In some kind of mysterious way, the Holy Spirit would have us look at a passage that is eerily the story of so many of our current American tragedies. The father/son combination of David and Absalom will be juxtaposed against another Father/Son combo that will bring us much hope.
God loves us too much to leave us this way. He's provided everything we need to become fully mature in the stature which belongs to His Son. Ephesians 4 will help us to diagnose what the heck is going on that some of us remain half-baked. Doesn't apply to you? Might be time for more honest friendships.
A tragedy fit for kings and court jesters: David's leading a kingdom but whose is it? His insatiable appetite has raveled out of control. He abandons his post and loses the strength to love his neighbor. The battle is fierce and still rages today. Where may the love of God be found?
The real work that needs to happen for a reconciliation of any kind...has already been done in the crucified Christ. Really. He solved the problem with our relationship with God and with one another. In doing so, he also created a brand new humanity
Have we chosen to divide ourselves into both a sacred life with Jesus and a secular life based upon principles taken solely from this world? The time is now for us accept and allow the eternal plan's work in us for making our lives whole and undivided.
Many who have been paralyzed by past events and future worries are learning the value of living in the Power of Now. We who have been called out of insecure darkness are learning to yield to the pausing and movements of the unstoppable, ever-present and ever trustworthy One.
We know faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Have you added more words to His or are we communicating the utterances of Jesus as He spoke them?
It’s the question that comes with a certain tone, rising up from the feeling that Jesus has fallen asleep on us. Is this ignorance or indifference? Who is this Guy/God that takes naps in a storm while we’re all about to die?
Jesus used these cute little stories often. Truth be told, there's nothing cute about them. In fact, they are a veiled confrontation with the truth. The crowds He spoke to were not ready for a naked discourse. Are you and I?
If we want to understand the visible world and get the highest good out of the things we can see, we’re gonna have to bring into our field of vision, ‘the things we cannot see.’ All of this is only made possible by a window, a door, named Jesus.
Our God, God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit has spoken to His creation, and continues to speak, and is speaking to His church, "ascribe to Him the Glory due His name”.
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.