2 Corinthians 7:1-16 – When Sorrow Leads to Repentance

Read 2 Corinthians 7:1-16

We have all been sad about something. That’s when we experience sorrow. How we handle our sorrow is what Paul is talking about here. Do we let our sadness overtake us? Depending on what we are sad about, we might even need to repent. Are we sad because of how we have sinned against God? That’s the sorrow Paul is focusing on. Take a moment to think about what has caused you sadness.

Sorrow alone accomplishes nothing. Sorrow is a feeling. If it is caused by circumstances we cannot control, it only hurts us and robs us of our joy. If we are saddened by something we have done (or not done) to sin against God, there is a fix. Repentance.

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Matthew 12:38-45 – Don’t Refuse to Listen

Read Matthew 12:38-45

The Pharisees Question Jesus by J.J. Tissot

We have been teaching our clients lately about establishing authority. It’s important in business for potential customers to see you as an authority, that is, knowing what you’re talking about. Here, the Pharisees are doubting the authority of Jesus. How crazy is that?! Granted, we know who Jesus is because we have the Bible.

When people question your authority or know-how, they aren’t very likely to listen to you. Think how much the Pharisees missed out on because they were not able to see what was right before them. It is a bit puzzling how the leaders with the most knowledge couldn’t see Jesus for who he was. They knew what they were looking for and expecting. They had access to all the Scriptures. Prophecies of old were likely passed down from generation to generation. Yet, their radars must have been turned off. Did God do that on purpose?

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Matthew 11:20-24 – Harsh Judgment

Read Matthew 11:20-24

We may read Jesus’ rant here and be a bit surprised. But, we shouldn’t be surprised at Jesus’ words but by the unrepentant sinners of whom he is speaking. We might ask, how do you experience healing, even just as a witness, and not be changed? Or, how do you go back to business as usual after seeing a miracle from God? God is awesome, we should stand amazed!

Do we take our own faith for granted? Do we need constant reminders to keep us focused on God? How long will God be patient with us? It may be hard to picture Jesus with anger in his voice, but he was human. He was surprised at the lack of faith that followed his work. He came to draw people to himself. You would think the people who had seen his great miracles would be especially drawn in and want to know him more.

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Hebrews 6:1-12 – Don’t Go There

Read Hebrews 6:1-12

Some troubling verses pop in today’s reading. We all know people who have been close to us in the body of Christ and then drifted away for one reason or another. Perhaps there was a relationship meltdown, or difficulty with unanswered questions, or feeling the expectations of the church were too limiting. The reality is we have a choice of whether we focus on growing closer to God or just coast along. Those who coast will certainly drift. The author knew this, and we’ve seen it too. It is merely good practice to be warned of the consequences or at least the probabilities of that choice.

The writer paints a pretty drastic and tragic picture here for his audience. Who would want to be locked out the kingdom of God with no possibility of being redeemed? Those who scoff wouldn’t care at first, but when enlightenment returned, if ever, what then? The reality is that more times than not, people don’t return. There is no desire.  Continue reading “Hebrews 6:1-12 – Don’t Go There”

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2 Peter 3:1-13 – The Lord is Coming

Read 2 Peter 3:1-13

If Jesus announced he was coming to your house today -what would your first thought be? Would it be, “Oh, no! The refrigerator is empty and there is nothing to serve him?” Would it be you couldn’t remember if you’d made the bed or taken out the trash? Are we ready to invite Jesus into our messy lives? Don’t you think he already knows how we live?

Today’s reading reminds us that Jesus is coming again, just like he said. It’s not our place to question when, because “the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.”  Once we are able to stop worrying about the “when” we can begin to put all of our focus on being ready. God is being patient because he doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed and wants everyone to repent.

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