Peacemakers reflect the character of the triune God and are agents of reconciliation wherever they go. Christ accomplished the greatest act of reconciliation when his death on the cross brought us justification and peace with God. We are to implore unbelievers to seek this peace (2 Corinthians 5:19). We also must pursue peace with fellow believers (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Your heart is your inner being, the true you. A divided heart is undecided in its true loyalty. May we live more and more to please God, with commitment to purity in our moral choices flowing out of our devotion to God.
Jesus, the King of glory and grace, willingly submitted to suffer and die so that we could be reconciled to God. Matthew 27:27-31 details the intense physical and verbal abuse that Christ received from the soldiers as He was scourged and mocked before His crucifixion, fulfilling each part of the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah. Someday even these callous soldiers will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Let us acknowledge His kingship now and grant Him control of every area of our lives.
Righteousness is not to be an optional spiritual luxury. We should pray and ask God to increase our deep craving for God Himself and the One who is of supreme importance to us and for holiness as a lifestyle. Every follower of Jesus should increasingly pursue righteousness, with the result being true satisfaction.
2016 has been a year that many of us wish could be "reset" and started over. We surely need the Light of the World, Jesus. The years between the end of the Old Testament and the birth of Christ were also a very dark and violent period in history. When Christ arrived, his message was, "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near." Hope for our world can only come through Christ's transformation of individual hearts and lives.
Jesus spent much time preparing his disciples for his arrest, crucifixion, death and resurrection. Although Peter and the other disciples could not comprehend why Christ must die, Jesus knew the “rest of the story.” His death would make a way for us to be reconciled to God, and his resurrection would triumph over the grave. In the same way, in Matthew 24, Jesus reminds us not to be alarmed by whatever is coming at the end of the age. He wants to replace our fear with His peace and to replace our confusion with the ability to stand firm in our faith.
Mourning is taking the reality of our sin seriously. While the Scriptures teach that Jesus followers are filled with the joy that is the result of God’s grace, we are also to weep over sin in the world, over sin in the church, and especially over our own personal sins. Don’t laugh at sin, ignore it, or excuse it. Admitting our sin leads to the comfort of Christ and great blessing.
The Beatitudes of Matthew 5 show what life should be like for authentic members of the Kingdom of Heaven. They are introduced in Matthew 4 with a call to repentance, because entering the kingdom comes not through turning from our sinful self to our sovereign Savior. Once we have received His forgiveness and salvation, we can experience true blessing as our hearts pursue the virtues name in the Beatitudes. Join us as we begin this new sermon series.
What can we learn from the genealogy of Jesus found in the first chapter of Matthew? This sometimes overlooked list reveals that God is omnipotent, working out His purposes in history. God is also faithful to fulfill His promises. No one has ever trusted Him in vain. Finally, the genealogy shows God's grace. Jesus was willing to be born through a line of sinners to come int the world and redeem us. Jesus, the Christ, is the messiah, the one anointed by God to pay the penalty for our sin and bring us peace with God.
Isaiah 41:10 provides promises and commands in a time of fear and uncertainty. We are told not to fear or be dismayed. Then we are given the many reasons why the holy, righteous, victorious, almighty God is worthy of our trust. Let us declare: I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4 (ESV)
In Mark 7:24-30 Jesus speaks with a Gentile woman who sought healing for her daughter. At first glance, the response of Jesus may be surprising and confusing, but in reality Jesus is not rejecting or deriding her. Jesus affirms her faith and promises healing for her child. God's blessings promised to Abraham were given first to the Jews but included all people on Earth. We, too, are the recipients of God's generous grace, mercy, and blessing.
The Beatitudes are a portrait of what a Christian should look like. Each quality listed should apply to every believer, and each leads to the approval of God. Although righteousness leads to persecution (v. 6, 10) it also allow us to be blessed in persecution (v. 10-12)
Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom in Mark 2:19, thus proclaiming His divine nature and fulfilling the portrayal of God as our bridegroom in 20 books of the Bible. The disciples of Jesus did not fast while the Bridegroom was with the, but today it is appropriate to fast when seeking wisdom or in times repentance and crisis. It is also appropriate to feast in celebration of God's redeeming grace. As we await the return of the Bridegroom, "All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure. 1John 3:3 (ESV)
Jesus heals a deaf and mute man in Mark 7:31-37. Jesus moves the man out of the crowd and interacts with him, demonstrating His compassion and healing power and affirming the man’s worth and individuality. In a similar way, Christ entered into the world of humanity to reveal Himself to us and save us from our sin so that we might have a personal relationship with Him.