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I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

The cure for the heart troubled by the future or the present is found in Jesus alone. We all face trouble, and it’s very hard not to fixate on the pain, discomfort, disappointment, confusion, or worry. But Jesus teaches His disciples, whose hearts were troubled, that the balm for our troubled hearts lies beyond this world, not in this one.

So in this text, Jesus tells His followers to believe…

Believe in Jesus for the future He promises
Believe in Jesus for the present salvation He offers
Believe in Jesus for who He is.

Scripture: John 1:19; Job 14:1; Romans 8:21; Hebrews 13:14

God Gets the Last Word

Since the beginning, the Church has faced afflictions and persecutions. The Thessalonian church was enduring persecutions and Paul wrote to encourage them in their faith, instruct them for their faith, and pray for their faith. He taught them that persecution in the present points to the future judgement of the world, the reliability of God’s word (He can be trusted), and the genuineness of their faith in Christ. All of that would work together to help them and help us – when we face rejection and criticism for our faith – to respond by rejoicing that we were counted worthy to suffer for His name, and to rest that no matter what happens, our God gets the last word.

Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12; 1 Peter 4:17; Philippians 1:27-28; Acts 5:41; John 15:18-20; Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 19

Don’t Give Up!

Rejection and failure affect all of us at some level. Who likes to share something of importance and deep personal value only to have it rejected, questioned, or mocked? When you’re being authentic and open, you’ve made yourself vulnerable. The least you hope for is a reasonable response.

Maybe you’ve faced rejection in the past when sharing your story of faith in Christ? Or perhaps you’ve been met with an antagonistic response to the gospel as you presented it and felt like you failed?

Those encounters can create a fear that keeps us quiet. The Apostle Paul wrestled with that fear as well. In this text we see how Jesus encouraged him, no matter what, to never give up!

Scripture: Acts 18:1-23

The Promised Son

The people to whom Isaiah speaks, the people of the northern Kingdom of Israel, have turned their backs to God. They remain spiritual people, but they no longer seek God’s will from His word, they trust in other sources, to the extent that they ask mediums to “speak to the dead about the living.” They are suffering and will suffer as a result of God’s discipline – being taken into captivity as a people. They have no light in them, they walk in darkness.

But God gives Isaiah a message of hope, that this people will not always walk in darkness. A light will come, not only for them, but also for the nations! The One who comes will be a child, a child born, a child given to them. And this child will bring them light as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He will bring a Kingdom that will never end.

Scripture: Isaiah 8:20-9:7; Matthew 4:12-17

The Surprising Truth About Suffering

The fact is that everyone experiences periods of suffering. That is true for individuals, families, and churches. Unfortunately, many Christians seem to believe that pain is the greatest evil. We tend to ask why it is happening to us and then to look for solutions as quickly as we can.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 is written to show us how God can turn trials into instruments in His hands that can lead us to trust God beyond what we’ve believed Him before and to become more of what He wants.

The question is not if we will experience trials. We all will. The problem is what we will do with them.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; James 4:6

The King Is Born!

Christ is the great central fact of the world’s history. To him, everything looks forward or backward. All the lines of history converge upon him. All the great purposes of God culminate in him. The greatest and most momentous fact that the history of the world records is the fact of his birth.  Charles Haddeon Spurgeon

Scripture: Luke 2:1-21

Strength for Suffering

When the cultural powers stack the deck against the people of God, as they were beginning to do in Peter’s day, how do we live and walk every day with a resilient faith while we suffer for the sake of Christ and his kingdom?

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:18-22

He Has Chosen You

The Biblical teaching of Election is such a theologically charged subject. What’s the relationship between Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility? Does it eliminate the necessity or urgency of evangelism? And how do I know if I am chosen?

In 1 Thessalonians 1, Paul shows us five ways we can know we are Chosen by God and loved by him!

Scripture: Acts 17:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 1