Showing posts from February, 2013

Incarnational Evangelism

Key Principle #10 : incarnational evangelism Acts Chapter 8
In the Old and New Testament, the Jews were guilty of limiting God to the confines of the holy temple. The early church was guilty of keeping the good news of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. As a result, God used the persecution of the church to allow the gospel to be evangelized to Judea and Samaria. God in His sovereignty can use evil to result in good.
Read the passage below and list the three locations where Philip went telling of the good news in the blanks that follow.
Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did…26Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert…39Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him …

Conversational or confrontational evangelism

Key Principle #9 : Confrontation Acts Chapter 7
In Stephen’s defense of Christianity, he used a number of Old Testament references. While sometimes theologians can allegorize the Old Testament a little too much, the Bible actually does say that the Old Testament prophets, stories and events are for our examples (1 Cor. 10:6-16). As such, the following Old Tesatment character were much like missionaries. As you read these passages, ask yourself, "How were these like missionaries?" Abraham ? (verses 2-8)
2”The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, 3and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’’”
Joseph? (verses 9-16)
9”And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him.
Moses? (verses 22-44)
29Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.
Missionaries will confront things out of t…

Old dogs and wineskins

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels  2/26/2013
Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:33-39; John 5:1-47; Matthew 12:1-21

Have you ever tried to put new wine into old wineskins? Probably not. Sewed any new cloths on to old garments lately? Well maybe our quilting ladies have but then again they would be too smart for that.
How about trying to teach an old dog new tricks? That would probably still be a no, but at least that is a little more something we hear and understand and relate to.
Today’s reading is a lot about the Sabbath and the legalistic approach to it. But today’s devotional has to deal with change. Few except maybe the babies in the nursery like change. How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb? Hey, what do you mean change?
I don’t care for change and I like traditions. But when times change, we need to know how to take the timeless truths of God’s Word and apply them to the ever changing times. But we need to be careful and Jesus said if we try to change something in the wron…

My one foot perimeter

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels  2/25/2013 Matthew 6:9-34; Matthew 7; Mark1:40-45; Luke 5:1-11; Mark 2:1-12
Today’s headlines can be troubling. In years passed, there were problems in the world that we hoped one day we would be able to come out of them. A world war (or two)? It will soon be over. A Great Depression?We’ll work it out. Nuclear annihilation? Duck and cover. The social change of the 60s? All you need is love. Inflation and malaise of the 70s? Ronald Reagan is coming.
Maybe those issues were just as troubling at the time as ours are today and maybe even more so. The threat of nuclear war in the atomic age had everyone nervous. But today’s troubles don’t seem to have a solution on the horizon. Does anyone think that the radical terrorists are going to someday grow up and go back to their lives? Do you think that our government is going to wake up soon and say, “Gee, I think it’s high time to pay off our debts.” Are you nervous about sequestration, cutbacks, climate chan…

The Story, chapter 23

The Story, Chapter 23. Jesus’ Ministry Begins
Read the following as part of the readings from the Story, Chapter 23 Matthew 3:1-2, 4-6, 13-17; 4:1-11;
John 1:19-51; 2:1-11; 3:1-18, 4:4-30, 39-43;
Mark 1:21-45, 2:1-17, 3:1-6;
Matthew 4:23-25;
Mark 3:9-19;
Luke 8:1-3;
Matthew 11:2-14

     Good services today, as there were decisions in every service, including Children's Church (BLAST). As heard today, Jesus is not just a good man or even a prophet, but rather the Son of God and the Son of Man. Today we read about the beginning of Jesus' Ministry from The Story.
     The reading, which prepares us for the teaching and preaching next week, ranges from John the Baptist, the baptism and the temptation of Jesus, and the calling of the first disciples. We also see Jesus' first miracle of turning the water into wine, the conversation with Nicodemus, including the famous John 3:16, some of His miracles and the casting of John into prison.
     While it is hard to single out one overall…

Are you blest or bless-sed?

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/23/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)
Luke 5:25-30; Mark 1:23-39; Matthew 5:1-48; Matthew 6:1-8

     When people ask me how am I doing, I often say, “I am blessed” as in “blest.” I do not say, “I am bless-sed.” There is a difference.

     Today we look at the Beatitudes, and we ask, “What does it mean to be blessed?”      Rather than give a definition, let’s look at Jesus description of those who are blessed. Blessed people are poor in spirit, they mourn, are meek, they hunger and thirst after righteousness, they are merciful, they are pure in heart, they make peace, are persecuted for righteousness' sake, they are reviled and persecuted.      The bless-sed people are those who have those things as Jesus described, but if you were to merely look at the descriptions, you would not say those people are blessed/blest. Consider Mary the mother of Jesus was bless-sed, so told first by Gabriel, then Elizabeth, then even Mary s…

What is your meat?

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/22/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)
John 3:23-36; John 4; Mark 6:1-6; Luke 4:16-24
Jesus said to them, "My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." John 4:34
Okay, today's title may be a bit strange for a devotional, but today is Friday in the midst of Lent. Some people won’t be eating beef today and instead have a fish sandwich. Some people in the world today are thinking their getting black angus, but in reality, they may be getting Black Beauty. But in today’s devotional, Jesus doesn’t eat anything at all because He is so wrapped up in telling a woman, a Samaritan woman, about God.
It makes me wonder, what gives us the nourishment for our soul? Are we thinking we are eating meat, while Satan is really substituting our food with junk? Jesus didn’t even notice it was passed His mealtime because He busy doing what the Father wanted Him to do.

Earlier in John 3, John the Baptist was…

For the love of Christ

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/21/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)

John 1:15-51; 2; 3:1-22 "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:17 Too much to share from today’s reading, so I’m not even going to try.

Okay, just kidding. But in just three chapters we go from John the Baptist’s testifying of Christ, the water to wine, money changers, and Nicodemus’ call to be born again. This is getting way ahead on The Story but we’ll catch back up next week. Today I want us to focus on love, especially the love of Christ.
First, look at the tender love we see when the disciples, John and Andrew, follow Christ. “What do you seek?” When we follow our Lord, He’ll invite us tenderly to “Come and see.” The love of Christ bids us come and follow Him.
Second, the love of Christ is seen in meeting the needs of the marriage. This miracle is not insignificant in that it shows us that Jesus loves us in caring for o…

How important is it that Jesus was fully human?

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/20/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)
Matthew 2:16-23; Luke 2:39-52; Luke 3:1-20; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 2:23-38; Luke 4:1-15
"Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem and Joseph and his mother knew not of it"
Seriously, don’t you love it when a preacher gives a sermon illustration about a child? Aren’t you drawn to facebook pages with pictures of kids? I’m sure there’s a few curmudgeons out there that don’t care that much for l'il tots (okay, even I get a little strained when I’m at a restaurant or, ahem, in church and a child starts doing what children do naturally). Still, we can all relate with kids. The children’s choir Sunday night was great, especially when they sang “There’s a Sweet Sweet Spirit In this Place,” a closing anthem for almost every church I was a part of in the 1970s.I noticed Rief did the old “and I know that it’s the” pause “of the Lord.” (We are never sure if it’s “presence” or “spirit” and the…

How Important Is It That Jesus Fulfilled Prophecy?

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/19/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)
Luke 1:61-80; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-38; Matthew 2:1-15

"“that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet…”
Did anyone notice the asteroid which narrowly missed the earth, coinciding with a meteor which actually fell to the earth on the same day? The two were not related, as they came from opposite directions, but they coincided with one common intersection (thankfully, not an exact intersection) on the same day. 
   Did I say "did anyone notice..."? How does that not make anyone and everyone wake up and notice how precariously perched we are? How vulnerable? How fragile?
If script writers can put Bruce Willis to move an asteroid, I know +God was able to put both on course years and years ago (how many? I have no idea) and perhaps even just nudged one to come perilously close to us but not too close to get us to be looking up.
(By the way, there i…

How Important Is The Deity Of Christ?

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/18/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)
  John 1:1-14, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 1:1-60

I was on a run with my dog Rocky this morning (okay, a walk with bursts of occasional slow jogs and more than occasional stopping to sniff interesting smells in the ground along the way) when I thought that perhaps I should write daily devotionals to go along with the chronological harmonious readings of the Gospels during Lent (and yes, I meant the dog was stopping to sniff, with no encouragements from me).
So a day late here is a brief word to go along with the readings (found with a link at the bottom of the page).

How important is the deity?

We love to cling to the humanity of Jesus, but how important was the deity of Christ? After all, Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. What difference does it make?


Looking at the harmony of the gospels, isn’t interesting that Matthew traces Jesus’ royal lineage (that through Joseph, …