Monday, April 15, 2019

Passion Week - What took place?

Passion Week is an incredible time where we should pause to remember all Jesus did and endured for us so that we can have forgiveness and life in and through Him!

The following is a straight forward list of some of the many things that took place from His triumphant entry that we remember on Palm Sunday and on through to Resurrection Sunday with scriptures for your personal reading, study, reflection, and prayer. 

Palm Sunday:
  • The Triumphal Entry of Jesus: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:12-19

Monday:
  • The Cleansing of the Temple: Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48
  • The Cursing of the Fig Tree: Matthew 21:18-19, Mark 11:12-14

Tuesday:
  • Jesus’ Authority is Challenged: Matthew 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, Luke 20:1-8
  • Jesus’ Parables of Warning: Matthew 21:28-22:14, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19
  • The Withered Fig Tree: Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:20-25
  • Debate With Jewish Leaders: Matthew 22:15-46, Mark 12:13-37, Luke 20:20-44
  • Jesus' Warning against Hypocrisy & Jesus Denounces the he Scribes & the Pharisees: Matthew 23:1-39, Mark 12:38-44, Luke 20:45-21:4 Teaching on the Last Things Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21:5-36

Wednesday:
  • The Chief Priests Conspire Against Jesus: Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, Luke 22:1-2
  • The Anointing of Jesus & Judas' Plot: Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-11, Luke 22:3-6, John 11:45-12:8

Thursday:
  • The Last Supper: Matthew 26:17-35, Mark 14:12-31, Luke 22:7-38, John 13-17
  • The Garden of Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-46
  • Jesus’ Betrayal & Arrest: Matthew 26:47-56, Mark 14:43-52, Luke 22:47-53, John 18:1-14
  • Jesus Stands Trial before the Jewish Authorities: Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 14:53-72, Luke 22:54-71, John 18:15-27

Good Friday:
  • Jesus Stands Trial before Pilate: Matthew 27:1-31, Mark 15:1-20, Luke 23:1-25, John 18:28-19:16
  • The Crucifixion of Jesus: Matthew 27:32-56, Mark 15:22-41, Luke 23:26-49, John 19:16-37
  • The Burial of Jesus: Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42

Saturday:
  • The Tomb Watch: Matthew 27:62-66

Resurrection Sunday!
  • The Resurrection of Jesus: Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18
  • The Report of the Tomb Watch: Matthew 28:11-15
  • Jesus Appears on The Road to Emmaus: Luke 24:13-35
  • Jesus Appears to the Ten in the Upper Room: Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-23

May you be moved to praise The Lord all the more as you re-read, study, and reflect on these passages this week as remember all He did and endured for you!

You're Brother and Servant in Christ,


Randolph Koch

Friday, April 12, 2019

Spiritual Warfare: Submit, Resist, and he will Flee!

Read: Ephesians 6:10-18 and James 4:7

Some time ago, I went through a Spiritual Warfare 101 Bible study (by Chip Ingram) with a small group/community group that met every other week. 

I really gained a lot from the Bible study and I wanted to share some brief thoughts with you about it as it's not a topic that we often talk about in The Church but none-the-less it's in His Word and a very real battle. (See Ephesians 6:12-13 and other passages) 

Also, as a word of caution, some often over-spiritualize spiritual warfare and we have to remind ourselves to be in God's Word and seek Him often as not everything is "spiritual warfare". (I have very real examples of this but to keep this post brief, I won't  take the time share here.)

We need to look at and treat spiritual warfare Biblically and not let our emotions overshadow what is or isn't spiritual warfare. We need to guard against over-spiritualization of important and very real matters such as this.  

Ok, side note/disclaimer stated, now let's get into what I aim to briefly share. :-) 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Remaining Sharp In A World That Aims To Keep You Dull.


Read: Proverbs 27:17,  1 Corinthians 12:12–27,  Romans 12:4-5, and Ephesians 2:19-22

Knives need to remain sharp: 

Many times we may have gone to use a knife to cut something. It may have been a pocketknife to carve something; or maybe a kitchen knife to carve your Thanksgiving turkey or some other food item. 

There have been times when you went to use the knife of your choosing and you may have found that the knife was so dull that a butter knife would have probably been more effective. 

You then either had to sharpen the knife, maybe taken it somewhere to get it sharpened, or see if you had another knife you can use instead. 

Even after we have sharpened the knife, it will likely becomes dull again because most knives need constant maintenance to stay useful for their given purpose.

Believers need each other to stay sharp: 

Like these knives, we need constant sharpening in order to stay useful and to actively grow as we strive to become complete in Christ.  

As believer's we seem to have a built-in God given ability to sharpen each other as we utilize the tools and relationships that God has given us such as:
-A growing relationship with The Lord.
-Abiding in, reading, studying and living out God's Word.
-Being active in prayer.
-Allowing The Holy Spirit to work in your life. 
-Growing with The Body of Christ doing life together as each of us play our individual parts as part of The Body serving God and each other. 

God has given us all the tools and resources we need and as we actively utilize these tools and people God has placed in our lives no matter through times of trial or times of peace, we will continued to be sharpened. 

As we do life together, God allows friction to take place and with this friction we should become sharpened as the dull edges we have in our lives are smoothed away. 

Being used in each other's lives is a privilege: 

What a joy and privilege it is to be used in helping sharpen others and to be sharpened by others. It is sad though, that many choose to remain dull just because they don't want to put out any effort and would rather remain isolated from others and thereby miss-out on the growth they can experience or help others experience!

One of the many blessings about our walk with the Lord is that He uses people around us, right where you and I are, to sharpen us. 

Are you a sharp or dull knife? 

We can think of a "sharp" Christian as a believer that isn't perfect but is actively growing in their relationship with the Lord, helping others grow...being a disciple who makes disciples.  Someone who is on the alert against satan's attacks. Their faith and walk doesn't begin and end on Sundays, rather, they actively live out their faith in Jesus and strive to help others do the same day-to-day. 

On the flip side, we can think of a "dull" Christian as a believer that has become ineffective or stagnant in their relationship with the Lord and others and may have become satan's prey as they have given in to this world and his influence. They may be a "Sunday only Christian" that does their "Sunday thing" but leaves church like a "check of the box" of weekly activities and they rarely live out their faith in Jesus. 

The choice is yours:

The truth is that we either do things God's Way or we don't.  Furthermore, the world and the enemy of your soul is more than happy to distract you from staying sharp. 

I pray you strive to remain sharp in a world that aims to keep you dull.

The choice is up to you and I pray that you will allow Him to sharpen you for His Kingdom, Glory, and the good of The Body of Christ! 

Strive to be sharpened and to help sharpen others in Jesus name. 

Questions To Get Started With:

-Are you a sharp or dull Christian? 
-Which would you rather be? 
-How do you become sharpened?
-What will you do to stay sharp?
-Do you help sharpen others?
-Do you allow God and others to help sharpen you?
-Do you need sharpening? 
-Is all of the above important to you?
-As a Christian why should this matter and why should these passages matter?

In Christ Alone, 
Your Brother and Servant in Christ,

Randolph Koch