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Convenient Betrayal

And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. ~ Mark 14:10-11

Conveniently: with ease; easy; comfortable; easily acceptable and easily accessible. Doesn’t take a lot of effort.

The phrase “conveniently” recalls the Sanhedrin’s hope to arrest Jesus in the absence of the multitude.

And he promised and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. so they would not cause a riot. ~ Luke 22:6

After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. ~ Mark 14:1-2

Judas was known, well known, to the men who followed the Savior. As a matter of fact, he walked the same dusty roads of Judea and sailed the same stormy Sea of Galilee with the disciples and Jesus. He was one of their friends. And here he was seeking a way to conveniently betray the One he had referred to as Master.

What was the “convenient” way Judas chose to betray? With a kiss! In Bible times, it was customary for people to greet each other with a kiss. There are four places in the New Testament that refer to the “holy kiss”— Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26. In each instance, the Greek words denote a kiss which is sacred—physically pure and morally blameless. It was a common custom in most nations for people to kiss each other at a meeting or parting to display their love, sincere affection, and friendship for each other. The kiss is called “holy” to distinguish it from a sexual one and from a hypocritical and deceitful one. But we know this kiss was none of those things.

Judas sought the impossible because there is no convenient way or time to try to get rid of Jesus. And we know that what he thought was a convenient betrayal turned into dire eternal consequences.

In the same way, it is never convenient to betray Jesus it is never convenient to receive Jesus. When you receive Jesus as your Savior and Jesus moves into your life…other things must go. You cannot have Him and keep hate, our biases, our lusts, our selfishness, our greed, our sin. I think of the rich young ruler and I think especially of Felix and Drusilla in their meeting with the Apostle Paul.

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. ~ Acts 24:24-25

Paul was sharing the gospel with an official Felix and his wife, Drusilla. Paul has three points to his sermon: righteousness, temperance (or self-control) and the judgment to come. Three reasons why they should repent and believe on Jesus Christ.

Felix trembled. He was terrified. Conviction from God gripped his heart. Paul saw that and offered the remedy of Salvation – but it was up to Felix to receive it. And what did Felix do? He procrastinated. He said when I have a convenient time, I will call you.

The most convenient time for a lost sinner to be saved is right now.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2b

Felix had a “take it or leave it” attitude toward God’s Word. And though he knew he was a sinner he refused to break with his sins and obey the Lord. He had a foolish attitude toward God’s grace. The Lord had been long suffering toward him but he would not surrender. Felix was not sure of another day’s life but yet he procrastinated.

The best time to trust Jesus Christ is NOW! And the best time to tell others the good news of the gospel is NOW!

Today let’s think for a minute about our own hearts. Concerning our own convenient betrayals of Jesus Christ.

  • Has it grown increasingly convenient to stay home from the church even though the Word tells us directly not to forsake assembling together?
  • Has your personal prayer life and your Bible study and your worship started to disappear?
  • Have things crept back into your life…attitudes, habits, sins?
  • Do you keep silent at things in our country that are wholly against the Word of our God?
  • When you see someone in need can you turn away or cross the street?
  • Have your soul-winning efforts become confined only to times, places, people …when, where and to whom it is convenient for you to share the Gospel?
  • Have you heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and turned away from Him or said not today?
A life of convenient betrayal is in complete contrast with a life of complete surrender and commitment and obedience to Jesus Christ. But both begin first with a thought or a conviction and then with a choice and then a series of choices that you act on. You chose Jesus Christ as your Savior and that choice leads to life eternal. You chose to reject Him and you will find yourself with the same consequences as Judas Iscariot. Once choice leads to LIFE eternal in Heaven; the other in an eternal hell.

How can you be saved? It’s very clear in the Bible: belief in Jesus as the one who bore your sins, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected on the third day. It’s Christ’s blood and resurrection that assures us of everlasting life when we call on Him as our Lord and Savior.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.” ~ Romans 10:13.

“Whosoever” includes each and every one of us.
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Psalm 16: Thoughts and Study

Psalm 16 – Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. 2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; 3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. 4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. 5 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. 6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

This psalm is powerful. It is a personal hymn of JOY that focuses on the goodness of God. The personal pronoun “my” is used over and over by David.

  • My Trust
  • My Lord
  • My goodness
  • My delight
  • My cup
  • My inheritance
  • My Lot
  • My glory
David wasn’t saying this though because he was so focused on himself. No! David is full of gladness and finds his delight only in the Lord and confesses that everything good in his life has come from God.

In this scripture I see many promises of God:

  • We see that He will direct our paths. He will guide us if we need guidance. He will put us on the path to seeing His perfect Will accomplished in our lives. He will show us how to walk this walk so that we look like Him; so that we have LIFE.
  • We see that He will counsel and preserve us; we can trust Him.
  • That when Jesus Christ is your Savior, your REFUGE, Your Lord…that you will experience God’s GOODNESS even in the midst of trials.
  • That with the Lord beside us we can STAND. That we can find not just JOY but FULLNESS of JOY in His Presence.
This is what I see at first look at this Scripture….

________

But then in study I found something else that is quite remarkable to me. Psalm is quoted in the New Testament in three different places.

Paul quoted Psalm 16 in Acts 13 (Acts 13:35). Paul, who had encounter with Jesus Christ that changed him from being one of the most zealous persecutor of Christians (he was a religious terrorist) but he was changed by Jesus Christ into a man on FIRE for God but a humble, powerful witness.

In Acts 2 we see recorded that Peter used this Psalm in two places (Acts 2:25-28; 31) in his sermon on the day of Pentecost. When 3000 were added to the church. Oftentimes when I speak I have to fight the urge to look for something new and different to say; something you haven’t heard before. But Peter shows us the very truth that there is no human word that can ever be said that is more powerful than THE WORD; the Word of God that is scripture. 3000 people turned to Jesus Christ and were saved, which brought about a revolution in the Roman Empire.

What did THEY see in this Psalm that they quoted in their sermons and that is written in our Bibles and hearts that created such change and revolutions? It’s remarkable really!

They see the LIFE, DEATH, RESURRECTION and ASCENSION of JESUS CHRIST.

In verse 8 we have the LIFE of Christ. READ ABOVE. THAT was the pathway that JESUS followed down here, and it is the pathway that we are to follow. Jesus said in John 5:19 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. He did what He saw the Father do. That is how He also wants to guide us. Don’t you thank Jesus for coming here as a man to show us how to live this life? Because how else would we know!!!! But because he did – we can know! How to live! How to die! How to pray! etc…

In verse 9 we have the DEATH of Jesus. READ ABOVE. He died there upon the cross, knowing that God would raise Him from the dead. You can have that same KNOWING. Colossians 1:27 says To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Then we have the resurrection of Jesus Christ in verse 10. READ ABOVE.

And verse 11 we have the ascension of Christ. READ ABOVE. At the right hand of the Father sits JESUS. Romans 8:34 says It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the righthand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Isn’t it a comfort to know that He is there praying for your needs? The same needs that you call us with and we pray for here, He is praying for you too! We are joining with Him and taking your petition to the Father.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5 to be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; And in Colossians 3: 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

So when we sing the scripture of Psalm 16:11: this is WHAT we sing of, and WHY we sing it; WHO we sing of and WHO we sing to –

Psalm 16:11
THOU WILT SHEW ME THE PATH OF LIFE: IN THY PRESENCE IS FULNESS OF JOY; AT THY RIGHT HAND THERE ARE PLEASURES FOR EVERMORE.