Quit Trying (7/24/16)

Please pray the following prayer with me: “Lord, please quite my mind and heart to the things that might distract me from hearing from you about an issue most of us don’t think about enough – the size of our ‘buts.’”

Note how I spelled “but.” It only has one “t.” Not two. How many times do we say things like, “Lord, I would do it but….” I tried to finish this but….” “I would like to attend the small group but….”

May the Lord convict us about our “buts” as we enter into the world of Jesus and his followers. (more…)

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The Bread and the Cup (7/17/16)

Matthew 26:17-30 says, 17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

                18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

                20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

                22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

                23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

                25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

            Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

                26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

                27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

                30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Jesus is being betrayed by someone close to him. Judas was one of his chosen disciples. Judas was one of those who were amazed when Jesus healed people from chronic diseases and freed others from the captivity of demon possession. He was awed when Jesus walked on water. He was shouting “Hosanna” and placing palm branches on the road when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. We know he was a trusted member of the group since he was their treasurer. He blended in because the other disciples didn’t know who Jesus was talking about when Jesus said, “one of you is going to betray me.” Perhaps Judas himself didn’t realize how devastating his actions would be since he responded with, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” (more…)

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