The Word for You Today
1. “Have High Expectations of God”
- I will…tell you…things you do not know. (Jer 33:33)
- God is not impressed with our strengths, nor is he limited by our struggles. He wants to do more through us.
- We should always respond in faith, trusting Him, not ourselves.
2. “Pray for Christians Under Attack”
- Remember those…who are mistreated. (Heb 13:3)
- If you are not willing to die for Christ, are you even able to live for him?
- Invest your time and talents for the cause of Christ, and start by praying for those going through turmoil and trauma.
3. “Keep Trying”
- Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matt 25:23)
- Learn from your mistakes and keep on going.
4. “The Truth about the Truth”
- You desire truth in the inward parts. (Ps 51:6)
- It is human nature to lie and cover up: The heart is deceitful above all things. (Jer 17:9)
- We blame it on the environment and how we were raised, but in reality we were born with that sinful nature, thanks to Adam and Eve.
- Can God trust us to be honest?
- “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mk 1:17)
- Jesus sometimes asks us to leave the security of the known to follow Him into the unknown.
- To keep growing in faith, we must take each step of obedience that is placed before us.
- Rise up; this matter is in your hands…take courage and do it. (Ezra 10:4)
- There is a greater power with us than with him. (2 Chron 32:7)
- Courage is what establishes you as a leader before others.
- A leader asks “What needs to be done?”, and then proceeds to do it.
Sparkling Gems from the Greek
1. Matt 27:32-35
· Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from
and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. And
they went out to a place called Cyrene Golgotha
(which means “Place of the Skull”). The soldiers gave him
wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink
it. After they had nailed
him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for
his clothes by throwing dice.
2. Matt 2:50-51
· Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the
was torn in two, from top to bottom.
The earth shook, rocks split apart, Temple
· When Jesus gave his last breath and died, the curtain in the temple that guarded the holy of holies was torn in two. This symbolized that now, because of the blood of Jesus, everyone can approach the throne of God anytime…not just the high priest once a year.
· No longer were sacrifices needed to atone for sin, for the blood of Jesus covered sins of those who believed in Him.
· We can now present our worship and our needs boldly to God at any time, for the Holy Spirit is now our Intercessor….not a priest.
3. John 19:38-42
· Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.
· The spices were extremely costly, and much was brought to cover the body of Jesus. This was how Nicodemus showed his love for Jesus.
· If others witnessed how we spend our money, would they see Jesus as our priority?
4. John 20:3-4
· Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
· If you want to be closer to Jesus, get up and start moving toward Him.
5. John 20:11-13
· Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
· The purpose of the cross is that we can be put back in a right relationship with God. Jesus finished the work of redemption on the cross…He paid it all.
· Jesus is our Shepherd and as His sheep we know His voice…we must follow Him and obey Him.