Avoiding Enmity

People don’t handle conflict well. Either they take the passive, rumor based approach, or the aggressive argumentative approach. Both end in pain and broken relationships. Jesus provides a better way in our Gospel passage this morning.

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Who Do You Say That I Am?

“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked his disciples this question in the Gospel passage that we read today, and it is still one of the most important questions in life, one you need to have an answer to. Listen to hear what it means that Jesus is the Christ.

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Crumbs for Dogs

In the Gospel today, we see Jesus and his disciples trying to get some much-needed rest, and a gentile woman, persistently begs Jesus to heal her daughter. How would Jesus respond? At first, he ignores her, and then he calls her a “dog,” a derogatory term used by the Jews of Jesus’ day to talk about the gentiles. This is the kind of response a Canaanite woman might have expected from a Jew. This isn’t the kind of response we would expect from Jesus! Even though Jesus’ silence and later his response seem rude, perhaps we can detect a “twinkle in his eye.” Especially when we remember how he commends her faith later in the story!

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The End of the Sidewalk

In my neighborhood, there is a sidewalk that ends abruptly. Sometimes the events of our life feel a bit like this sidewalk, leaving us unsure of where to go next. When we get anxious about our present circumstances, we develop a feeble memory for God’s blessings in the past.

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Pulling Weeds

If you have ever planted a garden, you know what it is like to pull weeds. Weeds are relentless, and there are always more of them. Imagine, however, if someone intentionally sprinkled weed seeds into your garden! What would you do? How would you respond?

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Finding Rest in Jesus

It can be hard to truly rest. There are so many things in life that we feel we need to strive for. Many even strive to be righteous before God, but all who try have failed. Jesus promises another way, a way of rest.

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Suffering for the Name

As Christians, we have chosen to follow one who was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief…” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus clashed with the authorities of his day, and he eventually died because of it. If Jesus suffered, should we be surprised when we suffer? Today we will look at the reality of the persecuted church around the world.

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The Strong Name of the Trinity

As we look at the doctrine of the Trinity, both in the Scriptures and in theology, we can say simply that we worship One God in three Persons. We can’t really explain exactly how this is possible, and it bends our brains trying to figure it out. What we can do is respond to the Trinity in three important ways: comfort, awe, and praise.

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Every Race and Nation

On the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples were waiting in an upper room as Jesus had instructed them to do. Suddenly, the sound of a mighty rushing wind blew through the room and the Holy Spirit descended on each of the disciples in tongues of flame. Immediately they were able to preach the Gospel to people of every race and nation using languages they had never learned, and a fire for the mission of the church was lit that still burns today. And yet, there is still so much sin in the world, so much brokenness and hatred, so much division, so many who have yet to hear and respond to the Gospel. The Lord needs workers for his harvest. Where is the Holy Spirit sending you?

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The Way of Life

The idea that there is only one way to God is not a very popular one today. Some might say it is too exclusive and that it seems conceited to claim that one religion is better than another. On the other hand, you could see it as inclusive. The way of life is open to all of us but we must make a choice which way we want to go. Jesus made it clear that there weren’t any other options.

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