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We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God. Paul and Jesus point us to the secret to having joy in the midst of trouble. It's seeing Jesus. Trusting that because he is our risen Lord and Savior we have forgiveness and eternal life.
Jesus gave his disciples a new command. Love One Another. If you know your Bible you might wonder what's new about that. The summary of the second table of the law is "Love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus explains what's new when he adds - As I have loved you, so you are to love one another." He wants us to show the same selfless love for others, everyone, as he has shown us, a love that moved him to leave heaven, live humbly in this sinful world, be betrayed, condemned and crucified, all to save sinners like us. The more you know and appreciate God's selfless love for you, the more you will be enabled to show selfless love to others. When you do, others will recognize that you are one of Jesus' disciples and God will be glorified.
Promises that go unfulfilled are empty words. A promise that you can be right with God by keeping rule and laws is an empty promise. Paul proclaims the fulfilled words of God. The resurrection of Jesus proves all God's promises are trustworthy. It is through faith in that we are justified, forgiven.
Everyone is born spiritually blind. It is only by means of a miracle that anyone can be brought to see that Jesus is the savior. Jesus worked this miracle in Saul by appearing to him on the road. He works it in our by letting us see him in his word.
Satan uses everything he can to keep Christians from witnessing. He uses our own fears and insecurities, threats from others, whatever he can think of because he knows that the Holy Spirit works powerfully through the word of God Christians share to bring people to repentance and faith. Knowing we have powerful good news to share helps us overcome restraint and share the good news about Jesus.
Because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection death has been swallowed up in victory. God gives that victory to us.
Who would have imagined that God would destroy the power of by death. Because Jesus died our death, fulfilling the law and paying the debt of our sins, death no longer has power over us.
The old covenant was a shadow of things to come. The sacrifices foreshadowed the Sacrifice of Jesus. Because he shed his blood for us we are priests who can enter the presence of God. He gives us his body and blood along with the bread and wine to assure us of forgiveness, strengthen our faith and inspire us to confess our faith without wavering.
Jesus entered Jerusalem humble and gentile, riding on a donkey colt so that he could suffered and die to pay for our sins.
Jesus took hold of us. He redeemed us with his blood. He made us his own, heirs with him of eternal life, citizens of heaven. History shows a long line of people who took their heavenly citizenship for granted and ended up losing it, like the Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus. With Paul, we want to pursue the goal of entering eternal life the way an athlete pursues a gold medal. Hold fast to what you have been given. Let no one take your crown.
Pastor Justin Dauck Because Jesus willingly obeyed the Father in everything and then suffered for sin in our place the condemnation that was brought on us by Adam and by our own sins has been cancelled.
The father in Jesus' parable had two rebellious sons. We have walked in their shoes numerous times in our lives. He showed his rebellious sons mercy, welcoming his openly rebellious son home and going out and calling his inwardly rebellious son to repentance. 
Like Israel, God has showered us with blessings. The temptation is to take them for granted and think that we can indulge in common sins as Israel did. Jesus crushes  our false security with his call to repentance. May his blessings move you to serve him and your neighbor in thankful love.
Our worth comes from the fact that Jesus was willing to die to save us.
The warning from the Pharisees that Jesus should leave Galilee because Herod wanted to kill him was a temptation hidden in the pretense of caring. Jesus crushed the temptation, trusting that his times were in the Father's hands. He was determined to carry out the Father's will no matter what threats he faced. We are thankful that he crushed this temptation for us because we often take shorts out of temptation instead of the way out that God has provided. May we trust that our times are in God's hands and are determined to carry out his will no matter what threats we face.
Pastor Raymond Beckmann
By resisting every temptation perfectly, living with out sin, Jesus can sympathize with us, offer help to us when we are tempted, but most importantly, his perfection is credited to us by grace through faith.
Being yoked to Jesus means that we get the benefit of his live, death and resurrection.
Jesus prepared his disciples for his suffering and death by letting them see his glory, and to see Moses and Elijah in glory. When his suffering tempted them to question whether he was the Christ they would be strengthened and encouraged by what they saw on the mount of transfiguration, and the words from the Father which reminded them to listen to Jesus who had also promised that he would rise from the dead on the third day.
Romans 12:14-21

Romans 12:14-21


The world says, "stand up for yourself. Don't get mad, get even." God says, "bless and pray for those who persecute you. Overcome evil with good." Jesus overcame evil by taking it on himself. He overcomes our evil with the good of the forgiveness he won for us. Only in view of his mercy to us can we bless those who persecute us.
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