On that day, the church was born and gospel Christianity began. It would be as distinct as life is from death because it involved the ministry of the Holy Spirit…bringing life, light, and the love of Christ into the dead spirits of men. And where the Spirit is not the life of the church, our outward form is like the carcass left behind by a departed soul.
Ascension Day is that mysterious departure of Christ's physical presence from the earth. The life that began with a supernatural birth ends in a supernatural departure. In one sense, Christ’s work on earth was finished on the cross. But in another sense, that finished work is nothing but the beginning, the starting-point of Christ’s heavenly activity. And actor Leslie Nielsen may have been at the Ascension.
Moses spoke to God "as a man speaks to his friend.” But every one of Christ’ friends stands nearer to God than Moses did at the door of the Tabernacle. Hard to believe? Listen how as Pastor Joe breaks down what it means to be Christ’s friends through the indwelling of the Spirit.
We tend to misdirect and hoard power and life through the mechanisms of fear, hate, and indifference. But it is through the True Vine, who is Jesus, The Christ, that God’s atonting long-suffering love and life is available to all humanity.
Is it enough to say, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need” (Psalm 23:1)? The answer is “yes!” and best understood as we follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in understanding 1 John 3:16 "We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us”. We are thus empowered to embrace Jesus’ LOVE as our Good Shepherd and not as a hired hand (John 10:11-14). We, in turn, can tell others about this wonderful love, offering hope for the broken and rest for the weary.
We may never understand the Gospel or the greater part of the New Testament if we don’t understand the Forgotten Beatitude first. Where is it and why didn’t it make the cut in Matthew 5? Listen in as Pastor Joe explains, reminding us that believing is not credence only. Believing is trusting.
The Greeks wanted to see Jesus so they could learn more about him. But in order to really see Jesus, you have to follow him. Pastor Joe asks the question: "Do you want to be a learner of Jesus Christ or a follower of Jesus Christ? The difference...is the gospel."
In one moment, a snake was the instrument used by God to deal with Israel’s wretchedness. In the next, it becomes the instrument of their blessing and restoration. How could this be? And why would Jesus liken Himself to this brazen serpent? Pastor Joe shares that we’ve all been bitten by the serpent, but if we look up to the One who was lifted up, we can live.
Out of nothingness, death, beauty, and devastation, God can create incomparable life. Through the gift of His crucified and risen Son we intentionally enter God’s ever-present word that calls forth countless worlds and souls.
Pastor Joe unfastens the wing nuts holding down the top of Abraham’s head to get an intimate look at the inner workings of this great faith that was counted as righteousness and brought so much glory to God.
Sustaining the life of repentance that we've been called to can be so challenging. But there is a way to order our spirituality so that it can become a reality. The gospel of Jesus Christ sets the blueprint for a Lenten spirituality and it begins in the wilderness.
The whole story of Naaman shows us, as in a glass, what human nature would like the Gospel to be. But it can’t be and it won’t be. Hear why.
Because of the entrusted message, grateful believers can become just about every sort of service in the attempt to lead those they meet into a God-saved-life. It is this "God so loved" power that propels us into tensions of world-sized differences we would otherwise avoid.
Jesus’ authority transcends all understanding and traditional thinking. He came to establish a Kingdom like no other. This Kingdom’s aim is not only to "proclaim freedom for the captives” but to transform us and help us grow in love, forgiveness, and service as modeled by Jesus Christ. May His Kingdom reign in us as we seek to genuinely serve Him and others!
In America, repent means "feel really bad about the mess you made." But in the Middle East, it means so much less, thus so much more. Enough with Westernizing these Middle Eastern terms. Let's find out what it really meant and start experiencing the victory that's always been ours.
God honored us with a body and desires us to honor him with it. The Corinthians have completely missed the nature and inner logic of sexual intercourse and more importantly, Christian conversion. Paul does not attack their illicit behavior and neither will we. Instead, we’ll confront the theology on which our behavior is predicated on.
“Jesus The Baptized One accepted his mission as the innocent slain lamb. The Father giving us his best pleasure. The Son rehearsing the baptism that was to set us free and The Holy Spirit rehearsing/prophesying the peace between us and Father”
Anxiety makes great headlines. But by living the Christian life on the deepest possible level, we remain secure in God, no matter how fearful the times. The Apostle John left us words of peace and assurance. But it's for childlike hearts only.