God Still Answers by Fire

Elijah was sitting on the top of a hill. He probably saw the soldiers coming from miles away, but he did not run or hide because he was not afraid. It’s true that Elijah had gone through a valley depression, but it is also true that he came out the other side of that valley and now he’s back on the mountain.

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The Great Exchange

The Apostle Paul was dealing with people who were saying they believed in Jesus as Messiah, and saying they believed He died for their sins, yet they insisted that certain elements of the Law of Moses should be retained as necessary for salvation.  These people were called Judaizers, and they included both Jewish people and Gentiles that had converted to Judaism.  For the Judaizers, Christ alone was just not enough.

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POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS

Jesus had been teaching His disciples for over a year at this point, and by all accounts, they were zealous for Him.  Yet, surprisingly, even after all their time with Jesus they still had much to learn.  Even Jesus seemed shocked at times that they were so slow to understand (Mk 8:17).  For example, in our text, we see that they were quick to condemn those who were not members of their cadre of disciples.  However, Jesus pointed out that they should not dismiss or condemn others that are ministering in His name.

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The Power of God’s Love

Love is a topic of much discussion in movies, books, TV, songs, and poetry, but the concept itself has become so diluted and polluted in the English language that “love” has lost much of its meaning. For example, it is not unusual to hear someone say they love pizza in one breath, and then tell their spouse that they love them in the next breath. Furthermore, love is not merely emotion but it is a decision, or John could not instruct us to love one another. Love in its purest form, is not selfish or self-seeking and it does not come and go or rise and falls like waves on the ocean. In Scripture love is powerful, persuasive, and persevering. Ultimately, true love comes from God, overcomes fear, turns enemies into friends, and moves us to selfless acts of kindness and compassion.

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