Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. We like the following part, but find it harder to do the “deny ourselves” part. Sometimes when we give of our time to others and serve them, we reap a reward of God’s blessing. We walk with God to learn how to give more service away and honor God by blessing others.
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The women go to the tomb of Jesus to prepare his body with spices, and they find the stone rolled away, the tomb empty and angels approach. The angels said, “Jesus is not here. Why do you look for the living among the dead?” What did you expect to happen? Jesus wasn’t expected to die, and then once dead, Jesus wasn’t expected to come back to life. How does your life relate to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? You no longer need to live a “dead” existence. You can have life today, with the same power God gave to raise Jesus from the dead.
Like King Herod, at the birth of Jesus, we resist the Kingdom of God breaking into our world. Sometimes people forget that God doesn’t come into our world like a tyrant and terrorist, but rather God comes near as a offering of peace, like a little child. God’s Kingdom is breaking into this dark world to take over your kingdom of selfishness and pride. Is it possible that we act like King Herod in our resistance to God’s Kingdom also? We need to be like the wisemen who came seeking proximity to Jesus, bringing gifts of worship to the Savior. We all, like King Herod, have gone astray, but God has come for us like only the Missionary God can.
The armies of Israel faced a foe like never before, in a way they’ve never known before. God told them to march around the city 13 times, without talking, and then on the final go ’round, they would shout and the walls would collapse around them. The battle of Jericho goes down in history as one of the most unique battles of Israel, because, once again, they needed to merely obey God the Father, and God would take care of the rest. How about Jericho’s in your life? Are you battling something you have no control over? Is there a fight, that you can’t win? With God, all things are possible, and God wants you to have the victory, today. What is your Jericho, and how are you letting God win the victory?
Moses encounters God in the burning bush, but the bush is not consumed. God speaks to Moses about a tremendously ridiculous plan to free the 2 million Hebrews from the hand of Pharaoh, through Moses. Moses isn’t having it. He gives God four excuses, four questions about the plan, to persuade God from moving forward. God isn’t having it, either. Do you struggle with your own identity issues, or validation issues, or legitimacy issues, or even trying to prove God to others? Join us as we talk about the struggling faith of young Moses.
Faith requires sacrifice and obedience. When is the last time the Lord called you to sacrifice something for Him? What is it like to give up something of the flesh, in order to honor the God of faith? We come across so many ways to act out of our flesh, rather than to put aside our desires for the glory of God. Join us as we follow Abraham through his sacrifices in life.
Cain kills his brother Abel at the beginning of time. Since sin crept into the garden with Adam & Eve, it continues to creep through the lives of everyone. Sin was evident in the first murder in history also. Cain’s offering wasn’t acceptable to God for some reason, but his brother’s was acceptable. What do you do when you get jealous? How do you respond with you don’t feel favored? Do you lash out and kill others around you, even with a look? We can all act like one of these two brothers. Hebrews 11 leads us to believe that faith is the evidence of things hoped for and assurance of things unseen. How do you grow your faith when you’re challenged by competition? In our world of competition and jealousy, God gives us a third way of faith. Join us in Hebrews 11 as we grow in faith.