Posts Tagged With: unity

The Bright and Beautiful Body of Christ

Remember the song, “With a Little Help From My Friends”?

In this PODCAST, your number of friends is going to grow by two.

Two remarkable individuals who are about to enrich your life greatly, as they have mine.

Thank you for listening, and for sharing this message!!!

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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Glorious Scenes and Grand Sensations

Father’s Day with my lovely little Ashley Anne.

I am so ADHD that honestly, I don’t know what to entitle this PODCAST. I’ve got, like, 10 different titles coursing through the frontal lobe of my mind.

“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” would work.

How about “A Bride Adorned for Her Husband”?

Or “God’s Best Kept Secret”?

Maybe “There’s a New Day Coming” would capture it.

I almost called it “Moving Day.”

But I’ll stick with “Glorious Scenes and Grand Sensations.”

If a rose by any other name smells just as sweet, I hope you’ll find much sweetness as you listen in.

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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How Shall We Now Live?

May I make a prediction?

My prediction is this: As you listen to the PODCAST, you will be awash in waves of encouragement.

As you’ll hear, it was a crazy night to be sure. Here we sat in the midst of a citywide blackout. Yet, Peter’s message of hope and healing shined through bright and beautiful.

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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Like a City Set on a Hill

I don’t usually give you the takeaway of a lesson up front, preferring to spring it on you at some point unexpected in each lesson.

But as you are about to hear in this PODCAST, given the fact that there are two takeaways tonight, I’ll give them to you upfront, at the very beginning.

Takeaway #1. You really are some-one and some-thing special.

Takeaway #2. Jesus truly is gentle, and His burden really is light.

Meaning that we have one singular sublime and simple purpose.

Meaning that victorious, effective, God-pleasing Christian living is not difficult, nor is it complicated.

If you are ever tempted to feel as though the Christian life is a heavy burden, then this is for you!

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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Identity Crisis

God’s timing is perfect!!!

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, this passage for me (and I have no doubt for some of you) has come at just the right time. Let me explain.

Simply put, for some time I have been experiencing something of identity crisis. I have been haunted by this one question:

“Where do I fit?”

When it comes to this whole Christian scene, our contemporary Christian culture, at the risk of sounding overly maudlin—a great word that means self-pitying, tearfully sentimental—I honestly don’t know where I fit anymore.

Well, thanks to Peter, that’s not true any more!!!

I now know exactly where I fit. And soon, so shall you!!!

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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Divide and Conquer

Spoiler Alert: As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, one of the disadvantages of words on a page is that we cannot hear tone; we do not see body language nor facial expression.

In this message, I am attempting tonight to place myself in Peter’s sandals, sit myself at Luke’s writing table, and to teach tonight’s passage—one of most important in NT—in the tone and with the emotions with which Peter confronted a potentially explosive situation; with which Luke recorded this nearly-catastrophic confrontation.

I do not think it a stretch that Peter was caught completely off guard, taken totally aback, disheartened and likely exasperated by the severe reaction he received upon his return to his beloved Jerusalem.

So on the one hand, I speak to you from a broken heart, as I believe Peter’s was broken too.

On other hand, this story in Acts 11 has a glorious ending; and so shall we! God will bring beauty for these ashes! As He always does. As He ALWAYS does.

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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Problem Solved!

It was a scandal in the making.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, a vast cultural divide threatened to rip asunder the fragile fabric of unity these first believers in Jesus earlier enjoyed.

As we learned last week (Podcast #27), the story begins,

“But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.”

That was, as you will remember, a dire situation for these precious widows. Dire in the extreme. Women who had lost their husbands, and who were now among the most vulnerable in that male-dominated society. Females forced to live in a world that diminished women to a subservient status. One that rendered them uneducated, unskilled, unemployable, utterly without resources. Totally dependent.

Now that they had become followers of Jesus, they could not return to their synagogues for support. Not to worry. We read earlier in Acts 2 that

“(These first believers) would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it… and shared their food happily and freely.”

Not any more.

Last week, we went into much detail about the collision of cultures faced by these early believers. A vast cultural divide between the Greek-speaking (Hellenistic) believers who were in the minority, and Hebrew-speaking believers who were in the majority. A cultural divide of church-splitting potential.

So wide a divide that the majority discriminated against the minority to the risk of the lives of Greek-speaking widows.

This was serious. So serious that the Apostles (all Twelve of the Apostles) were forced to drop everything in order to address problem.

Their solution was nothing short of brilliant! For them. And for us!

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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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.

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God’s Biblical Blueprint for Every Local Church

After a wonderful week ministering at Hume Lake, it’s so good to be home. And so glorious to be back in the amazing book of Acts.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, the elegant simplicity of what God intended His local churches to look like, and how He intended for them to function, coupled with unencumbered sincerity of His biblical blueprint for every local church ministry, is breathtaking to behold.

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 Glorious Gift of Tongues

It is one of the great ironies of Christian life.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, the Holy Spirit came to this earth in Jesus’ absence in part to bring a supernatural unity to committed Christ-followers throughout the world.

For example, we read in Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

That phrase “the unity of the Spirit” notwithstanding, Christians throughout the world have arguably divided more over the gifts of Holy Spirit than any other single issue. Divisions that, quite frankly, have turned spiritually toxic.

There are those who will tell you and me with some measure of intensity that if you do not speak in tongues, you are at the least not filled with the Spirit; and at the worst, not a Christian at all.

There are those who will tell you and me with some measure of intensity that if you do speak in tongues, you are believing a false Gospel and consequently going to Hell.

So as we enter this discussion, I will give to you my promise, and make to you my plea.

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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