As Christians, we just finished celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ this past Easter weekend. Our message at Calvary Chapel came out of John 20 and focused on three encounters that Jesus had in his resurrected body. (The bible documents ten post-resurrection appearances of Jesus!)
Here’s those three appearances:
- Mary Magdalene. She went from broken-hearted to full of life and joy.
- The Ten Disciples. (Thomas wasn’t with them.) They went from fearful to full of courage as they shared the message of Jesus with the world. (See the book of Acts.)
- Thomas. He went from skepticism to proclaiming “My Lord and My God.”
Check out the video of the full message and let me know what you think!
When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:23)
Ages ago, when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God lead them out and gave them freedom. It took the arrival of ten plagues on the Egyptian people and land before Pharoah would concede. The last plague was called the “Death of the Firstborn.” All throughout the land of Egypt, at midnight “there was a great cry…(because) there was not a house where there was not one dead” (Exodus 12:30).
There was one way, however, to spare the lives of the firstborn of the household: apply the blood. Every home which would strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood of the Passover lamb would be spared from Death’s visitation.
It was a picture in the Old Testament of a principle in the New Testament. It was a foreshadowing of the Jesus, the Lamb of God. Jesus was sacrificed for the sin of the world. But that blood, in faith, has to be applied over the doorposts of your life. If it is, your life will be spared.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 3:29).
Is Jesus coming toward you? Do you feel like you want to be closer to Him? All you have to do is believe in Him. Read John’s gospel. You can get more information about knowing God on this page.
There are other representations of Jesus envisaged in the Passover, including several elements of the Seder Meal. At Calvary Chapel Oakville, on Saturday, April 8, we will be having a Passover Seder meal together, led by Jewish believer and Bible teacher Alan Gilman.
This will be an unforgettable experience. Please consider joining us. Space is limited so please RSVP by April 3rd. You can do this at the church or via email. Also, please bring a passover friendly dish to share (i.e. no food containing shellfish, dairy, leaven, or pork).
In this message, Pastor Pat shares from Hebrews 5:11-14 about two kinds of Christians. The first is an infant, a babe, someone who has grown very much spiritually speaking. The other kind of Christian is one who is mature, who has learned the word of God and is obeying it. Check out the video and let us know what you think!
“…tell how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8:39)
We often call it a “testimony.” It’s defined as “evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something.”
I like to call it a “God Story.” It’s the story of how your life was changed by God. And it is a very powerful tool that God can use in your life to reach someone who is far from God. Every testimony, every God Story, has three parts. Here they are.
- What was my life like before I met God?
- How did I meet God?
- How has my life changed since I met God?
The beauty of a testimony is that it can be shared in as short as thirty seconds or as long as thirty or more minutes. Here’s a sample of a thirty second testimony:
- Before I was a Christian, I had no sense of purpose or meaning in my life. I felt like something was missing. I was unfulfilled.
- My friend told me about his relationship with Jesus and invited me to church one Sunday. It seemed like everything the pastor said was directly related to my situation. I prayed with my friend afterwards and asked Jesus to be my Saviour and Lord.
- Since that time, I have an abiding sense of peace and purpose. I know for sure that when I die I am going to heaven.
Each of us should have a short version of our testimony that we are always ready to share. Be prepared! God can and will use you if you are available. People need to hear your story. Share it.
How’s your 2017 going? We are about three weeks in, with less than fifty to go.
One of the things that we are focusing on as a church is reading through the New Testament, one chapter a day. We started in Mark’s gospel, and will be finished with it soon. The message at each weekend service will be taken from the portion that we have read that particular week.
This has been a great thing for my family personally. Since we are all reading the same section of scripture, it prompts much conversation about God’s Word. Sometimes we all sit in the living room with our Bibles, and read the chapter together alternating verses. Other times, Janet or I will read it with one of the kids to help them with their devotions, or just to read God’s Word before bed. There are times where one of us might read it by ourselves in the morning, then read it again with the family in the evening.
I share all that with you to point out that we need to be intentional with reading God’s Word. This is one piece of the puzzle when it comes to discipleship. First and foremost, we are disciples of Jesus. He gave us His Word in order to tell us how to live.
Reading the Bible together as a church, I believe, is going to be a fantastic experience. I even spoke with another pastor in the area who heard me share about this and decided to do it with his flock!
It’s never too late to start! Make 2017 the year that you read through the New Testament.
Here’s the reading assigned for the first few weeks of January.
Lastly, you can share what you are reading or learning on social media using the hashtag, #NTin2017.
I don’t know what you think of Christianity, or church, or Jesus. I lot of people today hate the church but love Jesus. I get that.
Unfortunately, many so-called Christians speak with loud voices and they don’t say very loving or even helpful things.
No matter who you are or what you think, I wanted to share an idea that I had. 2017 is just around the corner.
Let’s read the New Testament in 2017?
The New Testament is the part of the Bible that begins with the birth of Jesus. It talks about his life and the initial impact of his life, including his coming back in the future.
It would take you about five minutes a day, five days a week, to read the New Testament in a year..
I’m going to be doing it, and I want you to join me. You don’t have to be a Christian, you don’t have to be a church person, you don’t even have to tell anybody you’re doing it.
But when it comes to God and spiritual issues, doesn’t it make sense to go to the source? When it has to do with Jesus, shouldn’t we read the book that talks about Him?
If you want to do this, I set up a page where you can download the reading plan that I’ll be using. You can also do this plan using the YouVersion Bible apps. I’ll post the links for that. I’m also going to post some helpful hints to get the most out of your reading.
Let me know if you are going to accept this invitation, this challenge to read the NT in 2017. And lets invite others. How many people do you think we could see read the New Testament that have never, ever read any Scripture? Share this with your friends, let them know if you’re going to be doing it.
Five minutes a day, five days a week. You are going to learn a lot about the God that made you and loves you.
The summer Olympics took place this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My family spent a bit of time watching online. We saw some gymnastics, a couple volleyball games, and a few rounds of diving. We were especially impressed with synchronized diving. A perfect dive, requiring hours and hours of practice, can be described in many ways, but perhaps the one word the captures it best is “grace”. The definition of grace is “simple elegance or refinement of movement.” It’s the word for an outstanding figure skating performance or even an incredible, leaping, stretching, one-handed reception by an airborne wide receiver.
But there is a more beautiful grace. It’s definition number two: “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” Have you experienced that grace?
Paul ends his letter to the Philippians with these words, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Grace is freely given. It came through Jesus Christ. It demonstrates God’s love. It motivates God’s heart. It’s how we are loved by Him, it is how we are saved, but it is also how we grow and learn and experience His presence. Grace is never-ending. It’s why we are forgiven. It’s why we are going to heaven.
Grace is the best word in the English language. This week, at Saturday Night Church, we will be doing a deep dive into God’s grace as we wrap our study of the book of Philippians.
“How blessed is the person,
who does not take the advice of the wicked,
who does not stand on the path with sinners,
and who does not sit in the seat of mockers.
But he delights in the LORD’s instruction,
and meditates in his instructiond day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,
yielding its fruit in its season,
and whose leaf does not wither.
He will prosper in everything he does.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
As a Christian, it is our great privilege to spend time with God each and every day, as we read His Word and pray. Here is a simple way for you to do that.
First, pick a Bible reading plan. We have a couple suggestions here. Then, grab a notebook and a pen. Finally, use the S.O.A.P.S. method to get more out of your Bible reading.
S = SCRIPTURE
Read today’s portion of Scripture with an open heart.
Underline or highlight anything that grabs your attention.
Out of what you marked, pick one verse that means the most to you and write it down.
What is it about this verse that grabs your attention? What does it say to you about God? About yourself?
Read the verse a few times and maybe try to memorize it.
A = APPLICATION
How can you apply this to your life? What should you do, think, or believe differently? Listen to the Holy Spirit.
P = PRAYER
Say a simple prayer about what you have just read and learned. Write it out.
S = SHARE
Throughout the day, share what you have learned with your family, friends, or whomever the Lord would lead.
May the Lord bless you richly as you spend time with Him!