Here's something new for the blog. Maybe it will happen once, maybe it will happen weekly. What follows is yesterday's sermon in 10 statements... 1. Jesus provided three primary commands for those who wished to follow him. They were: 2. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength. "All" is the key word. 3. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Here is the foundational principle for what would someday become the golden rule. 4. Love one another as I have loved you. Jesus' love for his followers was a sacrificial love. He said the greatest love of all is a man who lays down his life for his friends. Then He laid down his life for His friends. 5. Prioritizing these commands in our life requires us to DEMONSTRATE our love through ACTION. 6. Our love for God is demonstrated when we obey ALL his commands. If we choose to ignore certain of His expectations, we are demonstrating self-love rather than love for God. 7. Our love for our neigh
My heart is full tonight. And not just because I’m hanging out on the couch with my honey watching a BeeGees tribute band (although that would usually be enough). Two years ago, Marianne and I moved as far back in the auditorium as we could. We simply wanted to watch our daughter perform in the band and remain as anonymous as possible. We didn’t really know anyone around us, and that was okay. For several years, we had struggled to move our children out of a dysfunctional school that was not good for them. Now they had started at a new school and were transitioning well, but we were yet a bit numb. We had lost friends; for integrity’s sake, I had left my job; we were making ends meet but had no idea what was around the corner. That night, we just wanted to get in, hear the music and get out. Tonight was so different. Tonight we sat with close friends and laughed with the people around us, the parents of our children’s classmates. We watched our daughter do something she loves
Everybody deals with disappointment in life. Some people face minor disappointments and some people face major disappointments. Some people deal with unspeakable disappointment. But for the Christian, disappointment should never lead to despair. We all have different disappointments in our past, and we all share one common event in the past. That event is the cross. Christ's work in the past brings peace to our present and gives us hope for the future!
Try reading this list every morning to inspire you toward better living. Then examine yourself each night to evaluate your growth. Be good Incentivize desired behavior Delay spending Seek a third solution Compliment effort and virtue Invest your energy in that which you can control Plan ahead Confront others lovingly & only for their benefit Do your best Give credit; claim blame
Life-Change made simple requires two steps. 1) Get rid of the bad stuff in your life. 2) Replace it with good stuff. This seems ridiculously simple, but often the simplest things in life are the hardest to believe. However, this formula doesn’t originate with me, it was Paul’s idea about 2000 years ago. Read and contemplate Colossians 3:12-17. The part of Colossians 3 which you read was part two of our formula above. These were the things you are to bring into your life to facilitate spiritual Life-Change. Consider this. Paul says (v15) to let the peace of God reign in our hearts. Can you do that? If you can relax and be at peace, knowing that God is in control, you’ll have a much easier time loving those around you. Those who have peace can love others because they aren’t worried about taking care of themselves. As a result, they are able to “above all, put on love”. Paul’s point is that if you are a loving person; your heart will be compassionate, you will be
Read and Contemplate 1 Peter 2:11-12. In our efforts to be "in the world", we face a constant temptation to become indistinguishable from the world. One must be careful that in pursuit of being relevance, the true distinctness of faith is not lost. Because an externally-focused life requires loving the people in the world (particularly those who are "hard to love") it can be easy to get so caught up in social causes that the gospel is lost. It is right, appropriate, and incumbent on the church to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, and comfort the oppressed. However, it would be better for those people to enter the kingdom hungry, naked, and captive than for them to be full, clothed, and free but miss the kingdom. The other side of this coin is that Christians can sometimes, in an effort to bring change to the world, become so politically entrenched that the lines between God's kingdom and the political parties become impossible t