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The Transfiguration

July 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone (vv. 1-8).

Jesus: Recruiter

September 3, 2015 Leave a comment

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him (vv. 18-22).

Categories: Andrew, james, jesus, john, peter

Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone (Matthew 17:1-8, NRSV).

James 3:13-14

October 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth (NIV).

Categories: humility, james

James 3: Extended Teaching on Use of the Tongue

January 25, 2014 Leave a comment

My brothers and sisters, do not encourage a large number of you to become teachers because teachers will be held to a higher standard. We all stumble along the way. If a person never speaks hurtful words or shouts in anger or profanity,then he has achieved perfection. The one who can control his tongue can also control the rest of his body. It’s like when we place a metal bit into a horse’s mouth to ride it; we can control its entire body with the slightest movement of our hands. Have you ever seen a massive ship sailing effortlessly across the waterDespite its immense size and the fact that it is propelled by mighty winds, a small rudder directs the ship in any direction the pilot chooses. It’s just the same with our tongues! It’s a small muscle, capable of marvelous undertakings.

And do you know how many forest fires begin with a single ember from a small campfire? The tongue is a blazing fire seeking to ignite an entire world of vices. The tongue is unique among all parts of the body because it is capable of corrupting the whole body. If that were not enough, it ignites and consumes the course of creation with a fuel that originates in hell itself. Humanity is capable of taming every bird and beast in existence, even reptiles and sea creatures great and small. But no man has ever demonstrated the ability to tame his own tongue! It is a spring of restless evil, brimming with toxic poisons. Ironically this same tongue can be both an instrument of blessing to our Lord and Father and a weapon that hurls curses upon others who are created in God’s own image. One mouth streams forth both blessings and curses. My brothers and sisters, this is not how it should be. Does a spring gush crystal clear freshwater and moments later spurt out bitter salt water? My brothers and sisters, does a fig tree produce olives? Is there a grapevine capable of growing figs? Can salt water give way to freshwater?

Who in your community is understanding and wise? Let his example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness, blaze a trail for others. If your heart is one that bleeds dark streams of jealousy and selfishness, do not be so proud that you ignore your depraved state. The wisdom of this world should never be mistaken for heavenly wisdom; it originates below in the earthly realms, with the demons. Any place where you find jealousy and selfish ambition, you will discover chaos and evil thriving under its rule. Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy, and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. The seed that flowers into righteousness will always be planted in peace by those who embrace peace (The Voice).

Categories: james, tongue

Review of James

January 18, 2014 Leave a comment

James continues to be a book which generates great controversy among various American Christian denominations.

Each group tries to make the book its own.

Its message is practical and simple.

Watch your mouth. Actions matter more than words alone. You can make a difference in others’ lives.

This book is as important today as it was nearly 2000 years ago.

Categories: james

Compassion

January 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Brothers and sisters, if someone you know loses his way and rebels against God, pursue him in love and bring him back to the truth. Know this: If you turn a sinner back from the error of his ways, then you will rescue him from the grips of death and cover the pain and consequences of untold sins (vv. 19-20, The Voice).

Categories: james

Prayer

January 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Are any in your community suffering? They should pray. Are any celebrating? They should sing praises to God. Are any sick? They should call the elders of your church and ask them to pray. They will gather around and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayers offered in faith will restore them from sickness and bring them to health. The Lord will lift them up from the floor of despair; and if the sickness is due to sin, then God will forgive their sins. So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another. In the end, you may be healed. Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life. Remember Elijah? He was a man, no different from us. He prayed with great intensity asking God to withhold the rain; God answered his prayers and did not allow a single drop of rain to fall for three and a half years. It did not rain until Elijah prayed again for God to open the skies, when the rain came down and the earth produced a great crop.

Why should we bother to pray if God already knows what we are going to ask for? Prayer involves so much more than making personal requests. It connects us with God and works to bring our wills into conformity with His.

How, then, should we pray? First, James tells us to pray in community, not just by ourselves and for ourselves. When we pray together, life is shared and community is born. We also confess our sins, not just to God, but to each other. Through this vulnerable transparency, God knits souls together in authentic community, and we discover the true benefit of prayer (vv. 13-18, The Voice).

Categories: james, Prayer

Honest, Careful Words

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

It is even more important, my brothers and sisters, that you remember not to make a vow by the heavens or the earth or by anything. When you say “yes,” it should always mean “yes,” and “no” should always mean “no.” If you can keep your word, you will avoid judgment (v. 12, The Voice).

Categories: james

Prophet Perseverence

January 14, 2014 1 comment

The prophets who declared the word of the Lord are your role models, my brothers and sisters, for what it means to live patiently in the face of suffering. Look, we bless and honor the memory of those who persevered under hardship.Remember how Job endured and how the Lord orchestrated the triumph of his final circumstances as a grand display of His mercy and compassion (vv. 10-11, The Voice).

Categories: james, prophet
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