Jesus tells a fisherman to do the impossible, touches a leper, and forgives the sin of a cripple who didn’t ask. The kingdom is here!
Jesus announces that his mission is to bring good news to the poor (the outcast, the disenfranchised, the disadvantaged, those on the outside looking in.... and it still is.
How would you fill in the blank in this sentence: "If I had ___________, my life would really sing"? We might be tempted to say the Sunday school answer: Jesus! But if the gospel is true, and you have been born again, you already have him! And yet it's pretty rare to hear someone say their life is really singing. So what is it that could make the difference?
The gospel is good news to real sinners. It's not the powerful, the perfect, the put-together who are shoo-ins to the kingdom of heaven. How do we know? Look at the birth of Jesus!
Ray Ortland is quoted as having said, “There is a hell before Hell; a heaven before Heaven.” Proverbs warns against death multiple times, but rarely does it point to the actual event. So this discussion of life and death is bigger than simply, “Do you have a pulse or not?”
It’s something we all struggle with; something that lies underneath all of our sin and rebellion… and yet no one thinks they have it.
The son in Proverbs has to make the choice to follow the Lord, and chase wisdom. The father can’t do it for him.
It’s one thing to know “about” God, but you don’t truly know him until you risk it.
The God of heaven and earth not only invites us to pray, he almost begs us to. Why would he do that if our prayers didn’t matter?
Just like you don’t start a building project without finding out how much it will cost, Jesus tells his disciples to count the cost of following him.