Tag Archives: Christ

In the Direction of the Cross

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“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”  Luke 9:51

Right now we Lutherans are in the midst of Lent, a time when we remember Christ’s journey to the cross.  It’s apparent that Jesus knew exactly where his trip to Jerusalem would take him, because in the same chapter he tells his disciples:

“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”  Luke 9:22

Yet, He was determined.  Why?  He knew it was His Father’s will, and He knew His sacrifice was necessary to save us from our sins, once and for all.  The suffering, the rejection, the pain was insignificant in light of the benefit to the world.  It’s embarrassing to think of how I often I am annoyed at the prospect of sacrificing for somebody else, even when all I am sacrificing is my own convenience or time!  This is not Christ-like, and not what is expected of us as true followers:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  Luke 9:23

Lent is a time to ponder the way of the cross.  The way Christ took and the way we’re called to walk as well.

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What is Advent – Part 1

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The following is the first in a series of excerpts from a sermon given by Jim Edgel on Advent.  Each day I will post another part of this.  He explains the meaning o advent and some of the traditions we celebrate.

 

“Friends this is the first Sunday in the season of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming” or “arrival”. The advent of our Lord is the beginning of the “Church Year” and observed during the four weeks prior to Christmas. This is a time for Christians to Prepare their hearts as a welcome place for God and Prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to Prepare for the second coming of Jesus as the risen Christ to rule triumphantly over life in heaven and on earth. During the Advent season our prayers and Bible readings should be focused on preparing us spiritually for Christmas (the first coming), but also for his eventual second coming. That is why Advent services include both Old Testament passages related to the expected Messiah and New Testament passages concerning Jesus’ second coming as judge of all. Also passages about John the Baptist, the precursor who prepared the way for the Messiah. Jesus is the light of the world. We who have sat in darkness have seen a great light, the light of Jesus Christ, our salvation.  We are reminded of the light that Jesus brings us by lighting the candles in our Advent wreath.”

 

Next time – The Advent Wreath  – Stay tuned.

New Month/New Theme?

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“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”  2 Corinthians 2:14-16

One of our authors suggested we make February a “potpourri” month, allowing everyone to write about anything they choose.  Others liked that idea.  So this month we don’t have one specific theme.  It is an opportunity to study, write and discuss anything on the hearts and minds of our ladies.

The definition of potpourri is:

a mixture of dried petals and spices placed in a bowl or small sack to perfume clothing or a room;  a mixture of things, especially a musical or literary medley.   

This reminded me of the verse above from 2nd Corinthians.  I am hoping that February will be a time for us become that aroma of Christ and spread the knowledge of His love and sacrifice everywhere. So go ahead, ladies!  Tell us what you really think!

How to Bear Fruit

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“Abide in me, and I in you.  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.  He who abides in me, and I in him,  he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:4-5

Jesus is speaking to the disciples here, and his words are clear.  To be fruitful, they must abide, or remain in Him.  He compares the Christian life to a vine which will wither and die if it is separated from the root.  The fruit of the spirit flows from a life that is rooted in Christ.  The disciples could not do it on their own, and neither can we.

How do we stay connected to Christ?  It’s simple.

  • Stay in His word.  Read it daily.  Study it.  Memorize it.  Think about it.  Respond to it.
  • Stay in prayer.  Prayer is our lifeline, our personal connection to Him.  Pray first, last and always.  Pray to ask, and pray to listen.
  • Stay with His people.  Go to church.  Offer hospitality.  Encourage one another.  Love one another.

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”  John 15:8

The Five Solas, pt 3

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  • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
  • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
  • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
  • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
  • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

Through Christ Alone

I can’t write anything that would explain this sola better than this song.  I get chills every time I hear this song.  Here are the lyrics:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

I love this recording by Adrienne Leisching & Geoff Moore.  I hope you enjoy it too.

A Quote from G.K. Chesterton

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This is a quote from G.K. Chesterton’s book, The Everlasting Man.

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.

I have to admit, I haven’t read this book, but the quote makes me want to read it.  What an interesting insight into the resurrection. In a recent Bible study we came to the following passage from Romans 8:19-20

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

Sometimes we forget that just as we were tarnished by sin, so was the entire world and everything in it.  So the resurrection does not just offer hope to us, but to everything God created.

Has anyone following the blog read this book by Chesterton?  What can you tell us?