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Showing posts from March, 2016

Resurrection

John 20:1-18 [i] Mary Magdalene came to the tomb while it was still dark. On the day Jesus was crucified, darkness is a good description of the feelings of Jesus’s followers.  They spent the weekend with the knowledge that Jesus was dead. Mary came looking for a corpse, a dead body.  We are all familiar with the story, and it is easy to forget how hopeless these people were.  They thought this one was the Savior of Israel.  They argued among themselves who would sit on His right and who would sit on His left when He established His kingdom.  Now they were going to a tomb to find a dead body. Have you faced days like this?  Maybe not days, maybe you have faced months or years like this.  Perhaps you have faced a hopeless marriage, for years.  Maybe you have hoped for change in the life of a loved one, for years.  Maybe what you feared most in life has actually happened. Jesus invites us to come.  He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens

The Lord has Need of It

Luke 19:28-40 [i] Jesus came to the final week of His ministry here on earth.  John chapter one introduces Him with the words, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  He lived and ministered among the Jewish people for 33 years.  He spent His earthly life in Palestine.  He walked the hills of Judea and the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  He taught in synagogues and along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  He wore sandals, slept on the ground and ate kosher.   At the beginning of His ministry Luke 4: 16-21 tells us: 16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.  17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him.  He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the

Prodigal

Luke 15:11-32 [i] “We had to celebrate this happy day.  For your brother was dead and has come back to life!  He was lost, but now he is found!’”  (Luke 15:32) Who has Jesus come to save? Is it the well that need a physician?  Is it not the unrighteous that need a Savior? Will you be good enough to get into heaven?  If your good works are put on a scale and balanced against your bad works, which one would weigh more? How will we be judged anyway?  Will our good works be weighed against our bad works?  Are you one of those who are hoping you are good enough to get into heaven? Jesus uses the story of “The Prodigal Son” to teach us how the Father views His children who have gone astray.  This story helps us understand the nature of our relationship with God the Father. Luke 15 starts with this story. 1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.   2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain th

Fruit

Luke 6:43-45 There is a saying, “The devil made me do it.” Of course, this is said in jest, and yet there is an element involved in it that is hard to understand.  Namely, it is that we do not always understand what we do.  In Romans 7 the Apostle Paul says, “I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it.  Instead, I do what I hate.”  (Romans 7:15) [i]   Have you ever heard, “I didn’t mean it?”  How can a person say something they did not mean?  It is like the jumbled up mess that the Apostle Paul is expressing when he says he ends up doing what he hates. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  (ESV) [ii] We do not always understand what we do.  We do not always understand even our own heart.  On top of this, the heart is desperately sick.  Our hearts can be so deceitful that we can talk ourselves into believing we are saved when we are not.  In 2