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The Matthew Series - Betrayed with a Kiss

Matthew 26:47-56 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Arrested 47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”[a] Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its pla


The year is 587 BC. A very difficult choice faces the king of Judah at that time, a man named Zedekiah. It’s a choice between life and death – but not in the way you would think. In order to properly understand this choice, you need a little bit of context. Zedekiah was born and given the name of Mattaniah. His father was King Josiah, the last righteous king of Judah. The kingship gets a little messy from there when Mattaniah’s older brother Jehoahaz becomes king. He’s king for just three months before being deposed by Egypt, and replaced by his other brother Eliakim whom Egypt controls and whose name is changed to Jehoiakim. Eliakim/Jehoiakim gets deposed by Babylon, and his son Jehoiachin

The Matthew Series - Take this cup

Matthew 26:36-46 English Standard Version (ESV) Jesus Prays in Gethsemane 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[a]with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one ho

Naaman - Overcoming Self-Importance

2 Kings 5 This is the story of a soldier who met God. This is one of those biblical stories that at first glance may seem rather remote from life in the 21st-century, but in the end proves the old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. From this slice of military life, we learn a great deal about the inner barriers that keep us from facing our problems and finding a way to get better. It all begins when a powerful Syrian general contracts an incurable disease – v. 1 - 3. 4 things we need to know about this man – A. He was the military leader of the armies of Syria Aram - ancient name for Syria. He wasn't just a general, he was the Supreme Commander. B. He was a ver

The Matthew Series - The Last Supper

Matthew 26:17-35 English Standard Version (ESV) The Passover with the Disciples 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.[a] 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is

Esther: The Right Place at the Right Time

God puts each of us in the right place at the right time for His purposes. The events of Esther take place after the exile when most of the Jews returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra. Babylon has been defeated and Persia is the world power - extending from northern Africa all the way to India. Esther: The Right Place at the Right Time The Book of Esther reminds us that God never forgets His people because He has made promises to them. He is not just present in Jerusalem but in pagan palaces. Interestingly, God’s name is never used in the book but His fingerprints are everywhere. He may be invisible but He is never indifferent. 5 primary characters - 3 of them are fa

The Matthew Series - The Preparation for His Death

Matthew 26:1-16 English Standard Version (ESV) The Plot to Kill Jesus 26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” Jesus Anointed at Bethany 6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, [a] 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask o

Church Under Pressure - 15. Good News for Unfinished People

1 Thessalonians 5: 23 - 28 This is a prayer for something that hasn’t happened yet. We know it hasn’t happened yet because we looked in the mirror this morning. We aren’t completely holy and totally pure. Most of us don’t feel very close to that. Honesty compels us to admit we’ve got a long way to go. “Lord, I have done all I can and taught these people all I know. You’ve got to take over now. Unless you help them, they won’t turn out right.” That leads me to offer a layman’s definition of sanctification: It’s everything God does in your life and mine to make sure we turn out right. God intends to make sure his children turn out right in the end. That’s why parents care so much and worry so


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