In John 9, the disciples, confused by the suffering of a man born blind from birth, ask Jesus, whose sin caused the man's blindness. Jesus' answer directs the disciples not to the cause but the purpose of the man's blindness. Jesus teaches us that our suffering is not meaningless. In everything that happens to us, God has a purpose and a desire to bring glory to his Name through either our deliverance or by supplying sustaining grace that keeps us trusting and satisfied in Jesus.
The “vertical” dimension of worship has a tension between reverence and immanence when we are in the presence of God. It can be difficult to know the right way to intimately express our pain to God without crossing over into disrespect. Habakkuk is a short book, but it shows a prophet struggling with God about the destruction and suffering that is about to take place. We will look at the worship song that ends the book to get ideas on how to encounter with our pain—and to use a short template to do it well.
We pick up this morning in John chapter 8 in the midst of a scandalous conversation between Jesus and his hearers in the temple. This conversation quickly escalate such that the crowds hurl insults and slurs at Jesus and He very plainly tells them, you can’t receive me or my words because of your spiritual paternity. And interspersed throughout the conversation, Jesus shares several incredible glorious truths about himself and what He is offering them (and us), nothing less than freedom from sin, safety from death and eternal life.
Today is a day for fathers to be thankful to God for the gift of fatherhood. And it is a day to recognize and be reminded of the role and responsibility of fathers. This morning we recognize the importance of a father’s work in teaching and equipping his children such that they would know, love and obey God. And as a result, live lives under the banner of God's blessing.
Jesus does not merely reflect light, or produce light. Jesus IS light. In this morning’s message, we will explore what it means for Jesus to be light in our world and in our lives. May God use us to reflect Jesus’ light into the dark world around us!
In a text not originally included in the Gospel of John, we get a glimpse of our glorious and gracious Savior. In the midst of a trap the scribes and Pharisees intended for evil, Jesus provides a beautiful display of God's love for wayward, sinful people. Jesus, throughout his earthly ministry was a friend of sinners. Indeed He came to seek and to save the lost. Perhaps this is nowhere made more clear, than in this interaction with an adulteress woman.
In the midst of a great debate about his true identity, Jesus reveals himself as the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. He is what the Feast commemorated and pointed to. He is the provider of the living water that gives and sustains life, true life, eternal life. Jesus invites everyone who is thirsty, that is, whose souls are searching for satisfaction, searching for joy, searching for relief and searching for hope to come to him and find what they are looking for. Let all who are thirsty come to him.
John wants us to see the conflict that will result in Jesus’ arrest, mistrial and murder. However, we can become too familiar with these stories. We want to recapture some of the shock these events should have. In all of this, we will continue to see John’s emphasis on how different parties respond to Jesus, such that we may respond with belief.
Each year on Mother’s Day we take advantage of this opportunity to honor mothers. Motherhood is a magnificent calling and an awesome work! Mothers have a ministry that is a means God uses to bless the world. And it is work to be sure. Being a mother, is a full-time gig, mothers are constantly working. It is a round the clock job. The work of motherhood has no boundaries. And because of this, this calling of motherhood is not to be undertaken merely in your own strength. Rather, God supplies the Holy Spirit as a means by which mothers may be strengthened, enabled and guided to be godly mothers whose lives bear good spiritual fruit.