Posts

year with jesus

Jesus’ Gifts

“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.”

Luke [24:50]-51

On the fortieth day of Pentecost and after the resurrection, Jesus had gathered the believers. He blessed them and rose back to heaven, leaving behind an earthly legacy of great gifts for humankind. Through his birth, earthly mission and the resurrection he gave us many things. He absorbed our sins and redeemed the believers of humankind. He revealed God’s values to all that would hear and listen. Values centered on, “Loving God and our neighbor.” He taught that we follow the laws of God through our heart. He cured many and showed the importance of our faith in our own healing. His very presence was proof of a very present and loving God. A God that offers a life of hope through the risen Christ.

Points of Reflection

  • List three gifts that Jesus has given you.
  • How do you feel Jesus’ presence in your life?
  • What legacy and gifts would you like to give to humankind?

Listen to the full podcast

year with jesus

The Holy Spirit

“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

Romans 5:5

The Holy Spirit lives within our hearts. It both shows us God’s love and helps us with our lives. The Holy Spirit’s very essence is part of our being, an inheritance from God. Through our hopes and dreams, the Spirit is both part of and an advocator for their fulfillment. Understanding the Holy Spirit is a vital part of understanding Pentecost. On the fiftieth day after the resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended for all. The Spirit is our direct line to God, the single element that resides within us that is also part of God. In our lives, when our heart talks to us, we are hearing God. The Spirit within our heart knows the right and just course in our lives. Our task is to nurture and rely on this gift from God.

Points of Reflection

  • How do you feel the Holy Spirit within yourself?
  • How often do you call upon the Holy Spirit to help you with life?
  • When you pray or read the Bible, do you call upon the Holy Spirit for guidance?

Listen to the full podcast

year with jesus

Jesus Asks Us to Follow Him

“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

Matthew [4:18]-20

When Jesus calls us to follow him, it means a giving up of those illusionary things that we believe gives us a purposeful life. However, in following Jesus we begin to create a purposeful life that is not illusionary. We give up things that bind us and create a false want. We give up a chasing of material things that only temporarily soothe us. We acquire a different perspective on what is important. When we follow Jesus the ways of the world dim, replaced by the truer life of being a disciple. Fear of scarcity is replaced with hope, love, and faith.

Points of Reflection

  • What limits us from following Jesus completely?
  • What changes could we make in our lives that free us to follow?
  • What is our most important possession?

Listen to the full podcast

year with jesus

“Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.”

Luke [24:31]

After the resurrection, Jesus walked to Emmaus with two disciples. Along the way, neither recognized Jesus but listened to his story. When they arrived in Emmaus, they sat down for a meal, and the risen Jesus prayed. Upon hearing the prayer, the two immediately recognized that Jesus had been with them. Jesus vanishes from their sight, but they are left as believers in the power of Jesus and the resurrection. Our lives are the same, as we journey on our way to our life’s Emmaus, we will also be visited by Jesus. Who will tell us his story? Upon our recognition, he will vanish from our earthly senses and reside in our hearts. No longer will we rely on believing in what we see, but believing in the power of the unseen.

Points of Reflection

  • Why is it hard for us to recognize Jesus?
  • What does “Faith in the unseen” mean to you?
  • Name instances in your life where Jesus was with you, but you recognized his presence after the fact.

Listen to the full podcast

year with jesus

“Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”

1 Corinthians 13:8

The very essence of all that lies in the Gospel and Jesus’ mission on earth was to love. It is the one trait and gift from God to which we all can excel. A message that Jesus not only stated but walked. He cured the sick, uplifted the poor in spirit, and gave us a new life. Simply stated, all Jesus asks of us is to “Love our God, Love our neighbor.” We may be gifted orators, have great knowledge and ability to see worldly things, but all this will is momentary and all that will be left is our capacity to love.  Money, power, and fame are fleeting, but love is everlasting. During our barest moments, it is love that reconciles our existence.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

 

Points of Reflection

  • During this week, how did you show love to your neighbor?
  • Why is love the most important attribute of our Christian faith?
  • List three ways this week you showed love to God and your neighbor?

Listen to the full podcast