When Jesus was asked by the disciples to teach them to pray more effectively he gave them a template to follow. That template is readily available to us as well.
Christianity almost became a small sect of Judaism until a decision was made at the first Church Council. That decision would declare that grace was way more important than the Law of Moses. It would define Christianity forever.
When your life is a mess, look to Jesus to “clean you up”.
Life can knock us down so that we lose hope. The Apostle Paul believes that the story of Abraham can renew us with hope.
Signs of quitting are everywhere…a half read book placed back on the bookshelf, a car jacked up on blocks rusting away, a diet which was abandoned or a faith that has grown cold. The Christmas story deals with the issue of giving up. Zechariah and Elizabeth were close to giving up in their old age when a surprising event changed everything. Instead their waiting paid off.
Being thankful is not enough. There is one more step to take. One more step that makes it real. Jesus pointed this out after he healed ten lepers and only one returned to thank him. What was different about the one?
Faith is the most powerful force in the world. When an individual believes something, it can energize them to act. When Jesus was crucified the closest people to Jesus believed he was dead. They believed that his death meant the end of their call to be disciples. But something they saw caused them to believe differently.
There is a big difference between seeing God as a just God or as a merciful God or as a God who acts with grace. Your perception of God will affect your choice in what you do in relationship with God. All seem to describe God but there is one that triggers in us a deep response of gratitude.
We have all done things we regret. Some of those poorly chosen actions might cause us to feel guilt or shame. How do we get rid of our guilt? How do we remove our shame? Some use drugs, alcohol or over-achievement to mask the guilt only to find it doesn’t work. Christianity offers one thing to overcome the guilt. One thing that no other religion offers.
A (Christian) lifestyle of generosity, prayer, and compassion characterized the faith giant Abraham. From the foundation of his faith, good works followed.