Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Jesus Way - “The Way of Living”

The Jesus Way
“The Way of Living”
Matthew 7:21-29 CSB


7 Evidences of Jesus’ Resurrection: 

a.    Society is transformed everywhere Christianity is introduced and embraced

b.    Jesus called it.

c.     Jesus demonstrated resurrection power

d.    No motivation to invent Jesus’ resurrection narrative is evident.

e.    Written and archeological sources overwhelmingly support the Gospels’ resurrection narrative.

f.      Only Jesus resurrection convincingly explains the conversion of people not previously his followers.

g.    Jesus’ resurrection is the only basis for making sense of suffering.

Key Truth: "To follow Jesus means to live out the values and principles of His Kingdom with our whole lives.”

Main Question: How will you respond to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how does that decision change everything?   

1.    Confession and obedience(Matthew 7:21-23)


2.    Knowledge and obedience(Matthew 7:24-27)


After the Message: Read James 2:14-26. What does James say about the relationship of faith and works? What practical and biblical examples does he give? What is his conclusion?

Friday, March 29, 2024

Today is Good Friday -

Friday, March 29, 2024

But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. 
Matthew 27:50-51
Today is Good Friday -  
He had been up all night, tortured and beaten, exhausted.  Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities (perhaps after midnight, early Friday morning).  He was put on trial and the crowds shouted “crucify him!!”  He had to carry his cross all the way to the hill where he was crucified.  Then He was crucified and had to hang there for three hours before he finally died, all the while being taunted and ridiculed.  He was thirsty and given vinegar to drink.  I cannot fathom the suffering and pain He endured during those three miserable hours.  What was He thinking?  What was going through His mind as He hung there? He could have stopped it all and got down off that cross, but Jesus did not change his mind in the midst of his suffering. He fulfilled the scriptures so that we could have eternal life.  

So, 'What happened on Good Friday?' The goodness of Jesus's love and sacrifice at Calvary is immense, permanent and priceless. It is inseparably connected to his life on earth before that, and to his Resurrection. What happened is part of a longer story that involves all humanity and the chosen people in particular, and it is part of a more-than-human setting that involves Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because was all fulfilled in Him.  

The Earth Trembled And The Veil Was Torn
In the temple a veil, a very thick, woven curtain, separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple.  At the moment Jesus died, that heavy curtain was torn from top to bottom. It was not ripped from bottom to top, as though a man were ripping it. Instead, it was ripped from top to bottom, because God was ripping it.  God was saying, “You no longer are on the outside. You can come in. My Son has made a way for you.”

The whole earth shook. Many ancient prophets became alive again. Many people saw them.  The way that Jesus behaved in court and on the cross, was humble.  When the Roman officer there saw this, and the other events, he said, ‘Truly, this man was the Son of God.’ (Matthew 27:54)

I encourage you to really think about the day and what it means this year.  Don’t let it go without a thought.  Consider what He did for you.  Consider what Good Friday and Easter mean for all of us. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

A Journey of Grace

 Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7

A Journey of Grace

Author Christine Caine said of the Children of Israel: “Going through was essential for them, but their trek through the wilderness was actually only an eleven-day journey. It didn’t have to take forty years, but in essence they chose that for themselves by fighting the process—grumbling, complaining, resisting the work God wanted to do in them.

We all have some version of the wilderness to go through… It’s how God prepares us to be well able to overcome the giants in our lives.”

If we fight the journey instead of enjoying it, or at least accepting it, we may miss the purpose and it may take a lot longer than it needs to. AND, who wants to prolong the wilderness moments of life? Or miss the mark altogether and have to do it again?  

It is so easy to quickly fall into despair and so hard to be courageous while we wait on the Lord. The verse says “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” – that means in this lifetime, before I die, I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord. In that statement there is a glimmer of hope because any time I am in despair, I am tempted to feel like it will never end and life will never be the same again. But if I truly believe, I can persevere. Because I believe, I can hope and know that He may not solve things the way I want Him to, but I can trust Him. His goodness is coming. There is light ahead. It is only a season and change will eventually come.

In moments when I am tempted to despair, when things are spinning out of control or my heart is breaking, I have learned to find comfort in contentment because as long as I am fighting against my trials, there is never peace. When I accept and resolve myself to what is my reality, I can see that this is a passing moment but it is building towards a greater joy. He is in control and I can trust and wait and trust in Him. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Activate Grace

Wednesday, March 27, 2024                                                                                                                                         
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9  

The apostle Paul knew the secret of grace.  In the face of opposition, God gave him a revelation. Why is this verse so important?  Because Paul truly depended on God.  He recognized that whatever came against him, he didn’t have to fight it in his own strength.  He trusted in God’s ability and strength to continue in the work of the ministry.   
How are we to get to the other side of whatever we are facing?  The same way – by grace through faith (by God’s ability and our faith in that ability).  Just as we operate in faith, we need to operate in His grace.  

How can we activate the grace of God in our lives?

1. Simply ask for it.  God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly.  Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  God’s ability is ever ready for us.  We need only ask.

2. Be humble.  Pride will always get in the way of God’s grace.  Think about the person who is lost, driving around for hours trying to find a certain location, when they know they could just stop at the gas station and ask for directions.  What keeps them from just stopping?  Usually pride!   The “I know how to do this” or “I can handle it” attitude never cuts it when it comes to grace.  If you could do it yourself, you would have done it by now.  God’s ability works best in a thoroughly yielded vessel.  But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."  James 4:6

3. Know the Word. When you know the Word, you’ll be fully persuaded of God’s ability.  In fact, the more intimate knowledge you have of God, His ability will be multiplied in your life.  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.  II Corinthians 9:8 

4. Be patient.  Being delivered from a problem is not the only work of grace.  Actually, grace is better known for delivering us in the problem.  Grace is the power that sustains us until deliverance happens. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

5. Trust God.  Just holding on may not be evidence of faith.  We may fear letting go because where we are is more comfortable than where we might land if we let go.  Faith may call for us to let go and trust God.  If I have asked God for grace and wisdom, humbled myself to His plan and confirmed it in the Word, I need to be willing to go where He leads to stay in the channel of His will.  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

God wants us to be everything He created us to be.  He not only has a plan for our lives, He also has a power available to bring it to pass. Draw upon it in each and every situation.  God’s best is ahead of you, as you take hold of His grace.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,  1 Corinthians 1:3-5 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Jesus’s High Priestly Prayer – John 17:20-24 Submitted by Kay Crumley


Have you prayed for those you love? Perhaps you pray for your family members especially in time of distress or need. Some pray for other people they know as the know about specific needs they have. But do we pray more general prayers for others, even those we don’t know? The verses we are studying today is exactly that. Jesus’ prayer in John 17 is near the end of His ministry. He knows that the time for Him to be crucified is near. The thing He does as a result of that anticipation of separation from those He loves, His disciples, it pray to His Father. 


In our time of deepest, most stressful circumstances we go to God with our pain, fear, and anxiety knowing that only He has the answers to our situation. Throughout scripture Jesus set the example for us teaching us how to pray and demonstrating that praying is a personal, intimate experience that should be done in private. It is a conversation with us and God. He admonished the Pharisees for praying in public in such a way as to exalt themselves rather than God. John 16 is a conversations Jesus had with His disciples preparing them for His departure and what they would face after His return to the Father in Heaven. 


If you read all of Chapter 17, you’ll see that Jesus is speaking to His Father. The first five verses are asking that God be glorified through Jesus. His work on earth is done, God sent Jesus so that we can have eternal life. Jesus summarized His purpose and asked that purpose be completed with His return to glory. Jesus was with the Father in the beginning and returned to Him at His resurrection. This prayer is an example for us to talk to God about our purpose and desire that it be to bring glory to Him and not to us. 


The next verses are supplication for His disciples. He is asking God to help, guide, protect, and set them apart for His purpose. Jesus knew what they would face after He was gone. They would be hated, persecuted, and rejected. As His disciples they would face the same things Jesus faced by those who rejected Him. They will be ‘set apart’ for His service. He is asking God to help them in all they would do as they taught others about His way of living. We are to be disciples, to grow like our Father. I am sure we have observed that children develop the same walk, speech patterns, expressions, and attitudes of their parents. That’s because they spend time watching and learning those characteristics. That’s how we should grow like Him, by modifying our life to mirror our Lord Jesus. 


Our focus passages, John 17:20-24 is for those who will believe but didn’t live on earth with Him.those who believe in Me through their message’. That’s us! Jesus prayed for every believer who would become His disciple. Did you know that Jesus prayed for you? Stop and think about that for a moment. As He was facing arrest, beating, mockery, and death, Jesus took time to pray for those who would be His future disciples. We were on His mind even then. 


20 I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. 
21 May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. 
May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. 
22 I have given them the gloryYou have given Me. May they be one as We are one. 
23 I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have lovedthem as You have loved Me. 
24 Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. 
Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.


His desire for us, those who have make Him Lord of our lives and are committed to conforming to His example, is to be as one. What does that mean? That we will be in complete unity with God as Jesus is one with Him. To believe that Jesus is who He said He is, to have a common purpose and adopt His character as He demonstrated on earth. Then, the world will believe God sent Jesus to be our Redeemer, our Savior. He, Jesus is in us by the Holy Spirit and since God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are one, we are to be one. When we are united with Him, we will see, know, understand His Glory. One definition of His glory is the visible manifestation of His attributes and character. We are to be sanctified, set apart, to show the world by our transformed life the character of God. We must not only know Him as our Savior and Lord, but we must be like little children who learn to walk, talk, and behave like their parents. For that to happen we must spend time in His Word, with His people, and focus on His purpose. We are to be one with Him which means we unite with fellow believers for one purpose, that all will hear the gospel and come to know Him.  

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