There is no sacrifice we can make to pay for sin. The only sacrifice that paid for sin was the sacrifice that Jesus made in our place. As we acknowledge our guilt and look to Jesus for forgiveness we will be moved to do what is just and love mercy.
Jesus tells us not to worry and gives us excellent reasons not to - God cares for birds and flowers and we are worth much more than they. Paul reminds us that God sacrificed Jesus to save us and if he did that, why wouldn't he provide for our lesser needs? Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath learned from experience what it means to put God first, trust him and he will provide.
We confess that Jesus does everything well. Because he did he was able to win our eternal salvation. But how often don't we contradict our confession by doing the opposite of what Jesus commands as these people in the Decapolis did?
Earthly things can't bring lasting peace. Only forgiveness and the promise of eternal peace in Jesus can bring lasting peace. Earthly Jerusalem was supposed to be a place of peace but it has never lived up to it's name. We look forward to the New Jerusalem, the heavenly one, where there is perfect peace.
"Known by Their Fruit" Test the fruit of a teacher's doctrine. If it agrees with God's word it is good fruit, if it doesn't agree with God's word it is rotten, poisonous fruit. Test the fruit your produce. If the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Such fruit comes as we daily remember our baptism, crucifying our sinful nature by daily contrition and repentance, and rejoicing that, through baptism, God has united us with Jesus in his live and death.
Abraham and Lot experienced consequences for their sinful and selfish choices. But in the midst of those consequences they experienced God's Grace. God's grace to Abraham moved him to be gracious to others.
Be alert and always watching because Satan is like a lion ready to pounce when you are distracted. Trust God's promise to to help, to lift you up when you are humbles, to strengthen and support you no matter what.
It is finished. Every prophecy of Scripture concerning the Messiah has been fulfilled. The work the Father gave Jesus has been accomplished. There's nothing left for us to do or suffer. Thank you Jesus!
Great Faith: Jesus tested the faith of the Canaanite woman so that we would be able to see the great faith she had in her heart. Great faith rests on Jesus alone for help and salvation, and shows itself when tested.
The Transfiguration of Jesus makes us certain; certain that Jesus is true God, our Savior; certain that the Scriptures are the very word of God; and therefore certain that we have eternal life in Jesus.
God is Merciful and Just. Paul shows how that applies in our lives by the example of Israel in the wilderness, and the fact that he works hard to control his sinful nature so that he doesn't abuse God's mercy and end up being lost.
Even in hopeless situations Jesus asks "Why are you afraid?" He has power over wind, wave and water. Has power even over death. He has rescued you from the most hopeless situation of all - the punishment you deserve for your sins.
God was at work across the miles and through the ages to help the Wise Men get to know Jesus, and frustrating the evil of Herod. He is still at work through out History making sure we know Jesus and frustrating evil in our day with the goal of bringing us to eternal life with him.