Get Ready (Joshua 1:1-6)

_Tell the people, ‘Get your supplies ready.'_

Joshua 1:1-6

We might be tempted to think that the mission of God was completed and closed when Jesus died on the cross and victoriously rose from the dead. Continue reading

I Made the Man of Sorrows Sorry (Acts 2:36-41)

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Acts 2:36-41

The protestant reformer John Calvin starts the first chapter of his theological magnus opus with the words, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” It is tempting to think Calvin means that the pursuit of wisdom involves searching our souls and experiences. Continue reading

It Takes a Church (1 Corinthians 12:1-31)

body-of-christ

Click here to read 1 Corinthians 12

Have you ever noticed the long list of credits at the end of a movie? Continue reading

The Wilderness is not Home (Numbers 11)

Numbers 11

They forgot the wilderness was not their home. About a year earlier, the Lord God rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt. For a year he sustained them before Mount Sinai, providing them with what they needed to survive. The journey had been difficult since leaving Egypt. They left in a rush, with little time to pack. They were chased by Pharaoh’s army. Now the journey was starting to get too long and too arduous.

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The Lamb of God (Exodus 12:3-7, 12-13)

Jesus in the Exodus Journey

Exodus 12:3-7, 12-13

Many of us are familiar with the Passover story. Pharaoh of Egypt forced Israel into cruel slavery. The Lord God sent Moses to rescue his people. After nine plagues, Pharaoh still refused to let them go. Finally, the Lord God deals a final blow. The plague of affliction passes through Egypt, killing every firstborn, forcing Pharaoh to let Israel go (Exodus 12:29).

We often fail to notice that the Egyptian households were not the only ones with someone dead during the Passover. Someone died in the Israelite households too. Prior to that night, the Lord God gave Israel specific instructions. They were to take a lamb several days prior. It was to be a male, which made sense because males were often used for meat and females saved for milking and breeding. It was to be a year old, which would have made it virtually an adult animal. They were to calculate the need for one meal for each household. If a household was too small for a lamb, they were to share it with their neighbor. This was to be their last supper in Egypt, and it was to be a feast.

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The Birth of a Savior (Exodus 2:1-10)

Jesus in the Exodus Journey

Exodus 2:1-10

The season of Advent reminds us that we continue to long for the second coming of our Savior, when all things will be restored to God’s intended glory. As we wait for his second coming, seeing how the Old Testament stories pointed to his first coming can fill our hearts anew with hope.

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The Big Event Before the Big Event (Mark 1:1-8)

The Gospel of Mark
Mark 1:1-8

Imagine a signpost in a field nestling a tributary of the Pine Creek. On the sign is written the words, “The Big Event Before the Big Event!” No one knows what the big event is, let alone what the big event before the big event necessarily means. Nevertheless, everyone goes out to check it out. Cars line up and jam up traffic. Energy can be felt in the air, as well as excitement, intrigue, and mystery. Everyone goes out. Everyone wants to know what is going on and what will come next. Continue reading

A Mysterious Sign from God (Luke 2:1-7)

Its a christmas miracle

Luke 2:1-7

A Jewish girl was taken and made the Queen of the King of Persia. It was a less than ideal situation. This King was violent and moody, a volatile combination. Continue reading

Love on the Last Day (1 John 4:17-18)

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1 John 4:17-18

In the recent documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Mr. Roger’s wife, Joanne, shares some of his last moments dying of stomach cancer. Fred Rogers frequently read Matthew 25, where the Son of Man comes in glory and gathers all the nations before him. The Son of Man, who is Jesus Christ, separates them one from another, like a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats. The Sheep inherent the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, but the goats are cursed and sent to everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. As Fred would read this, he would ask Joanne, “Am I a sheep?” Continue reading

Are You Sure? (1 John 4:13-16)

Are you sure_

1 John 4:13-16

Pastor Alister Begg tells a story about the late playwright George Bernard Shaw. In the days when radio was relatively new in the British Isles, the playwright gave a talk on the peculiarities of the English Language. During his talk, he said there were only two words with the “sh” (s-h) sound but not spelled with a “sh” at the beginning of the word. One listener took it upon herself to write to the playwright and correct him. The only word meeting that criteria was “sugar,” she said. According to the story, Shaw replied with a postcard. Only one sentence was on it: “Madam, are you sure?” Continue reading