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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Make an effort to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker, who doesn't need to be ashamed but is one who interprets the message of truth correctly.
It doesn't take too many clues to know a lot about a church. I can usually tell you when a church was founded, where it is located in the town, and its demographic just by hearing the church name. In Baptist life, if the church is a First church it is usually very old, dating back to the 19th or even 18th century depending on the region. First Churches are usually downtown and usually have an older, white-collar demographic. First Churches are also generally more liberal and intellectual in their theology. Then in the early 20th century there was ...
The idea of working your way up is something that pervades all people and especially Americans. It is very natural for us to desire power, security, fame and ease of life. This is true especially among men. Even as little boys, guys start sizing each other up as soon as they hit the playground. They want to win. They want to be in control. They want to be successful. This is something that stays with men throughout life. I definitely see these desires very clearly in my own life, but the more I study the gospel, the more it becomes ...
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
A couple months ago, I got a phone call at 2:23 a.m. in the morning. A call at that time is seldom good news. This one couldn't have been better.
They say you can learn a lot about a relationship by the way you say goodbye. Watch a married couple as they separate to go about their day. Watch the children being put on the bus by mom on the first day of school. Watch the scene on hundreds of college campuses in a few weeks as parents set their children free. You can learn a lot about a relationship by the way they say goodbye.
Today, I want to look at God's word, at how the apostle Paul said goodbye to the leaders of the church in Corinth ...
How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
There is a day that is coming that swells great joy in the hearts of millions. A day when broken hearts will be mended, a day when loved ones will be reunited, and a day when hopes will be realized. This is a day that I have been longing for since I was a child, and a day that millions more have longed for with an eagerness that is stronger than that of a bride awaiting her groom. What is this day you may be thinking? I am talking about the day when the King of the universe, the one ...
Don't be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Amen.
"Go for the gold!" That was the motto of our soccer camp this past week. I'm sure you've heard it before, especially this year. It's a phrase that has been used to motivate so many Olympians. Why? Well, it keeps the goal in front of them. Have you ever read any of the descriptions of what Olympic athletes have to go through to actually hope to win a gold? Think of some of the world's famous gymnasts who leave home as early as 7 or 8 years old to train full time. Their parents give them ...
I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, I ask that you'll have the power to grasp love's width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. I ask that you'll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in ...
Not too long ago, my son taught me how to play Texas Hold'em. We don't play for money, just chips. And that is good. First, because I wouldn't want to let gambling lead to greed and second, because I would lose. It turns out, in poker, if you keep trying to go "all in," you lose your chips pretty quickly. To quote a popular song, a wise player "knows when to hold 'em, knows when to fold 'em, knows when to walk away, knows when to run..." In poker, apparently, you have to be a little conservative ...
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
I was so disappointed. There was so much buildup and hype. So much buzz. So much publicity. Do you remember? About a month ago, for the first time in 116 years, a man was going to walk a tightrope across the Niagara Falls. Sure, over a century ago, a bunch of people had done it...before it was forbidden. But then, it was banned because not everybody that tried made it across.
"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."