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John 16-18

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Did you know that being a Christian means that you will have trouble in your life? Guaranteed! Jesus here, speaking with the disciples tells them that troubles will come, but He gives them hope and a promise. “Take heart, I have overcome the world!” Trials come, troubles abound, persecution is real, but Christians can take refuge in the one who has overcome it all. We do not always know the reason, but we know that there is a reason. Jesus knew exactly what was ahead for the disciples. The followers of Jesus, the ones who would carry the torch and share the message of the Savior. History tells us that most of the disciples were martyred. God doesn’t hide how difficult life is. He doesn’t try to sugarcoat things. He tells them as they are, but he promises to be with us through it all. 

1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God an…
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John 13-14

John 13:34-35 (ESV)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
What are you known for? Everybody is known for something. Some people are known for being complainers. Have you ever met a complainer? Someone who is always unhappy or has something negative to say. Some people are known for their lack of compromise. Some are known for their overwhelming encouragement. Some for their strength, some for their wealth, some for their amazing athletic ability, some of their creative ability, some for their stories and some people, some people are known for their love. There is great joy in being around someone who truly loves others.
Jesus tells the disciples how the world should recognize them, by their love for one another. Not by what organization they are a part of, or what political party they associate with, what sports team …

John 11-12

Recently when reading about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (what we remember on Palm Sunday), I am challenged by the thought of those who cheered "hosanna", only a few days later, screamed "crucify Him." Those who celebrated and worshiped him, then turned their backs on Jesus, just a few days later. Shane and Shane wrote about this in their song Crucify Him. Here they reflect on how Christians turn their back on Jesus today as well. 
Here it is:
This song has been so challenging to me. I hope it is to you, as well.

Ephesians 6:10-11 (ESV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Stand firm in the faith, brothers and sisters. 
~Pastor Tony

John 9-10

Today we were introduced to a man who had been in double darkness ever since his birth.He couldn’t see with his physical eyes and he had no spiritual sight either.After Jesus came to him he had double light.He had gone from double darkness to double light.What marvelous grace God provides for us lost sinners!

An interesting question emerged in the first 2 verses of John 9.At first glance it looks like a ridiculous question by Jesus’ disciples.Think back to some ridiculous questions you’ve heard before.

1.Where did you leave it?
2.Why did you walk the weakest hitter on the team?
3.Can God make a rock so big He can’t lift it?
4.Where did they keep mosquitos on the ark?
5.When is later, Dad?
Here, before us is another seemingly ridiculous question: “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

The disciples wanted to identify the cause of the blind man’s infirmity as sin.They wanted to find out whom they could blame.They were convinced that illness was the specific result of a …

John 7-8

And the dispute continues about who this man Jesus is. They had witnessed Jesus speaking with unexplainable wisdom and performing miraculous healings. Yet some still thought he was demon-possessed, a blasphemer, or a suicidal nutcase. Verse 5 of chapter 7 tells us that even his own brothers didn’t believe in him. We shouldn’t be surprised then that it may be even harder for people today to believe that Jesus is God’s Son.   

If you have settled the question of who Jesus is, and have accepted him as your Lord and Savior, it’s more important now than ever that you walk the walk, not just talk the Christian talk.  It’s true that you “may be the only Bible some person ever reads.” Let’s be the salt and light that our evil society needs.
~Elsie Shepherd

Psalm 104

One of the amazing things about growing up as a missionary’s kid in Bolivia was seeing God’s amazing creation. I remember driving through the rugged Andes mountains and then seeing what looked like a green carpet of jungle trees at the bottom. I remember looking out the window of a small Cessna plane to see snowcapped mountains peeking through the clouds. I remember canoeing down the jungle rivers, staring at depth of the jungle watching the river twist and turn. 
My grandparents were missionaries to a tribe in the Andes Mountains. It took about four hours by car to get to where they lived. The drive was spectacular. It was breath-taking however, as a kid, I didn’t always take time to notice. It wasn’t until I left Bolivia and then went back that I truly appreciated the bigger picture. 
One memory that I have is driving through the mountains with my grandparents who lived in the USA. They had come down to Bolivia to visit and we were on some type of trip. I can’t remember where we were …

John 3-4

Have you ever thought about the world as a whole? The large amount of people, the different ways people speak, eat, dress, express gratitude and so much more. The world is so diverse, so different, yet all of humanity has something in common. We are all made in the likeness of God. With all our differences, preferences, our goals and passions, there is one thing above all else that we share in common, being made in the likeness of God. Yet, as we looked at this week in church, we live a Genesis 3 world. We sin, and were born sinners. But, we serve a God of second chances. A God who even though we make mistakes again and again, sent His Son to save the World.  John 3:16-17 (ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Without Jesus, there was no Hope. Jesus came to save.
A number of…