn to eat because of the famine.

v4)There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.

Situation 3: Still others borrowed again the king’s tax to eat!

v5)Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.”

Observation: Now this isn’t some outside force who came in—this was happening among like people! We’re all “family” here (related by blood and by being in captivity together as well), and family has brought our sons and daughters into bondage (or we sold them), because we need food. And NOW there is no way for us to get them out because we used out land as collateral–that’s been sold for food!  

v6)And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.

So Nehemiah was was angry. Yes, we get angry. He didn’t go Hulk on them or start cursing them in the name of the Lord. He got angry and SINNED not and he didn’t let days, months and years go by while he stewed about it. The sun did not go down on his wrath (Ephesians 4:26).

On TOP of that, he listened. He heard. He empathized. He didn’t dismiss their problem, so the wall project could continue, he decided to deal with the matter straight on.

v7)Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.

Before the assembly, let’s talk about the confrontation.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says, there is a time to keep silent and a time to speak. Nehemiah after thinking it over, he needed to openly rebuke the leaders who were extorting money from their brethren. Not just rebuke them, but tell them why that they were doing was wrong and how it hurt the people—financially, yes and more so the hearts of the people, as there were FAMILY.

There needed to be a confrontation. How do people typically deal with having to confront someone? Fight or flight. We either come out swinging, saying the wrong things, hurting someone’s feelings, feeling guilty, ashamed and regretful for the words and actions, OR.. We stuff it inside. We smile, so we’ll “be a good Christian”, take one for the team, keep peace. We shop, eat, silent treatment it, we talk about them in our minds and NOTHING gets resolved. 

Confrontation is scriptural–it does not have to be scary! It just has to be done the way God instructs you to do so. There is a template in Matthew 18:15-17 on how it should be done (1 on 1 then, before 2 or three, and then in front of the church), vs spouting off on social media or just not dealing with anyone at all.

Where we need to be prayerful is in our approach. Here are two examples:

Direct: Paul opposed Peter face to face in Galatians 2 starting at verse 11.  Peter stopped taking his meals with the Gentiles believers (in order to not “offend” the Jewish men) and others started following suit after Peter. Because this was creating division, Paul nipped this situation in the bud.

Story: 2 Samuel 12:1-7. David & Nathan. Nathan started off with a story about a rich man who had everything and a poor man who had one ewe lamb that he and his children loved. Rich man has a visitor, and rather than taking one of his own lambs to serve for dinner, he took the poor man’s lamb! David was livid, spouting harsh words and issuing punishment until Nathan told him—you are that man. (v 7)

Getting back to Nehemiah, this thing with the nobles and rulers was a public sin and was caustic to the work of the Lord. Nehemiah was a leader who was able to discern and work through issues, so it was apropos to get everyone together. We’ll plan to get more into an example of “public” confrontation and what happens at Nehemiah’s assembly next time we are together!

I know this was getting good to you, right?!  Please let us know your takeaways from this post in the comments section below. We’ll be waiting for you!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!