Posts

Showing posts from November, 2015

Worship Helps for Advent 2

Image
Artwork: St John the Baptist Preaching in the Desert Artist: Massimo Stanzione
Worship Theme: Many people look for easy fixes for their problems. God, though, often puts his people through a long, painful process to prepare us to embrace the Savior he has sent. God always works through his Word to develop in us a life that shows the fruit of the purity he has put around us in Christ.
Old Testament:Malachi 3:1 "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and …

Camping out for the clean life

Image
Luke 17:11-19Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” The ten lepers weren’t hoping for the good life. They weren’t camping out in front of the local shops in order to hoard more things they didn’t need. They didn’t camp out in front of Best Buy for a bigger TV. They couldn’t live in their own home. They didn’t camp o…

The Advent imperative

Image
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.27 At that time they will see the Son of Mancoming in a cloudwith power and great glory.28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29 He told them this parable:“Look at the fig tree and all the trees.30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of Godis near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generationwill certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life,and that day …

How do you see Jesus?

Image
John 18:33-37 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" 34 "Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?" 35 "Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?" 36 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." 37 "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
In the movie, “Talladega Nights,” driver Ricky Bobby is saying grace with his family around the dinner table. He addresses his dinner prayer to “Baby Jesus.” He defends his prayer by saying that…

Worship Helps for Advent 1

Image
Artwork: The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah Artist: John Martin
Worship Theme: “Advent” comes from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival.” In today’s Bible readings, Jesus urges us to be ready for his coming. It could be at any time. It will bring far greater destruction than when the Lord leveled Sodom. What a difference that outlook makes in our prayers! How much we long to see our Lord and experience fully the freedom he bought for us with his blood.
Old Testament:Genesis 19:15-17, 19-23 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, "Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished." 16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Fle…

The Son of Man

Image
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13,14)
The book of Daniel teaches us how important it is to worship the one true God, the God of Daniel, the living God, the one who rescued Daniel from the lions’ den.  We worship the Lord our God and serve him only.
So do Christians worship human beings as well?  Absolutely, that is, one particular human being.  He is a son of man, that is, he was actually born from a woman.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  Christians from every nation and language worship him.  That true…

Sabbath at the cemetery

Image
1 Thessalonians 4:13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. A small band has left the church and are now gathered at the cemetery. They are gathered together to lay to rest the body of their dear br…