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Showing posts from February, 2019

Love Your Enemies

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,   bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.  Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.  Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.  Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father i

Too Blessed to be Stressed

How many of you have heard of the Sermon on the Mount? How about the Sermon on the Plain? Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is much better known than Luke’s account of Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain. It is possible that both writers got their material for these two sermons from the same source and that they each modify their source material in different ways to address different concerns and speak to different audiences. Or, it could be that Jesus preached similar material on different occasions, in different locations, to different groups.  In any case, let’s dive into the beginning of Luke’s “Sermon on the Plain” and see what it might have to say to us today. Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 6:17-26… He [Jesus] came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.   They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and

When Jesus Steps Into Your Boat

Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he a

Amazing Grace

How do you spell grace? Here’s a pretty good spelling, definition and a great acronym: GRACE is: ·        G od’s  ·        R iches  ·        A t  ·        C hrist’s  ·        E xpense.  Now, here is the key question: How do you respond to it? Do you accept God’s grace in Jesus Christ for yourself, and do you share it with others without perception of limit? Or do you respond in some way that is less than that? Do you limit God’s grace to yourself and others? Those are some of the questions I think our Scripture reading poses today. Listen for God’s word to you from Luke 4:21-30… Then he [Jesus] began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  22  All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”  23  He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that