Parables

Parables are little stories with kingdom ideas. Mark 4:30 (GNT) “What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?” asked Jesus. “What parable shall we use to explain it?”

The Parable of the Lost Son

December 29, 2019

Fables teach us work hard, to work for what we want, and that our hard work will be rewarded. Or they teach us to keep working until the end, or not to lie.

Parables, though, are stories Jesus told to help us understand what the kingdom of Heaven is about. In the Parable of the Lost Son, Jesus taught the Pharisees and other religious leaders that God’s forgiveness was freely given because of how generous God the Father is, not because we earn his love by how good we are.

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The Christmas Lists

We all make lists at Christmas. Wish lists, guest lists, maybe even naughty or nice lists. But did you know that God has a gift list too? And that you're on it?

The Guest List

December 22, 2019

God invited total strangers (the shepherds) to his son’s first birthday party. But did you know you were on the guest list too? The Christ was born for all of us, “unto you” is for me and you. Have you accepted His invitation? You’re on the guest list.

In the gospel of Luke, he recorded the story of Jesus’ birth which an angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds, inviting them to come and see the promised Savior, who is Christ the Lord. We too are on God’s guest list. We are invited to come to the Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

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The Naughty or Nice List

December 15, 2019

Parents have been using the lines from this song ever since to help make their children behave. “You better be good. You better go to bed. You don’t want to be on Santa’s “naughty list. You won’t get any presents…” So, every American child born since 1934 has been taught about this so-called “Naughty or Nice List.”

And that might sound innocent enough until we realize that many of those same children have grown up to believe that God is keeping such a list, and that the way to please God and receive the gift of eternal life in heaven, is to be good enough to be on His “Nice List” and work hard to stay off of His “Naughty List.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus told a Pharisee named Nicodemus that the only way to receive God’s greatest gift of salvation is through believing in His Son. We can receive God’s greatest gift.

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The Wish List

December 8, 2019

Our wishes, our longings, are really a kind of worship. Because that’s what worship is. Worship is seeing something or someone that we count worthy of our affection and longing, our love, and then, recognizing that worthiness, we seek to give them what they’re worth.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.

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Life on Life Discipleship

The theme for this series is found in 2 Timothy 2:2 – “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” In this series we look at what it means to be a disciple and what it means to be a discipler of others.

Be a Disciple Maker

December 1, 2019

As we read Jesus’ last instruction on earth to his disciples before he was raised up to Heaven, we see the disciples struggling to determine what their next steps were. After all, the rabbi that they followed for three years, which whom they had done and seen amazing things including His death, burial and resurrection, was about the leave them, or so they thought. After His many appearances after His resurrection, Jesus was about to give His disciples His final words. He is about to give them their mission orders.

We are no different than those disciples. We need to know what God’s desire is for our lives. We need to know what to do next. People, but especially men, respond to a challenge. We need a challenge – we all need to find purpose for our lives.

For us to find that purpose, we need to first respond to the mission orders of Jesus. We need to become disciple makers. In this well-known passage in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus gave mission orders to His disciples to make disciples of all nations. As disciples ourselves, we can learn how to make disciples of all peoples.

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Be a Disciple

November 24, 2019

Our flesh, our sin nature, constantly desires the easy way, the short cut, it wants its own way. But the way of discipleship, the way of following Jesus begins with a decision to “deny ourselves.” In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus described what it meant to answer the call to come after Him and be one of His disciples. We can answer the call to be a disciple of Jesus.

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Righteousness Revealed: An Exposition of Romans

As we go verse by verse through the book of Romans, we learn how God wants to make us right with Himself and each other.

Resting in God’s Love

November 17, 2019

Is your life is filled with anxiety and trouble? Do you often wonder whether anyone loves you, much less God? Are you surrounded by hurt and broken relationships? Some of it you blame on others, but if you’ll admit it, you blame yourself for most of it. Where’s the love?

That’s the question that Paul closes this powerful chapter with, it’s the question of God’s love. In fact, the final verses of Romans 8 are made up of 5 questions, each progressing like stair steps up to the 5th and highest step, which is this question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” In Romans 8:31-39, the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that they could rest in the fact that nothing could separate them from God’s love. We can rest in the fact that nothing can separate us from God’s love

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Hoping in God’s Glorification

November 10, 2019

Our future glorification of ultimately becoming like Christ will make the difficult journey worth it all. In Romans 8:18-30, the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that in spite of the suffering in this present world they could be encouraged by hope in God’s ultimate purpose for their future glorification of becoming like Jesus. We can be encouraged by hope in God’s future glorification of becoming like Jesus.

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Living as God’s Children

November 3, 2019

How do you view God? Does He seem distant and far away? Do you see Him as a Judge? Or do you see Him as near and close? How many of you see Him as your Father, your ever present Abba?

That’s where Paul is taking us today. As he continues to talk about how God is making us holy like Jesus, which is our sanctification, he saves the best for last. That we can relate to God as Father changes everything! In Romans 8:12-17, the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that they had received the Spirit of adoption which enabled them to live as God’s children. As believers, we have received the Spirit of adoption enabling us to live as God’s children

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Overcoming the Flesh by God’s Spirit

October 27, 2019

Do continue to do what you hate? You’ve received Christ, but you have feelings of guilt and shame because you want to do what pleases God, but you continue to give in to your old sin nature? Or maybe you’ve never received Christ, but you’re sick and tired of living life on your own. You’re ready to admit you need help.

What the apostle described in Romans 7 is the futility of trying to live the Christian life without the Spirit of God. Just as it’s impossible to earn God’s favor apart from faith, so it’s impossible to please God without depending on His indwelling Spirit. In Romans 8:1-8, the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome that overcoming the flesh is only possible by a total reliance on the work of God’s Holy Spirit for their sanctification. We can understand why overcoming the flesh is only possible by relying on the work of God’s Spirit for our sanctification.

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