Praying With Compassion
What most people do not understand about prayer.
What most people do not understand about prayer.
Life is full of choices. But there is one choice that is greater than the rest. The question is have you made the right choice?
How do you treat your father?
How do we handle accusations? Listen to how Jesus handled them.
There are two world views. There is the secular world view and their is the biblical world view. The secular world view excludes God, whereas the biblical world view sees the world through God's eyes.
Memorial Day is a day in which we remember and honor the soldiers who fought and died for our country, but what is interesting about Christianity is we are all called to be soldiers and the question that has to be asked is what kind of soldier are you?
There is a difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow and we see this in Peter and Judas.
Did Jesus claim to be God and must you believe that He is? Yes to both these questions and it is clearly stated in the Gospel of Mark.
Mothers are special people and are to be treasured!
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed that the cup He was about to endure could be taken from Him and His immediately God answered His prayer. Jesus of course accepted God's will perfectly, but how do the others accept the will of God?
So many times we as God's children prayer for things and think if we don't get the answer we are looking for God didn't answer our prayers and many times this is due to the answer being no, but the truth of the matter is many times we see God's perfect when the answer is no and we see this in Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane.
Many Christians believe they would remain faithful to Christ no matter what, but this is easier said than done. The disciples thought this and the Lord informed them of their denial and yet they all thought they would prove Him wrong.
The day Jesus was raised was the greatest day ever!
What does the Lord's Supper mean to you? What does the Lord's Supper mean to Jesus?
There is one thing we should know a lot about and that is our heart. Let us examine our hearts and ask God to show us our sin so that we can repent and live to the praise of His glory.
There are many things we are to be prepared for in life, but are you prepared to meet your Creator?
How do you know if you are truly saved? You will know whether or not you are saved based on your relationship with Jesus. Do you love Him or loathe Him?
If Jesus were living your life would they hate Him or Love Him? They hated Him while He lived and He says they will hate His followers also.
What are we we to do up to the Lord return? The Lord commanded us to watch and if we are not watching we are sleeping. The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we watching or sleep?
A lot of people put a lot of trust in things that can't always be trusted in, but there is one thing that you should put your trust in that will never fail and that is God's Word!
What are you hoping for in life? Listen to what Jesus tells us to hope for in these verses as He teaches His disciples.
For those who say there is no God because a loving God would never allow such devastating things to occur have no idea of what is to come during the seven year tribulation, which is a result of God's wrath.
So many times when people come into hard times they seem to give up, but Jesus instructs His disciples to stay the course.
So many times we get upset with our culture because of the commercializing of Christmas. We like to post things like, "The Real Reason For The Season", but do we as Christians really slow down enough to reflect upon the real reason for the season and do we really understand the whole Christmas story?
The widow was insignificant to most observers, but Jesus uses the widow as an example of what every believer is to be like.
Hypocrisy is one of the most if not the most dangerous thing that happens within religion and Jesus warns us of its consequences.
How is Jesus? Is He God? Is this important? When we witness should this be proclaimed? The Scriptures are loaded with the fact the Jesus is God in the flesh and it is very important that we stand strong on this doctrine at all times!
What are you thankful for? So often we think in regards to physical things like our health, our jobs, family, homes, but how thankful are we in regards to the things pertaining to God? God has given us so much to be thankful for as His children so let us show our thankfulness.
If you were to sum up the Bible in a few words what would you say? A Scribe asked Jesus to do just that and His answer silences the Jewish leaders.
If the resurrection isn't true then why live the Christian Life? God is the God of the living not of the dead.
Money is a sensitive subject for most people in the church, but God does have a lot to say about it and in all reality we do have to ask the question, "Whose Money is it anyway"?
When you listen to preaching or teaching are you really paying attention? So many today are more interested in entertainment than they are the Word of God and this should not be so for the believer!
So many times the authority is in question not only by unbelievers, but believers as well.
So many today are controlled by their emotions and the emotion that is probably the most evident is anger. What is it that gets us angry? What are we to be angry about? Listen to what angered our Savior and try to follow His example in being angry for the right reasons.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem do you believe it was a triumphal entry and if so how was it Triumphant? His entry was triumphant, but probably not in the way you would think.
It is common for us to compare ourselves with others, but what do we deem important as we compare and what is important to us in our comparisons. Listen to the comparison between Jesus' disciples and a blind man named Bartimaeus.
Jesus said, "If you want to be great then you must become a slave to all". Are we willing to pay the price for greatness?
So many want power and prestige, but are not willing to do what must be done to get it. Listen to what Jesus says about being the greatest.
With so many today they are living a life without hope, but this shouldn't be true of the believer because we know the meaning of life!
So many make a profession for Jesus for the wrong reason. They come to Jesus thinking that their lives will be so much better, so much easier, but Jesus never promised a easy life, but an eternal one. The question isn't what's in it for me, but what isn't in it for me?!
What is it that you are trusting in for eternal life? Listen to what Jesus teaches the twelve concerning this matter.
What do we know about those who signed the Declaration of Independence? Living for and even dying for our liberty is a noble cause, but are we willing to do either one for our liberty in Christ? Time will tell!
What is expected of all who comes to Christ? What does Jesus expect of all who comes to Him? He expects us to put Him before all else!
What we need most in our society today are fathers who are willing and determined to stand in the gap and be godly examples.
How do you enter into the kingdom of God? Jesus said with child like faith.
With all that is going on in the world with divorce, homosexuality, sex-changes and the blurring of the sexes it is evident that the devil is going all he can to ruin God's institution of Marriage. Listen to to what Jesus says about God's plan for marriage as He answers the Pharisees question concerning divorce.
How are we living as Christians? Jesus uses metaphors a lot of times to describe what it is that we are to look like. Let your LIGHT so shine among men. He also used salt and the question that we must ask ourselves is are we Christians who are salted or saltless in a saltless world?
What do you know about sin? Do you see sin the same way Jesus sees sin? Do you see sin in the same manner in which Jesus taught in Mark 9:42-48?
So many times churches split over those things that aren't important, things that are personal when the Scriptures are clear that we are to endeavor to keep the unity. In this section Jesus teaches that we are to be united and not divided when we are serving in His name in accordance to His will.
Our society tells us what a mother should look like, but what do you say a mother should look like? If God were to describe you as a mother how would He describe you?
The gospel as we know it today is another gospel. Jesus came preaching the kingdom, the Davidic kingdom, but then preached another gospel, the gospel of His death and resurrection. The disciples were seeking to rule with Jesus in the church as they would in His kingdom, but again there was a change and those who were to be first need to put themselves last.
The gospel preached according to Jesus concerning His death and resurrection was another gospel; it was not the original.
So often as Christians we tend to doubt and like the father with the demon possessed boy we need to ask for help with our unbelief when we face our trials and tribulations.
Jesus took three of His disciples on a mountain in order to get their attention. What does it take to get your attention?
What does Easter mean to you? According to Scripture the resurrection means L.I.F.E.
What is required to be a follower of Jesus? As a poker player would say with a royal flush "ALL IN"! Jesus teaches that we must go all in if we are going to be His disciples.
Many people today believe they can accept Jesus's Message without accepting Him as Master, but this isn't what we see in these verses. You either have the mind of God or the mind of the devil. You are either for God's plan and against it. There is no middle ground. You are either for Him or against Him.
Seeing the forest through the trees is how many Christians look at their salvation, but God wants us to see the big picture. Is the death, burial and resurrection only a ticket to heaven or does the the Lord's sacrifice mean much more? Jesus teaches that there is much more in these verses.
There is nothing more important in life than to have the best understanding of the Word of God as we possibly can. Thomas Roosevelt said this in regards to the Bible, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." We can never put too much emphasis on the importance on rightly dividing the Word of God. Within these verses we see what Jesus says about how knowing the Word of God helps us to beware of poisonous teachers.
Do you find that we can tend to favor some people more than others? Maybe because they are rich or maybe because they are poor. Maybe we favor some over others because their skin is different than others. God has compassion on everyone and it doesn't matter whether or not their rich or poor or what color their skin is and we are to have that same compassion.
What does it mean to be a Christian? In today culture there are a lot of definitions for being a Christian, but what do you think being a Christian means? Do you have a checklist that describes what a Christian is to look like? The word Christian was given to the earlier believers by unbelievers at Antioch, but why? The answer is because the believers, followers of Christ, lived their lives like Jesus. If we are going to follow Jesus' example than we must do what Jesus did and Jesus always looked up!
One thing I think is common among most people if not all is we tend to make judgments of others by the way they look, what kind of job they have, their education and by the color of their skin. Many times when we do this we tend to think ourselves better than them. If I have a higher education, I am better. If I make more money, I am better. If I have better hygiene, I smell better and my hair isn’t a mess, I am better. Knowing this is true how do you think this affects our purpose in life? Have you ever considered witnessing to someone but decided not to because you found them to be offensive in some way? Listen to how Jesus dealt with a person who was definitely an outcast in these seven verses.
So many people are trying to appeal to God through works trying to produce their own righteousness while neglecting the fact that it is the heart that is defiled. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. It isn't our environment that causes us to sin; our desire to sin is because our heart is full of sin.
Where do you place tradition? Does tradition hold as much weight to you and your church as Scripture? Listen to Jesus' teaching concerning tradition and Scripture.
Many Christians know the major stories of the Bible including Jesus walking on the water, but do you know why Jesus walked on the water and what He was trying to teach His disciples? He wasn't trying to teach them that whenever you get in trouble just look to Jesus and He will deliver you. The lesson goes much deeper than that.
Many times in life we tend to lose focus and this is true in our service for the Savior. How can we become more effective as servants for the Savior? Listen to Marks record of how to be a focused servant.
How do you determine your best Christmas ever. Is your best Christmas ever the first Christmas you spent as husband and wife? Is your best Christmas ever the first Christmas with your children? Listen to what God says in His Word to be the best Christmas ever.
Many today think when confronted with heaven or hell you just accept Jesus and escape hell, but is there more to it than just escaping hell. We know what we are saved from, but what are we saved to and have we considered the cost; have we calculated the cost to following Christ? Following Christ comes with a price!
You have heard of the saying, "You can't reinvent the wheel" yet that is what many are trying to do when it comes to evangelism. Many are trying to come up with new ways to present the gospel and many times presenting half truths in the process. What we must do is proclaim the gospel as Christ commanded.
What is the cause of thankfulness? With most people it is their circumstances that brings about thankfulness or a lack thereof. Listen to a man who circumstances weren't always the best, but was determined to have an attitude of gratitude.
Too many in the church today we have become too familiar with Jesus. Meet a group of people who were very familiar with Jesus and how they missed the most important thing and how we to can become too familiar with Jesus and miss the most important things.
Many times in life we are brought to our knees by extremes, but there are some wonderful truth about the One we are going to at these times and Mark shows us this in these verses.
So often people claim to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior with little to no change in the way they live, but this is contrary to what the Scripture tells us should be the norm for true believers. The man with many demons was made clean by Jesus and with him there was a significant difference in the way he lived after his encounter with the Savior.
We talk so much about faith, but what is faith? We say that we have faith in God to bring us to heaven, but do we have faith in God to bring us through everyday life? See how the disciples learned how to trust Jesus through the storm and how we too can trust Jesus with the storms that come into our lives.
How many Christians really understand what God is doing with the church and His kingdom? How many can explain how God is going to accomplish His goal of building His kingdom from beginning to end? Jesus teaches us what God is doing and how He is going to do it in these parables.
So many times when Christian say that we should let our light shine they are saying that we should let our goodness show, but Jesus was far great in character than we will ever be and when He talked about letting the light shine He was doing it with His lips.
How do we know if we or anyone else is saved? Jesus teaches us what to expect of anyone who claims to believe unto salvation in the parable of the sower and the seed.
So many today think that they are a child of God because they exist as a person, but this isn't true. One must be born into the family of God in order to be a child of God. The question is, "How do we know if we are truly part of God's family"? Jesus answers this question in just five verses.
What is the unpardonable sin and can it be committed? Listen to Jesus' teaching in regards to the unpardonable sin.
People will always see Jesus in one of three ways. He is either menace, magician or Lord; which of the three ways do you see HIm?
The way people see Jesus varies from person to person. In these verses and the verses to follow they either saw Jesus as a menace, magician or Master. The question that is most important is, "Who or What is Jesus to You"?
The Pharisees had hard hearts, Jesus had compassion and God sees our heart. The question that we have to ask ourselves is, how is our heart?
What is the meaning of communion? Why should I participate in communion? Why shouldn't I participate in communion? What is the significance of communion? Paul explains this in these verses.
So often we tend to make tradition and personal conviction equal with the Scriptures, but it is only the Scriptures that we are to hold to as absolute truth. The Pharisees tried to hold Jesus to their traditions and convictions, but Jesus would have not part of it and neither should we.
What are you doing with sinners? Do you have a lot of friends who aren't saved? How much time do you spend with them and why? See why Jesus ate with tax collector and sinners according to Mark.
There are three things every believer must understand about faith and we see these three things with the encounter of the paralytic, his four friends and Jesus.
What is it that brought you the most Joy? Was it the day you proposed or were proposed to? Was it the day you were married? Was it the day or days that you children were born? Meet a man who had an encounter with Jesus and that day became a day that he was overwhelmed with joy.
So often people live their lives without purpose. Kids go to college not knowing their major, people go into the military because they don't know what else to do? Jesus came to earth with a purpose. Jesus ministered with purpose and so must we.
To be a father is a great calling in life, but in order to be a great father we must take careful aim at the target God sets before us in directing our children. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
It isn't only the preacher that needs to proclaim God's Word with Confidence, we all need to take a stand and proclaim God's Word with confidence. Let us learn from Jesus as He never hesitated to proclaim God's word Confidently.
In America we have either forgotten or just don't know what it means to be Jesus' disciples. Jesus didn't try and attract people to follow Him with false promises. A matter of fact He taught in a way that made it difficult for people to follow Him. There is a cost to follow Jesus and the question that we have to ask ourselves is, "Are we willing to commit to that cost"?
So often we tend to soften things when talking with others. Instead of saying that a person lied we soften it by saying it was just a little white lie. We have something called political correctness. We are afraid of saying something in fear of offending someone or hurting their feelings, but this can't be the case when telling others the gospel. We need to be honest in letting them know the truth and not worry weather or not it offends them; TELL THE TRUTH!
In the way that Jesus was victorious over temptation is the same way we need to achieve victory.
One thing that is lacking in our churches today is older moms coming along side younger moms in order to mentor them in the ways of the Lord. When moms aren't living in the manner in which God calls them to live it give opportunity for the enemies of God to blaspheme. A moms number one priority is to live in such a way as to not give people the opportunity to blaspheme the Word of God.
Jesus, at His baptism, was revealed by three different witnesses. Can you imagine living at the time and witnessing the baptism of Jesus? Having seen the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descending and the voice speaking, would you have left all and followed the Christ?
What are the characteristics of a servant of the gospel look like? Mark start his gospel of with a description of a servant of the gospel in John the Baptist. A servant of the gospel knows his purpose, his priorities and his place.
Easter for the Christian is the day we observe our deliverance, but what exactly are we delivered from or to? Is the resurrection of Jesus Christ only intended to give those who believe eternal life and the assurance of heaven when we die?
Good Friday, what's so good about it? His disciples abandoned Him, Peter denied Him three times and God's people, Israel, rejected Him having Him put to death in the most vile way. But, Good Friday is good if you understand the need.
So often as we think of Jesus and the cross we think of Him being God and miss the human aspect of Him. The humanity of Jesus really comes out at the Garden of Gethsemane.
As Easter draws near let us think upon the resurrection and what it meant to those who witnessed it and what it should also mean to us.
Every believer in Jesus Christ as Savior is sanctified. We are sanctified positionally by God at the point of our salvation, but we are also sanctified practically and Paul explains whose responsibility it is to sanctify and the process to get us there in these verses.
There are so many things in life that we pursue, but are we pursuing what is good? The apostle Paul tells us what is good in these verses and encourages us to pursue them.
How is it that God's people can show their love for God's Leaders? Expect only that which is found in the Word of God. Don't place on the Lord's laborer anything more than that which the Word of God clearly proclaims.
Does the church go through the Tribulation? Paul makes it very clear that the righteous, the saints, the church does not go through this day because the wrath of God has already been poured out on the church when Christ suffered on the cross at Calvary.
It is so common to hear Christians talk about the signs of the times, but are we as Christians supposed to be seeking signs?
The greatest way to be comforted as a Christian is to be Comforted by Christ's Coming.
So many of us want to succeed, but do not want to do what it takes to succeed. What is the secret of success? You must be willing to go beyond the norm. You need to exceed to succeed.
Sexuality is overwhelming our society and it isn't the only a secular world problem. There are a lot of moral issues going on within the church as well as those on the outside of the church. The only way we can overcome moral decay within the church is if God's people will set their minds to living Sanctified lives.
So often we are consumed with our own needs and wants when we pray. It is almost like we believe that God is there to grant us any wish we want and when He doesn't we question Him why or assume that He didn't answer our prayer at all. What we really need to do as Christians is search the Scriptures and see how Jesus and the apostles prayed. When we do this and pray like they did it is then that we can know, "This is how we should pray".
Many times ministry can be discouraging, but it doesn't have to be. If we want to have an encouraging ministry all we have to do is stay focused on the positive and not the negatives, which is described in these verses.
Jesus, the apostles and other writers of the Bible use many metaphors for the church, but I believe that team would be a good metaphor for the church. Listen to how Paul describes his team in these verses as they minister to the Thessalonians.
New Years is the time that most people set goals. Most goals are temporal like diets, savings and relationships. But what about the spiritual goals? Using the word goal as an acronym we see four goals that every Christian should commit themselves to and we can fulfill them if we will only stay committed to the goal.
Every Christmas we look for the perfect gift for the special person that always ends up not being so perfect, but there was and is a "The Perfect Gift" and that Gift came in the form of a C.H.I.L.D. for everyone.
What is Christian fellowship? Many Christians consider getting together with other Christians for any reason is Christian fellowship, but this isn't true Christian fellowship. Christian fellowship is when two or more Christians get together where Christ is the focal point and others are edified as a result.
What should be the evidence of a true conversion? Paul says that the Thessalonian church received the word and welcomed the word with open arms which was evident in the way they lived.
So often we think and dwell on the negative, but as Christians we should be the most thankful. If we continuously dwell on the fact that God has provided us redemption through His Son we can't be anything but thankful.
What is ministering the gospel? Most would say ministering the gospel is telling others how to receive eternal life, but ministering the gospel is much more than sharing the means of salvation it is teaching them how to live out their salvation after they receive Christ for eternal life.
When we minister the gospel are we afraid of the way others may perceive us or are we more concerned with the way we honor God in our presentation? We need to minister, proclaim, the gospel and we need to do it in the way that honors God.
Everyone is looking for an example to follow and this includes churches. Paul explains the effectiveness of a faithful church and a church that all should strive to follow their example in the first chapter of the book of First Thessalonians.
This is a letter written to a church that was a model church. It was a letter of encouragement and not correction and one that we can find encouragement and comfort in today.
The devil is not someone dressed in an outfit with a pointy tail, horns on his head and a pitchfork in his hand. The devil is an enemy that we must know in order for us to have a correct perspective on why and where our trials come from. But if we are going to handle our trials correctly we must also know how to live. We must be determined to live to the praise of God's glory. When we know the devil and how to live it is then that we will understand the reasons for the trials.
Most of us are concerned with the way we dress. A matter of fact there is a lot you can tell about a person by the way they dress and the same thing is true with the Christian. What is the most important thing that a Christian can dress in and do we dress in it?
There are many misconceptions of what the responsibilities of a pastor are, but Peter gives some great insight to what God expects of His under-shepherds and they are not what most would expect in our churches today.
We commit ourselves to many things in life, but are we willing to commit to God no matter what? Trials are for the purpose of glorifying God, but they are also an opportunity to prove our faith to others. When the day of visitation comes to the unbeliever will they reflect upon our commitment to God through our fiery trials and therefore consider Christ as their Savior or will they reflect upon our failure to handle the fiery trials and reject Him? Let us not accept failure; let us be committed to God's judgment.
We always commit ourselves to many different thing, but are we committed to God's glory? Peter, in these verses, stresses the importance of being committed to God's glory through our suffering. The only thing for the Christian to do now is determine whether or not he or she will commit themselves.
We have received gifts not for ourselves, but for the edification of others and more importantly, they are to be used to the praise of God's glory.
The end of all things is at hand and we need to be serious and watchful in our prayers. In order for us to function as a healthy church in these last days we need to be praying, caring and sharing and we need to do so Biblically.
Jesus Christ was the ultimate example for suffering. We know how He suffered and why He suffered, but the question we have to ask ourselves is are we will to follow His example in suffering?
Every organization needs a great leader to follow and what greater example could one ask for in a leader than our Savior Jesus Christ!
Many times we let our circumstances consume our thoughts when Peter tells us that we are to set God apart in our heart and be ready always to give an answer for the hope that is within us. If we stay focused on God it will not matter what else is going on around us and it is then that people will see Christ in us.
So many of us want to be blessed of God, but are not willing to be a blessing to others. If we want God's blessing than we must start blessing.
Our wives are a gift from God and they are heirs together with us of the grace of life and we should treasure them as such. Let us as Christian husbands treasure our wives and let the unsaved world around us see that Christ has made a difference in our marriage.
One of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing for man to do is be submissive. This is also true for Christian wives, but this is what God has called wives to do and God has given us two reasons for this in chapter 3.
It is common today for people to quit their jobs because they work for a harsh boss or they just aren't happy were they are, but we as Christians have to look at things from a different perspective. God has placed us in whatever position He placed us for a witness. Let us follow Christ example and stay focused on God's purpose for us on this earth.
Most Christians have a hard time submitting to a government that goes against everything that we stand for as Christians, but this is what God has called us to do. Let us submit to the extent that those in leadership see Christ in us.
Jesus Christ has called every Christian to make Him known with our lips, our mouth, but it is crucial that we also show Christ to others with our life. The way we live will speak louder than what we say.
Luke 6:45 says, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks". What is that most Christians are talking about? Are we talking about the things of God or are we talking about other things? It is when we are consumed with God that we will talk about the things of God. Let us focus of the love of God and share with others His love in response to His love.
There are a lot of things that people desire. Some want to get in good shape, but lack the dedication to do so. Peter tells us that if we desire to grow in our salvation we need to do two things. First we need to lay aside our sin and second we must desire the pure milk of the Word. If we do not do these two things it will be impossible to grow as Christians.
In a world that seems to be confused in what a man is supposed to be the Bible makes it very clear what a man is. We are in desperate need of men in the world, but especially in our homes and churches. What is a man? Listen to how David defines what a man is to his son Solomon and then go out and be one.
Most people who respond to the gospel in the positive do so to escape the flames of hell, but our response should go much deep than that. When we accept Christ as our Savior we enjoy our new brothers and sisters and have a brotherly love toward them, but God expects our love to grow even deeper, but this love has to be pure and diligently pursued with all our heart. When we love one another like this it is then that we are the church God has called us to be.
So often we get caught up living for the temporal. We live for the things of this world when we should be living for the next. We will all stand judgment as believers and this should compel us to live for the next, but God's love should be the driving factor which really compels us to live for the next. How we live today reveals whether or not we really believe God and what He has said in His Word.
What keeps us going in life as Christians? Do we let our circumstances dictate the way we live? Peter tells us that it is God's grace that should direct us on how to live. Let us not be consumed with our present circumstances, but with the grace of God.
Many women think that the most important contribution that they can make is to work outside the home, but the best contribution that a mother can make is the time spent at home with their children endeavoring to build in them a godly character that will continue for generations to come. God has already determined how the home is to be run and it is impossible for us to improve upon it.
What is that you and I are interested in? The prophets, apostles and angels are interested in God's grace. Should we as the recipients of God's grace be as interested or even more so than the angels? Let our lives reflect our appreciation for all God has done, is doing and will do for His special people.
What is it that motivates us to live life when life is at its hardest? Why do we continue when times get tough? As Christians it should be in knowing that God uses trials to conform us into the image of His Son. Let us look at trials in a positive way and not negative. God is for us not against us.
So often we can be caught up in our present circumstances and loose sight of who God is and what He has done. Let us stay focused on God's abundant mercy and all else will pale in comparison.
It is amazing what one finds when looking up Bible illiteracy on the internet, but as God's children we are commanded to study to show ourselves approved. When we are diligent in studying God's Word it is then that we will know what to watch for, stand for and grow up to.
Happy Easter! Easter is the Christian's Passover and when you look at the whole picture of what it means to have Jesus as our Passover you have to stand in amazement at God's love for mankind. Philippians 4:4 says to rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. Shouldn't we rejoice by celebrating Easter, the Christian Passover, always and not only once a year? Praise God for His goodness.
You have heard the saying, "Put your money where your mouth is", but do we do this when it comes to supporting the local church as God's children? How grateful are we that God was pleased with the payment paid, which was evident through the resurrection? Do we need a law commanding us to give or does the grace of God compel us to give? If Israel gave for the building of the sanctuary because they were freed from Egypt, shouldn't we be more grateful for being delivered from the penalty of sin?
We as human beings are born corruptible, having the ability to die, but at the rapture all true believers will put on incorruptibly, we will never die again. God will give us a new body suitable for eternity at the coming of Christ's for His bride at the rapture. O Death, where is your sting? O Death, where is your victory? We now have the victory over death and that victory in found in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So often we complain about our physical ailment, but these physical ailments are a result of Adam and the fall. What we need to do is focus on the future by rejoicing in the present truth that the resurrection will bring about a life without ailments and limitations.
Life is about Christ and His church and we are to be consumed with this truth. Are we sharing the good news of salvation with others no matter what the cost? Pascal once said, “I have learned to define life backwards and live it forwards”. By this he meant that he first defined death and then life accordingly. If we believe that there is life after death then let us be zealous to proclaim the truth of the resurrection as Paul did.
So often we as human beings would make better choices if only we knew everything there was to know about any given situation. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul explains the end from the beginning in verses 20-28. If only we would make the right choices in accordance to the truth found in these verses. We know the complete story and we need to start living as we do.
There are many things Christians argue about, but not many are worth dying for. There are five fundamentals that every true believer should be willing to die for and the resurrection is one of them. The resurrection is central to the Christian faith and if there isn't a resurrection then Christ did not rise and if Christ did not rise then we are still in our sins and if we are still in our sins then we will still be accountable for them. But Christ did die for our sins and God did accept Christ's payment which is evident through the resurrection. Let us stand strong in our faith concerning the resurrection because if there is no resurrection then there is no hope.
When Christians are asked, "why do you believe what you believe and why do you live according to what the Bible says", many cannot answer these questions. Many Christians say, "It’s by faith". When in reality God has given us ample evidence of who He is and what He has done to place our faith in. Christianity is not an irrational faith it is a rational one and Christians should have the answer to such basic questions and we find these answer in I Corinthians 15:1-11,
There are so many things that churches fight about. When you get to the root of why Christians fight it all points to pride. We are unwilling to put others before ourselves. But Paul says that we are to Let all things be done for edification, that God is not the author of confusion but of peace and that when we meet together as God's children all things are to be done decently and in order. When we can do this it is then that God will bless His church and the church will prosper.
Why the gift of tongues? In I Corinthians 14:20-25 Paul tells the plain truth regarding the purpose of tongues in a language that is easy to understand. Tongues was never intended to be used in the church, but God used them as a sign of judgment against the nation of Israel because of their disobedience as was prophesied in Isaiah 28:11,12.
There are some three thousand languages in the world today and they are all significant, but only if those listening understand the language. The same thing was true two thousand years ago when Paul addressed the Corinthian church in regards to their misuse of tongues. If they do not understand what you are saying then don't waste your breathe.
Spiritual gifts were given for the purpose of edifying the church as a whole, they were never given to individual Christians for self gratification. Tongues do not edify the church, but prophecy, proclaiming God's word, does edify the church and it is for this reason that the Holy Spirit has given every believer at least one gift.
Jesus said that love would be the characteristic of every believer and by this love others would know that we are His disciples. Yet love is the one thing that is lacking in many churches today as it was in the Corinthian church two thousand years ago. Love is the more excellent way, we just have to be more determined to live in it and by it.
It is God who has given each believer a gift for the benefit of the whole body. So why do some Christians think highly of themselves because of the gift or gifts they did not earn, but received? God wants us to see the importance of each member and the importance of every gift for the one body.
In the church today there are a lot of people that go to church for what they get out it. The church isn't for the purpose of what you get out of it, but what you put into it. God has given each believer a gift for the benefit of all. Spiritual gifts were never given for self-gratification, but others edification.
Most people get regular check-ups to make sure that everything is going well with their health. We get examinations for everything, but when it comes time to take part in the Lord's Supper is when we should be concerned with our health the most and examine ourselves thoroughly. Are we in good health in our relationship with God and the rest of the family? If we aren't then we should do everything we can to get our health to where it should be before we partake of the Lord's Supper.
There are many things that we do with out giving much thought, but one thing we should never do with out giving it a lot of thought is taking part in the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is not to be taken lightly, but a time to reflect and remember exactly what the Lord has done.
The Communion Table is a celebration of what God has done through His Son Jesus Christ. We celebrate the resurrection, but by celebrating the resurrection we are celebrating the fact that God brought us back into union with Himself and those who have also accepted Jesus Christ. If we are not in union with God or our brothers and sisters then we ought not to take part in communion.
There is so much we know intellectually about our faith and how we are to live, but when it comes time to apply what we know we often come up short. This is because we are missing the mark by 18 inches. It's not a head matter "It's a Heart Matter" and the distance between the head and the heart is about 18 inches.
Why are we here and what is life all about? Life is about Christ and His church. Many, who claim to be saved, think that they have accepted Jesus as their Savior and continue to live life for themselves, but this is not what the Scriptures teach. We are to put God first, others second and ourselves last. What ever we do let us do all to the glory of God.
Who or what takes precedence in our lives? Is God first or do we place other things first, including ourselves? What or who is it that we place our trust in? Do we demonstrate our trust in God or is it a private matter? Do we put others first as God commanded or are we to have the preeminence? Life is full of questions, but only one question needs to be answered, "who do we choose to live for"!
Paul asked the question in Romans 6:1, “Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound?” And the answer is obvious, but you would never know it in most churches today. Do we sin because we think God views sin differently in the church age, the age of grace? Do we make excuses for our sin like “the devil made me do it” or “it’s not my fault because…” The truth of the matter is we are without excuse and Paul explains this in these thirteen verses.
Life is about Christ and His church and unless we understand this we will always be consumed with ourselves and never considers our brothers and sisters in Christ. Christ has set us free and has given us liberty, but how will we choose to use our liberty? Hopefully we respond in the same manner Paul did and use our liberty to advance the gospel.
Most people nowadays are worried about their rights, but the Christian should only be concerned with their rights, liberties, in regards to whether or not it benefits God’s purpose not their own. Let us use our liberties to expand God work not hinder it.
Our society is always worried about their rights and this is true of the church as well. We as Christians are concerned about our liberties, what we can and cannot do, and we do not want to be told otherwise, but Paul makes it clear that our liberties are limited by our surroundings. We as Christians cannot use our liberties at the expense of others, therefore we are to let love govern our liberties.
There are so many things in life that contribute to us losing focues on what is important. Paul teaches that serving Christ and His Church it what is most important and if at all possible stay single in order to give full attention to the things of the Lord. But if God has not given you the ability to remain single then get married and serve Him together as much as possible.
Our culture conditions us to find our identity in our achievements, but this should not be true of Christians. We should find our identity in Christ and Christ alone. Why stoop to find our identity as being the president of some country or organization when we are the children of the most hight God? Let us stand firm in who we are in Christ and not ourselves!
A lot of people will invest a lot of time, energy and money into an education. A matter of fact we invest a lot of our time into hobbies and the stock market, but never think of our marriage in the same way. I have asked many people "how many books have you read on marriage?" and the overwhelming answer is "none". Our marriages are more valuable than our jobs, education and hobbies and we have to invest everything we have in order to be successful in having healthy marriages. Marriage really is "A Life Long Investment"!
There are so many books out there that talks about a healthy marriage, but doesn't it only seem logical that the One who created marriage speak on the topic of marriage? Here in this passage God speaks through the apostle Paul loud and clear in regards to what a healthy marriage is to look like. Let our marriages represent Christ and His church well.
One of the most disturbing things today is the amount of lawsuits that go on in America. What is even more disturbing is when it is Christians bring one another to court. Paul makes it clear that Christians are to take care of their own disagreements without involving those in the secular world. Stay focused on the big picture and that is to glorify God as individuals and as a church in all that we do.
There are two times a year people go to church that otherwise wouldn't and those two days are Christmas and Easter. There are two times a year Christians celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, other than the Lord's Supper and they are Christmas and Easter. But Easter should be celebrated by every believer every day. Don't let our faith become stagnant, but stimulated by the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ. Let us live out our new life in Christ with passion to the praise of His glory.