Which comes first obedience or faith?

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“the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations”‭‭(Romans‬ ‭1:5‬) This is Pauls mission statement. His reason to live. His goal in life. And it should be the goal of every Chrisrian minister, indeed of every Christian: to bring about the obedience of faith in themselves and others. One thing I love about the ESV is that it doesn't seem to explain phrases that could be ambiguous. This is one such example. I can think of at least  five possible ways of inte … [Read more...]

Why did God forsake Jesus?

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“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?””(‭‭Mark‬ ‭15:34‬ ) To the Muslim the idea that a prophet could die a cruel death on a cross is anathema. To the 1st century Jew it wasn't exactly what they expected from their  long awaited Messiah. To those of us who believe Jesus was and is the Eternal Son of God it should be even more remarkable. The question "why did God forsake him?" Rings … [Read more...]

When does the wisdom of Mordecai become denying Jesus?

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“And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.”‭‭(Mark‬ ‭14:72‬) We live in times that are remarkably hostile to Christians. I have written before about how at times the wisdom of Mordecai is entirely appropriate for us to follow. In many workplaces people keep it more professional these days and don't talk about any outside interests. Add to that th … [Read more...]

Every knee WILL bow! 

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And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:62‬)‬‬He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death —even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow...and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Phil 2:8-11, HCSB) It's verses like this that put pay to any not … [Read more...]

Risen: A Movie that Addresses the Core of Christianity, and My Own Story

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At the end of this post I will share the trailer of an up and coming religious themed release by Columbia Pictures. Called Risen, this film centers on the efforts of a skeptic to disprove the resurrection of Jesus during the first forty days after the event. The film will release both in the USA this month, and in the UK shortly.I'm sure you agree that the trailer looks professional, and the premise is fascinating. It addresses the most important question anyone will ever ask: "Did Jesus … [Read more...]

Willing spirit. Weak flesh

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“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.””(‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:38‬) Its interesting how quickly our minds often tend to think of our tendency towards sin when we consider this verse. But Jesus is just talking about the disciples failure to stay up and pray with him. He was talking about their natural tendency to sleep, and inability to fight against it. Jesus was here being kind and essentially saying "don't worry about it, I know you wa … [Read more...]

Worship that costs

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“And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.”(‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:3‬) What some called a waste, Jesus honored in the highest possible terms. From Cape Town to Bejing, everywhere the gospel is preached, he said "tell of what this woman has done."The one who for eternity enjoyed the adoration of angels, laid all that aside. As he p … [Read more...]

Rejected by us. Raised up by God

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 “Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?””‭‭(Mark‬ ‭12:10-11‬) Have you ever stopped to think about how remarkable certain Scriptures really are? Overfamiliarity numbs us to the stark surprising reality.Last night my son George who is just eight commented on the story of Judges. He said something like How could they say, you know how God rescued us and di … [Read more...]

What have we done to Jesus’ Church?

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”   (Matthew 4:4).

“And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.””(‭‭Mark‬ ‭11:17‬) How quickly my indignation rose when I looked at these words. How easy it is to apply them to someone else. We can all point the finger. Think of ministries who are fleecing the flock of God. Remind ourselves of unhelpful teaching that turns God into a slot machine. And in doing so as I mentioned a few days ag … [Read more...]

Jesus asks YOU today “what would you like me to do for you?”

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   “And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.””‭(‭Mark‬ ‭10:51‬) If you are anything like me, then your prayer life leaves much to be desired. As I once wrote, I am learning but I still have a long way to go.  There are many challenges to us praying that come up. Sometimes it's our theology. We can tie ourselves in knots over Gods sovereignty and essentially come to the conclusion that b … [Read more...]


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