06.19.2023 Faith of a Foreigner - Spotlight
Behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word.
06.16.2023 Matthew's Calling
Matthew 9:9-13 (ESV)
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
06.15.2023 Father Abraham's Trust
Romans 4:17-25 (MSG)
We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”
06.14.2023 God's Promise
Romans 4:13-16 (MSG)
That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed. If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise; that’s a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it.
06.13.2023 Looking for God Again
Hosea 6:1-7 (MSG)
“Come on, let’s go back to God. He hurt us, but he’ll heal us.
He hit us hard, but he’ll put us right again.
In a couple of days we’ll feel better.
By the third day he’ll have made us brand-new,
Alive and on our feet, fit to face him.
We’re ready to study God, eager for God-knowledge.
As sure as dawn breaks, so sure is his daily arrival.
He comes as rain comes, as spring rain refreshing the ground.”
“What am I to do with you, Ephraim? What do I make of you, Judah?
Your declarations of love last no longer than morning mist and predawn dew.
That’s why I use prophets to shake you to attention, why my words cut you to the quick: To wake you up to my judgment blazing like light.
I’m after love that lasts, not more religion. I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings. You broke the covenant—just like Adam!
You broke faith with me—ungrateful wretches!