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September 14, 2021

John 1:34  And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.

John the Baptist plays a prominent part in the first chapter of the Gospel of John. There is a nice back-and-forth play between what is probably an early hymn of the church and John the Baptist, setting up his introduction of Jesus as the "Lamb of God" and "the Son of God."

John clearly wants to declare, from the beginning of his Gospel, who Jesus is and the purpose of Jesus' ministry. John points to Jesus as "the Son of God" from the creation of the world and identifies His ministry purpose as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). The "Lamb of God" is only used twice in the New Testament, both in John Chapter 1. Through these two terms ("Son of God" and "Lamb of God"), John tells us what the mission of God is - the forgiveness of sins through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God.
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

September 13, 2021

Whenever we pray, we know that it is already done in Christ. This has been seen with all of the petitions that we have studied so far. It is also true when we pray for daily bread, the needs of our earthly life. We may sound like beggars as we approach our Father with our hand out, as it were, pleading for basic staples. Our human nature would rather take care of things by ourselves, but the proper perspective is that God has given us our skills and vocations as means to provide for us according to His grace. And because in our sinful world the good and the evil alike benefit from our Father's mercy, we are from that reality given the ability and opportunity to pray for our enemies as Jesus did. All that we receive comes from His hand, so that the Holy Spirit produces contentment and a thankful heart within us.
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

September 09, 2021

Philippians 4:10-20

Daily bread is nourishment for our journey. As we eat the bread of life in faith and drink from the living water, our Lord abundantly provides all the rest that will sustain us in the body on our way. Food and drink, transportation, government, protection, neighbors, conveniences, and pastimes are only the beginning of the list. Paul reminds us, (Romans 8:32) "He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?"

We do, however, still need to see the loving hand of God when He allows difficulty to come our way. That, too, is daily bread, and that's not as easy to take and still retain an attitude of thanksgiving. As the apostle Paul reveals the Spirit-taught secret to facing plenty and hunger, abundance as well as need (Philippians 4:13) "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength." He counsels Timothy with similar advice, especially for those times when some aspects of daily bread seem to be lacking; (1 Timothy 6:5-8_ "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,
 

September 07, 2021

As prophets like Isaiah had long promised, our Lord Jesus was sent by His Father to redeem and restore His people as His own. His people include you and me. His people include vastly more than you and me. His mission encompasses the whole world. His own people, because of their self-righteous pursuit of personal and corporate purity from the world, found it impossible to embrace Him as God's chosen Messiah for the world, and as a result, precluded themselves from entering His Kingdom and its coming. Jesus' announcement of His mission in Nazareth and His people's reaction to it offer us a wonderful promise of grace and a dire warning against religious entitlement. As the poor, broken-hearted slaves to sin we are, we need to hear His gracious words, which, when applied personally, sound like this: "My Father anointed and sent me to heal, forgive, release, and restore you." We also need to hear those words in the context of His missionary heart and mind: "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd" (John 10:16).

His public announcement invites all who have "ears to hear" (Matthew 11:15) to be reconciled to His Father by grace through faith alone and simultaneously to join Him in the mission upon which His Father sent Him - to unite all things (and all people) in heaven and earth in perfect peace under our Messiah King. - Dr. Robert Newton
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

September 02, 2021

John 18-19 

Dr. Dean Nadasdy wrote the following:

In the mission of God, Christian witnesses will always lift high the cross of Jesus Christ as an ensign of victory. The cross is less of a scandal now. We wear crosses as jewelry. We hang crosses in our sanctuaries. There is, however, no denying its suffering and ignominy. Yet John's eyewitness record of the cross brings us another perspective, that of victory - the willing, authoritative sacrifice of the Son of God. His gospel enthroned Christ on the cross and proclaims Him Christus Victor over the forces of evil in the world.

In proclaiming Christ, those on His mission must be careful never to present the cross as defeat and the resurrection as victory. Christ is glorified in both; in both Christ is victorious.
 

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

September 01, 2021

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions" (Ps. 51:1). The words "grace" and "mercy" are words that we hear quite often. Of the two, grace seems to get all the press. We love to talk about grace, and it is good to do so, but talk little of mercy. Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. Just think if God gave us what we deserved because of our sin. Who of us could stand? Instead, God has shown us tremendous mercy. Give some thought today to the tremendous mercy that God has shown you and thank Him for it. Blessings on your day!
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

August 31, 2021

The joyful voices of praise leap out from the pages of the Old Testament and the New. The children of Israel had much to delight in God for: His covenant with Noah after the flood; His deliverance from Egypt; His provision of judges, kings, and prophets to guide them; His pledge of a promised land and—even after generations of sinning and apostasy—His promise of restoration after the Babylonian exile. And in the New Testament we have Jesus: “Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my dear Redeemer’s praise. The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace.” Thank you, Charles Wesley! Of course, some of the most memorable lines about giving God glory (for obedience to the Gospel, for love abounding, for every spiritual blessing, for rescue from darkness) come from the apostle Paul who was no stranger to praising God in the throes of adversity. His life is a lesson for all of us. One way to foster an attitude of praise and devotion to God is to believe and graciously accept that He is in control. Whether it’s sunshine and blue skies that mark our days or the tumult of heartache and pain, praising God is biblically sound. He is here with us, in the midst of it all, and He wants us to know and abide in that fact (Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 46:1; Luke 12:22-26).
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Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

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