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Blessings in the Kingdom of God (part 2)

Welcome back to part 2 of our series on blessings in the Kingdom of God. Last week we saw how much God cares for us, which can be a sticking-point for people who see God as more of a judge than a loving Father.

We also saw how the Kingdom of God is not something that we strive toward or reach for, but in-fact the Kingdom comes to us, through Jesus Christ. If you haven’t yet watched the previous study, I would encourage you to see that study first as we will be continuing upon that foundation today.

In this study, we will be looking at blessings and how they come to us, and also in what measure they come to us – the reality is greater than what we often think.

Blessings in the Kingdom of God (part 1)

The definition of blessing is God’s favor and protection; a beneficial thing which God gives to His people. God’s favor and protection is what many of us want, and quite honestly, we need it. But how exactly do blessings come into our lives? By what channel do they flow?

This is an aspect of the works versus grace debate that often confuses people, because even among some grace circles you will hear people make the claim that we are saved by grace but blessed by our works. And this has the effect of shifting our focus off of Jesus and back onto ourselves and our own performance.

Want to be blessed? Well, you got to work for it! Maybe if you do well enough God will toss some scraps your way.

Of course they don’t say it like that, but that’s the idea that comes out of it.

So today we are going to discuss blessings in the New Covenant; do they come by works, or by grace? Let’s find out together!

How You Prosper in Christ (part 2)

Welcome back to our study on prosperity. We saw last week that prosperity is not a dirty word. In that study, we examined how scripture lists prosperity as a covenant blessing based on our relationship with God in Christ, and also that His prosperity has a purpose: to share His generosity and blessing with those around us.

Now today, we are going to discuss how this happens, and how to receive the blessing of prosperity into your life, because just as with every other aspect of grace, people tend to inject a layer of works over what God gives as a gift in Christ

Join me today, as we discover how to prosper in Christ.

How You Prosper in Christ (part 1)

Prosperity is quite a word in Christianity. There are Christians on both sides of the isle who will either embrace prosperity wholeheartedly, or denounce it completely. This kind of dichotomy is interesting since prosperity is mentioned and explained in the scriptures. However there is a certain caution that is latent regarding prosperity that the scriptures don’t demonstrate.

Prosperity is not evil. God is truly the most prosperous entity in all of existence! And furthermore, He is the giver of all good gifts, according to James 1:17.; which also includes prosperity.

And Jesus specifically stated that our Father in heaven will never give us dangerous or evil gifts, in Matthew 7:9-11.

Knowing this, we can therefore conclude that prosperity, as a gift and blessing from our divinely perfect and good Father God, cannot be wrong, evil, or bad.

How then does prosperity come to us? By what avenue does it travel? Many people need prosperity today, and because they haven’t been receiving, they erroneously conclude that God isn’t prospering anymore, or that His prosperity is only ethereal.

So we are going to explore this today, and get a better idea of how we prosper in Christ today.

God’s Mercy and Grace (part 2)

Last week, we began a discussion about the mercy and grace of God. We learned about what the terms mean, and we started to look at how realization of God’s mercy and grace can impact every area of life.

As we see ourselves on the other side of the cross, we start to comprehend the reality that we are not still trying to get to the finish line; we have arrived.

Today I’d like to continue this discussion, and explicate these ideas further. As we continue examining God’s mercy and grace, we will see more of what He has accomplished, and more of who we are in Him.

God’s Mercy and Grace (part 1)

Mercy and grace, two wonderful gifts that Jesus has given to us. His mercy and grace are always available to us, and they are always active; never dormant or stale. Yet oftentimes we find ourselves feeling as though God’s mercy has somehow left us. Sometimes we think that His grace has abandoned us in the midst of a crisis. I understand those thoughts and feelings, and I’ve felt them myself many times before. I know that it can be very disconcerting, frightening and even depressing; again I have experienced all of that.

But is it actually true that God’s mercy has left us? Is it true that God’s grace has abandoned us? It can be difficult to even confront that thought, because on the one hand, we are uncomfortable even contemplating it. Yet even so, no problem of any significance is ever solved by ignoring it. We can and should approach the problem directly, and we shouldn’t be fearful about it. For if we do indeed believe as we proclaim that “God is good all the time”, then whatever answer we find, we can be certain that it will be good and beneficial for us.

So today I’d like to have a discussion about the mercy and grace of God, and perhaps tackle some of the more palpable aspects of it, both negative and positive.

The Amazing Blessing of Communion (part 4)

Welcome to the fourth and final part of our series, taking a look at the amazing blessing of communion. Far beyond the ritual, into the reality of our union with Jesus Christ. What a fantastic journey this has been!

We’ve seen how communion is not merely a corporate ritual, but a very personal time. A time not to reflect on your sin, but to reflect Christ’s finished work personally for you.  A time to see how His finished work has changed your spiritual identity.

We also saw in last week’s study how the cup of the New Covenant, goes much more in-depth on a personal level, than what we typically hear about in most communion services. The fact that Jesus Christ took your sin upon Himself and paid the penalty in your place should be life-changing, but we often don’t give it the weight or attention that such an accomplishment deserves.

Today we will fit all these puzzle pieces together to see a fantastic picture of Christ’s finished work. Let’s get started!

The Amazing Blessing of Communion (part 3)

Welcome back to part three of our series looking at the amazing blessing of communion. In part one, we began by examining the personal aspect of the body and blood of Christ. How communion is not merely a corporate ritual, but a personal gift representing our individual union with Jesus Christ.

We also began to see how the body and blood of Christ each represent a distinct gift which Jesus has made available to us through His sacrifice.

Then in part two, we saw what it means to judge ourselves rightly in Christ as we receive and partake of His sacrifice for us. And how the rightly judging ourselves in Christ is a fantastic blessing in Him.

Now today in part three we are going to be examining the cup, which Jesus says represents the New Covenant in His blood. As we look at the cup of the new covenant today, we will see even more aspects of the amazing blessing of communion.

The Amazing Blessing of Communion (part 2)

Welcome back to the second part of our study on the amazing blessing in communion. Last week we saw how Jesus suffered in our place on the cross, and we ended by seeing some of what He accomplished, including the benefits for our physical body.

We’re going to look deeper into this today, because there are many people who still do not understand this. As we read last week, the scriptures make it clear that “many are weak and sick, and have fallen asleep by failing to discern the Lord’s Body”.

So it’s important for us to see what His body truly gives to us. God wants us to see know and receive what He has given to us, and that’s why it’s written in the scriptures. I shared on this about four years ago, but it’s time to share it again because we have some new viewers, and even if you’re a longtime member here, it’s good to be reminded of what Jesus has done. Let’s get started!

The Amazing Blessing of Communion (part 1)

Communion, one of the most mysterious and interesting Christian rituals in all of scripture. But why did Jesus institute it? Was it merely do give us something to do so we wouldn’t become bored? There must be more to it. God would not give us a useless tradition or a meaningless ritual. He knew exactly what He was doing, and why He was giving us the remembrance of Communion.

Today we are going to explore the amazing blessings contained within Communion, and how it’s an amazing proclamation of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us.