When Moses and his generation pass away, Joshua picks up where he left off. Sadly, after Joshua passes, the people adandon the Lord and turn to idolatry. What happened? Rescent research shows there are several practices among all youth who are "resilient disciples". These timeless practices were just as effective in Moses day as they are in ours. The scriptures indicate Moses succeeded in these where Joshua failed.
Author: Dave Willcock (Dave Willcock)
This year it seems like there is an increased discussion in the media and among people about the anxiety and depression that surrounds the Christmas season for many who have experienced grief and other difficulties. In tonight's meditation we take a look and John chapter 1 and think about the incarnation of Christ and practices that help quell the anxieties we face.
Often times we find ourselves in seasons of confusion and difficulty much like Ruth and Boaz. In this morning's short meditation from Ruth 2 we look at Ruth and Boaz to see how they exemplified some the important things we should do during those seasons of life.
Jesus had many pointed confrontations with the Pharisees (religious sect of Judaism) during his ministry. In Matthew 23:24 Jesus describes their problem as not paying attention to the “weightier matters” of “justice, mercy, and faithfulness”. Somehow, they managed to be zealous about observance the mosaic law and yet missed the whole purpose at its heart. Are we any different? How can we avoid this type of hypocrisy?
In many people's religious experience, their initial belief in Jesus for salvation is the culmination of their entire faith journey. But Jesus tells us that truly being disciples is more than that. It means doing everything he taught and teaching others to do the same. The initial moment of believing in Christ is not the finish line, but the doorway into a life full of meaning, purpose, and eternal participation in the work of God's kingdom. As we seek to grow as disciples of Jesus, it quickly becomes apparent that we need each other to truly grow in Christ. God's design for us to walk this out together is the local church.
The church that does not sing is not really the church. Corporate worship in singing is one of the essential ministries of the gathered church. The scriptures command us repeatedly to "sing to the Lord". In Ephesians 5 the Apostle Paul gives us some specifics as to the function and importance of singing together in worship to the Lord.
Jesus just finished telling us "do not judge", but now he is telling us to observe the fruit other's lives and make a judgment! Furthermore in John 7 Jesus specifically commands "not to judge by outward appearances, but make righteous judgments".
Judging others is one of the most mentioned sins in the New Testament and yet we often neglect to give it any attention. In doing so, we place significant obstacles in the way of accomplishing our primary purpose on earth and invite unwelcome consequences on ourselves.
Caring for the needy is foundational to the Christian life. We all face the same struggle of caring for the needy not out of compulsion, but from a willing heart of gratitude whose hope is not found in amassing wealth in this age but in the age to come.
The reactions to the resurrection of Jesus give great insight into what this event means to us all.