Jesus reminds us that, although everything bad is a result of sin, we shouldn't think it's a punishment for a specific sin. The ultimate punishment for sin is Hell. He promises that everything can be used by God for our good and his glory.
Jesus models for us how to share the living water of the Gospel with others.
Share Living Water
· In _______________________ places
· With _____________________ people
· Let them know you have ____________________________________________
· Help them recognize their ______________________
· Manage their objections by
o Avoiding ________________________
o Focusing on _____________________
You don't often think of war in connection with Jesus, but Isaiah reminds us that he is a warrior. He left heaven and came to earth on a mission to defeat sin, Satan and death for us. He was victorious over his enemies. In grace, the Father gives his victory to us.
Don't look for glory on earth that doesn't endure. Look forward to the eternal glory Jesus won by his life and death in our place. Jesus endured it all for us by looking forward to the glory he would inherit after his resurrection.
Like Israel, we have many times each day when we have a choice to listen to God or to listen to Satan or the wisdom of the world. Considering all that God has done for us, choose life, listen to his word.
As sons of God through faith in Jesus you ARE salt and light for the world. Share the salt of the Gospel so that others are brought to faith in Jesus and preserved in the judgment. Let the light of your faith and the love of Jesus shine in all you do and say. Don't keep your faith to yourself.
Like Israel, you might feel God has wearied you, but the fact is, you are blessed. Treating God like an idol that you can manipulate is what wearies you. Seeing God as your Savior inspires you to serve God and your neighbor with joy.
All too often Christians major in minors. They focus on buildings and carpets and style of music. They insist on their own personal preferences and end up causing divisions that hinder the mission of proclaiming to gospel to all. Paul encourages us to focus on what matters, the salvation of souls, the proclamation of the gospel. When we do, divisions will disappear.
The Magi from the East set an example of what it means to be truly wise - They watched for the signs God gave, they acted in faith, worshiped the infant Jesus as their King and Savior, Gave gifts fit for a King, and obeyed the Lord's instructions not to return to Herod.
God sent Jesus into the world at just the right time to redeem the world. He sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts at just the right time so that we would be considered heirs with him of eternal life.
Joseph was a righteous man. When the Bible calls someone righteous it means that they trust in the one true God and his promise of a Savior. Like Abraham, righteousness is credited to a person through faith. Those who are righteous through faith show that righteousness in their lives, as Joseph did.
Did John have doubts about Jesus? Whether he did, or his disciples did, John knew what to do with doubt. He went to Jesus and Jesus removed doubts by pointing him to the prophecies of Scripture he was fulfilling.
God's law is truth but it can't sett you free because you break it. Only he Son can set you free by his life and death in your place, and his glorious resurrection from the dead. He has set you free from sin, death and Satan so that you can serve the Lord without fear and your neighbor in love.
Psalm 2 describes what Jesus faced as the Pharisees and Sadducees tried to trap him with difficult questions. When they were finished he asked them a question that made it clear that the Christ was to be both the son of David and the Son of God. Jesus is true God and true man, just who he needed to be in order to save us. Always take refuge in him.
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.