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Our prayer for you is that God  anoints you with fresh oil and His precious Spirit will keep and comfort you through hard and troubled times. May He encourage you to communicate to others the  hope that He has given you through his word to overcome all that is set before you.

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Verse of the Day

Is the Cross Enough?

The truth of the gospel requires telling the whole story.

Sitting across the table from me, he picks up a crumpled napkin. Amid our lively conversation, my friend—who is a pastor—explains his sermon preparation. He is brilliant and creative, deeply concerned with the Bible and why it matters to his congregation. Flattening out the napkin, he writes an X in one corner to represent the biblical text. Then he draws a giant cross in the middle of the square. Finally he adds an arrow moving from the X to and through the cross. Whether preaching from Ecclesiastes or Philemon, he explains, “after I sit with a text for a while, I always ask, how does the cross relate to this?”

The napkin cross is a fruitful approach to sermon-writing. As Christians, we believe that all of the Bible points to Christ and that he, as the focus of the Scriptures, gives us the best vantage point for understanding what the sacred writings are about. More specifically, if the cross is the focal point of Christ’s life and work, then interpreting a text through that focus seems like a good idea. Here we see the love of the Father at work, forgiving our sins and reconciling us to himself. The apostle Paul tells us that he preaches only Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:1–2). He makes it clear he will never boast in anything but the cross (Gal 6:14). So, we’re good, right? If we have the cross, what could possibly be missing?

This cross-centered viewpoint shows us a lot. But if we go by the Bible, it doesn’t go far enough. The New Testament doesn’t end its account of Jesus’ work with a description of his burial. Instead, it makes quite a big deal of Easter. Limiting our interpretations to the cross is like a golf swing with no follow-through: The ball doesn’t ...

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Love That Will Not Let Go

Mary Magdalene both clung to the risen Christ and went out to bear witness.

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me … Go instead to my brothers and tell them ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”—John 20:16–17

The Resurrection is an unprecedented event in history. In the words of C. S. Lewis, it is a miracle of the New Creation. Something of which the world has had no previous experience at all has entered the old order and radically altered it. The great reversal has begun. The new wine has burst the old wineskins. Even familiar relations with Jesus in the old creation no longer suffice. Now, it seems he can only be recognized by those to whom he chooses to reveal himself.

The story of the Resurrection is also the story of human love at its best. When all else fails—even faith and hope—love comes through intact. It may be weak in comparison to divine love, but it is strong enough to move the heart of the Lover. Such is the love of Mary Magdalene.

What makes Mary’s devotion to Jesus unique may have begun early in his ministry when he cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:1–3). Mary had known the terrifying power of spiritual enslavement and the exhilarating freedom of following Christ her teacher. Here was a Rabbi who treated women very differently. From that day, her admiration and love grew.

Mary followed Jesus to Jerusalem. When all the other disciples fled (Mark 14:50), she stood in solidarity with other women to witness his agonizing death on the cross (Matt. 27:55). Love refuses to be cowed. Love perseveres when hope is extinguished. Mary witnessed Jesus’ ...

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April 19
Friday 7:30 PM
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25
April 25
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
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26
April 26
Friday 7:30 PM
May
02
May 02
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
Westside
May
03
May 03
Friday 7:30 PM
Release of long-awaited Mueller report on Russia a watershed moment for Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election will be released on Thursday, providing the first public look at the findings of an inquiry that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.

The post Release of long-awaited Mueller report on Russia a watershed moment for Trump appeared first on Worthy Christian News.

NYPD: Man with gas cans arrested at St. Patrick's church

Just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, a New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday night after entering St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, according to the New York Police Department.

The post NYPD: Man with gas cans arrested at St. Patrick's church appeared first on Worthy Christian News.