God loves us more deeply than most of us can imagine. We intellectually understand that God loves us but the Apostle Paul uses imagery that helps us understand the deepest depths of his love. You may feel that you are unlovable but God declares otherwise.
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.
When the world was a mess God picked Abraham to help him fix the mess that humankind had created. Abraham did such a great job that three major world religions call him one of their most important figures. He changed the world because he was able to do one thing. In this message we will explore the one action that can help us build a strong faith foundation.
Usually we resist using the “S” word in everyday conversations. But sin or sinner are words Jesus used. While we might shy away from using the word sin because it seems to condemn people, Jesus used it for an entirely different purpose.
Sometimes the faith of our childhood is not mature enough to survive adulthood. Simple theological beliefs struggle when we find out that bad things happen to good people and our prayers are not always answered. In the midst of these difficulties of faith we don’t know where to start formulating our faith. This message will give us a clear starting point when we have doubts about the Bible and the theology we have been taught.
There are many commandments and rules found throughout the Bible. Jesus even introduced a few more commands to the hundreds found in the Old Testament. Why does Christianity have rules? Are they necessary? Do they symbolize something? In this message we will take a close look at how the rules and commandments bring us into relationship with God and each other.