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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Monday, May 30, 2016

Friends of Jesus

There were people who were not considered disciples who believed in Jesus and supported him; he had friends who just loved him. One friend of Jesus was named Lazarus. Lazarus had two sisters. One of his sisters was Martha. She may have been married to Simon. the Leper, who was a Pharisee. He invited Jesus to eat at his home and gave the dinner and invited the disciples and others, so it is apparent that Jesus had healed him from the leprosy.  

Martha seems to have been a hostess of some renown in Bethany.  She invited Jesus and the Disciples to eat at her home. Mary helped her when there guests, but at the dinner Mary did not assist in the service. Instead she sat at Jesus' feet to listen to his teaching. Martha appealed to Jesus to tell her sister to help her. Jesus gently reproved Martha's anxiety about the serving and praised Mary's choice of the better part.

During the event, Mary took a pound of highly expensive perfumed oil and lavished it on Jesus' head and his feet. She was criticized for this exuberant act, but Mary seems to have heard truths in his message the disciples had missed: She knew the end was near, and she would not have another chance to honor him this way. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Christian Life and Service

Romans 12 gives a good summary of how God calls us to live. Verses 1 and 2 explains the way we are to approach the Life in Christ. 

Paul uses pleading tone: "I beseech you" is an invitation, not a command. He addresses them as brothers. As Christians we are to consider each other as family members.

 Because God has extended his mercy to us, we have the opportunity to worship him by living in a sacrificial manner toward him, which is, in fact, our reasonable expectation.

Paul urges us not to conform ourselves to the standards of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we prove what is good and acceptable and perfect, the will of God.

In verses 3 through 8 he deals with blessings and ways to serve the members of the family we form in God's love.

We are to live in humility and generosity toward one another. He emphasizes the unique attributes and talents individuals among us possess and the way they are to be used and cherished. 

He calls us to be free of hypocrisy and to be cheerful. 
In verse 9 he returns to the emphasis on familial love among the Brethren. 

It is important that we not be lazy or  negligent in business.
In verse 13 he points out the need to attend to the needs of those who are poor and without resources.

Then he shifts to the attitude we should have toward those who persecute us: We should pray for them and not heap curses and intolerance on them. 

Share in the joy and sorrow of all.

The final words of the chapter are directed toward those who are our enemies. Don't return evil for evil. Live in peace with all if you can. 

Don't take vengeance because that belongs to God.