Hide it under a bushel? (Luke 8)

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

This little light of mine… are you gonna let it shine? Pastors, more often than not, spend a good portion of their time convincing Christians to do what they already know they should do… share the gospel, be more consistent, bring people in to the church, make a difference in the world in Jesus’ name. It’s not as though a pastor says “you need to be sharing with your neighbors…” and the folks reply “oh, I never knew that…” We know, as Believers, what we should do… so then, the question becomes, do we really have the light? If we have the light, we won’t cover it up, we’ll let it shine… let your light shine today, not because a pastor is telling you to, but because you know that’s what Jesus wants you to do… it’s what you’re meant to be doing. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

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See and Hear (Matthew 13)

“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people ’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.

This quotation by Matthew of Isaiah 6 reveals something about people. Whether they were around 2,700 years ago or present day, we all have the same truth to evaluate. I am convinced that Jesus lived, died for me, and was raised from the dead. I believe He is divine and is the savior of the world. We all see the same evidence, but we do not all see it. We all hear the same affirmations, yet we all do not hear. When you read the Bible, let it read you too. If you will really see, if you will really hear, then you will understand and God will heal you.

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You Gotta Pray! (Luke 11)

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “ Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “ When you pray, say: “ Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.And lead us not into temptation.

Do you have your “certain place” where you pray? The beauty of following Jesus is that we can worship God through him anywhere (see John 4), but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need special places we set aside to pray and worship the Lord. We do this corporately through our churches, but you need a spot at home, a “prayer closet” (whether or not it’s an actual closet). Have somewhere you know you go to “do business” with God. A “War Room.” Jesus had these kind of places, when he was at “a certain place” the disciples knew what he was doing. They saw him and wanted to learn. Acknowledge God, his greatness, his glory. Ask for his will, not ours. Request his provision and forgiveness. Ask him to give you the strength to be better, to put others first. It’s fine to bring our requests to God, but be sure you worship him along with our entreaties, he deserves it.

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The Kingdom of God (Matthew 12)

If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

Don’t give the Devil more credit than he deserves. Satan can’t make you do anything. Jesus’ entrance into the world was the clear proclamation that the Devil has had his day, done, finished, over. Far too often we are (for whatever reason) fooled into thinking we have to wait for some future time for the forces of evil to be reigned in for the Kingdom (us) to be effective… no way! Jesus was telling those who would listen “I AM the kingdom… it’s NOW!” How much authority does the Great Commission (Matthew 28) say Jesus has right now? “ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME, SO GO!” Jesus gives a great analogy… He is here, so Satan is “bound” (to use the biblical phrase cf. Rev 20:2), he has no power to deceive anyone… The Son of God is here to plunder his house. Satan is strong, no doubt, but not anything like Jesus. He’s on a leash and he’s God’s devil. He doesn’t have free-reign, there’s no where you can’t go with the gospel! GO!

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Is This Right? (Matthew 11)

Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?

What were your expectations when you became a Christian? Did you think all your problems would go away? Did you think life would become easier? Maybe you thought your spouse would get better, or your kids would start to obey, or your boss would give you a raise? Whatever your expectations, if you have ever had the thought that there should be “more” to the Christian life, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever quietly asked “Lord, am I supposed to feel more?” That’s what John the Baptist was asking. “You’re great an all Jesus, but is there more to this whole thing?” He didn’t feel all that liberated from the bowels Herod’s prison, but he was. You may not feel like life is all that abundant, but it is. You are an heir to the King! You are forgiven! God loves YOU! Amazing!

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