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The Secret to the Great Commission

Overcoming Fear of the Great Commission There are as many methods as there are fears for Christians when they read and consider the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20. Many of us would agree that it is not easy to share our faith with friends, family, and especially….gasp….strangers. We fear rejection, we fear stumbling over our words, etc.  But maybe something is there in the words Jesus spoke to his eleven faithfuls that we’ve missed, and maybe it’s the secret to vanquishing our fears of evangelism. Let’s read the Commission together, Jesus and his disciples have just met on the mountain in Galilee where they have worshiped Him for the first time as their resurrected Lord.       And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of […]

Guilty of Good Works

Matthew 28:11-15 Every Verse Counts I’m finally coming up on the final few verses in the gospel of Matthew after spending the past year reading/studying in this book. There are a couple of reasons why it’s taken so long to plow through only twenty eight chapters, the first being the undeniable truth that ALL Scripture is God breathed, and therefore NONE of it should be dismissed, skimmed over, thought irrelevant, or taken lightly. I mean, if God is responsible for every last word/story in the Bible (which 2 Tim.3:16 gives him credit) then everything is in there for a TIMELESS purpose, right? 1 Peter 1:25 says “the word of the Lord remains forever“, so that tells us that it was written for all the ages, and nothing in it is out of date. I personally don’t want to miss the message God is speaking through each and every verse because […]

Fear and Great Joy in The Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – Matthew 28:1-10 The Empty Tomb In the cool of the early morning, before the sunrise, two women quickly made their way to the graveyard clutching a parcel of spices prepared for the body of their beloved Teacher and friend. Their hearts pounded with fear as they thought of the battle hardened Roman soldiers who stood guard at the tomb, and of the impossible mountain that sealed the entrance to where He lay. All the others were in hiding, fearful of the wrath of the ones who had crucified their Leader, yet these women’s love and desire to serve Him even in His death was greater than their fear for their lives. As they approached the tomb, the morning still shrouded in darkness, a bolt of lightning cut through the sky and an earthquake trembled the ground beneath them. When all was settled they saw the […]

The Lamb, the Curtain, and the Cross

Jonah It’s interesting how most of the stories in the Old Testament have been deemed children’s stories by the world and the church alike. Of course, those of us in the church would say that we absolutely believe that those stories are true, but honestly when you think of the Story of Jonah (a.k.a. “Jonah and the Whale”) do you see something like this, In actuality, can you envision sinking down into the dark depths of the ocean after being cast overboard into the most violent storm imaginable, and seaweed coiling around your head, unable to breathe, and hearing the sound of a massive fish (maybe a whale) descending upon you with an open mouth? What happened to Jonah was significant for his time but also was ordained by God as an illustration of what would happen to Jesus. Jesus was buried in the earth for three days (just as […]

The Agonizing Will of God and our Sanctification

When Pain Paves the Way for Salvation: Several years ago I sat and wept as I listened to Pastor Bill Wilson of Metro Ministries share his testimony, and the stories of the many children they serve through his “Sunday School church” in Brooklyn, New York and around the world. As a child, Bill Wilson was abandoned by his mother on the streets of New York. One day, as they walked down the street together, she instructed him to sit down on the curb and wait for her to return. He sat and waited for three days and she never came back. A Christian man noticed Bill alone and stopped to find out if he was okay. He picked him up, brought him home, and paid his way to a Christian summer camp where Bill heard the gospel and was saved by God’s grace. He now runs Metro Ministries which serves […]

The Bloody Gospel

Matthew 27: 27-31 – Jesus is Flogged and Mocked A Brief Summary of My Testimony A thought crossed my mind once when I was looking at the Christian Movie Review site PluggedIn.com, “Am I willing to watch a movie that contains content that Jesus was punched in the face for, spat upon for, and flogged for?” My answer today is an emphatic “NO”, but at the time, believe it or not, I felt disturbed by the thought but quickly pushed it out of my head so that I wouldn’t feel guilty about a particular movie I wanted to watch. I went to church, called myself a Christian, was involved in leadership, and had even spoken out against such entertainment when teaching at youth events. Something was wrong on the inside of me though, it was a cold, dead heart. I loved church, I loved my Christian friends, I loved an […]

Quit Fighting the Sovereign Will of God

The First Fruits of Our Day I want to just take a moment at the beginning tonight and share a bit about what mine and Shane’s evenings look like once we put the kids to bed. We like to put our kids to bed early so that we can have time to spend together, and more importantly time to spend with our Lord. As soon as the kids are tucked in and their door is closed we try our best to get our Bible’s open right away and to begin reading and studying from wherever we left off the night before.  Our goal right now is to read and study a new passage one night, then study it further and blog it out the next night. After spending anywhere from 1.5-2 hrs (sometimes longer) doing our devotions we share with each other what we’ve discovered and learned and talk it […]

Judas Changed His Mind

“I’m going to Change my Heart and Obey now” I have often marveled at how God teaches me about myself and my relationship with him through my son. The day after Max was born I lay in my hospital bed staring at his tiny frame in the bassinet beside me and I felt like I caught a glimpse of how Jesus was able to die for me. I hardly knew this little person yet, but I knew I would die for him that instant if necessary. Then when he was about three years old my husband, Shane, was trying to vacuum our living room and Max insisted on “helping”. He could barely hold the vacuum cleaner by himself, but as he struggled away I realized that just as we did not need Max’s help to vacuum (in fact it kind of slowed the cleaning process down) but we wanted him […]

Share in the Suffering

Sharing in the Suffering of Christ – Matthew 26:30-35 If the World Hates You… Suffering with Christ. This is a subject that I feel very unqualified to write about. As I sit in my warm living room sheltered, well fed, and safe it’s hard to imagine lying on the cold floor of a prison, being beat, or cast out of my family because of my faith in Jesus. I just finished reading several stories of Christian men and women who were persecuted and martyred for their unapologetic and unwavering devotion to Christ and biblical truth in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Then I went to The Voice of the Martyrs website and read the most current updates of Christians who are suffering right now as I write for their testimony of the gospel. One young pastor in Uganda is trying to recover tonight from the physical and emotional scars of being […]

Sleepy Christians

Jesus Praying in the Garden Matthew 26:40-46 Jesus found them Sleeping… I have an eight week old baby. Have you ever heard the saying “I slept like a baby”? I guarantee you it does not mean that you slept well. For me it means going to bed at 11:30pm for a two and a half hour nap, waking up to feed the baby in my sleep, then laying back down for another three and a half hour nap before getting up again to feed the baby and then starting my day. With a five year old and an “almost” two year old ready to take on the world at 6:30am each morning and then a flurry of activities ranging from homeschooling to cooking meals to swimming lessons, etc. I am utterly exhausted by the time we land on the couch at night once the kids are all tucked nicely in […]