How do we measure our health as a church? By growth in numbers? By increased giving? By broader ministry reach into our community? By powerful, theologically rich teaching? Or by proven, solid leadership? All these things are important. But without love – growing love for Christ and for one another, all these excellent attributes are, in the words of Paul, “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Has the church abandoned its first love to pursue self-love? Have you abandoned love for Christ and for one another in order to love and serve yourself?
Join us this week as we continue our survey Revelation as we examine the first of the “Letters to the Seven Churches” in Revelation 2:1-7 and consider Jesus’ serious warning of the danger of abandoning the love we had at first.
All of us have been moved to sorrow, joy, reflection or action by an iconic song, picture or story. But no story has more moving pictures than the story of redemption, unfolded in the Bible, with its themes of mercy and grace and good triumphing over evil. A living and active story of a mighty hero who through self-sacrifice and great power defeated the arch-enemy of all men, sin and death. In every vignette, every chapter, this story is unveiled.
Painted in the words of Scripture, these moving pictures reveal the presence and power of a Savior who is “God with Us.” While Scripture never describes what Jesus looks like, it thoroughly describes what Jesus is like. Nowhere is this idea more vividly portrayed than in John’s inaugural vision in the Revelation. Join us this week as we continue our survey Revelation as we examine Revelation 1:9-20 and consider how this opening vision reveals, not what Jesus looks like, but what Jesus is like so we might fix our eyes on Him, know Him, and run with endurance.
When writers attempt to gain credibility by assuming a false identity, this only exposes their fraud. When a real author writes under his own name his life authenticates his work. This is what makes the Bible so powerful. Though God worked through human agents by the process of inspiration, the thoughts and the words are His thoughts and His words. We see this powerfully in the Book of Revelation. John is merely seer and scribe. The comfort of these words flows not only from its vivid imagery, but from the character of its author. As John pens the greeting, he is careful to describe the letter’s Divine Author.
Join us this week as we continue our survey of the book of Revelation, examining Revelation 1:4-8 to consider how the letter’s greeting gives us key insights into the letter’s divine sender – insights which give needed comfort when our faith is challenged.
No part of Scripture is more challenging to grasp than Revelation – the last book in our Bible. Its enigmatic creatures, symbols, and numbers are fertile fields for fanciful interpretation. Martin Luther questioned its canonicity, and Calvin never commented on it. Yet, this word that seems so mystifying, and is so often ignored, has been breathed out by God, useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training that you and I may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. More than that, the book itself claims to be a “lifting of the veil.”
In Revelation, Christ Jesus draws aside the veil and shows us his glorious purpose and sovereignty over history, encouraging us to view our circumstances rightly and live boldly. Join us this week as we begin a survey of the book of Revelation, examining Revelation 1:1-3 to consider how this part of God’s Word offers blessing, encouragement, and hope for dark times.
Only John’s account of the feeding of the five thousand mentions the boy whose lunch became food for thousands. We don’t know anything about him, his reasons for being there or if he struggled to yield what was his to his master. What we do know is that when he put what little he had in the Jesus’ hands, he had more than he needed and so did thousands more. Jesus taught.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Can you trust God with your resources, your desires, your plans, your time, your family, your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Maybe it’s time to find out. Join us as we examine John 6:1-14 and consider the call to exercise faith in giving.