The Ministry Begins

The Ministry Begins

              John 1: 32-34  And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.  I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”   John the Baptist, we are told, was the designated front man for Jesus.  He was to “prepare the …

Into The Desert

Into The Desert

Luke 4: 8,13  Jesus answered him (Satan), “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ”  When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.  Jesus had prepared all his earthly life for his mission.  He knew the scriptures by heart, he had led a life of devotion to God and his earthly family, and he had been baptized by John.  Now, he could begin his ministry—or not. Long before Jesus came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem, Satan had been given dominion over the earth.  Wherever he found …

Making Choices

Making Choices

                Matthew 4: 18-20  As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him.   I’m sure Jesus chose each disciple carefully.  He only called twelve to be apostles, so he had to make sure he had the raw material necessary for the radical transformation he was sent to earth …

Breaking The Mold

Breaking The Mold

  1 Peter 2: 9  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you might proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.   Jesus didn’t come into the world to pat us on our heads, to make us feel good, or to reinforce our distorted concepts. He came to shake us up, to challenge us, to fit us for heaven.  This can be painful at times as we let go of our idols and our prejudices.  No one wants to feel …

Lift Up Your Cross

Lift Up Your Cross

                Matthew 16: 24-25  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”   I’m certain the disciples felt that all was lost when Jesus was crucified.  Fearing for their own lives, they hid from the authorities.  Jerusalem was too dangerous for them; they needed to escape to friendlier locales.  At this point in the …

He Came!

He Came!

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1: 23 He came. Christmas – more than anything else – is a time to joyfully celebrate the familiar, but all-so-fabulous truth that Jesus came. God came to Earth. It is marvelous…but unimaginable…. fantastic….but unfathomable… wondrous…incredible….life-changing. Isaiah 7: 14 gave us the heads up that the Savior was coming and even a couple of clues:  He would be born of a virgin and would be called Immanuel.  Matthew quoted this verse and gave us the definition …

I Am a Temple of the Lord

I Am a Temple of the Lord

    I am a temple of the Lord     1 Corinthians 3: 16 – “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you…..for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”   When I stop to think “I am a temple of the Lord” I always stand in awe and almost unbelief that the Lord trusts me with his Holy Spirit and that spirit is within me. One of my fellow writers at My Journey of Faith, Doris Lisemby, sent me an encouragement email last year. I will never forget …

I Am Part of the Body of Christ

I Am Part of the Body of Christ

      I Am a Part of the Body of Christ   1 Corinthians 12:  27 – 31 – “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having the gift of healing, others, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have the gift …

Running to His Arms

Running to His Arms

Galatians 2: 2 – I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preached among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders; for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.” (NIV)   One of the greatest joys of being the parent of a child comes at the end of the day when you walk into the rooms and you hear “mommy” or “daddy” and that bundle of endless energy comes running toward you with a smile on their face and arms wide …

The Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb

Matthew 28: 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.         Imagine with me if you will. In the tomb so quiet and still, The body of my Savior lay Dead and cold and sullen gray Man had crucified God’s precious Son. Beaten-scourged this very one, Who came to save the soul of man. Now sacrificed by God’s own plan. The wrath of God that day was stilled. Jesus sinless blood was spilled. The penalty for my sin was paid. Now in the tomb His …

The Aroma of Christ

The Aroma of Christ

2 Corinthians 2: 14-16 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life…” I am told by someone who has raised sheep that when a lamb is born, the fragrance of birth gives off a sweet aroma unlike any other animal birth.  …

The Voice of the Shepherd

The Voice of the Shepherd

John 10: 4 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”    Jesus used sheep as illustrations to teach many lessons in the New Testament.  Because of the culture of the day, the people of Israel would have caught the lessons immediately.  I, on the other hand, have never been around sheep to learn their characteristics, so what I know of them is not through experience but through reading, studying or listening to teaching about the subject. Recently, during a Bible Study by Anne …