May 27, 2017
God never wastes an experience in our life, good or bad. When we sin, for example, God uses our failure as a ministry to help others struggling with the same sin. He allows us to share the times we fell flat on our face to encourage others who are doing the same. It seems that's what Jesus was teaching Peter.
In the upper room, during the last supper, Jesus told Peter He was praying for him. But His prayer was not to remove the temptation and inevitable fall from Peter. No, His prayer was that when Peter fell and suffered the consequences of that fall, that once he repented and returned to Jesus, he was to strengthen his brothers by that experience. Consider the following:
Luke 22:31-32 - And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
Jesus didn't tell Peter he would deliver him from the temptation, the sifting. He promised Peter that after he fell and recovered and returned to his faith, Jesus would use that experience to encourage and strengthen others who were struggling in the same way. That's why, in John 21, we see Jesus restoring Peter by saying, "Feed My lambs" (John 21:15). Even after Peter's epic denial of Jesus, his ministry was not finished. In fact, it was just beginning. And so it is with us.
Does this thought encourage you? It does me. If you want to learn more about your usefulness after your failure, then keep listening.
The following is a study on John 21:15-23.
February 26, 2017
In the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus reveals to us what life is like in His Kingdom, He contrasts the Old Testament Law with its true intent. And it does this by saying, "You have heard that it was said to those of old... but I say unto you." Or, to put it another way, "You have an understanding about the Law and what it governs, but I want to show you the true intent of the Law and what it really means."
The Law governed external actions. Or so it seemed to them and to us. But in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus shows us the true intent of the Law by contrasting it to the human understanding of it. In other words, only actions matter in the mind of men. But with God, everything comes from the heart.
"For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Do you want to know more about having a heart that is pleasing to the Lord? Good. Then keep listening.
The following is a study on Matthew 5:21.
December 5, 2016
When we look at the warnings from the Lord found in the first chapter of Proverbs, we are naturally drawn to the almost prophetic words of Forrest Gump.
"Stupid is as stupid does."
To put it in the words of Solomon:
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?" - Proverbs 1:22.
Or, "How long, you simple (foolish, simpleminded, stupid, naive, moronic) ones, will you love simplicity (what is foolish, simpleminded, stupid, naive, moronic)?"
Great question. But what is the object of this question? What exactly are the stupid ones loving stupidly? What can we learn about the wisdom of God from what is being said here? If you want to know more, then keep listening
The following is a study on Proverbs 1:20-33.
May 25, 2016
We've worked real hard to redefine what worship means today? And, in doing so, we've made it more about music or style or a feel-good experience than what it has historically meant in the past. But what does "worship" really mean?
According to Webster's Dictionary (1828) worship means: "To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission. It means to declare or attribute dignity and worth. Worship is to show profound reverence and adoration."
And this has nothing to do with a style of music or what I've seen in church most of my life. Which brings us to the question: Did you worship last Sunday? Did you honor your Lord with extravagant love and extreme submission? Did you boldly declare His dignity and worth among the congregation? Did you show, by your very actions, your profound reverence and adoration for the Lord last Sunday? And if you did, what was that like?
And if you didn't, or if you're not sure, then keep listening.
The following is a study on True Worship.
September 2, 2015
In his book, The Baptism With the Holy Spirit, RA Torrey reveals a Scriptural path of seven simple steps anyone can follow to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. All seven steps are found or implied from Acts 2:38.
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
The steps include:
- You must be saved. Truly saved.
- You must renounce all sin.
- You must be baptised.
- You must live a life of obedience.
- You must have a desire, a thirst for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- You must ask.
- You must ask in faith and believe.
Do you want to know more about the abundant spiritual life and the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit? If so, then keep listening.
The following is a study on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
September 17, 2014
Sometimes we accept the forgiveness of Jesus and assume it's simply a one-sided act. He does all the work and we reap all the benefits.
It's like changing the lyrics to the old song that goes: "Jesus paid it all." And with this we agree. "All to Him I owe." Uh, not so fast. I'd rather just take the forgiveness and go home.
But that's not how it works in the Kingdom of God. In John 8 we see a woman forgiven by Jesus and left with the following command: "Go and sin no more." Did you ever wonder why He said that to her?
To find out more, keep listening.
The following is a study on John 7:53-8:12.
August 21, 2014
The first of the two most important questions asked of Jesus is: Who are You? (John 7:12)
This question can be asked of Him as long as He is with the crowd, as long as He's at arms length to each of us. But when He invades our world, everything changes.
Now we are faced with the second most important question asked of Jesus: Can we believe what You say? Are Your words true? And what exactly are You saying to us? (John 7:16-18).
Or, to summarize CS Lewis' thoughts in Mere Christianity:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Want to know more? Then keep listening.
The following is a study on John 7:15-24.
May 19, 2014
As crazy as it may sound, many of us spend our Christian lives playing Whac-A-Mole with the strongholds of sin and consequences of disobedience that we have allowed to take root in our lives. And why do we do this? What's the point? Where's the payoff for us?
There isn't any. We strive and struggle again and again, whacking one mole only to have another pop up in its place, with no end in sight. Our so-called "abundant life" can easily become one of frustration and defeat.
But it doesn't have to be that way. We can live victorious over the enemy and experience true freedom in Christ. How? Keep listening to find out.
April 14, 2014
In the fourth of Zechariah's eight visions we see the following prophetic words about Jesus:
For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the Branch. For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua: Upon the stone are seven eyes.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription.
I think I've got the part about the Branch and the stone and the seven eyes. But what inscription is engraved on the stone?
The answer to this question will alter your view of Jesus... forever.
The following is a study on Zechariah 3:1-10.