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JESUS’ WORK CONTINUES TODAY

You might have been wondering why we are reading the Gospels out of the order they are arranged in the Bible. Why did we jump from Mark to John and now back to Luke? Well, the answer is given in “Video: Luke 1-9” where we learn that Luke and Acts are a “unified, two volume work” both written by the same author, Luke. So, it makes sense to read parts 1 and 2 together.

Luke writes to a man named Theophilus who is mentioned at the beginning of both volumes. This is one reason we believe both books were written by the same author. (Note: Luke does not mention his name in either book). Acts begins “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and teach” (1:1). This opening verse summarizes the book of Luke and implies that the work of Jesus continues in the book of Acts. Although Jesus was “taken up to heaven” (Acts 1:2) His work continues on earth. BUT HOW? ANSWER--” But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses….” (…

By Our Love

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, English Standard Version)
If I asked you what Christians are known for what would you say? Politics, service, being judgmental, or hypocritical might be common answers. But rarely will people say that Christians are known by their love for one another.
See, I believe that this verse makes a HUGE STATEMENT! We are to be known by our love for one another. Well, then we must ask the question, what is love?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, English Standard Version)
Love is a choice. Not an easy choice, but it is the right choice. We don’t always realize that people are watching us. The world…

For His Glory

In Mark chapter 9 Jesus comes across a man that was born blind. The disciples, thinking that this was a sin issue, tried to find out why. Here is the beginning of the story…
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. (Mark 9:1-3 English Standard Version).
Throughout life, we go through different situations where it can be very difficult to see the good in it. We don’t always know why God does what He does. But we see here in Mark 9 that difficult situations in our lives can be a way to glorify God. What trials are you going through right now? Give it to God. Thank Him for who He is and ask Him to take that situation and use it for His glory!

Spring Has A Feel To It

We have survived “Groundhog’s Day”. The pleasant memories of the “Super Bowl” are still talked about in circles of sports enthusiasts, and some have hope that “Valentine’s Day” is not forgotten. So, we have markers of winters passing, and we hope for spring.

To the “Christian world” a monumental reminder of fresh rebirth moves on the horizon of our longing for spring. The master piece of all of God’s creation the gift of new life over death. We have read in Mark 15 the account of the brutal forces of sin, man, and evil on Christ. Allowing Himself to be engulfed in the rage of this seemingly defeating event. But as in the beginning “God created” He established a season of life and salvation a departure from the old winter of this earth, defeating the sin that tried to silence Him.

As we look forward to spring so did Christ’s friends look for a new day, and we find ourselves in Mark 16. Compelled by love and concern “the women of faith” pressed back to where their savior was laid. Despi…

Face to Face

Did you know that none of the four Gospel writers give us a description of what Jesus looked like? Now, some of you are thinking “I know… I have His picture hanging on my wall!” Well, sorry to burst your bubble but no artist has ever painted an accurate portrait of Jesus.

It was while I was reading the account of the Transfiguration in Mark 9 that I started to think about what our Lord looked like while here on earth. The parallel passage we read earlier in Matthew 17: 2 says “His face shone like the sun.” This, of course, was not the way he “normally” looked. Luke 9:29b tells us “the appearance of his face changed.” The disciples on this high mountain saw Jesus in His glorified state, not His natural state. They were discouraged after being reminded of Jesus’ suffering and death and needed this “mountaintop” experience.

But, what did Jesus look like before the change; while he was walking up the side of the mountain with the three disciples? We can infer that He had a darker skin com…

The Power Is In The Seed

As I read in the gospel of Mark I notice words that jump off the pages at me. Words like "amazed" and "authority". The people hearing Jesus speak were amazed because He spoke with such authority. I think how sad that their own teachers were so caught up in enforcing the Law that they disregarded the intent of God's precious Words in the OT. The people were not amazed with their own teachers and they lacked authority.

Then the words "listen", "hear", and "ears" stand out. In Chapter 4, verse 3, Jesus starts the Parable of the Sower with the word "Listen" and ends it in verse 9 by saying "He who has 'ears' to 'hear' let him 'hear'." As He explains the parable to the disciples I notice at the end of verse 20 He says: "Others, like seed sown on good soil, 'hear' the word, accept it, and produce a crop."

Then again in verse 24 He says: "Consider carefully what you 'h…

Am I Barabbas?

The blog for today is a little bit different. I would encourage you to read the scripture, watch the link below and reflect on how much God loves you. 

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted.16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” T…

Inside Out

Did you bathe today? How about brush your teeth? Are the clothes you are wearing clean? Most likely we all take care of our daily hygiene without thinking about it. We even make sure we put on deodorant before we leave the house. These things get taken care of each and every day. We make sure to clean the outside, but what about the inside?
“Woe to you, teacher of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean.” – Matthew 24:25-26 (NIV)
During Jesus’ seven woes to the Pharisees and teachers of the law, he repeated uses analogies to show that although the Pharisees were excellent at the outward appearances of being Jewish, their insides were dirty, sinful, and empty of true faith. As we have been reading through Matthew, we have seen this expressed time and time again. The most church-going, obedien…

Short and Simple

The Bible records many prayers, some long and others short. There is certainly a place for both!

While Peter was sinking in the water he prayed “Lord, save me.” He was scared and in imminent danger and cried out with a sense of urgency.

We often feel like we a sinking under life’s circumstances. Sometimes, we simply need to say “Lord, save me.” Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter, and he can do the same for you. Short and simple prayers are often the most powerful!

-Pastor Bob

Miracles

The Winter Olympics are soon approaching which reminds me of an amazing story of the USA hockey team back in 1980. They were faced with defeating the favored and extremely talented Soviet Union team. The USA team stunned the Soviet Union team with a 4-3 win.

Al Michaels was on the call and he asked a question that I think we need to ask ourselves, “do you believe in miracles?”. Now, I don’t think Al Michaels was talking about our Christian life but it is a really good question. As we continue through the New Testament together, we see miracle after miracle. As a matter of fact, today’s reading deals with Jesus healing the paralytic, Jesus healing the bleeding woman, restores a girl to life and more. My question to you today is do you believe that God still does miracles?
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. (English Standard Version, Hebrews 13:8)
In a society where it seems as if technology is the answer for so much it is easy to forget that our God still does mi…