That's Not What I Meant To Say | April 11, 2017
When Jesus tells us we must "deny ourselves," what we deny is the way we try to control our lives, our spiritual life, and growth. We are always wanting to be the master of our transformation and spirituality. When I deny myself, I put Christ as the leader of my life.
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Mark 8:34 (NASB)
Trapping Jesus | April 12, 2017
We have all tried to use Jesus at one time or another to get what we wanted. We have all leaned into His grace to try to ensure ourselves a more comfortable life. We all know what it is like to try to "trap Jesus" and use Him to our personal advantage.
Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
Matthew 22:15-16 (NASB)
Burning Bridges | April 13, 2017
Jesus was in rare form in his last week before His passion. If He would have simply played the politician, He would have skated happily by into the following year, enjoying the festivities at the Passover feast.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?
Matthew 23:29-33 (NASB)
Religious Violence | April 14, 2017
One of the most common malfunctions of any religious system is when it uses the cover of protecting truth and avenging God as a precursor for violence. When religious people feel the need to hurt others to ensure that morality and truth are kept intact, they have started to head down the slippery slope of hell.
Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”
Matthew 26:67-68 (NASB)