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Showing posts from October, 2011

Living Without Regrets

I've begun reading Peter's epistles...both of them in the last couple of days.  What I love about Peter's letters is how straightforward and cutting to the core he is about being a Christian. One of the things he focuses on is the need to live "in Christ".  Not religiously, not piously, using language to act one way or the other; but living in the "real" faith of following hard after Jesus.  In that sense, he is talking about a walk in Christ that is lived without regrets. For example he gets to the core of growth in it's practical ways: 2 Peter 1:3, 5-8 NLT "By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,

Persevering Faith -

My readings these days have taken me through the book of Hebrews.  Arguably one of the most theological of all the New Testament letters - along with Romans - Hebrews takes us through the heart of God in fulfilling, through Jesus, the Old Testament Covenant.  The Priesthood, sacrifices, offerings, holy days, all find their fulfillment in Christ Jesus.  When all is said and done, He is the "author and perfector of our faith".  And that is the purpose - to have complete trust or faith in Him for our lives. Faith is that element of our living in Christ that becomes practical every day. In chapter 11 the writer describes this to us: Hebrews 11:1, 6, 13, 34, 38-40 NLT Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. All these people died still believ

Important to Remember

I'm continuing my readings in the book of Acts.  I read the passages that detail Paul's second missionary journey.  Beginning in chapter 16, where we discover Luke joining the team, he records their journey to  the European mainland...Greece.  A vision by God of a Macedonian man asking them to come over and help them, leads to their leaving the Asia province (Turkey) and go over to Philippi.  Here the first convert is a Jewish business lady and her household.  What we learn is that the Gospel is received, and opposed.  Paul is "forced" by opposition to keep heading south...perhaps it is also his design...towards the population centers of Athens and Corinth.  He arrives at the Philosophical center of Greece at Athens.  What impresses me is the simpicity of his comments. Acts 17:24-25, 27-28, 30, 31 NLT “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his nee

Getting it Right

I'm continuing my yearly readings, and today read several of the early chapters of the book of Acts.  The early chapters of Acts are much more than history, they represent the simpicity of the Gospel, along with the profound wisdom of God at work in a people simply doing things with faith in him. The testimony of the early church revolves around their faith in Jesus working among them.  Peter is the principal character in the stories, but he makes it clear, it's always about Jesus and what he is doing, not about him, or the miracles.  In the early chapters these believers act in faith of Christ's presence, and they are called to account by religious authorities...but there they make it clear: Acts 4:8-10, 12, 30, 32-33 NLT Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to

The Fall Jewish Feasts

Judaism celebrates seven annual festivals...occasions where work ceases  and a celebration begins.  Four of those feasts occur in the Spring of the year in which Passover begins it and Pentecost ends it.  There are three Fall festivals:  Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkoth.  The Jewish Fall Feasts are happening right now.  Rosh Hashanah began in late September, Yom Kippur begins this Friday, and Sukkoth follows just five days later.  What's the big deal about the observance of festivals, seemingly unrelated to Christianity?  The Fall Feasts of Judaism are important links to our faith in Christ Jesus.  All of the feasts were celebrated by Jesus, the disciples, and the early church.  As the book of Hebrews states, they serve as a "shadow of things to come", ie. they all made a statement about the coming of the Messiah, and in their form, they express the heart of God in worship, and express his "ways" in our hearts. Rosh Hashanah (Ha-Sha-Nah) begins the Fall