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Reflexion, A Spiritual Community

Author: Chuck Smith, Jr

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Christian based teaching from Chuck Smith, Jr
345 Episodes
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I’m going to begin with a quote by St. AugustineIn The City of God he traces two cities through world historyAugustine, “Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly [city] by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly [city] by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord.”- John, the visionary, identifies the heavenly city as Jerusalem and the earthly city Babylon• Babylon is feat...
Revelation 15-16

Revelation 15-16

2024-05-2655:32

A few years ago, Barry Liesch, a professor at Biola-Talbot University,- wrote an article on worship in the book of Revelation• he suggested that by using its examples of form, content, and splendor,◦ we might enjoy a more meaningful, intense, and richer worship experience• worship here on earth is already a participation in heaven’s worship◦ our prayers are mixed with the incense that burns in heaven (Rev. 8:3)- it will not always be a feel-good worship (that’s for sure!)• but it would ...
Revelation 14

Revelation 14

2024-05-1955:18

I’ve been feeling that talking about the book of RevelationIs like trying to practice dream interpretation - how do I make sense out of all these foreign signs and symbols?- of course, the bigger question is: what is God’s Spirit trying to communicate to us?
Revelation chapter 13

Revelation chapter 13

2024-05-1254:43

I think most anyone reading Revelation sees that it takes a turn in chapter 13What stays the same: the dragon (Satan) is still here- at least at the start – and he’s continuing his fight against GodWhat changes: the dragon, after being defeated three times in the previous chapter- now scores a significant victory- also, prior to this, his battle has been in the religion arena• he tried to sabotage the life and ministry of Jesus• but now he changes the battlefield and his strategy
Revelation 12

Revelation 12

2024-05-0558:48

Yesterday Barb asked me, “Are you still in Revelation?”In answered with a weary, “Yes”She said, “Oh.” then added, “You’ll probably be in Revelation till the end of the world”One of the challenges of this mystical book is distraction- the shifting scenes, outrageous creatures, and sudden surprises pull my thoughts in different directions• if I blink, my mind turns a corner and I’m on the wrong street- John has left us with more than a book of visions• Revelation is a rich resource for our spir...
Revelation 11

Revelation 11

2024-04-2854:39

We have arrived at the heart of Revelation Not only the middle of the book, but its central message- I’m going to take you backstage and show you my work room• the Bible is many books and among them, different writing styles◦ there are books of history (written more or less like storytelling), poetry, legal codes, prophetic writings, wise sayings, and letters◦ each literary style has its own form, rules, and devices, and that style determines how it is to be read and interpreted• f...
Story of El Sal PrisonThere's something life giving when we choose to be a loving presence. Especially to those whohave been out-casted.I’m addicted to it… but I’m not perfect at it.I have a sneaky suspicion that after I share about this, I’ll be reminded of how great it is to be aloving presence and then I’ll get into my truck outside and start driving…Watch as that just sails away off into the pacific ocean when someone cuts me offYou feel me on that?Wanting to be a loving presence but fall...
Revelation chapter 10

Revelation chapter 10

2024-04-1451:30

I get the feeling that when we read the book of Revelation,We tend to watch each scene unfold from a safe distance- I don’t think it was meant to read this way,• we’re supposed to feel a threatening closeness• we’re drawn into the dream – it’s our collective nightmare- John was certainly more than a spectator• characters approach him, converse with, and engage him◦ in this chapter he’ll be told to take and eat what he has been shown• we do not merely read the Revelation, we encounter it◦ we g...
Revelation 9

Revelation 9

2024-04-0701:01:54

When my children were small, I’d read to them every nightFirst from a book of fairytales, then from a Bible storybook- we would pray, say goodnight, and turn off the lights• we were careful about the last thing that entered their minds before bed• I doubt we can prevent our kids from having nightmares◦ but we can do things to help them sleep well◦ and we can comfort them after a nightmare- I certainly would have never read from Revelation the last thing before bed!• this makes me wonder why G...
Easter 2024

Easter 2024

2024-03-3137:21

They came on the first day of week, first thing in morningThey knew what spices and ointments to bring,- and knew what they were doing – they had done this before• what they did not know, was that overnight their world had changed• so what they found at the tomb was not what they expected- I love the lines:Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen• they had come to the wrong place, looking for wrong thing◦ they came to a cemetery looking for a dead body◦ but Jes...
Palm Sunday 2024

Palm Sunday 2024

2024-03-2455:10

How did Palm Sunday become recognized as a holy day?I don’t mean, how did it get put on the Church calendar,- but why do we celebrate it?• Palm Sunday is not like Christmas, Good Friday, or Easter◦ these were the major events in Jesus’ life and ministry• but Palm Sunday is not noteworthy in the same way◦ in fact, if you’ll excuse the expression, it sort of fizzled out◦ by the end of the week, Jesus had been crucified- I’ll share with you why I celebrate Palm Sunday• because this was only time...
Revelation chapter 8

Revelation chapter 8

2024-03-1755:10

Revelation is not a normal book – in fact, it’s a conundrumWe enter a mystical world of symbols without a map or compass- as I understand it, the Revelation is meant to open our eyes to a reality beyond our knowing or experiencing• there is no way for us to go straight into it with our rational minds- I’ll share something with you that helps me understand this• consider a person blinded by cataracts since birth◦ when, as an adult, the cataracts are removed, they do not immediately see clearly...
Revelation chapter 7

Revelation chapter 7

2024-03-1056:31

You may not have noticed, but something is missingThe action that began prior to this chapter involved a magic scroll secured with seven seals- six of those seals have been opened (chapter 6)• but now in chapter 7, there’s no mention of the seventh seal• instead, we have come to an interlude before returning to the seventh seal- this will happen again (after six trumpets sound, then there's a delay before the seventh)• while I’m at it, “After this” is not chronological◦ it does not refer to t...
Revelation 6

Revelation 6

2024-03-0301:03:21

A long time ago, I became interested in Douglas Coupland’s works of fictionOne novel he wrote as if it were the journal of a young man traumatized as a child- his character had lived on a military base that came under a nuclear threat, and everyone was rushed into a shelter• this had left a lasting and foreboding impression on him• an entire chapter consists of brief scenarios he imagined of his life interrupted by an atomic explosion◦ he gives graphic and creative expression to the experienc...
Revelation 5

Revelation 5

2024-02-2553:35

Among Jeremiah’s prophecies, we find one that is different from the rest.The difference is that this one brings a positive message regarding Israel’s future- after receiving the prophecy, Jeremiah says,At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me (Jer. 31:26)• when I wake up from a pleasant dream, I want to go back to sleep and continue it• that's because some issue was resolved, finally “worked,” or I just got a lucky break◦ dreams help our brains work through stresses, upsets...
Revelation chapter 4

Revelation chapter 4

2024-02-1856:54

One day, a few years ago, I was visiting my oldest daughterHer oldest daughter, came to me and said, “I dreamed you last night”- she had told my daughter, “I dreamed grandpa”• Jennifer asked her, “Which grandpa?” she said, “The bald one.”• fortunately I have another dream story- in 1992, my life had been shattered by divorce• that summer a nine year old boy in the church sent me a letter◦ he had colored a picture that looked like a church, with clouds in the sky◦ a from one giant cloud a text...
Chapters 2 and 3 may be the most well known section of RevelationAt least two of our favorite quotations are found here- what’s the theme of these chapters? Answer: “Church Repairs”• in chapter 1 Jesus appears in a form not found in the Gospels• in his right hand he held seven stars–which represented the angels of the seven churches◦ in scripture, the hand represents power, control, and ownership- so in these two chapters, Jesus acts as General Contractor has the seven churches in his hand• ...
Revelation 1:4-20

Revelation 1:4-20

2024-02-0456:59

Revelation gives us a unique picture of the inner life of our Christian experienceIt is much different from Paul’s carefully structured teaching- with his separation of the new self from the old self• and his contrast of having the mind of the Spirit versus the mind of the “flesh”• Revelation reaches into our inner lives through symbols and bizarre eventsTherefore, I feel comforted when reading the first few words of verse 4- they have a familiar ring–like finding a street you know when you’r...
Revelation 1:1-3

Revelation 1:1-3

2024-01-2850:17

You may wonder, Why the book of Revelation?I admit, it is the most confusing and frustrating book in the Bible- it’s not an easy read – some images are very strange• they seem fairytale or mythical, except but even weirder ◦ for instance, we find, not just a beast with ten horns,◦ but it has seven heads (?) and ten crowns on its horns• there’s not another book in Bible exactly like this- but it is also one of the most fascinating books in the Bible• Revelation can work in us in ways like...
A Canaanite Woman

A Canaanite Woman

2024-01-2144:16

Today’s story is challenging and difficult to understandIt turns everything we think we know about Jesus on its head- it involves a foreigner in a different region of the map• the setting for the life of Jesus is mostly in Israel◦ he passes through Samaria, and briefly sets foot in Gadara◦ but in this story he goes north – the one and only time• it is most likely that Jesus wanted to get away from the crowds◦ to be someplace where he and his crew could restHe “went away from there and withdre...
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