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Archive for July 2014

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In Ex. 4:2 God asks Moses, “what is that in your hand?” It is the same question God is asking us today, and it is one of the most important questions of your life. That one question can change your future and take you into your destiny.

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We are never more like God than when we give, and giving is the heart of servanthood. It is not necessarily the giving of money, but the giving of our time, our energy, our care, our encouragement, and our help. Jesus is the supreme example of servanthood, and he gave his life for us, and he told us we are to do the same, we are to serve the needs of others (John 13:1-17).

A servant is a giver, and this is a truth that Paul graphically illustrates in 2 Cor 8:1-7. It is true that in this immediate context, Paul is speaking about financial giving, but there is something greater in view here, and it is the heart of the Macedonian churches, the way that God was at work in them, and how that motivated them to give, not out of compulsion or obligation, but it was an out pouring of love, and it brought them great joy. So today we want to look at the heart behind their giving, because it exemplifies the qualities of a true servant’s heart.

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Jesus is fully aware of the horrific events that are about to unfold over the next several hours, and the agonizing suffering that he would endure. This is the last time before the cross, that He would be together with his disciples for a meal, as they celebrate the Passover, and he uses this as an occasion to demonstrate what life in His Kingdom is all about.

Just prior to this, the disciples had been arguing about who would be greatest in His kingdom, and they wanted dibs to sit on his right hand and on his left. But now Jesus by example and explanation issues a call to servanthood, and says that to be a servant is what it truly means to follow Him, to be a Christian, to be like Him. It is not something the disciples wanted to hear then, and it is still not something that the church, those that claim to follow Christ, want to hear today

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Healer_ttl.jpgIt is easy for us to hear the words of the doctor and forget that one of God’s benefits or blessing to His children is healing. It is easy for us to feel the pain or sickness in our body and forget that God is our healer. We need to remember that our God, is the Lord, who heals ALL our diseases!

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Jesus had already told his disciples twice about his impending death, they don’t seem to have grasped it. So in v 33-34 he tells them again, how he will condemned to death, killed and rise again the third day. But it does not appear to be registering with them, which is evident from James and John’s request. They are focusing on a crown, not a cross. They are probably thinking that the mounting tension with the religious leaders is going to force Jesus’ hand, and He is going to declare himself the Messiah, and establish His Kingdom. And James and John want to make sure they are the head of the line, when Jesus starts to appoint his cabinet.

Wow! There it is: the desire for attention, to be recognized, to be first. Their request becomes a teaching moment through which Jesus addresses this attitude that is present in all our hearts.

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The pain of death is not just in the sickness or suffering that we might endure as death comes, but the fact that death is all about separation. Death is a separation, not cessation, of existence or consciousness. Death separates from life as we know it, and from our loved ones (James 2:26, 1 Thess 4:132-18), and for those who do not know Christ, death is everlasting separation from God (Luke 16:19-31).

I feel the sting of death every time I conduct a funeral, and stand with a weeping family by the graveside. Death is a terrible thing. Death is our enemy. We are powerless against death, but what can Jesus do in the face of this terrible enemy? The story of Lazarus reveals Jesus as the One who has the power to give life.

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In this miracle story, a blind man not only receives his physical sight, but as you read on, he also received spiritual sight because he was able to see clearly who Jesus really is. This miracle revealed Jesus as the Messiah in a very powerful and public way.

As we consider this miracle, it still makes Jesus known to us in a greater way, and inspires faith in Him.

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