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Weekly Dive Deeper

Pointing to Jesus

This week I want to start off with some verses, ‘Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. ‘ Acts 3:1-10 In this passage Peter and John healed a lame man lying at the gate which is called Beautiful, he was asking for alms. This man had been lying at the gate for a long time and everyone who was at the temple that day probably had seen him many times. Peter and John were going for the hour of prayer, they were seeking God and  they were able to bless this man who had never walked. Think of all the people that were at the temple who believed because they saw that this man was healed and believed in Jesus. But the religious leaders of the day questioned the man and his family because they thought that it was a hoax. See the spotlight was on Peter, John, and the lame man and they all point to Jesus, who will you point to, will you point to  yourself or will you point to Jesus. If you live your life like everyone is watching then when someone is watching, they will ask you what is the hope that you have within you? Then you can share the gospel with them. Another thing is that if Peter and John had not stopped and had compassion on him and if they were not seeking Jesus, then they would not have been able to bless the lame man. If you are not seeking Jesus who will you miss that Jesus has put in your path to bless. So this week see who God puts in your path to bless and seek God. If this is the first time you have heard of Jesus, know that he wants to know you and to have a personal relationship with you.

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Turn your chains into blessings

This week I want to start off with some verses, About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.  But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed. Acts 16:25‭-‬40 In these verses Paul and Silas are thrown in jail for preaching the gospel, but being in jail did something that their preaching could not do in Macedonia, it helps start the church. When Paul was thrown into jail he did not just preach with his voice, but also with his actions. They were beaten with rods before these verses and then they were thrown into the inter prison, which is the most secure place and they were singing hymns while being chained up in a foreign city. Imagine being one of the other prisoners who were trying to sleep and because they were in the center of the jail, everyone in the jail could hear them. The reason Paul was able to sing while in prison, was that being imprisoned could be used to share the gospel. When we see what we think is holding us back, it could really be where Jesus has placed us. The purpose not to be a burden but to be a blessing to others or to share the gospel. So this week instead of thinking about what is holding us back let’s see who we can help or share the gospel with. Also this Week let’s Stop seeing our barriers as a burden, but see them as a way to bless others and to share the gospel.

Stop seeing our barriers as a burden, but see them as a way to bless others and to share the gospel.

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What ladder are you climbing?

This week I want to start off with some verses, we who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:1‭-‬7 These verses tell us how to be an example of Jesus, not for our glory, but for His glory. So much of today’s culture is to try to get to the top of the social and economic ladder to find happiness. But when we arrive we do not find happiness, we find that we are less happy than when we were at the bottom of the ladder. It is fine to be at the top of the ladder, but if you are trying to make that your life’s goal, then you will find that it is lonely at the top. Because we have been just trying to please ourselves and not trying to think of the needs of others and serving as Christ served us. But if we are always seeking to go higher up the ladder, then church will become a religious obligation instead of a rejuvenation of the fire within us. So this week let’s strive to break cultural trends and instead of seeking happiness from making our way up the ladder, we should see the needs of people around us. See if we can help them and shine the light of Jesus through helping others. Showing them that Jesus is still in control even with everything going on in today’s world. Also, this week let’s set an example to others of who Jesus is and not be a stumbling block on their way to Jesus. Be in the world, but not of the world.

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Ambassadors for Christ

This week I want to start off with some verses, So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  Second Corinthians 5:16-‬20 This week I want you to think about the fact that we are ambassadors for Christ and that would make the Church the Embassy of Heaven. Every time we leave the church we are going into a land we don’t belong to, but we live there. So as you leave  your church this week , I want you to think about the fact that you are going ilnto a foreign land. Remember that  the verse says, God makes appeals through us, not because He cannot speak on His own behalf, but because He wants us to be His hands and feet.  These verses also say that we are to have a ministry of reconciliation and allow God to speak through us, so that He can expand His kingdom both here on earth and in Heaven. Another thing that stood out to me, was that we are not to address anyone from a worldly view. That means that everytime we talk to someone, we should think of them not as a friend or acquaintance, but as a chance to witness for Him. Because you know that one day this life will be over and you may not have another chance to share with them. So this week I want you to think about how you represent Him when you leave your church. This weekend think about the people who are with you and share your faith with them. If you don’t know Jesus, you can know Him today. All you have to do is admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross for you, ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart to be the Lord of your life. If you have just become a believer the best thing you can do from here is find a local church and tell another believer about your decision.

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Who is your foundation

This week I want to start off with some verses, Jesus is “ ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11‭-‬12  This year, for most of us, it has been a rough year. For some of us it feels like every time you come up for air a bigger wave hits you and takes you back down. Given all that has happened this year we can all still have faith in Christ and if we build our lives on Christ, no matter how big the waves are, we will not be shaken. Build your life on Christ, make Him the cornerstone of your life. You can choose to reject Jesus like the religious leaders did in Jesus’s day. But in these unsure times,  there is nothing better for you to do but, accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is the greatest gift you could ever accept. It is the one thing you can do that will save you from your sin and the consequences of your sin. In Jesus’s day, the foundation of the house would be rock. The cornerstone would be the biggest and most supportive stone of the foundation, but there were also many small rocks that helped hold the house up. You can help hold someone’s faith by supporting them in their walk with Jesus or by leading them to Him. When you’re around people you are either going to be building someone’s foundation or tearing their foundation down.  So this week I want you to make sure that Jesus is the cornerstone in your life. If He is, let’s think about our words and whether they build up people’s faith or tear their faith down.