Words of Grace

Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Mark

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Whenever the evil spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God’. Mark 3:11   Mark was the son of a woman named Mary (Acts 12:12) and the cousin of the evangelist Barnabas (Colossians 4:10). Apparently, Mark had a close relationship with Peter (1 Peter 5:13), and there is considerable evidence that he wrote his Gospel account under the influence of that apostle. The Gospel of Mark is remarkably different from that of Matthew. It would appear that since Mark has to explain Hebrew traditions (Mark 7:2-4), this indicates that the material was for...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Matthew

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Matthew   “The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!’” Matthew 8:27   We now come to the New Testament and I already know that I am going to be hard pressed to find just one verse or one thought in each New Testament Book to promote as a ‘favorite’, so I guess I’m going to have to pray for some inspiration in my verse choice! And that’s exactly what I did as I turned one page over after another….and I came to this beautiful story. The disciples and Jesus are traveling...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Malachi

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"I the Lord do not change." Malachi 3:6   The Book of Malachi is usually dated around the time of Ezra and Nehemiah as the Jews were returning to the homeland, so this would make Malachi a ‘post-exilic’ prophet. When you get right down to it, the Book of Malachi is all about the covenant relationship that the Lord God had with His people Israel. They were dispersed and taken into captivity because of their consistent breaking of their covenant relationship with the Lord, and now that the Lord has been merciful to them by bringing them back to their home, they...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Zechariah

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“Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’ Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.’ Then I said, ‘Put a clean turban on his head.’” Zechariah 3:3-5a   This is like a courtroom scene similar to that in Job with the Adversary standing before the Lord accusing Joshua, who is the priest that represents all of God’s chosen ones. In the previous verse Zechariah mentions that Joshua is “a burning stick snatched from...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Haggai

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“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways’”.  Haggai 1:5   Haggai is referred to as a ‘post-exilic’ prophet, meaning that he wrote to the Israelites (now called ‘Jews’ for the first time) as they have returned to their homeland to rebuild their temple and the walls around Jerusalem.   The southern kingdom of Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians in 586 BC. In 538 BC the Persians conquered Babylon, which meant the Israelites were now under the jurisdiction of Persia and their King Cyrus.   Shortly afterward, for political reasons that I won’t go into at this time, which includes...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Zephaniah

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"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17   So often people – either those who don’t know the Lord, or those who do, but have a legalistic view of the Lord God as ONLY a Judge – find it difficult to see the Lord God as a loving and compassionate Father. Hey, let’s not be ignorant to the truth that the Father is also, Holy, Righteous, and Just. As we read in Habakkuk 1:13...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Habakkuk

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"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights."   Habakkuk 3:17-19   Oh, what a great little Book Habakkuk is – besides having the coolest names, Habakkuk is a wonderful prophet Book...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Nahum

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"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." Nahum 1:7   Nahum is an interesting and often ignored Old Testament Minor Prophet (Minor, as opposed to Major – Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah – are not ‘minor’ in importance, but simply because they are generally shorter), and his short Book is usually not read in context with the actual story that it describes. In other words, most people – most Christians – have no idea what Nahum is basically about.   Here it is in a nutshell: Approximately 150 years before the events...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Micah

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"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."   Micah 6:8   This verse has commonly been called “The Micah Mandate”. Anytime the Bible tells us that the Lord ‘delights’ in something, or that He ‘requires’ of us, then that’s a pretty good sign that we ought to pay more careful attention to it. Of course, all of God’s Word is authoritative, but you know what I mean.   So first, what’s the setting of Micah and this verse? Micah was a...

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Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Jonah

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“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” Jonah 2:8-9   I could spend some good space here talking all about the story of Jonah, and by good space I mean a lot of pages, especially considering that some years ago I preached ten sermons on four short chapters. But I’ll make this brief and get right to the verses at hand.   As Jonah is repenting for disobeying the Lord who had told him to...

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