Posts Tagged With: offering

A Sin Unto Death

Acts 5:1(NLT)—“But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property.” Hmmm…

Just try to imagine for a second this otherwise unimaginable scenario, as related in this PODCAST:

A highly-respected individual walks into the cozy confines of Safe Haven, only to drop dead on the spot.

Some time later, his unsuspecting wife walks in, and she too keels over, stone-cold dead.

That is exactly what happened here in Acts 5, one of the most mysterious and misunderstood narratives in all of the Bible.

For starters: That word “But,” δ—as in “But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property”—is ominous in the extreme.

In the technical grammar of the passage, δ is an adversative particle, signaling something that could be translated: “On the other hand”; or, “Contrary to what you just read”; or, “By way of a startling, scandalous, and jaw-dropping contrast”…

Alerted by that pesky particle, I can tell you that we are about to hear a strange story, a sobering saga, a troubling tale that sounds totally out of character as far as God is concerned.

Or is it?

A head-turning happening that prompts us to ask three questions:

1. Why did this happen?

2. Could this happen today?

3. What does it all mean for us?

Since context is everything, let me begin by first giving you the backstory.

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Day in the Life of the (First) Early Church

These were exhilarating times indeed for that original company of committed Christ-followers.

In this PODCAST, and in the upcoming weeks, it will be our privilege to relive these salad days of the first ekklesia—in Jerusalem—as we join in a virtual sense these first precious believers, our ancestors in the faith.

Last week, we looked at the four foundational dynamics that characterized this first early church. Foundational for them; foundational for us. You will remember that we considered each of these in some detail—that marvelous biblical blueprint for every local church, both then and now! The elegant simplicity and sincerity of which was breathtaking for us to behold.

Now, we will consider a day in the life of these very first committed Christ-followers. The precious and precarious first hours of this first church’s delicate-if-exuberant infancy.

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Money Matters

online-greetingI’m off doing my camp speaking thing. (I sure would appreciate your prayers: for me, but especially for the campers who are stuck having to listen to me for the week. But I digress.)

Anyway, in this encore PODCAST, you will learn one singularly simple concept which, if you take it to heart, will change your life forever.

It is my sense that in contemporary Christian culture in America, we have lost sight of the elegant simplicity spoken of in the New Testament. And consequently, we have lost so much of God’s blessing in the process.

So here’s to simplicity, with the hope that your life overflows with God’s bountiful blessing as we together apply this principle to our lives.

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

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Behold the Lamb

web-happy-lambThere is a beautiful and breathtaking symmetry to the life and ministry of Jesus.

Case in point, as you will hear in this PODCAST, here in John 12, the beloved disciple brings us full circle. You may not see that now. But trust me, you will by the time we conclude this discussion.

Let me give you one tantalizing little hint: This beautiful symmetry to which I refer has little to do with palm branches, but everything to do with lambs.

Now watch this: When John introduced us to Jesus for the very first time, this is what he wrote:

“The next day John (the baptizer) saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”

That’s in John 1.

Here in John 12, this is what we read:

“The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city.”

Now listen: In both cases, at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry in John 1, and here at the very ending of Jesus’ ministry in John 12, it’s all about a lamb.

I know that as you read any or all of the accounts of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as recorded in all four of the Gospels, you may not see a lamb. But trust me, it’s there. Front and center, it’s there.

Just as it is in John 1, so it is here in John 12, Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Miss that, and you miss the whole point of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry, on this — the Sunday before Passover.

Which raises a most intriguing question: Why did Jesus choose to ride into Jerusalem on that Sunday? Jesus could have ridden into Jerusalem on Saturday (If He did, we would call it Palm Saturday!), or on Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday.

Why did Jesus choose to ride in on the Sunday before Passover? Answer that, and you get the whole picture.

Here’s a secondary question: Since Passover did not officially begin until that Thursday night (Remember Jesus sharing with the disciples their final Passover seder in Upper room on Thursday night?), why were so many pilgrims in Jerusalem so early on that Sunday?

Answer that, and you get the whole picture.

Which underscores this point: The Bible is God’s picture book, and Jesus’ Triumphal Entry is yet another three-dimensional, High Definition portrait of breathtaking significance. A panoramic masterpiece that, though we studied one portion of the Triumphal Entry last week (Daniel’s prophecy), this picture is far too important to ignore this week.

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God is THIS Close. (He REALLY Is!!!)

God can sometimes seem so distant. Remote. Removed from the intricate details of my daily life.

BUT HE’S NOT. As you will discover by listening to this PODCAST.

God is closer to you than you can possibly imagine.

To prove this point, here’s a pop quiz for you. When Jesus wanted to convey to the people He loved — in the single most culturally-emphatic way — just how close God is to YOU, what image did Jesus invoke?

bread

You, my friend, are in for quite a surprise.

Please note that depending upon your connection speed and web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to play. But it’s worth the wait!!! 😉

HAPPY LISTENING.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Money Matters

Reading the remarkable responses on the faces of the precious people at Safe Haven on Saturday night, I can fairly predict with pinpoint accuracy that in this PODCAST, you are about to hear a message about money like you’ve NEVER heard one before.

And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.

Online GreetingIn the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus invoked one word — abundantly familiar to His listeners; utterly foreign to us — which has profound implications for our lives today.

I’ll be right upfront with you. I believe that as a whole, our contemporary Christian culture in America has a woefully underdeveloped and (if I may say so) faulty theology of money, especially as it relates to the local church. 

In my never-ending effort to approach Jesus’ teachings with absolutely no preconceived conclusions about what He taught, I must tell you that what Jesus said in His day is for us in our day revolutionary.

We cannot change our contemporary Christian culture — the way we “do” ministry in America; the way we pay for ministry in America — but we can surely change our personal practices when it comes to how we, and to whom we, give our money.

Let the conversation begin.

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

HAPPY LISTENING, and please “Share” this link — deweybertolini.com — to this podcast/blog with your friends.

God bless!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.