Monthly Archives: March 2014

Matthew 12:38-45; Luke 11:24-36 — When we refuse to invite the Spirit in

With Jesus condemning the Pharisees for saying that he was casting out demons by Satan’s power, the Pharisees then demanded a sign from heaven to prove he was doing it by God’s power.  Of course, even had he done so, … Continue reading

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Matthew 12:33-37 — What comes out of our mouths

It always bothers me when people swear.  It especially bothers me when Christians swear.  Because what we say shows what’s in our hearts.  Our words show the state of our hearts. When Jesus heard the Pharisees saying he was demon … Continue reading

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Matthew 12:22-32; Mark 3:22-30; Luke 11:17-23 — The danger of hardening our hearts

In this passage, we see another confrontation between the Pharisees and Jesus.  A blind and mute man was brought to Jesus, apparently because of demon possession.  Jesus cast out the demon, and immediately, the man could talk and see. Everyone … Continue reading

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Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:20-21, 31-35; Luke 8:19-21 — Closer than family

It can be painful to be misunderstood by those we love.  I’ve mentioned before that Jesus experienced that in the temple when he was 12.  His own parents didn’t understand him. Here again, we see his family not understanding him.  … Continue reading

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Luke 8:1-3 — From blessed to blessing

This is a passage that’s very short, but teaches a very important lesson.  We see Jesus here going out from town to town, preaching the gospel.  And along with his disciples, we see three women, Mary Magdalene, the wife of … Continue reading

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Luke 7:36-50 — Where’s your love?

As I look at this passage, I suppose the question I ask myself is, “How much do I really love Jesus?” We see in this passage two people.  One was a woman who lived a sinful life.  What she did, … Continue reading

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Matthew 11:25-30 — Learning from Jesus

I’ve got to admit, after graduating from university, I never had a real desire to go back to school and get my masters degree or anything like that.  Looking back on it now, if I had to do it over … Continue reading

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Matthew 11:20-24 — Can’t believe? Or won’t?

There are a lot of people that say, “I just can’t believe in God.” And they’ll go on to list all the reasons for their unbelief.  But for the vast majority of such people, it’s not really a matter of … Continue reading

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Matthew 11:16-19; Luke 7:31-35 — Trying to please everyone

There is an old saying, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” This was true even for the Son of God.  Jesus was perfect.  … Continue reading

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Matthew 11:7-15; Luke 7:24-30 — Rejecting God’s purpose for us

We were made for a purpose.  God’s purpose.  What is that purpose?  First and foremost, a relationship with him.  Second, a relationship with those he has put around us.  To touch them and to be touched by them.  And finally, … Continue reading

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Matthew 11:1-6; Luke 17:18-24 — Struggling with doubt

It’s nice to know that the “heroes” of the Bible had struggles too.  That they had fears.  That they had doubts. I’m sure that’s exactly what John the Baptist was going through in prison.  He had been doing a great … Continue reading

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Luke 7:11-17 — The God who has come, the God who is near

“Where is God?” In the midst of tragedy, people often ask this question.  I’m sure the widow in this story asked the same.  Her husband had already died, and now her only son was gone.  Not only were these the … Continue reading

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Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10 — Grace and faith

As I look at these two passages, there are distinct points that I gather from each account. In the Lukan account, we find that when the Roman centurion asked for Jesus help, he got the support of the Jewish elders … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49 — What we build our lives on

And so we come to the end of the Sermons on the Mount and the Plain. Both end the same way, with a challenge.  Essentially, Jesus sums it up by saying, Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do … Continue reading

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Luke 6:43-45 — What is in your heart

One thing that I notice about Jesus is that while he will repeat illustrations, he’ll apply it to different situations.  In Matthew, we see him apply the idea of a good tree bearing good fruit and a bad tree bearing … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:15-23 — Testing those you listen to

After Jesus tells us to go through the narrow gate that leads to salvation, he gives us a warning. Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  (15) People often … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:13-14 — When being broadminded is not such a good thing

A common criticism the world has of the Christian is, “Why do you have to be so narrow minded?  Why can you be more broadminded?  Why does Jesus have to be the only way to heaven?” But there are some … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31 — Doing good, not just avoiding evil

I find the placement of the “Golden Rule” a little jarring in Matthew.  It doesn’t seem to quite fit, particularly with the “Therefore” at the beginning of it.  I suppose it’s pointing back to the totality of Jesus’ message up … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:1-13 — The Father who gives good gifts…generously

In America, there are some Bible teachers that say that if you want something from God, just claim it in Jesus name, and he has to give it to you. For a lot of these people, God is like their … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:6 — Wasting your breath

I mentioned in the last blog that while Jesus warns us against hypocritical judging, he does call us to rebuke people who are in sin.  But when we do so, we should keep something else in mind:  who we’re rebuking. … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 6:39-42 — Hypocritical judging

One of my favorite comedy groups when I was growing up was Isaac Air Freight.  (Does anyone still remember them?)  They did a lot of Christian comedy sketches, and one that’s always stuck with me was one called “Final Minutes” … Continue reading

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Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:36-38 — When we judge others

It is so easy to judge others for their shortcomings.  To rail on them for their character or their deeds.  It’s especially easy to do so when they’ve hurt us. I think it’s very interesting that in the Lucan account, … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:25-33; Luke 12:22-34 — Worry

This is one of those passages that I know in my head, but I don’t know if it has truly sunk into my heart.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it hasn’t. I know because I still worry about stuff, most … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:19-24; Luke 11:34-35 — Setting our sights

I talked briefly yesterday about how if we set our sights on the sins we want to avoid, saying constantly to ourselves “I have to stay away from this,” we are actually more likely to fall to temptation.  That a … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4 — A daily spiritual battle

Every day, we are fighting a spiritual battle.  That’s why Jesus instructed us to pray, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.  (Matthew 6:13) We’re living in an evil world, in which the prince … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:12, 14-15; Luke 11:4 — Not an option

This is one of the hardest passages in scripture for many people to deal with.  Jesus teaches us to pray, Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…For if you forgive men when they sin against you, … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3 — Praying for our needs

One of the most amazing things to me is that the God of this whole universe cares about me, even the simple and perhaps mundane things.  Yet he does.  And so Jesus tells us to pray, Give us today our … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:10; 11:2 — His Kingdom, His Will

I was in a quandary this morning.  I was asked in for an interview for a job that would be higher paying and have better benefits than the one I have now.  Whether I’ll get it or not, I don’t … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2 — The one who is worthy of our honor

Well, I have a praise report before I start this blog.  After 2 months of fighting my computer, I finally figured out the problem.  A corrupted hard drive.  So with my new hard drive in, hopefully all my problems are … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:1-2 — Our Father

I suppose I could breeze through the Lord’s prayer, but I just felt it might be good to take it a line at a time. In these passages, Jesus teaches us how to address God.  In Matthew, he says, “Our … Continue reading

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Matthew 6:7-8 — Empty words

Prayer is simple.  And yet somehow, it is difficult. At its base, prayer is simply talking to God, just as you would talk to any other person. If that’s all prayer is, why is it so difficult sometimes then?  I … Continue reading

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