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Archive for April 2014

A Heart of Grace & Truth

Series: The Heart of JesusHeart_ttl.jpg
John 1:14
Although Jesus has many virtuous qualities, John identifies grace and truth as the two primary qualities that embody the person of Jesus. This is a very important combination. These two attributes are critical to understanding who God is, but these two attributes seem contradictory.

Much misunderstanding in the Christian life results from a failure to grasp the paradox of grace and truth. Problems arise when we apply one at the expense of the other. As followers of Christ, if we emphasize truth above grace, it can make us self-righteous, and judgmental. Similarly, if we emphasize grace alone it can lead to a license to sin, and tolerance towards immorality.

Jesus was full of both grace and truth, and today we want to see how that balance was demonstrated in His life, as we ask God to shape His heart in us.

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Easter is a celebration of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This is the core of the gospel message. The word ‘gospel’ simply means ‘good news.’ The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day.

But you have to ask: how is His death, burial and resurrection good news? What does it mean for us? What difference does it make today? The good news is found in an empty cross, the empty tomb, and the empty place.

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Palm_sunday2014_ttl.jpgJesus’ final entrance into Jerusalem has been called the Triumphal Entry, because the celebration had all the marks of a Triumphant King entering the gates of the city to the cheers and praises of the crowd. But although this parade started with cheers, it would end with Jesus in tears. It was a day of mixed emotions – there was joy and sorrow, triumph and tribulation.

On this day the crowds were waving palm branches and singing praises, but by the end of the week they would be pumping their fists and shouting “crucify him.” It was a time of mixed emotions, and each of those emotions reveals a lot about our own heart, and the heart of Jesus.

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SERIES: THE HEART OF JESUSHeart_ttl.jpg
Matt 9:36 says of Jesus, that "He was moved with compassion." The famed preacher Charles Spurgeon declares that this one sentence sums up the whole character of Christ. Several times throughout the New Testament it says that Jesus was moved with compassion.

The Greek word used in Matt 9:36 is a very vivid one, expressing a strong emotion of love and pity felt in the depths of a person’s inner being. It is as though, when Jesus saw certain sights, that his heart was ready to burst with pain and sorrow. He was moved in the depths of His innermost being, with love and care. It caused such a profound agitation within Him, that He was moved to act.

Compassion feels deeply. It stirs us. It troubles us. We cannot walk on unchanged. Compassion moves us to act. Compassion costs us.

As we look at what moved Jesus with compassion, let us pray that He would form His heart of compassion in us, that we would be moved with compassion to feel and to act by what moves Jesus.

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THE HEART OF JESUSHeart_ttl.jpg
You can learn English, science, mathematics, medicine, business, and a host of other subjects in school, but you won’t learn humility. In fact, the opposite is often encouraged, as students are taught to be self-assertive, to sell themselves, to promote themselves and to make themselves stand out from the crowd to be successful.
There is only one place that true humility can be learned, and that is in relationship with Christ.  And humility is a very difficult lesson for us to learn. Even the disciples who had lived with Jesus for three years had a difficult time learning the lesson of humility. So that as Jesus faces the cross, we find them arguing over who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. How His heart must have been broken by their prideful display of selfish ambition?

Today we want to carefully consider the humility of Christ, that His heart may be formed in us.  

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