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. Continue reading

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

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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

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. Continue reading

The Sad Story of a Duplicitous Lover (1 John 4:19-21)

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1 John 4:19-21

The Apostle John said: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20)

There is a direct correlation between loving God and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is absurd to say that we love God, while holding hatred in our heart toward our brother or sister. Continue reading

We Love Because He First Loved Us (1 John 4:19)

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1 John 4:19

The Apostle John says, “We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).” I remember a scene from a movie. I cannot recall the title, nor do I recall the movie being very good. But I do remember a particular scene. The movie is about a daughter who had grown up in a loving family with every opportunity to thrive. But she gets caught up with a friend. The two girls begin sneaking out at night, causing mischief, doing drugs, and many other things that need not mentioning. The mother in the movie watches her sweet, innocent daughter transform. 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)

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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

I Am Bound to Love (1 John 4:11)

Jesus Loves

1 John 4:11

“Beloved, since God loves us in this way, we also ought to love one another,” said the Apostle John (1 John 4:11, author’s translation).

Last week we looked at how lavishly and selflessly God has loved us. He chose to send his one and only Son into the world as an atonement for sin so that we might live (1 John 4:9-10). We long to comprehend and practice this type of love in our lives. Yet, this love does not arise naturally from within us. Continue reading

Lily Pads and Love (1 John 3:11-15)

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1 John 3:11-15

There once was a frog named Fred. More than anything else in the world, Fred enjoyed leaping on lily pads. Fred would take trips, trying to find the very best lily pads. One day, he came to what seemed to be the best pond he had ever seen. It was full of lily pads. What Fred did not know was that the pond was enchanted. Continue reading

Parental Love from the Pit (1 John 3:1-3)

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1 John 3:1-3

In the 2002 film, John Q, a son with an enlarged heart is denied a heart transplant, because John’s health insurance will not cover the procedure. John, the father, decides to take matters into his own hands and holds the hospital hostage at gun point. When no viable donor heart can be found, John puts the gun up to the temple of his own head and says to the surgeon: “Somebody’s gotta die in order for him to live. I’m his father; it’s me!” Continue reading