TEXT: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV).
The risen Christ has been presenting Himself and teaching His disciples for a period of forty days. The “kingdom of God” continued to be a main theme in Jesus’ instruction even as it was before He was crucified. As His apostles are assembled with the risen Jesus, evidently for the last time (1:9), a question is asked concerning the kingdom being restored to Israel “at this time.” The specific answer to that question is not given, except to say that the answer is not for them to know. That matter is under the Father’s authority.
Many today continue to ask that question, and many today want an answer to that specific question. The best approach to answering that question is to follow the lead of our Lord...
Read Matthew 4:8-11 (NKJV)
This whole covid-19 pandemic “experience” has impressed upon us the need to take steps of prevention to avoid getting or spreading the virus. As inconvenient as some of the measures have been, the goal is stopping the spread of the virus and maintaining the personal health of ourselves and others.
As we view this third temptation (as recorded in Matthew’s gospel), we do it with the desire to help maintain spiritual health. And one way to maintain and improve spiritual health is to learn how to avoid “yielding” to temptation.
We begin by considering the significance of this time of temptation in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ Himself. And as you look at this event recorded in the synoptic gospels, it becomes clear that this was a necessary event in the life of our Savior.
The identity of...
Text: Romans 8:12-17
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (ESV)
The Apostle Paul has been expounding his gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). After Paul explains the core truths of his gospel of justification (chapters 1-5), he moves to questions concerning sin, the law and life in...
TEXT: “For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham”
(Hebrews 2:16 NKJV; read 2:9-18 and especially 14-18)).
We live in a world that is experiencing crisis after crisis. The call for help or aid is voiced constantly across our fallen race.
We think of victims of covid-19, lives devastated through natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. Then, there are so many people caught in the midst of conflict and warfare, not to mention daily crime.
Often the cry for aid is voiced. Sometimes the call is not heard. Sometimes help is slow in coming. Sometimes the aid doesn’t meet the real needs of the people in crisis.
Thankfully, at times there is a helpful response from those who give aid, and the response meets the crisis need, at least to some degree. And praise God for the work of “First Responders” who run towards the needs rather than away from them.
What I want us to learn through this message today is that...
READ THE TEXT: Psalm 150 (ESV)
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in the sanctuary; praise him in the heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him for his excellent greatness!
Praise him with the trumpet; praise him with the lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
This Psalm, the last Psalm in the Biblical collection, is a fitting conclusion to what we often refer to as the Book of Psalms. This Psalm is a call for sincere and exuberant praise to the Lord God.
We will discover, as we view this Psalm, three truths concerning praise that will challenge us to praise the Lord, especially when we gather with God’s people. It is important to stress the fact that “praise the Lord” is not just a phrase, it is a command and expectation for God’s people.
The pain and hurt of broken relationships are real and deep. How often people are wounded and discouraged through personal relationship problems. Yet personal relationship problems abound, and impact daily life often. Think of how many songs lament difficult relationship issues. We are relational beings, and relational hurt and struggle are a real part of the human experience.
It is wonderful to know that the child of God is secure in an eternal relationship with God. But, it is sad when our fellowship with God is impacted negatively in some way.
God does not sin. God is holy. God always loves. God is always faithful. God is the all-wise God. God is righteous, merciful, and full of grace.
So, if there is a problem (real or perceived) between the Christian and the Lord, it is due to the Christian. Often the...
Main Text for Today: Ephesians 4:17-5:21
“I, therefore, ……………..beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,………” (Ephesians 4:1 NKJV).
It is a wonderful day when a baby takes his or her first steps. The occasion may be captured in a picture and sent to family and friends. Soon the infant is learning how to walk. Walking is very important for life and growth. Indeed, parents will be very concerned if a child does not learn how to walk in a timely manner.
God’s grace has brought the child of God into a new life that involves a God-given and directed walk (Eph. 2:10). This walk is made possible by all that God has done for us in Christ (Eph. 1:3 – 3:21). Just as we receive the gift of salvation by grace through faith, we begin a walk by grace through faith. This walk, though, is described in a specific way in our text in Ephesians 4:1. This walk...
Please read 1 Timothy 1:12-17.
Main Text: 1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV - “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
Think about all the messages we receive in a day, or in a week. Some come from people we know, and some come from people we do not know. Some are easy to understand, some are hard to understand. Some are helpful or encouraging. Some are hurtful or discouraging. Some are very important, some are irrelevant and a waste of time.
As you think about our Christian faith, our faith is based upon a message. It is based upon a message that we believe is ultimately from God Himself to us. I want us to think very simply but specifically about this “Gospel” message, this good news that is still good news for today.
This message is the message of Christmas. Sadly, even Christmas cards can express seasonal messages but miss the true message of Christmas. But...
For some, the Christmas season is just a time to celebrate the end of another year. It may be simply a time to forget all that has happened in daily life as well as what is happening in our struggling world.
That may be especially true this year.
Sadly some miss the joy of the Savior completely. We know also that this season can be a depressing time for many: especially those who have suffered loss, and those whose lives are filled with personal hardship and painful memories. The joyful message of Christmas may be very distant, even though it is still really needed.
The challenge for many of us is to allow the true joy of Christmas to be experienced afresh and at a deep level.
Yes, this can be a challenge for genuine Christians. With the difficult circumstances that many are facing right now, joy may seem a long way off. Also, the clutter of commercialism can add seasonal pressure and can cover-up the real source of joy.
This true joy is what is declared in...
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (ESV).
Galatians 4:4a “But, when the fullness of time had come,……” (ESV, NKJV)
“When the time came to completion,……..” (HCSB)
“When the right time had come,…….” (NLT)
“But when the set time had fully come,……..” (NIV)