In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul drew from Jesus' use of power what is perhaps the most powerful relational teaching of all - an instruction that changes everything in family dynamics. It all comes down to asking a simple question: What can I do to help?
When the ideal is hard to attain, it's tempting to just lower the bar and redefine the ideal. This can be especially true when it comes to Jesus' teachings about family, which many of us have already fallen short of. Today we want to look at, why aiming for God's ideal is still worth it, even when our reality makes reaching it impossible.
Have you ever seen someone give the "evil eye." You know, it's that look that says, "I'm not thinking happy thoughts right now." Jesus let us know that the most evil eye can be the one you're looking through right now! In today's message, we will examine Jesus' shocking statement about how we need to deal with our "evil eye."
Why would Jesus, a rabbi, call a fisherman? Especially one that He knew would deny Him, turn his back on Him. And why would Jesus, after all of this, redeem this fisherman and still choose to use him to build His church?
In Jesus' time, being rich was seen as a sign of God's favor and blessing. A rich man felt assured of his place in God's kingdom. Jesus shocked everyone when he said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." This morning, we'll take a look at exactly what Jesus meant when he said this and how we can apply it to our lives today.
As a criminal dying on a cross, taking his last breaths on earth, Jesus looks at the man and says some of the most shocking, grace-filled words in all of history: "Today, you will be with me in Paradise." Really?! He deserves to die and receive his due penalty for his sins, doesn't he?
We believe the goal of marriage is "oneness." God says, in fact, the result of marriage is "oneness." Today we'll explore Jesus' shocking statements about marriage, divorce and remarriage... and He explains why trying to "un-one" what God has joined may just be harder than we think...
"You don't want to leave me too, do you?" Some of the shocking statements of Jesus made being His follower challenging. Today we'll hear a statement that those gathered to hear Jesus simply didn't understand. But maybe, more important than the statement, was the reaction of His disciples. In the face of trial - temptation or transition - do we want to leave Jesus too?
How many of us, if we were honest, could explain what it means to someone who doesn't know? If a friend, co-worker, neighbor asked, "What does it mean to be born again?" How would you respond? When the phrase first left Jesus' mouth it was something yet completely unheard of; it was astounding to his listeners. So while we may have heard this phrase a hundred times, do we really understand what it means?
Love your neighbor as yourself...
There can be a thin line between love and hate... like when your child screams, "I hate you!", then a few hours later snuggles up to you for TV and a bowl of ice cream. But as today's shocking statement reveals, Jesus drew a very clear line between love and hate - one profound enough to be a prerequisite for true discipleship.
During His time on earth Jesus invited people to follow Him-and you and I are invited to follow Him as well...but there is something that you need to know about following Jesus. It will cost you something eventually... it may cost you money, career advancement or relationships. That's because Jesus offers us the choice of denying ourselves now, or losing ourselves later. But you will find that when you pay the price of following Jesus, you'll be glad you did.
We want to follow Jesus - but where is He leading? What is the payoff for following Him? Is it being a better person? Is it a life in heaven after we die? Is it a pain-free life? If you follow Jesus, you will be a better person - you will go to heaven... but that's okay because Jesus offers much more - a faith so strong it frees us from fear...
"Why didn't God do something?" Sometimes, despite our most fervent prayers, God doesn't show up the way we want Him to... the cancer isn't cured - the company fails - the foreclosure goes through. Today we'll talk about what to look for when it feels like God forgot to show up.
Is God's silence a sign of His absence? Or does it mean something else? Today we'll jump into the story of a man Jesus said was the greatest man who ever lived...and yet, even this man struggled with God's inattentiveness...The message Jesus sends him in the middle of his doubt contains a secret reassurance for us 2,000 years later.
The more we experience life, the more we realize that life isn't always fair. Today, we will discover the Bible's perspective on how to respond to life's inequities.
What does living your life free in Christ really look like? The Apostle Paul tells his spiritual "son in the faith," Timothy, to pursue righteousness. But what does righteousness look like? It starts with understanding that righteousness is a gift that we have received, not earned. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
All religions point to three things: you ought to - you don't - you're toast. Religion is all about following the rules, but Jesus had something different in mind. He calls us to follow Him.
It's difficult to solve a problem when you don't understand what's wrong to begin with. Many of us have been trying to solve the problem of "us" for a long time. Some of you have lost friends, family, or jobs because you couldn't solve you. Some of you have paid someone good money to solve you. But what if the real problem is that you don't know what the problem is?
Experience the fulfillment in living beyond yourself...