Singing A New Song

What Kind of Song are You Singing?

Read Revelation 5:1-14

To get a better handle on our situation on earth, it helps to get a fresh vision of what’s happening in heaven. We don’t do this to escape our responsibilities, we do this to gain a better perspective, a better picture of God, and greater courage to face the present challenges of our world. Having only an earth-bound perspective can lead to pessimism and even despair. Ultimately an “earthbound” perspective is limited and inadequate. Biblical truth helps us to gain the right perspective and to gain strength in the Lord to be “overcomers,” to be victorious Christians as we face the very real challenges of our day.

So, come with me as we let the exiled Apostle John, himself a victim of persecution, give us a vision beyond the limits of our world. We will not only see things beyond our limited understanding, but we will enter into the worship and wonder of heaven. Indeed, we will join in the...

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Wisdom is Out of this World

TEXT: “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12 ESV) “From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:20 ESV)

INTRODUCTION: Those who suffer personally can struggle to understand why they are suffering and they may feel that they have no access to God to plead their case. This was the experience of Job revealed in the Biblical book by his name, Job. We certainly have gained a fuller understanding of suffering through our Suffering Savior and His Cross and Resurrection.  But, there is still the need for wisdom as we live in this world filled with suffering. Indeed, it is after addressing the issue of trials that James instructs and encourages his readers with these words: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God…….” (James 1:5). Ultimately, as we will see, Job 28 will point us in the same direction.

The 28th chapter of Job contains a poem on...

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The Jesus Mission Today

TEXT: “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,…….. “ (Matthew 9:35-36a, Read Matthew 9:35-10:5a)

INTRODUCTION: The mission of Jesus continues today. The Book of Acts records the start of the mission to the nations as it spread outward from Jerusalem to Rome, but in this text, the mission is restricted to Israel. So, we are seeing Jesus in action and on mission in Israel. But, this text gives us a pattern to follow and principles to apply as we are on mission with Jesus today by the power of the Holy Spirit. To be fully involved in Jesus’ Mission today:

 1. We Must Grasp the Nature of Jesus’ Ministry (verse 35)

 a) Jesus’ ministry was incarnational - “And Jesus went throughout the cities and villages…”

Verse 35 is a summary...

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Luke: At the Feet of Jesus (Part 4)

TEXT: Then, one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” (Luke 17:15, Reading Luke 17:11-19 ESV)

INTRODUCTION: As we walk through this miracle account, we are fixing our eyes on Jesus to see why we ought to be at His feet as well - offering Him praise and thanksgiving.  We ought to be at Jesus’ feet not only because Jesus’ Extends Divine Mercy (17:11-14a), and because Jesus Provides Total Cleansing (17:14b-15a), and because Jesus Receives Sincere Gratitude (17:15b-18), but also and lastly because Jesus Affirms Saving Faith (17:19)

The Samaritan had already offered his sacrifice of praise for his cleansing at the feet of Jesus. Whether he would go to a priest later does not seem to be clear from the end of the account. Jesus tells the man to “rise and go your way.” Then there are these important words, “your faith has made you...

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Luke: At the Feet of Jesus (Part 3)

TEXT: Then, one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” (Luke 17:15, Reading Luke 17:11-19)

INTRODUCTION: As we walk through this miracle account, we are fixing our eyes on Jesus to see why we ought to be at His feet as well - offering Him praise and thanksgiving.  We ought to be at Jesus’ feet not only because Jesus’ Extends Divine Mercy (17:11-14a), and because Jesus Provides Total Cleansing (17:14b-15a), but also because Jesus Receives Sincere Gratitude (17:15b-18).

The one formerly leprous man who returned was so moved by what Jesus did for him that he glorified God “with a loud voice.” He was filled with praise and thanksgiving. It is interesting that in Luke’s account of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem it is said of the people that they “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they...

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Luke: At the Feet of Jesus (Part 2)

TEXT: Then, one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” (Luke 17:15, Reading Luke 17:11-19)

INTRODUCTION: As we walk through this miracle account, I want us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to see why we ought to be at His feet as well - offering Him praise and thanksgiving.  We ought to be at Jesus’ feet not only because 1) Jesus’ Extends Divine Mercy (17:11-14a), but because 2) Jesus Provides Total Cleansing (17:14b-15a).

“And as they went they were cleansed” (Luke 17:14b). Like the cleansing of Naaman of old, these ten men were cleansed at a distance. Jesus did not touch them as part of their healing. Jesus just gave them an instruction that they could have dismissed or ignored. Evidently, they responded obediently to Jesus’ words. The implication is that they were heading to the priests as Jesus had directed them to do, and as they...

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Luke: At the Feet of Jesus (Part 1)

TEXT: Then, one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” (Luke 17:15, Reading Luke 17:11-19)

INTRODUCTION: As we walk through this miracle account, I want us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to see why we ought to be at His feet as well - offering Him praise and thanksgiving.  We ought to be at Jesus’ feet first of all because Jesus’ Extends Divine Mercy (in Response to Desperate Need.) (17:11-14a)

 

  1. The Cry for Mercy (Luke 17:11-13)

As Jesus entered the village, he was met by ten needy men. It is interesting to note a few things about these people in need of mercy. You see in the text that although they met Jesus, they kept their distance. This is what the Law required, and was the culture and expectation of the day. These men were alienated from other people and from religious life. They were alienated, isolated, and despised.

Second, they seemed...

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Pursuing True Love – the More Excellent Way

OPENING REMARKS: It has been a blessing to see so many acts of love during this Covid-19 Pandemic season. Indeed, without such acts of sacrificial love our communities would be in much greater danger and experiencing much more suffering. It can be seen on a daily basis that the “true love” is the excellent response to the present crisis.

One of the most descriptive and challenging statements concerning the nature of true God-enabled love is written by the Apostle Paul.

TEXT:  “…..But the greatest of these is love. Pursue love……” (1 Cor. 13:13b-14:1a, 13: 4-7 NKJV)

INTRODUCTION: The “love” chapter, often read at wedding ceremonies, was not written originally for such an occasion. The Apostle Paul is writing to a gifted church struggling with many issues.

In chapters 12-14, the Apostle addresses issues related to the use of spiritual gifts in corporate gatherings. Paul gets to the heart of the matter when he calls the...

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God and Us

Some Important Prepositions

TEXTS: Matthew 1:22-23, Romans 8:31-32, John 14:16-17 (HCSB)

INTRODUCTION: Usually I focus on one primary text of Scripture when I preach. But, for this devotional, I want to view three texts that express three glorious aspects of God’s relationship with us through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We won’t be expounding these texts in full, but rather we will be noting key truths in each of these texts. We will be emphasizing three English prepositions as we go along. And I hope that we will be encouraged as we think of God’s gracious work on our behalf to have an intimate relationship with us, His people, His children in Christ. It may be (especially) in times of difficulty, when encouragement is needed, that you and I will be able to repeat these three prepositions that will bless us with a renewed sense of the Lord’s presence in our lives.

  1. God with Us: Matthew 1:18-25 (Read)

The Angel broke into Joseph’s perplexing situation to...

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Raising the Next-Generation

Directions for Parents, Especially Dads

Since a lot of families are spending more time together these days, it may be good to think about the basics of raising our children. I don’t write as an expert, I write as one who trusts what the Word of God says about this great responsibility. And the one verse below has key truths and many practical implications concerning the critical role parents can and must take in the lives of their children.

Text: Ephesians 6:4 (ESV) “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

INTRODUCTION: The Apostle Paul has addressed husbands and wives concerning their mutual responsibilities in Eph. 5:22-31. He has instructed children to obey and honor their parents in the preceding section (Eph. 6:1-3).  These words in Eph. 6:4 are obviously directed to fathers specifically, although it is safe to assume that they are applicable to all parents, and to all who have...

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