We are familiar with Revelation 2:10: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days, Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” This is from the second of seven letters to seven churches that comprise the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the book of Revelation.
I might spend a little too much time thinking about words. A word that comes to mind this time of the year is “presents” as in Christmas presents. I know it is a tradition that can get out of hand at times, but it is still some of the best fun a person can have to give somebody a present that they really do like a lot. Getting presents is fun, too; but the older we get the more fun it is to do the giving.
The church at Corinth was comprised of young Christians, that is to say, people who had not been Christians for a very long time. The whole idea of being in Christ was new to them and so they had problems. Paul responded to reports he had received about the nature of those problems and gave the people there teaching that would help them. He covered a number of subjects, each of which included an element of self control.
Luke 8 contains perhaps the most instructive and powerful parables known to man. I do not believe this to be an overstatement. The Parable of the Sower is a magnificent body of teaching that shows that the process by which a person becomes a child of God involves the acceptance of the Word of God.
For some time now we have been intending to paint the kitchen at our house. We’ve known we needed to do it but have not found the time to do it. Just too busy. Until Monday morning when Ginger (my lovely wife) announced, “Today is the day I’m going to paint the kitchen.” This sounded good to me as I thought I might take my walk and then go in to the office and do a little writing. Of course, I am way too smart (and interested in self-preservation) to pull a stunt like that. So I told her that I would help her paint the kitchen.
Luke 7:36-50 contains a beautiful and powerful account of love and forgiveness. Sometimes some of us get the idea that we have been too bad to be forgiven. When we think like that we need to remember what happened at this Pharisee’s house.
The remarkable things done by Jesus were tremendously influential and to say the least, newsworthy. These events came to the attention of John the Baptist (Luke 7:18-35). We know that John and Jesus had to have known of each other prior to the beginning of Jesus’ earthly work as they were related. Now, however, John is seeking clarification, perhaps for himself but certainly for those who would witness this exchange.
A. This is supposed to be the scary time of the year. Folks dress up like all sort of scary creatures, super heroes and princesses. We don’t believe in the Medieval Halloween at all, but we are not above having a little Fall Fun.
B. None of these things scare me because they are not real, and we all know it. There are no Zombies or Frankenstein’s monsters. When I was a kid skeletons scared me, particularly ones I saw walking about on TV. But now I know bones don’t walk except for Ezekiel 37.
Once a person is dead, that’s it for this life. In the medical world “clinical death” is spoken of and people are said to have come back from that state of being. But the word “death” may be misused in that case. Death is material terms is the cessation of life. If a person “comes back” then that individual was not truly dead in the first place. To bring a person back from the dead in this absolute sense would be and is an act requiring supernatural power.
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