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Showing posts from March, 2014

That the Works of God Might Be Displayed

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And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2-3). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Seeing this man’s condition, the disciples ask the question we continue to ask in such cases: “Why?” They apparently believe that such a physical defect must have been caused by some particular sin. In this case, they ask: “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” People often think that way to this day: “I’m suffering, it must be for some sin I committed.” The question is difficult. If the man’s own sin caused his blindness, how could he have sinned so bad while in the womb? If his parents’ sin caused it, that seems unfair. Still, the disciples thought that one or the other was true. It was a commonly held belief, so they didn’t think…

When You Pray, Say: "Thy Will Be Done"

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Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:35-40). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! When you pray, say: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us als…

Come, See This Man!

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“Come, see a Man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29). Oh, perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me first tell you what happened; then you’ll see why you have to meet this Man. It seemed like an ordinary day. Not much was going on in the dusty town of Sychar. Yet something strange happened that noon when I trudged the familiar trail to draw water from the well just outside of town. I didn’t know it yet, but that something (actually, Someone) was about to change my life. There was a traveler sitting there alone by the well. He looked tired and worn out. At a glance I could tell that He was a Jew. I tried to ignore Him, just wishing He’d move away from the well so I could get my work done. Sweaty Jew. Why couldn’t He pick a different spot to rest? I came here specifically at this time to avoid people. The other women came out as a group to draw water when it was cooler, but they treated me like an outcast, not …

When You Pray, Say: "Thy Kingdom Come"

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The text for today is John 18:28-40: Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered Him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and judge Him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death He was going to die. So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests…

Baptism: Born Again, Born from Above

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“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! At one time or another, every Christian feels the need to have some sort of sign or evidence that God is truly in his or her life. For some Christians, this happens during times of great loneliness or hardship. In the midst of his struggle, a suffering Christian will deeply desire some sort of assurance, some indication from God, that everything is going to turn out okay. “Lord, just give me a sign!” Other Christians desire a sign from God when they are agonizing over a major decision in life, such as whether to change jobs; whether to marry this girl or that one. “If God would give me some small indication that He is guiding me in all of this, my difficult dilemma would not seem quite so daunting.” Still other Christians will look at their ongoing struggle with sin and despairingly th…