All posts by JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man (But a Spiritual Giant) (Luke 19:1-10)

Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man Luke 19

Luke 19:1-10

I. His biography

    A. Jericho (Luke 19:1; Joshua 6:3-5)
    B. His name, profession, and wealth (Luke 19:2)
    C. His stature (Luke 19:3)

II. His attitude

    A. Ingenuity and humility (Luke 19:4)
    B. Jesus already knew him (Luke 19:5; John 1:43-49)
    C. Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully (Luke 19:6)

III. The perception others had of him

    A. Tax collectors = sinners (Luke 19:7)
    B. Jesus’ perception was different (1 Kings 16:7; Acts 13:22)

IV. His benevolence

    A. Not boasting (Luke 19:8; Mark 10:17-22)
    B. Is obedience necessary?

V. His salvation

    A. A son of Abraham (Luke 19:9; Galatians 3:26-29)
    B. He needed Jesus (Luke 19:10; John 3:17)

Baptism in the Letters

Baptism in the Letters

I. “Every spiritual blessing…in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3)

    A. Is it important to be “in Christ”? (Romans 3:24; 6:23; 8:1,39; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 15:19; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 2:16; 3:28; 2 Timothy 2:10; 3:15)
    B. How does one get “in Christ”? (Galatians 3:26-27

II. Contact with the blood of Christ

    A. “Baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 2:13; 1 John 1:7)
    B. Former life of sin is gone (Romans 6:5-7, 17)

III. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:4-7)

    A. “Through the washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5)
    B. Results: justification by grace and heirs of the hope of eternal life

IV. Direct link between baptism and salvation (1 Peter 3:18-22)

    A. Baptism is an “antitype”
    B. Baptism “now saves us” (1 Peter 3:21; Genesis 3:1-5)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 190/260: Read 1 Corinthians 14

Biblical Christianity is a religion of decency and order. Paul set forth several principles for the first century church to follow. Remember that they were endowed with the miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit, and there was some controversy over which gift was most important.

Still today, even though we are no longer blessed with miraculous abilities, there are disputes among religious people over their roles in the worship service. The same principle Paul set forth in the first century applies for the church today: “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

There is far too much confusion in the religious world. We would all be better off by going back to just what the Bible says; we should do Bible things in Bible ways, speak as the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent.

God is the author of Christianity, and He has established certain ways to do things in His service. Who are we to decide we know better than the Almighty? “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” When we substitute our opinions for God’s commands, we destroy the peace that He established.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Pray

Pray for peace and unity in the local congregation.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 189/260: Read 1 Corinthians 13

“Love is love.” Perhaps you have seen or heard that phrase with regard to the LGBTQ+ community. The thought behind their message is that love is pure and it doesn’t matter who you love. But is that what the Bible teaches?

Paul has quite a bit to say about love in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Notice these two things in verse 6: love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.” Does that mesh with the homosexual agenda and their meaning of the phrase, “Love is love”?

The New Testament reveals God’s mind concerning homosexuality. It is “vile” and “against nature” (Romans 1:26). It is “shameful” (Romans 1:27). It is “unrighteous” and will prevent one from “inherit(ing) the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

The New Testament also reveals that one can change. There were some in Corinth who had formerly subscribed to the homosexual way of living. Paul writes, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

If love “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth,” then those who are engaged in sexually immoral acts—whether homosexual or heterosexual—must give those up and turn to God.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is ______________ to man; but God is faithful, who will not ______________ you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to ______________ it.

Pray

Pray for guidance through the Word of God to discover what love truly involves.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 188/260: Read 1 Corinthians 12

The diversity of talent within the body of Christ is one of its greatest attributes. There are some who are gifted in voice, others who are gifted in leadership, others who are gifted in speech, and others who are gifted in comforting the afflicted.

In the first century, there were disputes over who had the greatest spiritual gifts; Paul emphasized that they all worked together to accomplish God’s will.

We should each work to identify our own talents and hone them to best serve the Lord; we should also help others identify talents they may not realize they possess so that they can be utilized in the Lord’s work as well.

Always remember that whatever your talent is, it is valuable and important to the church. Do not diminish your own worth just because your talent differs from another’s. “If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?”

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has ______________ you except such as is common to man; but God is ______________, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of ______________, that you may be able to bear it.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to serve God in His church using the talents He has given you.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 187/260: Read 1 Corinthians 11

Each first day of the week, faithful Christians gather together to observe the solemn remembrance of the Lord’s death. This is a joyous time because of what His death accomplished, but also a somber time because such was necessary due to the existence of sin.

There are two elements in the Lord’s Supper: unleavened bread, which represents Jesus’ body that was nailed to the cross, and the cup containing the fruit of the vine, which represents Jesus’ blood that was shed.

When Jesus instituted this feast with His disciples prior to His death, He pointed out that the “blood of the new covenant…is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Without the blood of Christ, we are without hope. But because of His great sacrifice, our sins can be covered and we can stand blameless before God.

In partaking the Lord’s Supper together, we “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” We are reminded of what His sacrifice means for us, and that remembrance should motivate us to spread His gospel far and wide so others can be saved from their sins.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Pray

Pray for a greater respect and appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 186/260: Read 1 Corinthians 10

If we are no longer bound by the Old Testament and the Law of Moses, what use is it? Paul says, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” While it is profitable to learn from our own mistakes, it is wiser (and often less painful) to learn from the mistakes of others.

Paul makes reference to five specific sins that befell the children of Israel. First, the lust for evil things. Second, idolatry. Third, sexual immorality, Fourth, testing the Lord. Fifth, and perhaps the most difficult for many, complaining.

When is the last time you complained about something? You probably don’t have to think back very far. Especially since the advent of social media, complaining seems to be one of the most frequent shortcomings of humanity. What makes it even worse is when we complain about the blessings that God has given us. If we have food and clothing, we should be content (1 Timothy 6:8).

Sometimes it can be tough, but we can do it. God does not command us to do anything that is impossible. He does command, “Do all things without complaining and disputing” (Philippians 2:14). Let’s try to obey Christ today in this matter.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 10:13. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Pray

Pray for the humility to recognize God’s blessings and refrain from complaining about them.

The One Who Said, “Thank You” (Luke 17:11-19)

The One Who Said Thank You Healing Ten Lepers Luke 17:11-19

Luke 17:11-19

I. The lepers’ request

    A. They “stood afar off” (Luke 17:11-12; Leviticus 13:45-46; Numbers 5:2-3)
    B. “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13; 5:12-15)

II. The Lord’s response

    A. His instruction (Luke 17:14a)
    B. Their obedience (Luke 17:14b; cf. Mark 16:15; Luke 6:27-28; 12:22)

III. The lone returner

    A. Thanksgiving (Luke 17:15-16; Philippians 4:6-7)
    B. Spiritual healing (Luke 17:19; Matthew 1:21; Luke 7:50; 19:10)
    C. What about the others? (Luke 17:17-18; Romans 1:20-21)

Baptism in the Book of Acts

Baptism in the Book of Acts

I. The importance of baptism to the lost

    A. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47)
    B. The Day of Pentecost: “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:36-38, 40-41, 47)

II. Continuing through the book of Acts

    A. Philip in Samaria (Acts 8:12)
    B. Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:35-36, 38)
    C. Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:6, 17-18; 22:16)
    D. Cornelius (Acts 10:47-48)
    E. Lydia in Philippi (Acts 16:14-15)
    F. The Philippian jailer (Acts 16:30-33)

III. Can you be baptized right if you are taught wrong?

    A. Why were you baptized?
    B. The example of the disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7)

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 185/260: Read 1 Corinthians 9

Athletic metaphors can be used to help one understand the seriousness of the Christian life. One would not enter into an athletic endeavor without first training to ready himself to compete effectively. There is no point in competing if the goal is not to be the victor.

Paul encourages the Corinthians in the Christian race, “Run in such a way that you may obtain (the prize).” Just as an athlete trains his body—“is temperate in all things”—so, too, must the Christian train his behavior and lifestyle. Getting caught up in some sinful activity will only damage your ability to run the Christian race successfully.

“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty.” It is important, when training for a physical competition, to know your goal so you can healthily take care of your body. One can know what sort of diet he needs and what exercises to do to achieve the type of muscles needed for a specific athletic event.

Similarly, in the spiritual sense man can know what is right and what is wrong by studying and learning what God has revealed. In applying those things to his life, he can confidently live for Christ, knowing the outcome. “And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5).

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

1 Corinthians 6:20. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Pray

Pray for strength in your spiritual training through the Word.