Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
What we know about Christ is that he was in fact the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. He existed and is vouched for by pagan as well as Christian writers. He was a real human being who ate, slept, wept and lived his daily life.
We also know he was a testament to a certain set of ideals. As John Stott, minister and author, points out in many of his books on Christianity, “Jesus was a fearless critic of the establishment. He championed the causes of the poor and the needy. He made friends with the drop out of society. He had compassion on the very people who despised and rejected him. And although he was fiercely and unjustly attacked, he never retaliated. He told his disciples that they must love their enemies and he practiced what he preached.”
We also know that Jesus was the unique Son of God. There is ample testimony to his power and authority. He taught the multitudes, He healed the sick, He governed nature, He had power over death, He performed miracles and He forgave sins.
But the most intriguing and powerful aspect of Jesus Christ is what He said about himself. He referred to himself as “the light of the world”, “the bread of life”, “the way, the truth and the life”, the resurrection and the life, and finally he put himself forward as the object of people’s faith.
And as John Stott continues to proclaim.... this is the ultimate paradox of Jesus Christ. He proclaimed things about himself that seemed insane and yet he showed no signs of anything but ultimately reliable.
Jesus asks in the Bible: "who do you say that I am?"
Can you answer that question for yourself????
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Women love their role models. We want Heidi Klum’s body, Oprah Winfrey’s success, Martha Stewart’s decorating talent, Susie Orman’s financial savvy and Hillary Clinton’s perseverance. We are constantly looking around to see if we measure up. We check Glamour magazine, we check the scale, we check the mirror, we check out each other.
We wish for, we strive for and we demand perfection.
But the Bible suggests that Jesus Christ is, in fact, the perfect role model.
We know that Jesus was the unique Son of God. There is ample testimony to his power and authority. But He also taught us a specific set of ideals. He cared for the poor, He had compassion on his enemies, He made friends with people the rest of us might despise, He served everyone he met and He used every opportunity to speak about the Kingdom of God. The most fascinating thing about Jesus is what HE said about Himself. He claimed to be the one and only son of God, he said he was the light of the world, the salt of the earth and that he was the image of the unseen invisible God, the full manifestation of God himself.
Now I would call that a remarkable role model!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Many reasons are cited for the apparent crisis in biblical illiteracy. 64% of Americans don't read the Bible because they're too busy, and a large majority, 80%, say the Bible is confusing and way too cumbersome to read, finding the “Shakespearean-era” language difficult to get through.
What is troubling is that the Bible is frequently referred to as the keystone of American values, however a Gallup survey shows that 6 of out 10 Americans can't name half of the Ten Commandments, fewer than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Genesis), and only one-third know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount (many named Billy Graham, not Jesus).
Only about one-third of Americans today believe the Bible is absolutely accurate and that it should be taken literally word for word. The rest feel that the Bible is the inspired word of God. And most of us agree that the Bible "answers all or most of the basic questions of life”.
However the Bible itself says it is the infallible WORD OF GOD. I can attest personally to the fact that if you read the Bible, your life will change in ways you cannot anticipate or imagine and it is all good because you are tapping into the most powerful resource in the universe - God Himself. The Bible puts it this way in Hebrews 4:12 ”For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
But don’t judge a book by its cover. If you have never read the Bible….open it up, read it, and decide for yourself!
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Thursday, September 3, 2009
In today’s world we have never been more plugged in and less connected. In our search for answers, we turn on the television, we Google, we Twitter, we text, we phone, and we email. We listen to Dr. Phil, Oprah, the therapist, our life coach, talk radio, girlfriends, magazine advice columns but we rarely go directly to God. Many times these solutions can be a good temporary fix but they don’t usually speak to us at the most essential level or give us the sense of personal fulfillment that we crave. And that is where prayer comes in.
The truth is that there is a profound difference between the information the world gives and the wisdom that God imparts.People use various methods to pray. Prayer can be oral or mental, once in while or constant, formal or informal.Most of us approach prayer with the idea that our petitions can affect the outcome we desire and, in addition, we hope that through prayer, we might get a direct experience of God.
John Calvin, the French Protestant theologian summarized prayer this way, “Believers do not pray with the view to inform God about things unknown to Him or of exciting Him to do his duty, or of urging Him as though he were reluctant. On the contrary, they pray in order that they may arouse themselves to seek Him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating on his promises, that they may relieve themselves from anxieties by pouring them into His bosom; in a word that they may declare that from Him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others all good things”.
Pray, It Works!