No man knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return, but we can know the seasons by the signs that we see all around us. In Matthew 16:4 Jesus chided the Pharisees and Sadducees because they believed they could discern the weather by the color of the sky at night or in the morning, but they could not discern the spiritual signs of the time. Jesus said, “Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” Anyone who cannot see that these are the last days that are leading swiftly to the Last Day is not paying attention.
Building on a Firm Foundation
It may be a nice sunny day when we are building our house of faith, but the tribulations, persecution, fiery trials, and afflictions are inevitable. The storm is coming and when the rain falls, the winds blow, and the floods flow, the substance of our faith will be revealed and the foundation will be exposed. That foundation will either sustain us or fail us depending upon how we have responded to the teaching of Jesus.
Christmas: Turning Fear to Cheer
In this life, we are often faced with unexpected circumstances and events that surprise us, catch us off-guard and initially cause some alarm. Regardless of how much faith we have, our first response is usually fear but if we remember that Jesus is with us, then fear can be destroyed where faith is employed.
Christmas Dreams: Matthew
Joseph heard the Lord in three dreams and the wise men heard God in their dream. As a result, Jesus our Savior was born, lived, and gave Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. He has earned the right to have our attention, our worship, and our obedience. Dream to believe that God has a plan for your life and if you hear Him, He will do exceedingly, abundantly, more than you can ask or think.
Christmas: Luke’s Musical
Luke includes four songs in the birth narratives, each following a powerful moment in the narrative. The early church gave each of these songs a title in Latin, which as the language of Rome, became the main language of the early church. Today I want to look at these four songs in the order they appear and explore the main message of each of them as an outline for the Christmas story.
The Sign Language of Jesus
There was no escaping the fact that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah because to be the Savior of the world He had to be the Christ, the Anointed One. But Gentiles hearing the story, as wonderful as it was, must have questioned where they fit in the story, which brings us to our text. Found only in Mark’s Gospel, this passage—along with the preceding passage and the passage that follows—highlights the ministry of Jesus in mostly Gentile territories where Gentiles were sincerely seeking Him. Like the Jews, when their faith was sufficient to believe, Jesus could and would heal and deliver Gentiles as well.
Little Dogs Gotta Eat Too
Most of us who have a dog in the house can understand the reply of the desperate mother, who takes the metaphor Jesus used, turns it around, and ends up walking away with a miracle. Sometimes we give up too quickly or get our feelings hurt too easily, and as a result, we walk away empty-handed. There is a powerful message in this passage that needs to be unpacked.
These Things Defile A Person
Almost everyone has ears, but Jesus knew that not everyone listens or understands. In fact, in many cases, the people were not even trying to understand. They were there for the show, for healing and deliverance, fish and bread, but not to learn the lessons that could set them free. I’ve been to church services where the people shouted from start to finish, and a good time was had by all, but when I asked them afterward what the message was about, they had no idea. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t know what he said, but I sure liked the way he said it!”
Multicultural Sunday: From Tribe to Kingdom
MULTICULTURAL SUNDAY: FROM TRIBE TO KINGDOM By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Revelation 5:8-10 8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new...
Cancelling the Critics
Mark is warning believers to remember that God’s Word is God’s Word, and nothing that deviates from or violates the Word of God is from God. To put the commandments of men, the teaching of infidels, or policies of political parties ahead of God’s Word exposes people for what they really are. They can claim to be devout Christians, but Jesus said they are hypocrites.