Jesus warned his followers ahead of time what would happen to him. He would suffering at the hands of the authorities, would be killed, and on the third day would rise from the dead.

I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.
John 16.1 HCSB

Stumbling in this context means to lose or abandon one’s faith (see NLT). “Forewarned is forearmed,” says the proverb. The disciples would not be caught unawares. They would know that God was still in control and that all would happen according to his plan. Continue reading

words of great effectWe underestimate the power and effect of words today. Hypocrisy and inconsistency have become the chupa-cabra, the blood-suckers of words. Skeptics say that it’s easy to speak words, but the challenge is in the doing. Nor are they completely wrong, but still it is not so easy to speak well and to effect great results through our words.

I have told you all these things so that you will not fall away.
John 16:1 NET

Jesus speaks words that preserve the hearer, that keep us from losing our faith. His divine and inspired words transform the soul and secure God’s purpose in the heart.

When we use his words, when his truths become ours, our words also acquire the power of great effect for good, to conduct people to eternity. Continue reading