Sun, Sep 13, 2015
Treasures, Pearls, and the Power of Faith
When we look at a fine pearl or view a treasure chest full of gold, their value to us finally comes down to a personal preference and a personal decision. To buy the pearl or to acquire the treasure means we will have to perform – we have to be willing to give up everything and pay the price of those valuable items!
How valuable is the “pearl of great price – the kingdom?” How valuable is the “treasure hidden in the field – the kingdom?” Jesus said the pearl merchant “sold all that he had” and bought that valuable pearl. He really believed that the pearl was worth more than all of his possessions.
Sun, Sep 06, 2015
Good Churches Have Their Struggles
Struggles can strengthen us or weaken us. Christ wrote letters to seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2-3) in which he described the situation of each one. Two of them received high marks for their fidelity – no corrections at all – even though they were undergoing severe struggles and frustrations. They were told, “Hold to what you have” and “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” Great lessons from Christ to faithful churches!
Sun, Aug 30, 2015
I Will Give You Rest.
Throughout the centuries past, many ships have become the victims of stormy seas. The power of a turbulent ocean is beyond our meager efforts to measure. And, life is like that. When the burdens and the heavy weight of problems, disappointments, sadness, and loss come our way they seem, at times, to be beyond our poor power to overcome.
Jesus makes an offer to us: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am gentle and humble in heart. and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Rest for the Weary”
Sun, Aug 30, 2015
Human Needs Have a Claim on Us
What do we do when there are conflicting Biblical responsibilities? We are commanded to worship but we are also commanded to care for the sick. How do human needs figure into God’s commandments?
On the Sabbath Day Jesus’ disciples plucked grains of wheat to eat. The Pharisees condemned them for “violating the Sabbath.” However, Jesus addressed the attitude of the Pharisees by saying they did not understand the principle behind an Old Testament statement, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” Exactly what does this statement teach? Did Jesus approve of the violations of the Sabbath? Has God given us a strict set of laws which ignore human needs?
“God’s Commandments and Human Needs”
Sun, Aug 09, 2015
Jesus and Personal Comfort.
Jesus’ mission did not include providing for his own personal comfort. Instead, the writers of the Gospels tell of his personal sacrifices, his suffering, staying up late at night to pray, and then having no place to sleep. Even the animals have a place to sleep, but not the Son of God.
Personal discipleship demands personal spiritual responsibility. It also requires our time, our talent, our thinking, and a whole lot more.
Sun, Aug 09, 2015
Put Your Hand in the Hand of the
Man Who Stilled the Waters.
It is impossible for me to know the amazement of the 12 disciples when Jesus uttered the words “Peace! Be still.” These words brought a “complete calm” in place of a frighteningly chaotic storm. The 12 mystified apostles responded with profound amazement and they said,
“Even the wind and the waves obey him.”
This incredible man with power to calm the sea invites us to be his followers.
Sun, Aug 02, 2015
“--But I Want to Have My Cake and Eat it Too!!”
I remember telling my children, “OK kids, you can’t have it both ways. Make up your minds which it’s going to be.” A loose translation of this may be: “You can’t do ‘foolish’ things and expect ‘wise’ results.” However, we frequently fail to heed our own advice. Look at Jesus’ last words in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt. 7:25-27). After giving his historic practical teaching about right living he said, “Wise people will do these things – foolish people won’t.”