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Archive for March, 2012

1 Corinthians 1:2 (1–17) “To the church of God which is at Corinth,’

After Matthew wrote his letter, Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Corinth.

The church there had many problems (what church doesn’t?) and the first issue Paul dealt with was the problem of factions in the church. The groups were interesting because each had their strengths.

Paul was a great teacher and counsellor, Apollos a great preacher, Cephas was the apostle Peter and Jesus was God. Their choices were great but Paul wants them and us to remember that while we’re here on earth our enemy is the world, not each other. Jesus is the head of the church the rest of us are just servants.

As it was Paul admits to not remembering how many he had baptized (1:16) which doesn’t make him a very good faction leader. Apollos got advice from a couple of tent makers and Peter denied Christ.

Who brought me to Christ is important to me and to Christ but not to anyone else.

Loyalty involves not just remembering who my God is, but helping others to remember as well.

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Matthew 28:20 (16–20) “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’

Yesterday I directed you to read 1 Peter 3, where he talks about the end of the age. Usually we associate the end of all things, like the age, with the book of Revelation. Actually the better title for that book is “The revelation of Jesus Christ” Revelation 1:1.

So, if I may adjust my comments from yesterday a little, the age we live in now is that age where the love of God for all mankind has been revealed through the story of His Son Jesus Christ, John 3:16. This age is His story.

When we read the Bible, from Genesis through to Revelation, it is the story of Jesus Christ. As we read we will discover the reason why Jesus had to come, how His coming was foretold, why He had to be a man and yet God, and how He would resolve man’s problem.

Next time you open your Bible look for Jesus.

Initiative involves taking action to follow God completely.

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Matthew 28:19 (16–20) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,’

Our job to make disciples of everyone we encounter is not done until the end of the age, 28:20. So, you might wonder, when is that?

The history of mankind will never end; it will just go on and on as long as God desires and His desire is for us to be with Him forever. But the end of the age will in a sense be the end of His-story or this story. The age we live in now is the story of how we came into being, rebelled against our creator and what He did to get some of us back, 1 Peter 3:9 (read 1 Peter 3).

At some point in time as we now know it the story of mans redemption by the hand of the God who created them will end. Then a new story will begin, 1 Peter 3:13. This hope (a fact we just haven’t experienced) should motivate us to share the Gospel with as many as will listen.

Faith involves resting all my hopes for tomorrow on God’s proven promises rather than on man’s faltering word.

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Matthew 28:6 (1–10) “He is not here, for He has risen, just as he said.’

This simple yet profound fact is stated in all for Gospels, Mark 16:1–8, Luke 24:1–10, John 20:1–8. Jesus had predicted it, Matthew 16:21, 17:23 & 20:19. And, now even though the four accounts differ in detail, the prophecy had become a fact.

Jesus the man had died, Jesus the man had been raised from the dead and was now walking around letting His followers know that all He had said was true. The world as they had understood it, from their perspective, had changed.

But the fact is that the world had always been what Jesus had said. Now the difference is that Jesus, through His death and resurrection, had proven it to a world that could not, would not see it. Since the Garden of Eden man has been in sin with only one hope, and Jesus is that hope. Now, when you read the Bible don’t ask if this could be true, but since this is true what do I do now?

Faith involves resting all my hopes for tomorrow on God’s proven promises rather than on man’s faltering word.

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March 5.12 ethot

Matthew 27:63 (55–66) “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’

Although the disciples had apparently abandoned Jesus and only some women dared hang around, the chief priests and Pharisees were still scared of Jesus. They wanted nothing to be left to chance and so asked Pilate for soldiers to guard the tomb, in case Jesus disciples came for Him to spread the resurrection lie, 27:64.

The disciples were completely disoriented and had forgotten that Jesus had told them, after His resurrection, He would meet them in Galilee, Matthew 26:32. Only the women stayed close enough to see what was going on.

The chief priests and Pharisees had believed none of the testimony they had heard about the wonders Jesus had performed. They apparently believed Jesus was just a very good magician or something like that, a man full of very good tricks.

People, who don’t want to believe, tend to believe what they want.

Discernment involves discovering the difference between the truth and a lie.

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Matthew 27:52 (45–54) “The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

It must have been quit a spectacle for those who were watching as the earth began to quake the moment Jesus gave up His spirit. Even battle-hardened soldiers recognized Jesus was no ordinary man.

The sky had already been dark for three hours and now reports were coming in that graves had been opened by the quake and those inside were walking around. And, the special veil (6 inches thick) dividing the Holy of Holies had been torn from top (the doubled over part) to the bottom in the temple.

Those raised were called saints. They were raised, obviously to testify that the man who had just died was in fact the Son of God who was offering a second chance at life in eternity. No one knows how long he or she stayed for, but if they were raised in glorified bodies they wouldn’t have been there long.

Believers today are also called saints, and we’re here for the same reason, to testify of what God has done for us; passed us from death to eternal life.

Gratefulness implies my willingness to pay Him back although I know it’s not possible.

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March 1.12 ethot

Matthew 27:43 (38–44) “He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him;

Most scholars consider Psalm 22 Messianic that is that much of it is picturing part of the life of Jesus, the Messiah. There are 12 specifically references to the crucifixion of our Lord, Psalm 22:1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21.

Yet, Jesus wasn’t the only one who knew the Psalm, the chief priests, scribes and elders did as well, 27:43. The problem is that for all their knowledge they didn’t see themselves fulfilling the prediction that they would be those who “wagged their heads” (Psalm 22:7) and more.

As the saying goes, they couldn’t see the forest for the trees. If they only would have stepped back and read the entire passage, maybe they would have seen that David was not just talking about his misery and that of the Messiah, but about those who failed to help him or the Messiah when it was needed.

Compassion involves seeing the hand of God in the life of others and becoming part of that solution.

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