The Mount of the Beatitudes sits on the top of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. As we approach the park that now encloses the top of the hill, signs remind us to be silent because we are on holy ground. It was here on this very hill that Jesus sat down with his disciples and taught them about the Kingdom of God. Here in this place, as groups gather in various small clusters around the mount, one gets a feeling of what "Blessed" really means. The verses of Matthew 5 that capture the words of Jesus line the ...
Two words come to mind when we consider the parable of the prodigal son "Pride and Pride"
"Alongside Babylon's streams, there we sat down, crying because we remembered Zion."
Do you see them? No really they are everywhere! Come on surely you do see them.
I once went for a job interview and was offered the job based upon my passing the physical. It was as a result of the physical exam that I discovered I had a tumor in my bladder. Praise God! The short story is that I was blessed to be able to have the tumor surgically removed and have been bladder cancer free ever since.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (Common English Bible)
Just a Thought: Jockeys are typically small people. Interestingly enough typically so are those people who spend much of their time "jockeying" for position (regardless of their physical size).
"Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there. When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, "They don't have any more wine." Jesus replied, "Mother, my time hasn't yet come: You must not tell me what to do." Mary then said to the servants, "Do whatever Jesus tells you to do." John 2:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)
Just a Thought: God's Word, prophetic or otherwise, is a clear and present reminder to us that He has all things under control. He has a plan both for our lives and all of eternity. There is to be a balance between knowing and studying what will one day happen with what we ought to do about today.
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 ...
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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."
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.
I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, and you are in fact dead. 2 Wake up and strengthen whatever you have left, teetering on the brink of death, for I've found that your works are far from complete in the eyes of my God.
The man was asked to kill his son. Read Genesis 22. The man was asked to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering to test whether he loved God or that boy more. And what's astounding is what verse 3 tells us. Abraham got up "early in the morning" to do it.
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.
"If only I..." Have you ever started a sentence like that? If only I had a little more money... If only I were a little more artistic... If only I had an opportunity like that... I can't think of any more paralyzing words. "If only" sets us up for failure.