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John 6:1-15, John 21:1-14, Mark 8:1-10, Mark 5:21-43,Galatians 6:9-10

Galatians says, “Let us not become weary in doing good” so what does that look like?  When Jesus was on earth it was important to Him to feed others.  He fed two fish and five loaves of bread to roughly 5,000 people and fed several fish and seven loaves of bread to approximately 4,000 people.  After Jesus rose from the dead, He cooked fish over coals and had bread available.  He surprised His unsuspecting disciples after a fishless outing with a sudden net full of fish.  Then, after He asked them to get a few of the freshly caught fish, He probably smiled as He said, “Come and have breakfast.”  And you may remember that when Jesus was told a girl had died, He raised her to life “and told them to give her something to eat.”

In the above examples of doing good, Jesus didn’t just provide or arrange for physical food.  He sought to spiritually feed people.

What’s important to Jesus should be important to Christians.  Even though Jesus had breathtaking show stopping miracles to accompany His actions, let’s do what we can to get food and Jesus to others this Thanksgiving and whenever we can.

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John 15:19, Galatians 1:10

Have you heard the song, “Losing” by Tenth Avenue North?  The lyrics say,

“I can’t believe what she said
I can’t believe what he did
Oh, don’t they know it’s wrong
Don’t they know it’s wrong
Well maybe there’s something I missed
But how could they treat me like this
It’s wearing out my heart
The way they disregard”

In Galatians 1:10, Paul basically says that if you please Jesus you won’t please men.  And if you please men you won’t please Jesus.  Before Paul was ever called by Jesus though, Jesus said something similar.  He said, “If you belong to the world, it would love you…As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.”

If you’re a Christian and haven’t been feeling love from the world, good.  You’re on the right track.

 

2 Corinthians 10:5b, Matthew 19:26

How many thoughts do we have each day?  Kevin Pokorny’s post on linkedin.com says, “According to research by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, a human being has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day.”

In 2 Corinthians 10:5b, Paul says, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  We need to imprison every thought in a “laser cage” (my daughter’s term).  Once the thought is in that laser cage, we can quickly analyze it and decide if it aligns with Jesus’ line of thought.  If the thought isn’t against Jesus, we can deactivate the laser and release the thought from the cage.

I realize that if Dr. Luskin’s thought research is correct, Paul’s words equate to a tall order.  But nothing is impossible with God.  God can help us aggressively attack individual thoughts in superhero style.

2 Corinthians 5:20

Did you know that if you’re saved you are Jesus’ ambassador?  According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, an ambassador is, “the highest ranking diplomatic representative of one country to another.”  So wherever you are and whatever you do, if you’re a Christian, you’re also Ambassador ________________.  Congratulations!
(your last name)

Luke 1:26-38

Matthew 1:19-20

Have you seen Christmas inventory in stores?  I saw quite a few Christmas trees in one store and that lit up my heart with Christmas cheer.  We ended up checking out a delightful Christmas movie, The Star, an animated movie about The Nativity from the perspective of animals.  The script takes liberties, but seemed focused on getting the big events right, like starting the movie with a screen saying, “9 Months BC” and like the angel Gabriel telling Mary and Joseph separately about what God was doing in their lives.

Christmas is coming.  Let’s keep remembering Jesus, God’s ultimate gift to mankind.

Matthew 28:18-20

I saw a billboard recently that said, “Confidence is in you.  Pass it on.”  I like that, and would like to say in addition to those it applies to:  “Jesus is in you.  Pass Him on.”

Matthew 7:14, 24:42

Have you ever seen a Hidden Entrance sign?  My family and I saw one last week while traveling on a hilly narrow gravel road to my father-in-law’s final resting place.  The purpose of a Hidden Entrance sign is to alert the driver to watch for a hidden driveway that can’t be seen.

Likewise, while on the narrow righteous road, we Christians can’t see what’s ahead, but we should be watching for Jesus who will come someday.  He knows where the heavenly hidden entrance is.  “Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.”

Hebrews 13:5

One day earlier this month, we were experiencing a morning thunderstorm.  I checked my phone and the weather app showed “partly cloudy” with an icon of a white cloud accompanied by the sun peeking from behind it.  At first I laughed at the contrast of what the phone said the weather was like and the actual intensity of the weather outside our windows.  Then, I thought that the weather app wasn’t really wrong.  True, we could just see 100% cloud cover, heavy rain, lightning flashes and hear thunder, but behind all of that, we knew the sun was there.  So it is with God.  We can know that in our storms, God is there.

2 Corinthians 4:17, 5:1-10, John 14:2, Revelation 21:1-4

It’s commonplace for business employees to say to customers, “Have a good day.”  I feel confident that in Heaven, nobody will say, “Have a good day” because to say it implies that it’s possible someone could have a bad day.  In Heaven, everyday will be a good day with what sounds like personalized mansions and no crying, pain or death.  But until we Christians can get to Heaven, “Have a good day!”

James 1:2, Romans 12:12, 2 Timothy 4:5

Paul’s righteous behavior is an example for everyone, though easier for Christians to grasp.  He experienced a lot of hardship, but what made him stand out was his response.  If others were exposed to the degree of hardship he faced, many would have buckled by grumbling and giving up.

What was Paul’s response to hardship?  In Romans 12:12, he wrote, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

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