Tag Archives: New Testament

Thanking God for Jesus

Advent-WreathTuesday, first week of Advent

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, you show us the loving face. Help us to love you in return.

SCRIPTURE

At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’

Luke 10:21,23-24

THINK ABOUT IT….

How wonderful it must have been to hear Jesus speak those words! God has revealed something special to them, not because they were great students are especially smart, but because God wanted them to know who Jesus was.

God still wants us to know who Jesus is. That’s why we have the Bible. That’s why we have the church. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we know that Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth and it’s not because we figured out something or because we have use our brain power instead, it’s because the father wants us to know who Jesus is so that we can be saved from sin and death.

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, we thank you for showing us your son. May we come to see him in his kingdom.

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Thanking God for Jesus

Tuesday, first week of Advent

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, you show us the loving face. Help us to love you in return.

SCRIPTURE

At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.’

Luke 10:21,23-24

THINK ABOUT IT….

How wonderful it must have been to hear Jesus speak those words! God has revealed something special to them, not because they were great students are especially smart, but because God wanted them to know who Jesus was.

God still wants us to know who Jesus is. That’s why we have the Bible. That’s why we have the church. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we know that Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth and it’s not because we figured out something or because we have use our brain power instead, it’s because the father wants us to know who Jesus is so that we can be saved from sin and death.

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, we thank you for showing us your son. May we come to see him in his kingdom.

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Humility

The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

 — Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus Teaching 1Those of us who call ourselves Christians sometimes neglect the instructions that came directly from Jesus. In the scriptures Jesus had many things to say. Because we live in this fast paced competitive American society, we find it difficult to image that we can be exulted by humble behavior. We have been taught from a very early age to put our “best foot” forward. The words of Jesus cut against that concept. The real task of humility is to be genuine and authentic in all that you do. The person who exalts himself is, in many instances, just lying. We have a time for self-exalted people. We call them hypocrites because can never live up to their talk.

In the Kingdom of God leadership is marked by servant hood and not self exultation. If you want to rid your life of hypocritical self agrandizement ,become a humble servant to all. A servant’s word will carry far more weight in the end than the word of a great teacher who does not follow through. The American Poet Edgar A. Guest wrote:

I’d rather see a sermon than hear one, any day;

I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way;

The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear.

Fine counsel is confusing, but examples always clear,

And the best of all preachers are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put in action is what everybody need.

We are all (clergy and laity)walking sermons weather we like it or not.

Prayer

Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you. Amen.

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Evil and Innocence

We spend an inordinate amount of time bemoaning the evils of our day. Each day brings a new political and social organization whose primary focus is to turn our country toward “Christianity.” There is a sense that the world has never been worse than is right now.

Nearly 60 years ago C. S. Lewis said:lewiscs34

“The practical problem of Christian politics is not that of drawing up schemes for a Christian society, but that of living as innocently as we can with unbelieving fellow-subjects under unbelieving rulers who will never be perfectly wise and good and who will sometimes be very wicked and very foolish.”

The problem then and now is not that the society is a failure, but that individuals fail to see the role of innocence in their lives. Innocence means believing and doing the “red letter” words of the Bible, and accepting that they are the words of Jesus.

Then we can believe:

  • Innocence is turning the other cheek even when we have the advantage.
  • Innocence is trusting in people that are not saints.
  • Innocence is giving a second chance, and the second, second chance.
  • Innocence is going tone more mile for someone who doesn’t deserve it.
  • Innocence is believing that God will win in the end, and we don’t have to make it happen.

When we can embody these principles and more, we become world changers. Our live and our influence become a great factor in the lives of others. Therefore, by our practice many others are led to a knowledge of the love of God and the reality of Jesus as Savior of the world

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Jesus is in the Room

The baby born in Bethlehem came to die. His miraculous birth and his miraculous death and resurrection were eternally linked. The crucifixion was shattering to his disciples. They were lost without the Master and confused about the validity of their faith and the future of the Kingdom they had just begun to envision. Nothing made sense anymore, and they were consumed by loss. The desperation in the room had taken on a life of its own. So, the disciples sat huddled in darkness and fear.

Suddenly, Jesus was in the room! In that one miraculous moment, with His resurrected presence, everything changed. Prophecies fulfilled. Parables lived. Mysteries cleared. Fear melted away. Hope soared. Peace settled. Courage took hold.

Over the years of my life, I have known the presence of Jesus. I have known, without one shadow of doubt, when He was in the room. He has calmed my fears in anxious moments. He has given me hope in times of my deepest despair. He has provided for me a peace that defies understanding in the midst of great turmoil. He has shown me grace in my most unworthy actions. He has blessed me with healing in devastating brokenness.

So many things happen to us in life. We must handle both joy and sorrow on this journey. Broken family relationships, sickness, death, financial crises thrust us into situations where we, much like those early disciples, seem paralyzed and huddled in darkness and fear. The great thing one must remember and acknowledge is that His presence will be ever with us to heal and comfort and bless us with His grace and peace. His resurrected Presence gives meaning to the journey – Jesus is in the room.

Reflection – When have you known that Jesus was in the room?

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More Basin Theology

It was said of Abba John the Persian that when some evildoers came to him, he took a basin and wanted to wash their feet. But they were filled with confusion, and began to do penance.

— Sayings of the Desert

Sin and guilt are peculiar concepts. Evildoers expect to be treated as such, and when they are surprised, they become confused. The servant attitude of the Abba spoke louder than words, and threw the weight of their sin and guiltmotherteresahelping crashing down upon them. Simply following the example of Jesus and being their servant was too much for them. Evildoers are armed with smooth words and crafty schemes, but the gospel of love renders them helpless. Basin theology, as exemplified by Jesus, is one of the  most power tools for spreading the gospel.

OUR CHALLENGE – Learn to be ready with gospel love and service to all who come our way.

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Worship 1

The Rt Revd N T (Tom) Wright delivering the Ja...

“That is what worship is all about. It is the glad shout of praise that arises to God the creator and God the rescuer from the creation that recognizes its maker, the creation that acknowledges the triumph of Jesus the Lamb. That is the worship that is going on in heaven, in God’s dimension, all the time. The question we ought to be asking is how best we might join in.”

———N.T. Wright from Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

 

Bishop Wright is my favorite New Testament scholar. He constantly challenges us to allow God to manifest Himself in our worship.

 

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Never,Never,Never Give Up

In the darkest days of WWII Winston Churchill addressed the students of his Alma Mater, Harrow School with the following words.

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the Unite...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955.

“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.”

We forget that this is also God’s message. God has promised never to give up on us. Old Testament and New Testaments together, are a record of how God never, never, never, gave up.
 

– Adam and Eve disobeyed the very First Rule. But God never gave up.
– Abraham wandered, and Sarah laughed. But God never gave up.
– Moses hid and shook with fear. But God never gave up.
– Saul went insane. But God never gave up.
– David plotted against Uriah. But God never gave up.
– Ahaz sold out to Assyria. But God never gave up.
– Israel fell into pieces. But God never gave up.
– The Jewish people became exiles. But God never gave up.
– John the Baptist was beheaded. But God never gave up.
– Peter denied he even knew him. But God never gave up.
– The disciples all ran away. But God never gave up.

God never, never, never gave up and he has not given up today!

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Filed under Christian Living, Commitment, Controversy, Faithfulness, Winston Churchill