How is the story of Abraham and Isaac connected to Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Let us first briefly examine God’s promise of a son to Abram and Sarai (later called Abraham and Sarah) when he was 75 years old and she was 65. Even though a son is not directly mentioned in this text by God, a hint is given. This promise is written about by Moses in Genesis 12:1-4
Regardless of what comes our way, God is greater. Nothing can push God into a corner or surprise Him. He is the sovereign and supreme King of kings and Lord of lords and, “according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3b-5). The life of every believer is now and for all eternity in the safe hands of God. Our blood-bought future includes a new heaven and earth for all who trust the Gospel, where all believers truly will live happily ever after with their God. Do not lose heart – our future in Christ is beyond all comparison.
In our time of need and suffering the best move is to draw near to God. In Christ, we can be sure that God is with us and close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). We shouldn’t doubt God’s goodness, justice and love when we witness or experience suffering. Instead, it should underscore God’s mercy and love for a broken humanity. God sent His only begotten Son to enter and be involved in our mess, sorrow and pain.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 Followers of Jesus everywhere have been called and empowered by the Spirit of God to go and spread the …
Doubt and despair. Who hasn’t experienced uncertainty and the lack of trust in something or someone? Doubt can make us hesitant in making decisions or question someone’s motives or capabilities. Despair is the feeling of hopelessness. It’s when we end up in a place in our minds that keeps us caged and feeling defeated and doomed. Difficult and painful circumstances in life can lead us to despair. In life we will all find ourselves in times of hopelessness, discouragement and even doubting God’s presence or goodness. But the good news is that there is a way out of doubt and despair.
Jesus gives us some clues in His teachings on how we should be making peace. Any loving actions and words that help overcome enmity between us and others is a good start. And to be more specific, we are to pray for those who persecute us. In order to pray for God to bless our enemies we (super)naturally need to walk in forgiveness and not hold on to any offenses. As Paul tells us we are to, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
This past weekend at Coastal Church we started our series on the Beatitudes that beginsJesus’ Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5-7. In these chapters we read a collection of Jesus’s teachings that have greatly impacted, inspired and transformed people globally. In this blog, I will be mainly focusing on the first Beatitude found in Matt. 5:2: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In verse one we see Jesus observing the large crowds as he walked up the mountainside and then sitting down, which was the well-known posture of a teacher.
Love! In English there is only one word for love. It’s a word we use a lot to express how we feel about food, fashion, friends and family. Love is something we want – and desire to experience. But the type of love we read about in John’s Gospel is different, in fact it’s divine. In the original language of the New Testament, the Greek used multiple words for love. In John 3:16, the author uses the word agape, which speaks of God’s selfless, undeserved and unconditional love towards a broken and fallen world. God loves a world that does not and cannot love Him back in return, unless He makes the move to change our hard hearts and renews a right spirit within us
May the Lord help us to keep growing in our adoration and worship of Him as the Lord of Hosts and our God. May the Spirit empower us to live a holy life in which our thoughts, words and actions honor Him and point people to the King of kings and Lord of lords who is seated on the throne interceding for us (Romans 8:34).
How do we avoid doing what is right in our own eyes? For starters, we need to avoid relying on our own understanding, but instead trust in the Lord with all our heart. We must set our eyes on Jesus and follow His teachings that are spirit and life (John 6:63). We repent of the things that have been filling our hearts and minds that diminish our love for God.