Finding Hope in Christ's Ransom

April 2, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

One of the most beautiful messages of hope from the Gospel of Mark is found in 10:45 where Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came to give his life as a ransom, for everyone who places his/her faith in Christ. How does Christ’s life as a ransom bring hope for our lives today?... Keep Reading

God Opens a New Door for Oak Hills

March 26, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The day has come. This Sunday, March 29, Oak Hills will gather for worship in a building she has purchased! For 16 years Oak Hills’ has been a “tabernacling” church in the Kansas City metro seeking to glorify God by proclaiming the good news of God’s astonishing grace. We continue that mission now in our own facility.... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

March 19, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Peacemaking is a high calling for the Christian. The promise of this Beatitude identifies peacemakers as being like God. Being called sons of God draws attention to character qualities that we share with the Father (i.e. “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…”). Peacemaking is a work of God (see the example of Christ making peace in Ephesians 2:14-17). Therefore, those who are peacemakers are like God.... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Pure in Heart

March 12, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This is my favorite Beatitude (if I’m allowed to have a favorite). It utterly humbles, it leads to our greatest hope, and it energizes the good fight.... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Merciful

March 5, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Of the Beatitudes, this one about mercy may produce the most confusion. At face value, it sounds as if mercy is only received from God when we give mercy to others. The mercy of God becomes part of a legalistic exchange. The very nature of mercy, however, contradicts this understanding. We never earn God’s mercy.... Keep Reading

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Once again, Jesus commends a kingdom value that is not in vogue with popular culture. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness sounds prudish and stuffy, like many perceptions of the Puritans. Even among professing Christians, the pursuit of righteousness is not popular. “Many today are prepared to seek other things: spiritual maturity, real happiness, the Spirit’s power, effective witnessing skills.... Keep Reading

Who Do You Fear: God or ISIS?

February 19, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

There is no denying that ISIS is on everyone’s mind, to some degree. Their violent killings and military actions have been commanding headlines for months. So many questions and concerns weigh on our minds regarding this group. How are Christians to think and respond to these world events?... Keep Reading

Blessed Are The Meek

February 12, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Meekness sounds like weakness, doesn’t it (and I’m not just talking about the rhyme)? Be honest: what comes to your mind when you hear the word “meek”? “As meek as a mouse”? The simile communicates a lot about what we understand about meekness. A “meek” person is quiet, unassuming, docile, acquiescent, deferential, etc. Leadership and meekness rarely go hand in hand in our cultural understandings. What is Jesus commending when he says, “blessed are the meek”? Should we strive to be meek or is Jesus just “giving a nod” to a certain personality temperament?... Keep Reading

Blessed are Those Who Mourn

February 5, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Everyone wants to be happy. Who doesn’t? We live at a time when people are obsessed with happiness. It becomes the defining line for fulfillment. Therefore we have a whole multi-billion dollar industry devoted to making people happy. Yet, Jesus commends those who mourn. How does this fit? Does Jesus want his followers to be mopey and downcast? What about the abundant life?... Keep Reading

Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

January 30, 2015 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

When Jesus began his public ministry after his baptism and temptation in the wilderness he preached, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). The kingdom of heaven is a spiritual kingdom, into which we enter by faith in Christ and his atoning sacrifice. Jesus brings the kingdom near for us. The Sermon on the Mount is one of the defining discourses that helps us understand life in the kingdom. The first eight verses, known as the Beatitudes (from the Latin word for "blessed"), describe the values of the kingdom, what are esteemed as most important.... Keep Reading

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