Continuing our advent series, we look at Mary's role in the coming of Jesus - how she fulfills Old Testament prophecy; how she is a servant of the LORD; and her prayer to the LORD that we know as the Magnificat. We also look at how this season is a season full of hope and rejoicing.
Paul addresses the church in Corinth about the resurrection of the dead in the times to come. The controversy is whether or not there will be a resurrection at the day of the LORD. Paul speaks of the resurrection of Jesus as the undeniable truth of a resurrection to come. After all, Paul argues, if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then our faith is futile and we are still in sin.
Today, we still have that same choice to make - do we believe that not only is Jesus the son of God and that he paid the penalty for our sins but that he also raised from the dead. Make your choice -- death or Jesus.
Matthew 22 begins with Jesus telling a parable of a wedding feast to help the crowds understand what the kingdom of heaven is like. Many of us have all been guests at weddings; some of us have been participants in the wedding. So we know what a wedding is. But the wedding feast Jesus describes is not any ordinary wedding. Listen to this parabe and ask yourself who you are in this story. Are you the father who invites the guests? Are you the groom? Are you the bride? Or are you one of the invited guests? Did you accept the invitation or did you refuse?
This message uses Matthew 11:2-18 as its source. In this passage, John is in jail and sends his followers to Jesus to inquire if he (Jesus) is the one to come. Jesus responds with a reassuring answer to John and then speaks to the crowds asking what they had come to see. Jesus' words gave encouragement then and give encouragement today. Give a listen to learn what the crowds went to see. Do you see it in your life today?
Ever needed some parental assistance or advice? Parents not available or nearby? Who do you turn to? Have you considered turning to the church? Yes, the Church. Not just your local congregation but the Church Universal; as Christians we have a huge family that is standing by ready to help whenever he or she can. Using Galatians 4 as a textual basis, this week we look at how the Church can function as our mother. Give a listen. Be Blessed.
Paul is one his way to Rome. In his letter to the Roman church prior to his finally getting to Rome, he writes about his longing to be there with them - to teach them, to encourage them, to fellowship with them, to love them. The first few lines of this letter speak all the work that Paul has done for Jesus and how much more he hopes - LONGS - to accomplish for Jesus. What was true for Paul is true for us today. Let's listen and learn together.
As Christians, we know that we will face obstacles, as well as pain and suffering for our beliefs. In today's western culture, it can be difficult to bear the suffering as our first reaction and instinct may be to cut our losses and run. After all, no one wants to be ostracized by family, friends, and coworkers. We follow Jesus and because we do, shouldn't life be pretty easy for us? Let's listen in and see what a solid, biblical response to suffering looks like.
Isaiah was a prophet who God sent to warn His people whenever they began to stray. While he lived and spoke for God over 2,000 years ago, his words still carry meaning today. With Isaiah 32 as out text, we look at the conspiracies being fed to us by various rulers and principalities. Everywhere we turn we are being told that the truth is not the truth. Gender identity is something we choose. Breastfeeding is not natural. The list goes on. We can sum up these and other conspiracies very simply: "Wake up! You are being lied to!"
When one comes to Jesus, one gains so so much. Much more than just forgiveness of sins and hope for eternal life. We are able to kill the sin in our life with the help of the Holy Spirit and find freedom from the slavery of sin and fear. Replacing the fear is a new spirit of adoption. Adoption by the Father through the Holy Spirit allowing us to cry out "Abba, Father".