Posts Tagged With: Philippians

The Most Glorious Gift You Can Imagine (Courtesy of Stephen)

Philippians 1:3 (in the NLT) reads,

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”

As you will hear in this PODCAST, Philippians is a “Thank You” note from Paul’s sizable soul to the not-so-sizable ékklesia—or small faith family—meeting in Philippi.

Paul wrote this precious little letter upon receiving a financial gift that the believers there sacrificially sent to him to help sustain him during some very dark and difficult days during which he was imprisoned in Rome.

As I reflected upon the fact that this week we will celebrate five glorious years together as our own Safe Haven ékklesia, it did not take me long to realize that (as it is translated in the NIV),

“I thank my God every time I remember you.”

BTW, please keep listening until the end, where I give to you a little anniversary gift of my own, courtesy of Stephen—the first martyr of our precious Christian faith.

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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Dramatic Words of a Dying Man

crosses1“Jesus said…”

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, the fact of the matter is this: Jesus said seven statements, this as His life was literally dripping out of Him drop by precious drop. Each one of the seven — when considered separately — tells a most-dramatic tale. All of the seven — when considered collectively — give us an unparalleled insight into the heart of Jesus.

It was, after all, Jesus who much earlier in His ministry said this:

“For whatever is in your heart determines what you say” (Matthew 12).

On yet another occasion, Luke 6, Jesus said,

“What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

So if we want to know what is in Jesus’ heart, we need look no further than what Jesus said. His words.

And as we are about to learn, what Jesus said from the cross, in the closing moments of His storied life, reveals perhaps most clearly of all exactly what was in His sizable heart. What a beautiful heart His was and is.

So join me now at the foot of the cross as we hear for ourselves the final words of Jesus as His innocent and holy life comes to a violently calamitous close.

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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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!

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Eleven Words That Forever Changed the World

mangerIt’s only eleven words in the Complete Jewish Bible.

Eleven words that trumpet THE event after which the world would never be the same again. 

Eleven words that appear to come careening out of nowhere, enigmatically exploding on the page in Matthew 1:18:

Here is how the birth of Yeshua the Messiah took place.

Think of it. When a lofty band of angels announced to a lowly brood of shepherds that Jesus was born, the impossible, the unimaginable happened.

Perhaps the clearest explanation of exactly what happened and why it happened was summarized by the Apostle Paul in the lovely little letter he wrote to his beloved congregation of committed Christ-followers in Philippi.

It’s such a marvelous and magnificent passage. So frequently read, yet so often misunderstood because of its rather unfamiliar phraseology. So I humbly offer to you my expanded paraphrase of Philippians 2:5-11, sort of as The New Testament in High Definition:

Jesus was God.

Yet, He chose to relinquish all of the privileges that were His as God.

If you can imagine it, Jesus voluntarily gave up everything when He became one of us – born as a baby, just as human as you and me. He did this so that He could humbly serve us by meeting our deepest needs – the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation of our souls.

In obedience to God the Father, Jesus even humbled Himself to the lowest point possible: He actually allowed Himself to be executed as if He was a common criminal. See Him there – Almighty God in an all-human body, bloodied and beaten – Jesus hanging from that rugged Roman cross, with the crowds sneering and spitting and laughing at Him.

Ah, but He didn’t stay on that cross, did He?

God the Father reached all the way down to Earth and lifted His Son all the way up to Heaven. He picked Jesus up from the lowest place and raised Him to the highest place, the place of supreme honor.

He gave Jesus a name that is so powerful, so preeminent that at the mere mention of His name – say it with me, “Jesus” – every person, and even every angel, will bow his or her knees before Him and offer to Him the worship that He alone deserves. This includes each of the holy angels in Heaven, every depraved demon in Hell, and each and every precious person who has ever walked this planet.

To the glorious honor of God the Father, everyone will loudly and clearly proclaim this one undeniable and unchangeable fact: Jesus Christ IS the Master of the Universe AND the Lord of our lives.

Such is the “reason for this season.”

From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas! And in the immortal words of A Christmas Carol’s Tiny Tim,

God bless us, every one!

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