Midweek Lent 3
My Song Is Love Unknown: For His Death They Thirst and Cry
Text: Matthew 26:59-66
There was nothing right or just about this trial at all. The Sanhedrin was not ever supposed to meet at night. Due notification was required for any trial. A fly-by-night trial during the night was not legal according to the laws of Moses.
Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over this trial, also wrongfully usurped two positions at the trial. He functioned as both the judge and the prosecuting attorney in this court. There was nothing unbiased about his prejudicial actions.
Maybe it’s obvious, but this trial should never have taken place to begin with. Not only was it illegally held, not only was it unfairly judged, but the verdict was also decided before the trial even began. They didn’t have a charge against Jesus, but they knew that somehow he was guilty and that in some way he needed to be prosecuted. Read the rest of this entry
About two weeks ago I reacted in a blog post to some recent comments by Kirk Cameron about homosexuality and gay marriage. I also took the opportunity to share a biblical perspective and my own beliefs about the same topics.
In that post there were two main points that I made:
- The Bible reveals that all homosexuality is a sin in God’s sight.
- Christians who believe such are entitled to that free opinion just as much as those who are pro-homosexuality or gay themselves.
I anticipated that post getting a few extra views than our normal web traffic would bring. I didn’t quite anticipate that it would be the busiest day in the history of our church’s blog. Nor did I fully anticipate all the reactions and replies it would bring. Read the rest of this entry
Devotion Text: Matthew 10:16-23
Could you even imagine doing that? Jesus says that, “On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them.” He adds that his witnesses will be arrested and flogged and hated because of him. Could you even imagine doing that? Could you stand before a judge, Congress, the president, or the king of some other country and testify to the truth about Jesus and the Word of God? Could you imagine doing that while knowing that you might be imprisoned, tortured, or even killed? Thank God that our faith isn’t tested like that!
Isn’t it, though?
Is it any easier for you or for me to tell our family member that a wild life of sex, drugs, or rock ‘n roll will lead to hell? Is it any easier to tell our neighbors that though they are very nice, Buddhism follows the wrong god(s)? Is it any easier to tell the cursing fan behind us at the game that we don’t like that kind of language and God wants his name kept holy? Is it any easier to knock on a stranger’s door when canvassing for church and offer information about Jesus?
The truth is, we face difficult witnessing situations every single day. We may not be called before government leaders and threatened with imprisonment and death (yet!), but we still face plenty of opposition and persecution when sharing our faith. Most of us have probably found out many times over that Jesus wasn’t joking when he said people will hate us because of him.
As we lead up to the celebration of the Reformation of the Church at the end of this month, we can certainly thank God for the many faithful witnesses that have gone before us. God used people, like Martin Luther for example, to preserve the truth of his Word and to pass down that truth to future generations. Martin Luther and many others were faithful confessors of their faith–even before governments and leaders and in the face of persecution and death.
So be it before Congress or cousin, Senate or stranger, president or personal friend, we too can be encouraged by Jesus’ other promise in this section of Scripture: “Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” God give us confidence and strength to proclaim our Savior Jesus Christ to all!
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you faithful confess us to your heavenly Father to be your own brothers and sisters, redeemed by your own righteous blood. Now we ask that you fill us with strength and your Holy Spirit that we might faithfully confess you to all others in our lives. Bless our witnessing and work that more might come to know you as Savior and King. This I ask in your mighty name. Amen.
The Fifth Commandment
You shall not murder.
There are few people out there who have a strong complaint with the words of this commandment. Many people who take umbrage with the other commandments will stand outside a courtroom and demand punishment for murderers. Almost every person alive knows that it is wrong to take another human life.
Biblically, we know the importance of life. Human years on this earth are called a “time of grace.” Now is the only time we can hear about our sins and repent. Now is the only time we can hear about Jesus and forgiveness. Once a person dies he is judged. What a tragedy it is when someone’s time of grace is cut short and he never gets the chance to hear the word, repent and turn to Jesus. Read the rest of this entry
6th Sunday in Easter
Walk the Walk of Love
Text: 1 John 3:13-18
Back when I was around 10 or 11 and in grade school, I went to a basketball camp at a nearby elementary school. This was usually how I spent my summers. Every week I moved from one sports camp to the next throughout the summer. But this one particular basketball camp was very special. Mike Deane, the head basketball coach from Marquette University came by to address the campers. As avid basketball fans who were still in grade school, this was a big deal. We could hardly take the excitement when he brought a free Marquette basketball for each of us. Then, he put himself right up there with Santa Claus as he even gave to every one of us a free tee shirt! It was a Marquette University basketball tee shirt. The main motto on the back of it was, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”
That’s a popular catchphrase when it comes to sports. You might think you are really good. You might think your team is the best. You might even trash talk with other athletes and taunt them with your fancy slam dunks or touchdown dances. Sure, you can talk the talk. But can you walk the walk? In the sports world that means, “Let me see some results.” Don’t just say how good you are. Show how good you are by winning MVPs and championships. You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
Interestingly, God has a similar message for us in his Word. It’s one thing to say that you are a Christian. It’s one thing to say that you love God or that you love other people. You can talk the talk. But God commands us today to Walk the Walk of Love. Read the rest of this entry