In 1897 Johnson Oatman wrote, “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” These opening words in the hymn Count Your Blessings align with God’s heart for us. In today’s message we count some of God’s greatest blessings because living blessed is key to living faithfully with Christ throughout our city and beyond.
While living in metro Denver is a great privilege there are unique challenges for followers of Jesus here and in every urban setting. In this first message in our series through 1 & 2 Thessalonians we are encouraged to live in union with God the Father and His Son Jesus in all areas of life within this great metropolis.
We have all felt discouragement and hard situations in which we wish His Kingdom would come. What would it look like to join Jesus in seeing His Kingdom realized in those moments and spaces? What does it mean to have faith like a mustard seed? What does it mean to move mountains? We are capable of more kingdom advancement than we think we are!
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.”
Imagine living with God every day all day. What would this look like? What if you knew God was with you at work, at mealtime and everywhere in between? After His resurrection Jesus revealed Himself in a variety of ways to His followers. In this 2 part message we reflect on the day when the resurrected Jesus shows up to help His friends at work and then invites them to a shoreline meal over a charcoal fire. While Jesus gave many instructions, here’s one He doesn’t want you to overlook – “Come and have breakfast.”
Imagine living with God every day all day. What would this look like? What if you knew God was with you at work, at mealtime and everywhere in between? After His resurrection Jesus revealed Himself in a variety of ways to His followers. In this message we reflect on the day when the resurrected Jesus shows up to help His friends at work and then invites them to a shoreline meal over a charcoal fire. While Jesus gave many instructions, here’s one He doesn’t want you to overlook – “Come and have breakfast.”
After Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was absent for this momentous event. He requested to see the physical body of the risen Jesus in order to believe, but his greater question wasn’t about receiving physical proof, it was about whether or not Jesus is God. He asked the same question that we and others have asked of Jesus for the last couple millennia: who are You to me? The answer: He is our Lord and God.
On Palm Sunday Jesus unveiled that He is the gentle King we long for. One week later, on Resurrection Sunday He proved it. Today we review the record of King Jesus’ resurrection and celebrate that He is alive and with all who believe that he is Lord.
What is the announcement on Palm Sunday? From the crowd in Jerusalem, the ancient prophecies, and Jesus Himself, God’s message is clear. Jesus is King, a gentle King. Whether you are a religious beginner or a long time follower, the trumpeted announcement on Palm Sunday summons a response. Worship Him or discard Him but you cannot ignore Him.
Much of life is steady and predictable. Yet, sometimes we are nudged to do something unexpected, extravagant and even crazy. After Jesus raised Mary’s brother from the grave, she did something crazy. She took valuable perfume, worth a year’s wages, and poured it out on Jesus. This extravagant moment incited both strong criticism from Judas and great approval from Jesus. Has God prompted you to do something unexpected, extravagant and even crazy? Is there something He wants you to do that requires pure devotion? If so, listen closely, proceed tenaciously, expect opposition and anticipate God’s pleasure upon you.