Sunday, August 20, 2017

the same thing

Mark 5

21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.

22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. 

When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet,23 pleading fervently with him. 

"My little daughter is dying," he said. 

"Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live."



  24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.

25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.

26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, 

and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, 

but she had gotten no better. 

In fact, she had gotten worse.

27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.

28 For she thought to herself, 

"If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed."

29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, 

and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.



  30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, 

so he turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?"



  31 His disciples said to him, 

"Look at this crowd pressing around you. 

How can you ask, 'Who touched me?'"



  32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.

34 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over."



  35 While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. 

They told him, "Your daughter is dead. There's no use troubling the Teacher now."
  


36 But Jesus overheard* them and said to Jairus, 

"Don't be afraid. Just trust me."


  37 Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn't let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James).


38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing.

39 He went inside and asked, "Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn't dead; she's only asleep."



  40 The crowd laughed at him. 

But he made them all leave, 

and he took the girl's father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying.

41 Holding her hand, he said to her, "Talitha koum," which means "Little girl, get up!"

42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! 

They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.

43 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened, 

and then he told them to give her something to eat.



All of us have something precious in our lives that's dead & seemingly beyond hope.


Jesus says the same thing to us that He said to Jairus when Jairus had just been told his little girl was dead...


"Don't be afraid. Just trust me."

Saturday, August 19, 2017

power statement!

Brace yourself! Power statement from Paul in his letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome!!!



Romans 3

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, 

as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.

22 We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.. 

And we all can be saved in the same way, 

no matter who we are 

or what we have done.



  23 For everyone has sinned; 

we all fall short of God's glorious standard.

24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. 

He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. 

People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. 

This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,

26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time.

 God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, 

for he himself is fair and just, 

and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.



  27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? 

No, 

because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. 

It is based on faith.

28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.



  29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? 

Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? 

Of course he is.

30 There is only one God, 

and he makes people right with himself only by faith, 

whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? 

Of course not! 

In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

Friday, August 18, 2017

oops

The day will surely come when God, by Jesus Christ, will judge everyone's secret life. 

Romans 2:16



I think we all are lax in remembering this.


But there are those among us who seem to have either comepltely forgotten this, or just don't care.


Being lax in remembering, or just not caring, will eventually lead to a BIG oops moment down the road.


Just saying...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

leave the tribe

Mark 2

13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him.

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth. 

"Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. 

So Levi got up and followed him.



  15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 

(There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.)

16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, 

"Why does he eat with such scum?*"



  17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, 

"Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. 

I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."


We've become so tribal.

We only want to hang out with "our kind".

Let us NEVER forget that if the people who influenced us to follow Jesus had felt that way, you & I would still be going slam to hell!


Our mandate is remains the same as what Jesus Himself said...

"I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."



Leave the prissy & precious tribe behind - go connect with people who do not know Jesus, or could care less about Him - just like someone did for you & for me...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

we reap what we sow

Galatians 6

1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. 

And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

2 Share each other's burdens, 

and in this way obey the law of Christ.

3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. 

You are not that important.


  4 Pay careful attention to your own work, 


for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, 

and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else.

5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.



  6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, 

sharing all good things with them.



  7 Don't be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. 

You will always harvest what you plant.

8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. 

But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

9 So let's not get tired of doing what is good. 

At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.

10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.



In the last few days I thought a lot of the truth that we reap what we sow.


And what we will reap from all this sowing these days is pretty frightening...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

go

Matthew 28

16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!



  18 Jesus came and told his disciples, 

"I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, 

baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. 

And be sure of this: 

I am with you always, 

even to the end of the age."



For me, the operative word in this passage has always been  "go".

Our connection with Jesus mandates one proactive action...

Go...

iow, we as followers of Jesus don't sit back in languid safety, 

enjoy our lattes, 

trundle about in our overblown gas guzzling SUV's, 

live in our gated communities, 

& soak in the American dream as if it were the ultimate in an expression of discipleship.


No, Jesus was pretty plain about what He expects us to be & do.


He expects us to "go".


He expects us to go to the people to whom He sends us, to share a simple bundle of extraordinary good news in a world that increasingly becomes more dangerous every day.


We are to go & tell people about Himself - Jesus - & what His life means for God's offer of connection with Him.


And before we turn up our prissy & precious noses at the prospect of connecting with the greatly inferior unbelievers around us, consider this...


What if the people who influenced us to follow Jesus had decided that "God wants us to proper" & had decided their own well being was more important than our salvation?


Just a thought...

Monday, August 14, 2017

37...

I know, I know... Psalm 37, again.

I feel like the Lord gave me this whole psalm to hold on to during 2017.


There's some pretty tough stuff in this psalm.

There's some great promises, too.

But it seems to connect to our world in ways I didn't realize or didn't know at the beginning of this year.

And sometimes it feels like a prophetic word for our time.

Read it again - there's quite a lot of stuff in it...



Psalm 37

1 Don't worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.

2 For like grass, they soon fade away.


  Like spring flowers, they soon wither.


3 Trust in the LORD and do good.


  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.


4 Take delight in the LORDand he will give you your heart's desires.


5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.


  Trust him, and he will help you.


6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.


7 Be still in the presence of the LORDand wait patiently for him to act.


Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.


8 Stop being angry!


  Turn from your rage!


Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm.

9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.


10 Soon the wicked will disappear.


  Though you look for them, they will be gone.


11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.


12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance.


13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.


14 The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right.


15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.


16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.


17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.


18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.


19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.


20 But the wicked will die.


  The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field—they will disappear like smoke.


21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.


22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die.


23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly.


  He delights in every detail of their lives.


24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.


25 Once I was young, and now I am old.


  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.


27 Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever.


28 For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly.


He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die.


29 The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.


30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.


31 They have made God's law their own, so they will never slip from his path.


32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them.


33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.


34 Put your hope in the LORD.


  Travel steadily along his path.


He will honor you by giving you the land.


  You will see the wicked destroyed.


35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.


36 But when I looked again, they were gone!


  Though I searched for them, I could not find them!


37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.


38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.


39 The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble.


40 The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked.


He saves them, and they find shelter in him.