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Sun, Aug 23, 2020
Duration: 40 mins 21 secs
Paul prays for his readers. He does not them to walk in the dark, but to live with clarity, hope, and strength. His prayer not only thanks God for his ongoing work in them, but also outlines several requests. Knowing they are in a spiritual battle, he uses prayer to bolster them. Prayer does this. Ultimately, his intercession centers on the idea of clarity. They needed it. We need it. Clarity about our identity, destiny, capacity, and Jesus's victory are essential to walking in the light.
Sun, Aug 16, 2020
Duration: 33 mins 30 secs
Paul opens his letter with a profound blessing. It is theological rich and verbally effusive. He recounts the blessings from the Father, Son, and Spirit in the lives of the saints in Ephesus. These blessings apply to any follower of Jesus. God chose us, has a plan for us, and made a promise to us. Our most natural response is worship. We live to the praise of his glory.
Sun, Aug 09, 2020
Duration: 39 mins 59 secs
Jonah grouses with God. He's angry, ranting, raging. Twice he expresses his desire to die. God listens, asks, questions, and gets the last word. Jonah ends with a question about concerns. What concerns Jonah? What concerns us? Sadly, our anger blinds us to others as image-bearers in need of God's mercy. Anger riles us up, wears us out, and exposes our fragility. What we need is a long look at God's large love to turn our anger away.
Sun, Aug 02, 2020
Passage: Jonah 3:1-10
Duration: 41 mins 2 secs
After escaping death and being spit up on the shore, Jonah receives a second chance. God again calls him to preach to Nineveh, but God's tone seems to have changed. Jonah sniffs it out. And the people of Nineveh catch a note of compassion in Jonah's 40-Day Ultimatum. Change does not come easily to us, but when second chances, ultimatums, mobs, mandates, and God's compassion combine, it creates the right climate to face the monster of change. Jonah does. Nineveh does. Who knows, maybe even God does? Regardless, his compassion remains the same.
Sun, Jul 26, 2020
Duration: 43 mins 57 secs
After resisting God, Jonah realized the futility of his plan. He accepted his fate and went overboard. While sinking to the bottom of the sea, sensing the nearness of death, he cried out to God. His prayer blended well-known lines and images from the Psalms. Broken Jonah repented; savior God repented. This chapter demonstrates the remorse we feel as we look at death. It invites us to redirect our hearts to God to find grace and freedom. (NOTE: Audio quality a bit tinny due to recording issues.)
Sun, Jul 19, 2020
Duration: 49 mins 10 secs
Jonah resisted God's call. He wasn't the only prophet or person of faith to do it. We all do. We say No when God says Go. We chose comfort over calling and hide behind religion. We try to keep distance from God, but it is futile. He owns the heavens, land, and see. He'll find us. We must learn to accept Him and His will rather than run.
Sun, Jul 12, 2020
Passage: John 20:19-31
Duration: 35 mins 36 secs
Followers of Jesus imitate his kingdom mission. Fortunately, we do not work alone, in our own power, but in Jesus's presence by the power of His Spirit. John offers his slant on the Great Commission. In this text, he records Jesus's symbolic breath, promising the Spirit and calling his disciples to live an inspired life to make an impact for the kingdom. The same calling applies to us today.
Mon, Jul 06, 2020
Passage: Luke 23:26-49
Duration: 40 mins 26 secs
We will all die. A day will come when we breathe our last breath. This can be horrifying: spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally. Our culture has tried to deny death. Too many people die alone. But death can also be clarifying. Our purpose, people, and God's mercy come to light. Jesus experienced the horror and clarity of death. He died on the Cross for the sins of the world. His last breath teaches us the practice of "release."
Sun, Jun 28, 2020
Duration: 38 mins 31 secs
We all praise. It comes as naturally as breath. It comes when we lose our breath. Something beautiful, awesome, or memorable captures our attention and grips our emotion. We have to tell someone about it. This is praise. And when we pay attention to God, who he is and what he has done, praise is our response. Psalm 150 teaches praise as our primal response, appropriate ending, emotional engagement, and high volume shout of Hallelujah. Will you join the chorus?
Sun, Jun 21, 2020
Duration: 47 mins 9 secs
Saul was breathing threats and murder against Christians. Little did he know, we would soon join them as one of their chief spokespeople. Jesus stopped him on the way to Damascus, called his name, stole his sight, and gave him a new mission. Saul, who became Paul, converted, received his commission, and the rest, as they say, is history. His story is an example of Jesus taking the most odious breath and refreshing it. He did it with Paul; he does it with us.
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