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Christ's Love on the Cross Changes Everything!

Gift of Faith

“Therefore, it says, WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED A HOST OF CAPTIVES AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” Ephesians 4:8 ESV
     It is always cool to me when the Apostle Paul uses Scripture to point to Christ. By the time Ephesians was written between 60-62 AD, Paul was already locked up in Rome. The Gospel of Mark was already written and we can be rather sure that Matthew and Luke were either written or being written. There is some debate on when the Gospel of John was penned. Some scholars suggest that it was written sometime around 85 AD or after. However, there is evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls that suggests all the Gospels were written before AD 60, including John.
     Personally, I tend to fall into the pre-60 AD camp for all the Gospels due to the evidence. First, aside from what we can determine outside of the scripture that supports a much earlier date, there is something that has stuck with me ever since I heard Andy Stanley preach on it. It is the complete lack of mention …

BEAUTIFUL GRACE RECAP

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BEAUTIFUL GRACE RECAP


Beautiful Grace

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:7 NASB
     This verse resonates with me. Christ’s gift to us may make us think of salvation, being brought back into relationship with God and being forgiven of our sins. Christ did all of that for us. However, the very word gift in this verse means sacrifice, as well as represents a form of payment. What a clear picture that is of what He did for us. He sacrificed what none of the priests before Him nor anyone since could ever sacrifice to ensure that our debts, our sins, were paid.
     Do we meditate enough on the measure of Christ’s sacrifice? He looked Judas in the eye, knowing what the kiss meant. He let the priests and guards take Him from Gethsemane fully aware that He was going to be condemned, that the flesh would be scourged from His back and that He would be publicly shamed, mocked and attacked. He was beaten by the soldiers, His clothes taken from Him, spit on and then forced…

Point of View

I am deviating from the usual Word Servant posts to share an experience. This past week, I had four wisdom teeth removed. The medications made life bearable as the pain intensified but it got bad quick. I have experienced hurts throughout my life, but this was on a level all to itself. Finally, after a close friend and my patient wife encouraged me to go get it checked out, I went to the ER.
     Now, the first thing that I realize looking back is that while in this place of constant intense pain, everything annoyed me, and I turned into a real jerk. The dog got on my nerves with the licking and what I call air tasting, which is licking the air for no real reason with that tongue-smacking noise; my son was driving me crazy with the non-stop need to talk about any and everything; and my wife, we could not get on the same page for anything. In all of that, though, I realized that they weren’t doing anything unusual, it really boiled down to my being in so much pain. It changed th…

One

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6 NASB
     If ever there was a question as to whether there was more than one body, Spirit, or Father God—these verses make it clear that there is but ONE. Paul drove the point home, didn’t he? Sometimes we get caught up in the theology and the dogma of denominations and lose sight that we are all ONE body—the Body of Christ. Yet, here, in the Scripture, God uses Paul’s words to the Ephesians to not only remind us that we are one Body of Believers but that we are also called in one hope of our calling.
     When I read that we are called, I’ve often wondered what that even means. We read of being called in the Bible. We hear pastors and missionaries use the word called when talking about what God has placed on their hearts to do. We even hear fellow Christians talk about ca…

The Ultimate Filter Recap

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