Archive | January, 2013

Attention to Detail

January 31, 2013

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Jesus was constantly tested and challenged by the Pharisees and Sadducees, sometimes even to the point of being facetious. In Luke 20:27-40 the Sadducees set up a ridiculous scenario that Jesus was able to answer well and silence them. When Jesus answered such challenges, he was always able to present it in a simple and scriptural answer. This is what a solid Bible reading program can do for you. Read, study and read some more!

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Solid Rock

January 29, 2013

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God and especially Jesus are often compared to a rock. To the righteous, he is a rock upon which we stand and build our lives, while to the wicked, he is a stone of offense that causes men to stumble. In Psalm 28, David develops this idea in his prayer and praise. He thinks of God as his rock of defense, realizing that to his enemies, the Lord’s way is offensive. Do you think of the Lord as a solid rock upon which to stand securely and deposit your soul’s and life’s work? Bonus reading: Build your house upon the rock

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Use It or Lose It

January 28, 2013

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Two things:

  1. We have all been entrusted with some amount of wealth and ability.
  2. One of our primary responsibilities as those in the Lord’s church is to seek and save the lost (cf. Luke 19:10).

Just as the master expected return on his investment in Jesus’ parable (Luke 19:11-27), the Lord will want account from us when we meet Him. Whatever you have, strive to be a good steward of it and use it in God’s service.

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How to Pray

January 27, 2013

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Luke 18:9-14 contrasts two men offering prayers. One recognizes his own good works and seems to try to make God a debtor. The other recognizes his sinful nature and makes God his strength. There are a few lessons in this passage, but today let us concentrate on how we approach God.

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Remaining Thankful

January 26, 2013

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When Jesus sent the ten lepers to report to the priests only one returned to give thanks (Luke 17:17-18). Only one and he wasn’t even a Jew. It is easy to fall into the habit of receiving our blessings and forgetting to return thanks. Paul said in Philippians 4:6 to make all of our requests with thanksgiving. Try leading off every prayer with a list of things you are thankful for and see if requests suddenly seem less important.

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What’s Next?

January 25, 2013

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Luke 17:7-10 is a small bit of Scripture that carries a lot of weight in one’s Christian walk. The temptation is to be satisfied with checking off all of God’s commandments, avoiding the top 10 sins and mostly just getting by. Jesus calls that self-satisfied feeling into check by comparing it to the servant expecting a big reward for just doing his job.

This is what Jesus was telling us:

Our next question to God should be, “What can I do for You now?”

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Lost and Found Dept

January 24, 2013

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In Luke 15, Jesus used a few parables to illustrate how much joy in heaven there is over returning a lost soul. (Luke 15:7, Luke 15:10, Luke 15:32) For the faithful, a place is prepared and waiting for the day to come. In the meantime, their focus should be on finding those that are lost, celebrating when they are found, and being careful to not fall in the trap of the Prodigal Son’s brother. (Luke 15:29-30)

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Counting the Cost

January 23, 2013

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“Counting the cost” almost seems like a cliché. Jesus wants his followers to understand that following him means forsaking all else. He expects us to put him first in our lives.

As acceptable as it has recently become to speak ill against a Christian, the reality of “counting the cost” is going to become very real to some people. (Luke 14:25-33). Just in case you are one of them, challenge yourself to be prepared for the opportunity to stand up for Christ!

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Answered Prayer

January 22, 2013

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In Psalm 21 David revels in the victory and strength given to him by God. Much like on this occasion, where David and his army took a knee to communicate with their maker, he spent a lot of time praising the Lord for their victories and asking for the strength to face the enemy. When we pray for victory, we are giving the Lord our ultimate trust – we are literally turning over our fate into His hands.

In the same way, a prayerful life is one that sets us apart from the world. We are those who do not have to rely on ourselves to get ahead – those who choose to be directed down a better path. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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Barren Trees Have No Value

January 21, 2013

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growthJesus gives us a two point lesson in the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9).

Just like the farmer expects his trees to bear fruit and will remove them if they don’t, God expects his servants to be saving souls.

And like the farmer, He is patient and willing to allow enough time for us to blossom and be productive.

But … and this is a big but … Like the farmer, there is a definite time limit before he will give up and cut down the fruitless.

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What’s Mine is Mine

January 19, 2013

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David, for all of the trouble he caused, had a moment of brilliance. Even though he was offered some property to offer a sacrifice for free, he insisted on paying the owner full price for it.

“… I will not take for the Lord what is yours…” (1 Chronicles 21:24)

Jesus spent a lot of time talking about wealth, financial worry, and stewardship. some earn more than others during their lifetime, but the lessons for daily living are the same for all. We should be using what we have for the good of his kingdom. (Luke 12:13-48)

When the Lord returns, he is going to hear our account for what we were entrusted with, how we used it to serve him, and how productive we were with it. The penalty will be severe for those who are not ready! (Luke 12:47)

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Leaven Works Both Ways

January 19, 2013

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During his ministry, Jesus used leaven to represent both good and bad in his lessons. Comparing it to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20-21) and to the influence of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1-3).

Where you spend your time, what friends you choose, and the habits you practice all contribute to who you are. The things we allow to influence us will spread and overtake other qualities, just like leaven causing the dough to rise.

Fill your life with good things!

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All New Things

January 18, 2013

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As we continue to get settled into this new year, let’s have a look at some things which the Bible says are new:

  1. Jesus’ blood is the blood of the New Testament – Matthew 26:28
  2. Jesus has given us a new commandment, that we love one another as He has loved us – John 13:34; 1 John 2:7-10; 2 John 1:5
  3. For those that are in Christ, all things are become new – 2 Corinthians 5:17
  4. As Christians, we are to live in a new way – Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10
  5. We live under the new covenant – Hebrews 8:8
  6. We have been given a new and living way to draw near unto God – Hebrews 10:19-22
  7. We are to look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness – 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-2

“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:5).

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The Light in You

January 18, 2013

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Did you ever notice that nothing much good happens in the dark of night?

That feeling you get thinking about being alone in a dark alley is the same feeling you should have when faced with sinful situation. Filling yourself with the light of God helps keep the darkness of sin away (Luke 11:33-36)

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Love God

January 17, 2013

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Jesus spent a lot of time breaking down how to live a life pleasing to God to its simplest term. If we love God with everything our heart can give, keeping His commandments will be the easy part. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is just an extension of loving God and with practice becomes a joyful lifestyle. (Luke 10:25-42)

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