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  • In all ways tempted like we are

    In all ways tempted like we are

    In speaking about Jesus, the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us: (Hebrews 4:15 NASB) we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. In other words, in regards to temptation, there is an “equal sign” there between Jesus and me.

    Now, in Math, the equal sign works both ways. That means that not only was Jesus tempted the way we are all tempted, it is also true that we are tempted the way Jesus was tempted. This realization makes me see Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness in a new light.

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  • Who are we fighting for?

    Who are we fighting for?

    In last week’s post I started with Pontius Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus. There was one line in there that struck me as worthy of pondering, also in light of current events, but since it was not on the subject of Truth, I didn’t emphasize it. It’s time to go back to it today.

    When Pontius Pilate gets to his ‘Aha!” moment: ‘So, you are a King!’ Jesus’ response is this: “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

    Which brings me to the question: Have you ever found yourself fighting to defend Jesus?

    And the second question: What would Jesus say about that?

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  • What is Truth?

    What is Truth?

    At the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate, the prefect of Judea asks Jesus a pointed question (all quotes are from John 18:33-38 in the NIV) “Are you the king of the Jews?” To which Jesus answers:

    “Is that your own idea, or did others talk to you about me?”

    Irritated Pilate replies: “Am I a Jew? Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

    Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

    “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

    Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

    “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

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  • Mercy in disguise

    Mercy in disguise

    A long time ago I did a Bible Study on the Kings of Judah. This was the southern kingdom, the one ruled by the descendants of King David. Whereas the Kings of Israel, the northern kingdom, went from bad to worse, most of the ones in Judah stayed close to God. That is, until the end. We talked about that end last time, from the book of the prophet Jeremiah. The end of Israel was expected; they reaped what they sowed. But what happened to Judah? When did they cross the line of no return?

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  • Mercy and Grace of a realistic kind.

    Mercy and Grace of a realistic kind.

    Part of the truth of the saying, ‘you reap what you sow’, is that if you have indeed sown the seed, it WILL germinate sooner or later. It is not a question of IF, it is a question of WHEN. God gave the Prophet Jeremiah the unenviable mission of proclaiming to the Kingdom of Judah that their time had run out; their WHEN had finally come. Was that verdict irrevocable?

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  • Recognizing the times. Part 5 of 5.

    Recognizing the times. Part 5 of 5.

    Chapter 12 of Luke’s gospel repeats many of the words and themes from the Sermon on the Mount. But, at the beginning of His ministry, the Sermon taught me how I am called to live as a child of God. Now, later on in the ministry, as the end draws near, when I have heard Him more than once say, “count the cost”, the same words acquire a different meaning. I have to face the question, why have I been called to live as a child of God?

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  • Recognizing the times. Part 4 of 5: Generosity with a big G.

    Recognizing the times. Part 4 of 5:  Generosity with a big G.

    Have you ever had your train of thought interrupted? In Luke chapter 12, Jesus is trying to explain how important it is to be ready for the coming of the Messiah. To Him it is a matter of life or death, eternal life or eternal death. And as he is building up his argument, step by step, someone in the audience raises his hand and starts talking about money.

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  • Luke 12; recognizing the times. Part 3 of 5: Living in two realities.

    Luke 12; recognizing the times. Part 3 of 5:  Living in two realities.

    If you had asked one of the Scribes of the Pharisees what it would take for the long-awaited Messiah to come, chances are the answer would have been: “For all of you to shape up and live righteous lives.” That is one way several scriptures about the Messiah were interpreted: The sins of Israel were the obstacle that kept holding back His arrival. It explains the zeal of the Pharisees for obeying every little law and even explains why they were so harsh with the sinners all around them. But Jesus, addressing the same subject of the coming of the Messiah, starts his discourse by pointing out the error of the Pharisees.

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  • Recognizing the times. Part 2: What are you afraid of?

    Recognizing the times. Part 2:  What are you afraid of?

    Chapter 12 of Luke’s gospel is about getting prepared for the arrival of the Messiah. Jesus started the conversation by addressing the first obstacle that gets in our way, namely, the leaven of hypocrisy: Claiming with my lips to love God but living and believing the opposite in my heart. The next obstacle he is going to address is fear. Are these two obstacles connected? Yes. The Pharisees are the proof.

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  • Recognizing the times. Part 1:  The chain of righteousness

    Recognizing the times. Part 1:  The chain of righteousness

    As we read the Gospels, we come across passages where Jesus says the same thing, but not in exactly the same context. It seems to me that in those occasions we are coming across sayings, proverbs, that were favorites of Jesus. Like His parables, they are statements easy to remember, concise and maybe – on the surface – obvious but, inside, they are full of meaning because they reveal an important Kingdom Truth.

    One of those sayings has to do with recognizing the times we are living in.

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