May 2010

7609 - First Temptation

Our struggles with temptation are not easy, but Jesus has demonstrated how we ought to stand firm.

We are studying the book of Luke and are now in Chapter Four which tells us about the devil’s temptations of Jesus early in His ministry.

Today, let’s to focus upon the first in this series of three testings.

At this early point in the public ministry of Jesus, God arranged for Jesus to demonstrate to a sinful, hurting world, as well as to Satan that although Jesus was fully human and was subject to human temptations just like all of us.

Equally important was that Jesus – the Son of Man – was able to demonstrate to all men that God had a plan and had provided resources so that men and women could victoriously stand against the devil while living here on earth. You see, God knew that there would be spiritual battles, and He did not leave us helpless.

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7608 - "Lillian" - Missions After Retirement

“Lillian” shares with us about her experiences with Bible smuggling and currently with being involved in missions work after retiring from her work as a nurse.

She entered the mission field for the first time when she was 40, and after she finished serving in Romania she came back to the states and finished her career as a nurse. Now after officially retiring she is moving towards re-entering the mission field (probably full-time). She will be serving as a Finisher with Operation Mobilisation.

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7607 - Temptation

It can often be a comfort to remember that even Jesus fought against temptation.

Today we want to get an overview of the temptations of Jesus as recorded in Luke 4, verses 1-13:

Jesus had been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, then was led by the Spirit into the desert, where, for forty days, he was tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. It is important for us to comprehend that Jesus was fully human, and that he faced these temptations there in the wilderness using the same spiritual weapons we are encouraged to use when we are tempted.

What we are saying is that Jesus used none of his heavenly divine powers in confronting the devil during these temptations.

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7606 - Genealogy

Genealogies in the Bible can sometimes be tedious, but they are there for a reason.

Today we complete the third chapter of Luke as we talk about the genealogy of Jesus as recorded by Dr. Luke. We won’t read all the names but we do want to examine certain points of interest.

Luke’s record of the blood-line of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam. Perhaps in a way to emphasize that Jesus is related to all human beings born on earth.

Matthew, also gives a genealogy of Jesus, but his goes from Abraham up to Jesus. Luke’s list begins by saying that Jesus was the son, or so was the perception, of Joseph, and then proceeds back through time to Adam. In the eyes of the world Joseph was Jesus’ legal father, but in truth Joseph never had intimacy with Mary until after Jesus was born. The true father of Jesus was of course God.

Let us note some difference in the parallel of names in Matthew’s and Luke’s lists. The careful student will see that Matthew omits names which Luke includes. This is explained by Matthew’s omitting some names in order to achieve a symmetry of three sets of names with fourteen generations in each set. Some scholars note that not every name must be given in a genealogy. To the Hebrew the words “son of” paralleled “descendant of” so one name might be the grandson, or great-great-grandson of the previous name.

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7605 - Richard Cook - Growing in Christ

An Interview with Richard Cook, a member of Bear Creek United Methodist Church and the work that he is doing with the United Methodist Men ministering to injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

He shares about his Christian upbringing, but he acknowledges that he was not deeply connected to Christ until he was an adult. A visit to Bible study got his attention as he was confronted by a group of passionate Godly men. Since that point his commitment to growing has been more consistent.

He shares that, “Sometimes God puts things in front of you that you may not be comfortable with.”


To learn more about the work that Richard Cook does with Impact Player Partners, their annual golf tournament fundraiser, and to hear more about working with injured soldiers, visit our page about Ministering to Veterans in our Interview section.
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7604 - John the Baptist Imprisoned

It was with great tragedy that the courageous life and ministry of John the Baptist came to an end.

In Chapter 3 of the Gospel of Luke we are given much insight into John the Baptist. It is interesting that Luke, being the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, is the one who gives a great deal of insight into the conception, birth and early life of both John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus.

Today we want to focus on the ending of John the Baptist’s public ministry which, came about by his imprisonment.

Luke records this event in two brief verses in Chapter 3:19 and 20.

But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

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7603 - Baptism of Jesus

What an amazing sight it must have been, to be present at the baptism of Jesus.

In Luke 3:21-23 we find a short mention about the Baptist of Jesus by John the Baptist. Let me read these verses:
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,


As we discuss this topic of the Baptist of Jesus we will also make use of John 1 and Matthew 3 to get a larger picture.

Matthew tells us (3:13-17) that Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan where John the Baptist was carrying on his ministry for the explicit purpose of being baptized by John. Notice, this intent was already in the mind of Jesus. Being baptized was not something Jesus did in the emotion of the moment.

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7602 - Dr. Rodney Woo - Saying Goodbye to a Pastor

Another interview with Dr. Rodney Woo, the departing pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church and the new pastor of the International Baptist Church in Singapore.

Rodney shares about his 18 years as the pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church, where the church mission statement is “Wilcrest Baptist Church is God’s multi-ethnic bridge that draws all people to Jesus Christ, who transforms them from unbelievers to missionaries!”

This church focus on transforming members to missionaries is church-wide, and now the Lord’s calling to missions has been extended to Rodney as he will be moving with his family to Singapore. There he will be the pastor of another multi-cultural church in an area of the world in great need of evangelism.

Picture 3

Rodney shares about the excitement the church has in his following the Lord’s call in his life, and that they are sending their very best out as a missionary. The big thing that Rodney is praying for is that Wilcrest Baptist Church will stay focused on their calling and that their focus would be centered on Christ as the head of the church rather than the pastor.

To learn more about Dr. Woo, Wilcrest Baptist Church, and his book, “The Color of Church”, read the extensive profile of Dr. Rodney Woo and Wilcrest Baptist Church in our Interview section.

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7601 - Foretelling Jesus

John the Baptist helped prepare the people of Israel for something greater that they could understand.

We have been studying through Luke, Chapter 3. We have been looking at the ministry of John the Baptist. Even before birth, God had destined John to be the prophet who would come before Jesus.

Even before he was conceived an angel told Zechariah, his father, that this son of his would be the one to go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah. His task was to prepare the hearts of the people to recognize and respond positively to the coming Messiah.

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7600 - John Baptist's Message

John the Baptist’s message that he delivered was s simple one that rings true today as well.

When John the Baptist gave up his seclusion in the wilderness and began his ministry, he preached a message of repentance

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7599 - John Enters Ministry

The last prophet of the old Testament time and covenant never appeared in the Old Testament.

In our previous studies in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke’s record of the gospel, we have followed the birth and life of Jesus until age 12. As chapter 3 opens we fast forward for about 18 years; as we find the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist.

Keep in mind that John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, and was approximately six-months older than Jesus. He is understood to have started his public ministry before Jesus started his, as such is the last prophet before the New Testament and new covenant.

Luke, the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, gives some historical details, which shows the time frame of some events. This is true with the beginning of John’s ministry early in chapter 3.

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7598 - Richard Cook - U.M. Men's Golf Tournament

An Interview with Richard Cook about the work that he and the mens group of Bear Creek United Methodist Church are doing with Impact Player Partners.

Every year they have a charity golf tournament to benefit veterans severely wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Their desire to minister to these veterans was prompted by the experiences of a young soldier who was a member of their church.

They decided that they would minister to this young man and his family, and then through that they got connected to the charity Impact Player Partners. Now every year they host this golf tournament to benefit this charity.

Casey-Owens

They are striving to minister in the name Christ by reaching out to the many hurting men and women who have sacrificed much for their country.

To learn more, read Impact a Hero in our Interview section or go to the Impact Player Partners or Impact a Hero websites.

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7597 - Glimpse Into Childhood

Let’s consider an account of a 12 year old boy and his devotion to his Father.

Luke’s information about the early history surrounding the life of Jesus is well appreciated. Luke is sometimes called an historical writer because of the careful and detailed research he carried on for an extended time before God tapped him to write the third gospel and the book of Acts. His stated intent was to make the gospel clear so that people could know the truth.

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