Jesus, our victorious and resurrected King has been given all authority in heaven and earth (1 Cor 15:27; Rom 14:9). This is the basis of discipleship. Christ followers have been commissioned and sent out with spiritual authority to preach, heal the sick, cast out demons (Matt 10:8). Believers are to walk out in God confidence in the spiritual authority in Christ.
How should Christ followers respond to verbal and physical persecution for Christ? Jesus teaches us that we are to rejoice and be glad in suffering for righteousness sake and describes us as blessed. Open your bible to Matthew 5:10-12 and let’s study Jesus’ conclusion of his vision of kingdom living in the Beatitudes.
Did you know Jesus talked more about money & earthly possessions than he did about sex, heaven, and hell combined? God knows our hearts and understands how money can divide our dependency away from him to money. Open your bibles to Matthew 6 and let's find out what it means to have a united heart in order to choose heavenly treasure (vv.19-21), generosity (vv. 22-23) and God over money (v.24).
Familiarity does not necessarily mean understanding. We'll look through the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan and come to terms of understanding Jesus' message of compassion and mercy of our neighbor. This parable isn’t defining who your neighbor is. It asks the question: "Are you a neighbor?" It’s not who is my neighbor i.e. who qualifies to be love-- It’s about am I a neighbor who loves in an unqualified way.
It’s fairly easy to follow Christ’s commands when the balance of the world is swinging in our favor. It’s when the bumps in the road come, the heavy storms, that we seem to waver. Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, so he got out of the boat to go to him. But he got distracted.
What is the process that God uses to mold our heart so that we can serve him? We are going to look at the life of Moses and see the hand of God transform the Prince of Egypt to the Shepherd of Midian to the Servant of Israel.
Jesus doesn’t play with sin. He goes as far as to suggest that any part of our body that causes us to sin needs to be removed. Those are drastic measures. He doesn’t recommend a self-help book or program. He wants total amputation of the things that are causing us to seek pleasure away from Him.