“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny[i] himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)
There is no statement anywhere in the whole of the Bible any more fundamental or important than these words Jesus spoke immediately after He spoke of His own future suffering. All of the Law and Prophets speak of Jesus. (John 5:31) Jesus was approaching the nadir of the purpose for which He, God stripped of His glory, became man. As the disciples rebuked Jesus about talking about future suffering, Jesus spoke these words.
As Jesus looked forward to His own suffering, He looked back to His disciples and said, “If you would follow Me, you must be all in.” Continue reading
Do not store up[i] for yourselves treasures[ii] on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:19-21)
I have been saying this a lot lately, and I have been trying to be more heavenly minded.
When you think about it, our lives are not only fragile but momentary. My life could end at virtually any time, and if I live to be 100, it will be over when it is over. Continue reading
“[C]hosen[i] according to the foreknowledge[ii] of God….” (1 Pet.1:1-2)
We cannot understand anything about God unless we understand that He is the uncreated Creator, the Beginner without a beginning; He IS outside of time and space; He always was, always is and always will be. Continue reading
“[O]n earth[i] as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)
This is the next post in a series articles on The Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, and for God’s will to be done, Jesus instructed to pray the His will be done on earth as it is heaven.
One thing we should note as we review the prayer Jesus taught us to pray is that there is no “magic” in the words. They are not intended as rote ritual. They are a guide for directing our hearts and aligning ourselves with God the Father. They are meant to help us understand our relationship with God, the Father, and to learn to know Him through prayer. Continue reading
“Your kingdom[*] come….” (Matt. 6:10) This is the third in a series of blog posts on The Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, Jesus taught us to to God for His “kingdom come”.
That is a curious instruction, as many Jews at the time believed that the Messiah, who they were expecting, would overthrow the Roman occupation of Judea and return the land to Jewish rule. They were bitterly disappointed when that did not happen, especially in light of all the kingdom talk from Jesus. He even taught us to pray for it! So what gives?
Did the disciples not pray hard enough? Did God fail to answer the prayer Jesus instructed them to pray? What does that mean for us today? We need to look back at the First Century for the answer. Continue reading