Category Archives: Bible

Unfailing Love, Vast As the Heavens

Bible icon Chrstn Clickart p216    Psalms 36:5, 7-8 “Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds…. 7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. 8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights” (New Living Translation)
Thank You, Lord, for letting us drink from Your river of delights (or as the New King James puts it, the river of Your pleasures). Thank You for Your written Word, O Lord and for the hymns I grew up with. They seem to me to be gifts of love from Your river of delights. You are so good to us, Lord!
“From our mother’s arms [You have] blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love” (from “Now Thank We All Our God”). Countless gifts of love—like the hymns, the Scriptures, my learning to sing harmony, the help to believe Your love for me as an individual, a song on the radio that calmed one of my fears at just the right time, a letter that calmed me in panic, an ability to read music, the hymn books I have, and on and on. Also Lord, Your nearness, compassion, and tender mercies are gifts of Your love.
Part of the first verse of the hymn “I Am Thine, O Lord,” says, “I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me.” Yes, every time You speak and help me to hear is a gift that tells Your love to me.
The first 2 verses of “This Is My Father’s World” remind me that You speak to me through nature and that You speak to me everywhere. Thank You!MUSIC1
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy [or “faithful love”] endures forever.” (Psalms 136:1 New King James Version)
Every good and perfect (appropriate, timely) gift is from You. As Ps. 36:7 says, “How precious is Your unfailing love (lovingkindness), O God!”

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He Satisfies Our Deepest Thirst

Bible-text- pub dom pic -Petr Kratochvil    Nehemiah 8:12 “And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them [the Book of the Law of Moses].”
Yes, what reason for rejoicing—to hear and understand God’s Word! (The people in this verse understood because the leaders and Levites “gave the sense and helped them to understand the reading….” –Nehemiah 8:8)
Thank You, Father, for the insight You give me into Your Word by Your Holy Spirit and by good teachers who “give the sense and help me understand.” Amen.
I’m reminded of a hymn we sang at church when I was a youth. The first verse says, “… Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.”* The song in turn reminds me of Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God….”
The “sacred page,” God’s written Word leads us to Jesus, the Living Word, and He satisfies our deepest thirst. break bread- pub dom pics- Gustavo Di Nucci

 

*“Break Thou the Bread of Life” by Mary Ann Lathbury and William F. Sherwin. Music and lyrics at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp8oi0qjanU. More information about the hymn at http://www.lectionary.org/HymnStories/Break%20Thou%20the%20Bread%20of%20Life.htm
(Pictures public domain courtesy of http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/hledej.php?hleda=Bible&x=24&y=16     Bread picture by Gustavo Di Nucci; Bible picture by Petr Kratochvil.)
(Scripture quotes are New King James Version.)

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WHY DOES JESUS HEAL?

Excellent sermon by Pastor Tom.

Clear Bible

healing

Healing in this life, or making this life better somehow, is ultimately meaningless unless we respond to Jesus in faith. Jesus is focused on the eternal person, the spiritual person. That’s where his priority is, and I think that is where our priorities should be also.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 30

 Matthew #30 . Matthew 9:1-8

This time, we will take the incident with the paralyzed man and his friends. Mark and Luke include the detail that the paralytic man’s friends couldn’t get him through the crowd, so they lowered him from the roof to set him in front of Jesus. Once again, there is no reason to assume that this contradicts Matthew. Matthew often omits details supplied by Luke…

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New Wine and New Cloth

wine bottle 1    “John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples don’t?’” (Mark 2:18)
Part of Jesus’ answer to their question was, “No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. Otherwise, the new patch will shrink and rip away some of the old cloth, and the tear will become worse. People don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the wine will make the skins burst, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine is to be poured into fresh skins.” (Mark 2:21-22)
What do new cloth, old clothes, new wine, and old wineskins have to do with fasting? Maybe it’s this: Jesus is the new and living way to the Father (Hebrews 10:20, John 14:6). He Himself is the new wine and the new cloth. We don’t need to try to fit Him into the old wineskins of rules about fasting or patch Him onto the old clothing of rituals from the former covenant. Instead we can let Him show us the realities foreshadowed by the rules and rituals and point out to us the times that fasting and other practices are helpful, important, or necessary.
(Bible verses quoted from God’s Word Translation)                                         shirts 1

 

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True Soul Food

Bible w-cornbrd-1       Isaiah 55:2-3 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you — the sure mercies of David.” (New King James)
Feeding on what I hear from God as I come humbly to Him and listen—this is true soul food. He gives wisdom abundantly. I’ll delight myself in what He says, and my soul will be refreshed and revived and will live. I’ll learn of Jesus and find rest for my soul (Matthew 11:28-30). I’ll receive the “sure mercies of David—pardon, blessings, and connection/fellowship with the almighty, totally just yet perfectly loving, only true God. (The New Living Translation says “all the unfailing love I promised to David” instead of “the sure mercies of David.”)
And what further delights my soul is that this very God has made me His child through His Son Jesus Christ! Indeed, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, His ways and thoughts are higher than mine! They are more wonderful and marvelous than I can comprehend or imagine.
Psalm 37:3 “ Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” Amplified Bible

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Link to Pastor Tom Sermon on Who Is Jesus

All of Pastor Tom Hilpert’s sermons are good, and I think this one is especially so.

http://revth.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/who-is-jesus-what-did-he-think-of-himself/

 

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WHY DID JESUS SAY THE WAY WAS NARROW?

Excellent message by Pastor Tom. Reminds us that Christianity is all about Jesus–relationship with Him, surrendering to Him. It’s “not about earning points with God or bettering yourself, or peace, or making the world a better place” although these things may result from following Him. The important thing is knowing Jesus, trusting Him, obeying Him.

Clear Bible

narrow way

Sometimes it feels hard to be a real Jesus-follower when so many others seem to get by just fine ignoring most of what he said, and even call themselves Christians while doing it. But Jesus told us right here that that is how it would be.If we claim to be followers of Jesus, it seems only right that we don’t dispute what he said.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 23

Matthew #23 . 7:12-29

Matthew 7:12 deserves honorable mention, but it isn’t my intention to preach an entire sermon on it. Jesus said:

In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets. (Matt 7:12, NET)

We call this “the golden…

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It’s Time

alarm clock only--2       Why do I waste time and emotional energy upsetting myself over things I have no control over? Instead of letting myself get irritated, frustrated, or angry, I could be meditating on God’s Word. After all, I claim that’s where my delight is (Psalm 1:2). Or I could be singing some of the church hymns and gospel songs I grew up with and love.
It’s time I set my mind on things above where Christ is (Colossians 3:2). I need to think on the good things of Philippians 4:8 (whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, or if there is any virtue or anything praiseworthy).
“Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself — it tends only to evildoing.” Psalm 37:8 (Amplified Bible)
God has allowed these moments and days for me on this earth, and I want to use them for His glory. I can do that better if I keep my focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). Each day, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to God, my Rock and Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

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“DO NOT JUDGE”: ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST MISUSED BIBLE VERSES.

What a great sermon by Pastor Tom! I especially appreciated his comment about praying for people who don’t claim to be Christians: He prays that they will become desperate for the forgiveness and grace they can have in Christ alone. And I say Amen.

Clear Bible

I don't Want to Judge

It has never made sense to me to try and get people who do not trust Jesus to live according to His teachings. Many Christians condemn where they should not, and fail to correct where they should.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 21

Matthew #21 . Matthew 7:1-6

“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in…

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Closer to God

Priest with scroll    “And they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God.”
(New Living Translation—NLT)
How wonderful You are, Lord! You desired to live among Your people, so You brought them out of Egypt and told them (through Moses) about the regulations for worship and how to prepare the tabernacle and ordain the priests.
    You desire to live among us Your people today. Let us understand clearly Your requirements for closeness with You so we will always live in Your presence. Amen.
So what does the Lord require of us? Consider Micah 6:6-8.
Micah 6:6-7 (my synopsis): “What can we do? Offer yearling calves, thousands of rams, rivers of olive oil? Or maybe sacrifice our sons to pay for our sins?”
Micah 6:8 (NLT) “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus says that justice, mercy, and faith are the “weightier matters of the law,” or as the NLT puts it, “the more important aspects of the law” [more important than tithing, for example]. Then He says, “…You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” (Matthew 23:23b NLT) If faith corresponds to walking humbly with God, then the verse in Matthew reiterates the thought of Micah 6:8. And since we can’t walk with God unless we believe Him and listen to Him, perhaps faith could indeed correlate to walking with the Lord.
 Loving Father, thank You for wanting us close to You. Please teach us to act with justice, love mercy, and humbly walk with You. Amen.

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