Today's verses are John 13:18-20: "I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, 'He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.' I am telling you this now , before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.'" My child, in instructing my disciples toward faithfulness, I wanted them to know that even though I had chosen all twelve of them, there was one, Judas, to whom I was not speaking. He would not be faithful. He would betray me.
Have you ever been betrayed? Has someone ever deeply hurt you by their behind-the-scenes manipulations? It has happened to me. It has happened to other, great men of faith. My servant, King David, had it happen two different times with two different people. He had a close adviser named Ahithophel betray him. He also had his own son, Absalom, betray him.
It also happened to me. For me, the Scripture had to be fulfilled (Psalm 41:9). But beyond the pain of the betrayal, I wanted my disciples to know this betrayal would occur before it happened. Why? So that, as they looked upon what I had prophesied, after my cross and resurrection, and see that what I'd said came true, they would know that I am who I say I am: God in human flesh, the one who died for their sins. My proven foreknowledge would help show them my deity!
When I send my disciples out, in my name, in all ages, when people receive them and their message, they are essentially receiving me. In other words, to receive the messenger is to receive the message he or she brings. To receive the message means you accept and believe the gospel and trust in me for your eternal salvation.
My child, from these verses I want to address two areas of your life.
First, is there someone who has betrayed you? Is there someone who has deeply hurt you? If so, please don't let bitterness consume your soul. Please don't allow bitterness to choke out my grace and mercy in your heart. Bitterness within you is like drinking arsenic and expecting the other person to die. When you have bitterness, you are the one who hurts. You continue to pay the price of another person's sins against you, even though they may have moved on. And they continue to hurt you! That's insanity! Let them go. Give them to me. Forgive them as I have forgiven you. I did so with Judas. Do so with the person who hurt you.
Second, have you received the gospel of grace? Do you believe that I died for your sins? Do you know how much I have forgiven you of your sins? Please make sure you have received me today. Please make sure you know the forgiveness of your sins, your huge debt that I have paid for you.
You are forgiven of your sins. I have forgiven your billion dollar debt you owed my Father because of your sin. Accordingly, now forgive those who owe you ten dollars. You will be released from all your bitterness when you receive my forgiveness. Then you can forgive others! And you are set free!
You can trust me today.