TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 16:16 Christ is not Jesus’ last name. There is no mailbox in front of a quaint Nazareth home announcing this is where the Christ family lives. The meaning of Christ is drawn from the Old Testament theme of a God-sent Messiah who would come to enact ultimate deliverance. So, when Peter states his conviction that Jesus is indeed the Christ, he is confessing his belief that Jesus is God’s special Anointed One. Peter has come to the dramatic conclusion that Jesus is none other than God’s Messiah who is on a mission of massive importance. The term
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Isaiah 61:1 Have you ever expected something to turn out a certain way and to your surprise it came out completely different? This often happens when I try to cook. Maybe you expected a job to be a particular way, but once you started it is totally different. Perhaps you anticipated a relationship to move in a certain direction, but it ends up somewhere else. The Jews expect that when God sends the Messiah He would be a certain way, but Jesus defies their Messianic expectation. Jesus Christ came with a mission. In typical Judaism, the expectation is
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 7:7-11 What we really needed was for God not to answer that prayer that way. What we really needed was a wake-up call. What we really needed was discipline. What we really needed was not to get that job. What we really needed was not to make that extra money. What we really needed was to end that relationship. What we really needed was to be alone. What we really needed was to suffer. What we really needed was that persecution. What we really needed was to get hurt. What we really needed was to slow down.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE John 8:39-47 In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we are told of a creature named Gollum, a tortured soul with two voices in his head that are constantly at war. One voice is a kind truth-teller and encourages him to do the right thing, while the other voice is one of a liar, a thief, and a murderer -- one that has fallen in love with a ring of power (just go with me here) driven by a lust for greed, power, and an obsession with “the precious.” In this life we have an important
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 3:21-26 My name is Philip Jenkins (you’ll see why I point that out in a second). I consider it a huge blessing to able to say that I grew up in a home where both of my parents were faithful to God (and therefore, were obviously faithful to one another), that I grew up in the church, and that His Word was something we tried to live by. However, I’ll never forget the day back in college when I ran across John 14:9. Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Luke 15:11-32 Nothing I say in this devotional will come close to touching some of my favorite words in the Word of God. I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE John 8:25-29 Sometimes you can just look at people and know that they are related in some way. We use the phrase “spitting image” when referring to sons and daughters who look or act so much like their parents. As those children grow up, chances are you’ll see even more mannerisms that will remind you of certain things their parents do -- a walk, a facial expression, a laugh, or a phrase. As you consider John 8:25-29, pay close attention to what Jesus says about the relationship between Him (the Son) and the Father. So they said to
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Revelation 1:4-8 When I was in high school, one of my good friends who was completing a Bible degree and entering ministry summed up the message of Revelation in two words, “God wins!” I am not sure if this summary originated with him, but I do know that I never forgot it. After studying through Revelation myself, I found that he was correct. There are other messages that Revelation has to teach us, but the reality of God winning comes from the fact that He is the Sovereign Lord over all creation. In our final lesson on sovereignty,