The Bridegroom Arrives Like a Thief in the Night

Originally posted on Understanding the Mission of Jesus:

Although I plead that I do not know much about ancient Jewish wedding customs, I have been told by reliable sources that the bridegroom would arrive at an unspecified time, usually during the night, to gather his bride and proceed to the wedding ceremonies.

Assuming this is true, and I believe it is, then truly, our holy Bridegroom may come at any time, like a thief in the night.  (Reference I Thessalonians 5:2.)

Does this passage signify the end of the world?  Quite the contrary!  The Bridegroom comes like a thief in the night to gather his bride to Himself, and He has another mission while he is retrieving her!

My Jewish sources tell me that during the binding engagement period, the bride would ready herself for their new life together.  Just as the brides in ancient times readied themselves, and were also watchful in anticipation for the arrival of…

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Know God vs. No God

Originally posted on Understanding the Mission of Jesus:

Some years ago I sold insurance door-to-door as an interim job.  My manager gave me a piece of advice.  He told me that everybody is walking around with a sign on their forehead that reads, “What’s in it for me?”  Well, as I have grown and matured as a Christian, I’ve learned “what’s in it for me!”

A plaque in my bedroom reads, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct they path.”  That statement is the most important component in my Christian walk.

While without God an individual may find a role model or may be lead by media or peers, with God as our director we have the power of the entire universe as our Guide and our Provider

God may manifest himself in our lives as a personal friend.  He may seem more like a husband, a brother or a father.  Regardless of how God…

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Sweat Equity and the Kingdom of Heaven

Originally posted on Understanding the Mission of Jesus:

In my Christian walk I have encountered a difference between each brother/sister, and a same-ness.  Can one Christian be more saved than another?

We are the same in at least one major factor.  We share in the blood of Christ.  I am not speaking of death on the cross, I am speaking of the blood of the living Christ that flows through Him just as it flows through each one of us.  This precious blood gives us everlasting life and unites us unquestionably, and irrevocably one to another.  Just as our physical blood is active and essential throughout our body, the precious blood of Christ is active and essential in our souls, cleansing, bringing us precious spiritual oxygen, and ensuring our life everlasting.

Each Christian is different and unique in that we experience this blood in our souls in different ways, and at different times of our life.  In the…

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Was the Disciple Peter a Coward?

Originally posted on Understanding the Mission of Jesus:

Matthew 26:30-35 reads:  After singing the Passover Hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  Then Jesus said to them, ‘Tonight you will all fall from your faith on my account; for it stands written:  “I will strike the shepherd down and the sheep of his flock will be scattered.”  But after I am raised again, I will go on before you into Galilee.’  Peter replied, ‘Everyone else may fall away on your account, but I never will.’  Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you, tonight before the cock crows you will disown me three times.’  Peter said, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you.’  And all the disciples said the same.

After Jesus is led away to be crucified, the witness of Matthew goes on to say:  Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard when a serving-maid accosted him and said, ‘You…

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Think About God? In this Economy?

Originally posted on Understanding the Mission of Jesus:

Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians:  “I know what it is to be brought low, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have been very thoroughly initiated into the human lot with all its ups and down—fullness and hunger, plenty and want.  I have strength for anything through him who gives me power.  But it was kind of you to share the burden of my troubles.”  (Philippians 4:12-14).

While many people are a paycheck or two away from poverty, I can be thankful to have enough at this time–a warm place to sleep, plenty of food, appropriate clothing.  As I take comfort in my present circumstances, I sometimes wonder whether I would be as spiritually attuned without the adequate creature comforts.  Could hunger, or knowing my family was in a state of hunger, come between me and my relationship with God?

Here in the United…

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Was Doubting Thomas Misunderstood?

Originally posted on Understanding the Mission of Jesus:

John 20:24-29 recounts some of the events following the resurrection of Jesus:  One of the Twelve, Thomas, that is ‘the Twin’, was not with the rest when Jesus came.  So the disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.”  He said, “Unless I see the mark of the nails on his hands, unless I put my finger into the place where the nails were, and my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

 A week later his disciples were again in the room, and Thomas was with them.  Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them, saying, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here: see my hands; reach your hand here and put it into my side, be unbelieving no longer, but believe.”  Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said, “Because you have seen me you have…

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