The subject of calling can be a confusing one. In common vernacular we talk about “finding our calling” and it mostly has to do with following our dreams. Many of us can feel a sense of angst if we haven’t “found” it. But if there’s a calling, then there is a caller. And if there […]
Just as a wildlife biologist exercises appropriate authority in the wilderness for the flourishing of an ecosystem and the enjoyment of it by people, the Apostle Paul exercises spirit-led authority in the epicenter of the “gentile wilderness” for people to flourish with the living water of Christ Jesus like never before. Paul exhibits clear vision, persistence, and responsiveness in developing a team that’s focused, firmly grounded, equipped, and ready to begin a dramatic movement. It’s empowered by the Holy Spirit Himself. When servants of King Jesus capture the opportunities presented to them by the Spirit of the Living God, they exercise authority for a flourishing movement, even (especially!) in the midst of the wilderness. What wilderness are you called into, today?
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 […]
Has life been more difficult than you expected? If so, December may be a tough month as you see others celebrating while you struggle. On this second Sunday of Advent we recall a series of disappointments in Joseph’s life and we discover how these difficulties were used by God in a way that Joseph could have never imagined. His setbacks paved the way for the coming of Christ for the good of the whole world. In his first advent (“coming”), Jesus also modeled bowing in the midst of unexplainable difficulty and He taught His disciples to do the same. Therefore, we bow to our Sovereign God to plead our case, worship in our pain, and trust with full confidence that our difficulties in this damaged world will contribute (most likely in ways that only God currently knows) to God’s glory, our future joy and the restoration of all things.
Slavery, hunger, sex trafficking, addictions, broken relationships… Have you noticed how many things on our globe are not as they should be? When God decides it is time to renovate a portion of earth so it looks more like heaven He typically does so through His children. Nehemiah wept, prayed and worked with God and others to overturn the “great trouble and shame” in Jerusalem. He embraced God’s assignment for his generation. Will you listen and trust God to do the same for yours?
As thousands of runners passed by mile 21 ½ for the Denver marathon this morning, many people encouraged them to keep going all the way to the finish. In our service we received 3 encouragements from God’s Word to “run the race with endurance that is set before you.” Endurance is the ability to continue in the midst of pain until the task is finished. If you ever consider giving up on Christ because it is too hard, first reflect on these encouragements and the huge reward at the finish line for all who run with endurance!
While Christians suffer in different ways, the recipients of this letter were suffering because of their faith in Jesus. In this message we discover that suffering for Christ is an essential part of God’s plan for His people in this world. Yet suffering is not the end. Just like the birth of a baby, a spiritual conversion and every good Hollywood movie, so we follow the pattern of Jesus; to suffer, die and rise!