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At the end of the Third Punic War...

Illustration
At the end of the Third Punic War, with Carthage defeated, Rome razed the city, such that no stone was said to be left on top of another and the earth salted. About a century later Rome rebuilt the city as its own. To read the destruction in Revelation, one might think of the creation of a new heaven and a new earth in these terms, a wiping clean and starting fresh. Yet this is not the intent of the New Jerusalem. While it comes through trial and tribulation, the new earth is very much the same earth -- only renewed, made to be the earth of creation in a new and fuller way.
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John Jamison
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me... (v. 34)

The Immediate Word

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For February 28, 2021:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

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Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
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Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

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John E. Sumwalt
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Contents
“Breaking Jesus’ Heart” by John Sumwalt
“Wade In the Water” by Frank Ramirez


Breaking Jesus’ Heart
by John Sumwalt
Psalm 22:23-31

For he did not despise or abhor
    the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
    but heard when I cried to him.
(Psalm 22:24)

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.

The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.

"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"

SermonStudio

Russell F. Anderson
Theme For The Day: The road to God's kingdom is the way of obedience, suffering and death, the way of the cross. Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow him.


BRIEF COMMENTARY ON THE LESSONS

Lesson 1: Genesis 17:1--7, 15--16 (C)
John W. Clarke
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.

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