Posts Tagged With: apostles

The Third Day

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 referenced what he called the single most important event of human history.

And it all centers upon that one-telling-three-word-phrase, “the third day.”

Quite a statement that: “I passed on to you what was most important.”

Most: πρῶτος, a superlative in Greek. A word that means the best, the chief, the first and foremost of all. Meaning that Paul went over and above to point out in the most emphatic way possible that nothing that he could ever, or would ever write would eclipse this one statement in its importance:

“I passed on to you the best—the chief, the first and foremost in importance—fact of all time: Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”

A most-important, and most-specific chronology — not to be overlooked.

In this case, the chronology is the story.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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The Epic (and I Do Mean EPIC) Handoff

2009-11-26T221005Z_01_DET12_RTRIDSP_0_NFL“Epic,” as in Your-Salvation-and-Mine-Rides-or-Falls-on-This. I kid you not.

This PODCAST is going to be fun, and so instructive. Instructive on two levels.

1. Instructive as we discover together exactly what Jesus meant here in Matthew 18:18-20.

2. Instructive as we are handed, courtesy of Jesus, an opportunity to learn what to do, and perhaps more importantly, what not to do with the Bible.

As you are about to hear, we must bring to this passage every interpretive tool in the tool box in order to arrive at an accurate interpretation and application of this passage.

Let me put it this way: The Apostle Paul encouraged his protégé, young Pastor Timothy, to…

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth, (2 Timothy 2:15).

Do you know why Paul encouraged Timothy to handle the word of truth correctly? Because there were then, as there are now, scores of people — pastors, teachers, conference speakers, authors, commentators — who routinely handle the word of truth incorrectly.

In 1 Timothy 1:3, Paul similarly wrote Timothy,

I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth.

Why write this? Because there were Sunday school teachers or small group leaders in Timothy’s church who were teaching error.

It is so easy to make the Bible say whatever we want it to say. It is so easy, too easy, to carelessly teach what the Bible does not say.

Case in point: Matthew 18:18-20. A commonly-quoted passage made to mean all sorts of things that, to be perfectly honest with you, Jesus never intended. A passage so often applied in ways that Jesus did not have in mind. He would cringe today to see what so many have done with this passage.

And, as you are about to see, this passage will indeed require us to bring to its interpretation and application a whole set of interpretive tools — a knowledge of language, history, geography, culture, chronology, context, literary & Jewish background — all in an effort to understand what Jesus did indeed intend to convey to His disciples and to us at a singularly watershed moment in Jesus’ ministry.

So in this podcast, dear friend, we have a lot to talk about.

Please remember that depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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A Cup of Cold (Refreshing, Thirst-Quenching, Life-Giving) Water

platesThis is going to be So.Much.Fun for me. (And for you, I hope!) So indulge me here, because I LOVE this stuff.

Look carefully and you might see my bemused smile on my face! It is just so comical to me how easily we take what Jesus made so simple, only to make it so insufferably complicated.

And to be perfectly honest with you, I am awestruck. That’s the tone with which I want to teach this PODCAST’s passage.

I am awestruck at Jesus’ ability to say so much in so little, so many thoughts communicated in so few words. All of which so practical, helpful, relevant, refreshing, and inspiring to us today.

Let me set it up like this: You know the guy in the circus with the hundred plates spinning on a hundred poles? OK. So here’s my question: What does that picture of a hundred plates spinning high atop a hundred poles have to do with this portrait that Jesus paints here in Matthew 10?

The simple, uncomplicated picture of giving someone who is thirsty a cup of cold water? A picture, BTW, that forms the conclusion to Jesus’ training manual for ministry. The ministry manual that we have been studying for lo these eleven weeks or so. The Ministry Manual that Jesus gave to His apostles to prepare them for their very first missions trip.

What do spinning plates have to do with a cup of cold water? As you are about to hear, Everything. Everything.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen!

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Alone, But NEVER Alone!

sparrowsSo here’s my question:

If you were Jesus, and you wanted to convey the idea in a way that no one could possibly miss,

That you loved someone…

That you cared about someone more than they could ever even begin to imagine…

That you would be there for that person No.Matter.What…

That in their loneliest moments, when they felt totally abandoned and isolated and detached from everyone, that you were still there for them; that you would ALWAYS be there for them…

That your love and care and kindness towards that person would never change…

That you feel their isolation more than they know…

And that you will be loyal to that person, never to abandon them, never to turn away from them…

But that you are there and will be there now and forever…

If you were Jesus, how would you convey that? What words would you use? What picture would you draw?

In this PODCAST, you will find out. And in finding out, you may never view Jesus in the same way again.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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The Wrath of God

the-wrath-of-godIt is without a doubt THE single most unpleasant topic in all of the Bible. The subject of this week’s PODCAST: God’s wrath.

We discuss it here because here in Matthew 10, Jesus made reference to the iconic display of God’s wrath: the twin-cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And for good measure, Jesus also referred to “the day of judgment.”

Since Jesus brought it up, we will bring it up — unpleasant or otherwise — providing some Much-Needed-Clarification to an Often-Misunderstood topic.

Upon reflection, I suppose the overarching questions raised by this sobering subject are these:

Is Jesus a gentle Jesus?

Is Jesus a wrathful Jesus?

Or both?

And if both, how does the one (gentle) square with the other (wrathful)? Especially in light of what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah.

My friends, as always, we have a ton to talk about.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And PLEASE “Share” a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

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Swimming in a Sea of Tranquility

lake_tranquility-1920x1200In this PODCAST, we will discover together an amazing privilege that is ours, especially given tormented world in which we live.

We have been given a unique gift of God’s blessing that Jesus Himself empowers us to bestow on His behalf to others.

Just so you know, this is the kind of person I long to be.

This blessing and privilege defines a pretty amazing purpose statement for our lives.

This is HUGE!

There are so many troubled people in this tortured world of ours. In case you hadn’t noticed, this world has become a #Very.Scary.Place. There seems to be a fog of uncertainty that leaves many of us reeling from feelings of unease in our world today — on a global level, as well as on a personal one. It seems to so many as if the world spinning out of control, as if their world is spinning out of control. To the point where God’s peace is the polar-opposite of what people experience in their self-medicated souls.

Something that is as unsettlingly true in our day as it was in Jesus’ day. Believe me: Life was tough then too.

So in this passage, a very gentle Jesus, who sees people then and now as harassed, helpless, confused, fearful, insecure, fragile… Precious people whom Jesus describes as vulnerable sheep without a loving, caring shepherd.

To people just like them, He then and He now offers the blessing of His peace: the calm contentment that in a world spinning increasingly out of control, Jesus is and ever shall be very much in control.

The most amazing aspect of this is the fact that — as you are about to hear — Jesus gave us, gave YOU, the ability to confer His peace on those so desperately in need of, and craving, His peace.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

May God bless YOU with His peace as you listen.

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Oh What Might Have Been…

CentsTruer words were never spoken. It is an axiom of life. An undeniable reality that is obvious on its face:

You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.

Now what in the world does toothpaste have to do with Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10, you ask? Everything, my friends. Everything.

For the fact of the matter is that there are some things in this world of ours which, once they are done, there’s no going back. Which is so ironically true about the passage in this PODCAST.

I suppose on the one hand, one could ask: Then why even discuss this? If indeed it is how it is… If it’s how the game is played today… If it’s how the game has been played for years… If it’s not going to change… Not by you. Not by me. Not by anyone…

Then why even discuss this?

Because on the other hand Matthew 10:8 IS in the Bible. Because Jesus did indeed say this. Because Matthew did indeed include this in his Gospel masterpiece. Because these ARE the words of Jesus. So God obviously WANTS us to discuss this.

So despite the fact that I have no illusions about changing anything, the precious truth contained in this passage is well-worth our consideration and understanding. And the fact is, WE don’t have to play this game the way it’s always been played.

We can play by a whole different set of rules. Rules of Jesus’ own making.

As He sent out His disciples, Jesus clearly and unambiguously told His men six words that are paradigm-shattering in their impact. So let’s talk about these six words: What they meant to His followers then. More to the point, what they mean for us, His followers, today.

Or at least what it ought to mean to us today.

And as we do so, please permit me to speak in this podcast with a distinct tone of wistfulness in my voice and body language as we contemplate together what might have been… What might have been, if only our evangelical world had simply taken these words of Jesus seriously and applied in our churches consistently.

Oh, what might have been…

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

And please share a link to this podcast with your family and friends.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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“These were His Instructions:”

jesus_and_disciplesWe have come in this PODCAST to a monumentally significant section of Scripture.

And yet ironically one of the most ignored.

As we will learn over the next several weeks, here in Mark 6, and its much more complete parallel passage in Matthew 10, we read of something that was for Jesus enormously emotional, and for us incredibly instructional.

Emotional because of its context (Jesus’ compassion for people will shine ever so brightly against dark backdrop of His own rejection); instructional because of its content (that includes wonderfully practical principles we can readily apply).

There is no way for me to overestimate the value of the insights that we will discover together here as we sort of eavesdrop on Jesus as He prepares His men for ministry.

Just to give you a sneak peak of just some of the things that we will learn together as we dissect and digest this that we could call The Master’s Message to His Men, we will discover:

  • How Jesus wants His ministers — both then and now — to conduct their ministries;
  • How Jesus wants His present pastors to pastor;
  • What the template for any ministry that Jesus develops here in Matthew 10 actually looks like;
  • Where the lines of the ministry blueprint are drawn;
  • Jesus’ purpose statement for all future ministries;
  • Jesus’ own philosophy of ministry, and how it translates into our own ministry contexts today.

You could say that Jesus wrote the ministry manual that He intended each of us who dare to minister in His name to follow, and that Matthew 10 is that manual. A chapter of epic importance that was completely overlooked, and never-once-considered throughout my four years of Bible college, three years of seminary, and five years completing a doctoral program.

#Never.Mentioned.Once.

I cannot help but to wonder how different the church landscape would look today if we actually taught future pastors what Jesus taught His men. Jesus planted here in Matthew 10 the seeds of ministry principles that will come to full bloom in rest of New Testament. In short, how we view the ministry and discharge our own ministries begins right here.

Please note that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it might take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

HAPPY LISTENING.

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A Tale of Three Cities

094cf-galileemapSometimes things really are as simple as they seem.

This will certainly be true in this PODCAST, as we discuss together one of Jesus’ most remarkable statements.

 

We could use a whole series of words to describe what Jesus said, all of which begin with the letter “S.” His message was surprising, as Jesus will say something that sounds totally out of character for Him. His message was sobering, as His words contain a warning that, as you will hear, went completely unnoticed. His message was simple; in fact, you could boil down all that He said in this powerful passage to one simple word. One word that truly is the Gospel in miniature.

Leave it to Jesus to take what we make so complicated and turn it into something so simple.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

From my heart to yours, HAPPY LISTENING!!!

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