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Archive for June, 2012

John 14:9-11

Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ?Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.

You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act. -‘Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see–these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

Kids Bible Study 6-29-2012

Jesus in Jerusalem for the Passover

John 2:13 to John 3:21

Jesus upsets the tables of the money-changers and drives them from the temple.

THE TIME HAD come again for the yearly Passover Feast in Jerusalem, and from every part of the land groups of people came flocking to attend this great religious meeting.    In one of these groups were Jesus and his friends, Andrew, Simon, Philip, and Nathaniel.  These men were also called his disciples, or learners; for they often went with him from one place to another to learn more about his wonderful teachings.

You remember that only the priests were allowed to enter the rooms of the temple, and that the people who went there to worship stood in the courts outside the rooms and prayed while the priests offered sacrifices upon the altars.

When Jesus came with his disciples and friends to attend the Feast of the Passover, he found much disorder in the court where the people were supposed to worship God.

This beautiful court looked more like a market-place than like a house of prayer, for men had brought oxen and sheep and doves in there to sell as sacrifices to those who came from distant country places to worship God.

And other men, who were called money-changers, were sitting by small tables exchanging pieces of silver money, called half-shekels, for the coins people brought from distant lands.  Every Jew, we are told, who was twenty years old or older, gave one of these half-shekels to the priests each year to buy sacrifices and to supply other needs in the temple worship.

No other coins except  half-shekels could be received by the priests, so the Jews who came from other lands had to exchange their coins for half-shekels before they could pay their dues to the priests.

Jesus was grieved to see the disorder in the temple court.  He knew that worshipers could not enjoy praying in such a noisy place, where buying and selling and money-exchanging were going on around them.

So he made a whip by tying small cords together, and then he drove out the oxen and sheep and the men who kept them.  He even upset the tables of the money-changers, and he told them that his Father’s house was a place of prayer and should not be used for a market-place.

No doubt other people had been grieved to see the disorder in the temple court at the time of the Passover feast.  But none of them had ever dared to do as Jesus did at this time.  None of them had courage enough to try to correct this great evil.

But not all of the Jews were pleased to see Jesus drive the money-lovers and the owners of the oxen and sheep and doves into the streets outside the temple.  Some of them came to Jesus and asked him for a sign to prove that he was some great man, with authority to do such things.

But Jesus knew they would not accept him even when they should see a sign, so he answered, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it.”

He spoke about himself, meaning his body, which he knew the Jews would cause to be crucified, and which he would raise up from the dead after three days.  But the Jews did not understand, and they thought he meant the temple on Mount Moriah, which Herod, the king, had rebuilt for them.

They said, “Many years were spent in building this temple, and you say you could rebuild it in three days!”  Then they shook their heads doubtfully and walked away, for they did not believe his words.

At this Feast, Jesus began to teach the people and to do miracles among them.  And many believed in him when they heard his words and saw the great works which no other man could do.

One of those who believed in Jesus was a ruler among the Jews, a Pharisee.  His name was Nicodemus, and he was a very rich man.

There were many Pharisees among the Jewish rulers, and these men were proud and unwilling to accept either John the Baptist or Jesus as being teachers sent from God.  They themselves wished to be the religious leaders of the Jews and they despised humble men like John and Jesus.  But Nicodemus was not like his proud friends.  He heard Jesus teach the people who had come to worship at the Feast, and he believed that surely Jesus was some great man.

While the other Pharisees were finding fault with Jesus, Nicodemus longed to hear more of his teachings.  So one night he came to the place where Jesus stayed while he was in Jerusalem, and asked to have a talk with this man from Galilee.

Jesus received Nicodemus gladly, and talked to him about the kingdom of God.  He told this ruler that no man could enter God’s kingdom unless he should be born again.  Nicodemus wondered how this could be possible, so Jesus explained to him the secret of the new birth, which we call a change of heart.

Never before had this wise ruler of the Jews heard such strange words, and he listened wonderingly while Jesus told about the great love of God.

“This love,” said Jesus, “caused God to give his only Son that whoever believes in him may not die because of sin, but have life forevermore.”

Then Jesus reminded Nicodemus of the story of Moses in the wilderness when the people had sinned and God had sent fiery snakes into their camp.

Nicodemus remembered the story, and Jesus said, “Just as those people who were about to die from the snake-bites found relief from their pain by looking at the brass snake that Moses put up on a pole in their camp, so the people who have sin in their hearts may find relief from sin by looking at the Son of man, who shall be raised up among them.”

Nicodemus did not understand that Jesus was speaking about the cruel way in which he should some time be put to death to save the people from their sins.  But Nicodemus did believe more strongly than ever that Jesus was a great teacher who had come down from heaven to dwell among men.

Faith in Jesus as the Redeemer of the world gives everlasting life.

Prayer 6-29-2012

Dear Father, thank you for your power which is at work in me. Thank you for equipping me and calling me according to your good purpose. Give me your strength and peace today. I keep my mind stayed on you.

In Jesus’ Name
Amen

Bible Study 6-29-2012

“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence” – (2 Peter 1:3 NLT)

Whether you realize it or not, God has already given you everything you need to live the life He’s called you to. You don’t need to feel stressed out, worried or afraid. You don’t have to wonder if you’re “good enough” to receive from God because God’s blessing has nothing to do with your performance. He has already blessed you and given you everything you need by His divine power!

The world’s system tells us to strive, toil and scrape to get what we want. Our culture puts limits on people because of their natural abilities, resources, background or circumstances. But with God, there are no limits! By His divine power, you are equipped, well able and strong. You are covered by His grace and mercy, and you are empowered to do all He has called you to do!

The next time you start thinking “I can’t…” or “I don’t have what it takes…,” attack those negative thoughts with the truth by declaring, “I have what it takes; I am well able; and I am equipped by His divine power at work in me!”

Risk it

We only go around once. There’s really no time to be afraid. So stop. Try something you’ve never tried. Teach it. Do it. Risk it.

To contemplate the role and significance of prayer in your life

It is the tool through which we communicate and to share of needs and troubles with the one above. The power of intension is remarkable. Asking for assistance requires trust and belief. It is the first step in receiving, and opening oneself to this sacred center of protection and growth.

Theophilus

[Thēŏph’ĭlŭs] — loved by god, lover of god, or friend of god. A Christian of high rank for whose use Luke wrote his gospel and the Acts of the Apostles
Luke 1:3: – With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus.

Acts 1:1: – In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach.

The term “most excellent,” used also of Felix and Festus
Acts 23:26: – 26 Claudius Lysias, To His Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings.

Acts 24:3: – Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.

Acts 26:25: – 25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.

indicates that Theophilus was a Roman official to whom Luke paid due deference, even though he was on intimate terms with him. It has been suggested “Theophilus” was the name this Gentile nobleman chose at his conversion to Christianity. Evidently Luke had fully instructed him in the cardinal truths of the Gospel (Luke 1:3: – With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus).

Hebrews 8:1-6

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

In essence, we have just such a high priest: authoritative right alongside God, condu cting worship in the one true sanctuary built by God. -The assigned task of a high priest is to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and it’s no different with the priesthood of Jesus. If he were limited to earth, he wouldn’t even be a priest. We wouldn’t need him since there are plenty of priests who offer the gifts designated in the law. These priests provide only a hint of what goes on in the true sanctuary of heaven, which Moses caught a glimpse of as he was about to set up the tent-shrine. It was then that God said, ‘Be careful to do it exactly as you saw it on the Mountain.’ -But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he’s working from a far better plan. If the first plan–the old covenant–had worked out, a second wouldn’t have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said, Heads up! The days are coming when I’ll set up a new plan for dealing with Israel and Judah. I’ll th row out the old plan I set up with their ancestors when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn’t keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go. This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; This time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people. They won’t go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They’ll all get to know me firsthand, the little and the big, the small and the great. They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean. By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.

Hebrews 8:1-6

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being. Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

In essence, we have just such a high priest: authoritative right alongside God, condu cting worship in the one true sanctuary built by God. -The assigned task of a high priest is to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and it’s no different with the priesthood of Jesus. If he were limited to earth, he wouldn’t even be a priest. We wouldn’t need him since there are plenty of priests who offer the gifts designated in the law. These priests provide only a hint of what goes on in the true sanctuary of heaven, which Moses caught a glimpse of as he was about to set up the tent-shrine. It was then that God said, ‘Be careful to do it exactly as you saw it on the Mountain.’ -But Jesus’ priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he’s working from a far better plan. If the first plan–the old covenant–had worked out, a second wouldn’t have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said, Heads up! The days are coming when I’ll set up a new plan for dealing with Israel and Judah. I’ll th row out the old plan I set up with their ancestors when I led them by the hand out of Egypt. They didn’t keep their part of the bargain, so I looked away and let it go. This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, isn’t going to be chiseled in stone; This time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I’ll be their God, they’ll be my people. They won’t go to school to learn about me, or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons. They’ll all get to know me firsthand, the little and the big, the small and the great. They’ll get to know me by being kindly forgiven, with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean. By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.

Kids Bible Study 6-28-2012

The Wedding In Cana – Jesus’ First Miracle

John 2:1-11

Jesus calls the servants and tells them to fill the water-pots with water.

IN CANA, A little town of Galilee, lived some friends of Jesus and his mother.  One day these friends invited Jesus, his mother, and his followers to attend a wedding in their home.  They invited many other people also, and prepared a feast for them.    Perhaps these people were poor; for they had not prepared enough wine for all the people who came to the wedding.  And before the close of the feast the wine was all gone.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, saw that the wine had all been used, and she called Jesus aside to tell him about it.  She knew of his wonderful power, and she believed he could surely help in a time like this.  Then she told the servants who waited at the tables to do whatever Jesus might command them; for she expected him to supply the need in some wonderful manner.

In every Jewish home there were large vessels, called water-pots, which the people kept filled with water to use in washing their hands and their feet.  The Jews were very careful to keep themselves clean from dust and dirt, and because they walked about everywhere with only sandals on their feet they needed often to wash.  In this home where the wedding-feast was being held, six large water-pots of stone were kept for this purpose.

Jesus called the servants and told them to fill the water-pots with water.  And remembering his mother’s instructions to them, the servants drew water and filled the vessels to the brim.  Then Jesus told them to draw out from the vessels and fill their wine-pitchers again.  When they obeyed they saw that wine flowed from the vessels they had just filled with water.

At these Jewish feasts one man was chosen to be the governor, or ruler of the feast.  He tasted the food and the wine before it was placed on the tables to serve the people.  Jesus told the servants to take this wine to the governor and have him taste it, just as he had tasted the first wine that had been served to the guests.

Now the governor did not know what Jesus had done.  He did not know that the other wine had all been used and there was no more to be had.  When he tasted the wine which Jesus had made from water he was surprised because it was so much better than the first wine which had been served.  Calling the young man who had just been married, the governor said,  “At other wedding-feasts the best wine is served first, but you have kept the best until the last of the feast.”

This was the first miracle Jesus performed, and it showed his willingness to help people who are in need.  When the men who followed him saw what he had done they believed on him, for they knew that no man could change water into wine as he did.

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