Posts Tagged With: witness

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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“YOU are the Salt of the Earth.”

I cannot think of a more beautiful tribute to committed Christ-followers everywhere—including YOU—than Jesus’ words here in the Sermon on the Mount: “You are the salt of the earth.”

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, Jesus, ever the master of the metaphor, came up with a doozie with this one.

“You are the salt of the earth.”

I am excited about this for a couple of compelling reasons:

1. The rich and rewarding meaning of this metaphor, which we will get to in a moment.

2. “You are the salt of the earth” provides us with a wonderfully enriching teachable moment, one where I get to take you behind the scenes, as it were, and demonstrate for you in real time how we arrive at the proper interpretation of a passage—this passage in Matthew 5—and from there how to make an appropriate application of a passage—any passage—to our lives today.

So you’re getting a two-for-the-price-of-one in this podcast — What the passage means, and how we arrive at its meaning.

Because truth be told, one of the reasons the Church in America is, IMHO, sadly diminishing its influence in our world today is precisely because of a misunderstanding and misapplication of this beautiful verse, “You are the salt of the earth.”

So we have a lot going on here in this Jesus in HD Encore Podcast—an encore because I am currently leading a Study Tour in Israel, returning to Peter in HD next 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.

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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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