Journal Entry // March 25, 2023
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (ESV)
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Whenever we wonder why the Old Testament is important, Jesus fulfilled it. Whenever we question the importance of the Law in our everyday life, Jesus fulfilled it. Whenever we suggest that we simply follow Jesus by walking in love, then we must remember that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. If we are to take up our cross and follow Christ, then we must always remember that Jesus came not to abolish the Old Testament, but to fulfill it. Jesus moves into this next section of his sermon to begin unwrapping what he means in this statement. He will bring clarity and understanding into this phrase over the next thirty-one verses. Helping us to see and understand that the Law is for our health and fellowship with God. The demands of the Law have been fulfilled in Jesus and the ethics are now better understood in light of this fulfillment.
Continue reading “Fulfillment Embodied” →
Journal Entry // March 22, 2023
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (ESV)
Jesus has now reached the conclusion of his salt and light analogy and brings us to the point and purpose of living life in God’s design. We are to live life in such a way that we are active and engaging the people in the community around us. Shining our light by living a life of humble dependence upon Jesus. This humble dependent life will then be the display upon which people see the good works of God being demonstrated and performed. This in turn will stir their hearts to bring glory to the Father in heaven. I am to be like a rock of Ebenezer (1 Samuel 7:12). A memorial stone set up to remind the people of all the good and loving ways the Lord has provided for us. I am to be a stone pointing people back to the High King of Heaven. I demonstrate God’s love and mercy and goodness every day through my humble obedience and believing faith. Making much of Jesus and giving glory to my Father.
Continue reading “Conduit of Praise” →
Journal Entry // March 21, 2023
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (ESV)
We are the light of the world. We are the lamp that has been lit for a purpose. That purpose is the same as that of any lamp. We are designed specifically to bring the light of the gospel of Jesus to a lost and broken dark world. We are to highlight and shine forth the wonderful good news of salvation and freedom found only in the work of Christ upon the cross. We put this on a stand so that this glorious truth may give its light to everyone around us. This light of the gospel will illuminate the hearts and minds of people. It will change and transform as only the power of Christ can. This light of the gospel is the work of Christ and we are the lamps of Christ, lit to display the light and take it to the farthest corner of every house in this world.
Continue reading “Hiding Light” →
Journal Entry // March 12, 2023
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (ESV)
Just like the previous statement where Jesus declared his followers were salt, here too he makes a definitive declaration that those who have a renewed heart filled with faith and righteousness are the light of the world. It’s not that his followers can be a light or should be a light or even ought to be a light. No, Jesus is telling us that his disciples are lights. More than that, he is declaring that his people are THE light of the world. Without this light, the world would be in darkness. Just as Jesus declared that he was the light of the world, so too are his disciples as they are filled with the Holy Spirit and the righteousness of Christ.
Continue reading “Light in the Darkness” →
Week Eleven of Cultivate Delight, where we are actively planning our spiritual endeavors this coming week with the goal of a consistent time spent engaging our hearts with Christ in his word, in prayer, and in reflection. Below are some starting points for reflection, and I hope you find them helpful. The goal is to not rush through these and then get on with your day. Take your time and reflect throughout the week on these items. Come back often and let your heart be refreshed in the love of Christ for you.
“If God is not sovereign, then God is not God.”
Continue reading “Week 11, 2023” →
– R.C. Sproul
Week Ten of Cultivate Delight, where we are actively planning our spiritual endeavors this coming week with the goal of a consistent time spent engaging our hearts with Christ in his word, in prayer, and in reflection. Below are some starting points for reflection, and I hope you find them helpful. The goal is to not rush through these and then get on with your day. Take your time and reflect throughout the week on these items. Come back often and let your heart be refreshed in the love of Christ for you.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
Continue reading “Week 10, 2023” →
– C.S. Lewis
Journal Entry // March 8, 2023
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (ESV)
As we live out these opening verses of the Sermon, Jesus tells us that we are now the salt of the earth. There is a lot of deep meaning packed into this small comparison. Salt was an essential preservative and seasoning among other things. In our modern times, we have lost some of the meaning of this statement and the impact that salt had on the world at the time. Regardless, the focus for me this morning as I read through this section is the idea that salt can lose its saltiness. This statement of Jesus is of major importance in my life. If salt can lose its saltiness, what does that mean for me? At a minimum, I think it means that my gospel witness will be ineffective and my spiritual impact on this world will be severely negated. In essence, if I forego the saltiness of an intimate relationship with Jesus and the life-changing union and communion with Christ, then what I am good for at this point?
Continue reading “Salty Salt” →
Book Reflection // March 4, 2023 // View Series
The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice
Chapter 10 // Matthew 25:1-13
In this parable of the Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins, Jesus presents a story that illustrates some essential traits that are the key difference between a person being considered wise and foolish. The two sets of women are very similar. In the end, the foolish women had every intention and desire to attend the wedding banquet but missed out due to their own faulty planning and preparation.
Continue reading “Five Foolish Women and Their Friends” →
Journal Entry // March 3, 2023
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (ESV)
As Jesus ends this section of his sermon about the beatitudes, those blessed and approved by God, he makes a transition from talking in general terms about “blessed are those” to “blessed are you”. Why does he end this section moving to the specificity of “you”? Since it is a simple matter in my heart to hear the non-specific and not actually think he is talking about me, Jesus brings this section to a close by reminding me that he is indeed talking about me. And what is it that this personal application is telling me? It is in no uncertain terms telling me that if I am following Christ and living a beatific life, then there will be suffering and persecution in my life. This adversity will not just be esoteric and visited upon others. No, Jesus is telling me that just as people reviled, persecuted, and uttered false evils against him, so too will I receive these same trials on his account. So when they come, what am I to do? I am to rejoice and be glad!
Continue reading “Rejoice and be Glad” →
Journal Entry // March 1, 2023
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)
Those that are satisfied in their hunger and thirst for righteousness will express this satisfaction through a life of mercy, purity, and peacemaking. They will be blessed themselves as they live a life devoted to blessing others. Don’t we all want to be involved and engaged with people who are merciful, pure in heart, and makers of peace? The last beatitude can be seen as a summation of what we can expect if we are living a satisfied life in the righteousness of Christ. This beatific life, this last blessed announcement that Jesus proclaims is to set a proper expectation of what we will receive in this world as we live a satisfied life in Christ. We can expect persecution. Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. When others bring persecution because they see Jesus in us, we can rest in the understanding that ours is the kingdom of heaven. The assurance of salvation and our heavenly reward can be found in the trials and adversity that are brought upon us simply because we act like Jesus.
Continue reading “Blessed Persecution” →