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The Peaceful Kingdom

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:1-9, NRSV)

Where is hope?

The shoot that will come from Jesse, the father of David, who is to be on the throne forever.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see or his hears hear but by the judgment that comes from the Lord.

In His kingdom, the wolf and lamb will lie down together. The leopard and the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling, and all will be led by a child. A child born to us to be a king…

So hope in the Messiah and follow His lead.

Share His peace with everyone.

 

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tie one on…

Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.” (Luke 17:1-4, NRSV)

Have you ever thought about how big a millstone actually is?

If you were to tie one around your neck and throw yourself into the sea you would be dead.

And of course, that is Jesus’ point. It would be better for you to be dead than to lead someone astray from Him.

We will all stumble on our own, but if we cause another to stumble that is worse than stumbling.

You see our job is to make the path clear for others to see Jesus and to come to Him. Not by telling them what they have to do or how they have to live, but by showing them the love that Jesus gave to us.

So don’t tie one on, and don’t cause another to stumble.

Let Jesus love you and let the love spill over in your life.

 

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Who do you say I am?

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (Matthew 16:13-20, NRSV)

Who do you say that I am?

Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And he was praised because he did not receive this answer from men, but from God and he believed it.

And then Jesus said, “you are Πετροσ and upon this rock I will build my church,” And it seems that Jesus is saying upon Peter (Πετροσ, because Petros means Rock and it is where we get Peter from) is where the foundation of the church will be. But could it be something else?

You see Caesarea Philippi was the home of the temple of Pan and the place where that temple stood was known as the Gates of Hades, which is interesting because Jesus follows up upon this rock I will build my church with and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Was Jesus saying that He was going to build His church on Peter, or upon this rock, the very rock I am standing on, where pagan rituals happen and the world is worshipped, meaning that every where is the foundation of my church and nothing will prevail against it?

You see we have the power to forgive sin, given in the power of the keys to the kingdom, to give peace and forgiveness. So the world might see the kingdom of God all around them.

Because no earthly kingdom will stop the kingdom of God.

So who do you say Jesus is?

 

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Sinking…

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’ (Matthew 14:22-33, NRSV)

Why did Peter sink?

Jesus called him out of the boat and as he looked at Jesus he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water.

But when Peter noticed the wind and his focus shifted he started to sink.

Peter took his focus off of Jesus. If we focus on Jesus, we will walk on water.

Don’t doubt, just focus on Jesus!

 

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Easy

“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30, NRSV)

What does society want?

If one doesn’t drink or spend time with anyone they give him a hard time. If they drink a little and spend time with people they get a hard time. Neither is what they want…

But are we to do what society wants us to or what God is leading us to do?

Because society would say that Jesus doesn’t give rest to the weary. Becuase Jesus doesn’t make everything magically easy for every believer. And when society hears rest they think easy. But here is the thing with this, Jesus says I will give you rest not take away your concerns or make everything easy.

Take my yoke upon you…

What is a yoke?

Not an egg center!

It is a way to distribute the weight of an item.

It is a way to give some of your stress and concerns to Jesus so you aren’t pulling them on your own.

So Jesus doesn’t make your life easy, but He walks with you to help you carry the load.

So take His yoke and know He is helping you through life!

 

 

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What drives you?

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe them. We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:1-16, NRSV)

Do not be worried about regulations, but fix your heart in Grace.

Always do good to everyone for you never know when you are entertaining an angel.

Hold everything in honor and live a life worthy of the gospel.

You do this by anchoring your life in the mercy and grace God gave you. And allow that to be the thing that drives you, not rules and regulations.

So be held in grace and nothing else and allow that to move you through life!

 

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abide in love

”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. (John 15:1-17, NRSV)

Love one another and abide in me.

Jesus tells the disciples how they are connected to Him in a way they can understand. Some scholars even believe that Jesus was walking through a vineyard when this discussion happened, because there was a vineyard close by where they would have been walking that night, as you see this is part of the farewell discourse that happened the night He was arrested. Jesus is the vine that runs between us and connects us together and with the Father and when we abide in Him, we abide in each other and the Father.

So if we abide in Jesus we will bear fruit. We will bear the fruit of love.

So abide in love and bear the fruit which the world needs.

 

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