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Showing posts from July, 2017

Trust

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Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus walked on water – incredible, hard to believe but true. People are still talking about it.  This event has become synonymous with someone who can do anything.  However, this story contains truth that is essential for our lives and our relationship with God. If you ever experience turmoil, trouble or perplexing circumstances, the truth we are about to explore can make a difference for you. Matthew 14:22 starts with “Immediately.”  This, of course, points back to what has just happened.  In this case, Jesus just fed 5,000 men plus women and children with five loaves and two fish – a huge miracle.  To understand the importance of all of this, we are going to have to go back and tell more of the story. Herod has just killed John the Baptist.  This was upsetting for the nation of Israel.  Especially since the people thought John was a prophet sent from God.  In addition, Jesus had sent the twelve out in pairs to preach, heal and cast out dem

Compassion

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Matthew 14:13-21 God cares for His people. In Jeremiah 31:3, the Lord says: Long ago the LORD said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.  With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”  NLT [i] In Deuteronomy 7:7-8, He says: 7 The LORD did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!   8 Rather, it was simply that the LORD loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors.  That is why the LORD rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.  NLT The Earth and all it contains is the Lord’s, and yet He has called out a people for Himself.  There are those who say everyone will be saved, but then what do we say about Egypt or Canaan?  Acts 4:26 says: The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against his Me

Faith

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John 2:1-12 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  (Hebrews 11:1, ESV) [i] In John’s account of Jesus turning water into wine, we see the practical side of this definition. John 2:1 says: On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Three days before this wedding, Jesus called Nathanael to be one of His disciples.  Jesus demonstrated supernatural knowledge to Nathanael by telling Nathanael what he had been thinking about.  This was early in Jesus’s ministry and the disciples were still untested in their faith.  They had shown enough faith to follow Him and learn more, but they had no experience and knew very little about Jesus.  Nathanael, for example, had three days of exposure to Jesus at this point. John 2:2 says: Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. Jesus, His mother and His disciples were all invited to the wedding.  Apparently, this was a

Whose Vineyard?

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Matthew 21:33-46 The whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar.  (Matthew 21:10, NLT) [i]   A crowd of people surrounded Jesus.  The crowd was shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”  (Matthew 21:9, ESV)  With the crowd trailing Him, Jesus entered the Temple and began driving out all the people buying and selling.  (Matthew 21:12)  He knocked over tables and chairs and caused quite an uproar.  Blind and lame people came to Him in the Temple and He healed them.  This caused even more shouting and uproar.  Even the children were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  (Matthew 21:15, ESV) [ii]   This was not the normal way of coming into Jerusalem for Passover week, and it upset the chief priests and scribes.  They confronted Jesus about what the children were shouting.  The next day when Jesus came back to the temple, the chief priests and scribes confronted Jesus again.  This time they wanted to know wh

Humility

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Luke 18:9-14 What is the Gospel? Gospel means “good news.” We, the Church, have “good news” for the world.  This good news is summed up in the verse from Scripture that says: For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  (John 3:16, NLT) [i] Jesus spoke these words when He was explaining why He had come.  As He explained, He continued with: God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.  (John 3:17, NLT) A central part of this message is the fact that the world needs saving.  The truth that accompanies the good news that believing saves one from perishing is that those who do not believe are condemned. The good news is good partly because there is also some really bad news.  The bad news is found in places like Romans 3:23 that says: For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  (NLT)