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Christian Life Tools with Jim Reed


"The Temptation of Jesus" Matthew 4:1-11

Monday, March 19, 2018

Jim Reed

After Jesus was baptized he was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. There probably could not have been two more opposite situations. At one moment heaven opened and the Spirit descended upon Jesus with God audibly proclaiming his love and acceptance of his beloved Son. Then Jesus is led into the clutches of the enemy! Yet, clearly, all of this it was entirely God's plan.

From the devil's perspective it was a temptation. However, from God's perspective it was a test. God allowed Jesus to be tested to reveal to the world that his Son could not be tempted by evil. Jesus relied on the Sword of the Spirit: "It is written..." We all have access to the same arsenal and weaponry inspired by the Holy Spirit. May we all learn to rely on God's Word and walk in victory.


"The Baptism of Jesus" Matthew 3:1-17 - Monday, March 12, 2018

There is power in identification. Jesus identified with all of humanity by taking on a body. Jesus further identified with us by taking our place under the Law in allowing himself to be baptized. Jesus was allowing himself to be subjected to the limitations of what it was to be human. In all this it is essential to remember that Jesus was without sin.

As Jesus identified with us, we can now identify with him. Water baptism has often been called the believer's first act of obedience. Baptism is a public testimony marking our stance in willful identification with Jesus. Paul explains it this way: "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (John 6:4). We can say "Amen" to that.

"Faith that Overcomes" Matthew 15:21-28 - Monday, March 5, 2018

What does it mean to have faith that overcomes? What if we felt that the whole world was against us? That would be one large obstacle to overcome. What if we also felt that Jesus himself was against us? When our faith and confidence in God gets weakened by unsettling circumstances we can be tempted to feel that even Jesus is not on our side.

There was a Canaanite woman who had little going for her and a lot going against her. However, the one thing that set her apart was that she had faith that could overcome the obstacles that were against her. In fact, the quality of her faith was such that even Jesus remarked, "Woman, you have great faith" (Matthew 15:28). As we trust in Jesus in the midst of our trials may Jesus also speak to us, "You have great faith." This is faith that overcomes.

"The Gospel: No Condemnation in Christ" Romans 8:1 - Monday, February 26, 2018

John the Baptist was in the plan of God, in the mind of God and written in the Word of God. Jesus said something very interesting about John the Baptist. He said, "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John." Then Jesus added this shocking statement, "yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Luke 7:28).

How can this be? Even the least in the kingdom is greater than John the Baptist? Jesus could have been talking about you or me. Any one of us could be the least in the kingdom of God. How can we even be mentioned in the same breath as someone as prophetically great as John the Baptist? In the book of Romans Paul will explain it all under the inspiration of God himself. This is gospel.

"The Miracle of Forgiveness of Sin" Luke 5:17-26 - Monday, February 19, 2018

There was a man who was laid at the feet of Jesus in a very dramatic fashion. The man was a paralytic. All eyes were on Jesus. What would Jesus do? How would Jesus address this man's very obvious problem? Jesus would do what he came to earth to do. He would address the man's deepest need. Jesus said to him, "Friend, your sins are forgiven" (Luke 5:20).

Here's another what-if. What if Jesus would have healed that man's outer self, but left his inner self alone? It wouldn't be long (in the afterlife) that this paralytic would be FOREVER begging God for another chance to return to this earthly realm. Then, he would beg God with all his might, "Please, leave me a paralytic, but I beg you, heal my sin!" The greatest miracle on earth is forgiveness of sin. This is the gospel – Good News.

"The Call to Discipleship" Matthew 28:16-20 - Monday, February 12, 2018

In the Gospel we can recognize the reality of God’s perspective. God has given us the righteousness of Christ as his gift of grace. We are set free from the burden of perfection which only leads to slavery. It is slavery because no one can be perfect. We all fail.

Once we receive forgiveness, and our new life in Christ, the new challenge before us is to become disciples. A disciple is one who is under the discipline and training of another. And that other is God himself. God is calling people unto himself to be trained in righteousness. This training in righteousness is called discipleship. This is part of The Great Commission. The learning curve is huge, but God is infinitely greater. He will help us and nurture us in ways that will bring blessing to us. May we see that blessing spread to those around us.

A New, New Year Exodus 12:1-2 - Monday, February 5, 2018

The majesty of God's creation is beyond the scope of human understanding. God gave us his Word to help us in our understanding. We know that God's "very good" creation was spoiled by sin. And through God's Word we also know that God can bring new creation. We have many prophetic pre-figurations of the promise of new creation in the midst of the chaos of our lost and dying world.

The prophetic calendar was set by God and was a direct prophecy pointing to the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. God even appointed someone to point to Jesus and declare, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). God has promised a new, New Year that would be forever for all who will bow and receive. May this prophetic Good News be accepted by more and more people while there is still time. 

"The Successful Failure" Luke 12:13-21 - Monday, January 29, 2018

How can a person be a success in this world, yet be a failure in the eyes of God? The problem begins in how we calculate our success. If we only value our own opinion we may find ourselves succeeding in failure. We might see ourselves succeeding in the opinion of this world, but in God's opinion we will be successful failures.

Jesus told a parable about just such a failure. The parable was about a man who was a success in his own eyes, but he was bankrupt before God. The man was on the world's pedestal, but to his surprise, the pedestal collapsed under the weight of eternal realities. God loves us and wants no one to be a successful failure. Jesus will get us on the fast-track to success according to HIS point of view as we bow to his will today and every day.

"Christmas Eve: Promise Fulfilled" Luke 1:39-55 - Monday, January 22, 2018

Christmas Eve carries with it the reality of God's Promise fulfilled. The reason we have such a thing as Christmas Eve is that there was indeed a Promise. The Promise was that God would send a Savior. One of the enduring signs that a Savior is the ONE thing this world needs today is that this world does not even know it needs to be saved.

All of creation has been existing under The Promise of God that was given even before time began. That Promise was given in Genesis 3:15 as God promised that "the seed of the woman" would bring salvation. All of creation has been living under that very Promise for over 6,000 years. The Promise of Christmas Eve has been fulfilled as God sent his Son to be our Savior.Then the Savior proclaimed in Revelation 21:5, "I am making everything new." And he is.

"The Glory of Christmas" Romans 8:32 - Monday, January 15, 2018

The amazing gift of Christmas is wrapped in the love of God for the whole world. How could one gift could be so large in scale that it could cover the entire world? Well, not only is the gift so large as to cover the entire world, the gift has been continually offered non-stop for 2,000 years.

The glory of Christmas is that we see the glory of God in the gift of Jesus Christ. The world had no idea of the nature of that first Christmas. As the whole world slept in a dull daze the skies lit up with the glory of God. Angels filled the sky praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:13-14). The glory of Christmas is still with us today. All are invited to open God's gift still today.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018
the Fifth Week of Lent
There are 12 days til Easter!
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