As Jesus called His followers to do tangible things during His time on earth, He continues to summons His disciples to action now. Sometimes Jesus’ plans for us are so difficult that others may urge us to head in a different direction. Do you ever second guess your direction? Do you ever stay awake at night worrying what others will think about your plans? In Acts 21:1-16 we see the courage of Paul who received his marching orders from one Source and remained faithful to his orders in spite of opposing forces. We also discover the high motivation that can make this loyalty possible for all disciples – for the name of the Lord Jesus.
There’s nothing like a near-death experience to give one clarity about what’s most important. It’s in this context that Paul got thinking about succession: leaving a legacy, establishing a lasting influence, and investing in the next generation. In this text we see the shift in Paul from being primarily a sower, to becoming both a sower […]
Often the question is posed – “Does God still speak like He did in the Bible?” We often wonder “How does God speak?” and “Is that just me or is that God?” This message takes a look at the life of Samuel and how God greatly used him but he too had to learn God’s voice before he could listen to God’s voice and then live by God’s voice. What do you yearn to hear – God’s voice or the other voices around you?
Our cultural default and the tradition of America is to be completely in control and to live out our dreams. The culture in Jesus’ day was to live “in-control” in a religious sense – full of prim-and-proper religiosity. When Jesus is asked a question about fasting, He replies with a veiled correction followed by 2 mini-parables that almost seem out of place, but after examination, highlight how humanity’s need for control and the familiar has to be given up if one is to have real, deep, intimate relationship with God. Jesus Himself perfectly demonstrated this, maybe no more tangibly and beautifully than in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Life is difficult and the closing move in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount reminds us of this sober reality. In this teaching, known as The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, we discover that while Jesus does not remove the challenges from His students, He does present a way to prevail through them. This way is a lifelong mentoring relationship with our living instructor that includes listening to Him and then doing what He says.
Do you ever wonder how some people are able to gladly sacrifice so much to honor God and love others? If we could discover their fuel for joyful obedience maybe we could do the same. In these twin parables Jesus reveals that there is a treasure available to all of us that is so wonderful […]
Amos is one of the lesser known messengers of God, tucked away in the Old Testament. As God spoke to Amos, Amos surrendered his career and his reputation in order to reach God’s people with God’s message. This message reflects on the life of Amos and provides a challenge for the people of God to listen for God’s voice in the midst of life and then obey in order to “love neighbor.” One of the best and most practical ways to begin loving our neighbors is to listen to God’s voice – ask Him, “who, where, and how?”
Everyone has pressures & priorities. God made us to live according to His priorities not people’s pressures. This last Sunday of the year is a great time to remember that our marching orders are clear. We are commanded to love God, love our neighbors and love one another.
Most of us feel a little uncomfortable when we hear the word “obedience”: it conjures up feelings and/or memories of punishment and pain, or a long list of “shoulds.” Samuel and Saul are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to obeying God. Their juxtaposition provides an avenue into seeing what God is really after when He asks His people to listen to Him, wait for Him, and walk humbly with Him.
Though it can be tempting to skirt around the laws of our land, God does not want Christians to overlook the impact it has when we honor our government’s leaders and laws. When Christians submit to governing authorities they both honor God and are used to help some who do not yet believe stop their criticisms of Christ and in some cases, eventually come to know and glorify God.