What Is Your Foundation

Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who seeks to increase his wealth to the point where he needs to tear down his storehouse and build a new one. The problem is the man didn't consider everything that was necessary to support the wealth he was building. He didn't consider the foundation that he needed to lay for the new structure. He was a fool and in the end he lost his life perhaps because of this; but even if not because of this, he discovered that what he had built would not last forever because of the inadequate foundation. 

What is the foundation you are building your life and legacy on? 

Outcast

Being an outcast is something no one ever wants to be. But, in truth, mankind has been an outcast since the garden of Eden. Today, we may not consider outcasts to be outcasts - criminals, for example, are not often thought of as outcasts. Loners are not often thought of as outcasts and yet they may be social outcasts - shunned by the "cool kids", etc.

Have you ever thought of how Jesus looked at outcasts? There are many examples in the bible that show us how He treated them: the Samarian woman at the well; the man blind since birth; the cripple by the pool of Siloam; the woman caught in adultery. And then there is Zacchaeus, the tax collector - a man whose name means innocent - who is an outcast because of his job. Let's see what we can learn from how Jesus treats him.

Hezekiah's Prayer

Hezekiah was the king of Judah - the smaller kingdom resulting from the civil war within Israel. The Assyrian king had already conquered neighboring nations including Israel and much of the kingdom of Judah. He sent messengers to Jerusalem seeking its surrender. Hezekiah sought counsel from the LORD through the prophet Isaiah and was reassured that Jerusalem would not fall to the Assyrian king. When Hezekiah received the message from the Assyrian king, he immediately went to the temple and laid the message before the LORD -that is he went to the LORD in prayer. Let's listen to how hezekiah prayed and learn what happened to Jeresalem. Let's discover is such prayer would benefit us today.

Your Brother Will Rise Again

We last saw Jesus heading for Bethany after delaying for two days and his disciples were concerned for Jesus' safety as well as theirs. We now find Jesus has arrived and Martha has run out to meet Him. She says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus replies "Your brother will rise again." A brief discussion of future events takes place; Martha runs to tell Mary that the teacher has arrived and is asking for her. Mary greets Jesus in a manner similar to Martha. The Jews who had gathered to console the sisters figure something is going on so they follow them. 

Jesus instructs the stone to be rolled away from the tomb over the protests of Martha. He then prays loudly to His Father so that those present will know that the Father had sent Him. Finally Jesus shots for Lazarus to come out of the tomb and he does. 

This message is one that deals with doubt, unbelief, and belief so that all present would have the chance to recognize who was in their midst. We have the same opportunity today. Have we recognized who Jesus is? Have we accepted Him? Do we proclaim His name and His gospel? How do we handle the doubts the devil may cause? Spend some time and listen to the message being delivered. 

He Whom You Love is Ill

Jesus was a close friend of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He probably visited with them on numerous occasions so when Lazarus fell ill Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus. Why? In all likelihood, they knew who Jesus was and believed that Jesus would heal their brother. When He heard about the illness, Jesus delayed returning as the hour had not arrived. When He was ready to return, His disciples feared for His life but they were determined to go with Him so they could die with Him. But remember, the hour had not arrived. 

Be Glad

Jesus' first miracle was in many ways a foreshadow of what was to come. The miracle was turning water into fine wine at a wedding feast in Cana (in Galilee) on what appears to be the third day after Jesus called his first disciples to follow Him. This was only one marker of the future for Jesus and His church. Listen quite closely to other parallels to the final days of Jesus and what it means to His church as well as to you. 

Suffering for Jesus

Have you ever desired a position of importance thinking that it would be as simple as asking for it? Two of Jesus' disciples thought they could just ask to sit on His left and right side when His Kingdom came. What they did not know was those seats were not Jesus' to give and even if they were there was a price that came with them. That price is suffering; suffering with Jesus and for Jesus. How much are you willing to bear for the KIng of Kings? 

Man on a Mission (Who Sinned?)

Jesus was an amazing person when he lived. For the son of a carpenter with no known formal education, he knew his scripture extremely well. In this message we begin with a review of Psalm 139:13-16 before getting into the main content of the message. Jesus could easily stand up to the Pharisees, however, he also knew how to choose messengers to deliver messages to the Pharisees very well. 

We look at a man who was blind from birth and who made his living as a beggar. The examination of the now sighted man and his parents by the Pharisees is quite a story and a lesson in schooling for the Pharisees. 

Give a listen and pay attention not just to the lesson taught to the Pharisees but also to lessons that may be being taught to you in your daily activities. Let go of the blindness and gain your sight. 

 

Blessings and Curses for the Promised Land

Moses, as a prophet of the LORD, spoke to Israel of the blessings God would bestow upon them for following Him and obeying His word, commands, and law as they entered into and lived in the land promised to Abraham. If Israel did not follow and obey, then the LORD would curse not only the land, but the people. 

We then turn to the disciple John to learn how Jesus taught Israel about these promises made through Moses. We also look at how those lessons apply to us today in our day to day material life and spiritual life. 

Mother Church

Ever needed some parental assistance or advice? Parents not available or nearby? Who do you turn to? Have you considered turning to the church? Yes, the Church. Not just your local congregation but the Church Universal; as Christians we have a huge family that is standing by ready to help whenever he or she can. Using Galatians 4 as a textual basis, this week we look at how the Church can function as our mother. Give a listen. Be Blessed. 

Real Food

Have you ever had a wonderful, delicious, satisfying meal and found yourself hungry, starving almost, within a couple of hours? Well similar things happened in Jesus' time. He fed a huge crowd with a couple of loaves of bread and a few fish. The crowds ate their fill and Jesus' closest disciples gathered the leftovers. The next day, Jesus had to explain to the crowd that He was the bread of life and what he had to offer would last forever unlike the manna of their ancestors. Talk about an unruly, ungrateful crowd.

Has much really changed since then? We know Jesus is the bread of life but do we understand it? Give a listen to see what has changed since Jesus' day and what hasn't. Pick up your bible and read John 6:22-59 for the textual basis.  Be blessed.

Honor and Glory

Using Psalm 8 as the textual reference, we look at how the name of Jesus was and still is being honor, glorified, and exalted throughout the earth. How we have been delivered from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light and in doing so how we come to praise, glorify, and honor Jesus, the Christ. 

First Century Church - Part 3

Paul is one his way to Rome. In his letter to the Roman church prior to his finally getting to Rome, he writes about his longing to be there with them - to teach them, to encourage them, to fellowship with them, to love them. The first few lines of this letter speak all the work that Paul has done for Jesus and how much more he hopes - LONGS - to accomplish for Jesus. What was true for Paul is true for us today. Let's listen and learn together. 

First Century Church - Part 2

Life was, in some respects so much simpler then. Yet, in other aspects it was much the same as today. That is, the gospel has never changed. People have changed, but the gospel has not changed. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul gives instructions to Timothy to "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2 ESV) 

We learn that the reason for being ready to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with patience and love is that, even in the early church, there were teachers who opposed the gospel of Jesus being preached and taught by Paul and the other apostles. Timothy was warned about one such individual. Listen in and see how we should treat such individuals today - spoiler alert, it comes down to how we are to treat our enemies and persecutors. 

First Century Church

We will be looking at the early church over the next few weeks. This week with Philippians 2:25-30 as the textual basis, we look at the example of service, love, and honor demonstrated by Epaphroditus to Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome. While it is not a long passage, we get a clear picture of how much Epaphroditus loved his brothers and sisters in Philippi yet he also loved Paul and went to care and provide for him in prison. 

What is the Church

Many of us tell family, friends, neighbors, and others that we are going to church or have a church event, etc. What does this mean really? Beginning with a look at Jesus' prayer in John 17 and an in-depth look at Paul's letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7), we look at what really makes up a church -- the people, the bride of Jesus Christ. 

A Tale of Two Criminals

Crucifixion - a pretty dismal and gory event in and of itself but when it is the Son of God and everyone is mocking Him, somehow it seems even worse. Now put Jesus to death hanging on a cross between two criminals that join in the mocking and somehow it seems worse. But from all of this comes an amazing, eloquently simple gospel message. We know the beginning of the story in Eden and now we see the supposed end at the cross. What is really happening is a story of repentance, grace, and redemption. Simple, right? Listen once, twice, often. Be blessed. 

Suffering and Endurance

As Christians, we know that we will face obstacles, as well as pain and suffering for our beliefs. In today's western culture, it can be difficult to bear the suffering as our first reaction and instinct may be to cut our losses and run. After all, no one wants to be ostracized by family, friends, and coworkers. We follow Jesus and because we do, shouldn't life be pretty easy for us? Let's listen in and see what a solid, biblical response to suffering looks like. 

Do You Love Me?

After breakfast, Jesus talks with Peter, repeatedly asking him if he loves Him (Jesus). Peter repeatedly professes his love for Jesus. There are some differences - Jesus' love is agape, unconditional love from God; Peter's love is the love of a friend, remember Peter denied Jesus three times after professing his love and loyalty to Jesus. Peter is also commanded by Jesus to feed and tend His sheep. Pretty easy to do, right? Give a listen to see what can be involved in watching over Jesus' flock. We are all commanded to go and make disciples; these disciples are part of Jesus' flock and we are responsible for their growth.

Real Eyes Realize Real Lies

Isaiah was a prophet who God sent to warn His people whenever they began to stray. While he lived and spoke for God over 2,000 years ago, his words still carry meaning today. With Isaiah 32 as out text, we look at the conspiracies being fed to us by various rulers and principalities. Everywhere we turn we are being told that the truth is not the truth. Gender identity is something we choose. Breastfeeding is not natural. The list goes on. We can sum up these and other conspiracies very simply: "Wake up! You are being lied to!"