On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...
Just a Thought: Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And does it really even matter? The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!
Just a Thought: God will have His way; His will, will be accomplished. If this is so, why do we need to bother to do anything? Why don't we just sit back and "let God?"
I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.
Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.
Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don't mean causing death, just "death." Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God's truth: "…you are dust, and to the dust you will return" (Gen.3:19) "What man can live and not see death?" (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).
Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!
I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.
Do you have any features that look like your mom's or dad's? Maybe you have his eyes, her nose or some other characteristic. Do you have any of your heavenly Father's features? "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God…" (Rev.4:8) But what about His children? We are told throughout scripture that we are to be as He is; (Lev. 11:44a; 19:2; 20:7,26; 1 Peter 1;15; 1 John 1:7).
Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.
Psalms 139 is the strongest, most undeniable argument for when "life" begins in the womb. This passage makes it very clear all life is divinely ordained by God, formed by God, and designed by and developed by God. Having said that, let's talk about our own life.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.
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Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
The memory is a dozen years old now, but vivid. I couldn't tell you what it was like outside, but I remember that room. I even remember what I was wearing. But even more clearly, I remember what my son looked like - a pudgy little nine-month old, in a hospital gown, snot dripping from his nose, coughing non-stop. He had pneumonia. It was awful. We were first time parents, trying to deal with a sickness we couldn't seem to do anything about. All day long, nurses had been in and out poking him for one reason or another ...
Lots of old expressions sneak into our lives and conversations every day. Ever heard the expression, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree"? I seem to use that expression a lot these days. It's a handy expression that means the son or the daughter is a lot like the parent. So when a child exhibits a behavior or similarity to one of the parents, I will likely say, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
I hope you're ready. The countdown to Christmas is quickly nearing zero. And if you've been reading these articles, you've seen what I've said about the importance of keeping the CHRIST in CHRISTmas. So today I want to discuss the most important part of being ready for a CHRISTian CHRISTmas - the receiving. You see, if you aren't ready to receive this Christmas, you will miss out on the best this holiday has to offer: true peace, true joy, true love.
Last week, this article reminded us of the reason for the season, the purpose behind all of our preparations and parties, decorations and driving, fun and family gatherings. We talked about preparing for CHRISTmas rather than just Christmas, and how that happens when we keep the proper attitude and the proper purpose.
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.
We're well into December. You know what that means. The Christmas Parade was Saturday. The bell ringers are out. The radio stations have converted their music. The newspapers are full of all the ads. Christmas is coming.
"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights."
"Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts." - Psalm 85:8 (New Revised Standard Version)
You know God has you here for a reason, don't you? The Bible talks about us believers in Jesus in a special way. God calls us the body of Christ. Think about that. You are a body part. It's not the same part as I am or your neighbor or your friend, but it is an important part. If you've ever injured one part of your body, you know how much the rest of the body suffers to compensate. Now - here's the question - are you doing the part of your body part, or are you asking ...
"What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple. You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas."
Veteran's Day. Talk about a day worth celebrating. On Nov. 11, 1918, the armistice was signed essentially ending World War I. The next year, President Wilson proclaimed the day "should be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory." And since then, it has grown as an opportunity to honor the veterans, not just of World War I, but all those who have fought for our freedom.
"You are a witness to your own decision," Joshua said. "You have chosen to serve the LORD." "Yes," they replied, "we are witnesses to what we have said." "All right then," Joshua said, "destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel." The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God. We will obey him alone."
Parents, as equitable as you may try to be, have your kids ever come up to you and said, "You know mom, that was really fair and even. Thanks so much." Or: "Dad, I like how you gave each of us just the right amount."