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Marty Kessler | April 29, 2022
I will learn to go beyond the cliché – In the process of offering up more frequent and more deliberate prayers, I will come to cease using the shallow, oft repeated words & phrases I tend to use, and really talk to God from my heart (see what Jesus said about this at Matthew 6:7-8). I will Draw closer to God – How can you reveal your greatest concerns and deepest thoughts to someone without gainin...
Titus West | April 22, 2022
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, th...
Titus West | April 14, 2022
Wednesday, April 6th, 2022, it was reported that the Chicago Zoo placed a special bar along its gorilla cages to keep visitors further from the windows. This is to prevent the visitors from showing their phone screens to the gorillas inside. The zookeepers did this because they noticed the 3 “teenage” gorillas were showing signs of anti-socialism and extreme distractedness. One gorilla was distrac...
Marty Kessler | April 1, 2022
How is Jesus’ church described for us in his book? The Greek word Jesus used that is translated “church” means a called-out assembly (Matthew 16:18 & 18:17) and is called out by his gospel (2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14) His bride (Matthew 9:14-15) His flock or His sheep (John 10:14-16) His holy temple (1st Corinthians 3:16-17) His body (Ephesians 1:22-23) Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22) City of the Living...
Marty Kessler | March 24, 2022
He told Peter to go catch a fish, knowing that the fish would have a coin in its mouth to pay their taxes. Instead of saying, “Let’s all go down to the lake and see what Peter catches at my word”, he sent Peter by himself (Matthew 17:24-27). His miracles were not about being “showy”. Jesus’ miracles were practical and helpful. How many heart-broken, crippled, blind, deaf, mute, demon-possessed and...
Titus West | March 17, 2022
I’ve heard the Bible verse about God and time mentioned loosely a few times lately. At least enough in our class discussions to have it on my mind. 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This is an interesting description, but what does it mean? For that we need context; let’s continue read...
Marty Kessler | March 10, 2022
Only the acts of four apostles are actually described in the book (Peter, John, James & Paul), but it mostly focuses on Peter’s and Paul’s ministries Barnabas is included as an apostle along with Paul in 14:14, but almost certainly as an apostle (one sent) of the Holy Spirit and of the church in Antioch of Syria (13:1-3). Though his work is a major focal point of Acts, Paul was not even one o...
Marty Kessler | March 4, 2022
The Sea of Galilee is no pond, being 13 miles long by 8 miles wide. It was on this body of water and “a long distance from the land” that the apostles found themselves battered by waves and a contrary wind in the middle of the night (Matthew 14:22-33). Matthew here records that Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. That’s just how he writes it, without any fanfare or embellishment, he just says ...
Marty Kessler | February 25, 2022
Here in the Oklahoma City metro area, I have seen churches called “The Rock”, “Revive church”, “The Well”, “Cathedral of Praise”, “Church of the Harvest”, “Crossings Community church”, “Eagle’s Crest Fellowship”, “Grace Fellowship”, “Life Church” and a whole bunch more. You’ve seen’em I’m sure. Jesus said he would build his church, and he did just that. But did he give it a name? We should know th...
Mike Mazzalongo | February 17, 2022
They talked endlessly. Since there was no need to express and explain, their communication moved beyond the speed of light, yet the time taken by the exchange was imperceptible. However, the deconstruction of what was said would take much of history to unravel, but if we stopped the clock or slowed it down to hear the Divine Trialogue, these would be the points they considered. "Let us make man," ...
Titus West | February 11, 2022
There is an old saying, “Be careful who you trust, the devil was once an angel.” This saying comes from the interpretation by some scholars that Satan was once an angel or cherub in the Garden of Eden-Ezekiel 28:1-19. Although this is an interesting subject, I’d like to focus on the meaning of the saying rather than the theology of that passage. This saying carries a heavy weight with it. If an an...
Marty Kessler | February 4, 2022
Our daughter and her family attend a large congregation of the Lord’s church. When I visit them there, I am a stranger, except of course when I am with one of my three young grandchildren. Members of their congregation young and old will invariably approach us calling my grandchild by name and introducing themselves to me. Each time, I see my grandchild respond with happy smiles, a warm embrace or...
Titus West | January 28, 2022
There are at least 46 verses in the bible that contain the word “zeal.” The definition of zeal is: a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something. This word is often used to describe people in the church as well as local churches themselves. One would think that a word like zeal would always be a good thing for the Christian, but that isn’t ...
Marty Kessler | January 20, 2022
Sunrise. A glimmer of light on the horizon. I can see it; but only if I am up, in a good position and the weather is sufficiently clear. Wherever I am, it comes and is soon “gone”. That majestic sunrise, however, keeps right on moving, becoming sunrise after sunrise for the next folks in line to the west. The sunrise never stops, and it never has since God put his “greater light” in its place on t...
Titus West | January 14, 2022
One of the most common things I hear in our society about God is that he can help us achieve anything including the impossible. This claim is not unfounded as angels, Jesus, and even God himself make this claim throughout the Bible. Focusing on just one instance in Mark 9:14-29, a man asks Jesus to release his son from the bonds of an unclean spirit that had taken over the boy’s body. The man goes...
Marty Kessler | January 7, 2022
What is your purpose for Bible study? If it is a kind of vague, “well, I just want to know more Bible” sort of purpose, it probably won’t hold your interest very long. For this reason, I offer a sample list of specific, purposeful approaches to Bible study that I hope you DO find interesting: From the gospels….. 1)Using any of the gospels, record the place & number of Old Testament quotations the ...
Bob Chilton | December 31, 2021
My daughter has this sign hanging in her son’s room. I think it is appropriate for any time of the year, but especially this time of year…. PRAY: To have eyes that see the best in people; A heart that forgives the worst; A mind that forgets the bad; And a Soul that never loses faith in God. —Author unknown Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the prope...
Mike Mazzalongo | December 23, 2021
It has long been held that preachers can’t count. I suppose it’s because they usually overestimate the size of attendance or count the unborn babies as present. All humor aside, it is true that preachers do place a certain importance on “numbers” because numbers reveal certain things about a church. 1. Numbers Reveal Commitment You may have 1,000 people at church but if this represents only 50% of...
Marty Kessler | December 17, 2021
Bring Mark, for he is useful” Mark was useful. For nearly 2,000 years it has been written down in the word of God that Mark was useful. Mark was so useful that of all the disciples Paul may have asked for, the apostle instructed that Mark be brought to the Roman prison where his execution appeared to be imminent (2nd Timothy 4:11). Do you know the back-story of how in Acts 13:1-13 Mark had left, “...
Titus West | December 10, 2021
It’s that time of year when the scene all around us changes. Leaves have changed into beautiful colors and fallen off the trees. It’s chilly in the mornings turning into the perfect 72 degrees by mid-day. The days have gotten shorter leaving us with more time to look up at the stars. It’s hard for a Christian to come into the Fall season and not be in awe of the creation in which we live. I often ...