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The new normal and the new better things in Christ

New things have come. The new normal is here. The old way of life as we know it is gone. Things will never be the same. The virus has changed our lives to be more difficult in different ways. Social distancing. Wearing of masks. Disinfecting hands, surfaces, and things that we bring into our homes. Fear of the future is among us. And all that many times results in anxiety on peoples’ faces.

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An instantaneous change

I took these two pictures two days ago at West Mabou Beach after water-running (great workout). One picture is of the sunset looking west and the other one is of the moon looking east. It really looks like they were taken at two different places and at two different times of the day. It’s like a person who is looking at themselves and feels sad about their life, but when the person turns around in the same place and starts looking at Jesus who loved them and gave himself for them, instantly they can feel joy and peace rising in their heart.

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The free gift of salvation

We are saved and brought into relationship with God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, without nothing added to it of our own good works.

But doesn’t God command and require works of our obedience to God in order to be accepted by him?

Yes, he does, but none of us do it. We would have to obey God’s law which simply teaches to love God our creator and our neighbor, perfectly.

Can anyone keep God’s law so perfectly? Can anyone love God and others so perfectly?

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God's grace during our isolation

As Christians we have become used to meeting with our church families every Sunday and throughout the week as well. It seems to me that God has taken away for a time that privilege from us during this pandemic so that we may see afresh that our lives have been redeemed by Jesus, and therefore remember to be Jesus to our families, friends, and neighbors. 

We can get to know Jesus better and make him known to others by:

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Jesus, the only priest sworn-in into the priesthood by God

Jesus, the only priest sworn-in into the priesthood by God - Hebrews 7:11-28

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A Gracious warning against apostasy

“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” (Hebrews 6:4-6 ESV)

These words, possibly written by the apostle Paul, were addressed to Hebrew Christians. They are a stern warning against apostasy.

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"It is finished!"

Before his death, Jesus said these three following Scriptures regarding the work the Father gave him to finish:

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)

“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.” (John 5:36)

“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)

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The great "holy-love" of God

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

Since our salvation is purely by God’s undeserved grace, I believe we cannot lose our salvation.

God doesn’t save us because we deserve it and he doesn’t un-save us because we don’t deserve it. It is simply “the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

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Hosanna! Matthew 21:1-11

It’s Palm Sunday – we are in the last week of Jesus’ earthly life, the “Passion Week”.

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem he was approached by two blind men who pleaded with him to heal their blindness. Jesus had compassion on them and healed them, and they followed him.

As Jesus approached Jerusalem he had his disciples get a young unbroken donkey for him to ride on and enter Jerusalem. But why get a ride just at the entrance of the city? Was it because Jesus was tired?

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Will you enter God's heavenly rest?

The apostle wrote a letter to Hebrew Christians to warn them of the danger of falling away from Christ Jesus and going back to the Old Covenant sacrifices.

In the first two chapters, he has shown them that Jesus is greater than the angels because he is a divine Son.

Then for a little while, he became a man and “was made lower than the angels” in order to “taste death for everyone” of his “many sons and daughters”.

But now he’s “crowned with glory and honor” at the right hand of the Father because he suffered death”.

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