Guaranteed!

As pilgrims making our way through the harsh elements of life, can we really be sure that we will reach our destination? In short, yes. In fact, both our survival and arrival are guaranteed. This is God’s promise to us as the Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians.

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The Pollution of Sin

Within the city I live in, there is limited natural, green space in which to escape the cacophony and the concrete. But there is one place my family and I frequent that gives us some sense of escape. It is a small water reservoir with a dirt path on the perimeter and populated by a variety of birds and flowers. It’s a nice place, other than the the greenish, contaminated water, the beer bottles, the lost shoe, the bag of garbage, etc.

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Multidimensional Gospel

When it comes to theology, we tend to take a doctrine and strip it down to its basic form, leaving out all the intricacies and complicating details. We zero in on a particular verse or repeated theme in Scripture and then we say “That’s what it is all about.” We do this so that we can fit the doctrine neatly in our minds, keep it there, and pass it on to others.

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The Terrible Awesome Resurrecting Power of God

The ending of the gospel of Mark can be surprising – a group of women, close friends and family of Jesus, get up early in the morning to visit the tomb where Jesus lay so they can give him a proper burial. Instead of finding Jesus wrapped in burial clothes, they see an angel in white robes who explains that Jesus has been resurrected and can be found in the region of Galilee. 

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Sin is Like a Snowball

Sin is like a snowball rolling down a hill. I admit that’s a bit of an odd comparison, but I think it gets the point across well. Sin is never content to remain small, and if it is allowed the space and time it will gain momentum and eventually morph into a giant ball of evil. The farther down the hill sin rolls, the harder it is to stop, and when it finally reaches the bottom we can’t quite believe what it has transformed itself into. 

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Contrasts

When reading a Scripture passage it is often helpful to look for how the characters of the story are contrasted. The contrast highlights important aspects of who the characters are and what they do. We see this in the case of Cain and Abel, David and Saul, Mordecai and Haman, and others throughout the history of God’s people.

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No Surprises!

As the four disciples sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple they pondered what Jesus had told them moments before. He had just prophesied the complete destruction of the temple, and the disciples were a bit troubled by the news. So Peter, James, John, and Andrew got up and asked Jesus directly: “When will these things happen?” 

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The Most Important

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law of Jesus’ day are notorious for their hypocrisy and misplaced religious zeal. But we shouldn’t paint them all with the same brush. In chapter twelve of Mark’s gospel we meet one of the teachers of the law who came to Jesus not to trap him in his words, but to seek out his wisdom. 

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The King We Need

Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover week is one of the most iconic images in all his ministry. The picture presented to us in Scripture is rich with meaning and challenges our understanding of who Jesus is. It certainly was challenging for the Jews of Jesus’ day, especially as they followed their newly hailed king into the royal city and witnessed what he did next. 

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Do Not Hinder Them

Jesus loves the little children. His love and concern for even the littlest ones of society is demonstrated in the fact that people were eager to bring their children to him. It’s obvious that they saw Jesus, powerful a figure as he was, as someone who would receive babies and toddlers into his arms. And Jesus encouraged them to come. 

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