Every day, followers of Jesus find themselves being tempted. God has established a standard of right and wrong and the devil has no qualms about lying to get us to disobey the One who truly loves us. We learn a great deal from Jesus’ experience in the wilderness when He was tempted. Learn more about Matthew 4:1 NIV this Sunday at Victory Lutheran Church.
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
-2 Peter 1:16-18 NIV
I have to think the followers of Jesus heard it all. They were likely mocked and ridiculed for believing what they did, and following Jesus for so long. But consider their confidence. When people mocked them, they could say, “Think what you want. I saw it with my own two eyes.” In the words above, Peter is talking about the Transfiguration of Jesus, when Jesus let His divine glory shine through His human form. Peter, James, and John saw this glory, and they heard the voice of God Himself speak from heaven. No one could tell them Jesus wasn’t God. They saw it. They heard it. They saw Jesus alive after He was dead. They saw Jesus float up from earth to heaven. They heard Jesus say He was coming back. The disciples were willing to die for what they knew was true. Do you think they would die for a lie? Haters are gonna hate. Unbelievers are gonna unbelieve. I believe the eyewitnesses. I believe that God inspired the words in the Bible to be written. I believe they are inerrant. I believe that God is love, and that the death of Jesus paid for my sins. I believe that I will spend eternity with Christ in heaven. There is a strong case for confidence. Live boldly, die boldly in faith.
February 19 Sermon – Be Different – Matthew 5:44
Watch the February 19, 2017 sermon by Rev. Brendan Prigge referencing Matthew 5:44 NIV and find out more about how God wants us to be different.
“If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
-Matthew 5:39 NIV
Well, that certainly would be different. The norm would likely be retaliation of some sort. Jesus encourages us to be different? Rather than do what is expected, do the unexpected. Don’t retaliate, be patient. Don’t be stingy, be generous. Don’t whine about being inconvenienced, go the extra mile for someone else. Rather than hate your enemies, love them. Pray for them. Be radically unselfish with your rights and your property. Be different! To what end? So that others will notice how different you are. Different like Jesus, who was patient, generous, and loving throughout His life, and as He hung on the cross paying the price for sins we’ve committed. He hung there, bleeding, dying, and asked God to forgive the people who were killing him. Someone noticed. After Jesus died, a centurion stationed at the cross said, “Surely this man was the Son of God.” People are watching. Your actions matter. All of your sins and failures are forgiven so you are free to be radically different. Different in the right way. Different like Jesus.