Always be ready

“As he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately and said, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’” (Matthew 24:3 NET).

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24 is still amongst the most controversial of all that he taught. It seems that in every age there are some who believe that Jesus was talking about the time in which they are living. Sadly they miss the context of Jesus’ message and instead begin to look for “signs” which would show that Jesus is about to return. We should notice what prompted the disciples’ question. Continue reading “Always be ready”

Are we ready?

“As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, ‘Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.’ The disciples asked him, ‘Why then do the experts in the law say that Elijah must come first?’ He answered, ‘Elijah does indeed come first and will restore all things. And I tell you that Elijah has already come. Yet they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way, the Son of Man will suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist” (Matthew 17:9-13 NET).

Earlier in Matthew 17, Peter, James, and John were privileged to witness what we call Jesus’ transfiguration and also to see Moses and Elijah conversing with Jesus. They heard the voice of God which told them to listen to Jesus. Continue reading “Are we ready?”

Death, taxes, and blueberries

How can you put a price on fresh blueberries from your own garden? And yet, a local nursery specializing in native plants does just that. And it’s quite high — the Yard Boy said it was $35.00.

As he and I stood over the dead stick that is now sticking up out of the ground chiding us with its barrenness, we wondered why we would spend so much money. Worse yet, we neglected to put sulfur on these plants as they grew weaker and weaker over the past year. The leaves were showing signs of needing more acidity in the soil, but we just never got around to applying it. One is still alive and putting out blossoms, the other is beyond hope. Continue reading “Death, taxes, and blueberries”

Lessons from the Second Coming

Peter asks a great question: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).

It’s a fact that the world is temporary and will burn up one day. The implications of this are that there should be changes in the way we behave! “What kind of people ought we to be?” These are the implications of the second coming. Our lives are driven by the cross behind us and the second coming before us! Continue reading “Lessons from the Second Coming”

Taking Both "Be Prepared" And "Saved by Grace" Seriously

by Barry Newton
Repeatedly, I have experienced authors and preachers emphasizing one idea while ignoring another. Either they tend to focus upon Jesus’ insistence that how we live determines if we are prepared for judgment or they gravitate to Paul’s message that we are saved by grace, not works.

Can visiting those in prison make us right with God or can we rely upon grace regardless of our lifestyle ethic? Continue reading “Taking Both "Be Prepared" And "Saved by Grace" Seriously”