ChurchesGrowth is measured by a spiritual, not material, increase.Support other churches rather than duplicate their mission.Take risks with new ventures and end something that has served its purpose.Protect children and the vulnerable. Care for them in a way that best suits their needs.ChristiansForemost in every Christian is the desire for a deep relationship.Must each be … Continue reading SIMPLE LESSONS FOR CHURCHES AND CHRISTIANS
One day as Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” This well-wisher was bestowing a blessing in true Jewish fashion. Luke records the event just after the Pharisees had been challenging Jesus. 1 This blessing holds significant … Continue reading MOTHERS BLESSING
If you hear of a new Christian movement or someone claiming God has spoken to them, what is your reaction? Personally, I tend to be sceptical. I can understand the response of the first people who observed the actions of Jesus. Having the authority to cast out evil spirits can't have been commonplace. The Bible tells us people … Continue reading WHOSE AUTHORITY?
The account of Mary and Martha is commonly divided into the traditions of the day and the women's character traits. It highlights how Jesus was challenging the status quo of gender equality. There is a lesson to be found in the conflicting attitudes of Mary and Martha. For followers of Jesus, it's also about living a … Continue reading BALANCE
A crowd had gathered around a boy possessed by a particularly disruptive spirit.1 At the start of the chapter, the disciples had been given authority to drive out all evil spirits.2 But the demon causing the child's violent convulsions was more than a match for the disciple's faith. It challenged their focus and spiritual authority, it shifted … Continue reading SPIRITUAL FOCUS
Jesus teaches us with two particular styles. 1. The Demonstration We read last week of Jesus demonstrating Gods heart towards a repentant sinner. Jesus would often demonstrate His authority by a calming a storm or healing many people. 2. Buzz Groups The parables of Jesus have a distinct purpose. They introduce questions within stories that require our response. What does … Continue reading TEACHING METHODS
A Pharisee called Simon invited Jesus into his house for a meal. Like many others, Simon wants to know, who is this Jesus? There were many theories going around, a prophet, a heretic, a teacher, a madman, the Messiah! An invitation like this was a common practice in first-century Israel. If you had been a first-century Jew, you probably would … Continue reading WHAT DOES FAITH LOOK LIKE?