Everyone who bumps into Jesus has to decide whether or not they need Him in their life. Whether a search for truth or life or forgiveness or hope led us to Him, or we found ourselves presented with the life and work of Jesus by a friend or stranger, there is a basic evaluation we run through to decide how far we are willing to hear or receive this Jesus. But the admission of sin requires us to overcome complications which tend to stop us in our tracks.Continue reading “6 Complications to Admitting Our Sin and Facing Our Need for Jesus”
Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).
Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.
When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?
Just four months ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether it is the right day of the year or how it is misused, Christmas is a time of celebration and joy.
Good Friday is different. Those who know Easter is coming recognize the darkness of today will turn to eternal light on Sunday. Grief will turn to wonder. Jesus’ victory overshadows Satan’s temporary victory. We tend to treat Good Friday as a hiccup. It appears and then it’s gone, a blip on the radar.
Maybe it’s because Good Friday reminds us how broken our world is. Sure, we see the news and pray for nations and people hit by tragedy. Brokenness seems obvious. Yet today’s message of brokenness is about sin, judgment, and justice. But the good news of the Gospel is how God sent Jesus to redeem our brokenness and make us whole and new again.
Repentance is a word church folks prefer to avoid. While it’s true we want to be reminded of grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, spiritual cleansing, and wholeness, we tend to rush toward the words that feel good and forget about the difficult, but necessary word which opens the door to the rest.
The act of repentance is most often discussed when we are inviting people to believe in Jesus Christ. He will forgive every fault, wipe away every failure, and wash away the stains of our selfish living. All we have to do is repent and believe.
We need to be reminded how repentance is not meant only for our initial salvation, the day we drew near to God and believed in His Son, Jesus. Repentance is God’s call for us, every single day.
[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”80%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]My good friend, Kevin Senapatiratne, travels around North America encouraging Christians in prayer through his ministry Christ Connection and books like Enjoying Prayer and his revised edition of Charles Finney’s Lectures on Revival. I shared this guest post on his blog this week. [/dropshadowbox]
Christmas is a season filled with every kind of emotion. It contains some of the greatest highlights of the year, while there are those who find it bothersome, a lot of work, and even discouraging.
Jesus came to share God’s gifts of love, joy, hope, peace, and good news. We celebrate and have incredibly happy moments with family and friends. But there are times when all we feel are the burdens, worries, and stresses of the season.
One of the craziest elements about Christmas is presents. Gift giving can be extreme stressful, even though it is often born out of love. “What will we get them? How much should we spend? Which style should I wrap it in? Will they even like?” I wonder how much the Wise Men worried over the gifts they brought to the newborn King.
It can also be hard to receive gifts. To make things easier, we prefer to ask for certain things. It’s better to nudge towards something we’d really enjoy than be ungrateful for the gift from a friend or loved one. What if we took the time to ask God for gifts in our lives?
It’s all over Facebook. You can’t miss it. Even Indiana Jones is in on it now. Starbucks removed “Merry Christmas” from their red cups (if it was ever there before). A simple change by an international company has split the Christian community in two.
Some want to “prank” Starbucks. It isn’t a boycott; quite the opposite really. The plan is to introduce ways to get Starbucks to do what it has decided not to do: acknowledge Christmas. No one is trying to close stores or hurt the company’s bottom line. The original video actually calls on Christians to bring their business to any and all Starbucks locations to reintroduce Jesus and Christmas.
The other side of the battle is annoyed that anyone would go to so much trouble over something so trivial. It’s a coffee cup. “What would Jesus do?” Start a revolution, an international prank-fest? If you don’t like it, drink your coffee somewhere else. #MerryChristmasStarbucks isn’t worth the bad publicity it produces for the church.
But is it really that simple? It never is. The fact the campaign went from a positive video on one guy’s Facebook page to negative and pocking-fun memes galore reveals how big a nerve was hit. The church just found out it has an exposed nerve, and it doesn’t have anything to do with coffee cups.