I was driving past a Dunkin Donut store and felt this strong pang of hunger come on, so I prayed “Lord, if you want me to buy some donuts, please send me a sign and provide me with a parking space right outside the shop”. And guess what, The Lord answered my prayer. On my tenth time I drove past the shop, there was my parking space. It was Oscar Wilde who made famous the phrase, “I can resist everything… except temptation.”Continue reading
Category Archives: Lent
The Grace of Giving
Rejoice with me for I have won a Premium Bond prize! I got fed up with the abysmal interest rate my bank was paying on savings. I feel quite good about lending my savings to the government to help bail out the economy. I have already won more money than I could have earned in a year’s worth of bank interest. Rest assured, the prize won’t change my lifestyle but I feel more generous. How much did I win? all five thousand pennies… (or £50).
The currency changes everything doesn’t it? Which currency are you using to evaluate worth? An earthly or heavenly currency?Continue reading
Ash Wednesday: Jesus on Blessings and Cursing
Will you be making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? Will you be fasting during the 40 days of Lent? Will you give up any little luxuries until Easter? Will you mark Ash Wednesday with ash on your forehead as a visible sign of your repentance for sin? Will you tell anyone? In our series The Passion of Jesus, based on the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus taught us how to inoculate ourselves from spiritual abuse:
Be Holy: Cultivate a Simple Faith.
Be Hidden: Content with a Secret Faith.
Be Humble: Concentrate on a Serving Faith.
In today’s passage – Matthew 23:13-39, Jesus turns from the disciples and confronts those responsible for the abuse, directly and personally. He pronounces eight woes upon them. It is poignant to remember this was Jesus last public sermon. It stands in stark contrast to his first public sermon in Nazareth and its elaboration in what became known as the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5, Jesus describes true righteousness. In Matthew 23, He defines false righteousness. Let us compare the two.
Lets distinguish the path to blessing from the path to cursing. The first contrast?
Jesus on Blessings and Curses from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.