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Preaching the Gospel

This is the reason that I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2for surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, 3and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, 4a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. 5In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: 6that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power. 8Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that he has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in him. 13I pray therefore that you may not lose heart over my sufferings for you; they are your glory. (Ephesians 3:1-13, NRSV)

Paul thought he was the chief of sinners and the least saint in the church. He thought he had done too much wrong to be in the light of Christ, yet Paul was the most prolific speaker of the gospel in his time. He helped gather congregations all over the known world and helped people hear the great news of how much God loved them. Because God could love Paul, God could love anyone.

And God will use all of us to tell the world about God’s love. God will speak through each of our lives to tell of the wonderful love that Christ brought for all of us.

Allow God to speak through your life and let God’s light shine so the darkness ios expelled and God’s love is made known.

 

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Come to Jesus for Rest

28“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NRSV)

If you are carrying a heavy burden by yourself, why are you doing that?

No one can make it through life on their own, we all need help.

Jesus here tells all of us that His burden is light and His yoke is easy.

I prefer over-easy yokes, a little runny, but that isn’t the yoke Jesus is talking about.

It is a device used to put teams of animals together so they can share the load of a wagon or a load. So it is evenly dispersed between the animals, or is it?

I always thought of the yoke as a device that would evenly share the weight, or allow one animal to slack while others pulled more and then others could slack while those who rested would pull more.

Jesus yoke is easy because He is doing the majority of the pulling, and He will lighten your burden.

So come to Jesus and find rest and allow the church to help you through your burdens.

 

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Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus

5This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; 7but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10, NRSV)

I think we all know that we are sinners. We have all fallen short of the life God intended for us to live.

But sometimes we get caught up in ourselves and we think we know better than God and it is in those moments this text comes into light.

Sometimes we do things for our own self interest and claim they are of God. We work systems so they come out the way we want them rather than following after God’s plan and ways.

Sometimes even as followers we shut off the light rather than spread it.

How can we make sure we are always showing light and not darkness?

 

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The True Light Comes Into the World

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:6-13, NRSV)

John was Jesus’ cousin and a herald for Jesus. John told everyone about Jesus and what he was going to do.

John was not the light of the world and he did not claim to be because he knew Jesus was.

It is not our job to be the light or the savior. It is our job to tell the world like John did. Share what God has done for you and God’s love with the world.

 

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In the Beginning was the Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1-5, NRSV)

Have you ever been in a dark place and then a light came in?

The darkness is dispersed and light takes over.

That is how Jesus is in our lives. Even when our flesh comes in and sin takes over Jesus pushes it all away.

His life over comes all of our sin and makes us clean.

And remember he loves you and wants you to have the life God has prepared for you.

 

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The Lord is my Light and Salvation

1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh— my adversaries and foes— they shall stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident.
4One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
5For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock.
6Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
(Psalm 27:1-6, NRSV)

No matter what happens in my life I will not fear. Because I know my God will always hide me in the shelter God has prepared for me.

God will conceal me in His tent and keep me from my enemies.

I will not fear for God is always with me and nothing can change that!

No matter what may come, I will rest in my God and I will not fear!

 

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Sin Dwells in Me

13Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.  (Romans 7:13-20, NRSV)

I do not understand my own actions, I do the things I don’t want to do and I don’t do the things I know I should do.

I don’t do the wrong I do, but it is the sin that dwells in me. My flesh is weak and though I have been washed by the waters of baptism and the Holy Spirit dwells in me sin still is in me. It dwells in my body until the day of physical death.

I fight to do what is right but my flesh has the way of sin.

We must cling to Christ and follow after what is right.

 

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