As the Good News spreads, so does the opposition. Jesus’ family thinks he has gone out of his mind. Opposition of the scribes and Pharisees increases to the point of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, to conclude that Jesus’ miracles are the work of the devil. Jesus teaches that such a sin cannot be forgiven.
Do not be afraid of this. If you are reading God’s Word and want to grow in Christ, you are far from this devastating, pernicious, premeditated sin. However, we do live in a world that quietly mocks and disdains the gifts of the Lord. If there is not outright blasphemy, there is that indifference and lukewarmness that John said is worse than being cold to the Lord (Revelation 3:16).
Put on the mind of Christ and do not be afraid of those who think you are out of yours!
The mid-range of the date of Easter (April 10 to 16) results in all four seasons being thirteen weeks long. When an early Easter shortens Epiphany by one or two weeks (very rarely three), then Pentecost is lengthened by the corresponding number of weeks. This is the case for this year; the 8th week in Epiphany “leaps ahead” to the beginning of the season of Pentecost–summer in the northern hemisphere.
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Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we generally read from the Gospel of Mark.
For the next several weeks, the Firestarters will be from the original version of this program. For these Firestarters I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.