TODAY’S SPECIAL: Colossians 1:13-20
TO CHEW ON: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. Colossians 1:19
You are a real person who lives on earth, right? Describe yourself:Who are you?What do you look like?What have you done?
Jesus was a real person who lived on earth too. He could have written a description of himself much like yours. It could have told us about His family, what He looked like, where He went to school, what His grades were like, all the things He had learned to do."The Transfiguration" - Titian, 1560-1565
But Paul in Colossians 1 tells us that Jesus was and is far more than someone who just lived on earth a long time ago. Let’s build a description of Jesus....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:1-8
TO CHEW ON: “Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again .' " - John 3:3
Nicodemus was no dummy. He had gone to school for many years to become a Pharisee. He was in government as a member of the ruling council, the Sanhedrin. Yet even though he knew a lot and was an important man, he really wanted to talk to Jesus. He went to see Jesus at night."Nicodemus" - Artist unknown
"You're obviously from God," Nicodemus said. "Otherwise how could you do the miracles you do?"
In reply Jesus didn't talk about where He was from. Instead He answered the question that was really on Nicodemus's mind - how to become part of God's kingdom....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 9:1-9
TO CHEW ON: “'Who are you, Lord?' Saul asked." Acts 9:5
Saul thought he was pleasing God by killing the followers of Jesus."Saul was breathing murderous threats" - Artist unknown
God saw that Saul was sincere. But he was also wrong. In one amazing moment God turned Saul around.
He was traveling on the road near the town of Damascus, on his way to kill more Christians, when a light blinded him. He fell to the ground. A voice asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ecclesiastes 12:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them.'” Ecclesiastes 12:1
How sad it is to be too late.- You come to dinner hungry and find the food has all been eaten.
- You come to the garden wanting to harvest a crop and find all the vegetables and fruits are over-ripe and rotting.
- You come to a concert and find you are just in time for the last song.
It’s just as sad to come too God late. In today’s reading, we find out when is the best time to come to God....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Titus 3:3-8
TO CHEW ON: "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy." Titus 3:4,5Who is the worst person you’ve ever heard of? What did they do that made them so bad?
We may think of some people, like mass murderers or violent thieves as beyond help. People may say things about them like, “Put them in jail and throw away the key. That’s the best they deserve.”
This may be true. But then, none of us deserve any better as far as God is concerned. For though you and I may not have done really big bad things, we have sinned. And the punishment for our sin is death. All the good things we could ever do are not enough to earn God’s pardon and to make us His friends....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:2 Thessalonians 2:7-12
TO CHEW ON: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8
The Bible is a story of a fight. The fight is between light and darkness, love and hate, obedience and rebellion, good and evil, God and Satan. This fight began in the Garden of Eden when Satan, in the form of a snake, tempted Eve. He persuaded her to listen to him and eat fruit from the tree God had plainly forbidden. Sin (any act that defies God and sides with Satan) came into the world."The Fall" by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1907
Through history, God has done many things to fight Satan. He chose the Jews, gave them His laws, and commanded them to make sacrifices for sins. Then He sent His son Jesus, born of a Jewish mother, who became the final sacrifice for sin. Now we have the Holy Spirit who helps us resist Satan’s temptations and live for God.
The final showdown between God and Satan is still to come (although because Jesus rose from the dead, we know Satan’s power is...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 53:2-8
TO CHEW ON: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6
It was the most important day of the year, the Day of Atonement. Everyone came to the holy gathering bathed and in clean clothes. Men, women, girls and boys had watched the High Priest make the offerings. Now it was time for the last event.
A hush came over the crowd as one of the priests led a goat to the High Priest. The High Priest laid his hands on the goat’s head. Then he confessed the peoples’ sins: “We have been selfish. We have been proud. We have not honored our parents. We have been jealous. We have lied. We have stolen...” On and and on he went. As he named the sins, his hands on the goat's head were a picture of laying all those sins on the goat. This goat was called a scapegoat.
When the priest was finally finished, he gave the goat to a servant. The servant took it to the desert and there released it to...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Romans 3:19-28
TO CHEW ON: "But now God has shown us another way to heaven. It is not by 'being good enough' and trying to keep his laws.... Now God says he will accept us and declare us 'not guilty.' He will do this if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. We all can be saved by coming to Christ." Acts 3:21a,22a - Simplified Living Bible
Suppose you stood before God today and He asked you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would you say?
- I tried my hardest to be good.- I did more good things than bad things.- I doesn’t matter what I believed because I was sincere.- My heart is clean because the wrong things that I’ve done (sins), were paid for by Jesus when He died on the cross.
I hope your answer was the last one.
One of the things Paul explained to the Roman Christians was what Jesus’ death means to everyone who believes in Him.
Before Jesus came, God gave the Jewish people rules about how they were to relate to God and treat each other (the Ten Commandments). And He told them what to do if they broke those rules...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Isaiah 61:1-3
TO CHEW ON: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners," Isaiah 61:1
If you’ve ever played Monopoly, you’ll know that if you get sent to “Jail” there are consequences. You must miss your turn. You don’t get to move around the game board like the other players. By the time you’re free again, all the best properties may be bought by others. Unless you have a “Get out of jail free” card. Then you get to go free!
The way Isaiah described the deliverer or Messiah who would come someday sounds a lot like a “Get out of jail free” card. As well as bringing good news to the poor and comfort to the brokenhearted, the promise was that He would free captives and release prisoners.Hundreds of years later, Jesus was about to give His first sermon. In front of the gathered listeners He started by opening the scroll of Isaiah...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ephesians 6:10-18
TO CHEW ON: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." Ephesians 6:11
Why would anyone choose to wear a hot bullet-proof vest, a stiff camouflage uniform, a heavy helmet, weighty steel-toed boots, an uncomfortable gas mask and on top of all that carry a cumbersome weapon and ammunition? Only someone who needed a lot of protection - like a soldier in war.
Everything a soldier wears helps protect him from the enemy. His camouflage uniform makes it easy for him to hide. His helmet, vest and boots protect his head, chest and feet. His gas mask filters out poison or germs from the air. His weapon helps him defend himself or even take more land for his country.
Christians have to be just as prepared to fight against the devil. But what exactly are we fighting against? (Ephesians 6:12) We are not fighting against a]_____ but against the b]_____, against the c]_____ against the d]_____ and against the e]_____....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus ... said to him, 'Zacchaeus...I must stay at your house today'...All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'” Luke 19:5,7
What are taxes? You probably know they are amounts of money people in cities, provinces, states and countries must pay. Government workers collect this money. They use it to pay for things used by everyone - like roads, schools, firefighters and the police.
In Jesus’ time, the Roman rulers charged taxes. They got people in each neighborhood, to work for them. These people were called tax collectors. They usually charged the people more than the Romans asked. They kept the extra money for themselves. Everybody thought of them as traitors, cheats, sinners, and hated them. Zacchaeus was a tax collector.
One day Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town. He wanted to see Him. But Zacchaeus was too short to see above the crowd. Besides, he didn't much like being in crowds because he was so unpopular. So he climbed into a tree and watched as Jesus and the crowd walked by.
Jesus didn’t care how the crowds felt about Zaccheus. When He came to the tree...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: John 3:9-21
TO CHEW ON: “'How can this be?' Nicodemus asked." John 3:9
"Jesus the Savior of the World" - Artist unknown
Jesus told Nicodemus if he wanted to see the kingdom of God, he had to be born again. Nicodemus thought Jesus meant he actually had to be born from his mother again. Of course, Jesus didn’t mean that. But what did he mean?
He meant that Nicodemus had to have a new beginning (new birth) with God. How could this happen for Nicodemus? How does it happen for you and me?
1. Nicodemus, and all of us, have sinned (sin = disobeying God - even once).
2. The punishment for sin is death = separation from God forever.
3. Jesus is the only person who lived a sinless life. He is the only person who didn't need to die for His own sins.
4. But Jesus chose to die in our stead. God accepted His death as the payment for our sin. (It’s like when you’ve done something wrong, but someone else takes your punishment and you get off free)....
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The Geography of the Bible
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The Journey of Abraham
Moses and the Exodus
Joshua and the Land
The Kingdom of David
The Kingdom of Solomon
Israel in Jesus' Time
Paul's First Journey
The Land of Israel
The Land of Egypt
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The City of Rome
Noah's Ark and Mt. Ararat
The Tower of Babel
The Old Testament World
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Moses and the 10 Plagues
The 10 Commandments
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