Grace Is Like That

You may be familiar with the commercial or saying, “There are some things money can’t buy” You can buy a comfortable bed, but you cannot buy sleep. There was a man who had everything going for him. This was a man of position, power and popularity. He was very successful, respected by all. This is how he is introduced to us in Scripture. But he had a big problem, a problem he could not buy a solution for with all his riches. You see all accolades could not buy him what he truly wanted in life. He had great accomplishments and success, but he wasn’t content in life because he had a terminal illness and imagine, even though he had enough money, fame, and people in charge, nothing could cure him. I guess the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Jesus – A Foundation or Ruin

Everything you do is determined by a belief or beliefs, certain principles. How you make sense of the world if governed by your beliefs. These beliefs become the foundation of your worldview (the platform from which you stand to make sense of the world). Every society is governed by principles which are the foundations upon which nations are built.

The most important part of a building is the foundation, if the foundation is not strong, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the building is.

Identity Crisis

Lots of people in our nation suffer from identity crisis. Some don’t even know who they are anymore. They may not be happy with who they are and spend lots of money in search of becoming someone they would like to be. For a lot of people their identity is tied to their jobs, careers, looks, fame, money, spouse, sexual preference, etc. If your identity is tied to your job, then when you lose your job, you lose your identity; the same if you built your identity on your spouse, when he or she is gone, you will have an identity crisis.

Exploring God

Maybe you have seen the TV show by Morgan Freeman, “The story of God” For centuries people have wrestled with the question is there a God out there? How do you even know that God exists? Is there evidence out there to the existence of God? If the skeptics would consider the evidence they would know that God exists and that He wanted people to know him. So if you doubt his existence, he welcomes you to examine the evidence that point to himself. You can get to know this God, not just know about him.
Scripture tells us that what is known about God is plain or visible, it’s evident.

Is Restoration Even Possible

We all go through trials and difficult times in this life; things happen to us that tend to squeeze our joy and test our faith in God. As Christians you may feel at times empty, stagnant, and hopeless in the world. You may feel like God has left you; that he is not answering your prayers; you may feel you are running on empty, you need to be revived again, but you may not even know it’s possible; you don’t even know where to begin.

The Confession of a Skeptic

Last week we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. We talked about how the resurrection is truly the reason Christianity even exists. It is what gives us hope of eternal life. The apostles didn’t expect the resurrection, this is why they were amazed when they saw Jesus. Jesus began to appear to his disciples, to give them evidence that he was truly alive. This changed their sadness into joy. Imagine how joyous it would be to see the man who was killed talking with them again. John tells us that the evening of the same day when Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples were gathered, but Thomas was not there. Thomas is known my many as doubting Thomas, but I think we all could relate to him at some point in our lives.

Doubt is defined: as to be uncertain about something; to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely. To have no confidence in someone or something. Doubt is very common in us, it comes from the time the first humans doubted God.

Jesus Is Alive

It must have been an awful weekend for the apostles and followers of Jesus; their leaders got arrested on Thursday evening and then nailed to a cross on Friday afternoon. This was a horrifying weekend for followers of Jesus. Their hopes and dreams were shattered by a cross. Jesus was the one they thought would restore the kingdom to Israel, their expected messiah. Jesus had told his followers that they would fall away because of him. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered” (Matt. 26:31; Mk.14:27; Zech.13:7). This is exactly what happened when Jesus was apprehended; his followers abandoned him. Fear and insecurity had gripped them. They chose to hide and they would lock the doors for they were afraid, they would be hunted down for being followers of Jesus. The death of Jesus was a shocker to them; they didn’t expect it nor did they want it. The news of the resurrection was also a shocker for Jesus’s followers. They didn’t expect Jesus to rise from the dead either. If they had expected it, they would have gone home thinking “ok Jesus, see you in three days.” They had forgotten Jesus’s words to them about the resurrection. Every time Jesus spoke of his death, he also emphasized raising up on the third day.

Save Us Now Please

Today is what is known in our times Palm Sunday, a week before Easter or resurrection Sunday. The Bible calls this time, the triumphant entry, the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, a week before his death. This story is told in the four gospels. Why is this significant? This is the only time in which Jesus openly revealed himself as the expected messiah to the world. We know that Jesus’ identity had baffled a lot of people, but a week before Jesus died, he showed himself to the world as the expected messiah.
There were lots of people in Jerusalem at this time for the Feast of Passover was near.

Christ’s Message to the Church – You Make Me Sick

Today we will finish the series on the seven churches of Revelation. Revelation 2-3 are seven letters of Jesus sent to seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey). We have seen thus far how each church has its own challenges; each letter is addressed in context to whatever was going on in the church and even in the city where the church was located. Today we will look at the church in Laodicea.

Christ’s Message to the Church – Philadelphia

Today we will look at the church in Philadelphia, one of the seven churches to which Jesus sent messages through the apostle John.
Philadelphia is known as “Alashehir (city of god, exalted city). It was believed to be founded by Attalus Philadephus, so called because of his love and loyalty to his older sibling. This city was very syncretistic, from Anatolian and Hellenistic practices. Its patron deity was Dionysus, god of wine. This city was almost destroyed in 17AD by an earthquake that devastated Sardis and nearby cities. The population of the city was small due to the constant earthquakes; this caused people to move outside the city. Philadelphia became a missionary center for spreading the Greek language and customs into eastern parts of Lydia and Phrygia.
Some believe disciples of Paul planted this church there.

Christ’s Message to the Church: Wake up church!

We have been looking at the seven churches in Revelation; seven churches to whom Jesus sent seven letters through the apostle John. We have looked at Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira and today we will look at Christ’s message to Sardis.
Sardis was a very wealthy city in Turkey. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia in the 7 century BC. It was known for its crafts and artistry. This was the first city where silver and gold coins were made. Sardis became an important Persian city after it was conquered by Cyrus the Great in 6th BC. By the first century Sardis passed into the hands of the Romans. Sardis was conquered twice due to its lack of watchfulness.

Christ’s Message to the Church – Thyatira

We have been going through a series on the seven churches in Revelation. Revelation 2-3 are letters of Jesus to seven particular churches in Asia Minor (Turkey). Jesus told the apostle John to write on a scroll what he saw and send the message to those seven churches. We have covered thus far, Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum; today we will look at the church in Thyatira.

Thyatira is mentioned in Acts 16:11-15 While Paul visited the city of Philippi there was a woman there named Lydia from the city of Thyatira.