Our culture, tired of injustices, is saying, “Enough prayers. More actions.” While action is always important, the Persistent Widow, in Luke 18:1-8, reminds us that change must always starts with praying like a crazy person. Prayer aligns our heart with Jesus’. Before we jump into action, we need to make sure our hearts are aligned with his.
Generosity starts where sacrifice begins. As challenging as it may be to accept, how we use our money is our reflection of our heart. Jesus asked his disciples to consider the Widow, in Mark 12:41-44, as an example of what crazy generosity looked like. There are opportunities for us also to join God in living out a blessed generous life!
The wisdom of the world says: “Get ahead at all costs.” In Mark 10:35-45, James and John tried that when they asked Jesus for a promotion: “When you take your throne, can we have thrones on each side of you?”. Jesus confronted their worldly attitudes by teaching them a crazy strategy for success: Instead of “Get ahead at all costs” Jesus told them to “Serve no matter the cost.”
God uses unconventional tactics and the most unlikely people in his story. We each have a part to play with the hand we’ve been given. Are you ready to step up into the situation God has in you or are you just praying for a new hand?
Active opposition to Jesus is noticeable, but is it possible that even followers of Jesus could be passively opposing Jesus? Are we telling Jesus, “No, not yet”? Paul’s story begins by him actively opposing Jesus. However, Jesus shows up to give him a new vision, a new mission and a new calling. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul is able to move into a ministry of suffering and a life of “Yes, Jesus.”
It can be easy to be interested in Jesus privately, to hide behind the “we” of corporate worship and church experiences. But as Nicodemus’ one on one encounter with Jesus reveals, you can’t just be near Jesus, you have to believe in Jesus to be saved!
Do you realize that Jesus is looking for broken messed up people who will humble themselves and follow HIM? No matter where you have wandered off to, Jesus sees you, and He wants to cover you with his Love and Grace. He gave His life for you. And He wants to welcome you into His love. He will forgive. He will heal. He will give you a future with Him.
Everyone wants to be an influencer. While influence isn’t bad, it shouldn’t be the primary goal of a Christian. True influence comes as result of a much more important, and often overlooked goal: patient endurance.
It can be easy to think tolerance to sin in our faith journey will go unnoticed or unchecked. Jesus has a strong word for the church in Thyatira and their tolerance of the immoral prophetess Jezebel.
A special Christmas reading from Pastor Doyle and his family. Because of Jesus we have a peaceful home!