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Showing posts from February, 2022

Reigning with Jesus

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Disciples reign with Jesus as “priests” who render service in his Tabernacle by mediating his light in the world .  In Revelation , the present sovereignty of Jesus is based on his past death and resurrection, and because of his sacrificial death, his disciples now reign with him. But like him, their elevation to rule over the earth is paradoxical - it is characterized by self-sacrificial service, for the outpouring of his lifeblood has consecrated them as “ priests ” for God - [ Worship - Photo by Sandro Gonzalez on Unsplash ].

To Whom Homage?

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Satan offered Jesus unlimited political power to achieve his messianic mission if only he accepted him as his overlord.  Satan tempted Jesus by offering him political power over “ all the kingdoms of the world ,” but he refused the offer. Instead of power and grandeur, he submitted to the way of the ‘ Suffering Servant .’ Arguably, the most startling detail of the encounter is that he did not dispute the Devil’s claim to have jurisdiction over the political systems of the world - [ Photo by Nemanja Peric on Unsplash ].

Prudent or Foolish?

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At the conclusion of his sermon delivered on the mount, Jesus vested his words with ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY – Matthew 7:21-28 .  The  Sermon on the Mount  is not a program for reforming civil society, implementing economic justice, or a utopian pipe dream for the perfect society. Instead, it provides clear instructions for how his disciples must live in the present age as faithful citizens of HIS kingdom. For his followers, his teachings are not optional, and at the sermon’s conclusion, Jesus vested his words with ultimate authority - [ Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash ].

Christian Response to Persecution

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When Christians react in kind to hostility, whether from government, society, or individuals, Satan triumphs – Matthew 5:12 . The reality of persecution in the Christian life raises numerous questions. For example, how should we react to our persecutors, especially when we are persecuted by governing authorities? Should we respond with indignation, civil disobedience, and public protests? Or should the disciples of Jesus follow his example and that of the early church? - [ Photo by Keegan Houser on Unsplash ].

Fulfillment - Law and Prophet

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In Jesus, “all the promises of God are Yea and Amen,” and the “Law and Prophets” find their fulfillment - Matthew 5:17-21 .  Fulfillment  and  Kingdom  are prominent themes in Matthew’s gospel. With the arrival of the Messiah, the season of fulfillment began, and all things anticipated in the “ Law and Prophets ” were coming to fruition. But what were the implications for the Mosaic Law? Fortunately, Jesus provided us with a direct answer to that question-[ Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash ].

Love Your Enemy

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Mercy and love are the defining characteristics of his disciple and reflect the true nature of his Father – Matthew 5:43-48 .  Christians can be confused, even overwhelmed, by the exhortation found in the middle of Christ’s ‘ Sermon on the Mount ’ - “ Therefore be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect .” We assume that “ perfection ” means conforming to a standard of righteousness that is impossible for any human. How can anyone ever hope to emulate the perfect righteousness of God? - [ Photo by Hanna Morris on Unsplash ]

Embracing the Cross

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To be the Messiah means suffering and death, and he summons his disciples to follow the same path – Mark 8:31 .  As Jesus approached Jerusalem, he explained exactly what it meant to be the Messiah of Israel, namely, suffering and death, an expectation contrary to popular expectations and those of his disciples. And he also summoned anyone who would become his disciple to take up the cross and follow his self-sacrificial example. And failure to do so would render one an object of shame before the Lord of Glory - [ Photo by Thuong Do on Unsplash ].