Building a Legacy

Key Scripture: 1 Chronicles 22:11-16

Description: The surest way to build a legacy is by building a family. The breakdown of the family unit has led to a number of social problems in our world today – from crime to mental health issues to economic crises. Ours is a generation that does some occasional “adulting,” but refuses to live as adults who place the needs of others before their own. God’s call on His people is to build His Church by building the Family – the fundamental unit of disciple-making on earth. The family is our first Church; our first place of worship, fellowship and instruction in God’s Word. Parents can have a more powerful influence in the lives of their kids at the dinner table than paid professionals can have every day in a classroom. Invest in your family and engage those God has put in your life. Live to leave a legacy!

Other Scripture References: 1 Kings 2:1-2; John 21:18; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Peter 2:5; Matthew 28:19; Matthew 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 11:1

Don't Flatter Yourself

Key Scripture: Ruth 4:1-22

Description: Flattery gets us nowhere, yet we see it everywhere. We flatter ourselves through religious performance – in trying to convince ourselves and others that we’re better than we actually are. There is nothing flattering about the Gospel, however. It reveals the reason we do bad things is because we’re bad people. It says we have nothing to offer God but irredeemable spiritual debt. Still, the good news of the Gospel is that God has redeemed the irredeemable. It tells us we don’t need to flatter ourselves because we are infinitely valued by our Creator and Redeemer. It reminds us that our hope isn’t in how we might feel about ourselves, but in how He feels about us. God doesn’t owe us a “happily ever after” in this life; but He has promised us a “happily FOREVER after” with Him for all eternity.

Other Scripture References: Psalm 5:9; Proverbs 26:28; Romans 16:18; Matthew 22:15-18; Mark 10:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; Romans 3:10-12; Romans 3:23-24; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 5:7-9

Redeeming Regret

We all have regrets. Maybe it’s the game-winning goal you missed in high school, or the recent promotion that passed you by. It might be the choices you made that led to your current loveless marriage, or the strained relationship with your wayward child. We can spend a lifetime trying to cope with our regrets, but there is a better solution. God offers us redemption. In Christ, payment has been made for every sin, every loss and every mistake we’ve ever made. His redemption gives us unquenchable joy, divine purpose, an eternal inheritance and a personal relationship with our Creator. Let go of regret, and rest at the feet of your Redeemer.

Scripture References: Ruth 3:1-18; 1 John 3:17-18; Luke 14:12-14; 1 Peter 4:1-2

Coincidence

Life is full of coincidences…or is it? A coincidence is defined as a remarkable series of events or circumstances with no apparent connection.  However, the Bible reveals God to be the great Connector. He is sovereign over every circumstance and all things are under His control and authority.  Nothing we experience – no matter how seemingly random or terrible - is outside of the scope of His sovereignty.  When our lives seem to be unraveling, we can find peace in knowing that our loving God always holds the thread.

Scripture References: Ruth 2:1-22; Ephesians 1:11; Romans 8:28; Psalm 56:11; Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 29:11

Coming Home

Life isn’t easy. We do what we can to avoid pain – structuring our lives to make things as safe and comfortable as possible. Yet, no matter where we go or what we do, hardship inevitably finds us. Often, we bring trials into our own lives, turning from God’s plan for us and suffering the consequences of our own choices. Fortunately, God doesn’t waste pain. He uses it to bring us Home to Him, to His people and to His unfailing promises. If you’re going through a difficult time right now, remember that your life is a part of God’s Story. He does have a plan for you. He does have a purpose. His Story is one of Redemption. You might be asking, “God, why me?” but are you actually waiting for an answer? What might He be redeeming in and through your life?

Scripture References: Ruth 1:1-22; Judges 6:2-6; Revelation 21:3-4; Judges 6:1; Hebrews 12:10-11; Philippians 3:20; Ruth 4:17

The Greatest Miracle

Everyone needs a miracle. Some need physical healing, others need mental restoration, and still others need emotional repair. More importantly, every single person needs the greatest miracle of a saved soul. Our soul is who we really are, but it has been infected and corrupted with the disease of sin. This has damaged our relationships with God and others and will ultimately lead to spiritual Death. Our only hope for the miracle of soul-healing is Jesus Christ. When we turn to Him in faith, when we live lives of simple obedience to His Word, when we live for the sake of His glory – our souls experience the miracle of Life that only He can give. The greatest miracle!

Scripture References: Matthew 10:28; Luke 17:11-19; Romans 5:12; Leviticus 14:1-4, 20; Matthew 17:20; 2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:7; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:17

Heart Health

Chances are, you have a heart problem. Our faith, like our bodies, can neither thrive nor survive without a healthy heart. While some people suffer from a physical heart condition, every one of us is born with a spiritual heart condition. Our faith is weak and we struggle with sin, bitterness and shame. Sin in our lives is the symptom of a deeper diagnosis – a deceitful heart that is desperately sick. We can’t cure it on our own, but Jesus can! He came to give us a new and healthy heart through the miracle of forgiveness. When we receive forgiveness, our heart is changed. When we forgive others, our heart remains healthy. At the heart of our problems is the problem of the heart. How is your heart today?

Scripture References: Mark 12:1-12, Jeremiah 17:9; Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 3:21-24, Ephesians 2:1-5, Matthew 6:12; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:12-13

Right Mind

Mental illness is a growing epidemic that has directly or indirectly affected most of our lives. While increasingly common, the problem is still frequently misunderstood and not many people know how to help. Meanwhile, nearly 20 percent of the total adult population in the U.S. continues to suffer from some form of mental illness. These people feel isolated and alone. While a variety of treatments and programs can prove helpful in managing the problem, is management really our only hope? Can we ever be free? Our God is a God of miracles. He can control disease, but He can also cure it. Run to Him today for freedom, health and healing. Let Him restore to you a right mind.

Scripture References: 2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:7; Mark 5:1-20; Ephesians 6:12;

Fringe Benefits

Sickness and disease are a part of our world, and a very real part of many of our lives. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all adults in the U.S. suffer from at least one chronic health condition, while one in four adults have two or more chronic health conditions. This is the reality of our natural world. Fortunately, health and healing are the reality of our supernatural God. We are blessed to live in a day and age of medical advancement, but too often we look only to human remedies without ever looking to the One who made us. His road of healing continues where man’s meets a dead end. Are you suffering physically today? Reach out in faith and grab hold of the Healer. Grab hold of the God of Miracles!

Scripture References: Luke 8:43-48; Leviticus 15:19; James 5:14-15; Numbers 15:37-40

God of Miracles

Description: Do miracles still happen today? A miracle defies rational explanation and surpasses all known human or natural powers. Miracles thrust themselves into our world from somewhere beyond the boundaries of all that we are able to observe, measure, and understand. Some see the universe as a "box" and reality as limited to "the stuff inside the box." If this is true, miracles would break the laws that govern the box, which is impossible. But what if reality extends beyond the box? What if Someone exists outside of the box – a God who created the box and still interacts with His creation today? “Miraculous” doesn’t just describe what God does; it describes who He is. He is a God of Miracles.

Scripture References: Genesis 1:1; Exodus 14:21; Hebrews 13:8; Ephesians 1:19-20; Philippians 3:10; Mark 6:30-56; Matthew 19:26; Luke 18:27; Acts 19:11; Matthew 17:20