After his resurrection, Jesus spoke to his disciples. "He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, 'This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things," (Luke 24:45-48).
What is the ultimate human condition? Created beautiful, but fallen into the ugliness of sin. We have "God-imaging" potential, but we have an inherent sinful nature such that what we most want, and what we worship is not God, but ourselves and anything else (sex, money, you-name-it). Here is the beauty of God's rescue plan - He came to rescue the very people who rebelled against Him.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
2 Samuel 20:1, "Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bikri, a Benjamite, happened to be there. He sounded the trumpet and shouted, 'We have no share in David, no part in Jesse's son! Every man to his tent, Israel!'"
Words. An insult from one man. These words spoken in insult during a tense time nearly sparked a second civil war in Israel as David returned to Jerusalem.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Here is a helpful message from Pastor Mark Driscoll on how Jesus Loves His Church. Here
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her," (Eph 5:25).
The supreme human love relationship, marriage, is supposed to be modeled after Christ's love for His people. Who are Christ's people? What is the ultimate love relationship in existence apart from God's inner-Trinitarian love for Himself? It is Christ's relationship to the church. The church is far from perfect. It is a group of sinful human beings doing life together. But, it is a group of imperfect people affected by the perfect love of Christ. It is imperfect people being slowly made perfect by God. Much pain has occurred through the church, sadly. But, God has not given up on it. Instead, Jesus loves the church and is purifying it so that it glorifies God. Because Jesus loves the church, Christians must love the church. Christians must love the organized body of believers both globally and locally. Christians must pray for the success of the church around the world. Christians also must actively join and serve in a local body of believers, even when it is painful to do so. The church is the family of God on earth, and though we are not yet sinless (hence the ongoing pain in earthly churches), we work through the power of the Holy Spirit to serve God and one another better.
Friday, December 12, 2014
"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings," (Luke 16:9).
Jesus told a perplexing parable of a dishonest servant who, when he found he was being fired, helped debtors to his master change their debts and steal from his former master. Jesus did not say what the master did to the dishonest servant other than praise him for his shrewdness. Then, arguing from lesser to greater, he encouraged his followers to be shrewd with worldly wealth. However, Jesus was not encouraging unscrupulous methods to gain mountains of money. Instead, he was encouraging Christians to make the most of their dollars for eternal purposes.