Archive for 'My Agenda'

The Story: Life & Death

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There was only one thing they could do wrong.

Having placed man and woman in the Garden, God told them to enjoy all the abundance Eden offered, even the tree of life. He gave only one prohibition—they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they did, they would be dead before sundown.

So, given the threat, what did you expect to happen when they took that ...

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The Story: Did We Really Die?

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The story is legendary. The man and woman ate the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3. So, what happened?

God had told them that if they ate, they would die. But the serpent convinced them  God was lying—that He was holding out on them. According to him, there was no mortal danger. In fact, just the opposite—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil held an unbelievable opportunity for them.

So, first question—who was right? ...

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Plans

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There are at least two perspectives from which we can talk about plans.

First, there are the plans we have made in the past—plans we look back on. Like the plans I shared with you (almost 6 weeks ago) for weekly postings—alternating between posts that raise an issue, and articles that address that issue. You might have noticed I missed one or two… ok, I’ve hit two out of five weeks since then.

Well there are plans, and then there is life. Life often ...

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Exploring Dependence – Reviewing the Evidence

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We began this exploration of dependence with the observation that, as Christians, we tend to acknowledge our dependence on God in theory, but practically manifest an ongoing desire to live independently of Him.

Specifically, we set out to consider two issues:

  • The depth of our dependence -  It is quite possible to acknowledge the idea of our dependence, while minimizing the degree or significance of that dependence.
  • The areas and ...
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Exploring Dependence – Rich Young Ruler & Going to Heaven

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As we have looked at Jesus’ interaction with the Rich Young Ruler over the last three weeks (week 1, week 2, week 3), some of us have been haunted by the question of how Jesus’ words speak to the issue of whether we will go to heaven when we die, or not.

A simple reading of the story raises the fear that Jesus ...

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Exploring Dependence – Rich Young Ruler – Part 2

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As we resume the story of the Rich Young Ruler, we recall that the main character came to Jesus with a strong confidence in man’s ability to merit eternal life. And we saw Jesus repudiate that very notion. If the young man wanted to find Life, he would have to completely abandon everything on which that confidence was founded, renouncing it all to follow Jesus. That was the ...

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Exploring Dependence – The Rich Young Ruler, Part 1

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So, as we began to look at the story of the Rich Young Ruler last week, we noted that, at first glance, he appears to be asking Jesus how to go to heaven when he dies. And it appears that Jesus tells him that there are certain things he must do, as if going to heaven is dependent on our works.

But we also recognized that we need to place this episode ...

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Exploring Dependence – Life & Death

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As we have followed Jesus’ teaching and the training of the Twelve through the Gospels, we have seen Him emphasize this issue of dependence. Having taught the concept in the Sermon on the Mount, He sent the disciples out in pairs to proclaim the Kingdom, and to experience God’s daily provision for their personal needs. In feeding the multitudes, He stretched them further, putting them in positions where they had to ...

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Exploring Dependence – After the Exile

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The Old Testament is the story of Israel’s relationship with God. As we have surveyed this story, the following highlights stand out:

  • As God brought Israel out of Egypt, and began to form them into a nation, He used the manna to teach them that their continued, daily existence was absolutely dependent on His active decree. They were kept alive, not by the food they ate, but by the words that ...
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Exploring Dependence – From The Beginning

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So, we have set out to examine this issue of our dependance. In the previous article, we pointed out that our failure to acknowledge our dependency brought about the fall. We did not see ourselves as dependent and so, chose to act independently, as though we could be like God.

Now, realistically, I expect that if you are reading this article, at a very minimum you will already acknowledge God ...

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