Having overcome Laban, Jacob prepares for his next obstacle on his way back home, his scorned brother Esau. On his way, the angels of the Lord met him and for some reason, Jacob saw it fit to rename that place Mahanaim, meaning two camps, one for him and one for God and his angels.
Jacob finally had enough of his uncle Laban’s attitude and after a message from God, finally got the nerve to return to his hometown and face his brother. He met with his wives privately in the fields to plan his exit strategy. He put forward his case in front of Laban’s daughters, pointing out how badly their father had treated him and let them in on his dream, that he thought was from God, asking him to go back to his homeland.
The revival in Ephesus did not sit well with the silversmiths in the region. Demetrius gathered his fellow craftsmen started a riot in Ephesus. The ‘Way’ had created a huge crater in their business. Playing with the people’s sentiments towards traditions and rituals, the idol makers of Ephesus created an uproar among the people.
Jacob finally arrived in the land of the eastern People and met few shepherds who were waiting to water their sheep near a well. This could have very well been the same well where Eliezer, Abraham’s servant met Rebecca almost a century ago….
The Pharisees and the Jewish leaders knew the scriptures by heart but could not fathom that the Messiah could come from a humble lineage and that Jesus came to serve rather than rule. Their worlds were turned upside down and they just could not accept that a man who spent his time with sinners was the one sent by God to save the world.
Jacob did not know God or the plans He had for him. Maybe that is why he was afraid of the dream he saw. The only way to know the heart of God is to have regular fellowship with Him. That was missing in Jacob’s life and truth be told, in most of our lives today.
The the chosen family became the fractured family where none of the four (Isaac, Rebecca, Esau & Jacob) trusted God to carry out his will but rather tried to intervene in every possible way to ensure their own will be accomplished. That might as we be the summary of our own walk with Jesus.
True fellowship is a friendship based on a mutual bond between two believers and that mutual bond must always be God.
Thomas was with Jesus for more than three years, he had seen all the miracles that Jesus had performed, how He raised the dead and would have been present for his countless teachings but still Thomas was unable to grasp the supernatural aspect of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
The age old saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree holds true as we see Isaac introducing Rebekah as his sister to Abimelek.
According to the above prophecy in psalms what Judas did was perhaps inevitable. However, when we read about Judas, we often jump to the conclusion that he was predestined to betray Jesus.
The two brothers who could not be more different from each other. One was a ladies’ man while the other was a lady like man. Esau was a hairy individual who loved the outdoors while Jacob was content managing the household chores. But Jacob was chosen by God to continue the lineage leading to Jesus while Esau had to be content with his bowl of soup.
Rebecca replaces Sarah as the leading lady of this story and we see God leading this family even while they are making seemingly arbitrary choices, regarding a burial site and perhaps a not so arbitrary choice in finding a life partner for Isaac.
Abraham saw a ram caught in a thicket and that ram replaced his son as the burnt offering. Just like that ram replaced Isaac on the alter, Jesus replaced all of us when he died for our transgressions. Perhaps this was the symbolic gesture that God was giving us through this example of a father sacrificing his son.
We saw in the last chapter that God had enabled everyone in Abimelek’s household to conceive again but Sarah was still kept barren. Abraham had laughed at the very thought of Isaac being born to Sarah, Sarah now has joyous laughter that God came through for her despite her disbelief and then there is Ishmael who is mocking his new younger brother. The Hebrew texts quite aptly say that Ishmael was laughing at Isaac. That captures the sentiment of everyone involved in this saga.
After experiencing close communion with God (Chapter 18) and seeing the destruction of the twin cities (Chapter 19), one would assume that Abraham would definitely be closer to God than ever before. But he was in fact back to his old ways. Moving to a land without God’s leading, we don’t see him building any altars or even praying to God, giving Sarah to be married to the ruler of that land by letting everyone believe they are siblings again and in the end profiting off of the ruler’s guilt, again!
It’s D day for Lot as the two angels reached the entrance of the twin cites. They are met by Abraham’s nephew lot at the city gate who much like his uncle, insists that they stay with him. But unlike with Abraham the Angels refused to stay with lot and would rather spend the night in the town square. Reluctantly they went with Lot but were greeted by the town welcoming committee in the most horrific manner.
God lets Abraham in on his plan to destroy the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah resulting in Abraham blatantly pleading for his nephew Lot. The pleading turns into negotiations with God agreeing to all of Abraham’s changes to the clauses but Abraham himself knew that his negotiations will not be able to save his nephew.
So we can finally start calling Abram as Abraham, as in this chapter, God renames Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many). Seems like a cruel joke to rename a guy who is about to turn 100 and whose wife is on the verge of turning 90. But when God renames someone, it is far from a joke, but rather an assurance of the fulfillment of the promise he had made to Abram almost a quarter of a century ago.
Test your Bible knowledge with this quiz on the fifth Chapter of the Gospel of John
I like the NIV heading as it doesn’t mention Abram or Sarai and just reads ‘Hagar and Ishmael’. Not surprising, given that this chapter reveals more details about the chosen family that we generally would not associate with the father of faith.
Test your Bible knowledge with this quiz on the Fourth Chapter of the Gospel of John
Chapter 15 starts off with God renewing his promise to Abram with the words “I am your shield, your very great reward”. That is what God was offering Abram. In a sense offering himself through the birth of Jesus the snake crusher.
But Abram misconstrues this to mean that God will bless him with great wealth and land and quickly speaks his mind saying that the inheritance that God is promising him in the future is of no use to him without a legal heir. He will surely not be alive to enjoy it and since he does not have any sons (not yet) his servant Eliezer’s family would reap the benefits.
Today we are looking at chapters 13 & 14 and in particular the relationship between Abram and Lot. We know very little about Lot up to this point. We know he accompanied Abram to Egypt and came back but apart from that the author of genesis has not revealed anything about Lot. Lot did not have a father and Abram did not have a son so it’s safe to say that Lot saw Abram as a father figure given that he also left his hometown to follow Abram. And Abram would have seen lot as his son and his presumed heir.
One day, Abram heard a voice asking him to leave his father’s household and go to the land of Canaan. Several years later, Abram listens to the voice and sets out from his hometown to the land that God had promised him.
This marked the beginning of the nomadic life for the chosen family and would be the first of their many travels. Much like this initial expedition, Abram’s spiritual journey was also in its infancy which can be clearly seen in today’s passage.
In the last chapter we saw God using a rainbow to remind us of his covenant with us but the incomplete tower of Babel will be forever a sign of our rebellion against Him.
This week we are discussing the Sunday school favorite story of Noah and the ark and see how God showed His grace upon Noah and his family and how Noah reciprocated by obeying God’s voice to the letter.
We are looking into genealogies this week, specifically the genealogies of Cain and Seth and see how God’s faithfulness is not dependent on ours.
The conversation between Jesus and the unnamed woman at the well gives us an insight into what God actually wants from us, that we worship Him in the Spirit and in truth. We discuss that and other bold claims Jesus made that baffled the woman and see how we can apply those truths in our lives.
Test your Bible knowledge with this quiz on the Third Chapter of the Gospel of John
The conversation between Jesus and the unnamed woman at the well gives us an insight into what God actually wants from us, that we worship Him in the Spirit and in truth. We discuss that and other bold claims Jesus made that baffled the woman and see how we can apply those truths in our lives.
The fall of man continues through the next generation as we see Cain not taking heed to God’s warning regarding the ‘crouching tiger’ and commits the first murder.
We discuss the first sixteen verses of Chapter 4 (Genesis 4:1-16) and see how man’s rebellion against God is prevalent even today.
Today, we look at John Chapter 3 and discuss the infamous conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus which gave us the verse that perfectly summarizes God’s love for mankind, the mankind that keeps failing to understand His love.
Nicodemus seems to represent our confused state and much like us, struggles to grasp the true meaning of Jesus’ words.
Genesis Chapter 3 starts off by introducing us to a new creature, the serpent, the craftiest of all wild animals that God had made. We discuss the impact of that infamous conversation between man and the Serpent and how God planned to redeem us through the Snake Crusher. (Genesis 3:15)
Test your Bible knowledge with this quiz on the Second Chapter of the Gospel of John
We continue our series on John and see the first of the many signs that Jesus performed where he used six dirty vessels to bring out new wine and had the same plans for the six ordinary men that were following him at the time of the wedding.
Test your Bible knowledge with this quiz on the first chapter of the Gospel of John
We continue our series on John and see the first three witnesses of Jesus
1. John the Baptist introduces Jesus to his onlookers – (John 1:19-34)
2. Andrew introduces Jesus to his brother Simon – (John 1:35-42)
3. Philip introduces Jesus to his friend Nathaniel – (John 1:43-51)
In this episode we cover the second half (v 19-51) of Chapter 1 of the book of John.
We discuss Jesus’ final hours before Crucifixion, how Judas agreed to betray Jesus and how Jesus gave the Passover festival a new meaning.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. The second chapter of the book of Genesis starts off with that line and goes into the details of how God created the first humans and placed them in this delightful garden where all their needs were provided.
We start our Series on the book of John and immediately are bombarded with callbacks from the very first book of the Bible. John takes us back to the creation and calls Jesus by three simple yet distinct names.
The Word (John 1:1), used to create everything, The Light (John1:4), the start of the creation and the Life (John 1:4), what God breathed into Adam’s nostrils.
In this episode we cover the first half (v 1-18) of Chapter 1 of the book of John.
We start our Series on the first book of the Bible, Genesis, which tells us about God’s wonderful creation, our subsequent fall and God’s plan for our redemption. Chapter one tells us how it all began and quite aptly the very first line of the bible is In the beginning.
We discuss the final two chapters of the book of Genesis and saw how Jacob and Joseph both desired to go back to the promise land during their final breaths.
Here’s the recording from last night’s Bible Study. We saw how God brought Jacob’s entire family to Egypt and provided the very best land for them.
Recording from Thursday’s Bible Study where we talked about how Joseph brought Egypt out of the famine straight but into slavery, eventually saving the entire country of Egypt and both his families from starvation.
Life lessons from Lot and pondering what could have been.
In Jerusalem, Jesus continues to teach and foretells the destruction of the temple in which the Israelites took great pride.
After arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus had to navigate several rounds of tricky interviews by various groups.
Jesus visits Jericho, his final pit-stop, on route to Jerusalem.
Jesus continues his ministry teaching about prayers, pride and wealth.
Love for money is the root cause for all kinds of evil. In the ancient days, man exchanged the goods and services in return for his own needs. In due course of time man invented money to replace the barter system.
The tax collectors and sinners and others who were shunned by the temple, were gathering around Jesus to hear his words. This bothered the Pharisees as they were the ones who had made them an outcast. Jesus heard their grumblings and proceeded with three parables of finding something that was lost. The Parable of the…
The Pharisees kept inviting Jesus to their homes in hopes of gathering evidence against him in order to nullify his radical claims. Maybe that’s why a ‘Prominent Pharisee’ would host a grand luncheon on Sabbath and break the very same law that he was accusing Jesus of violating..
Many TV Evangelists preach, what can only be described as the Gospel of Fear. They survey the current events from all over the globe and interpret them to their audience as punishment from God. Similarly the Jews thought themselves as righteous and labelled the Galileans who died at the hands of Pilate as sinners deserving death.
It takes no time for Yeast to quickly make its way through the dough and in the same way, hypocrisy penetrates our fellowships if we let it. The Pharisees were masters of hypocrisies with a set of rules for them and a different set of rules for their followers. Perhaps this is why Luke devotes half of the chapter recording Jesus’ warnings regarding the pharisees.
The disciples would have noticed Jesus withdrawing to a solitary place to pray several times and eventually one of them asked Jesus to teach them to pray too. Jesus tells them a very short yet a contained prayer.
Jesus wanted the disciples to completely depend on God, who is the ultimate provider and not waste time in letting better food or accommodation decide where they lodged in the city…
Jesus sent out the Twelve after giving them power and authority to drive our demons and cure diseases and to proclaim the kingdom of God. In asking them to take nothing for their Journey Jesus wanted to teach the disciples how to completely depend on God….
This Chapter starts off with Luke mentioning the women disciples about whom we hardly hear from the other writers and ends with Jesus giving two daughters a new life
The Centurion was an officer in the Roman army who was in charge of a hundred soldiers. He would have heard about the miraculous healing that Jesus was doing in the lives of the Jews and wanted to approach Jesus for his dear servant. He did not think that his position of power entitled him a visit from Jesus but thought himself unworthy to even approach Jesus. So he asked the elders of the Jews to carry his message.
After a hard night of fishing, Peter had returned to the shore disheartened, when he saw Jesus approaching. Jesus got into Peter’s boat and started to preach to the people gathered on the beach. Peter wrapped up his fishing gear and joined the others.
The last book of the Old Testament ends with letting the people of Israel know, that before the coming of our Lord, there will be another prophet like Elijah who will warn the nation to turn from their evil ways….
The inglorious Birth of the Glorious One.
When Luke sat down to write his account, the Gospel of Mark and probably even Matthew’s Gospel already existed. Then why did he decide to write another book on the life of Christ?
In the final section of the book of Acts, Luke records the last years of Paul’s ministry. Luke leaves us without closure and we do not know what happens to Paul. Either he was executed or Luke’s narration had led up to the present day and even Luke does not know what will happen next. However, Luke gives an extensive account of the works of the Holy Spirit which was the purpose of writing the book.
Paul’s final Missionary Journey to spread the Jesus movement.
We desire to get the latest phones for the minor upgrades that they offer, upgrades that we may never even need in our lives. How often do we upgrade our walk with Christ?
Paul set off in his second missionary Journey across Europe and makes new companions along the way.
I love this song and how it recounts the incident in John Chapter 8 from a different perspective, the one from our point of view.
An age old tradition threatens to derail the Jesus movement.
Mentioned only in the Gospel according to John, Jesus’ late night meeting with Nicodemus gave us the most influential verse and the summary of the entire Gospel in John 3:16.
The start of the Missionary journeys to spread the Gospel to all the Gentiles.
Peter visits an all night ‘Prayer’ group.
Cornelius was a centurion in the Italian Regiment and was stationed at Caesarea which was located about 33 miles to the north of Joppa. It was the capital of the Roman occupied Judea. Since it was a major seaport and fell on the main caravan route from Tyre to Egypt, it had a vast and diverse demography….
The Encounter that led Saul to the Jesus way.
The Church scatters and the Word is spread to the ends of the earth.
This song reminds me of Paul and how he would have felt when he regained his sight. After his encounter with Jesus, on the road to Damascus, Paul lost his vision. But when Ananias prayed for him something like scales fell from his eyes and he could see again. His spiritual eyes were also opened on that day and he saw the Jesus way. Paul took baptism and traded in his old life for a new one. The man who breathed murderous threats against the disciples of Christ was now not ashamed to proclaim the same Gospel to everyone. That encounter opened his eyes to the Wonder of Jesus.
The Killing of Stephen and the spread of the Jesus Movement.
The Church gets an admin wing.
The members of the first church start bringing their offerings to support the Jesus movement, some with good intentions and some with not so so good…
At the place where Jesus was almost stoned and amongst the people who crucified him, Peter and John, led by the Spirit, take a bold stand for the sake of the Gospel.
At the junction you’ve got these two rivers coming together and then you’ve got this tree right in the middle. Growing up in Alabama you don’t see trees like this everyday. While I’m walking out to take this photo this old farmer from the area is walking with me just chatting. He says to me, “you know these old trees like this, they’re strong for a reason. If you take all the dirt away, you would see just as much root as you would reach. ” Roots with no reach is useless. To Thrive as a believer is to have roots that dig in and to reach is to understand our goal. – Mark Hall
This song tells a timeless story — it helps us remember it anew and reflect on it in a different way. It’s the story of the Cross, of His resurrection, of the greatest love story in history. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This song is a story of the Cross, a story of love, and of rebirth. Anástasis, Jesus’ resurrection that leads us to respond to His great love for us! – Hillsong Worship
The festival of weeks or more commonly know as Pentecost is celebrated 7 weeks after Passover. On this day Jews from all over the globe would come to the Holy city of Jerusalem to be part of the festivities.
God is on the move. He is moving in the hearts and souls of Christians. He is moving in our churches. He is stirring our hearts to revival. We can hear it in the rumblings of the voices in our nation crying out for change. We can see in the way people are turning back to God. And, we can feel it in the way in which God is calling the people of the church to stand up. 7eventh Time Down sings about God moving in their song “God Is on the Move.” This song speaks to the ways and times God is moving. – Rare.Us
Luke starts his second book to Theophilus with a brief summary of the forty days that Jesus spent with his disciples.
BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS The song is simply about the amazing grace and unfailing love that this God, this King of glory, this King above all Kings, has shown to us. The verses are all about His majesty and what He has done, how He spoke the world into existence, how He…
We are a couple of months into the new year and by now, for some of us, the resolutions we made are a distant memory. Often times, upon hearing a powerful message or perhaps receiving the answers to our longtime prayers, we make a resolution with God but soon forget about it. At the beginning of the book of Samuel, we find the story of humble beginnings for a small family, living in the hill country of Ephraim and their resolutions with God that changed Israel’s political landscape.
In the coastal city of Joppa which was about eleven miles northwest from Lydda , resided Tabitha (Dorcas in Greek) who was on her death bed. Tabitha Dorcas was a tailor and a follower of the ‘Way’. The origins of her faith are not mentioned in the Bible…
“I’m thinking about the first verse. It says, ‘If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles. If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies.’ That was just such a part of my life for years, just dead end road after dead end road,I’ve conquered it. But it’s been through Jesus and not my own doing … He broke all those chains that I had basically given myself.” Zach Williams
Our christian lives are sometimes influenced by the people around us. There are so many theological schools of thought that we sometimes find it hard to know what we believe.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth – Philippians 2:9-11
“You Make Me Brave”., written and performed by songwriter, Amanda Cook, this compelling song carries passion, boldness, and a tangible anointing for connecting worshipers to the loving heart of Father God. From this intimate connection is where we are strengthened, encouraged, and filled with confidence to bravely influence the world around us. – Worshipu
“The initial melody and lyric of this song came from my guitar player, Daniel Carson. He is constantly writing and recording ideas, and from time to time I wander over to his world and listen. Among several demos, was this melody and lyric idea for a chorus that jumped out at me. At the same time, I was looking to use the name ‘Messiah’ in a song. The two ideas seemed to fit perfectly. Messiah is such a strong name for Jesus. For when you use that name, you are truly saying that He is the name above all names–that He is the Christ, the Son of God, the Chosen One, the Savior of the world. That’s why you will notice that every lyric in this song amplifies this idea of Jesus being the Messiah.” – Chris Tomlin
Jesus is the original Peacemaker. On the cross he took all of our affliction upon Himself and made peace with God for all mankind. It is from this cataclysmic act of glorious surrender and reconciliation that we find peace now and forever in and through Him. And it is in knowing the Prince Of Peace personally as He takes up residence in our hearts that we begin the process of being made into His likeness as PEACEMAKERS in this world.
– Joel Houston
During one of the gatherings where Jesus was teaching, a Lawyer asks Him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”. Jesus asks the Lawyer that in his opinion what does the law say in regards to obtaining eternal life. To which he promptly answers Love the Lord your God with all your heart and…
Take the quiz on the first dysfunctional family. Genesis 1-4
About two millennia ago Jesus died on the cross not just for the Jews but for every sinner in the world. At the cross, when enduring such excruciating pain, Jesus prays for forgiveness for the ones who put him there.
In the land of Aram (Syria in Greek) there lived a valiant soldier highly regarded by the king and was the commander of his forces. The lord had brought victory to Aram through this man. His name was Naaman. He had a perfect life, respected in his community and feared amongst his enemies. However with his great wealth he also had an incurable disease – Leprosy, the disease which caused one to be shunned from society and live as an outcast.
On his way to Galilee Jesus passed through the small town of Sychar inhabited by Samaritans. It was mid-day and the journey and the heat took a toll on Him and Jesus sat by the well. Along came this Samaritan woman to draw water from that well.
Jesus says that Judas betraying him is “To fulfill the scripture”, (John 18:1) as foretold by the Psalmist. It is written that as soon as Judas took the bread Satan entered into him. So was Judas chosen beforehand to betray Jesus?
Jesus was in the district of Judea answering the ensnaring questions of the Pharisees when a young man came to see HIm. In the Gospel of Luke this man is described as a rich young ruler (Luke – 18:18). He had great wealth and power yet when he came before Jesus he fell on his knees. (Mark – 10:17). He presented himself with great humbleness and asked Jesus, “Good teacher what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Jesus was amongst the crowd preaching when someone told him that his mother and brothers (and possibly sisters) were standing outside and wanted to speak to Him. I have always wondered why did they not come in? Or why did Jesus not go out to meet them but used them to talk about who all constitute as the family of Christ. But when we read the same incident in Mark we get to know the context of the situation.
Jesus was going to Jerusalem via Jericho and huge crowds had gathered all around Him wanting to hear what He had to say. As they entered Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside. On hearing the commotion, he asked the people around him as to what was going on, to which he was told that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. We do not know to what extent he knew Jesus…
[In] the autumn of 1850…revival meetings were being held in the Thirtieth Street Methodist Church. Some of us went down every evening; and, on two occasions, I sought peace at the altar, but did not find the joy I craved, until one evening, November 20, 1850, it seemed to me that the light must indeed come then or never; and so I arose and went to the altar alone. After a prayer was offered, they began to sing the grand old consecration hymn,
Alas, and did my Saviour bleed, and did my Sovereign die?
Why did Jesus curse the Fig tree? Mark, in his account of the incident clearly states that it wasn’t the season for figs. This makes this incident even more puzzling and therefore it is often misinterpreted by many. Did Jesus curse the fig tree because he was famished ?
Its that time of year again.. Christmas is around the corner. Carolers have started making their rounds, Sunday schools are presenting their modern rendition of the Nativity play and sermons highlighting the true meaning of Christmas. This Christmas lets get back to the basics with this ‘Christmas Quiz’ and remembering the First Christmas.
One morning on the national news, there was a story about a young African-American police officer whose associates at the department met him one morning on duty dressed in the hooded garb of the Ku Klux Klan. Even women on the office staff and other department employees joined to taunt and frighten him. The prank went on a long time before they told him it was a joke and had him pose for pictures with them all in their costumes of discrimination….
The book of Judges includes several interesting genres; Poetry, Riddles, and mainly Narrative History. Its author is anonymous but it is usually assumed that Samuel, the prophet wrote it. It was written about 1086-1004 B.C. Its purpose was to teach Israel that God is faithful and certain to punish sin therefore each person must remain loyal and devoted to Him. – Bible hub
The song Start a Fire is already kindling excitement in listeners and motivating them to live out a series of Scriptural truths. As he started writing the powerful song, Lowry drew from Matthew, 2 Timothy , and James to exhort listeners to stir up and rekindle the fire that’s in us, to keep burning the gracious gift of God. Mattson says, “Our desire for that song is that we wouldn’t settle in our salvation, but that we keep an open heart for what God wants to do through us.” – UnspokenMusic
Ophrah was a small town in Manasseh and was the native place of Joash the Abiezrite. His sons had been put to death on Mount Tabor by the Midianites. His only remaining son, Gideon, was threshing wheat in the winepress for he feared the Midianites. Hardly the great warrior that the Israelites needed to redeem themselves of their oppressors. Gideon found it hard to believe when the Angel of the Lord told him of what God was going to do through him. Little did he know that he would be the greatest Judge that led Israel.
The genre of the book of Joshua is Narrative History. It was authored by Joshua the leader of the Israelites circa 1405-1383 B.C. The key personalities are Joshua, Rahab, Achan, Phinehas, and Eleazar. It was written to assure the Israelites the Living God will reward obedience, and also to record the entrance and conquest of the promise land. – BibleHub
The song ‘Oceans’, is a reminiscence of Peter walking on water. After feeding the 5000 Jesus sent his disciples ahead of him to reach Gennesaret by boat while he dispersed the crowds and went up into the mountain to pray. When evening fell the boat the disciples had sailed about three and half miles into the Sea of Galilee. Jesus saw the disciples in the boat distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary
The baptism of Cornelius is an important event in the history of the Early Church. The gates of the Church, within which thus far only those who were circumcised and observed the Law of Moses had been admitted, were now thrown open to the uncircumcised Gentiles without the obligation of submitting to the Jewish ceremonial laws.- Florentine Bechtel
In the cool of the day two men from Emmaus were returning from Jerusalem. They had a seven mile journey ahead of them and plenty to talk about. Unrest was at an all-time high amongst the believers. Rumors were being spread, seeds of doubt and confusion were sprouting and fear of the unknown was overwhelming…
Rivalry among brothers is quite common even in the Bible. Brotherly rivalries such as Joseph and his brothers, Jacob and Esau, Solomon and Adonijah and so on, all in some way related to their inheritance share. In the parable of the Prodigal son Jesus illustrates a similar rivalry so that…
Nineveh is a mere 500 miles from Jonah’s hometown of Gath-hepher but he choose the journey to Tarshish which was about 2500 miles from Joppa. This showed how reluctant he was to go to Nineveh. Nineveh drew comparisons from Sodom and Gomorrah….
Darius the Mede emerged as the king of Babylon after slaying Belshazzar at the age of sixty-two. He appointed three officials to govern Babylon one of whom was Daniel. Daniel distinguished himself from the rest as “an excellent spirit was in him” and Darius planned for Daniel to govern his entire kingdom. Seeing this,…
You are my strength when I am weak You are the treasure that I seek You are my all in all I’m seeking You like a precious jewel Lord, to give up I’d be a fool You are my all in all Jesus, Lamb of God Worthy is Your name Jesus, Lamb of God Worthy is Your…
“When the church gets together every week and we sing songs, even the new songs that we write and sing come from the legacy of these old songs,’Lord I Need You,’ is inspired by the hymn, ‘Lord Every Hour I Need Thee.’ There is a type of love that you never mature out of, and that is ‘need’ love. You have to admit that you need God, and that is kind of uncomfortable for us. But I have found so much reassurance, and so much hope, knowing that I need Him. And every hour that I need Him, He is able to meet my needs. He will never leave me, or forsake me. And I think that is something worth saying ‘Amen'” – Matt Maher
Main Reading Luke 5: 33-39 How often do we find ourselves much like the Pharisees, criticizing others regarding their spiritual activities rather than focusing on our own? The Pharisees  questioned Christ as to why his disciples don’t fast while they fasted. The disciples were all common men with common occupations whom Christ chose to carry…
One of the most prolific worship leaders of our time Matt Redman is at it again. The Grammy and Dove Award-winning artist has released another album filled with songs that will likely make their way onto your church’s worship set list soon. Your Grace Finds Me explores the grace of God, pulling you in to intimate and joyous praise of Jesus Christ, our redeemer. – CBN.com
The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription “according to Matthew” was added some time in the second century.
This quiz contains questions from passages exclusive to The Gospel according to Matthew.
The book of numbers is largely Narrative History as far as its genre. It was written by Moses about 1450-1410 B.C. It describes Moses taking two population censuses, hence the name Numbers.
Moses wrote Deuteronomy to remind the Israelites of what God had done and to remind them of what God expects of them. The name literally means “Second Law”. Moses gives “the Law” for the second time.
Leviticus was written to draw the Israelites to the understanding of the infinite holiness of God, and that He desires them to act in a holy manner toward Him. – BIBLEHUB
One of the most confusing passage and yet it has been cited as the beginning of the end of Saul’s reign, due to his ‘Impatience’. The Philistines had all their soldiers and chariots, “numerous as the sands of the seashore”, and the Israelites were running scared ….
“I hope both the song and video show people a tangible picture of the Hope they have through Christ, and how faith is so beautiful and worth the fight of perseverance,” Starr says. ”Our God is the God of Hope. There is nowhere we can be where He cannot reach. At the cross God showed us this Truth—how much more should we believe it in everyday struggles? His love shows how He can make the impossible possible.” – Holly Starr
I thought number one would surely be me,
I thought I could be what I wanted to be.
I thought I could build on life’s sinking sand
But I can’t even walk without You holding my hand.
Genesis is the first book of the Law and also the first book of the entire Bible. The name Genesis literally means “In the Beginning”. It explains the actual events of one of the most debated subjects of our current day…the origin of life. Genesis describes the Lord God, who is infinite and all-powerful, creating everything that exists, by the power of His spoken Word, out of nothing. He essentially creates material matter out of nonmaterial nothing. – Bible Hub
Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall penned this stark ballad about the reality couples face after tying the knot. “Marriage is tough,” Hall explained. “We bring a lot of fairytales to the picture when it comes to marriage. We bring them to the altar with us [thinking]: ‘This is going to be perfect. We don’t have to be apart. We can just wake up together every morning and no one is going to have morning breath. We’re not going to have any problems.’ And then the problems hit and you don’t know where to file those into your picture.”….
The song is a reminder to me that we are not just people who happen to know Christ; the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of us. We have Something inside of us that should blow our minds…You are I Am is a reminder of who we used to be, and then the chorus talks all about how big and powerful the Spirit who lives inside of us really is. – Bart Millard
The book of Exodus consists mainly of two genres, Narrative History and Laws. It was written by Moses about 1450-1410 B.C. The key personalities include Moses, Miriam, Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s daughter, Aaron, and Joshua. It was written to record the events of Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt. It describes the events to the reader in chronological order and also lists the Laws that God has given to the Israelites, in order to guide them in their relationship with Him. – BibleHub
The words of “I Then Shall Live” mirror that tree analogy. It not only points to how we are to live while we are here on earth, but verse three notes the coming of a kingdom and gives the listener hope for a better day.
How many times have we been in the situation described in the above mentioned reading? God calls us and we find it hard to part with the earthly things and ask God to wait for us.
….. there is nothing too hard for the Lord (Jer 32:17) Main reading Genesis 18: 9-15 The three mysterious visitors came to Abraham on a hot summer’s day to convey to Abraham the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 16 onwards) and that Sarah would bear Abraham a son. The reaction of Sarah was quite contrasting from…
It was a typical day in the life of Peter and John as they went up to the temple to offer prayers. At the gates of the temple a crippled beggar asked for alms from them. “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” As soon Peter spoke these words the beggar jumped to his feet and walked. Now the onlookers were amazed at what they saw as they had seen the crippled beggar every day. Seeing their amazement Peter wasted no time in telling them about The Good News.
Adam Young, best known as the pop sensation Owl City, was… recording a cover of the modern hymn, “In Christ Alone,” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. Young said it wasn’t for any particular album or project: “Not for anything special, just for fun.”
“Something about this song makes me bawl like a baby,” Young wrote. “If I were to count on one hand, the number of songs that have ever deeply moved me, this one would take the cake. Last night I probably spent more time actually crying at the piano than I did recording it. Such are the secret confessions of a shy boy from Minnesota . . .
“The Love of God,” a hymn Frederick Lehman wrote in 1917. In 2012, nearly a hundred years after the hymn was composed, our planet has perhaps never been more hungry to hear about that Love “so rich and pure … so measureless and strong…” The GVB’s pure and simple version of this masterfully written song begins simply with one voice (Wes Hampton), then another (Mark Lowry). As the melody and harmony flow together effortlessly, there is not a single distraction from the truth the lyric packs. As the other three voices (Bill Gaither, Michael English and David Phelps) join in, the song continues with unexpected restraint, yet it never lacks the sense of awe this hymn evokes. It is breathtaking. – Homecoming Magazine
Jesus’ message was scandalous from day one, that’s why He ended up on the Cross. To this day, the message of grace is scandalous because it rages against conventional wisdom. We live in a culture where you do the crime, you do the time. The message of Jesus is you do the crime, and He pays the ultimate price so that we can live a life not only set free from our sin, but enabled by His grace to play a part in His incredible plan and purpose and bring His Kingdom to earth, here and now. – Joel Houston
I will never forget meeting Andrea. If I were judging a book by its cover, I’d say she looked like a college girl, maybe in a sorority or something, lots of friends, bound to be successful someday. And in a way, that would be a correct assessment. But that is not the whole story. Andrea, a former University of Colorado student had chosen to spend a semester abroad learning micro-financing in Uganda. While there, she happened upon an orphanage in critical condition. The children were being badly neglected and even abused. Her heart broke for these orphans who had no advocate. That’s when this college student decided to do something. She called her parents and said, “I’m not coming home.” She refused to leave these children until something was done to improve the conditions.
When we say “I Lift My Hands,” it is a beautiful expression. It’s a human expression, not just Christians. We see people lift their hands about all kinds of things that excite them, like football games. It signals victory and it is natural to lift our hands. Or it’s a time of surrender. Hopefully you never get caught by the police and need to do that, but they say “put your hands up.” It’s one thing to lift our hands in worship and celebration, but this song is about lifting up our hands in surrender to God. The song is about reaching out to God for help.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost” – Isaiah 55:1
“Jesus, Friend of Sinners” is a song by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns, written by Mark Hall and Matthew West. The song has been regarded musically as a “pop hymn” and lyrically “admonishes the church to show compassion”.