Jesus came to save all people and make us all one family - the body of Christ. Have we let the divisions of our world creep into this wonderful fellowship so we miss God's amazing wisdom on how he has united us?
If only I have ______, then life will be great. Why do we never figure out what _____ is? We think a new car will finally make life great, but after we get the new car, then we need a raise in pay. After we get the raise in pay, we want a better relationship with our family. Once we get on better terms, then we need something else. Truth be told, God created us to need his love and to know we are important to him. Nothing can ever fill the hole in our heart where his love and importance fit....
We all long for community - to belong to others who care about us. Most of all we long to be together with our God. What keeps us from fulfilling this deepest desire we have? How does God solve our problem by bringing us into his family? How does this help when we are struggling, hurting, lonely?
When you get older you'll understand - no one wants to hear this! Yet sometimes it is true. The older we get, the more we long for a different and better country where everyone loving service to others describes every citizen and every day, where our King reigns wisely, and we know only joy and freedom.
We keep trying to "fix" our sin. Day after day we excuse, ignore, deny, or try to make up for what we do wrong. There is no end to this exhausting cycle - until Jesus came. He closed the altar where we tried to make up for our sins and opens the gates of heaven. We are saints because of Jesus, and Jesus alone!
One house on Mexico Beach proved that with the right foundation and building materials, you can build a house to withstand a hurricane. How do we build our lives to withstand the storms, tragedies, and challenges of life? By building on the one solid foundation God gives us, using the best "building materials." Listen to learn how to build a life ready for anything!
We come up with all kinds of reasons why we can't serve others the way our God wants us to. At the heart of so many of our excuses is our thought that I don't have what it takes (time, abilities, courage, etc.) This idea that "I'm not good enough" really means "God is not strong enough to help me." The life story of Moses helps us address our doubts realistically and gives us confidence that God will give us everything we need to do everything he wants us to!
Do we worship the Gecko or God? Sometimes we prefer insurance, savings accounts, and credit cards because they will do what we tell them to do. They are more "dependable" helpers. The problem with God is that he will do what he knows is best - whether we agree with him or not. He wants to see us in heaven, so every day when he helps us, he helps us in ways that will serve our eternal good.
This last week's headlines were disheartening. No matter our political persuasion, we all feel as if so many people in leadership are all about power and getting re-elected, rather than doing what is right and fair and just. We struggle with the same sinful attitudes and these impact our life in the family of God. Moses teaches us that God's family is not about prestige, honor, or power, but about serving others because Jesus has served us.
Why are we becoming more and more pessimistic as a people? Could our problem be we realize our "solutions" aren't working the way we think they should? We were designed to have God at the center of our lives, to live under the umbrella of his love, to know the Almighty God as our loving Father. Our sin has made that impossible. Jesus came to give us the space to be forgiven, the grace to live under God's love despite what we have done. Our hope in this world broken by sin is not in cleaning...
God has placed into our hands a book filled with the wisdom that created this universe and designed our minds, hearts, and bodies. Why wouldn't we listen and live our lives in keeping with all the wisdom and understanding he's revealed to us?
How do we handle our own doubts about Jesus? Ignore them? Argue them away? Or is there a better way? Jesus gives us insight into how to handle our doubts when he deals with disciples who left him because of his "hard" teachings.
God created us to be spiritual beings. Even when people are turned off by organized religion, they want a connection with God, they seek to fill their spiritual hunger. We have the Bread of life. He isn't a denomination or an organization. He is the Son of God who sacrificed himself to forgive our sins, connect us with God, give us eternal life. See people for who they are - human beings longing for what only Jesus can give them. Share the Bread of life with them!