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W4YW-5

Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Video of the Week

Devin’s ReCity Story. Last year, the Summit helped to launch ReCity, an organization devoted to taking disconnected youth and connect them to community. Devin’s story is one of many we’ve seen so far, and one of thousands that we pray to see in the days to come. (Also, check out this national publication, which featured ReCity and captures the vision behind the organization well.)

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Jesus Is the True and Better T-Rex

Posted by Pastor J.D. on November 30, 2016

I feel like everyone in my family has some kind of irrational fear.

Allie, my 10-year-old, was scared of the movie The Incredibles until she was 6 years old. I have no idea why. And my wife Veronica is terrified of spiders. It doesn’t matter how small the spider is, her reaction would make you think it’s huge and requires Hazmat gear and a compound bow to remove. Again, this fear is totally irrational to me. It’s just a spider.

We all know someone with an irrational fear. Maybe others think you have one of your own. But when you have the presence of Jesus in your life, all fears are irrational.

After Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and calmed the storm in Mark 4, he also rebuked the disciples for being afraid. Now, it seems to me that their fears were legitimate. They thought they were going to die. If there’s ever a time to be fearful, that would be it.

Did they really think God would let them sink with Jesus in their boat? They should have known better. If Jesus was going to make it to the other side (which he was), and if he was in their boat (which he was), that meant they would make it to the other side, too.

But because the disciples didn’t understand the power of Jesus over the storm, they feared the storm. Had they feared Jesus and understood his power, they wouldn’t have been afraid of the storm at all. Continue Reading…

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In the days when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, baptism was not completely uncommon. John was not doing a brand new thing, but at the time, Jews used baptism in only two ways:

First, baptism was part of the conversion process for Gentiles to become Jews. This process typically involved three things: you were circumcised (which I think had to reduce the potential male convert pool pretty dramatically), you memorized some key passages out of the law, and you got baptized, showing that you were washing away your previous, sinful, pagan life.

The second use of baptism was a ritual cleansing you gave yourself, as a Jew, in purification ceremonies, before you offered sacrifices and the sort.

But John’s baptism was different than either of those. It wasn’t aimed at Gentiles; it was directed at Jews. So this wasn’t about becoming a Jew or just a ritual cleansing.

It was a baptism of repentance. He was talking as if Jews—religious Jews—needed to be converted, too. That was a revolutionary concept.

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