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A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of June 13-19, 2022: “Outrageous Statements” … John 8:56-59

In our increasingly secularized nation, many still admire Jesus Christ for what we might call His “Moral Statements”. These would include, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, “Love your enemies”, “Go the extra mile”, “Forgive seventy times seven”, and “Love one another as I have loved you.”

But to truly know and understand Jesus you also must come to grips with what I’ll call His “Outrageous Statements”. In John, Chapter Six, Jesus, after feeding the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish, proclaimed, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, he who believes in Me shall not thirst.” In that same chapter, Jesus spoke of us as only having life if we “eat His flesh and drink His blood.” Many, upon hearing Jesus speak these “outrageous statements”, no longer would follow Him (John 6:66).

Later, in John, Chapter Eight, Jesus spoke of Himself as the “Light of the World” and that apart from Him we would die in our sins. Then, in perhaps His most outrageous statement of them all, Jesus proclaimed, “Before Abraham was, I Am”—that even before Abraham lived 2,000 years beforehand that He (Jesus) was from eternity itself as the one true God (John 8:58, Exodus 3:13-14).

Yes, many—even among non-churchgoers and non-Christians—admire Jesus for His Moral Statements. But based on His Outrageous Statements, which we must also deal with, we can only come to three conclusions: He is a liar, a lunatic, or He is truly the Lord (the trilemma of famed British author C.S. Lewis). May we, by faith, come to the same conclusion as Lewis and the Apostle Peter—the latter who declared, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).

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Replace today's negative thoughts with God's eternal truths

The world says: "Its impossible." God says: "All things are possible." (Luke 18:27)

The world says "I'm too tired." God says: "I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)

The world says: "Nobody really loves me." God says: "I love you." (John 3:16, 34)

The world says: "I can't go on." God says: "My grace is sufficient." (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)

The world says: "I can't figure things out." God says: "I will direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5- 6)

The world says: "I can't do it." God says: "You can do all things." (Philippians 4:13)

The world says: "I'm not able." God says: "I am able." (2 Corinthians 9:8)

The world says: "It's not worth it." God says: "It will be worth it." (Roman 8:28)

The world says: "I can't forgive myself." God says: "I forgive you." (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1)

The world says: "I can't manage." God says: "I will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)

The world says: "I'm afraid." God says: "I have not given you a spirit of fear." (2 Timothy 1:7)

The world says: "I'm always worried and frustrated." God says: "Cast all your cares on Me." (1 Peter 5:7)

The world says: "I'm not smart enough." God says: "I give you wisdom." (1 Corinthians 1:30)

The world says: "I feel all alone." God says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)