flesh (3)



We gathered again in the upper room where we had celebrated the Passover on that last night before our Lord was crucified. This had been a very exciting year. It began with the greatest tragedy we had ever experienced. That led to the most thrilling event in history. Jesus was raised from the dead! Everything in us and everything in the world was changed by those events. The church in Jerusalem continues to multiply despite severe opposition. However, most of us are being sent by the Spirit to other places. Some have gone beyond the borders of Israel. Jesus told us many times what he concluded as He ascended into the heavens. By the Spirit we are to take the good news to all the earth. 

Jesus gave us what we are calling His supper at the Passover. He told us to remember Him with the Supper as we had kept the Passover. We have begun to celebrate it in our love feasts. But this is the first Passover after the cross. And we thought it was appropriate to celebrate it in the upper room where Jesus first gave us this wonderful reminder. 

I began by saying, “We have gathered here tonight to remember that last supper with our Lord. We welcome you ladies and family members, the mother, sisters and brothers of our Lord, and of course, Matthias who has taken the place of Judas.” Peter then set the bread and the cup of wine before us. 

He began by holding up the bread and saying, “Jesus said, ‘This is my body given for you.’”

Then I said, “I think all of you remember when Jesus fed the multitude the first time on the far side of the sea. Some men who thought food for our stomachs was what Jesus came to give said to Him, ‘Moses gave us bread from heaven as a sign in the wilderness.’ Jesus answered, ‘Moses did not give you the bread from Heaven. My Father gives you the true heavenly bread. The bread of life is the one the Father has sent to give life to the world. Truly, truly, I tell you, I am the bread of life given for the life of the world. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died. Whoever eats this bread will never die. Whoever believes in me has eternal life. And I will raise him up on the last day.’ 

‘The bread  that I give for the life of the world is my flesh. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.’ When we take this bread and drink this cup we remind ourselves that we are nourished to eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus. We feed on His flesh and drink His blood. He said, ‘My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. The one who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me. And I abide in that person. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.’”

Then Peter took the cup saying, “Jesus said, ‘This is my blood given for you.’” He passed the cup among us and we showed our faith in Him as we took the supper together. Finally Peter said, “Jesus said, ‘For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’”


This story is drawn from words spoken in John 6:35-59.











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Most of us have grown cynical about New Year's resolutions. But if we are pressed we would admit that they could be good things. Have you ever kept one? If you have, you surely think that was a good thing. But why are they so difficult to keep? I believe the fundamental problem is our approach to resolutions. We make them, and try to keep them in the flesh.

Goals are great things for Christian Believers. But they need to spring from our relationship with Christ. I am intrigued by the title, Habits of The Heart, although I have not read the book. I recently looked it up on Amazon.com. I actually found two items, Habits of The Heart, individualism and commitment in American life, and Habits of The Heart, 365 daily exercises for living like Jesus. The latter has to be better.

But as most of us can attest, even godly goals can be approached in the flesh. It is better to begin with promises. Ask God to direct you to promises He wants you to focus on as you begin the year. You will have to spend serious time reading your Bible to do this right. Then, memorise the Scripture or Scriptures God is directing you to.

Finally, the most important factor in keeping a New Year's commitment is prayer. Don't just say, “I will do this,” or “I will do this if it kills me.” Pray, “Lord, I need You to produce this in my life.” The reminder on your mirror might read, “Father, glorify Your name as You do this in me.”





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Please pray for a woman who is interested in meeting with a Christian worker to learn more about Jesus following a conversation over the Eid holidays about the meaning of sacrifice and Jesus. Please pray that His Spirit will open her eyes to the One True Sacrifice.  Pray, too, for her husband and children. Her husband travels frequently to the West, even though Leila always stays at home. Pray that he will meet other believers as he travels who can share with him as well.
An ADHD student has heard some aspects of the gospel, but has trouble staying focused on a topic. Pray for Christian workers to be able to share the Gospel in effective and easily accessible ways. 
A couple has been sharing the Gospel with an Arab expatriate couple. The husband has come to accept Jesus and is praying that his wife comes to know Christ as well. Please pray for continued witness of the couple and the husband. 
A local Muslim girl was married at age 11. After some years, her husband moved the family to a new neighborhood where she met a another Muslim lady who became her best friend. Since she moved, the young lady has been searching spiritually and have been wanting to meet a Christian but did not know how she would be able to meet one in her semi-rural town. She found out that her best friend in her neighborhood had become friends with a Christian and asked her friend for an introduction. The Christian woman had no knowledge of her intent, but felt led to bring Christian resources and materials with her. The young lady became a believer after talking with the Christian woman and requested more Bibles, audio Bibles, and Arabic worship music to supply to others who are seeking. Please pray for this young lady as she grows in her faith and becomes light to others in her community.  
A Muslim man who decided to trust in Jesus as the Messiah has been struggling both in the flesh and the spirit. Please pray for God to lead him and a others like him to greater freedom and spiritual maturity. May He provide each one with the knowledge and understanding they need so that His people do not "perish for lack of knowledge".
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