Nothing is like God’s Word. Join the 90 Day Journey!

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

This January of 2016 we begin a journey through the New Testament in 90 days.  This will take us through Jesus’ life four times as we read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John over the first four weeks.  Every week we will hear from another witness of the life and works of Jesus Christ.  His is the only story in the Bible that has four entire books dedicated to it.  God really, really wants us to know Jesus.  Through Jesus, God wants us to know Himself.  Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”  For anyone wishing to see God, this is it.

Next we will witness the Holy Spirit’s coming to give birth to the church as we walk through the story of the first followers of Jesus and see how His kingdom spread from Jerusalem and Judea into the Gentile world of the Roman empire and all the way to the capitol city of Rome itself.  Paul speaks of members of Ceaser’s household being followers of Jesus Christ (Phil. 4:22).

Then we turn to the letters to the churches, preachers, and individuals and get to read the mail written to fellow Christians of the first century!  Just imagine, this gives us insider information about the faith and lives, struggles and victories of people living almost 2000 years ago.  One thing that is striking is that nothing seems to have changed.  We face the same struggles and enjoy the same victories in Christ that they did.

Finally, we reach the grand finale of the Bible, the book of Revelation.  Jesus gives a message to seven churches in Asia, encouraging them and warning them, with words of authority and divine love.  Heaven is opened before us and we are again given inside information about the workings of good verses evil in our world.  How bad can it get?  Very bad.  But evil does not win.  There is a final end to all evil and a glorious reward to all the faithful.  The path is difficult but the great reward is not worth comparing to the trials along the way.

Do yourself a favor.  Join us in this journey through the New Testament in 90 days.  Take part in one of our small groups that gather to share and pray through this journey.  Listen to the voice of God and discover His goodness and gifts to you.

Fear and Love

Revelation in the Bible reveals the workings of Satan and the Sovereignty of God in ways that remind us of this fallen world and where all who refuse to bow to Jesus Christ in faithful obedience will end up. Yet, Revelation also shows that some will simply NOT turn to God’s will and accept His grace. They are deceived and actually believe the lie of Satan that following God’s ways are not worth it. Satan is clearly bent on destruction of everything good. Jesus said that he is a liar and murderer from the beginning, calling Satan the father of lies.

Do not let fear of the enemy be your motivation. Our fears should be directed toward God. He is worthy of all our love, and He is worthy of all our fears. I do not fear Satan. I respect what God says about him and I resist him and am willing to flee from him, but I want to fear God alone. That is my goal. I know that whatever I fear has control over my life, just as whatever I love controls me. I want to give God all my deepest emotions (love and fear) as well as all my strength. Then God can control my whole life and direct my heart and mind.

It is clear that Satan is a defeated enemy. He will ultimately end up in the fires of hell. All who follow his lies will join him there. It is God who prepared the place called hell, just as it is God who prepared the place called heaven. He alone has earned our fears and love. He is worthy to be feared and loved. He is worthy to control my life.

Does God have a Dream for Your Life?

It’s a tough question.  I’m not sure God has dreams.  I know He plans, purposes, performs and participates in our lives and with us.  He made us in His image and likeness, and He is sovereign over all His creation.  Yet we somehow are able to fall and fail, we stumble and even rebel against God’s will.  “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way… ”  We are sinners.  Our sins separate us from our God.  Does God dream about us coming home?

In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, Jesus pictures God as the father of a youngest son who takes his inheritance from his father, leaves home and wastes it on harlots and wild living.  Does that father dream about his son coming home?

The youngest son, having spent his inheritance, has nothing left.  Can it get worse?  Yes.  A famine hits and he begins to starve.  In desperation he gets a job feeding pigs, and no one gave him anything.  Even the pig farmer won’t pay him.  He’s wasted his father’s wealth, he’s tasted the wild life and lost everything, and now he’s dying, slowly, starving to death.

I’m thankful the story doesn’t end there, aren’t you?

When the son comes to his senses and realizes what he has done he decides to go home and ask for… not a hand out, not a loan, not a restoration to his former position as youngest son…  No.  He knows he can never deserve that.  He will confess his sins and ask for the mercy of a place to work as a hired servant.  That means the position of someone who is employed on a day by day basis and paid at the end of the day.

The father see him coming home.  While the son is still a long way off, the father, filled with compassion, runs to meet him.  The son begins his speech about his sin and not being worthy to be his son, but the father interrupts him, embraces him and covers him with kisses.  The father calls for the best robe in the house to be put on his son, shoes for his feet and a ring for his finger.  The father calls for a celebration, killing the fattened calf, music and dancing!

The father declares: This, my son, was dead and is alive again!  He was lost and is found!  Is this God’s dream come true for all who come home to Him?

Do we share the father’s heart and dreams?  This may actually be the point of the story.  The oldest son did not share his father’s dream.  In fact, the oldest son was completely baffled and ashamed of both his brother and his father’s response to this homecoming celebration.

Maybe Jesus is teaching us how important it is to share the dream of God for those who are lost and dead in sin.  Perhaps this lesson is the one we need to learn and share.


Let’s Pray!

Our Father in heaven, we praise you and come before you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.   O Lord, draw us closer to you and closer together as by your Spirit, through your word, in and with your blood bought people, you build your church, which is the body of Christ, the church of Christ.  Through your power and according to your will, please work in us to carry out your mission of seeking, saving and serving as through us, you bring light and truth into this fallen world of darkness and deception, all to the praise of your glory and grace, in Jesus name,  Amen.

Will you join me in praying this every day?  Let’s make special efforts to build our prayer lives around God’s vision and mission for us and open our hearts and minds to His way and will.