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Laying by the Pool

"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches" (John 5:2).

The pool of Bethesda was most unusual in that the Jews had made it into a shrine of sorts. The pool was apparently fed by an underground stream and at certain seasons the water stirred. This unaccountable troubling of the water was attributed to an unseen angel who released healing power into the pool, and the first infirm person to enter was healed.

Blow the Trumpet in Zion

"Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand" (Joel 2:1).

O Zion, holy people of God, awake to the sound of the trumpet, for the day of the Lord is near, and our King cometh in glory with His armies to set up His kingdom.

I Will Be Thy Mouth…

God met Moses at the burning bush and gave him a mandate to lead Israel out of bondage. He told His servant, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people in Egypt... I am come down to deliver them... I am sending you to Pharaoh... you will bring my people out of Egypt..." (Ex 3:7-10).

You Cannot Carry Your Own Cross

It's very true that Jesus said to His disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me." But Jesus could not carry His cross - and neither can you! Jesus fell under the load of His cross, weary, exhausted, and unable to carry it another step. John said, "And he bearing his cross went forth into a place...called Golgotha" (John 19:17). the Bible doesn't tell us how far Jesus carried His cross. We do know they compelled Simon, the Cyrene, to pick it up and carry it to the place of crucifixion (Matthew 27:32).

The Lay Down Your Life on the Cross Kind of Love

If you had to name the pinnacle of Jesus’ teaching, what would you say it is? We gain some insight from his final night with his disciples before going to the cross. He only had a few hours left with his closest friends, so he concentrated all that he’d taught them. As Christ summed up everything, he boiled it all down to one word: love. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

Intimacy with God

Intimacy with him is the beginning of our empowerment to do his works on earth.  We simply can’t move forward in those works without it.  I urge you: Meet your Savior in prayer.  Remind yourself of his amazing promises through his Word.  He is faithful to guide you by his Spirit’s presence in you.

The Goodness of God

The Attribute that Blesses Us Wholly

God’s goodness simply can’t be nailed down. It transcends our understanding, yet it blesses us in every moment of our lives. His goodness can’t be defined, yet we know its truth through scripture and the Spirit’s witness. How can any human being ever get their head around the awesome goodness of God?

Zealous and Consumed

In John 2, Jesus enters the temple for an act that would signal the beginning of his public ministry. (His earlier miracle at Cana, turning water into wine, wasn’t a public declaration.) What takes place next is quite dramatic:

Why We Can’t Afford to Be Normal

To some readers, the statement I’m about to make will sound bold. To others it will sound obvious. Either way, it’s a commentary on the church I’d rather not have to make. That is, most Christians are powerless.

Consider what “normal” Christianity looks like today in the typical believer. This person is a bit self-seeking, a little materialistic, somewhat consumerist. Most of his daily choices are about improving his life. That includes his spiritual pursuits, from his church groups to the podcasts he downloads to the seminars he attends.