Pastor Ryan continues in the Gospel of John.
We’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been mistreated. We’ve all been taken advantage of. During these times, Jesus calls us to forgive. Choosing to forgive requires knowing who you are in Christ, remembering the sinner you were without Him, and reminding yourself that one day you’ll live forever free from hurt and offense. Jesus’ life and death is an example of forgiveness – an example He has called us to follow, no matter how much someone has wronged us. The reason we forgive isn’t that our offender deserves it, but that we didn’t deserve it either, yet Jesus forgave us. When we forgive, we are blessed with freedom from the poison of bitterness and burden of revenge. Who do you need to forgive today?
Scripture References: John 13:1-30; Matthew 5:43-47; Romans 12:19-21; Luke 22:24; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 4:17
We often read about statements Jesus made that sound wrong. We don’t understand them. They seem "Upside Down". Jesus made one of those statements in John 12:25 when He said, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” I thought we were to be loving life not hating it? As we trust in the instructions of Jesus, we experience the eternal life He speaks of.
Scripture References: John 12:9-50; Matthew 10:39; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 6:4;
Think about the most valuable thing in your life. What is it? A relationship? Your job? A possession? Your reputation? Chances are, you’d do anything to keep it. There’s also a chance that you might’ve already lost it. The things that we want most to hold onto are often the very things that keep us from experiencing the abundant Life Jesus came to bring us. Make no mistake, following Jesus is costly. It requires everything we have and all that we are. So, why would anyone want to do it? Because He is worth it! As we spend time with Him – getting to know Him and learning to love Him – we discover there is nothing this world has to offer that compares to the value of knowing Jesus.
Scripture References: John 12:1-8; Philippians 1:27; Romans 12:1; 1 John 2:17; Mark 14:3; Matthew 13:44; Revelation 4:9-11; Philippians 3:7-8
We all have been overwhelmed and found ourselves at a point where there seemed to be no hope. We feel as if all is lost. However, that is simply not the truth! God knows and cares about each one of us. He sees exactly what our situation is and understands it far greater then we do. When it comes to God, He can truly take the impossible circumstances we face and produce something good. He is in the business of providing hope to the hopeless, joy to the disheartened, and life to the dead! God wants to work in your life today, will you take a step towards trusting in His power?
Scripture References: John 11:38-57; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 6:23, 19; Hebrews 2:14
Tragedy affects us all. For many of us, suffering isn’t just a topic of theological study or public discourse; it’s a personal, painful, and even a present reality. During seasons of trial, it’s easy to despair, to lose hope that things will get better. Where is God in all of this? Does He even care? No matter what you’re going through or what painful place you find yourself, He is right here with you. He has been and remains the One who loves you and who holds your life together. Pain and suffering remind us that things are not okay. We need forgiveness, we need change, we need Life – and these things are only found in Jesus.
Scripture References: John 11:1-37; John 14:13; 1 Peter 4:15-16, 19; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Isaiah 55:8; Psalm 34:18; Colossians 1:17
Pastor Jeff continues in the Gospel of John
So many people in the church and in this world are looking for someone to follow. They’re lost and searching for a place to belong. As the Church, are we that place? Of course, we want to be, but too often we shut the door on those Jesus wants to bring in. We tend to separate ourselves from those who sin and fail, even from those who think and act differently than we do. We determine who is “in” and who we think needs to stay “out.” But that’s not our decision. Only Jesus determines who becomes a part of His family. Our job is to help people hear His voice, to know His love, and to follow Him. Are we leading and loving like Jesus?
Scripture References: John 10:1-21; Mark 10:21; John 5:22; Ezekiel 34:1-4; 1 Corinthians 11:1
Do you feel like a lost cause? God loves finding lost things. He is constantly pursuing and tirelessly chasing after those who are lost. There are times when we feel God is done with us, that we’ve messed up too much and failed too often. But He is never done with us! He finds us and carries us Home. There are so many in this world who walk closer and closer to destruction every day. Are we willing to go to them, to bring them to Jesus? He came to seek and to save the lost. We must make His purpose our own.
Scripture References: Ephesians 5:14; Luke 15:1-7; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 23:37; Romans 3:10-12, 23; Matthew 5:13; Luke 19:10
The mission of the New Testament Church is not to build buildings, not to stock pile cash, not to pad our pews so that we can sit in comfort. Not that there is anything wrong with these things, but they are not the mission of the church. The mission of the church is to take the good news of Jesus to the whole world and make disciples of all nations. What is the purpose, the plan, and our part in the great commission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Scripture References: Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Luke 15:4; Luke 19:10; Luke 15:5-10