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LIFE AND DEATH IN THE BIBLE – PART 3 OF 3

April 13, 2018

Mark 14
1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. 3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.



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LIFE AND DEATH IN THE BIBLE – PART 3 OF 3


BIBLE STUDY TOOLS – LEXICONS

April 4, 2018

Mark 8
1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.



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BIBLE STUDY TOOLS – LEXICONS


This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


This Day's Thought from The Ranch

Wishing you all a most meaningful and joyous Easter celebration!
Greg and Eric for This Day’s Thought from The Ranch

EASTER

by James Wilson

John 15:13

Back in the 1880’s Nietzsche declared that “God is dead,” and before the turn of the Twentieth Century, Shaw and Wells chimed in saying the 20th Century would mark the end of the world’s “religious phase.”

Yet, today a church now meets in Russia’s Museum of Religion and Atheism-the former center of atheism. Nearly half of the United States’ population attend Worship on a regular basis while revival is sweeping through Latin America and Christianity grows behind China’s iron curtain. (From Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html )

Nietzsche, Shaw and Wells have long since decayed in their graves, and God continues to live! That’s the message of Easter. He is risen. He is risen, indeed!

Why do we believe? Recently an African Muslim was converted to Christ. When someone asked him why he had become a Christian, he answered. “Well, it’s like this. Suppose you were going down a road when suddenly it forked in two directions, you didn’t know which way to take. There at the fork in the road you could see two persons, one dead and one alive. Of which one would you inquire the way?” This is a supreme difference between Islam and the gospel. The Muslim regards both Muhammad and Christ as prophets of God. But whereas Muhammad lived and died and passed from the scene of history, Jesus lived, died, and arose!. (John T. Seamonds)

Muhammad died, and was buried. His faithful followers take pilgrimages to visit his remains, the same is true of Buddha and other religious leaders. But it is not true of Jesus. You cannot visit His remains, you can only visit his empty grave, because He isn’t there. He Arose!

This side of history, we understand that Jesus’ death was necessary. Without His death, there could be no resurrection. At the cross, He laid down His life for us. He willingly gave His all. But how did his friends that He laid His life down for view the cross?

One answer to that question would be, “from a distance.” Except for John, they weren’t there. The cross was the ultimate symbol of shame. It was reserved for vile criminals. The disciple’s teacher, the one they left home to follow, was hung on a cross, and when He was, they turned their back on Him. No doubt they viewed the cross as shameful. Perhaps they even began to question the wisdom of their decision to follow Him.

Disillusioned? Disappointed? Certainly. Afraid? Perhaps. The crowd was out of control. Did they know if they were safe? Could the soldiers come and take them away as they took Jesus away?

Then it happened! Jesus broke through the chains of death and arose from the grave. He appeared to the woman at the empty tomb and gave them the word to tell the disciples. Later, he appeared before the disciples, but Thomas wasn’t there.

The disciples found Thomas and told him the good news. Jesus had risen!

But Thomas doubts the apostles testimony. Let’s read John 20:24-25 “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’”

He’d heard about the vicious way they’d driven the nails in his hands instead of tying them to the cross, and he’d heard the way the soldiers stabbed him in the side with a spear, like a piece of meat. His anger and his doubt blended to become a toxic cocktail of bitterness, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” Do you blame him? His hopes and dreams dashed, Thomas was drowning in depression and doubt-no way he could believe the unbelievable, not without proof. In the next verse, Jesus challenges Thomas to believe. “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ 27 Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’” (John 20:26-27 )

Without touching the nail scars or putting his hand in Jesus’ side, Thomas believes. Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28

Thomas, by his actions said, seeing is believing, but we know that “Believing is seeing.” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:29

That’s you and me! We’ve not seen, and yet we believe.

We believe, because He loved us. The scripture says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 KJV)

A volunteer at Stanford Hospital, was present when a little boy decided to give the ultimate sacrifice because he loved his sister Liza. The volunteer says the little girl was dying of a rare disease, with only one chance for survival–a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother. After the doctor explained what would happen during the transfusion, the little boy agreed to give his blood to save his sister.

He peacefully laid still during the transfusion. After a while, he asked the doctor a question that gave great insight into his character, “Will I start to die right away?” Apparently, the boy thought he would have to give all his blood, but was willing to do so to save his sister. (From Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

Jesus laid down His life for you. There is room at the cross for you. Will you come to Him today?


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This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


Daily Prayer for April 3

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” Isaiah 2:2-3a, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that we have you and the light of your Spirit, which always gives us new determination for the tasks you ask of us. We thank you that we may live not just in the passing moment but also in eternity, looking with joyful hope to the future meant for us and for all humankind. Keep us in your Spirit, and open to us truth after truth. May we be part of that people who carry a light within them, a light which will show them the way through all the struggles and temptations of life; then each one of us will know day by day that you can help us and everyone on earth to a better life through your Holy Spirit. Amen.


Still considering the meaning of Easter?

Read these articles.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

BOOKS OF THE BIBLE – DEUTERONOMY – PART 2 OF 2

March 27, 2018

Mark 2
1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.



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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE – DEUTERONOMY – PART 2 OF 2


THE LAW OF MOSES – PART 3 OF 4

March 2, 2018

Acts 25
1 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem. 2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him, 3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.



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THE LAW OF MOSES – PART 3 OF 4


THE LAW OF MOSES – PART 2 OF 4

March 1, 2018

Acts 24
1 And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. 2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, 3 We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.



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THE LAW OF MOSES – PART 2 OF 4


BIBLE SUPERSTARS – MIRIAM AND AARON

February 9, 2018

Acts 6
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.



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BIBLE SUPERSTARS – MIRIAM AND AARON


BIBLE SUPERSTARS – JACOB

January 19, 2018

Matthew 17
1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.



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BIBLE SUPERSTARS – JACOB


Daily Prayer for January 6

pine cone

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1–2, RSV

Lord our God, we thank you that you have come to this earth. Let a light shine out again and again among those who hear your gospel, also among those with sincere hearts, whether or not they are Christians. May they come to know your light and receive salvation in Jesus Christ. May your light shine for us and may you appear to us ever more clearly. Remember all who call to you. Remember your people. May your people gather and become a light in your name, serving you wherever they go. Amen.


Happy New Year!

Read these meditations to start your year right.


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Author: Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt