Apply the Word: Jesus is God, God Gives Rest

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This past Sunday my pastor preached on John 5 when Jesus heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda. Not surprisingly, Jesus, in doing good, stirs up trouble for himself. First, he heals on the Sabbath, which upsets the Pharisees, who see this as breaking the Sabbath. Second, he asserts that he is God (cf. v 17-18), which also upsets the Pharisees. I want to focus on the first issue, because it is in fulfilling the Sabbath that Jesus demonstrates that he truly is who he claims to be.

When Jesus says in v 17 that he is doing God’s work, he is telling us that doing good on the Sabbath is not breaking the Sabbath but is actually the truest expression of the Sabbath. Rest as relief from the effects of the fall (e.g., sin and sickness) is what the Sabbath is all about. Hence Jesus says, “my Father has been working until now.” Jesus says deliverance from affliction and sin is the work God is doing as an expression of the Sabbath, and, therefore, he is doing the same. Our hope is that Christ will complete this work of redemption, and we will enter into that full and final rest in glory.

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Apply the Word: Faith Is Desperate

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I don’t like to feel needy. I don’t like it when life squeezes all the comfort and confidence out of me that I’ve come to rely on from day to day. I don’t like pain. My pastor recently preached on John 4, where we are introduced to a desperate man, in a lot of pain, who wasn’t afraid to confess his need.

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Apply the Word: The Shepherd Leads

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I’ve been remiss in sharing the articles I’m posting on my church’s blog. Here is some application from a sermon on Psalm 23. It’s titled, The Shepherd Leads, and it addresses God’s commitment to lead us all the way down the path of righteousness into his presence, where there is fullness of joy.

Click here to take a look.

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Weaned from False Hope

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I’m posting again for my church’s Apply the Word series. Below is an excerpt from my post and a link to the full article.

One of the questions that comes up any time we address the need for change is that of “How? How do I get from where I am to where I should be?” This Sunday, Benny (my pastor) preached from Psalm 131 on moving from anxious, harried, and haughty to peaceful and content in Christ.

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Sermon: Psalm 63 – Expecting to Meet with God

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I recently had the opportunity to preach at my church, and this is the message God put on my hear to share. I show from Psalm 63 that we, the church, have every reason to expect God to show us his power and glory when we seek him both in our corporate gatherings and in private prayer. And I show that this expectation is not based on us, but is based on God’s grace in Jesus Christ. I pray this message blesses you.

Click here to access the sermon on my church’s website. The Psalm is below for reference.

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When Easter Loses Its Meaning: A post for people like me

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If you’re like me, you hate being busy, which means you hate events (I know I’m a minority here). You hate hosting events; you hate preparing events; you hate attending events. I am an introvert, which means I derive energy from being by myself or being in small groups of deeply trusted friends. Events are for extroverts.

The sad result of this is that truly important events, like Easter, lose their value to people like me. The rush and bustle of event-prep eclipses the theological and existential import of an event like Easter. It’s hard for me to use Easter the way I’m supposed to. What do I mean by this? Well, the reason one holds an event like Easter is the same reason the Jews held feasts and fasts in the Old Testament. Festivals for Israel were reminders. They were opportunities for God’s people to break away from normal life for the purpose of remembering what God had done and considering the implications for their future.

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In Remembrance of Me: There was a time

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One of my burdens for this blog is to provide resources for believers to stir up their affections for God. I want to help us want God more. Consequently, I intend to publish more devotional material alongside the kind of problem-analysis-solution styled posts you see elsewhere on the site. This is my first of such posts. In this case, I am sharing a meditation on Communion. I occasionally have the privilege of facilitating Communion at my church. When I do, I prepare some thoughts on the sacrament to help the congregation (myself included) dwell on the significance of the redeeming work of Christ for our life now in order to, as stated above, help folks want God more, to see Him as desirable and so to desire Him. This is the first in a series of such meditations that I’ll post on this blog. I hope they bless you.

Luke 22:14-20 HCSB

When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”

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Check Your Vision: Hope in the Face of Sin’s Consequences

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Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org This photo required alot of editing in PS. I like the color and the gausian blur on this one.
Photo Credit

Are you nearsighted or farsighted? Yes, that is a metaphorical question. But we as humans tend to have regular experiences of perspective loss. We do this in moments of anger, of anxiety, of stress. We do this when we suffer, when we’re tired, when we’re overwhelmed. And sometimes we do this when we assess our sin. Some of us tend to be nearsighted and see our sin only in light of its immediate consequences. Others of us look at our sin and immediately see how seven years down the road it will lead to an affair or an abusive household or an ice-cold relationship or financial ruin or…fill in the blank.

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