Palm Sunday 2022

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Let’s get ready by looking at Jesus’ triumphant entrance from scripture.


John 12:12-19

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! ” Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

More Good Things…
Here is an awesome link to an article about Palm Sunday from Bible Study Tools
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/palm-sunday-bible-verses/


This is a video of a compilation of movies depicting Jesus’ Entrance:

Daily Scripture Readings:
Monday – Isaiah 50:4-9a

Tuesday – Psalm 31:9-16

Wednesday – Philippians 2:5-11

Thursday – Luke 19:28-40

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Suffering Can Be Good

You read the title right, suffering can be good.

We all know suffering is a terrible thing and many atheists use the problem of suffering as an argument to disprove the existence of God.

I am currently reading On Guard by Dr. William Lane Craig which is an excellent apologetic book. A topic he covers is the problem of suffering. Now he gives many fantastic points on the topic but one of my biggest takeaways is how suffering can draw us closer to God. It makes us rely more on Him and we appreciate our blessings. You can see this in how many of the nations who suffer the most turn to Christ more than the nations who live in prosperity. The Gospel is exploding in countries that suffer.

Which means suffering can be good because it draws us closer to the One who is good, God Himself.

Remember this and also that our suffering is only temporary.

As it says in 1 Peter 5:10, “10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

Stay strong in the faith, and as always…

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings:

Monday – Isaiah 43:16-21

Tuesday – Psalm 126

Wednesday – Philippians 3:4b-14

Thursday – John 12:1-8

Links:
William Lane Craig on Suffering:

Bible Verses on Suffering:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-suffering/

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision:



Full God

One of things I’ve noticed people do is they only focus on part of God. 

This is true certainly with the secular and skeptic crowd who want to focus on what they perceive as negative but it is also true of some Christians.

Let’s look at two examples.

On the one hand you have people focusing only on fearing God. They talk of His wrath, judgment and how depraved humanity is but they miss the grace, love and mercy of God. 

The other side you have people who focus so much on God’s love they take advantage of His mercy and grace. There is no fear of God at all and this means you truly don’t love God in return but instead you love yourself.

Now of course they’re other examples but let’s focus on the solution to this instead.

And that is to know God and His Word. Look at God as He is, the Great I am, the creator of the Universe, our King but also the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

There is no one greater than God, so love Him, respect Him, fear Him.

Know Him.

If you do you than you will have the full God.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

A Fantastic Article on The Attributes of God…

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/15-amazing-attributes-of-god-what-they-mean-and-why-they-matter.html

Daily Bible Reading

Monday – Joshua 5:9-12

Tuesday – Psalm 32

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Thursday – Luke 15:1-3,11-32

St. Patrick’s Day 2022

No Throwback Thursday today. Instead a St. Patrick’s Day post.

St. Patrick’s Prayer

May the Strength of God pilot us.

May the Power of God preserve us.

May the Wisdom of God instruct us.

May the Hand of God protect us.

May the Way of God direct us.

May the Shield of God defend us.

May the Host of God guard us

Against the snares of the evil ones,

Against temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us!

May Christ be before us!

May Christ be in us,

Christ be over all!

May Thy Salvation, Lord,

Always be ours,

This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

Source:

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/st-patricks-day-prayers-irish-blessings

A link my Mother sent me from the Orthodox Church Perspective…

https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=2365&language=en

Have a Blessed and Lucky St. Patrick’s Day,

Chris

Limiting the Gospel Part II

Last week I wrote about how we limit the Gospel to just the end of Jesus’ story, this week I want to talk about another way we limit the Gospel.

And that is how we spread the Gospel.

They’re many different methods that get discussed on how to talk to someone about the Gospel and they’re mostly super helpful.

The problem comes when people start criticizing others for how they spread the Gospel. 

The truth is we have no idea how someone might accept Jesus. The traditional ways of preaching are most effective but let’s not be a stumbling block to the Gospel by limiting how the Gospel is preached.

I am going to give two unique examples.

Tim Mackie of the Bible Project has a unique testimony. He was a teenager who liked to skateboard, he started attending a place called, “Skate Church” a place where youth could come and skate but the catch was at a certain point in the day skating would stop and a church service would begin. Most people including Tim Mackie tolerated the service just so they could have free place to skate.


Well eventually Tim got hooked on the Bible and became a Christian through this church skateboard community. Not exactly how you would expect a teenager or anyone to come to Christ is it?

Another interesting story is from a book I read which unfortunately I can’t recall the name of. A woman wrote about her friend who she had tried and tried to convince to come to church. He always refused but then one day decided to do so. The Pastor that particular Sunday ended up reading from the Bible the Census from Numbers. The woman was so upset and couldn’t believe it. She felt her friend would be so bored the entire time. She was hoping for a powerful sermon delivered from God through her Pastor.

As it just so happens her friend gave his life to Christ right after service. Why? Because the man had been searching for family his whole life. You see his family didn’t care about each other; they did not value each other. The census from Numbers proved that God cared about family, He cared so much He had the Israelites record every persons names.

These are just two examples, I’ve heard many more ways that are special and unique but the point is don’t limit how the Gospel is preached. We never know what will be the point someone accepts Christ.

Preach the Gospel, the full, true and beautiful Gospel.

It’s the only thing.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

Monday – Isaiah 55:1-9

Tuesday – Psalm 63:1-8

Wednesday – 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

Thursday – Luke 13:1-9

Limiting the Gospel

Last week I wrote that the Gospel is everything. 

However often I feel people unintentionally limit the Gospel and by doing so they try and limit God. Which of course is impossible but still this needs addressing. 

The Gospel isn’t just about the end, the whole story matters. 

Everything Jesus taught us matters. He told us to serve people, He told us to follow the narrow path. We have to pray for people, take care of the needy, look over the sick, we have to seek righteousness and go through sanctification. I’m just scratching the surface here on what Jesus taught us.

Salvation is the most important aspect however that is not the end of a person’s story.

If you lead a homeless person to salvation, they’re still homeless. The saved drug addict is still a drug addict. The abused are still abused. We must help them after they’re saved. 

Often people come to salvation while being helped. Sometimes people aren’t opened to the Gospel because of their situation, help them first. Worst case scenario you did the work of the Kingdom and planted a seed along the way.

If you disagree with me, imagine if you and your children were starving and someone came to you to talk about the Gospel would you honestly want to hear it? Or would you be more focused on getting your family fed?

There is no set order here, assess the situation, use discernment and act.

Do everything to spread the Gospel.

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris 

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

Tuesday – Psalm 27

Wednesday – Philippians 3:17-4:1

Thursday – Luke 13:31-35

The Gospel Is The Only Thing

Famous Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t everything thing it’s the only thing.” While this saying did not originate with him, he made it famous.

I want to put a Christian spin on that quote. The Gospel isn’t everything it’s the only thing.

Jesus took on our sins, was crucified, died and rose from the grave to save us from hell.

Whoever repents and believes will have eternal life and be reconciled with God.

This message is everything and because eternity and reconciliation with God is on the line it’s the only thing. 

Without the Gospel nothing matters because in the end we would all be doomed.

Remember this then go out and spread the Gospel.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings Scripture
Monday – Deuteronomy 26:1-11

Tuesday – Psalm 91

Wednesday – Romans 10:8-13

Thursday – Luke 4:1-13

Behaving Biblically

This blog is inspired by one of my favorite ministries, “Bible Thinker” by Pastor Mike Winger. His mission is to get people to think biblically but today I want to take a different direction. Instead, I want to focus on behaving biblically.

Truth is behaving biblically in some ways is harder than thinking biblically.

We all fail at this but some fail and fall hard.

I see people fall deep into sin. I see people mishandle and manipulate scripture to fit their world view. I even see people who are well versed in scripture behave in a manner that is the opposite of the way a Christian should behave.

Which of course begs the question what is the point of you knowing scripture if you yourself aren’t behaving like scripture tells you?

Thinking Biblically and Behaving Biblically aren’t mutually exclusive as a matter of fact they go hand in hand. If you truly are thinking biblically then you should be behaving biblically. 

So let’s think Biblically about behavior. They’re many examples on how to behave in scripture but today I want to focus on the scripture my Pastor preached on Sunday.

Luke 6:27-38 New International Version

Love for Enemies

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Meditate on that word and think how you can behave more like the way Jesus tells us to. 

Have a Blessed Week,

Chris

Daily Scripture
Monday – Exodus 34:29-35

Tuesday – Psalm 99

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Thursday – Luke 9:28-44

Links:

Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (New International Version)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

All The Times Love is Mentioned in the Bible…
https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/how-many-times-is-love-mentioned-in-the-bible.html
Have a Blessed and Loving Week,
Chris

Daily Scripture Reading
Monday – Genesis 34:29-35

Tuesday – Psalm 99 

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Thursday – Luke 9:28-43

SOUPer Bowl 2022

Instead of a Throwback Thursday this week I am going to share information about our SOUPER Bowl Charity Event at Church. Here is all the details…

(Annapolis, MD – January 24, 2022) – In a typical year, The Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center serves over 2,000 community members in need. In two years of Covid-19, that number has jumped by more than 40%. Yet, they continue to serve hundreds of people daily with fresh meals, pantry items, case management, clothing, showers, and other basic needs. 

“As The Light House continues to serve a record number of vulnerable individuals and families, we need the support of our community more than ever,” said Jo Ann Mattson, Light House Executive Director. “Together, we can provide vital homelessness prevention and support services to as many struggling neighbors as we possibly can.” 

Since 2007, Heritage Baptist Church has hosted the SOUPer Bowl Lunch for the Light House, on the same day as the National Football League’s “Super” championship game. This donation-only event has raised over $37,000 cumulatively for the Light House. Pandemic precautions prevent the in-person gathering this year, but the event will continue virtually, with 100% of funds donated going directly to the Light House.

“The Light House needs our help now more than ever,” said Heritage Baptist pastor Scott Shelton. “COVID-19 has made the work they do even more challenging. We did not want to pass up this opportunity to help, so we are continuing the SOUPer Bowl tradition online.”

The 16th Annual SOUPer Bowl Fundraiser for the Light House will be held online February 6-13, 2022, via the church website (HeritageLoves.Com) and social media platforms, with the goal of raising $2,000. One hundred percent of donated funds will go directly to the Light House. Participants can make an online donation to the 2022 SOUPer Bowl at HeritageLoves.com and enjoy daily soup recipes from community leaders, including: 

Delegate Shaneka Henson, Esq.  (District 30A, Anne Arundel County)

Andrew Parks (Restaurant Owner)

Chef Shannon Costello (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Culinary Coach, Blogger)

Tom O’Leary (Owner- Chevy’s Annapolis & finalist on NBC’s “Baking It” Cooking Show)

Chef Zachary Pope (Co-founder of SOUPer Bowl and noted local chef)

Jared Littman (Owner K&B True Value)

Brian Shallcross (Bowie Baysox General Manager)

“We are deeply grateful to Heritage Baptist Church and their partners for supporting our mission each year through their SOUPer Bowl Lunch for The Light House,” said Mattson. “Our small but mighty organization is a place where neighbors help neighbors and this thoughtful event embodies that spirit.”

Heritage Baptist is an affiliate congregational partner of the Light House. For more information, contact the church office at 410.263.6680, or email SOUPer Bowl coordinator Lea Hurt (news@heritageloves.com)

https://www.heritageloves.com/souper-bowl-2022