The Advanced Lessons

We are starting a new series I’ve entitled, “The Advanced Lessons.”   In Matthew, chapters seventeen through twenty, Jesus withdraws from the multitudes to spend the majority of His time with His disciples. 

In this, His last six months on Earth prior to His crucifixion, He will prepare His disciples for their future ministries.  The first of these advanced lessons comes in Matthew 17:14-21.


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Restrictions

Have you ever had cause to hide your identity?

When I went through short-term missions training, I was taught a little bit about how to not be noticed while traveling to and from mission destinations.  In third world countries standing out can be dangerous.  One of the reasons I was taught to not stand out is because if you appear to be a person of means, it may make you a target for thieves, so it’s good to blend in.


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One Year Ago…

 

Last year, for a New Year’s sermon, I preached the text of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

and set the following resolutions for 2020:


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Fun With 2021

Every new year I like to go through the Bible to see how Bible verses correspond with the new year.  For instance, this upcoming year is 2021, so I look at every book of the Bible that has a chapter “20” and a verse “21,” just to see what they say.

There’s nothing prophetic or mystical about it, but it’s fun.  This year I thought we could look at the verses together and see what 20:21 has in store for us…


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Best Things In Life Are Free

We’ve all heard the saying, “The best things in life are free,” but is that true?  I think that it’s both true and false.

I would modify the saying to say, “Few of the best things in life are free.” 

Think about it.  Now name some good things that are free.  One might say, “To behold the beauty of nature is free.”  Is that free?  Because the last time I checked, it costs me quite a lot to enjoy the beauty of nature.


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Learn & Remember

Holy Scripture does us absolutely no good whatsoever if we do not learn and remember the lessons that it teaches us. 

One of the most important lessons that God teaches us that we must learn and remember is found in the words of the Lord in Isaiah 55:8-9


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I Will Build My Church

In the text of Matthew 16:13-20, there is some confusion that must be sorted out, but what we must not do in the midst of sorting out the confusion is miss the point.

The key of the text is the words of Jesus as He proclaims in verse 18, I will build My church.


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Afterlife Confusion and Encouragement

God doesn’t tell us much about the afterlife.  He prefers for the details to be a mystery, to be something that we believe in based on faith.

Even the apostle Paul is not permitted to tell us what he knows.  In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul explains in vs 4 that he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.  Why isn’t he permitted to speak these the words he heard there?  Simply put, God won’t allow it.


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Bible Reading vs Bible Study

 
This week I intended to teach Matthew 16:18-20.  As I labored and wrestled with the text, it became more and more evident that there was no way that was going to be possible.  So, this Sunday I will be teaching Matthew 16:18, and truth be told, I will only be preaching on the first half of verse eighteen.  I am often asked, “Why do you preach so few verses at a time?”

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Confession of Christ

 
What does it really mean to “confess Christ?”  We hear that phraseology often in the church, but do we really know what it means?

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