Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

What did Jesus accomplish with His death on the cross?

What did Jesus accomplish with His death on the cross?

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Jesus came to complete every task God, His Father, had laid out for Him. Jesus, earlier (John 5:38) had said “These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me.” 

And so … It is done. It is complete. There is nothing else to do except be raised from the dead, by the power of God and ascend to Heaven. Jesus has now ushered in a new agreement (aka covenant or testament). His blood poured out for us complete that transaction. The blood of Jesus has cleaned me up from all sin. It is done. It is complete.

A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, It’s done . . . complete. Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit. | Source: John 19:29-30 (The Message)

Are we embarrassed by Jesus?

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So now we are down to the real issue. Jesus has laid out the case for what it takes to follow Him (Mark 8:34-37).

Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the good news will save it. For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life? What can anyone give in exchange for his life?

It is all about Jesus and not about me. I have to sacrifice my selfish ways and submit to Jesus as my Master.

Am I proud of my relationship with Jesus and who He is? Am I ashamed and embarrassed?

If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.” ~Jesus | Source: Mark 8:38 (The Message Bible)

Will God’s beauty and love chase after me every day of my life?

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This translation is from The Message. We all recognize Psalm 23. The traditional translation of verse 6 is “Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life.”

I want to live in the world where God’s beauty and love chase me every day of my life. I do, I do, I do! Imagine seeing every minute of every day that way? Imagine living life that way? Imagine?

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, ’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.  ~King David | Psalm 23 (The Message Bible)

What are we working for? What makes a difference?

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The backdrop to this is the feeding of the five thousand. It is a truly stunning miracle. Jesus was moved not to allow the crowd to go hungry. Jesus took care of their physical needs since they couldn’t afford to take them out for a meal. They were very impressed.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” ~Jesus | John 6:26-27

What should we do when someone asks us for money?

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Jesus is very clear and straightforward about giving to the poor. I don’t know why it stumps so many “Christians”, the government and homeless nonprofits, but it does.

I get lots of pushback from disciples of Jesus on giving money directly to the poor. They might spend it on booze or drugs we are told.

What do you do if walking down the street or driving your car and someone asks you for money? Do you give? If not, why not?

Does faith make a distinction between the rich and poor; the elite and common?

“Faith makes no distinction to whether you’re a slave or an apostle. Every true believer is by faith justified in the sight of God and forgiven of all his sins.”

In this message, Larry Pons continues to walk through 2 Peter and challenges our thinking on what we actually have faith in Jesus for.

I saw Jesus last night …

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I saw Jesus last night. Of course, it was not the Jesus I was expecting. He was delivering the “Jesus Manifesto” (aka The Sermon on the Mount).

This was stunning. Jesus was smiling most of the time and did not speak in a sterilized monotone. He was serious but he interacted spontaneously with those who were following Him. This is not a sermon delivered from behind a pulpit. This had no stage lighting. There was no microphone. There wasn’t a worship leader with a slick band playing.

How can we learn the truth?

We all know people who have something to say about everything. Is this me? Is this you? Think about it.

It is true that you can’t know something about everything. We all know it. The more I talk about things I am really ignorant about, the less “truth” is contributed to the conversation.

I need to cultivate the habit of listening and learning. That requires that I pontificate less.

The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words. ~King Solomon (Proverbs 10:19 The Message)

What does it mean to be a peacemaker?

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Jesus continues on with his manifesto (aka sermon on the mountain). Jesus calls on us to be peacemakers. Now that is a tall order.

“Happy (aka Blessed) are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~Jesus

Source: Matthew 5:9 (NASB)

The sequence of thought from purity of heart in the previous prescription for happiness (aka beatitude), to peacemaking seems very natural. One of the most frequent causes of conflict is the secret planning of something illicit or detrimental to someone, while openness and sincerity are essential to all true reconciliation. Purity of heart leads directly to the ability to be a peacemaker.

Am I thinking, if I can just touch Jesus, He will heal me?

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It is a good question. Sometimes I believe yes, sometimes I don’t even think about it. I am forgetful of who Jesus is and the good news He has for me. I have faith but I need more faith.

Jesus was creating quite the stir. Multitudes were coming to him. They were hearing the message of good news. Jesus was healing them all. Every single one of them. They believed He could do it and he did.

Am I happy? Do you see my joy? Or am I just a grumpy old man most days?

In Acts we learn that “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 (NASB) Note that it was not a sometime kind of thing. It was continual. They were always joyful and happy. It is just who they were, like Jesus.

Who is the King of Glory?

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Who is the King of Glory? King David is a warrior King. He spent much of his life fighting to secure Israel and establish God’s rule there. David, while an earthly King, knows who the real King is. Jesus is the King of Glory! Now that is some good news!

Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. | Psalm 24:7-8

News alert!

We serve a beautiful, majestic, and amazing King!

Good news. Jesus is the King of Glory!

Where does our spiritual strength come from?

“He has called us by His own glory and excellence so we are called therefore into His glory and into His excellence.”

In this message, Larry Pons speaks about Peter’s teachings and how the knowledge of God and our faith in Him is where all spiritual strength is conveyed to us.

How do we sum up the law and the prophets of the Old Testament?

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Jesus is beginning to wrap up his Manifesto (aka the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7). Jesus now lays out for us the summary of all summaries. Jesus says “this is the Law and the Prophets”. Jesus gives it to us at the highest level. This is what is known as the “30,000 foot view”. It is also traditionally known as the “Golden Rule”.

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” ~ Jesus

 Source: Matthew 7:12-14 (ESV)

Are we ready to listen to Jesus?

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What are we to do? It all starts with listening. From there, as a follower of Jesus, we are to speak the Word of Jesus to unbelievers. Jesus promises that they are not just listening to us. They are hearing the words of Jesus. 

People are called upon to listen attentively to God’s word, to his Son and also to words of wisdom. Followers must not only listen to God’s word but also put it into practice. Those who refuse to listen to God’s word or to correction are condemned. They are rejecting Jesus.

Am I listening? Am I rejecting Jesus?

  • Later the Master [Jesus] selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. He gave them this charge … “The one who listens to you, listens to me. The one who rejects you, rejects me. And rejecting me is the same as rejecting God, who sent me.” | Luke 10:16 (The Message)
  • Who hears Jesus? The sheep, hear Jesus. Those who are willing to follow the voice of the Shepherd hear Jesus. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:27 (NASB)

Can we have real peace without God?

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Did you lock the doors? That was the compelling question the morning Jesus rose from the dead in an incorruptible body. I am thinking to myself, I think so but let me check again. Yup, it is locked. What about the windows? They’re locked too. Alarm on? Yes! OK. I know I am careful, too careful, as well. Jesus is talking with me, telling me what is about to happen and I don’t listen or understand.

Later on that day [of Jesus’ resurrection], the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side. | John 20:19-20 (The Message)

Good news alert!

I now have real peace with God.

God is in a good mood.

What does it mean to enter God’s rest?

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There have been way too many times I have ignored getting some rest. I worked too many days in a row and eventually paid the price for it. Jesus wanted to take some time with his friends and get some rest. What happened?

The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. | Mark 6:30-31

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. | Genesis 2:1-2

God says we must stop the abuse.

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There is right and there is wrong. We all know the difference. I must remember to stand up for the abused and keep up the good fight for justice.

“Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air [inherit the wind]; common sense tells you it’s a stupid way to live.” ~King Solomon

(Proverbs 11:29)

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” ~Jesus

Matthew 5:21-22

How not to pray like a hypocrite.


And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” ~Jesus

Source: Matthew 6:5-6 (ESV)

Read more on Hypocrisy – What it is, why it is evil and hated by Jesus here.

Prayer essential in our relationship with God. One of the pillars in the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7) is prayer.  Prayer is not what we think. Jesus lays out what prayer is all about in the Kingdom of God where Jesus is in charge. Jesus draws a distinction between hypocrites who love to pray and those who pray because they love.

Does the Holy Spirit live in us? How do we get the gift?

Scott Crowley leads a conversation around the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’  Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’  I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s shameless boldness, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Luke 11:5

What is peace? How is it established in a believer’s relationship with the Father and Jesus?

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There are times I am clearly not at peace. I am not at peace with myself and I am not at peace with God or Jesus. Something is wrong. I may or may not know it but it becomes evident in my anxiety and worry. I am not convinced, at that point in time, that God is good and has my best interest at heart. 

It starts with faith. I need to get clear with my faith in Jesus. When peace leaves me, I need to get back to the real issue. I don’t have faith, I don’t believe who Jesus is and what He accomplished. Lack of peace comes from ignoring the core issue of unbelief. God is good. God sent His son to make me right with God. God did it out of love for me. Now that is some good news!

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah.” ~Apostle Paul

Romans 5:1 (NASB)

Does God Have a Sense of Humor?

Does God have a sense of humor. Check out this article.

I’m a firm believer that God not only has a sense of humor but has a great sense of humor. As someone who values humor, wit, and banter, I’ve come to see it reflected in Scripture from the One who created the world. God longs to have a relationship with us and made a way for us to be with Him for eternity (John 3:16). So, I can’t imagine that if we, His most valuable creation, have wide varieties of humor that range through individual personalities, that the God of the universe, who created us in His image, does not have one.

Read the article: Does God Have a Sense of Humor? – Topical Studies

How does Jesus think we should give?

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Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” ~Jesus 

Source: Matthew 6:2-4 (ESV)

There are a number of challenges here for us to pay attention to in this section of the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). Jesus changes how we think and act on giving when we listen to Him directly.

This is a good thing since I have spent most of my career raising money for charitable causes. Yikes!

Are we doing our work well?

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Can Jesus depend on me? There have been many times where He couldn’t. I didn’t step up to the plate, so to speak. Let’s hear what Jesus has to say on this.

Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.” ~Jesus

Matthew 24:45-47 (The Message)

What is God’s goal for me? Jesus wants me to do my job. That is to love God and love everyone else I come in contact with. Jesus wants me to sacrifice my desires for what Jesus wants to have happen. Jesus wants me to listen and act on what He says. Jesus wants me to do my job (at work) well. No slacking off. No shirking my duties. I am to do high quality work. Every day!

Will I be faithful (qualified)? The Apostle Paul challenges me “My beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor 15:58) Will I be found to be faithful? Will Jesus commend me? That is what I desperately want. It is my hearts desire.

Will Jesus say this to me? “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Mat. 25:21) I want to hear Jesus say that! I want to enter the joy of Jesus. What could mean more than to hear that?


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What is adultery? Is lust the same as adultery?

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You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Source: Matthew 5:27-30 (ESV)

The Jesus Manifesto is radical. Jesus changes the way things work in the new covenant (aka contract, agreement or testament). There are 6 references to “You have heard it said” where Jesus takes things to a higher level.

This one is about adultery. No longer can I feel righteous because I haven’t committed the physical act of adultery. I have been lustful which Jesus now says is the same as adultery.


What does it mean to hear “Well done!”?

We all want to hear it when we complete our journey. Hear Pastor Marvin Winans sing it at New St. Paul Tabernacle COGIC where Bishop P.A. Brooks presides.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Matthew 25:21 New International Version (NIV)

Can Atheism Ground Reason?

In a recent video, Sean McDowell discusses atheism and how it fails to explain reason. “If atheism is true, it undermines any confidence we can have in our reasoning faculties because they’re a result of a blind, purposeless, immaterial process,” Sean McDowell says. 

“But why can Christians believe in the reliability of our cognitive faculties? Because God Himself is reasonable. … We are made in the image of a God Who’s reasonable Himself.”

Why should we ask God?

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Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Source: Matthew 7:7-11 (ESV)

Jesus continues the lessons from His Manifest (Matthew 5-7)

God, my heavenly Father, is more than ready. God is not a grumpy old man who doesn’t care. God is our example of what love is all about. If it is in my best interests, God will do it.

God is in a good mood. God is like our parents. God wants the best for us. I’ve always given my kids what I could. You are the same way. This rings true and we know what it means.

Can you imagine?

Danny Prince speaks on not yielding to temptation. How we need to ask the Savior for help, and He will comfort us and carry us through. The thing we miss when we yield to temptation is the glory of God. There is always a way of escape when we are tempted.

What does gentleness look like?

Jesus is a kind, loving King. Jesus is not angry with me. Jesus wants me to be kind and gentle. His goal for me is for me to love.

“Happy (aka Blessed) are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” ~Jesus | Source: Matthew 5:5

What sort of gentleness is it, on account of those who have it, are pronounced happy? It seems important to note that in the manifesto ‘the meek’ come between those who mourn over sin and those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. The particular form of meekness which the Messiah requires in his disciples will surely have something to do with this sequence. This meekness denotes a humble and gentle attitude to others which is determined by a true estimate of ourselves. It is comparatively easy to be honest with ourselves before God and acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in his sight. Remember the “Jesus Prayer” — “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

What are the promises of God for when the storms of life hit?

Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor’s wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead’s facebook page,, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at

It happened 10 years ago. Disaster struck. Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. In addition to bringing great devastation to the New Orleans area, this hurricane caused much damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.

What is Godly sorrow all about? Why should I mourn?

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Jesus is ushering in the Kingdom of God. I like to think of Matthew 5 to 7 as his manifesto of what the Kingdom life is all about. This is the second of what is known as the Beatitudes. The Greek word for blessed is μακάριος (transliteration – makarios) It literally means happy or more than happy.

Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  | Matthew 5:4 (ESV)

Are we treating Jesus with contempt?

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Am we treating Jesus with contempt? Now that is a tough question. I don’t really want to think about it. Why does Jesus ask such tough questions?

Yet, if I am nullifying what Jesus wants to be happening, is that not contempt? If I don’t help the poor or those in prison, is that not contempt?

Jesus is clear that if I don’t help them, I am evil and going to spend my eternal life in “fiery hell”.

And Jesus said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? (Mar 9:12 NASB)

What are roles of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life?

Here is some great insight about the Holy Spirit from Penny Noyes, M.Ed. Penny is the author of Embracing Change – Learning to Trust God from the Women of the Bible and two books about Hezekiah. You can follow Penny on her blog and on Instagram @pennynoyes.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are saved, filled, sealed, and sanctified. The Holy Spirit reveals God’s thoughts, teaches, and guides believers into all truth, including knowledge of what is to come. The Holy Spirit also helps Christians in their weakness and intercedes for them.

The following are 10 ways the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers.

Read the article here: 10 Roles of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s Life

How hard is the way of life with Jesus?

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This Jesus saying is a part of what I call the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7) aka the Sermon on the Mount. It eats at the religious life myth of leading a good life.

Jesus warns us that it won’t be easy. Jesus is pulling no punches here. It will be hard.

For example, it may be easy to not commit adultery. It will be hard not to lust. Few are actually going to find God. Most Christians won’t.

I didn’t know how tough it would be. May I be one of the few. May you be one of the few.

Breaking News! Jesus rises from the dead in an incorruptible body!

The resurrection of Jesus is stunning. It isn’t to be just celebrated at Easter. It is the core of our faith. We must celebrate the victory that Jesus has won every day.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew 28:5-7

What is the priority of our kids’ salvation?

Here is some great insight from our good friends at The Domain for Truth.

Establish the need: What is your greatest priority for your kids? What do you desire the most for your kids?  Is it for them to have a good job, take care of you when you are older, contribute to society or be independent?  These are not wrong in of themselves, but what should your greatest priority for your kids should be?

Who is the Judge?

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Should I judge others? Jesus is clear in the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). I have plenty of my own issues. I should look in the mirror and focus on how I miss God’s goal (aka sin). And, there is plenty to focus on there. The list is quite long.

How are we one with God?

How Jesus allows us to be one with God. John 14-17…

I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word.  May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23

Have we been baptized in water and the fire of the Holy Spirit?

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I am not immune to competing for my spiritual faction (aka denomination). I think it is best. I think Jesus cares. I am wrong.

John the Baptizer is still baptizing. Jesus, as a part of His ministry, is starting to baptize as well.

John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”

How much of what we do “for Jesus” is done to be seen by others?

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Matthew 6:1 – Righteousness

How much of what we do “for Jesus” is done to be seen by others? Probably too much. Jesus is clear that will get us nowhere. It could be a simple thing but pretentiousness tends to be insidious. What about that gift to charity and I check the box to list my name? What about our public offering time in church designed to shame the non-givers?

Does God still heal today?

Danny Prince speaks about the believers job in order for God to heal. It takes the prayer of a righteous man to availeth much. It is also extremely important for the believer to have faith.

1 Corinthians 12:1,9, James 5:16, 2 Peter 1:3-4, John 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 4:1-2, 2 Timothy 1:6, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Hebrews 7:25, Mark 6:5-6, Matthew 13:58, Matthew 17:18-21.

Why is the resurrection of Jesus foundational to our faith?

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Here we are. It is “Resurrection Sunday”. Jesus died for me and on the third day after He was buried Jesus was raised from the dead to an incorruptible body. Do I believe that? Is it the core of my faith?

Now there is some good news! It is really, really good news! It is stunning. It is amazing news!