"Don’t let post traumatic resentments derail you from walking in freedom. Be mindful that the freedom God gives goes beyond your circumstances and possessing. It is a grateful celebration causing a new innate need to embrace your Rescuer’s presence in all you walk and live.
It is a blessed thing for a man to call himself an unworthy servant. It is an awful thing for the Master to call him an unworthy servant. So before we start asking for more faith, let us first get the bitter, poisonous root of self-trust out of us, and confess, ‘We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.’
The Rich Man and Lazarus is an account from Jesus that asks, rich or poor, who are you devoted too? Do you care for those in need or has your heart been ruined where only selfishness and neglect rule? The answers will have eternal consequences upon your soul.
Jesus had the whole world before him to use as examples to stimulate the spiritual zeal of his own disciples. Who did he choose? A dishonest, mischievous snake of a manager. Yet Christ says, ‘Do life like him!’ How can this be? You have to hear this.
What does philadelphia, hospitality, the incarcerated, sex, love of money, church leaders, and praises all have in common? They’re a punch list of hot topics the writer of Hebrews had to address before signing off. Pastor Joe pulls no punches with this list either as he tells his own modern version of each one.
This synagogue official has no eye for the beauty of Christ’s compassion, no heart to rejoice in the disabled woman’s deliverance, no ear for the music of her praise. The leader of the synagogue (and those like him today) were people who loved “systems” more than people. They were more concerned with laws than with lives. “But man was not made for the Sabbath.”
Seeking the kingdom of God was once burdensome for Pastor Joe. Now at 52, seeking is accompanied with joyous, brave confidence. "Why should I fear desires and efforts that run parallel with my ‘Father’s good pleasure’? If He gives His ‘little flock’ the Kingdom, will He withhold any gifts that I need? If I can trust Him to give me the Kingdom, I can surely trust Him for bread and clothes." And Pastor Joe loves bread…and cheese. Listen in.
From the cradle we are fed lies about love, creating gaps in human relationships and worse, in God-relationships. We are reminded over and over again that God is love but our lives get entangled with lies which are nurtured in this fallen world, creating anxiety, strife, and a lost of faith. But God’s desire is that we may know Him and His true unconditional love and grow in the grace of that understanding while living gratefully in this world. Pastor Linda Delerme explains.
We are often attracted to and distracted by different things, even during interactions with each other. The Lord doesn’t want His followers to miss out on present moments with Him. Be mindful that although we break valuables during anxious multitasking, Jesus is trustworthy to attend to keep ‘valuable you’ restored in Himself.
When the enemy is loved in a story, you know you’re looking at good writing. "Silence Of The Lambs” accomplished this brilliantly and was awarded for it with Best Picture. The Good Samaritan is the enemy in the Lukan passage. But he becomes the model of Christian love more than the very Christians in the narrative. It’s a shocking story and Pastor Joe makes sure the sermon is equally as shocking. This is a dramatic retelling of the parable, placed in the current tensions of race, religion, and nationality.
Whatever man’s belief or unbelief may be, it does not affect the fact that the kingdom of God has come near in Christ Jesus. And when they listen to you, they listen to Him. Sounds too good to be true? Listen in.
Men and women have vowed, and did not know what they were vowing, pledging themselves, in a moment of excitement. But no resolution to follow Christ can be too enthusiastic. Neither can there be any sluggishness towards his invitation and supreme authority. Jesus was houseless in the world he created, and his true followers must share his wandering life.
“We wish you to leave Jesus because we have this uneasy suspicion that if you come in, a good deal will have to go.” This was the prayer of a Gentile community that just witnessed an amazing miracle in its own town demoniac. It’s the same prayer of many our own loved ones. And while Jesus Christ can command unclean spirits, he will only plead with the hearts of men. Why? Listen in.
This week the Holy Spirit used Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac, Micah, King David, and the Apostle Paul to bring us further along the painful process of deconstruction. We’re moving towards the joyful and liberating process of reconstruction, towards a more authentic Christlikeness.
You cannot shake down God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Not even on Pentecost Sunday. You can do what Jesus asked the disciples to do: Wait for it. Waiting as a lifestyle, not a checkbox event; Waiting as a state of constant expectancy, not as a one night vigil. It’s not so you and I can sing, “I Got it!” It’s so you and I can become an illuminated instrument, endued with power, to be His witnesses.
Don’t get so blessed by this passage. It was never written for that. It was written for training in righteousness, reproof, correction, and teaching about "fortune-telling, bad business, unjust incarceration and criminalization, attempted suicide, the fear of death and meeting your Maker,” and most of all, the glory of the Gospel which may be its conciseness and simplicity.
People keep referring to Jesus as the word. He is. Well…sort of. Depends on which word you're referring to. Jesus is not your bible. Jesus is the logos. You’re bible is the graphe. The Incarnate One didn’t write it. But he would like to introduce you and I to its real author. But before you read the book, meet the author, the Teaching Spirit, the personal companion who wrote the written companion. Confused? Listen in.
In this world there are a vast amount of shepherds wanting to herd us. As Christ believers we need to constantly live in the life source provided by the Lord Shepherd.