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.
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 ...
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!"
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.