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

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

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

Redeeming Failure

Everyone fails. But what happens when we mess up so badly, there’s no coming back from it? Sin can trap us in a prison of discouragement, despair and defeat. Failure robs us of hope, until we’re willing to settle for what is familiar and comfortable. When we fail, we must run to Jesus, not away from Him. No matter how greatly we’ve failed, He assures us His grace is greater. He will meet us right where we are – in our sin, our shame, our fear. His call on your life remains the same, for His commitment to us isn’t as fragile as our commitment to Him. Are you carrying the shame of failure? Let Jesus redeem it!

Scripture References: John 21; Luke 22:61-62; Matthew 26:72; Mark 16:7; Luke 5:4-8; 1 Corinthians 1:30

That You May Believe

We all believe in something. Faith is a regular part of our lives. We trust our car will start when we turn the key, that the chair will hold us when we sit down, that our company will pay us when we go to work. Yet, some things we have difficulty believing, even when the evidence is overwhelming. The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is a matter of historical fact. After He rose from the dead, He appeared to more than 500 of His followers on at least eight different occasions over a 40-day period. He came back to life so that you, too, could have life in His name. Will you believe?

Scripture References: John 20:1-10; John 20:11-18; Luke 1:1-4; John 20:24-29; John 19:35; 1 Corinthians 15:5-6; John 20:30-31; John 20:19-23; Genesis 2:7; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 6:4

Truth on Trial

What is truth? In a world of fake news, false reports, and misinformation, it’s hard to know what’s true anymore. So many people are confused or - even worse - convinced they’re right when they’re really wrong. When you’re uncertain of what is true, it’s even more important to know what is Truth. God has revealed Truth to us, and we must conform our lives to it. In doing so, we discover that Truth isn't found in a philosophy, proposition, or postulate; truth is found in a Person. Jesus came to bear witness to the Truth, so you and I can not only know it, but experience the blessing of living according to it. He is the answer you’ve been searching for.

Scripture References: John 18:28-38; Colossians 2:8; Genesis 3:1; Romans 1:24-25; John 17:17; John 14:6; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; John 8:32

 

Under Control

Are you a control freak? Most of us like to be in control of our lives, but life can’t always be controlled. Too often, difficult circumstances leave us frustrated and discouraged. During times when life seems to be unraveling, we must remember Who is really in control. Jesus is the One who “upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).” Nothing that has ever happened or is currently happening in your life is ever outside the scope of His control. This means we don’t need to panic – we don’t need to react in fear that results in frustration. We can trust in His power, even when the façade of human authority fails us. Turn your panic into prayer. Rest in knowing that you are under His control.

Scripture References: John 18:1-27; John 10:17-18; Philippians 4:6-7; Jeremiah 25:15; Revelation 14:10; Matthew 26:39; Romans 1:18; Romans 2:5; John 3:36; John 13:38; Luke 22:31-32