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Life Apps



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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?”


Lust is a pandemic. It affects men and women, young and old, rich and poor. It steals marriages, rips apart families, and divides homes. When Jesus addresses lust, he instructs his audience to not even let lust be present in their hearts! He then goes on to instruct them to cut off the things causing them to sin. The only way that lust can be rid from the believer’s heart is through confession and repentance. Without Christ there is no freedom, but with Christ, freedom is possible, even from the clutches of lust.


And as we go through the Sermon on the Mount, we will see Jesus continue to raise expectations on our relationship. If you operate that law is a boundary, you are missing the "heart" of His message. Sin comes from our heart. Jesus wants us to completely surrender out hearts to Him. Jesus focuses more on the internals than the externals.


Sometimes it’s hard to let go of something that shouldn’t be kept. We get attached to things, like shoes that we’ve worn through the soles, yet we keep them to wear just one more time. We might treat parts of our lives the same way, holding on when we should be letting go. When Jesus began His ministry there were many who did not desire to give up their old ways. Jesus offered something new and far better which gives reason for celebration. Are you holding on to something that you might need to give up? Listen to today’s Life App and discover how you can let go and daily Celebrate The New.


Have you ever heard the saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees?" It means that you are missing what you should see and have in focus even though it is right there in front of your eyes. That's the way it was when Jesus entered Jerusalem for His final Passover. The people hailed Him as king, and did not see the real mission of Jesus. The truth about Jesus was hidden from the eyes of the people, and it moved Jesus to tears. Jesus wept over the people. Is Jesus weeping over us? Have the things in our lives robbed us of seeing the real mission of Jesus? Today's Life App will challenge you to see Jesus clearly.


It has been said of politicians, they can’t resist making promises they will never keep. Its’ a cultural norm that is so common, we accept it and have come to expect it from our leaders: promises made will be promises broken. The attitude is pervasive, we’re all susceptible to it, and when a predicament comes our way we might rely on the politician’s tool: swear out a promise that we know we can’t keep. Jesus gave different advice, He said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” That’s good advice that is sometimes difficult to do. Tune in to today’s Life App for some practical insight which originates from Jesus, the one who made many promises but never failed to keep a single one.


According to Jesus – it’s more important to give justice and mercy than receive it.


In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus defied the religion of the day as He taught new ethics. He communicated with clarity and authority introducing concepts that had never been taught, some of it was challenging, perhaps even impossible to put into practice. As He moved into the heart of His sermon Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” That sounds hard to do. Yet He did not stop there. Jesus continued, “and be perfect.” That sounds impossible. Today’s Life App message will help you to not only apply what seems hard, but even the impossible sounding “be perfect.”


In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus defied the religion of the day as He taught new ethics. He communicated with clarity and authority introducing concepts that had never been taught, some of it was challenging, perhaps even impossible to put into practice. As He moved into the heart of His sermon Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” That sounds hard to do. Yet He did not stop there. Jesus continued, “and be perfect.” That sounds impossible. Today’s Life App message will help you to not only apply what seems hard, but even the impossible sounding “be perfect.”


Having more than we need is often our goal, and many worry they’ve missed their target and don’t have enough. Are you worried you will not have enough to meet your needs today, tomorrow and into the future? If you are fretting about the future, Jesus offers a way out of worry. Free yourself from anxious apprehension about the future and having enough by checking out today’s Life App, appropriately called: Don’t Worry.


Do not judge. Many Christians and non-Christians alike live by this ethic. The saying originated with Jesus, He said, “Do not judge.” From the Christian perspective if Jesus said it then we should all do as He said, right? After all, to judge another person’s decisions or behavior should be left to God alone. Is that what Jesus taught? Today’s Life App considers the words of Jesus which open Matthew chapter 7 beginning with: “Do not judge.” Listen in to learn what Jesus has to say about judging others.


Making judgments about other people was not forbidden by Jesus. He gives clear instruction to judge. Jesus said some uncomfortable things about some who might cross our paths. He warned about interacting with people He labeled dogs and pigs. Why was Jesus so harsh? Was he being racist? How do we determine who might be a dog or a pig? Some compelling questions addressed in today's Life App: Don’t Feed the Pigs.


Life on this earth can sometimes be a struggle! Living as a Jesus follower can add an additional challenge. But Jesus offers us access to an incredible and powerful Advocate in the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit, or "parakletos," comes alongside us and serves as a Helper, Counselor, Mediator, and Encourager! The Holy Spirit can operate in our lives on a daily basis, even minute-by-minute, equipping us with what we need for all the ups and downs, all we have to do is continually ask, seek, and knock.


When it comes to your actions toward others, are you motivated by how you want to be treated? It sounds easy, but often it is not the case. More often our response to others is driven by expectations of their actions toward us. Jesus taught a wholly different approach which has been called “The Golden Rule” and it goes like this: “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Keep this one, simple instruction of Jesus, and you keep all of the Law. Can it be done? Find out by listening to today’s Life App: The Golden Rule.


Two destinies. Two options. That’s it. Jesus made the point more than once in his sermon on the mount. He contrasted heaven and hell, light and darkness, life and death. Two destines. That's it. As he brought his sermon to a close he hammered the point again using images familiar to his first century audience: gates. The gate of city, large and expansive, and the gate of a home, small and narrow.  Many choose the large, open way, that of the broad gate. Few choose the narrow way beyond the small gate.  Each gate represents a destiny, one is death and the other life. Which have you chosen as your destiny? Today’s Life App addresses the way of life and how to stay on its path.


Who are you hearing from? There is a biblical word for the one who brings the Word of God to His people, and that word is prophet. Prophetic ministry has a place in the church, but every generation deals with false prophets. Both the Old and New Testaments give many warnings to beware of false prophets. False prophets were in the generations before Jesus, they were in the generation of Jesus, and they are prominent in this generation. Jesus warned against them, describing them as appearing like sheep but inwardly ferocious wolves. Today’s Life App directly addresses the warning given by Jesus to watch for false prophets and gives insight into how to discern the true from the false.


At the entrance to Heaven awaits Jesus. When the time comes for you to stand before Him, will He say, “Come in!” or “Go away, I don’t know you.”? Sadly, to many who claim to be true followers of Jesus, when their time comes, He will say, “Go away.” They appeared to be true followers, but they were fakes. Today’s Life App considers the greatest question all must answer: Will you enter heaven? It is only the true followers of Christ to whom He will open the gate. Learn the difference between the fake follower and true follower then apply it every day of your life.


The table of Jesus is the great equalizer. The sinner deserves it as much as the self righteous. Jesus is writing what seems like new rules, yet is reflecting the heart of God from the beginning. He desires a changed heart more so than an obedient law keeper. 


The invention of the Internet has ushered in the era of the influencer. Yet, long before there was anything called social media, there were influencers. Jesus warned his followers about the influencers of His time, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Jesus instructed His followers to be careful, for a little bit of their influence could be corrosive. Jesus went on to tell his disciples to “be on guard.” His advice is relevant today, in a culture where influencers abound. Today’s Life App, Be On Guard, considers both negative influences for which we should carefully be on guard against, and positive influence to advance the cause of Christ.


On the packaging of most foods we purchase there is a printed section with this heading: Nutrition Facts. The table of facts lists things like calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrates and more. The information is listed so that informed, health-conscious decisions can be made. Unfortunately, there is no such system to help us when we make spiritual decisions in a time when there is no dearth of spiritual junk food. Today’s Life App focuses on the importance of being spiritually health conscious and what to avoid when feeding the soul.


When our digital devices have reached their storage capacity, we can add another memory module with ready to use gigabytes. Unfortunately we can’t do the same thing with our own memories. We humans are prone to forget, and since we can’t add to our storage capacity, God instituted memory helpers. Special days, seasons, and meals, visual reminders, writing, even signs like the rainbow, all to spark a memory and remember things of the Lord. So, it comes as no surprise that Jesus instituted a way that He would be remembered. We call it communion, or the Lord’s supper. Jesus said, “do this in remembrance of me.” Today’s Life App delves into how we can apply Jesus’ words every day, and never forget all He has done.


Guest Speaker: Dr. Analee Dunn


When our hands or feet experience repetitive hurts, they begin to form a protective barrier. Our bodies will form a natural layer of defense to protect against these pains, they’re called calluses.  Calluses on the hands are good, where a hard layer of protection is helpful. Yet not all calluses are good. Jesus pointed out an area where hardness was a detriment: the heart. Jesus said those with a calloused heart miss out on kingdom of God. Don’t let life’s recurring hurts cause a defensive layer to develop on your hear. Listen in to this Life App to discover and apply the remedy for eliminating a hardened heart and preventing future heart calluses from forming.


Remember when you were a kid? Part of you still is! That was what an old soft drink commercial said. Jesus said something similar, “unless you become like a little child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” And Jesus said that to His followers! Jesus directs His followers to change, have you changed and become like a little child? Today’s Life App, Kid Faith, will inspire you to remember when you were a kid and help you to apply the instruction of Jesus and never miss out on heaven!


The teachings of Jesus are always applicable to life. Everything he taught could be formed into a Life App, and they would all have one thing in common. Jesus spoke of it the night before he died, important last words to his followers. Hear his words and put them into practice for they are the key to enabling application of all that Jesus taught. It's covered in today’s conclusion of the Life App series: Keep My Commands.