Each summer I do something odd by most American standards: I spend one week with my extended family, we sleep in a crowded cabin with no air conditioner and we go to worship services three times per day - alongside of hundreds of others - in an open air structure with a sawdust floor. The songs we sing were written long before I was born and the sermons last much longer than 15 to 18 minutes.
Saul was an ordinary guy who went out to look for lost donkeys. He didn't have any expectations of being a king, nor did he set out to be king of Israel. All he wanted was to find his father's lost donkeys and go back home, but not only were the donkeys found, Saul ended up being king of Israel (1 Samuel 9:1-27; 10:1-24).
One of the greatest questions ever asked in response to hearing the Word of God… "What should we do then?" (Luke 3:10) To the believer who is already walking with God: Remember salvation is not turning over a new leaf, it is about living a new life. This affects all areas of your life - spouse, children, parents, work, giving and serving. Don't just talk about the benefits of salvation; live them. To those who are still in need of coming to Jesus - Repent! Turn from your sin and self efforts (Eph. 2:8,9) and trust in Jesus ...
"Sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). Nearly 2000 years ago, Paul wrote that to Christians, to people he included with himself when he said, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4-5).
I had always thought of the Garden of Gethsemane as some hidden away place. My mind's eye had pictured the Palm Sunday donkey ride as rather long and stretched out. My picture of the Jordan River was more like the Mississippi River. It's not that I didn't understand what the Bible was saying. I had just attached the words of scripture to the pictures my mind developed for them over the years. But then I saw it. And the images that play in my head as I read God's Word all look a little different now.
While we don't know much of the details of Jesus's young life, we do have enough information to help us form a healthy personal growth pattern for ourselves. Luke's gospel account shows a natural progression. 2:40 Jesus is called "the child" v.43 "the boy" v.48 "Son" and v.52 "Jesus." Each of these titles shows a specific growth pattern. Luke says, "the child continued to grow…" Growth is natural, the desire to grow is a part of us. The lack of desire to grow, mature and learn shows there is a problem. If an ...
Yup, we say it, feel it and live like it. Those times when life seems bleak, situations seem impossible, prayers seem to go unanswered for a long time and we conclude, "Time's up!" I have waited and waited but apparently God is not going to do this or that. Or, I have given this ample time (in our time frame) so, God must be saying "no."
The tables were lit with candles and the lights were down low. The congregation processed out of the church and into the parish hall to sit down for a Middle-Eastern style meal: olives, hummus, pita and dates.