Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Peace?



What is peace?

This may sound like a really dumb question, but what is peace? Really, what would peace look like. As believers, is our sense of peace the same as the world’s view of peace? Is our view of peace consistent with Jesus' view of peace? What is Jesus' view of peace?

Matthew 5:38-42 brings us a glimpse of peace through Jesus’ eyes. You get the idea that living at peace with someone isn’t making them live life your way. Perhaps it is more our living life their way. Jesus says, “Do not resist an evil man.” That’s almost foreign to our way of thinking, yet that’s how live at peace with others.

In verse 44, Jesus tells us to love our enemies. Too often, we try to change our enemies into someone we can love, but that step isn’t in Jesus’ words. Just love them as they are. That’s how we live at peace with others.

Perhaps that’s can only be achieved by truly understanding that this place is not our home, and that heaven is our ultimate home. Truly living at peace will get there.

Monday, May 19, 2008

More and more...


“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” (1 Thess 4:1)

Last Thursday I talked about this passage a little bit. And I ended with the thought that Paul asked them to do this more and more.

That more and more is significant. It refers to growth – spiritual growth, growing in our faith. We learn more and more, and live by our faith more and more. There is no status quo. We learn and grow, or we don’t and fall away. Paul wants the Thessalonians, and you, to grow more and more.

Are you involved in things that help you grow more and more? Only when we are growing spiritually are we living a life that pleases God.

May 18 - Thoughts on the Trinity

This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday on the Church Calendar, so our message dealt with some thoughts on the trinity.

If you would like to read the message, click below (on the title):

May 18 - Thoughts on the Trinity

Thanks

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Learning to live...

“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God,
as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus
to do this more and more.”
- 1 Thess 4:1

I came upon this passage the other day in my reading. What struck me was the notion that Paul and his fellow workers had to instruct the Thessalonians how to live in order to please God. The idea that, on our own, we don’t know how to live in order to please God – we must be taught.

How do you learn this? How do you learn to live a life that pleases God? How are you learning this now? Perhaps there are a few guidelines I could pass along that could help you learn to live a life that pleases God.

First, be a part of the Body of Christ. The church, at least the people in the church, are the Body of Christ. By associating with them, worshiping with them, serving with them, spending time with them, you become a part of the Body of Christ, too. As you do this, you will learn from them how to live a life that pleases God. I know a number of people that say they believe in God but are not a part of the Body of Christ. I don’t think you can please God if you are not a part of His Body.

Second, study God’s Word. You can read it and study it at home, but I encourage you to participate in a group Bible Study. We offer one at Almond Union on Tuesday Mornings. By discussing the Bible in a group, things are brought out that you haven’t thought of before, and all of these help you to understand what the Bible really means for you – what God is telling you through the Bible.

It’s easy for us to fall back to a life that doesn’t please God. We must always be learning what pleases Him, and doing it more and more. More on this thought tomorrow...

May 11 - Pentecost Sunday Message

Wow - it's Thursday already! Where did the time go.

I wanted to give you a link to last Sunday's message, and here is time to work on this Sunday's message. Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, and the message is about the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. We'll see one of the times Jesus promised to give the Spirit, and the change that Spirit performed in the lives of the disciples.

To read the message, click on the title below:

May 11 - Streams of Living Water

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The awesomeness of God


In my devotion this morning, I read about Julian of Norwich. Julian lived in the mid 1300’s, and when she was in her thirties, became seriously ill, to the point that those around her thought she would die. When she began to recover, she had a series of visions, which she later wrote in a book called Revelations of Divine Love. One of these revelations really struck me, and I quoting here from my devotion, written by James Kiefer:

She describes seeing God holding a tiny thing in his hand, like a small brown
nut, which seemed so fragile and insignificant that she wondered why it did not
crumble before her eyes. She understood that the thing was the entire created
universe, which is as nothing compared to its Creator, and she was told, "God
made it, God loves it, God keeps it."

I think we worry and take ourselves too seriously because we fail to realize how big our God really is. This vision from Julian may help us to see how awesome and how amazing He really is. The entire universe is like a very small and very fragile thing in His great hands.

He created us, He loves us, and He keeps us (provides for us, takes care of us, is truly a father to us). We are so tiny in His hands, yet He cares for us.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May 4 - Renewal in our Ministry

Sunday's message was about renewal in our churches. To read the full text, please click the link below.

May 4, 2008 - Renewal in our Ministry

Thank you.

Favorite Chapter...

Yesterday I talked about being asked what my favorite verse was.  I answered with Galatians 2:20, which we talked about yesterday.  But I al...