It is easy to talk about following Jesus but sometimes those around us think we are a little odd. How do we know what to think, do and become to be sure we are truly following Jesus in spite of what is going on around us? What does it really mean to follow Jesus? Good thing for us, Jesus explained it for us!
We all know that Jesus came to save the world from sin and death. We all know that Jesus opened the way to heaven for his truest followers. We all also know that Jesus taught frequently about “The Kingdom of Heaven”. What we may not know is what he meant by that phrase, because it is used in a variety of ways that seem to contradict one another. So, how do we figure out what Jesus was really talking about when he spoke of “The Kingdom of Heaven”?
For many religions, prayer is a mainstay and a staple of ritual and lifestyle. Whatever the religion, prayer is a lifeline to a higher power, a calming factor in individual experiences and a connector to others who share the same faith. Prayer can and should permeate the life of a Christian. So, if this is the case, then the question is, do we know how we should be praying, why we should be praying and for what we should be praying? Stay with us as we explore some of the many teachings on prayer from Jesus!
Sometimes change is in order. Sometimes it becomes evident that the path we are currently following is not leading us in the best direction and a decision is required to alter not only our direction, but our thinking as well. This is what we are faced with when we profess Christianity. This profession requires us to observe, perceive and follow through on a different life. So, are you ready for that?
Jesus taught us about a lot of things in a lot of different ways, but it seems as though his favorite method was to teach in parables. In the parables of the Pounds and Talents, Jesus is either teaching us that he wants to give us money – or – he is teaching us a sober lesson about our responsibilities to him throughout the period of the Gospel age. Which is it? It is unequivocally a lesson in responsibility – yours and mine to him – let’s figure it out!
Jesus was a master story teller. He knew how to keep people’s attention while teaching important and difficult things by using very commonplace subjects like farming, fishing, servants and weddings. Most of the time the majority of his audience did not fully understand his lessons, and Jesus actually wanted it that way. On this program we will look at the parable of the sheep and the goats and see who Jesus is talking about and what time period he is talking about. Are sheep good and goats bad?
As a Christian, we look at Jesus not only as our Lord and Savior, not only as the Ransom given for the sins of the world, but as a great teacher as well. One can spend a lifetime learning from him. One of the unique aspects of Jesus’ teaching is the fact that he taught in parables – stories – lots of stories. Stay with us as we will look at one of those stories and see some remarkably clear lessons about life and the challenges of following Christ.
Sometimes you read a scripture and it makes you do a double-take, because it simply does not make sense. It then ought to become our responsibility to figure it out – to try and understand what the real message is. Such is the case with our theme text from Jesus’ parable of the unjust steward. Jesus seems to say ‘make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth, so you can have it easy later.’ It sounds like Jesus is throwing integrity out the window along with honesty and accountability and replacing them with a situational ethics "it’s all about me" approach. Could this be? Stay with us as we look into this parable, its context, its meaning, and its lessons for us.
Mention oil and you probably get a reaction. In our world, oil is one of those commodities that drive our society – its price and availability can have a great impact on how we live our lives. Our subject is oil – but not in the sense that you may think. No, rather than dealing with the “crude” kind, we are going to talk about a much more refined kind – the kind you would have put in a lamp in ancient days. In Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins, oil plays a key role. So, what does it represent? How does it project our being “wise” or “foolish?”
Outside of the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son is probably the most widely known of Jesus’ parables. It is a classic story of youthful self-centeredness contrasted with fatherly wisdom, complete with a twist at the end. Now the question is, what was Jesus’ primary reason for telling this story? Who was he speaking to and why did they need to hear it? What can we learn from the Prodigal Son? Stay with us as we open up this parable and find its value, both in the days of Jesus as well as in our day.