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Have you said anything important today? You might not think so, but if today were your last day the words you share would likely be held by those closest to you as memorable and significant. When Jesus was speaking to his disciples hours before his crucifixion, He knew he was facing death. His parting words expressed deep love for his followers and included vital instructions. What were His instructions and how can they be followed? This message begins a journey through the commands and teachings of Jesus with a focus on daily application. Today we begin the Life Apps of Jesus.
When Jesus began His ministry, He started with one word: Repent. Some don’t like the word, it’s beneath them, it’s for others who do really bad things. However, Jesus was clear: All must repent and live out their repentance or else perish. How then is repentance lived? Jesus used a story about a vineyard to teach repentance applied to daily life. This Life App goes to the heart, the very foundation, of Jesus’ mission. Give it a listen.
Baptism is a command of Jesus. He submitted to be baptism as an example for all who would turn their lives to follow Him. Baptism has been called a rite of initiation. That might sound a little clubby, a tad bit exclusive, yet baptism is an initiation in this sense: It marks a beginning, a start, a new life, so fresh and new that the Word of God likens baptism to being raised from the dead. Today’s Life App gives biblical insight on the working of God in baptism and how to live daily a new and resurrected life.
Have you ever been hurt, insulted, harassed, or even worse because of your faith in Jesus Christ? Jesus said it would happen, and He gave a simple command on how to respond. He didn’t say “if” you are persecuted, He said “when” you are persecuted, and when you are persecuted for you faith in Him, then rejoice. That was Jesus’ simple command in the face of insult and harassment. Today’s Life App applies the words Jesus added to His command to offer practical ways we can all rejoice when our faith in Christ is ridiculed.
Sin has been a problem since the beginning of time. Because of sin, mankind was separated from their Creator and restoration could only be accomplished by something severe: sacrifice. The way back to God required a heavy price, a life. But God did not demand the sinner’s life, he allowed a substitute, the life of an animal. To this day God requires sacrifice for sin. Today’s message focuses on how God has provided the one, perfect substitute who has become the sacrifice for all, because of His love.
In the early part of His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Then to stress His point Jesus repeated His claim with more emphasis and in a dramatic way. Jesus' statement introduced some tension, tension that has remained controversial within Christianity. Jesus has not abolished the law, yet he has fulfilled it completely. So which is it, does the law continue or has it ended? Today’s Life App addresses this question and presents how we as Christians can daily live these important words of Christ.
At the end of Matthew 7, Jesus tells the story of the wise and foolish builders. The wise man built his house on the rock and the foolish man built his house on the sand. After the storms came along, one house was destroyed and the other house was left standing. What made the difference? We’re all building something, but what does it take to build something that lasts? …what does it take to “Build Wise?”