Pride causes us to stay horizontally-focused first. We are always looking around comparing ourselves to others instead keeping our focus on God. We know that humility is the opposite of pride but how do we truly live in humility? In the book of Luke we learn that the way up is down.
Our world is full of trouble. The Bible tells us so. If we don't remember this, we can have expectations for how our life should look. When those expectations are not met, there's disappointment. In the book of Genesis we read about Joseph who had great dreams for his future, that were delayed or even different from what he expected. We can learn from his experience that the grace of God is often found in the trials of life.
To some degree, we're all born with a need to be in control. As Christ followers, this can be problematic. In John 21, we learn about Peter who also struggled with giving up control and how God used that to point him to the grace and strength that comes only through a life of faith fully dependent upon Christ.
Oftentimes it is the extraordinary experiences in life to which we more readily apply our faith. However, life is filled with every day ordinary experiences that can trip us up. In the book of Genesis we learn about Abraham, who had extraordinary faith for the big stuff but failed from time to time with the small stuff, and yet he was still called a friend of God.
We all need an anchor that we can hold onto in the midst of storms, struggles and transition. But what is that anchor? What keeps our faith from drifting when we face difficulty? In the book of Hebrews, we find two unchangeable things to which we can hold fast regardless of our circumstances
Faith is not just something that touches us on the outside but it informs our minds. It does so by engaging our hearts. The result is that our lives are being transformed. In James 4, we learn that God sometimes interrupts our plans.
God's word is like a mirror and it has a purpose of reflection in our lives. In James, we learn we can either approach life angry at God and rebellious against his commands or humble before God and receptive of what he's given us.
Faith is progressive. It grows in us as we live and practice our faith. But how do we know if what we call faith is true and growing? In James 2, we learn what true faith looks like in a Christian.
We're all familiar with the word faith. A simple definition is trust in someone or something. But what does faith in Jesus look like? How do we move from faith that God exists to faith in God. In Hebrews we learn what faith really is.
God wants to raise up men and women in His Church whose lives count for His glory on the landscape of human history. But what does that look like day to day? In the parable of the talents we find some truths to carry us into the New Year as we commit to not waste our lives.
Why did Jesus come? And what difference should it make in our lives? In our marriages? In our families, our work, and leisure? In John 18 & 19, we learn the very reason Christ came and the decision we need to make on a daily basis.
Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost but who is lost? It’s easy to think of people like the tax collector, Zacchaeus, as lost, however, we don’t like to think of ourselves as lost. In Luke 19, we learn a very important lesson about Christ thoughts on the matter.
The word blessed gets thrown around a lot but what does blessed really mean? Is it a prime parking spot or an unexpected sale on a much-desired item? If we’re honest, we know that’s not the case. In Luke 1, we learn about a woman who despite challenging circumstances, saw the true favor and blessings of God in her life.
In the world of Ancient Greece, Aristotle believed that the household was a microcosm of the empire at large. From this point of reference Paul writes to the Ephesians in a most scandalous way. He poses that if the kingdom of God invades a household, it can have a large exponential difference through genealogy and by working its way out to the community. In Ephesians 5 and 5 we see how this is played out.
It’s been said that God is not about religion but relationship. There’s some element to which this is true. But what does being religious really mean? In Mathew 9, we’ll take a look at what Jesus really thinks about religion.