God is doing an amazing thing in the transfiguration of Jesus--revealing His glory to Jesus’ disciples and giving them a picture of heaven. But old Peter can’t keep himself from talking...and interrupting Jesus! The voice of the Father breaks through and gets Peter’s attention (and ours, too!). The Father shows us who exactly this Jesus is and how He expects us to respond to Him. Maybe we all have a little Peter inside of us, don’t you think? How might we be interrupting the work God is trying to do in our lives and in our world? How do we need to be interrupted by God’s Word so that we can be focused on what truly matters?
As Jesus teaches us in the Sermon on the Mount, He expresses God’s great expectations for our lives. We are to be perfect in all that we think, say and do. This Law of God serves as a mirror, showing us how we have failed to do what God commands and need to be rescued from our sin. Jesus’ words point us to Himself: the only substitute and Savior for sinners. The greatest gift you will ever receive is Jesus, who died to make you holy in God’s sight. In Christ, we have been reclaimed as children of the heavenly Father and set on a path to delight in His commands--not in order to earn God’s favor, but because we already have it!
The Lord chooses His people by grace! In response to His saving work, we are called to “choose life,” realizing that the Lord Himself is our life, as we read in Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Today’s message helps us to see how God’s commands are not burdensome, but actually gracious invitations for us to share in the blessings He has prepared for us. By loving the Lord, listening to His voice, and holding fast to Him, we will be filled with the true and lasting “prosperity” that this world can never give.
Jesus blesses His followers. He makes us righteous in His sight. Jesus blesses His followers so they will be a blessing to others. He calls us to live righteous lives so that our words and actions will give witness to Him. That’s what Jesus is getting at in His Sermon on the Mount when He calls His people “salt” and “light.” The life of a Christian is never lived for oneself; it’s always lived for the benefit of others so we may lead many souls to glorify our God and trust in His Son.
In today’s message, Pastor Jeff walks us through the words of Micah 6:1-8, as the Lord puts His people on trial for their unfaithfulness to Him. In His great mercy, the Lord forgives the failures of His people and makes them righteous in His sight. Those who are made righteous by God’s mercy in Christ Jesus will then “love mercy” and work for justice for their neighbor as they walk in humility with their God.
Recently back from work in India, Pastor Jeff shares examples from the mission field of how God looks at His children through the lens of Christ’s cross and how we can look at others through that lens, as well. Today's message highlights the work being done by God’s grace in the Tailoring Center and Tuition Centers of Calvary India Mission in Ambur and Gudiyattum, Tamil Nadu, India.
The story of the Wise Men coming to visit Jesus is more than just a sentimental part of the Christmas and Epiphany story. As we will see in this week’s message, the visit of the Magi to the Messiah teaches us about the character of our God and the desire He has for a relationship with us.