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Showing posts with label Christians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christians. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday - The Cost of Being a Disciple - Luke 9:23-27,57-62 - 2/9/17

Christians follow their Lord by imitating his life & obeying his commands. To take up the cross means to obey selfish desires to use our resources of time & money our own way, & to choose our own direction in life. Following Christ is costly now, but in the long run it is well worth the pain & effort.


Nothing material can compensate for the loss of eternal life. Jesus' disciples are not to use their lives on earth for their own pleasure, but to spend them serving God & people.


Luke's Greek audience would have found it difficult to understand a God who could die, just as Jesus' Jewish audience would have been perplexed by a Messiah who would let himself be captured. Both would be ashamed of Jesus if they did not look past his death to his glorious resurrection & Second Coming. Then they would see him not as a loser but as the Lord of the universe who through his death brought salvation to all people.


When Jesus said some would not die without seeing the Kingdom, he was referring to (1) Peter, James, & John, who would witness the transfiguration eight days later, or in a broader sense to (2) all who would witness the resurrection & ascension, or (3) all who would take part in the spread of the church after Pentecost. Jesus listeners were not going to have to wait for another, future Messiah - the Kingdom was among them, & it would soon come in power.


What does Jesus want from us? Total dedication, not half-hearted commitment. We can't pick pick & choose among Jesus' ideas & follow him selectively; we have to accept the cross along with the crown, judgment as well as mercy. We must count the cost & be willing to abandon everything else that has given us security. With our focus on Jesus, we should allow allow nothing to distract us from the manner of living he calls good & true.

Reference summary used from the Life Application KJV Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday ... Re-Created To Live In Harmony - Galatians 3:26-4:7 -2/5/17

In Roman society, a youth coming of age laid aside the robe of childhood & put on a new toga. This represented his move into adult citizenship with full rights & responsibilities. Apostle Paul combines this understanding with baptism. By becoming Christians & being baptized, they were becoming spiritually grown up & ready to take on the privileges & responsibilities of the mature. You have laid aside the old clothes of the Law, & now you are putting on Christ's new robe of righteousness.


Jewish males greeted each new day by prayer, Lord, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. The role of women was enhanced by Christianity. Faith in Christ transcends these differences & makes all believers one in Christ.


The original covenant with Abraham was intended for the whole world, not just for his descendants. All believers partake of this covenant & are blessed as children of Abraham.


The apostle Paul uses the illustration of slavery to show that before Christ came & died for sins, people were in bondage to the Law.


Thinking they could be saved by it, they became enslaved to trying - & failing - to keep it. The Good News is that we who were once slaves are now God's very own children with an intimate relationship with him. Because of Christ, there is no reason to be afraid of God. We can come boldly into his presence, knowing he will welcome us as his family members.


True Christianity: Christians are those who believe inwardly & outwardly that Jesus' death has allowed God to offer them forgiveness & eternal life as a gift. They have accepted that gift by faith & are seeking to live a life of obedient gratitude for what God has done for them.

Christianity is both private & public, heart-belief & mouth-confession. Our relationship to God & the power he provides result in obedience. Having received the gift of forgiveness & eternal life, we are now daily challenged to live that life with his help.


When the fulness of the time was come "God sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins. For centuries the Jews were wondering when their Messiah would come - but God's timing was perfect.


Jesus was born of a woman - he was human. He was born as a Jew - he was subject to God's Law & fulfilled it perfectly. Thus Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because, although he was fully human, he never sinned. His death bought freedom for us who were enslaved to sin so we could be adopted into God's family.


Under Roman law, an adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to his father's property. "Abba" is an Aramaic word for father. It was used by Christ in prayer in Mark 14:36. As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God's resources. As God's heirs, we can claim what he has provided for us - our full identity as his children.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monday - The Spirit Made You a Believer - Galatians 3:1-5 - 1/30/17

The Galatian believers had become fascinated by the false teachers arguments, almost as thou they had been bewitched. Magic was common in the apostle Paul day. Magicians used both illusions & Satan's power to perform miracles.


The believers in Galatia, many of whom may have been in Jerusalem at Pentecost & received the Holy Spirit there, knew they didn't receive God's Spirit by obeying the Jewish laws. We must realize that we grow spiritually because of God's work in us, not by following special rules.


The Galatians knew they received the Holy Spirit when they believed, not when they obeyed the Law.


The Holy Spirit gives Christians great power to live for God. Some Christians want more than this.

Reference summary used from the KJV Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Rabbi Looks At The Last Days - Book Review

Now remember that I have no theology/seminary training. So I am sharing some Scriptures as well for those that would like to study further. ................................................................................................ But first I want to share a few Scriptures on "last days" for Israel and The Church. I researched these Scriptures in a book for those that might want to study further on this matter. ....................................................... Israel ... Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 23:20; 49:39; Ezekiel 38:16; Hosea 3:5; Micah 4:1; Acts 2:17 .......................... The Church ... II Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3; II Peter 3:3 ................................................... Scriptures that teach on Israel in Prophecy .. Daniel 9:24-27; Isaiah 28:14-22; Ezekiel 38-39; Zephaniah 2:1-2; Ezekiel 22:17-22 .............................................................................................................. Scriptures that teach on Jerusalem in Prophecy ... Luke 13:33; Matthew 24:21-31; Zechariah 12:2-3; 14:2; Zechariah 12-14; Revelation 20:7-9; II Kings 19:34; Psalm/Tehillim 122:6 ........................................................... Whether the Lord returns again tomorrow, next year, or two hundred years from now should not make any difference in the way we live. The Lord wants His people to recognize the signs of the times and know that His return is at hand. We must be ready. You must be ready! .......................................................................................... Rabbi Bernis states in his book as Christians we are not unequivocally obligated to support every action taken by the State of Israel. He also shares the restoration of the Jewish people to the land is a divine fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and we must support this divine venture. .................................................................... This does not mean that God loves the Jew more than the Arab - the Israeli more than the Palestinian. God loves everyone equally and desires that none should perish, but that all should find everlasting life (John 3:16). God is not a respector of persons. ............................................................................................... In Daniel 12, the prophet Daniel wrote a number of astounding statements under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. ...................................................................................................................... The Lord tells Daniel to "seal the words of the scroll the time of the end." He then shares with us an amazing revelation that in the last days, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." ...................... Running "to and fro" indicates an increase in knowledge is clearly related to the technological boom. Information is available at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. To imagine that Daniel saw all this more than 2,500 years ago is nothing short of mind-boggling! ....................................................................................... Jesus was very clear when He told us, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor Son, but only the Father" (Matthew 24:36). He also said, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come" (Matthew 24:42). ........................................................................................... He is coming, and it could be very soon. .............................................................................. The Gospel must first be preached throughout the world, and then, only after this happens, the end will come. ....................................................................................................................... In nearly every country of the world a wide variety of people groups can be found - including the Jews. Jews are a migrant people who have been scattered throughout the world. The Jews have had to make their homes in foreign lands throughout the world. ................................................................................................. The United States is a melting pot for a myriad of nations (ethnic groups) that have settled here to find freedom. Italian and Greek communities thrive here, as well as Irish, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Indian, Persian, Arab, Cuban - the list goes on and on. .................................................................................................. In Romans 11:15, we agree that Israel's rejection of Jesus as their Messiah has caused the Gospel to go to the nations (ethnos). ............................................................................................................. Romans 11:11-15 and other verses reveal that there is a linked destiny between Israel and the Church and between Israel and the nations. ...................................................................................................... Believers are reaching out to the nations, including the Jews, in countries around the world. Thousands of Jewish people are coming to faith. The Jewish Voice Ministries International is also equipping the Church to effectively share their faith with their Jewish friends. God has raised up other ministries similar to The Jewish Voice Ministries International that is also reaching out to the Jewish people. ......................................................... My October 28, 2012 Sunday School Lesson taught on Spirit - directed ... Acts 8:26-39. Philip was directed by the operation of God's Spirit. ............................................................................................ The Holy Spirit guides (John 16:13), tells His servants what to preach (I Corinthians 2:13), directs missionaries where to go (Acts 13:2), and tells believers where they are not to go (Acts 16:6, 7). ....................................... The Bible makes it clear that there is only one plan of salvation for all people. Yeshua - Jesus Himself said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). ........................ Either we believe God's Word or we do not. There is no-in between. And there is no second Gospel for the Jewish people apart from a relationship with Yeshua. ................................................................................ At Jewish Voice Ministries International, they take Paul's model seriously. ........................................... Their minis\try is taking medical, dental and eye clinics to remote parts of the world such as Ethiopia and India. In those clinics they help thousands of non-Jews and share the Gospel with them. In fact they reach more Gentiles than Jews, but their motivation in going to the remote places is to reach out first to the Jewish communities. ............. God is calling us to reach out to the Jewish people with the one message of salvation through His Messiah, Yeshua. ....................................................................................................................... God does not love Jews more than anyone else. God loves us all equally (John 3:16). ................................... Just as their rejection brought the Gospel to the other nations of the world, their restoration will bring about worldwide revival for the nations. .................................................................................... Rabbi Bernis could read Hebrew, but he could not translate it. Although they were called the people of the Book, the only real study he had of the Scriptures was in preparing for his bar-mitzvah - a Jewish ritual rite of passage to signify a thirteen - year old boy's traditional entry into adulthood. ................................................. In reality, Jewish people overall have not rejected the Gospel - they have simply not heard the Gospel in a way that they can understand it. ............................................................................................... How do they believe? They believe by hearing the Word of God! That Word must come to them from someone, and that someone is you! ....................................................................................................... Traveling to Israel and collecting Judaica, sending support to Israel or seeking to be Torah observant are no replacements for the mandate to provoke the Jewish people to jealously and share your faith with that Jewish person whom God has placed in your life. ..................................................................................... God loves the Jewish people. .......................................................................................... It is the heart of the Father to see every son and daughter of Abraham living happily in His Kingdom. He desires for all Abraham's children to come into their ultimate destiny, and that destiny is a relationship with Him. .............. Jews are coming to faith in Yeshua in greater numbers than at any time since the first century. ....................... The Messiah (Jesus)is actually waiting in heaven. He is waiting for God's appointed people to intersect with God's appointed time and fulfill the restoration prophesied in the Word of God (Acts 3:19-21) ............................... And we are witnessing an incredible hunger and interest among Christians to truly understand the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as an increased love and support for Israel and the Jewish people. Overwhelmingly today Christians want to bless Israel and the Jewish people. ................................................................................ What Should We Then Do? ............................................................................................... Live like there is no tomorrow. ....................................................................................... Be vigilant ... Watch and Pray. ....................................................................................... Remain active in all realms of society. ............................................................................... Let you light shine. .................................................................................................. Do not worry about what is to come. ................................................................................... God's desire is that christians be an effective co-worker with Him in bringing to pass His promised last days revival and restoration, not only for Israel and the Jewish people but for the world. ......................................... Pray for your Jewish friends by name because I am convinced as well as Rabbi Bernis that God answers prayer. .......... As a believer, you have something no one else has: n a direct pipeline to the Lord. And He urges christians to call upon Him in prayer. ................................................................................................... Pray that Jewish people - the physical descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob - around the world will come to know Yeshua as their Messiah and King. ..................................................................................... Although Jewish people who accept Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) are often ostracized by their families, friends and business associates, Jews all over the world are turning to Him and becoming Messianic Jews in numbers not seen since the first century. .............................................................................................. A Messianic Jew is a Jew by birth who has come to believe that Jesus - Messianic Jews call Him by His Hebrew name, Yeshua - is the promised Messiah of Israel. ........................................................................... Failing to kill the Messiah as an infant and not realizing that God had planned all along to offer Him as a sacrifice for our sins, Satan then convinced the Jewish and Roman leaders to condemn Yeshua to death. ........................... With the atonement and resurrection of the Messiah at Calvary, the Bible is clear that Yeshua defeated Satan and brought captivity, captive, making an open show of this victory (Colossians 2:14-15). ................................. I received this book from Chosen Books to review. ..................................................................... Rabbi Jonathan Bernis is the president and CEO of Jewish Ministries International. His weekly television show, Jewish Voice is broadcast throughout the world. He has authored a number of books and is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the USA and abroad. A leader in the Messianic Jewish movement for more than thirty years, He and his wife, Elisangela, live in Phoenix with their two daughters, Liel and Hannah.