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Repent, Believe, Persevere and Overcome

Dear Neighbor, Sin separates man from God. God is righteous and just but we are neither righteous nor just. It is not a sliding scale by which we are judged but it is perfection that we must obtain, the perfection of God. Jesus said: “You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” But we are not perfect, everyone has sinned and falls short of God’s glorious standard. We cannot turn back to God because only that which is perfect can be allowed in his presence. But God rich in mercy has made a way for sinful man to be righteous in his sight. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He lived a righteous life pleasing to God. He willingly died on a cross for our sins and rose again. Because Jesus was a perfect sin sacrifice, God can be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. There are two things that you must do; you must re

October 13, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Jesus was transfigured on the mountain to whom Moses and Elijah appeared in glory, speaking to Jesus of his departure from this world that was to be accomplished at Jerusalem.  Peter wanted to make three sacred tents; one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. Moses represents the Law, the first five books of the Bible. Elijah represents the prophets. In a Jewish context, the prophets are not only the writings of the prophets but what we call the historical books of the Old Testament; therefore, Moses and Elijah represent the two halves of the Old Testament which was the Bible for the New Testament writers. After Peter said to Jesus: “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (Luke 9:33) Peter did not realize what he was saying, for Jesus is greater than Moses or Elijah because he is the Son of God. While Peter was saying this to Jesus, a cloud began to form and overshadow them; and Pet

October 12, 2021

Dear Neighbor, I believe that one of the most fascinating parables that Jesus told was the parable of the sower. (cf. Luke 8:4-15) For one, it is one of the few parables that Jesus explains. Two, it explains why some follow Jesus Christ and others do not; though they may do so for a while and fall away, or may think that they are following the Lord when they are truly raped up with the things of this life. In this parable, the seed is the word of God and the soils represent the hearts of those whom the word of God is spoken too: beside the road, rocky soil, thorns, and good soil. Anyone who has done any type of planting knows that to grow a fruitful crop the soil must be prepared by the sower. It is the prepared soil that is the good soil, the good soil bears much fruit. The hard packed earth, like a road, has not been prepared by the sower. The rocky soil has not been prepared by the sower. The thorny soil has not been prepared by the sower. In fact, the word is not intended for these

October 11, 2021

Dear Neighbor, What are the actions of a thankful person? In Luke 4:38-39, there is a very short story about Jesus’ healing of Simon’s (Peter’s) mother-in-law. Jesus had been teaching in the synagogue, and the people were amazed at his teaching because unlike the rabies, Jesus spoke with authority. After leaving the synagogue, he came into Simon’s (Peter’s) home. Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever.  I do not know how Jesus came to be in Simon’s home. Did Simon (Peter) invite him or did Jesus suggest it? The text does suggest invitation because the text says that they asked Jesus to help hear. Jesus demonstrated compassion towards Simon’s (Peter’s) mother-in-law and for the household of Simon (Peter). Jesus stood over her, he rebuked the fever and it left her. If Jesus commanded that an illness or demon depart, it did what Jesus commanded. The high fever departed from Simon’s (Peter’s) mother-in-law upon Jesus rebuke of it. What does she do after the fever left her? D

October 10, 2021

Dear Neighbor, This is the day that the Lord God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps.118:24) Psalm 118 is a Psalm of Thanksgiving for the Lord’s saving grace.  Every single day is a blessing from the Lord our God. Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, makes us right in his sight. He did this through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; presenting him as the sacrifice for sin. Therefore, all are made right with God when they repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God is just to forgive the sins of all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom.3:23-26) Therefore, everyday is a day to rejoice and be glad because the Father God has given his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish (as the Law demands) but have eternal life in the new heaven and new earth. We should rejoice because there is no judgment against anyone who believes in Jesus. (Jn.3:16-18) It was early on the first day of the week th

October 9, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Do you hate sin? To love sin is insanity because the wages of sin is death.  Romans 1:32: and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Yet, everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Rom.3:23)  Why? This makes no since at all. Why do we do what is bad for us? Why do we damage our relationships and our bodies? Death and sorrow abound on the earth. I have stood over so many dying, pounding on the chest of a being created in the image of God, in a desperate attempt to keep them alive, knowing that what I am doing is in vain.  We are all slaves to sin. That is why we do what we do, but who will set us free?  Romans 7:24: Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? The answer is through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom.7:25) Jesus paid the price for our sin. He died a death that he did n

October 8, 2021

Dear Neighbor, Jesus was the master of analogy, metaphor and hyperbole; in doing so, he would state something that had to be payed attention too. In Mark 13:37, Jesus said to the disciples: “Be on the alert!” In Mark 13:33-37, Jesus had used the metaphor of a man away on a journey who put his slaves in charge of various task in his household. These slaves had to be ready, in a moment, to receive their master home. Everything must be kept in order to receive him and the tasks that each was assigned to he must be found doing. The Lord Jesus Christ will return on a day and hour of the Father’s choosing. No man knows the day or hour. Neither the angels in heaven or even the Son of God; only the Father God knows. But that day will come and what will the Lord find you doing when he returns? In the parable, Mark 13:33-37, Jesus is the man away on a journey, and the disciples are his slaves in charge, assigned each one his task. Every christian has a job assigned him by the master of the house