The Christian Outlook – December 9, 2023 Georgene Rice commends Tim Head, the Executive Director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, for sharing insights from the Faith and Freedom Coalition trip to Israel, emphasizing its emotional impact. They discuss specific policy recommendations, including funding for defense measures and mediating relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Scott Furrow and Pastor Robert Jeffress discuss the anticipation of an eventual end of the world in human history, seeking advice on preparation. Pastor Jeffress emphasizes the need for individual readiness, faith in Jesus, and actively sharing the Gospel. Gino Geraci discusses with Jeff Hunt, Director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, the alarming rise of public animosity towards Jewish people, surpassing mere antisemitism, emphasizing a spiritual battle. Eric Metaxas and Nancy Pearcey, author of The Toxic War on Masculinity, discuss the lack of masculine role models in churches and advocate for reclaiming the cultural mandate from Genesis 1. They challenge the narrow view of Christianity, address false narratives about religion and domestic abuse, and present research showing that committed Christian men have high marital satisfaction and low rates of divorce and domestic violence.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
443// Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayers? And Other Audience Questions In this episode, Rachael answers various questions from the audience. The topics covered include baptism for salvation, concerns about the strength of one's relationship with God, dealing with family disapproval of interracial relationships, and understanding unanswered prayers. Takeaways: Baptism is not a requirement for salvation; it is a public declaration of one's faith in Jesus. Growing in your relationship with God is a lifelong journey, and it's okay to not know everything about the Bible. Stand firm in your convictions and set boundaries when faced with family disapproval of your choices based on biblical principles. God's timing and ways are not always understandable to us, and unanswered prayers can be part of His greater plan. Episode Resources: To Sponsor a Child through Compassion International: Compassion.com/hearingjesus Or Text HEARINGJESUS to 83393 For family discussion guides, journaling worksheets, bonus content, and our private discussion forum, please visit our Patreon page: patreon.com/HearingJesus Coaching/Spiritual Direction: https://shehears.org/coaching Learn: https://shehears.org Shop: https://shehears.org/resources Chapters 00:00 Introduction and Q&A Session 00:48 Do You Need to be Baptized to Go to Heaven? 05:39 Worrying About the Strength of Your Relationship with God 07:22 Dealing with Family's Disapproval of Interracial Relationships 10:54 Understanding Unanswered Prayers 17:07 Closing Prayer and Conclusion Discover more Christian podcasts at lifeaudio.com and inquire about advertising opportunities at lifeaudio.com/contact-us.
Peter is under attack. He's having to defend himself. A sizeable and vocal group within the early church were deeply convinced that faith in Jesus in no way changed their requirement to observe the Law of Moses. They believed the statutes and ordinances in the Torah were meant to be eternal commands and therefore must be kept by anyone who wishes to be saved (Ac 15:1). And they were furious with Peter for two reasons. First of all, he had ritually defiled himself by entering a Gentile home and eating improperly prepared food. But second, and even more importantly, they were dismayed that he had actually baptized these Gentiles, because it meant he believed they were saved. By baptizing them, particularly as an apostle, he had welcomed them into the church. They were to be thought of as brothers and sisters. They were to be included in church gatherings. But in the minds of Peter's accusers unless these Gentiles kept the ceremonial laws they were still “unclean” (Ac 15:5). By welcoming Cornelius' household into the church Peter had opened the door for unclean people to sit next to them in a worship service, and if they touched them they, too, would become unclean. So as soon as he arrived in Jerusalem they cornered Peter and scolded him. And Peter's only defense was to point to the fact that it was God, not he, who had welcomed these “unclean” people into His church. By baptizing them in the Holy Spirit, He proved that in His eyes they were perfectly “clean.”
Stephanie here! I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Shauna Pilgreen, co-leader of EPIC Church in San Francisco and author of the powerful book "Translating Jesus." Shauna Pilgreen shares her background, experiences in San Francisco, and her insights on approaching evangelism in fresh, relatable ways. The episode also touches on the dynamics of holiday gatherings and the importance of sharing personal stories of faith, empathy, and understanding. We delved into the challenges of sharing faith in today's culture and the concept of being "bilingual" in understanding both our current culture and the culture of scripture and faith. Navigating holiday gatherings with diverse beliefs was a pivotal part of our discussion, emphasizing the importance of sharing and listening to personal faith stories at the table. Shauna's insights on becoming "bilingual" in evangelism and the global relevance of translating Jesus for all people in different contexts left me truly inspired. We highlighted the transformative power of listening in ministry and the need for Christians to remain culturally relevant while rooted in their faith. We also talked about how the Alpha course is transforming lives and providing non-threatening ways to share Christ and understand faith in today's world. Our conversation culminated with focusing on believers' faith, those uncertain about faith, and encouragement to be a light during the holiday season. I can't stress enough the value of Shauna's book "Translating Jesus." It's a must-read! Shauna Pilgreen's wisdom and essential book are celebrated, and I'm excited to see the impact of becoming bilingual in sharing Christ's love for all. What an enriching discussion! We invite you to tune in and gain wisdom from Shauna Pilgreen's experiences and insights. Be inspired to engage with others and share Christ's love and truth in creative, culturally relevant ways. Don't miss out on this transformative conversation! Subscribe now and listen to Shauna Pilgreen on Gospel Spice. Key Takeaways: - Becoming Bilingual in Sharing the Gospel: we emphasize the importance of understanding both the language of culture and the language of Scripture to effectively share Jesus with diverse audiences. - The Power of Listening in Ministry: We pondered the countercultural nature of genuinely listening to others before offering answers or advice, recognizing the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in the process. - Engaging with the Changing Culture: Our discussion underscored the need for Christians to be culturally relevant while remaining rooted in their faith, emphasizing the relevance of translating Jesus for all people in different contexts. CONNECT WITH SHAUNA PILGREEN https://shaunapilgreen.com/ Hi there! I'm Shauna and I'm so glad you stopped by. You being here matters to me. Chances are we know each other. But then again, some of you are new to me and me to you. I dwell in San Francisco. Not because I was born here or went to school here, but because my family and I said yes to the call of God to start a church here. It's the hardest thing we've ever done. We had to make new friends (though we love our old ones). We moved far from family (nothing personal). We had no guarantee. We paid high rent. We brought three kids with us. And with all that was hard and scary and unknown, we believed God was in this and with us. The risk was worth it. And still is! Do you know why you are where you are? Can you see God's purpose for you where you live? Wherever you live, wherever you are on the faith journey, I am discovering right alongside you how to weave together faith and culture. I am sharing my findings in my blog posts, each page you click is full of purpose – all so that you can pick up the story God is writing for your life and live it out too! for me, my roots can be found in texas, georgia, louisiana, alabama, missouri, and california. there's no mistake on my journey, that if i've lived there, i made “home” as quick as possible to feel settled and sane. i've tried to leave a part of me in each place as my roots are uprooted, a part of me that left impact. though not always the story. each home contributes to the next home. suburbia feels normal until city living becomes the new normal. wherever you live... wherever you are on the faith journey... i am discovering right along with you how to weave together faith and home. I am sharing my story with each post, each page full of purpose and influence -- all so that you will pick up the story God is writing for your life and live it out too! BONUS | QUESTIONS TO TAKE THE CONVERSATION DEEPER 1. How does Shauna Pilgreen characterize the changing dynamics of evangelism in today's culture? How do you see this playing out in your own context? 2. What are some practical, foolproof ways you can think of to share Jesus with the current culture, especially during the holiday season? 3. What are some insights you gained from Shauna Pilgreen's discussion about the concept of being bilingual in understanding both the culture we live in and the culture of scripture and faith? 4. How have you seen the word "evangelism" misused or overused? What fresh approaches to evangelism have you found effective, and how could you implement them over the holidays? 5. What are some practical ways to engage in conversations with people of different beliefs during the holidays, while still showing empathy and understanding? 6. How can you relate to the importance of sharing and listening to personal stories of faith at the holiday table? What are some ways you could incorporate this into your own holiday gatherings? 7. What was your biggest takeaway from the discussion about engaging with people who don't have faith in Jesus and the importance of prayer for non-believers? 8. How can you apply the concept of looking at non-believers from Jesus's perspective and having hope that Jesus can draw them to himself, even despite their resistance, in your own interactions over the holidays? 9. What struck you about Shauna Pilgreen's emphasis on humility, service, and the importance of engaging in meaningful conversations over the holidays? How could you practice this in your own interactions? 10. How do you plan to approach the ideas of engaging in conversations with non-believers and giving the gift of time during the holiday season? Can you think of specific ways to implement these ideas in your own life? Support us on Other, PayPal and Other!
Day 244 Today's Reading: Revelation 6 Located in Washington DC is the iconic memorial to Thomas Jefferson. And written on the northeast portico of the memorial are these sobering and haunting words our country needs to read and digest again from one of our founding fathers: “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Wow, that is sobering. God's justice will always be turned loose against sin. The best definition of sin I have ever read is from John Piper: “[Sin] is the glory of God not honored, the holiness of God not reverenced, the greatness of God not admired, the power of God not praised, the truth of God not sought, the wisdom of God not esteemed, the beauty of God not treasured, the goodness of God not savored, the faithfulness of God not trusted, the promises of God not believed, the commandments of God not obeyed, the justice of God not respected, the wrath of God not feared, the grace of God not cherished, the presence of God not prized, the person of God not loved.” God's justice will judge sin. The problem is that, from our standpoint, it takes too long. Whenever we see sin and injustice, we want immediate recompense. The living asks for it, and in today's chapter, we have another group asking for it. In Revelation 6 we hear the cry of the dead, but not just the dead—those who have died for their faith in Jesus. Listen to the cry of the martyrs when the Lamb broke the fifth seal, and we hear their hallowed voices: “When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'” (Revelation 6:9-10) Many believe early church father Tertullian said these famous words, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” He argued that persecution actually strengthens the church; as martyrs bravely and willingly die for their faith, onlookers convert. In Christianity Today, Morgan Lee goes on to say: “Some 1,800 years later, restrictions on religion are stronger than ever. According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of the world's population live in a country where social hostilities involving religion are high, and 64 percent live where government restrictions on religion are high. Does this explain why Christianity is likewise growing worldwide?” The Revelation 6 martyr's question is our question: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” That is the question for the living and the dead. When is God going to put things right? When is God going to judge those who rightly deserve judgment? Here is what I have learned about God and immediate judgment. First, God is patient. God is willing to wait. Second, God is willing to be misunderstood in delay. While men cry for “now,” God sees the bigger picture as more important than answering our immediate cry. And third, there will be a day when God will make everything right; it just may not be the day on your calendar. So God is patient. God can handle mischaracterization about Himself while He delays. And God will have the final word. The book of 2 Peter gives such a great perspective to the “how long?” question the martyrs of Revelation 6 asked. The context of the answer is that people want Jesus to return quickly. They want that final judgment day to happen to show the mockers and skeptics that God is real and that they are going to get what's coming to them. But Peter explains God's reason for the delay: “His' delay' simply reveals his loving patience toward you, because he does not want any to perish but all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, TPT). The Message says it like this, “He's giving everyone space and time to change.” When we and the martyrs ask how long or why the delay in receiving justice, God wants us to understand that He is giving everyone space and time to change. God is willing to wait through mischaracterization, accusation, and our exhaustion, and even death to bring as many people to heaven as He can. And I believe He is waiting on those who caused the injustice and the deaths. Don't mistake God's patience for His absence. Patience is not the absence of action but the wisdom of knowing the right time to act. Thank You, God, for being patient not only with me but with all of humanity.
If you placed your faith in Jesus, we want to give you a free gift! Click below to fill in your information so we can mail you your gift or you can pick it up at one of our in-person services at 8:30AM, 10:15AM, 12PM, & 1:45PM. https://churchalivenj.churchcenter.com/people/forms/129025 Subscribe to Our Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHNDPb5XMkf1LyqoTU30vg Help Support and Grow our Ministry to reach people around our community and spread the love of Jesus: https://secure.subsplash.com/ui/access/K4SJC6#/ Stay connected with us through our: Church Alive Website: https://churchalive.tv Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/churchalivenj/?hl=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChurchAliveNJ/ Plan your next in-person visit. We are located at 525 Riverside Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ: https://goo.gl/maps/CfVXbCxbQg6qW4ss7
If you placed your faith in Jesus, we want to give you a free gift! Click below to fill in your information so we can mail you your gift or you can pick it up at one of our in-person services at 8:30AM, 10:15AM, 12PM, & 1:45PM. https://churchalivenj.churchcenter.com/people/forms/129025 Subscribe to Our Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHNDPb5XMkf1LyqoTU30vg Help Support and Grow our Ministry to reach people around our community and spread the love of Jesus: https://secure.subsplash.com/ui/access/K4SJC6#/ Stay connected with us through our: Church Alive Website: https://churchalive.tv Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/churchalivenj/?hl=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChurchAliveNJ/ Plan your next in-person visit. We are located at 525 Riverside Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ: https://goo.gl/maps/CfVXbCxbQg6qW4ss7
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:16; Colossians 2:2-3The teacher handed out the graded test papers, placing them face down on the desks. Layla was afraid to turn hers over and instead slipped it into her notebook without looking. When the bell rang, she shoved her notebook and jacket into her backpack and headed for home.Halfway to her house, Layla sat on a stack of tires at the corner of an auto repair shop. She pulled out her notebook and then the graded test. Just as she thought--a big red F! She wadded the test paper up and threw it in the trash can next to the mechanic's garage."I hate school!" exclaimed Layla as she walked into the kitchen. "Reading is too hard." Mom looked concerned. "Isn't that special reading class helping you?""Not really." Layla sat in a chair with a sigh. "The teacher is nice and all, but nothing seems to change. I feel so dumb!" Mom smoothed Layla's hair away from her face. "You're not dumb, Layla. I know you want to do better with your reading, and I'm proud of you for working so hard. Reading is an important skill to have in life, and I'm glad you want to learn how to do it well." Mom smiled thoughtfully. "Did you know there's something even more important to have in your life--something you can't learn on your own?"Layla shook her head. "What's that?""Wisdom," answered Mom. "Wisdom lets us know what is true and right and shows us how to apply that truth to our lives.""How do we get wisdom?" asked Layla."I was hoping you'd ask," said Mom with a grin. "The Bible tells us to ask God for wisdom, and He will gladly give it to us." "So, I just need to pray and I'll be smarter?" Layla asked, looking confused."Being wise is more than being smart and knowing information--it's about knowing God's truth and trusting in Him. In order to have wisdom, we need to have faith in Jesus. Then, as He works in our lives through the Holy Spirit, we will grow in wisdom and in our knowledge of Him.""I'm glad God gives us wisdom when we ask for it," said Layla. "I'm going to pray and ask Him to help me with my reading too!" –Bonnie CarrHow About You?Do you wish you were smarter? Do you have questions you can't figure out the answer to? While it's important to study in school and learn new things, you'll never have all the answers. Only God does, and knowing Him is more important than knowing anything else. Ask Him to give you wisdom, and He will help you see how much you need Jesus. When you know Him as your Savior, He will help you grow in wisdom and understanding.Today's Key Verse:If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (NIV) (James 1:5 )Today's Key Thought:Pray for wisdom
This episode is inspired by the story of Job and how his friends responded to his grief . I share what not to do and what to do. Would love to hear your feedback - how was this helpful!? Send me an email @firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Do you have a story related to faith in Jesus and Mental Health want to be a guest on the show or connect with me? Send me an email @firstname.lastname@example.org --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/bewindi-aquilla-bobb/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/bewindi-aquilla-bobb/support
Salvation is Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God's rest. Having received the covenant promise by grace through faith in Jesus, there is no more work to be done. However, walking in faith as we trust in Jesus through the wilderness of this fallen world is a battle. The world, the flesh, and the devil consistently pull at our hearts and minds to draw us away from following Christ. That was happening to the Hebrew Christians to which Hebrews was written. They were suffering persecution and hardship, and the temptation to go back to the worldly safety of Judaism was strong. Hebrews 3 began with a very concise command. In Jesus, we are holy brothers with a heavenly calling; therefore, “consider Jesus.” Last week, we discussed what it means to fix our hearts and minds upon Him. As the writer continues, Hebrews 3:7-19 will bring one of the hardest warnings in the book. The readers are warned through these verses to beware of a hardening heart. The pattern of a hardening heart is given in verses (7-11) as the writer quotes Psalm 95:7-11. The Israelites who came out of Egypt show this pattern in the wilderness. Then, the readers are warned to protect themselves from a hardening heart (12-15). Finally, the reader must not presume this warning doesn't apply to us (16-19), as the author demonstrates the same people who came out of Egypt in praise, joy, and glory were the ones who rebelled and died in the wilderness. Verse 19 shows us the real problem – unbelief. Using the wilderness wanderings as an example, the author of Hebrews exhorts the Christians, saying, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (3:12). These Hebrew Christians were also traveling through the wilderness of persecution and suffering. When trial comes, will they do what the Exodus generation did and grumble, complain, and rebel? Would they wish to return to Egypt when they can't find water, as that generation did? Or would they trust the God who has spoken in His Son? The seeds of unbelief can fester in any heart, which is why we are called to “exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (3:13).
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,' and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,' and he does it.” Matthew 8:8–9These are words spoken by a man who is very familiar with the exercise of authority. He is a Roman centurion, and he states that he himself is “a man subject to authority” and that he also has soldiers who are subject to him. Thus, his daily life consists of following orders and giving orders that are to be obeyed.When authority is exercised properly, it is a gift that helps to order society, family life, the life of the Church and even our personal lives. Of course, when authority is exercised improperly, in an oppressive and abusive way, it causes much damage. But the exercise of authority is, in and of itself, an act that has the potential to do much good.Jesus Himself is quite impressed with the Roman centurion in the Gospel passage quoted above. Of him, Jesus states, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.” Imagine having the Son of God say that about you! Jesus is impressed, in part, because the centurion acknowledges that he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his house. This is humility, in that the centurion clearly perceives his unworthiness. But Jesus is also impressed because the man manifests a clear and certain faith in Jesus' authority to heal his servant from a distance. He does not hesitate to profess his belief in this authority of our Lord.In our own lives, we are often lacking in this area. We face a difficulty (such as the illness this centurion's servant was enduring), and instead of turning to God with full and unwavering confidence, we turn in on ourselves. We become anxious, fearful, doubtful, confused and sometimes even angry. When any of these qualities are present, it is not because of the difficult situation we face; rather, it is because of our lack of faith and our lack of confidence in the all-powerful authority of our Lord. In the case of the Roman centurion's servant, it was the will of God that Jesus physically heal, and so He did. But in the countless daily challenges we face in life, God's answers might be varied. One unwavering quality we must always have is a certain conviction that God desires to exercise His loving authority in our lives, in the way He chooses, if we trust Him and invite Him to take control. Reflect, today, upon the perfection of the authority of Christ. Do you believe that He can exercise His perfection of power in your life? Do you believe that His authority is what is needed to order your life, your family, our Church and even our world? Prayerfully submit yourself to the authority of Christ this day and allow yourself to become amazed as you witness all that He is able to do. All-powerful Father, I entrust to You my life and every situation in my life that needs Your power and control. Please bring order and harmony to my life and to the lives of those around me. May all Your children learn to more fully entrust themselves to You as their loving God. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.comCopyright © 2023 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
Scripture Reading: Acts 3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time for prayer, at three o'clock in the afternoon. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried up, who was placed at the temple gate called “the Beautiful Gate” every day so he could beg for money from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple courts, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked directly at him (as did John) and said, “Look at us!” 5 So the lame man paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, stand up and walk!” 7 Then Peter took hold of him by the right hand and raised him up, and at once the man's feet and ankles were made strong. 8 He jumped up, stood and began walking around, and he entered the temple courts with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and they recognized him as the man who used to sit and ask for donations at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with astonishment and amazement at what had happened to him.11 While the man was hanging on to Peter and John, all the people, completely astounded, ran together to them in the covered walkway called Solomon's Portico. 12 When Peter saw this, he declared to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk by our own power or piety? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate after he had decided to release him. 14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a man who was a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the Originator of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this fact we are witnesses! 16 And on the basis of faith in Jesus' name, his very name has made this man—whom you see and know—strong. The faith that is through Jesus has given him this complete health in the presence of you all. 17 And now, brothers, I know you acted in ignorance, as your rulers did too. 18 But the things God foretold long ago through all the prophets—that his Christ would suffer—he has fulfilled in this way. 19 Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you—that is, Jesus. 21 This one heaven must receive until the time all things are restored, which God declared from times long ago through his holy prophets. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must obey him in everything he tells you. 23 Every person who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removed from the people.' 24 And all the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed him, have spoken about and announced these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.' 26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each one of you from your iniquities.”Main ThemesThe MiracleThe SettingWe learn in chapter 2 that believers pray daily in the temple. (This means they prayed in the temple courts, not literally inside the temple.) So, chapter 3 opens with a predictable scene—Peter and John find themselves going to the temple to pray (3:1). We can safely assume they were going to participate in a corporate prayer meeting (as opposed to a time of personal prayer).We are aware that at some point synagogues established three prayer times during the day. We have evidence from early Christian writers that Christians continued this practice for a while. Even in Acts we read of three times of prayer: 9:00 AM (Acts 2:15), noon (Acts 10:9), and 3:00 PM (Acts 3:1). There is some doubt that the synagogue tradition was firmly in place at the time of Acts chapter 3, but most agree that was the case.We might ask ourselves: What did these times of corporate prayer look like? It may have included corporate singing of Psalms and other worship, a person leading everyone in prayer, and everyone praying differently but simultaneously.We might also ask ourselves: How long did the miracle and Peter's preaching (which we are about to discuss) take? We learn at the beginning of chapter 4 that Peter and John are arrested towards evening, and recall that Peter and John head towards the temple around 3 PM. So, the miracle and subsequent preaching probably lasted about 3 hours. Although this may be obvious to the reader already, we should note that the speeches we read in Acts are obviously summaries. Luke records the main points made by Peter.The Lame Man and the GateAs the believers head to the temple to pray, they run across a lame man who was placed at the temple gate daily. As a quick historical note, we are not certain at which gate he was placed. Ancient sources do not specify which gate was popularly called “the Beautiful Gate.” We are able to ascertain that it referred to either the Nicanor Gate (which led from the Court of the Gentiles into the Court of Women) or the Shushan Gate at the eastern wall. Since the fifth century, the tradition has been that “the Beautiful Gate” referred to the Shushan Gate, but that tradition may not be reliable.Of more relevance than which gate is being described is the fact that the lame man was at a gate. Because of his defect, he may not have been allowed to go any further into the temple. Also, temple gates were useful for begging since they were frequented by many people. Moreover, one may assume that people at the temple were a more charitable audience than elsewhere. Finally, we must keep in mind the lame man's dismal situation. Begging (considered highly shameful) would have been his only way to provide for himself. There was no other social safety net. As a scholar points out, the poor in ancient cities were “ill-fed, housed in slums or not at all, ravaged by sickness,” and with little hope of social betterment.The ExchangeThe lame man begins the exchange with the apostles on the basis of his need—he requests money. Truly, he requested alms—money given to the poor as an act of charity—but our translation uses money because the term alms is unfamiliar to current readers. Giving alms was viewed as honorable by Judaism.The lame man's request opens the door for a dramatic demonstration of the gospel. The Old Testament strongly emphasized the charitable treatment of the disabled. Consider, for example:You must not curse a deaf person or put a stumbling block in front of a blind person. You must fear your God; I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:14“Cursed is the one who misleads a blind person on the road.” Then all the people will say, “Amen!” Deuteronomy 27:18Like I have pointed out many times before, the gospels are replete with commands to help the poor.Most importantly, according to the Old Testament, healing of the sick would be a sign of the messianic era. Consider Isaiah:Tell those who panic, “Be strong! Do not fear! Look, your God comes to avenge; with divine retribution he comes to deliver you.” Then blind eyes will open, deaf ears will hear. Then the lame will leap like a deer, the mute tongue will shout for joy; for water will burst forth in the wilderness, streams in the arid rift valley. Isaiah 35:4-6)In the Old Testament, the lame also work as a type for the mistreated people of God:Look, at that time I will deal with those who mistreated you. I will rescue the lame sheep and gather together the scattered sheep. I will take away their humiliation and make the whole earth admire and respect them. Zephaniah 3:19So, Peter healing a lame man works on a literal level—it is an astonishing miracle that validates his credentials as one sent by God—and on a narrative level—the story of redemption has reached the messianic era in which the people of God will be gathered.The Disclaimer—No MoneyUpon the lame man's request, Peter and John clarify that they do not have any money. (The phrase “silver and gold” simply means money, “minted coins.”) Although this is nothing but a footnote in the story, we should notice that as the believers shared all their possessions with one another (see chapter 2), the apostles do not seem to have been enriched. Also, this distinguishes Peter and John from magicians of that time, who took payment for their services.The MiracleJesus' NamePeter begins the miracle by giving credit to Jesus Christ. Jesus's name is a key element that recurs throughout this section. It is repeated many times in chapter 3, and its mention continues into chapter 4. This leaves no doubt that the apostles are acting only as agents for the one who sent them—Jesus.We should notice that Peter specifies that he speaks of Jesus “the Nazarene.” This shows a reference to a real, historical figure, and it operates as defiance to popular expectations of greatness. Being from Nazareth was certainly nothing to brag about.How should we understand the use of Jesus' name? For example, in the context of prayer, calling God's name generally means one is addressing God. For example:Now Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 So he said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, may your name be honored; may your kingdom come. . . .” Luke 11:1-2But in prayer, one is also calling on the Lord himself to act. Consider how the Lord's prayer continues:Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And do not lead us into temptation. Luke 11:3-4Invocations of God's name could be directed at people or at least with people as the intended audience to prove who is acting. Consider Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal:“Then you will invoke the name of your god, and I will invoke the name of the Lord. The god who responds with fire will demonstrate that he is the true God.” All the people responded, “This will be a fair test.” 1 Kings 18Consider also David's blessing of the people of God in the name of the Lord. This probably means he was calling on the Lord to the bless them.When David finished offering burnt sacrifices and peace offerings, he pronounced a blessing over the people in the Lord's name. 1 Chronicles 16:2So, when Peter asks the lame man to walk “in the name of Jesus Christ,” he may be pointing to who is doing the miracle.We could also understand calling on the Lord's name slightly differently. Both in Jewish and Gentile tradition, we can find brokers (i.e., representatives or messengers) using the name of their patron to denote on whose authority they speak or act. So, to say “in the name of Jesus Christ” is to say, “as a representative of Jesus Christ.” We find this (or a very similar) use of the expression in the Gospel of John when praying in Jesus' name (John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23-24). In John, praying “in one's name” evokes praying “on the merits of,” or because of, another's status before the one entreated (much like Israel seeking favor before God on account of their ancestors' favor).Notice that under either interpretation of using the Lord's name, it is Jesus or through the power of Jesus that the miracle happens. The difference is whether the apostle works as an announcer of what Jesus is doing or as the agent through whom Jesus acts.We should also notice that Peter does not use a particular ritual. For pagans, God's favor could be sought by using very specific rituals that needed perfect execution. Jewish ritual was less particular, but correctly implementing the ritual remained important, leading to conflicts between, for example, Pharisees and Sadducees. Peter also does not employ techniques or ingredients that would lend themselves to be interpreted as magic. The only ingredient, so to speak, is the power and authority of Jesus.The HealingPeter clasps the lame man's right hand—typically a sign of agreement or covenant in the ancient world. Given the man's low social status, this denotes acceptance and kindness on Peter's part. Peter helps him up.The miracle is emphatically evident. The man jumps up and immediately walks. Then we are told repeatedly that he “walks around,” walks and leaps,” and all saw him “walking.” The miracle works as a sign that draws attention to the message about to be preached.Why is the miracle so effective? Those at the temple recognized this man as the one “who used to sit and ask for donations.” Since he had been lame from birth, we can conclude he had been placed there daily for a very long time.Moreover, if we are correct in concluding that the lame man could venture no further into the temple due to his disability, the fact that the man enters the temple courts to praise God is significant. His barrier to experience God has been removed by the power and grace of Jesus.The SpeechThe SettingPetter delivers his speech at Solomon's Portico. It was a long outdoor hallway supported by pillars on the east of a pre-Herodian structure, which overlooked the steep Kidron Valley. Apparently Solomon's Portico was a traditional place for Christians to meet and preach; we read about it in Acts (Acts 3:11; 5:12) and in John 10:23.The MessageWhodunit?Peter begins his sermon by correcting an apparent misunderstanding by the crowd. He makes clear that the cause of the healing is Jesus, not himself.Wonder-workers were common at the time, and they were often understood as sorcerers. Clarifying that Jesus was the source of the miracle, along with other passages in Acts (e.g., Acts 8:7-13, 18-24; 19:11-20) work as an antimagical apologetics. These are miracles done by God, Peter is pointing out, not magical works done by Peter's power or cunning. Moreover, Peter is separating himself from certain Jewish traditions that held holy men had power to make certain things happen. (Pagans had a similar notion, believing that piety could lead to spiritual power. For example, Romans believed that their sacrifices could expiate the gods and that their continued worship could even make the gods embarrassed to continue in anger against Rome.)Unlike a sorcerer or a man acting by his own piety-fueled power, Peter points to Jesus and immediately says the following::The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our forefathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate after he had decided to release him.In other words, the main proposition of the speech is that the God of Israel who acted to resurrect Jesus is continuing to act.The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” was a familiar Jewish expression, derived from the biblical revelation to Moses recorded in the book of Exodus. It appears multiple times in Exodus and the Old Testament, but probably the most memorable mention is in the scene of the burning bush.Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. He looked, and the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed! So Moses thought, “I will turn aside to see this amazing sight. Why does the bush not burn up?” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” God said, “Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” He added, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1-6This title for God was common in Jesus' time, appearing in Jewish prayers and benedictions, making it one of the most familiar titles for God. Someone who had read both of Luke's works would remember that Jesus had used this title before—once before. Jesus defended the resurrection of the dead with this very title and the very scene of the burning bush, concluding:But even Moses revealed that the dead are raised in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live before him.” Then some of the experts in the law answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well!” For they did not dare any longer to ask him anything. Luke 20:37-40There seems to be no coincidence that Peter uses that same title for God to preach about restoration as Jesus did to preach about resurrection. The God who demonstrated his faithfulness to the patriarchs in the exodus would be faithful to his promise to raise them from the dead; God demonstrated that faithfulness in raising Jesus from the dead; so, one can expect God to deliver on his promises of restoration as well.The Servant, the Holy and Righteous One, the Originator of LifeBecause I have discussed some of these Old Testament allusions in many occasions, I will provide only a brief summary of what the titles used for Jesus are meant to evoke in the listeners' minds.The term servant along with the theme of glorification almost inarguably points to Isaiah' servant.Look, my servant will succeed! He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted—(just as many were horrified by the sight of you) he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man; his form was so marred he no longer looked human—so now he will startle many nations. Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, for they will witness something unannounced to them, and they will understand something they had not heard about. Who would have believed what we just heard? When was the Lord's power revealed through him? He sprouted up like a twig before God, like a root out of parched soil; he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention, no special appearance that we should want to follow him. He was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant. But he lifted up our illnesses, he carried our pain; even though we thought he was being punished, attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done. He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, crushed because of our sins; he endured punishment that made us well; because of his wounds we have been healed. Isaiah 52:13 – 53-5“The Holy One” was especially a title for God himself in both the Old Testament and in early Judaism. In a context that draws heavily on Isaiah, the “holy one” title could imply deity (“Holy One” appears thirty times in Isaiah, including for God as Israel's savior and “redeemer” in the servant contexts). The title could also function as an acceptable title for one of God's servants when conjoined with “of God.” In the case of Acts 3, that seems like a difficult interpretation to hold.“Righteous one” is not a common expression for Christ later in the New Testament. (Although we see some uses, such as in 1 John 1-2. It says, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.”) So why is this title for Jesus used in Acts?In Acts, the title of righteous one is used exclusively when preaching to Jerusalem audiences, which is perhaps a clue as to its intended meaning. Calling Jesus the “righteous one” heightens both the contrast with Barabbas the “murderer” and the guilt of those who denied Jesus. It also fits one of Luke's central themes: Jesus was innocent. Moreover, the term “righteous servant” appears in the servant song of Isaiah (Isaiah 53:11), solidifying the connection between the term “servant” and Isaiah's servant.“Prince of life,” “Founder of life,” or as our translation puts it, “Originator of life” is antonomasia—a title that substitutes the name of a person. Examples in other contexts would be referring to Shakespeare as the Bard or to Lebron James as the GOAT.In Peter's speech, we see a recurring contrast between life and death, including between he who raised to life and those who kill. Calling Jesus the Originator of life is a great rhetorical device to emphasize that contrast. Also, a biblically literate listener would probably recall Deuteronomy 30:“Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are about to possess. However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Today I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20There is much debate about exactly to interpret the word translated as prince, founder, or originator (ἀρχηγός). The term appears frequently in the Septuagint to refer to heads of clans—hence the translations prince and founder. The term could apply to authors or originators of something, or the “initiator” of something. However, for readers steeped more in biblical Greek than in Greek tradition, the image of leadership would be dominant. Jesus is thus the hero leading the way to the historic goal of achieving eternal life, and as such fulfills the promises and inaugurates the opportunity for the eschatological era of blessing. In the words of other New Testament passages, he is the “firstborn” from the dead, who thereby guarantees life to the rest of his people. Perhaps a great translation of ἀρχηγός is “pioneer,” but modern scholars find “pioneer” to be on the list of icky words (for reasons I am sure you could guess).Believe, Repent, and Then . . . The Messiah's ReturnVerses 15 through 21 sounds quite similar to the speech in chapter 2, so I will not discuss them in detail except for the conspicuous differences. By differences, I do not mean inconsistencies. I mean the two speeches are not identical and we learn some distinct information.As in the prior chapter, Peter tells the Jewish audience that they killed Jesus, their divine king sent by God, yet God raised him from the dead, a fact to which the apostles are witnesses. In chapter 2 Peter points to the audience as witnesses of God's miracles (as opposed to the apostles). But in chapter 3 Peter quickly points out that the audience has now witnessed a miracle. The crowd was familiar with the lame man who was healed, making this charge effective. All in all, the setup of the message in chapter 3 is similar to that of chapter 2.The first distinction, albeit in tone and not theology, is in how Peter addresses the crowd's culpability. In chapter 2, Peter emphasizes the guilt of the crowd. In chapter 3, Peter minimizes (although does not remove) their guilt by highlighting their ignorance.Then just like in chapter 2, Peter then clarifies that Jesus' death was according to scripture. Finally, Peter calls the crowd to repentance.The real difference between the two speeches begins in verse 20. What are the fruits of repentance in chapter 2? “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'” (Acts 2:38). Peter also tells them to “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” (Acts 2:40). In short, the result of repentance is forgiveness of sins, receiving the Holy Spirit, and salvation (which in the context of chapter 2 means avoiding judgment).What are the fruits of repentance in chapter 3? “[S]o that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you—that is, Jesus. This one heaven must receive until the time all things are restored, which God declared from times long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:20b-21). Repentance will be followed by “times of refreshing” or what may also be called restoration; and, once sufficient restoration has occurred (“the time all things are restored”) then Jesus will return.This idea of restoration is found throughout the Old Testament prophets. Perhaps the best known passage is in Ezekiel:“‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. I will sprinkle you with pure water, and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative, and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my regulations. Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it; I will not bring a famine on you. I will multiply the fruit of the trees and the produce of the fields, so that you will never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil behavior and your deeds that were not good; you will loathe yourselves on account of your sins and your abominable deeds. Ezekiel 36:24-31Jews during Jesus' day and thereafter linked the idea of turning to God with the restoration of Israel. Many Jewish sources show an expectation that Israel would return to God's law in the last days. Often Jewish teachers, particularly in later rabbinic texts, predicated the end's arrival and Israel's restoration as chronologically contingent on Israel's repentance.Summary and ConclusionsWhat does this tell us about the current age? The opportunity to turn to God is now. The good news is going out to all the nations (see verse 25) that the Lord has already raised the firstborn from the dead. Anyone who trusts the “Pioneer of life” shall reach the same destination. And, one day, when all the people of God have turned to Him, Jesus will return to judge, to heal, to restore, and to reign a world that will be filled with love, peace, and joy.The concept of restoration and Jesus' return also prompts a few questions. Peter's speech claiming that heaven would receive Jesus until the period of restoration echoes Psalm 110:1, which Peter quoted in chapter 2. The psalm says:Here is the Lord's proclamation to my lord: “Sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord extends your dominion from Zion. Rule in the midst of your enemies. Your people willingly follow you when you go into battle. On the holy hills at sunrise the dew of your youth belongs to you. The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.” O Lord, at your right hand he strikes down kings in the day he unleashes his anger. He executes judgment against the nations. He fills the valleys with corpses; he shatters their heads over the vast battlefield. From the stream along the road he drinks; then he lifts up his head. Psalm 110:1b-7So, will all enemies of Christ be defeated and then Jesus will return? Should we expect the church to advance and (peacefully) conquer all the world, every institution, and every person? Will nearly everyone become a follower of Christ? Some believe this. Other passages in scripture have led most Christian throughout history to temper those expectations, with some taking an opposite, extremely negative view of history's arch. But regardless of how we harmonize scripture, the theme of an advancing church (whether ultimately victorious or not) seems inarguable. Many will come to Christ. The enemies of the church will not prevail against the plan of salvation.The second question we might ask is whether Acts 3 (and other texts, such as Romans 11) means that it is the conversion of Jews (not Gentiles) that will trigger the end—the return of Jesus. Many Christians in the United States hold this view today. Often times, although not always, this view includes the belief that national Israel will be restored and blessed before the final judgment. In other words, that Acts 3 is talking specifically about the ethnic nation of Israel. This partially explains why many conservatives in the United States are committed to supporting the nation of Israel. One may also take a passage like Acts 3 and argue that, for example, Peter seems to intentionally omit the more Israel-centric portions of the Old Testament text he cites, and that at the end of chapter 3 Peter again highlights that the promise of salvation is for all nations. Therefore, restoration involves all the people of God—the Church—and not specifically Jews. (Of course, the arguments for the different theological positions look for evidence all over the Bible. I give examples only from the texts we have recently read so as not to derail our conversation.)So far I have avoided these eschatological topics because people feel very strongly about them. Discussion can easily get heated. My intention behind these brief comments is simply to introduce some of the options available.
Nine-year-old Dan Gill arrived with his best friend Archie at their classmate’s birthday party. When the mother of the birthday boy saw Archie, however, she refused him entry. “There aren’t enough chairs,” she insisted. Dan offered to sit on the floor to make room for his friend, who was Black, but the mother said no. Dejected, Dan left their presents with her and returned home with Archie, the sting of his friend’s rejection searing his heart. Now, decades later, Dan is a schoolteacher who keeps one empty chair in his classroom. When students ask why, he explains it’s his reminder to “always have room in the classroom for anyone.” A heart for all people can be seen in Jesus’ welcoming life: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). This invitation may seem to contradict the “first to the Jew” scope of Jesus’ ministry (Romans 1:16). But the gift of salvation is for all people who place their faith in Jesus. “This is true for everyone who believes,” Paul wrote, “no matter who we are” (Romans 3:22 nlt). We rejoice then at Jesus’ invitation to all: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). For all seeking His rest, His open heart awaits.
2 Peter 1:1 Names are really interesting aren't they? My own father was called Linley when he was born but people only ever knew him as Bob. The only time anybody tried to use his birth name was when he went into hospital as an old man, and it sounded ridiculous. Some people have names that have been passed down in the family or were given because of the day on which they were born. In the New Testament we often hear the writer being called Simon or Peter and occasionally Simon Peter, but in the Greek for this verse he is called Simeon. Only on one other occasion in the New Testament is he referred to as Simeon and that is in Acts 15:14, which records the Council of Jerusalem. Simeon came from a strong Jewish background but in that crucial meeting he declared that God had visited the Gentiles and made them a people for himself. This was incredibly radical language. Gentiles used to be the outsiders. They were excluded from the citizenship that the Jews enjoyed. They lived without hope. But now, in Christ, they had been given a new identity and Simeon was wanting to persuade the Council that the doors should be fully thrown open to include them. Peter wrote this letter to people from a Gentile, that is to say non-Jewish, background and he wanted to celebrate the new status that they had acquired in Christ. His own name expressed that miracle. Yes, he had been born as Simeon, a Jew, but now, as a follower of Christ, he had been named Peter, meaning ‘rock'. Whatever the story may be behind your name thank God that, in Christ, we have each been given a new identity and sense of direction as we build our lives on the rock of our faith in Jesus. Question In what way has becoming a Christian changed the way you look at yourself and those around you? Prayer Lord Jesus, thank you that you know me by name. Give me your strength as I seek to help others to understand your love for them. Amen
About the Guest: Sarah, a former Buddhist from Burma, shares her compelling journey from a life of uncertainty and striving to the profound peace and transformation she found through encountering Jesus Christ. Her story illuminates the impact of God's love in her life and the remarkable transition from practicing Buddhism to embracing Christianity.Episode Summary: Karen welcomes Sarah to the Blue Cord Podcast, initiating a conversation about Sarah's upbringing in a predominantly Buddhist environment. Sarah reflects on her pursuit of good deeds, meditation, and rituals in Buddhism, striving to find fulfillment and meaning in life. Despite her efforts, she faced internal struggles and emptiness, yearning for genuine peace and purpose.Sarah recalls her encounter with an ESL teacher who introduced her to English through passages from the Bible, leading her to attend church for the first time. Through her exposure to Christianity, Sarah initially grappled with the concept of sin and the necessity of Jesus in her life. Over time, she experienced a deep conviction of her need for a Savior and eventually embraced Jesus Christ.The conversation unfolds to reveal Sarah's transformation from harboring bitterness and hatred towards her aunt to experiencing a profound love and forgiveness, facilitated by her newfound faith in Christ. She emphasizes the substantial difference in her life, finding true peace and assurance through prayer and faith in Jesus.Key Takeaways:The power of God's love transcends cultural and religious boundaries, transforming lives even amidst adversity.The significance of authentic love and compassion in bridging cultural gaps and sharing Christ's message.The journey from spiritual emptiness to finding true peace and purpose in Jesus Christ.The impact of surrendering to God's grace and experiencing His transformative love and forgiveness.Encouragement to share the Gospel and point others to Jesus through intentional actions and genuine love.Quotes:"God changed my heart. He transformed my hatred into love, and it was all God's doing." - Sarah"The Word of God is powerful. It changed my life, and it has the potential to change others' lives too." - Sarah"We just need to obey the Word of God and share the Gospel, for it holds the power to transform lives." - SarahThese show notes capture the essence of the conversation between Karen and Sarah, emphasizing the transformative power of God's love and the significance of sharing Christ's message across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
I greet you in Jesus' precious name! It is Thursday morning, the 30th of November, 2023, and this is your friend, Angus Buchan, with a thought for today. We start in the Book of James 2:23, in the New Testament:“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.” You want to be called a friend of God; I am sure you do; everybody does. No one wants to be an enemy of God. God has never lost a fight in His life.“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6We cannot please God by good works. He is not interested in our good works. He says they are like filthy rags. He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). You see, the reason God loved Abraham so much is because Abraham obeyed whatever God told him to do. Abraham waited for his promise, a son. God gave him a son, a beautiful son, named Isaac. At the age of about 13 years old, God tested Abraham and said, “I want him back now.” Abraham never hesitated. He took his son up to the top of Mount Moriah and was prepared to offer him up as a living sacrifice. God was so moved by that act of faith that he said, “Stop, stop, stop Abraham. There is a little ram caught in the thicket. Use that for a sacrifice.” That is why He loved Abraham. Abraham is known as the father of faith.George Müller is one of my heroes. George Müller started a children's home in Bristol in England. Something like 10,000 children went through that home, something like 60 million rand by today's reckoning, went through his hands. He never asked for one cent; he prayed for everything and trusted God. At the end of his life, people said, “You must have had such a love for children.” He said, “Yes indeed, a great love for children, but the reason why I did it wasn't even for the children. I wanted to show the world what God will do if we put our trust in Him.” Today, I want to encourage you. Put your faith in Jesus Christ. Don't tempt Him, but you can test Him, and I want to tell you, He will never, ever let you down. He is a good God, He is for you and He is for me and He is not against us, so He wants us to attempt great things for Him and expect great things from Him.Have a wonderful day,Jesus bless you,Goodbye.
Thursday, 30 November 2023 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, Acts 22:12 The words are more exactingly translated, “And a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, being testified to by all the Jews dwelling there” (CG). In the previous verse, Paul noted to the crowd that he could not see because of the light, and so he was led by the hand to Damascus. Continuing now, it says, “And a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law.” Only the term “disciple” was used of Ananias in Chapter 9. Now, for the sake of this Jewish audience and to show that the man would have been acceptable in their eyes, he calls him a devout man according to the law. This is the fourth and last time that the word eulabés is found in Scripture. It is found only in Luke's writings. Once in his gospel (Luke 2:25) and three times in Acts. It is a compound word that literally means “‘taking hold of what is good.' It focuses on the outward response someone gives to what they feel is truly worthwhile (worthy of respect)” (HELPS Word Studies). At times, translators say, “God-fearing” which is more of a paraphrase, but it implies that a godly fear is instilled in the person. With that, Paul next says, “being testified to by all the Jews dwelling there.” This would be easily verifiable, and it shows that Ananias was obedient in his actions as a faithful Jew. The resentment of followers of the Way was obviously not as pronounced elsewhere as it was in Jerusalem. And even at this time, it was perceived by most that followers of the way were considered obedient Jews. This is an obvious truth from the fact that James and the other apostles moved freely about. Gloag says that this “affirms that he was not introduced to Christianity by an opponent of Judaism, but by a strict Jew” (Paton James Gloag). Paul's argument before the people is a petition for reason concerning faith in Jesus that does not contradict their faith. However, as the author of Hebrews (probably Paul) notes – “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13 It was understood that law observance would eventually be ended. Thus, there is nothing deceitful by Paul in living as a Jew among Jews, as a Gentile among Gentiles, and promoting law observance among the Jews during the time that the temple was still standing. As for the ending of the law, Hebrews notes that it will come at some future point. According to Daniel 9:27, Scripture reveals that point will be after the seven years of tribulation, whenever that occurs. Since the destruction of the temple, believing Jews and Gentiles are not bound to law observance, nor could they be. Without a temple, it would be impossible. At the rapture, all believers will be taken to glory. After that, a temple will be rebuilt, and temple rites and law observance will return to Israel temporarily to consummate the times set forth by the Lord in Daniel 9. Life application: The words of Hebrews 8:13 are written to the Hebrew people. They do not apply to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were never under law observance. As the New Covenant supplants the Old, it is insane theology to teach that a Gentile must observe the law, in part or in whole. This is why Paul is so adamant about this issue in Galatians. To go to the Law of Moses, after coming to Christ, means that Christ's finished work has been rejected. Is this where you really want to stand? Is your hope in your own meriting of God's favor. If so, you will be sorely disappointed. Be sure to trust in Christ, rest in Christ, and find your eternal security in the grace of God that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. Lord God Almighty, how can we be pleasing to You? Your word tells us. We are pleasing to You through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Help us to never attempt to merit Your favor through observance of the law that He came to fulfill. How good it is to simply rest in His finished work. Thank You, O God, for Jesus Christ our Lord. Hallelujah and amen.
In this Bible Story, Jesus feeds five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. The crowds want him to be made king, so Jesus departs before the crowd becomes violent. The disciples depart on a boat while Jesus stays on shore to pray. Then, in power and glory, Jesus walks on water to return with his disciples. This story is inspired by John 6:1-10, Matthew 14:14-33. Go to BibleinaYear.com and learn the Bible in a Year.Today's Bible verse is Matthew 14:29 from the King James Version.Episode 193: As Jesus resumed his teaching around the shores of Galilee, the crowd around Him grew to swelling numbers. After teaching them all day, He had them sit for a meal. Though there were only two small fish and five round loaves of bread, Jesus showed the crowd that He has the power to provide for their needs. He multiplied the food to feed over five-thousand people! After this, the crowd became frenzied and Jesus sent His disciples ahead of Him on the sea while He escaped to pray. As the disciples were on the sea in the late of night, Jesus appeared walking on the water next to them. And though they were frightened they got a first-hand glimpse at what faith in Jesus can do.Hear the Bible come to life as Pastor Jack Graham leads you through the official BibleinaYear.com podcast. This Biblical Audio Experience will help you master wisdom from the world's greatest book. In each episode, you will learn to apply Biblical principles to everyday life. Now understanding the Bible is easier than ever before; enjoy a cinematic audio experience full of inspirational storytelling, orchestral music, and profound commentary from world-renowned Pastor Jack Graham.Also, you can download the Pray.com app for more Christian content, including, Daily Prayers, Inspirational Testimonies, and Bedtime Bible Stories.Visit JackGraham.org for more resources on how to tap into God's power for successful Christian living.This episode is sponsored by Medi-Share, an innovative health care solution for Christians to save money without sacrificing quality.Pray.com is the digital destination of faith. With over 5,000 daily prayers, meditations, bedtime stories, and cinematic stories inspired by the Bible, the Pray.com app has everything you need to keep your focus on the Lord. Make Prayer a priority and download the #1 App for Prayer and Sleep today in the Apple app store or Google Play store.Executive Producers: Steve Gatena & Max BardProducer: Ben GammonHosted by: Pastor Jack GrahamMusic by: Andrew Morgan SmithBible Story narration by: Todd HaberkornSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Romans 3-19-31 - Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. -20- Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. - -21- But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, -22- even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference- -23- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, -24- being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, -25- whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, -26- to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. - -27- Where is boasting then-- It is excluded. By what law-- Of works-- No, but by the law of faith. -28- Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. -29- Or is He the God of the Jews only-- Is He not also the God of the Gentiles-- Yes, of the Gentiles also, -30- since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. -31- Do we then make void the law through faith-- Certainly not- On the contrary, we establish the law.
Trail Head 8 - Rationing 101. Ever wondered why Jesus talks so much about money? Did you even know He did? Join me in finding out as we explore the question, should knowing God affect our finances? Tune in, let's dive deep.
Imagine you've got your keys in hand, ready to unlock the car to grab the podcast iPad, and you suddenly realize it's not even your vehicle. Laugh with us at this little mix-up and more, as we kick off another episode of Pure Faith Podcast, where we juggle between the hilarious and deeply serious. This time, we're unscripted and unfiltered, with Mitchell sharing an update on his kidney cancer journey, its unexpected link to his military service, and the potential upheavals of his future deployments and retirement plans.Ever wonder why life goes sideways for the good folks around us? It's one of those puzzling questions we're wrestling with, as we reflect on Mitchell's cancer battle and the overwhelming support from our listeners. We're even contemplating a shift in the podcast narrative to focus more on cancer-related topics. We also give you a sneak peek into our upcoming year-in-review episode while we navigate the logistics of recording during Mitchell's recovery phase from surgery.Thinking about the Bible and how to interpret it? Join us as we cast our lens on Matthew 5:19's 'least commandment' and understand how it ties back to Jesus' statement about fulfilling the law and the concept of heaven on earth. We explore how this idea relates to Jesus's critique of Pharisees' interpretation of the law. Remember, even when we stumble and misstep, our faith in Jesus is our key to the kingdom of heaven. So, buckle up and let's set off on this enlightening journey together.Support the showSupport our ministryCheck us out at purefaithliving.comContact us at purefaithliving.com/contactFollow us on twitter @purefaithlivingFollow us on Facebook at Pure Faith Podcast
Listen as Pastor Joe shares the struggles many new Christians in North Africa face when they believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Yet, people in the region are coming to Christ like never before! Christians in North Africa often pay a huge price for following Christ. They are rejected by family, lose jobs and face other forms of persecution when they tell others of their faith in Jesus. Many of these persecuted Christians don't know how each day will end. They rely on the Lord for strength and hope, despite their fear. Listen as Pastor Joe shares the story of a young woman in his congregation who was overjoyed to share her new faith with her family. But when she did, she was beaten and thrown into the streets. Her own mother told her, “I would rather know that my daughter became a prostitute than a Christian.” Pastor Joe encourages listeners to not flee from danger and potentially miss blessings and service that God has planned for us. He reminds us that Jesus came to earth knowing He would suffer. He says that, as a Christian, we should also know that persecution will come. Hear the story of one young man who encouraged other believers until the final moments of his life. In addition, Joe shares of a married couple who kept their faith a secret from each other—until they ran into each other at a Christian meeting! Pray God would call believers in North Africa to stay in their communities and serve. Pray Pastor Joe and his family will remain faithful to the Lord and His calling on their lives and for continued protection over their ministry.
Pastor points out the Old Testament's words, “Thus says the LORD,” and compares them to the words of Jesus in the New Testament that say, “But I tell you.” What does this tell us about who Jesus is? Pastor explores the “But I tell yous” as found in Matthew chapter 5 and we learn what Jesus calls us to. That call is to a changed heart, which can only happen when we come to faith in Jesus. God's call is personal! He wants to change each one of us by the shed blood of Jesus, the Son of God.
Welcome to Faith Church Online. Today we begin our Christmas teaching series as we discuss HOPE. Our greatest hope does not come from a store and is not found in someTHING, but rather it is found in someONE; Jesus. Our greatest hope is an eternal future based on a faith in Jesus and the promises of God. Merry Christmas!We hope this serves you well!
Ever felt like your dreams are stolen, joy depleted, and opportunities squandered? We're exposing the thief in your life - that unseen force that appears to rob you of your potential. In an enlightening discussion, we unlock the power of faith derived from the word of God as the ultimate shield against this thief. We dissect the disappointments and detours that often leave us feeling stuck, reminding you of Jesus' promise - a life to the fullest measure. Embrace the power of faith, reclaim your joy, and step into the life God has intended for you. Don't let negative thoughts take the driver's seat. It's time to believe in the life-giving power of Jesus and put your faith at the forefront. We delve into the transformative power of prayer and the potency of positive affirmations in Jesus' name. Learn to rise above negative influences and the relentless thief that targets joy and fulfillment. Remember, the Holy Spirit moves with us as a reliable source of strength. Serving Jesus isn't merely a spiritual practice - it's a practical tool to overcome challenges and infuse your life with purpose and strength. So, join us as we navigate this journey of faith together.Key Takeaways:Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.There is a thief in one's life that can steal joy and opportunities.Jesus came to give believers life to the fullest measure.By putting faith in Jesus, listeners can overcome the influence of the thief and experience a higher level of life.Looking for more? Join our More Faith More Life community: https://morefaithmorelife.comAbout the host: Steve Gray is the founding and senior pastor of Revive Church KC. He has been in the full time ministry for over 40 years and was launched into national and international recognition in the late 1990's as the leader of the historic Smithton Outpouring, and again in 2009 when he lead the Kansas City Revival which was televised nationally on the Daystar television network. Steve is also a veteran musician, songwriter, recording artist and published author. His books include When The Kingdom Comes, Follow The Fire, My Absurd Religion, and If You Only Knew.Download your free copy of If You Only Knew >> https://morefaithmorelife.com/free-ebook/
The passage for today is Mark 4:40-41. It says, "And he said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?' And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?'" In this passage, Jesus is asleep in a boat with his disciples when a storm arises. The disciples are afraid and wake Jesus up, asking him to save them. Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith and then calms the storm. This passage teaches us that we should not be afraid when we face challenges in our lives. Instead, we should trust in Jesus and have faith that he will help us through them. When we have faith in Jesus, we can be confident that he will always be there for us, no matter what.
Today, church planter and worship leader Evan Whickman joins us from Park Hill Church in sunny San Diego. In this conversation, Jason and Evan explore various themes, starting with Evan's personal journey of deconstructing and reconstructing his faith in Jesus, and the environments that helped him along the way. Together, they also unpack the concept of "Compassionate and Courageous Orthodoxy," and in it, the delicate balance of standing firm on core Christian truths while creating environments for open and honest conversations. Evan shares profound insights on engaging in meaningful dialogue with those who hold different perspectives, while both tackling challenging questions and maintaining a genuine curiosity toward those in the conversation. Throughout the interview, Evan exudes faith and courage while staying grounded in the complexities of pastoring in this moment. We hope you enjoy our conversation with him. Bio | Evan Wickham is a worship leader, songwriter, speaker, and lead pastor of Park Hill Church in San Diego, CA, which he co-founded in 2017 with Sandy, his wife of 23 years (and their five kids). In addition to teaching and curating worship experiences in various communities, he has released four albums of worship songs in order to resource the broader body of Christ. He holds an MDiv from Western Seminary in Portland, OR and helped launch Searock Sessions, a cohort and growing community for hundreds of leaders seeking renewal in the Western church. Give today to CCLN and help seed a hopeful future for the Church in Canada. Partners: Thanks to the Canadian Bible Society for supporting this episode. Learn more about their Bible Course. Show Notes: Park Hill Church Get Connected! Blog & Episode write-up Website Join our Mailing List! Subscribe on YouTube Follow on Instagram Share a Canadian Church Story
God Sees a Jesus Follower as Being “In Christ”; Therefore, God Sees a Jesus Follower as His Son or Daughter MESSAGE SUMMARY: As Followers of Jesus, you are "In Christ" -- God looks at you, as a Jesus Follower, and He sees Jesus in you. Throughout the Epistles we find: "In Christ" or "In Him". In Galatians 3:14, Paul tells you that your faith in Jesus makes you “In Christ” and a recipient of God's Covenant with Abraham: “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.". Also, Paul goes even further, in Galatians 3:25-28, to tell you that, through your faith in Jesus, you no longer need any kind of intermediary because you are “In Christ” and you have a personal relationship with God, the Creator of the Universe: “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.”. When God sees you, “In Christ" as a Jesus Follower, He sees Jesus, the Son. Therefore, God sees you as His son or daughter. TODAY'S PRAYER: Lord, everything in me resists following you into the garden of Gethsemane to fall on my face to the ground before you. Grant me the courage to follow you all the way to the cross, whatever that might mean for my life. And then, by your grace, lead me to resurrection life and power. In Jesus' name, amen. Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day (p. 100). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. TODAY'S AFFIRMATION: Today, because of I am filled with the Holy Spirit, I will not be controlled by my Addictions. Rather, I will walk in the Spirit's fruit of Self-Control. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22f). SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Romans 3:21-26; Romans 6:5-11; Romans 6:22-23; Psalms 63:1-11. A WORD FROM THE LORD WEBSITE: www.AWFTL.org. THIS SUNDAY'S AUDIO SERMON: You can listen to Archbishop Beach's Current Sunday Sermon: “Turkeys and Eagles – Part 6: We Don't Need to Be Wimpy Christians”, at our Website: https://awordfromthelord.org/listen/ DONATE TO AWFTL: https://mygiving.secure.force.com/GXDonateNow?id=a0Ui000000DglsqEAB
If you're a casual listener who has no interest in sharing the gospel with anyone in your lifetime and you haven't made up your mind to try to attempt to share your faith in Jesus and you're simply not interested in ever taking part in the mission of the Great Co-Mission this podcast is ESPECIALLY for You! Don't tune out - tune in! Don't give up on accomplishing the mission of the Great Co-Mission God is calling You to! Give financially to our mission of spreading the Gospel message: https://tithe.ly/give_new/www/#/tithely/give-one-time/5727676Subscribe to our podcast today! You can find it on Apple podcast or wherever you get yours.Click the link to join our Evangelism On Fire Facebook community today: www.facebook.com/groups/evangelismonfireCheck out our website: www.evangelismonfire.com
Today, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we take a look into the theme of God's blessing throughout the Bible. We may feel like our life is cursed at times, but through faith in Jesus, we have access to the grace and blessing of God. He really loves us! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ferncreekcc/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ferncreekcc/support
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” —Matthew 5:10-11This is not a blessing for which we often pray, but Jesus knew persecution would come to many who follow Him. Persecution is real, and it is happening today around the world. Watch/listen as Todd Nettleton, from The Voice of the Martyrs, tells stories of real life people experiencing imprisonment or worse because of their faith in Jesus. Todd's message will give you hope and stretch you in ways you didn't expect. Todd's notes are here: https://notes.subsplash.com/fill-in/view?page=BJczpt1Ha_______________________________________________________________________Subscribe so you don't miss a thing!Christian Copyright Solutions (CCS, BMI, ASCAP, SESAC)License: #14753Find us on:YouTube: YouTube.com/TheHarborInstagram: Instagram.com/TheHarbor_lifeFacebook: Facebook.com/TheHarbordotlifeWebsite: https://www.TheHarbor.lifeWatch/listen on The Harbor AppNew episode every week!
Mark 2:1-5 "Journey of faith" The significance of the passage is that it reveals the power of faith, the importance of community in one's journey of faith, and ultimately Jesus' ability to heal us and forgive our sins. Faith in Jesus is the most important factor in the Christian journey. Our personal faith and the audacious faith of friends, family, and random people that God uses to change our lives
Encouragement from Hebrews 12:1-2, Psalm 112:7 and Matthew 14:27-31! May you be encouraged! Do you have a story related to faith in Jesus and Mental Health want to be a guest on the show or connect with me? Send me an email @email@example.com --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/bewindi-aquilla-bobb/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/bewindi-aquilla-bobb/support
Do you crave more joy in your life? With God anything is possible and that includes living a life of abundant joy! Our guest today, Lydia McLaughlin, exudes confidence in Christ and we are excited for her contagious joy to fill your earbuds as you listen and learn. As well as having starred on “Real Housewives Orange Country,” Lydia has been teaching women's Bible studies for over 20 years. Her latest Bible study is titled “Joyful”. She is known for boldly sharing her Christian faith and considers it an honor to have been given a platform to share Jesus. In this episode, you'll hear: -How reading your Bible more can increase your love for the Lord -How the Holy Spirit helped Lydia put her faith in Jesus -The importance of seeing older generations live out their faith -The impact of being obedient in the small instructions from God which can lead to greater assignments -Why planning your time in the Word is crucial in all life seasons Lydia Mclaughlin is a wife, mother, Managing editor of Nobleman Magazine, and published author. She has been leading women's Bible Studies for over 20 years. Lydia starred on Bravo's hit series “Real Housewives Orange County'' and her own series on bravotv.com, “Glitter Town”. She is known for her faith in Jesus, and feels she has been given a platform to point women to Christ. Get Lydia's Bible Study Freedom Through Faith Get Allie Marie Smith's book “Wonderfully Made: Discover the Identity, Love and Worth You Were Created For. Shop our merchandise line: https://wonderfullymade.org/wmshop/
Bible Reading: Matthew 13:31-32; 17:14-20Gianna and her cousins were spending the day at Grandpa's house. "Will you measure us, Grandpa?" asked Alex. "I want to see how tall I am.""All right." Grandpa followed them to the wall where he had been measuring them since they were toddlers. He made a mark on the wall for each of them and wrote their name and the date beside it."I'm the tallest!" exclaimed Alex."Gianna, you're not even as tall as I was when I was nine, and you're ten!" said Joy."Gianna is a shortie," said Alex, grinning. Gianna's cheeks grew hot. She hated being teased for her size."Enough!" said Grandpa. "Come with me." He led the cousins to his garden shed. "Hold out your hands."Grandpa placed a large white seed in Alex's hand, a smaller yellow seed in Joy's hand, and a tiny black seed in Gianna's hand.Of course I get the tiny, unimportant seed, Gianna thought. Just like me.Grandpa pointed to an open gardening book. "Alex, tell us about your seed.""My seed is a lima bean," Alex said, looking at the information in the book. "They grow into plants that are fifteen inches to nine feet tall." Alex looked at the seed in his hand. "This seed is tiny to grow so big!""Let me see mine," said Joy, pushing Alex aside. "My seed is corn. The plants grow seven to ten feet tall. That's bigger than yours, Alex!"Alex frowned. "But your seed is smaller than mine!""My seed is a mustard seed," said Gianna. "It grows a tree twenty feet tall. It produces purple fruit, and in some places people use the branches to brush their teeth.""No way!" said Alex. "All that from a tiny seed?""It isn't how big the seed is that matters," said Grandpa. "What matters is what God created it to do." He smiled at the kids. "That's true for us too. The Bible says those who have faith in Jesus are new creations. He's made us new people and given us the Holy Spirit to help us do the good things He wants us to do."Gianna thought about the tiny seed growing into an amazing tree. It wasn't unimportant after all. "If this seed can grow a tree," she said, smiling, "just imagine what we can do!"- Tracey EaganHow About You?Do you ever feel like you're too small to do anything important? What matters is how big God is and what He's created you to do. If you have faith in Jesus, He has given you the Holy Spirit so you can do great things that show others His love. Just like a tiny seed can grow into a huge tree, God can use you in amazing ways as He builds His kingdom. Be content where God has placed you, and trust Him to show you how you can serve Him.Today's Key Verse:For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT) (Ephesians 2:10)Today's Key Thought:God created you to do great things
It is our prayer that today's word would encourage and challenge to walk out your faith in Jesus, shine brightly in darkness and experience Kingdom impact in all you do! Stay connected with Belmont Church on our Facebook page, website or on the Church Center App.
Please turn in your Bibles to Exodus chapter 31. As a pastor one of the more frequent questions I am asked, especially by young believers trying to figure out how to live out their faith in Jesus in obedience to His scriptures, and maybe especially by busy college students trying to figure out how to best manage their time (and by the way the Venn diagram of those two groups overlaps quite a bit) – is something like “Pastor Matt, […]
Romans 3:21-26 English Standard VersionThe Righteousness of God Through Faith21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Join us as Pastor Bryan Catherman preaches the first sermon of our Christmas series Who Is This Child? In his sermon, The Prophet Has Come (Acts 3:12-26), he uses the apostle Peter's sermon to the Jews to show how Jesus is indeed the promised Prophet. Man's righteousness comes only through and from Christ Jesus. Through repentance and faith in Jesus - the true and better prophet - man can have God's righteousness. This sermon was preached on November 26th, 2023. Copyright 2023. For more information, please visit RedeemingLifeUtah.org.
Sermon Notes Luke 9:22 NIV And he said, "The Son of Man (Jesus) must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Luke 9:23 NIV Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:27 NIV "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." Luke 9:28 NIV About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. Luke 9:29 NIV As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Prayer and breakthrough go hand-in-hand. Luke 9:30-31 NIV Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Moses is the great leader and prophet who brought the Law. Elijah was the great prophet who represented all other prophets. Those who die with faith in Jesus are very much alive right now. John 11:25 NIV Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;" Luke 9:32-33 NIV Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)" Prayer is often needed most when you are most weary. Luke 9:34 NIV While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Luke 9:35-36 NIV A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen. The breakthrough you are looking for comes from a constant connection to God in prayer. Mark 9:28-29 NIV After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."
Jennifer Nelson shares her Road to Redemption and how Jesus has been her rock through adversity and trials of life. Her husband Capt. Nathan Nelson was severely injured while deployed in Afghanistan and Jennifer shares her faith in Jesus and how he has always come through for their family. The journey has not been easy for their family, but they are living a blessed and abundant life today. This story will inspire you and provide hope. Jennifer wrote a book titled Divine Soldier where she shares the complete story and can be found on Amazon . For more information contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
What's been challenging your faith lately? Today, Joyce shares scriptures and strategies to help you increase your faith in Jesus.
Romans 3–4 Romans 3–4 (Listen) God's Righteousness Upheld 3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. No One Is Righteous 9 What then? Are we Jews1 any better off?2 No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;16 in their paths are ruin and misery,17 and the way of peace they have not known.”18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being3 will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. The Righteousness of God Through Faith 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Abraham Justified by Faith 4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in4 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” 9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. The Promise Realized Through Faith 13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness5 of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Footnotes  3:9 Greek Are we  3:9 Or at any disadvantage?  3:20 Greek flesh  4:5 Or but trusts; compare verse 24  4:19 Greek deadness (ESV)
In this insightful episode of the Must Read Alaska Show, host John Quick sits down with Phil White, an Emmy-nominated writer and co-host of 'The Basketball Strong Podcast.' Dive into Phil's journey into writing, discover the inspirations behind his successful podcast that explores the human stories and the science of peak performance in basketball. Phil also shares his experiences and the role his faith in Jesus has played in his career. Get valuable advice for those aspiring to write a book or start a podcast, and learn how a little faith can influence personal and professional success. Check out Phil White here: https://www.philwhitebooks.com Check out his podcast here: https://www.basketballstrongpodcast.com
In this episode, Robert Watson welcomes special guest Caleb Kaltenbach to have a candid conversation around LGBTQ+ topics in today's culture. Caleb shares his personal journey, including the challenges he faced growing up with LGBTQ+ parents and finding faith in Jesus. They explore the power of asking questions, the complexity of fear, and the importance of embracing love and acceptance while upholding biblical convictions.Subscribe to receive our latest videos!Website: https://www.sunvalleycc.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunvalleycc/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunvalleycc/Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@sunvalleyccTo support Sun Valley and help us continue to reach people all around the world click here: https://www.sunvalleycc.com/givingGod loves you no matter who you are, what you've done, or what's been done to you. This is the vision of Sun Valley Community Church, led by Pastor Chad Moore and based in Gilbert, AZ with multiple locations throughout the Phoenix valley.
hi ggb gang ♡ today's episode means so much to us because the core of both of our testimonies is how we received miraculous healing through our faith in Jesus. we read some of our favorite stories of healing from the Bible and reflect on our personal journeys with overcoming mental health issues. Jesus is the Healer. pursue the Healer, and be healed. we love you so much. Jesus loves you more. -Ang & Ari if you'd like to support Girls Gone Bible