Multiplying Minas

Based on:  John 1:1-14

Multiplying minas. That’s what Jesus is talking about, isn’t it? It’s about multiplying minas and a mina is a sum of money – about $15,000. So, someone gives you a sum of money and you work with it and turn it into more money! But Jesus isn’t talking just about money, as we will see later. Just like the more familiar parable of the talents that Jesus told at another time, Jesus uses money to represent greater treasures.

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Remain in the Words of Jesus

Based on: John 8:31-36 Are you a slave? Even if you don’t think you are, you have been one in the past. Sometimes, you still act like one. You might say, “But pastor, we live in a free country. I can do what I want. I can make my own choices. No one ‘owns’ me!” Really? If we could make our own choices, don’t you think we would do what is best for us? Don’t you think we would avoid the choices that end up hurting us? Yet, what happens?…

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Love One Another

Based on:  John 13:31-35

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” That was the new command Jesus gave to his disciples as they left the upper room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane the night before Jesus was crucified. It is also Jesus’ command for you. It is not a suggestion. It is not some optional feature to being a Christian, nor is it some hopeful wish on the part of Jesus. It is a command.

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The Incredulity of St. Thomas

Based on:  John 20:19-31

On the wall of the gymnasium at MVL there is a large reproduction of a famous painting. The painting is called “The Incredulity of St. Thomas” and the original was painted in 1601 by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The painting shows Jesus on that Sunday evening when he returns to see Thomas. He has pulled back the top part of his cloak so Thomas can see the place where the spear pierced him. Jesus has grabbed Thomas’ wrist and gently pulled his hand closer so that Thomas’ finger is in the wound. Thomas and two other disciples are focused intently on the hole in Jesus’ side, but Jesus, with a slight smile, is focused on Thomas.

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Yes, He is Risen!

Based on:  John 20:1-8

Place yourself into this scenario: It is early in the morning and sadness overwhelms you. Your heart aches because a few days ago a close, personal friend died. It was all very unexpected. He has been buried now and you are mourning the loss. The fact that you will not see him again is still sinking into your mind.

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To whom will you preach?

Based on: Jonah 4:5-11

Edward Spencer was a Bible student in Illinois in 1860.  He was planning to be a minister of the Gospel, but a shipwreck in the fall of 1860 changed his life.  The steam boat, “Lady Elgin” collided with another boat on Lake Michigan near Evanston, Illinois.  Edward Spencer was not on the boat.  He was on the shore.  When he saw some of the passengers struggling for shore he tied a rope around his waist and swam out to help them.  Sixteen times in a six hour period he went out into the frigid water of Lake Michigan and rescued a total of seventeen people.  The exposure and exhaustion left Spencer in poor health the rest of his life.

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