Pastor’s Pen

6 Ways the devil seeks to destroy you spiritually every day

Hey there GCT!  For the first time, as we study the Gospel of Luke, we are introduced to the devil.  Do you really believe in the supernatural being of evil in these days of such science and secularism?  A 2009 Barna study says that a majority of “Christians” do not believe in Satan.  Well, we know for sure that Jesus believed in Satan and his demonic helpers.  Jesus did battle with the spiritual forces of darkness and the devil himself throughout all of His life and ministry.  He spoke about supernatural frequently and so did the apostles throughout the New Testament.  Plus, look around us and you will see empirical evidence for the existence of evil.  
 

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The Son of God became a Man to enable Men to Become the Sons of God…

Hey GCT:  I hope that you have been able to spend some time in the Gospel of Luke this week reading the exciting list of Jesus’ genealogy  That really is some intense reading (3:23-38).  But pause and take a second to look who is in the family tree of Jesus on HIs mother Mary’s side.  Most of this list of 77 names are men representing families whose names do not appear anywhere in Scripture.  We really know nothing about them except that they have suffered the consequences of sin which is death.  They are no longer living.  Luke wants everybody to understand that this list really is a big line of sinners in the family tree of Jesus.  They are people just like us.  They had joys and sorrows, celebrations and sufferings, ambitions and calamities.  Some of the ones we do know about were idolaters, liars, cheaters, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, murderers and more.  But look whose name is at the very deepest root of the family tree in Luke 3:38.  
 

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Preparing for Easter and Why Jesus Came to die

Good morning church.   As we enter this season where we as the Church focus on and celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let us prepare our hearts to receive and understand why Jesus came to earth to die.  As we go through the gospel of Luke we are watching the story unfold of Jesus coming to fulfill all righteousness for us by becoming all sinfulness for us.  Please, let us as a church prepare together by going through this free e-book by John Piper, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die.  Each reason is covered in two pages or less so you and your family can use this in your daily devotions preparing our hearts to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Jesus lived every second of His life for our salvation as much as He died for our salvation

Some life changing thoughts spring from this weeks Scripture in Luke 3.  Jesus came to receive the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins from John the Baptist.  Stop, and take that in to your mind and ponder that.  Jesus, the perfectly righteous Son of God, born of God, sinless Man, in no need of forgiveness or repentance gets in the baptism line with every other sinner in the world and says baptize me with the same baptism as the sinners.  

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The Refining Fire of the Holy Spirit – Is never destructive

Well GCT here is some amazing news on this rainy day and for every day.  Are you ready… Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and Fire.  As John the Baptist’s popularity grew people thought that he could be the long promised Christ.  How did the humble Spirit-filled John the Baptist respond?  He responded with a description of the differences in baptism between Jesus and himself.  Is that what you would expect?  John explains why he is not the Christ by explaining how his baptism is different that Christ’s baptism.  I was not expecting that.
 
John tells us that when Christ comes He baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire.  This is of course infinitely greater than John’s baptism because when Jesus baptizes us He does so by immersing us with His Holy Spirit.  John calls everybody to repentance and then he would put those repentant people in the water as an outward sign of their inner cleansing.  But Christ would put the Holy Spirit in people and people in the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus baptizes He does the inward work that leads to eternal life by immersing you in the Holy Spirit.  Great news for us as we struggle to live lives of righteousness.  Christ says I am your guarantee to make you Holy, let me do the work.
 

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Twelve year old Jesus-Scolded by His Mother-WWJD

We have arrived at the post-nativity stories of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.  The first twelve years of Jesus’ life are summed up in Luke 2:40 “…the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon Him.”  We see in the verses following (2:41-52) the only story of Jesus during his first three decades of living.  This is the only glimpse we have of Jesus until He turned thirty years old.   These are important truths to show us who the twelve year old Jesus knew He was to be.  The young Jesus knew who He was.  He was not struggling with who He was.  This is such an important transition Scripture that prepares us for the Jesus that is coming next that we learn in the rest of the Luke’s Gospel.  The feel good baby Jesus is about to be replaced by the Jesus that demands to be Lord as an adult.  We see here that at twelve years old Jesus is perfectly at peace with who He was, the Son of God.


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