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once you were not…

Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall.”  They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:1-10, NRSV)

Once we were not a people. We did not have any place to hang our hats, to call home.

But now that we have been brought into the house of the Lord we are God’s people!

We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people!

We were not, but now we are, because of Jesus, and God’s mercy and favor.

Tell everyone and invite everyone because all are welcome here!

 

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hearing

160706For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:13-17, NRSV)

How can we hear if no one proclaims?

And that is where we come in…

You see we have heard the story, and so we need to go and share the story. Jesus sent us, “Go therefore into all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them everything I taught you…”

So you were sent to teach and preach about everything you have learned and heard about Jesus, so that those who have never heard can hear! So when they hear they can call on His name and receive His grace!

So go and tell the story so that all may hear about Jesus’ wondrous love!

 

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A feast

esther-haman-1On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace. As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his favor and he held out to her the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter. The king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther desires.” So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. While they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther said, “This is my petition and request: If I have won the king’s favor, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and then I will do as the king has said.” So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?” Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. The king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that the king had determined to destroy him. When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman had thrown himself on the couch where Esther was reclining; and the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the words left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.”  So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated. (Esther 5:1-8, 7:1-10, NRSV)

Have you ever had to tell someone something that you were not sure how they would take it?

Did you ever have to tell a friend that someone they thought was looking out for their interests were really only trying to get their way?

It is hard when we have to do things we are not sure of the outcome.

But Esther shows us that standing up for the truth while never easy is the right thing to do.

So stand up for what is true, and hold fast to what God has told you to do, knowing that He will always be with you!

 

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Don’t tell them…

imageAnd as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”  (Mark 9:9-13, ESV)

Tell no one!

But Jesus I thought we were suppose to tell everyone about you.

But actually did Jesus tell them not to share? No.

Jesus said to wait until the Son of Man rose from the dead. Because He knew that the people weren’t ready to hear about this. Until He had rose and they saw this and realized all of what He had said and the Hebrew Scriptures were true. Now they can get it…

You see the prophets came and that is the same with John the Baptist who was beheaded because the words he spoke from God were not accepted.

Jesus wants those we share the truths He gives us to be ready. We can’t over load those around us with the truth…

Time and growth helps us be disciples and live into the life He has for us!

 

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Good News

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’ (Matthew 11:2-6, NRSV)

The messengers from John question Jesus and He tells them, “the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.” Now all of these are miracles, except maybe the last one. Blind see, lame walk, lepers cleaned, deaf hear are all pretty miraculous things. But the poor hear good news… Is that really something to be writing home about?

I guess that depends on what you mean by Good News!

Have you ever gotten news you wanted to share with everyone?

And do you believe that Jesus died for your sins?

And who have you told?

That is good news. You do not have to spend eternity apart from the one who created you! Isn’t that really the best news of all, and yet we do not share it…

We tell everyone we know about a great restaurant or a good movie, yet we will not even talk to our best friends about our faith!

So why are we not sharing the Good News? Jesus heralded it as one of the markers of the coming of the Kingdom.

Are you helping bring on the Kingdom?

 

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