Several weeks ago we began to tell the story of a hero – not the kind of hero that rises up in courage to do a deed that changes the outcome of an event – rather, the kind of hero who lives his vision for a lifetime and changes the world as a result of his lifetime dedication. This hero is the Joseph of the Old Testament – dreamer, interpreter of dreams, man of wisdom, faith, integrity and mercy. Joseph was a true hero, the kind that appears only once in many generations. What can we learn from him?
People in the Bible
We have all had experiences – real life experiences - that have triggered a bitter reaction in our hearts. This can actually be a very natural reaction. As we look at the harsh experiences of some we often say things like, “who can blame them” or “I’d feel the same way if that happened to me.” The big question for today is simple: Once we go through the initial bitter reaction in any experience, where do we go from there? Does bitterness move in and take over or do we leave it behind? Stay with us as we look bitterness square in the eye and figure out what to do with it…
Everybody loves a hero…someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty…someone who puts their own interests aside for the greater good…someone who does those things that others can’t or won’t. Usually these heroes are recognized as a result of a particular event or crisis and we laud their contribution. It is a rare thing to see someone who lives a heroic life and displays a heroic heart throughout their lifetime – one who becomes a hero for the ages. On this program we look at such a man to try and learn from the example of his heroic life!
On this past May 20th we embarked on a journey through the Apostle Peter’s life and on June 10th, we continued that journey. Our ending point was his conversation with our Lord after Jesus’ resurrection – the conversation that let Peter know that Jesus was counting on him as a lynch pin of what would become Christianity, in spite of Peter’s shortcomings. Today, we look at some of Peter’s experiences that followed, from Pentecost to the conversion of the first Gentile to the writing of Peter’s epistles. Stay with us as we look at how God’s Spirit influenced Peter in his mistakes, his impetuousness and his courage.
A few weeks ago on May 20th, we discussed Part 1 of our conversation about the Apostle Peter. We covered his life from his being introduced in the Scriptures as a typical fisherman from Galilee, up to his proclamation that Jesus was the Messiah and his angst at Jesus saying that he, Jesus, would have to die. These three things typify the life of Peter: a regular guy of no singular background, impetuous – willing to speak up when others would not, and often getting into some kind of trouble for things he said or did. Stay with us as we look further into this utterly fascinating life of a man who would become one of Christianity's greatest leaders.
(Part 1 of a 3-part series) Of all the Apostles, Peter is the one who is most exposed to us. His background is clear, his strengths and weaknesses are obvious, and his faults are plain. It is through the viewing of his life that so many of us find hope – for we see in the Apostle Peter a simple man, who with great faith met with countless adversities and by God’s grace was not only forgiven for his failings, but was one of the twelve foundation pillars of the true church. Stay with us as we begin to tell the story of Peter – the man – the disciple – the leader.
Everybody knows the story of Jonah and the whale, perhaps because of the drama of the account – you know, being swallowed by a fish and then being spit back up onto shore three days later. What everybody doesn’t seem to pay attention to is the rest of the story and the drama and lessons it shows.
Wisdom! When I hear that word I conjure up a number of images in my mind. A long white beard. A slow and deliberate response to a question. Thoughtfully sitting back in a chair, elbows on the arms of the chair with the fingers from your left hand touching just the tips of the fingers from your right hand. Thoughtfully stroking your chin. When I hear the word wisdom, I think of Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings. My grandmother. King Solomon – in his early years. Abraham Lincoln. The Apostle Paul. Jesus. God himself. When I think about wisdom, I look around and wonder – where is it? Stay with us this morning as we look into what wisdom is and how it can change our lives!
We have all had experiences in our lives that have led us to places from which there seemed to be no escape. These are places where the circumstances were such that the outcome seemed so inevitable that our choices in the matter were limited to accepting some unwanted and predetermined future or denying it, only to be confronted with it later. In such times, hope fades from our future and into memory. Sounds glum, doesn’t it? Well, the good news is, we can look to Biblical accounts of some of God’s chosen ones and see how they fared in such difficult times. King Hezekiah was one such man. Confronted with circumstances throughout his life that could have trapped and demoralized him, he found ways to rise above them to follow a higher path. Stay with us as we look into the life and times of King Hezekiah and see how he found ways of escape from the traps of his life.
The Bible is full of history, prophecy, miracles and the people who were integral parts of the revealing of all these things. These were usually people of integrity, discipline and faith. On this program, we will talk about one of these people. He happens to have lived at a pivotal point in history, he was one of the greatest prophets in history and even experienced some of the most dramatic miracles in history. This man was Daniel. His life was one of the most inspiring in all of Scripture as he was a clear and uncorrupted example of what it means to honor God your whole life through. Stay with us as we look into this exemplary life and ask – what can we learn from Daniel?