Imagine the frustration of an eagle trying to swim or a dolphin longing to fly. Each and every creature of our God and King is designed for a unique purpose. Do you know why He created you? Have you received your calling? In the final encounter in John’s Gospel Jesus reminds and clarifies His calling for two men. In so doing, it’s as if He is saying to all, “Come and get clear on your unique purpose.”
Sin is the exchange of good things for the ultimate thing: love of God and love for people. Although it can be difficult to admit, we all have a living and relentless sinful nature that drives us to wander from God’s created purpose of delight in Him and service for others. On this 4th Sunday of Advent the good news comes from an angel to Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” In this message we celebrate how the arrival of Jesus provides salvation over the penalty, the power and eventually the presence of sin for those who believe in the One whose birth this angel announced.
People disagree. Conflict results. Anger builds. Fellowship breaks. And it’s often with the people we’re closest to. Yet God, in his infinite wisdom and power, is able to use our fractured relationships for his purposes. He intended us to live at peace with one another. Sometimes restoring peace happens quickly. Other times, it takes years. And even when it seems as though it will never happen, we know that relationships will be part of the restoration of all things.
We all drift from God at times. After 3 years with Jesus, the events leading up to Jesus’ death caused the disciples to drift away. Yet, when Jesus rose from the grave He came to His disciples in peace to restore them and empower them to rejoin Him in His mission to change the world. For all who have wandered from God, the good news for the disciples on that day is also great news for us on this day.
Jesus was a man of prayer so we can learn much from Him when it comes to conversing with God. In this message based on what many people call The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us a framework for prayer that honors God and includes several key priorities to be included our prayers.
Having invested the past 4 weeks focusing on our relationship with God, this week we begin to build upon this foundation as we spend the month of October growing in our love for one another. In this message we learn from I John 4:10-12 that grace is cyclical. When we discover God’s grace toward us, […]
The Prodigal Son just may be the best short story ever told. It’s incredibly concise, yet has both deep sorrow and joy in the midst of scandal and strained relationships. As we look at each of the story’s three characters in succession, it’s obvious that the one thing even more extravagant than the younger son’s self-indulgence, is the Father’s self-sacrificing love. Yet it’s all lost on the older son at the end […]
After announcing “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand” Jesus loved uninvited, overlooked, unwanted, unwelcome, disregarded, ignored, marginalized, unnoticed, discounted, passed over, sidelined, unappreciated, undervalued, misunderstood, misinterpreted, misjudged, devalued, ordinary, sick, demonized, sinful, shame-filled people. What a kingdom. What a King!
God loves His children whom He made to delight in Him and shine for Him. Yet sometimes God’s sons and daughters drift away and seek to evade Him. Just as God went to great lengths to bring Israel back to Himself so He has gone to great lengths to pursue us prodigals as well. Sometimes God even brings discipline into our lives in order to bring us back into communion with Him so we can join Him in serving in His harvest as we (like Israel) were made to do.
As we continue our journey through the Bible, we now meet Isaiah. Isaiah had a rare vision of God. Along with Isaiah we revel in some of the astounding realities which God revealed about Himself as well as God’s invitation to join in making His glories known among all nations throughout all generations.