Devotions

Author Archives: Jayson Combs

Luke 24:5-7

Jesus Physically Rose Again & Ascension | Devotion #3: Luke 24:5-7
Jayson Combs | Family Pastor

Is it all a scam? Did Jesus die and rise from the dead?  This question and its implications are vital for us to consider as believers. For without a literal raising from the dead, all of Christianity is in vain. As Paul states in one of his letters to the early church, our faith is “useless” if Jesus did not rise.

There are many skeptics. Some will say it was an illusion organized by His followers. Others say Jesus did not die on the cross, and therefore He never had to rise from the dead (although Mark chapter 15 tells us Pilate carefully made sure He was dead). Some critics say that Jesus did die, but the disciples kidnapped His body (even though Matthew chapter 27 tells us the tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers).  Here are a couple of points I think are very helpful when considering Christ’s resurrection.   

First, take time to read Luke chapter 24. You will read about a few ladies traveling to Jesus’ grave on the first day of the week to finish preparing His body for burial.  When the women arrive at the tomb, they find the stone rolled away and the body of Jesus gone. Instead of being excited, they were perplexed and afraid. Immediately, the women left to tell the disciples what they had found. But rather than believing Jesus rose from the dead (as Jesus had claimed He would), the disciples themselves believed the women to be lying. It was not until later when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the Upper Room that they finally believed.

Luke 24:10-11 says, “Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.”

Next, the Bible teaches that Jesus spent 40 days on Earth after His resurrection. Acts chapter 1 gives an account of the final interaction between Jesus and His disciples before He ascends to Heaven. Jesus gives the disciples instructions on how to live after He is gone. After the ascension, Scripture reveals the determination and passion of the disciples to live out the call given by Jesus. But the disciples were met with much opposition. In Acts 12:1-3, we read, “Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.” In this passage, we learn that James, the brother of John (the disciple) was killed for his belief in Christ. Other accounts reveal many were beaten and killed because of their faith in Christ and the resurrection.

Therefore, knowing the disciples were under severe persecution and even martyred for their faith in Christ, there is another question I must ask myself regarding the disciples and the resurrection of Jesus, “Why would the disciples be willing to die for their faith in Jesus if it was just a hoax and He did not really rise from the dead?” In other words, why would the disciples put their lives on the line for something they knew to be a lie? It does not make sense.

Rather, the accounts of the disciples provide compelling evidence that Jesus did rise from the grave, appeared to the disciples, and inspired the disciples to give their lives so that many would come to know Jesus as Messiah.

Personally, you must also consider the questions, “Did Jesus rise?” and “Why would the disciples give their lives for the Christ?” If you believe He rose from the dead, then Jesus is God; and if He is God, He deserves all of our worship and praise. How will you live out your life to glorify and praise Him as our resurrected Messiah? 

Colossians 2:13-14

Jesus Died for Our Sins | Devotion #3: Colossians 2:13-14
Jayson Combs | Family Pastor

What is a sin? Have you sinned before? These are the questions that I often ask when speaking to children in regards to salvation. This question must be answered for us to move on in regards to salvation.  Colossians 2:13 says, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses.” The word trespasses can also be translated as sin. It is a pretty straightforward statement – because of sin, we are dead.  

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the country of Israel. While we were there, we made a stop at the Dead Sea. Driving along the sea was amazing. The blue water with the mountains reflecting off the water is breathtaking. As you get closer, you realize why they call it the Dead Sea. There is no life in and around the Dead Sea. It is just desert, sand, salt, and rocks. It is hard for me to imagine this huge body of water having zero life in it – no fish, no plants, nothing. It is pretty, but it is dead.

This is the picture of our lives without Jesus. We can have a pretty outside, but without the saving grace of Jesus, we are dead. I am so happy that verse 13 does not stop there. The rest of this passage goes on to say, “God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

If you grew up in church, and especially in a youth group, you most likely had a service where you nailed a piece of paper to a cross. Usually, what happens is the speaker at the end of his lesson tells the students that they can take their piece of paper and write any sins on the paper. Then they are invited to come up to a cross and nail that paper to it. That symbolic event comes from this passage of Scripture.   It is the picture of what Jesus does for us on the cross. The debt of sin that all of us carry can only be forgiven when they are taken to the cross. Jesus came so our sins could be forgiven. We no longer live in death when we confess Him as Lord and Savior, but in life and eternity.

1 John 3:5

Jesus was Sinless and the Virgin Birth | Devotion #4: 1 John 3:5
Jayson Combs | Family Pastor

The Blemish

When I was in the eleventh grade, I did something that forever marked my life.   It is something I carried around with me every day since. It took place in my sixth-hour class. I accidentally stabbed myself in the arm with a number 2 pencil. It is not like it hurt that bad, but now I have this blemish on my arm that for 20 years is still going strong. It is this little lead dot on my arm (I know it is not lead). If you are my age or older there is a good chance that you have one of these blemishes (if you are younger, you may not know what a pencil is).

In 1 John 3:2-6 it says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”

It says that we who hope in Him are purified because He (Jesus) is pure. The word pure means to be “free from contamination,” to be free from blemish. Verse five goes on to say that Jesus came to “take away sins, and in Him there is no sin.”     The Bible defines sin many different ways: “Whosoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23 KJV), “The thought of foolishness is sin” (Proverbs 24:9 KJV), “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin” (James 4:17), “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17 KJV), and the “practice of sinning also practices lawlessness” (1 John 3:2).

The Word of God points out our sin. That is precisely what the Law of the Old Testament was to do. It was to show us all that we all fall short; we are all blemished. Without one who is perfect, we are all lost and condemned. There is only one who has no blemish. He is the one, and the only one, that could set us free from sin. Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is pure without blemish, in Him, there is no contamination. In Him, I have freedom and the forgiveness of sin.   

John 20:28

Jesus is God | Devotion #6: John 20:28
Jayson Combs | Family Pastor

Have you ever been mistaken for someone? Has someone ever had a conversation with you and the entire time they thought you were someone else? Sadly, this happens to me all too often in my life. My brother is Pastor Jim, and he is 21 years older than me. This brings great confusion to people when they see me and then, they see him. I cannot tell you how many times people have come to me asking how my father is doing, and then I inform them that I am not who they think I am (I always wonder what people think when they receive my brother’s Christmas card with all his children, but I am not in the picture).

In John chapter 20, Jesus has risen from the grave; He has made appearances to many people including some of the disciples. Thomas is one of the disciples who has great doubt that Jesus has risen from the grave because he has yet to see Him. He tells the other disciples that he will only believe if he can see Jesus and can see the scars from the crucifixion. Well, Jesus shows up and Thomas makes this amazing statement in verse 28, “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and My God!’”   

Thomas’ statement begs the questions, Is Jesus God or did Thomas mistake him for the wrong person? I believe Jesus’ response confirms clearly that Jesus is God. If Jesus was not God, do you think He would let Thomas mistakenly call Him King of kings and Lord of lords? As we keep reading the passage, Jesus asks Thomas in the next verse, “Have you believed because you have seen me?” If Jesus is not God, I do not believe He would allow Thomas to call Him God. It would be a very blasphemous statement against God.  

Throughout the Bible, there is this beautiful picture of Jesus and God being separate, and being the same. For a fun little study read Daniel 7:9-10 and Revelation 1:12-16.  Daniel is clearly referring to God while Revelation is clearly referring to Jesus. Compare the similarities between the two. You will be amazed at how the same characteristics that are used to describe God are the same characteristics to describe Christ Jesus.

John 1:1

Trinity | Devotion #6: John 1:1|
Jayson Combs | Family Pastor

Recently, I visited the Nation of Israel.  We went to the Western Wall and watched as many Jews came to the wall to pray to God.  The Jews believe this is the closest that they can get to God’s glory.  The Bible tells us in Exodus 40:34, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” We know that the glory of the Lord fell upon the tabernacle. To this day, Jews will go to the Western Wall because this is closest they can get to what is left of the old temple.  The sad part is that they have missed where the glory of God is and has gone. The glory of God came as flesh as John chapter one would go on to describe as Jesus. 

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This verse is so simple that a child could understand it, but yet so deep we could spend months studying it. This chapter is the proclamation that God’s glory rests on His Son and that God came down in the flesh as Jesus. Three clear points are made here in verse one. First, the Word was in the beginning. This does not mean a specific period of time. The beginning could also be translated the source.  This is saying that the Word was the start. The Word was before all and the source of all.  John MacArthur, a biblical teacher and pastor, says, “The word of the Lord was the expression of divining power and wisdom.” The second part of this verse says, “the Word was with God.” This has stated the separation of the Word and God. MacArthur also goes on to say that this is a picture of, “2 personal beings facing one another and enjoying intelligent discourse.”

Lastly, we have the statement, “the Word was God.”  If you have ever had a Jehovah’s Witness come to your door, this is one of the first places they will start.   They are okay with the word being the beginning, and the word being with God, but they object to the truth that the “Word was God.”  When we read John 1:14, we see who “the Word” is: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The Word (Jesus) became flesh. Jesus took up residence among us.

The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it continually supports itself.  

John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”  

Colossians 2:9 continues, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”

Romans 9:5 adds, “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”

2 Peter 1:1 says, “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

These verses amazingly describe the Father and Son aspect of the Trinity.  I challenge you to read 2 Corinthians chapter 3 to see how the Holy Spirit fits into and completes this Holy Trinity that we trust. 



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