Pastor’s Pen

Legalism – The Great Destroyer of Grace and Joy

Hey GCT:  This Sunday in Luke 5 we are going to see Jesus confront those who think that righteousness and acceptance before God comes from something besides Jesus Christ.  Many of us in our former years have suffered from legalistic tendencies, or we are still demanding from others more than Jesus does.  Or maybe we are enduring or recovering from the spiritual abuse of someone who is reigning down upon us a legalistic sledgehammer.  That legalistic sledgehammer is never one unto life but to death.  Here are ten evidences of legalism.
 

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To Heal or Not to Heal…

This week we will be looking more closely at several specific people in Luke 5, and how they were involved in healing and non-healing.  Yes, Jesus healed the leper and the paralytic but He also didn’t heal many other people who were present.  First and foremost we much rejoice in the fact that Jesus heals!  Jesus wants you to know that He has compassion on the diseased, the hungry, the sick and the oppressed.  In His compassion he chooses to heal sometimes while we are still in our earthly bodies.  And sometimes Jesus chooses not to heal us while we are still in our earthly bodies.  The great promise that we are reminded of when we see a healing today is that healing is a reminder of God’s promise that He will heal everything when He returns and makes everything new.  At Jesus’ return we as believers will be healed of everything!  We who are perishable and mortal will put on the imperishable and the immortal at Jesus’ return (1 Corinthians 15:50-53).  Jesus has come to usher in His kingdom that

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Are you a Believer or are you a Disciple? Yahoo / Inbox

Are you a believer or a disciple?  GCT, Jesus call us all to be disciples not just believers.  What is the difference?  Discipleship is costly!  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is answering Jesus’ call to sit at His feet and learn from Him and change your life according to His teachings.  Discipleship involves repentance, obedience, dying to self, following, submission, sacrifice, worship, yoking with other disciples, leaving things behind, counting everything as loss compared to knowing Jesus Christ, and yes even martyrdom.  Do you find yourself today living to be a disciple?  
 

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The Supreme Authority of Jesus is for Your Everyday Life

Hey GCT:  Think with me for a little bit about the word AUTHORITY.  What thoughts and emotions well up in your minds and hearts?  Scripture tells us that Jesus is our authority.  Matthew 28:18 says, “All Authority has been given to Jesus in heaven and on earth.”  That means that Jesus has the right to tell us what to do and what not to do.  Jesus’ words “possess authority” (Luke 4:32).  The word used here for authority really is communicating “supernatural power.”  The words that come out of Jesus’ mouth possess supernatural power over the heavens and the earth which is supreme authority.  Jesus has authority over the entire spiritual realm and the entire physical realm.  That means that Jesus has complete authority over every situation in our lives.  He speaks and demons scatter.  He speaks and diseases are healed.  He speaks and the weather changes.  He speaks and the blind receive sight.  He speaks and people bow in worship in repentance.  Every Word of Jesus is supremely powerful!  Are you accessing the super natural power and authority of Jesus Christ?  It is available to you every second of every day.  
 

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Are you a “I have to see it to believe it” or a “I will believe it to see it” kind of person?

What does God call His children to do over and over again throughout the story of redemption in Scripture?  Does He call us to a “believe me and I will show you” faith or an “I will show you first so that you can believe” kind of faith?  Well, I believe that time and time again He calls us to believe Him first and then He moves forward with us in our faith and makes His promises yes and absolutely realized.  Our Father in heaven loves for us to trust Him.  This entire story of redemption from Genesis to Revelation is God saying “ Trust Me!”  His daily word to us in whatever situation we find ourselves in is, “Trust Me.”  God is worthy to be trusted.  God id saying “believe me and I will show you…”

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Are you in spiritual or physical poverty, captivity, blindness, or oppression? Jesus is your freedom – your release.

Hey GCT!  If you showed up one day and saw that Jesus was preaching at your place of worship what do you think he would be preaching about?  This week we have Jesus’ first documented sermon in the New Testament that He spoke back in His home town of Nazareth to a packed house.  At this point Jesus had a great, encouraging, glorified ministry of teaching respected by all but that was about to change.
 
In Luke 4:17, Jesus picks up the Old Testament scroll of Isaiah and reads a reference in chapter 61, about the Old Testament Jubilee year that Israel was commanded to enjoy every fifty years.  The Old Testament year of Jubilee was also called “the year of the Lord’s favor.”  During the Jubilee year you would rest from all of your own labors and your own efforts to allow God’s goodness to lead you and feed you.  It was a year that joyfully all the captives and the oppressed would be set free, you would with great joy redeem what was lost and you would sacrificially help others redeem what they had lost.  It was a great year of Jubilee!!

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