“The Lone Ranger and Tonto; Laurel and Hardy. Batman and Robin. It was Snoopy and Charlie. Friends through thick and thin. Friends to the very end. I think you would agree. That’s how it is for You and me.” Geoff Moore and the distance.
We could add to this list, Woody and Buzz, captain America and Bucky. Frodo and Sam. These characters reflect true friendship. When we read and study the Bible we also find great friendships.
You can be very religious and still not know what you worship. You could be attending church your whole life and still not know Jesus. Not because you go to a church where they talk about Jesus makes you into a Christian. You may attend a church and know the rituals, practices and still not know Jesus.
Jesus himself said that at the end of times, there will be people that have a form of religion, people who thought knew Jesus or had a relationship with him. They will be shocked to find out they will not be with Jesus.
You can be very religious and not know what or who you worship. There are lots of people in our world today who worship something or someone, but they don’t quite know the object of their worship. Then you have people whose gods are made up, they want their gods to conform to their desires. Their gods need to fit in their preconceived notions for them to believe in them. You may have a form of religion and even practice it, but still not know God.
Sometimes, you hear people label churches as contemporary, traditional, purpose-driven; seeker sensitive; fellowship or service driven, charismatic and so forth. People label churches based on what they see happening in those communities. All these labels don’t matter for a church if the community is not centered on Jesus. If you’d like to know what a Christ-centered church looks like, just take a look at the Antioch church in the first century.
Part of being a kingdom person in this world is to be faithful stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. When Jesus started his earthly ministry; he began to preach “repent, the kingdom of God is near” (Matt.4:17). Jesus taught many things concerning the kingdom of heaven in the gospel according to Matthew. Through his teachings, we can understand better what the kingdom is all about and the role we play as part of it.
It’s been 97 years since women in our nation were granted the right to vote. (August 26, 1920) Soon after this, some religious groups began to predict that the American family would collapse if women began voting and becoming involved in politics. Some believed that the place for women was only the home, not work. It’s sad to realize that there are still people who hold to these beliefs. Even churches still struggle with the role of women in church. Throughout history God has been using people to accomplish his purposes, both men and women. Women have made a mark in history in spite of living in a time where their ideas and efforts would not be acknowledged. They created an impact in the world, even our lives today are impacted by what some women did.
Life is about joy and sadness, success and failure, encouragement and disappointments. Sickness and health. Following Jesus is not for the fainthearted; the enemy will tempt you to stop running your race. You will be tempted to quit and if you have not learned to deal with disappointment you will throw the towel and quit. Serving God will bring you moments of loneliness and disappointments. The apostle Paul can tell us about disappointments in ministry and how he dealt with it. How do we cope with disappointments?
It’s easy to trust God when things go well in our lives. But if you only claim to believe when things are ok in your life, then your faith is weak. It is in the hard times, in times of trouble that you get to realize if your faith is truly solid or not. The measure of your faith is never known in time of peace, but only in difficult times. Whatever you believe about God, about the world, about yourself will be challenged. Will you be able to stand for what you believe?
Peter had made a promise to Jesus that he wasn’t able to fulfill. He promised Jesus to never abandon him even if the other disciples would. That Friday morning, as Jesus was being taken to the authorities. Peter denied Jesus three times. He swore to have never known him. Jesus was killed and all the expectations and dreams the disciples had about him were shattered by a cross. The disciples didn’t expect the resurrection,
Everyone believes in something or someone; our beliefs are the foundation in our lives, for what we do is driven by what we believe; in fact our values flow from those things we believe. We believe consciously (intentionally) or unconsciously (mechanically). However, you must understand that something is not true, just because you believe it to be true.
We all have calendars and agendas, we write dates in our calendar to remind ourselves of events we want to attend; things we don’t want to forget; we set up the alarm clocks so we can remember to get up at certain time to start doing those things we include in our agenda for that day. Today is Palm Sunday according to our calendar, we remember the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Most people may know this when they hear the phrase “palm Sunday.” This event is known in the Bible as the triumphant entry. What was this about? What was it time for? The four gospel writers speak about this, but we will look at the account in Luke 19:28-44
“A kingdom person” is the one willing to adjust his decisions to God’s decision even if God’s decision is not the one preferred.” (Tony Evans). Based on this definition a kingdom person is the one willing place God’s agenda over his/her own.
That definition is simple, the complicating part is knowing when my decisions are God’s decisions and not just my own. With every decision we make in God’s kingdom, we either help advance the kingdom or we hinder its advancement. Even in church we may hinder the kingdom of God from moving forward because we are not willing to adjust our expectations to God’s expectations.