We have all seen them, those precious moments when a soldier surprises his wife or kids with a special unannounced visit home. How touching they are to see the emotion and joy that overcomes those who have been waiting so long for a glimpse, a touch and some time with their loved ones from whom they have been apart.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are ...
Jesus said: I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture. A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Where is your heart? When we say the pledge to the flag of the United States, we place our hand over our heart on the left side of our chest, is that where our heart is?
Along the coast line of the Sea of Galilee lies a little stop in the road community in the middle of a very green farm area, called Kibbutz Ginosar. We stop to see the 2,000-year-old boat at the museum, but outside, like an overlooked simple lace collar on a beautiful dress, the mosaic benches line the sculptured lawn, making a welcoming place for people to sit as they soak in the fresh air and sunshine. A kibbutz is a place of growing, a farming area that sustains the people of the area. This is not the only kibbutz in ...
A true disciple of Christ has more to do than just be a faithful follower.
Jesus gives six "woes" in Luke 11, I wonder if any of them would cause us to say, "Woe is me?"
Just a Thought: Are you ceremonial, or spiritual?
Beside the Sea of Galilee and up from Tiberias lies the Kibbutz Ginosar. A kibbutz is an area in Israel rich in farmland and vegetation. Kibbutz communities rely on agriculture for their income, and much of the area's fruits and vegetables come from these communities. The Kibbutz Ginosar is also known as the place for the "resurrection" of a 2000 year old fishing vessel which dates back to the first century. Known as the "Jesus boat," this boat was probably in use for many decades on the Sea of Galilee, and was the kind of boat that Jesus and ...
During my trip to Bethlehem, I had the pleasure of visiting the St. Nicolas Church, an Arab Christian congregation that sits on a side street just up the hill from the Angel Hotel. Behind the church in a small courtyard lie tombs of past leaders of the church. The graves are surrounded with flowers and marked with names and a picture, reminding all who visit this small churchyard of the faithfulness of these beloved leaders.
Have you ever had a need, but couldn't express it?
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You might recall that I'm a grandfather now. Yes. Yes. It's been a blessing, and I'd joyously dance in the streets except I'm a lousy dancer and people drive way too fast around here. So let's just pretend I'm doing a little dance of joy. And I'm joyous because grandchildren are cute, cuddly, soft and sweet. And I'm joyous because all the old cliches about being a grandparent are true. We will spoil them. We will play with them and then hand them back to the parents. We will bore people with ...
Have your Mother's Day sentiments worn out yet The day was almost two weeks ago. I sure hope not. If they have, just take a moment and think about the love of a mother.
As we study John 15 and hear Jesus tell us, "Remain in my love," I pray that we realize the value of that command.
Crucifixion, stabbing, stoning, flaying, beheading - I'm describing the ways the original apostles of Jesus died. They died a variety of ways, but one thing was consistent. They died because they would not budge from their conviction on the truth of Jesus' resurrection, the power of his message, the value of their relationship with him.
They were so certain of their eternity that they willingly faced death, the most gruesome of deaths, instead of denying it.
When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them - fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. "Bring some of the fish you've just caught," Jesus said.
Praise the LORD! For He has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
What are you afraid of? Sickness? (What if I never recover?) Loneliness? (What if my spouse doesn't keep the promises?) Bankruptcy? (What if I'm not able to pay the bills?) Responsibility? (Will I be able to protect this child in my arms in this scary, scary world?)
So what is it? I know it's something. We all have fear. But ultimately, it is all the same. Really, just about all fear boils down to the same thing - fear of failure - your own or someone else's. It might be your past mistakes that condemn you to current ...
We announce to you what existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have seen and our hands handled, about the word of life. The life was revealed, and we have seen, and we testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. What we have seen and heard, we also announce it to you so that you can have fellowship with us. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that ...
Last week, we saw how The Life of Easter is the death of fear. We read Mark 16 and saw the women who went to the tomb full of fear, and we described how Easter answered every single one of those fears.
Growing up in rural Georgia, Easter meant not only the resurrection of Jesus, but also a new Sunday dress, a hat, gloves and more chocolate than I could eat, at least at one time.
My sister Kathy and I would wake up before dawn, rush to our Easter baskets, eat a few bites of chocolate, get dressed in our brand new Easter dresses and head out for the sunrise service, with candy stashed in our purses.
Today is Good Friday. We call it "good" because of what happened that day. Jesus died, crucified at a place called Golgotha - "the skull." In church tonight (it starts at 7:30 and you are certainly welcome) we'll be focusing on the seven things we hear our Savior speak as he was being killed. Because in what he says, we see why all this happened. Tonight we'll go through all seven, but, in this article, we've only got room for one:
Heaven or hell? If you were to die tonight, where would you end up? Heaven or ...
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
A few weeks ago, the Academy Awards were on TV. Did you see them? Even if you didn't, you know how the people arrived, right? Those stars did not sneak in a back door somewhere. They know how to make an arrival: the finest vehicles, the most exquisite clothing, the perfect presentation, and, of course... the red carpet. That is how someone important arrives.
Then there's Jesus. In Mark 11, we see him entering Jerusalem to complete the work he came to do, to accomplish the most important accomplishment in the history of the world - and he rides ...
The next day, the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him. They shouted, "Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the King of Israel!"
John 12: 12-13 (Common English Bible)
After they arrested Jesus, they led him away and brought him to the high priest's house. Peter followed from a distance.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you right back out of it."