The Good News of Jesus

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This weekend, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at Eastbrook Church, we will begin a two-week message series exploring “The Good News of Jesus.” Drawing upon the post-resurrection accounts within the Gospel of John, we want to bring into sharper focus the ways in which Jesus brings good news to the world.

April 20/21 [Easter]: “The Good News of the Resurrected One” – John 20:1-10, 30-31
The resurrection of Jesus from death brings good news into our lives. As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, we will also explore three themes of how this is good news: light overwhelming darkness, freedom overcoming prisons, and life overpowering death.

April 27/28: “The Good News of New Beginnings” – John 20:11-21:25
After Jesus’ resurrection, John offer a series of encounters that Jesus has with real people. Each of these encounters sheds light on the way in which Jesus’ resurrection is good news: God’s presence in loss (Mary), God’s peace in fear (disciples in the upper room), God’s guidance in doubt (Thomas), and God’s restoration in failure (Peter).

Maundy Thursday 2019

Shortly before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus gathered with His closest disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem to share the Passover meal together. During that time, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and taught them deep truths of God’s kingdom. 

Join us for a Maundy Thursday service of worship with foot washing and communion at Eastbrook Church on Thursday, April 18, at 7 PM in Fellowship Hall.  Here is a video that our staff put together on the meaning of Maundy Thursday.

 

Thursdays with Murray [Humility, week 4]

Andrew Murray 2As I continue interacting with Andrew Murray’s writings over the next number of weeks, I am currently spending time first with his short book Humility, which a friend shared with my recently.

After looking at how humility is the secret of our salvation and the way in which Jesus models humility in his life, Murray focuses on Jesus’ explicit teaching on humility in the fourth chapter of the book.

Murray comments briefly on a series of verses on meekness and humility from Jesus before drawing summary comments later. I found it helpful simply to read those verses one after another:

  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven….Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:3, 5)
  • “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
  • “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.'” (Luke 9:46-48)
  • “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'” (Matthew 20:25-28)
  • “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)
  • “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
  • “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)
  • “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
  • “But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” (Luke 22:26)

Let me ask you a question: which of these verses stands out to you most and why? Read More »

Abide (discussion questions)

Chosen Words Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Abide,” on John 15:1-17 from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This continues the series, “Chosen Words,” where we will journey through John 13-17 over the next number of weeks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Spring is almost here! What plants do you most look forward to seeing as Spring returns? Why?
  2. This week we continue our series, “Chosen Words,” by looking at Jesus’ words about abiding or remaining in God from John 15:1-17. Before you read this passage of Scripture aloud, take a moment to ask God to speak to you as you read His word.
  3. Jesus picks up the extended agricultural metaphor of the vine and branches bearing fruit in this passage. This image is used throughout Scripture, often to describe the people of God, as seen in Psalm 80:8-19 and Isaiah 5:1-5. Jesus takes the image a slightly different direction here. What does he say the vine, branches, and gardener represent?
  4. One clear theme of this passage is the concept of bearing fruit. Take a moment to notice how often the word ‘fruit’ appears in this passage. What do you think Jesus mean by ‘bearing fruit’ in this passage?
  5. Would you describe yourself as someone who bears fruit for God? Why or why not?
  6. In verse 4, Jesus says: “neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” If bearing fruit is directly tied to ‘remaining’ – or ‘abiding’ or ‘staying put’ – in Jesus, what does Jesus specifically mean by remaining in Him from this passage?
  7. Jesus emphasizes love when He says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (vs 9). What do you think this means? What sort of love is Jesus talking about?
  8. How have you cultivated the life of remaining or abiding in Christ? Are there specific spiritual practices that help you with this?
  9. Jesus offers some very specific requests near the end of this passage: ‘love each other as I have loved you’ (vs 12), ‘you are my friends if you do what I command’ (vs 13), ‘so that you might go and bear fruit’ (v 16). How do you think this call to action connects with the call to remain in love?
  10. What is one specific thing that God is speaking to you through this study? How will that shape your life in the coming week? If you are with a small group, discuss that with one another and pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write it down and share it with someone.

[Next week we continue our series, “Chosen Words,” by exploring Jesus’ words about overcoming difficulty in John 15:18-25 and 16:16-33. Read that portion of Scripture ahead of time.]