Archive for : April, 2020

04.30.20

04.30.20 Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read

And today – why not review the church prayer list and offer a prayer for each person listed …

04.29.20

04.29.20

1 Kings 13
1 Kings 14
1 Kings 15
John 6:1-21

A quick question – have you ever thought to yourself, “Why is this person joining us for worship?  What is their motive for being here?” 

John 6: Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sickThen Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

Did you note that it did not matter to Jesus why they were there?  He taught them anyway.  Reflect on your own thoughts … 

04.28.20

04.28.20

1 Kings 10
1 Kings 11
1 Kings 12
John 5

We saw earlier that John explained that the miracles and signs Jesus performed were “how he revealed his glory.” (John 2:11)    And in today’s reading we see Jesus state the same reality even more emphatically:

John 5:  36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 

04.27.20

04.27.20

1 Kings 7
1 Kings 8
1 Kings 9
John 4

1 Kings 8: 62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So, the king and all the Israelites dedicated the temple of the Lord.

When I read of the tens of thousands of animals scarified by Solomon at the dedication of the Lord’s temple I was reminded of a passage from Hebrews … a passage that speaks to the one, perfect sacrifice that was required for our separation from the world (being made holy) and dedication to the Lord. 

Hebrews 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy

04.26.20

04.26.20

1 Kings 4
1 Kings 5
1 Kings 6
John 3

John 3: 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” As we are experiencing within our Body there are times of change that we all face.  And in today’s reading we see John the Baptizer face such a change.  And we see that, as it hould be with all of us, we need to set aside our will, our desires and our opinions and defer to the will of the Lord.

04.25.20

04.25.20

1 Kings 1
1 Kings 2
1 Kings 3
John 2

Very early in John’s gospel we see John continue to highlight that Jesus was the Son of God and that he provided proof of who he is.

John 2:  11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

04.24.20

04.24.20

2 Samuel 22
2 Samuel 23
2 Samuel 24
John 1:19-51

John 1: 19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’

 In John the Baptist I think we see an attitude of humility and of dedication to the Lord’s mission.  For John could have taken the adulation that came from being recognized as the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet (like Moses.)   And we see that he refused the praise, focused on his mission, and continued proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. 

My thought – while it is certainly acceptable to receive praise for the service we provide to the Lord, let us never forget that our true mission is not recognition – it is proclaiming the Gospel of Good News — the Messiah has come and He is coming again!

04.23.20

Take Time to Reflect on the Impact of the Scriptures You Have Read …

And why not drop a note to a Brother or Sister you have not seen in a few weeks?

04.22.20

04.22.20

2 Samuel 19
2 Samuel 20
2 Samuel 21
John 1:1-18

I enjoy reading and due to the influence of a marvelous 8th grade teacher have read many of the literary “classics.”  Strikingly, even before I became a believer I could think of no “classic” work of fiction or non-fiction that begins so beautifully as John’s gospel:

John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomeit.

Of these beautiful, inspired Words of God Coffman writes:

The eternal existence of the Lord Jesus Christ and his absolute identification with God and as God are unequivocally stated in the first line of this gospel; and this may be considered the theme of the whole Gospel, every word and every event of the entire narrative having been skillfully chosen by the narrator for the purpose of proving the Godhead of Jesus Christ and of persuading people to believe in him. From this opening word to the end of the Gospel, there is not the slightest deviation from the sacred author’s intention of presenting Jesus Christ as God come in the flesh for the purpose of human redemption, and to whom every person owes the uttermost worship and devotion

04.21.20

04.21.20

2 Samuel 16
2 Samuel 17
2 Samuel 18
Luke 24

As I read Jesus’s words at the conclusion of Luke I saw a marvelous blessing to all of us that may be overlooked.

Luke 24:  45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Did you see those two words, “all nations?”  They mean that the gospel and the plan of redemption would be preached to even the gentiles, even us!  And what a blessing to being able to hear the words and to respond to this gift of grace.

04.20.20

04.20.20

2 Samuel 13
2 Samuel 14
2 Samuel 15
Luke 23:32-56

Luke 23: 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. 50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

When I read about how the followers of Jesus “stood at a distance” I am reassured of God’s plan when I read Coffman’s comments on Joseph of Arimathea:

There is a well of consolation in the fact that God always raises up a man at the required time. Peter and Thomas might flee, but Joseph will appear. The few remaining women may gaze helplessly from afar, but an honorable councilor will rise up. The darkness may obscure the sun, but stars hitherto unseen will brightly shine.

04.19.20

04.19.20

2 Samuel 10
2 Samuel 11
2 Samuel 12
Luke 23:1-31

Luke 23 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

As I read the passage from Luke today I noted a strong point of irony.  Pilate released a man who brought death and crucified a man who brings eternal life to all believers. 

04.18.20

04.18.20

2 Samuel 7
2 Samuel 8
2 Samuel 9
Luke 22:39-71

A few months ago, I brought a message on what I consider to be moments of “thunderous silence.”  Moments when we are unable to say anything and the silence surrounding us is “thunderous” in its impact.  We read one of those moments today:

Luke 22: 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

After that moment of thunderous silence, we see Peter’s heart and an example of repentance:

Luke 22: 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Strong’s concordance explains that in the Greek this is not silent weeping.  It is, instead a moment of intense loud wailing, as we see expressed by mourners today in the Middle East.  Peter recognized his sin and repented with intensity. 

My thought – while we may not wail loudly do we approach our need for forgiveness with the same intensity … the same recognition of our wrongdoing …  

04.17.20

04.17.20

2 Samuel 4
2 Samuel 5
2 Samuel 6
Luke 22:1-38

As we have discussed one of the greatest attribute’s scripture teaches is that of humility in serving the Lord with the talents we have been given.  And on this very night before his crucifixion we see the Lord, again, provide this teaching to his disciples. 

Luke 22:  24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves

04.15.20

04.15.20

2 Samuel 1
2 Samuel 2
2 Samuel 3
Luke 21

Luke 21:  37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Keeping in mind that we are now into the last few days of Jesus life on earth do you see how important Jesus considered the teaching of God’s word?  He was teaching “each day” and “early in the morning.”  I think of this as a terrific example of how important it is that we spend time in studying the inspired Word of God.

04.14.20

04.14.20

1 Samuel 30
1 Samuel 31
Luke 20

Most likely we have all had moments of desperation – times when we felt that the entire world was crashing around us.  At those times I think we should all look at the example of David.

1 Samuel 30When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

04.13.20

04.13.20

1 Samuel 28
1 Samuel 29
Luke 19

You are probably familiar with the “parable of the talents” we read today in Luke 19.   A departing nobleman entrusts some money to three servants and leaves.  When he returns (after a bit of time) he rewards the servants based upon how they have used.

But did you note a fine point in why Jesus spoke this parable at this specific time?   We may read unbiblical “predictions” of when Jesus will return but we must be prepared at all times.

Luke 1911 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’

04.12.20

04.12.20

1 Samuel 25
1 Samuel 26
1 Samuel 27
Luke 18

Scripture is filled with teachings on humility and the attitude required for true repentance.  I can think of no better example than the following parable: 

Luke 18: To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

04.11.20

04.11.20

1 Samuel 22
1 Samuel 23
1 Samuel 24
Luke 17

We are certainly saved through God’s grace.  However, that grace and the accompanying love should lead us to obey the Lord’s commands.  And in Luke 17 Jesus provides a parable on just how important obedience is.  Throughout all that we do it is our duty to serve.   

Luke 17: “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”