Matthew Chapter 3

"I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a
kingdom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this
drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life
within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you
from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of
your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God;
everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.
" Matthew 3:11-12 (TM)

What is God doing in your life?

It’s a simple question, but when I ask people this question the answer can be very revealing. When you have a true relationship with God, it’s a constant and active presence. A relationship with Christ and the resulting presence of the Holy Spirit inside of you begins a never-ending process of change, growth and transformation – ‘changing you from the inside out‘.

The people who came to John the Baptist were seekers. They knew they needed something, but they couldn’t put a finger on it. "Let’s go hear John. Let’s get baptized. Maybe that’s it. Maybe that will be what I’m looking for." What you’re really looking for is for is Jesus. The One who causes God’s kingdom to be ‘ignited within you – a flame within you‘. That’s when God begins to really do something in your life.

What’s God doing in your life?

Chapter-a-Day Matthew 2

They told him, "Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
   It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land,
      no longer bringing up the rear.
   From you will come the leader
      who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel."
Matthew 2:5-6 (TM)

Three times in the second chapter of Matthew the author quotes Old Testament prophecy about Jesus. Underlying the familiar story of Jesus’ birth is an important lesson that Matthew does not want us to miss: Jesus was the fulfillment of what the prophets had been proclaiming for centuries. It is more than mere coincidence. It is a summons to weigh the evidence. Jesus is who He claimed to be.

Madison’s Home!

After weeks in the rain forest of Costa Rica and a long three day adventure of canceled flights and lost baggage, Madison returned home today. She was safe, healthy and happy to be home. The trip back to Pella from the airport was filled with Madison’s stories. She spoke of three hour hikes through the muddy rain forest to present VBS programs in remote villages, of chigger bites and waking to cows licking her tent. I’ll try to post some of her pics in the coming days. Thank you to all who’ve been praying for her!