John 6 – Part One

In Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

A few weeks ago, my good friend George Ortiz spoke for the first time at our church…George is an up and coming student pastor at Lakeside.  He called me the night before and we talked about this very passage from which he did a great job speaking the next day. From that message and our conversation, this is what I …

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John 5 – Ansley’s Beliefs

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt2 Comments

As a Christian who grew up in the church, I find that sometimes the most encouraging passages to read are those that deal with salvation.  In the midst of a world full of Christians who constantly tell you how to live, how to serve, how to work, it’s nice to hear Jesus set the record straight again – just believe. …

John 4 – Did Jesus Ever Baptize Anyone?

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Hey I have a quick question for you bible junkies…did Jesus ever baptize anyone?  I know in chapter 3 of John it says… They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” -John 3:26 …

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John 3 – “Inclusivity”

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

First, let me write down some questions I have as I read this chapter… 1) Jesus says to Nicodemus “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (v.3).  For the Jew, what did the phrase “kingdom of God” mean? 2) Jesus starts relating being born again to the wind in …

John 2 – Jesus Goes Postal

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Hope that title doesn’t offend you.  Here’s the passage from John chapter 2… 13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple …

John 1

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One cool thing I learned today…that “in the beginning was the Word (logos)” The Greeks held that the universe was kosmos, an ordered place.  What lied behind universe and ordered it was reason, or logos.  To speak of Jesus in this way was to help them understand better exactly who he was in relation to God.  That Jesus is the …

Next Book: John

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With Becky in and out of the hospital as we prepare for our second child, Andrew, to be born, I have been longing to get back at digging into God’s Word.  I’ve been away for a couple of months now, so I’m out of practice.  I’ve decided to go to the Gospel of John for the next month or so. …

Mark 15

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We’ve met Caiaphas, Pilate, and Barabbas, the central figures in the cast of Calvary. Let’s close with a supporting actor whose role may be the most fascinating of all. Our essay today will be a bit longer than usual, but the story is worth the telling. The Bible records that “A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander …

Boldness and the Inside of the Cup

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I have two thoughts to share with you from my reading in Luke 11 today… 5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to …

A means to an end – Luke 10

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In Luke 10 Jesus sends out 72 disciples into the various towns in the region to perform signs and wonders and preach the good news.  They were given power from on high to do such things, and were filled with joy when they returned… 17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your …

Don’t look back…

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Here was part of my reading today… 57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man …

The Synagogue Ruler

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Luke by Matt0 Comments

I want to make my thoughts clear today without offending anyone so hopefully you can see the deeper meaning behind what I am writing without me spelling it out for you.  When you hear of the word “Pharisee” or “Sanhedrin” or any other Jewish leader title in the New Testament, what do you think of?  For me, I admit I …

Here is Your King

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I imagine a lowly Jewish girl on the day of Christ’s crucifixion.  I imagine her seeing the crowd, the mob, making its way to the town square.  I imagine her getting caught up in the excitement, hearing the rumors, speculations on what this man did.  I imagine her even beginning to hate this man.  After all, she had grown up …

The Olive Grove

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“When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley.  On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.  Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.” It is evident from this passage, that when Jesus needed some …

How to Grow Fruit

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My dad was an apple farmer.  I wish I had been old enough to understand the job when I was younger so that I could have helped him with it.  One day I asked him about pruning.  I asked what the general idea was so that I could understand it beyond just randomly hacking off branches.  He explained that it’s …

It’s Hard to Submit

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Romans by Matt0 Comments

My Bible reading today was Romans chapter 9.  I don’t think there is a tougher portion of scripture to read and just accept as is.  It’s hard not to question some of the phrases found there, and yet, that is what the chapter is about – submission.  It begs an answer from me, “who am I to question God?”  I …

No comparison…

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, Romans by Matt0 Comments

Read this timeless verse today and wanted to share it… “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18 What I’m considering today is how miniscule my problems are and how great God is and yet He still cares about my problems.  I hope this verse will encourage …