Contemporary songs tell us that "all we need is love" - but the truth of God's word tells us that what His children really need is peace! Peace between ourselves and a holy God, through Jesus' perfect life, His punishment on the cross for our sins and His resurrection.
So You Can Face Anything...
...no matter what challenge we face, we have exactly what we need because of "What's left" from Jesus!
1) Jesus lets go into our hands a special gift - peace!
2) Biblical peace is more than just the absence of conflict, it's the restoration of relationship. It means that now nothing is missing!
3) The peace that belongs to Jesus, the relationship and partnership with the Father, is now given to us.
4) Jesus' life didn't look all that peaceful according to the world's standards. But His Father was present throughout, carrying out His plan according to His purpose. That's peace!
5) We often pull back in fear from God. But because of the peace Jesus gives us, we can have calm hearts and step forward in faith no matter what we face!
Challenging. But Good.
Evaluating our faith life can be challenging. It gets even harder when we consider how to relate with other Christians. But there is incredible encouragement and hope from the One who takes care of "Judging Us."
1) There are some things that are clearly black and white like the fact that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. But when it comes to applying our faith, things can get awfully complicated.
2) Even if an action is not wrong in and of itself, if we believe it is wrong and still do it, we actually judge against ourselves.
3) Two Christians can be in very different places in their faith. They can both bring glory to God while going in very different directions.
4) God calls us to lift up and encourage each other, including our fellow Christians who believe the most God-pleasing way is different than what we believe.
5) We are able to come together in love and humility because we all have the same problem = sin and the same solution = Jesus. He has reunited us with God and each other.
How to we balance our freedom in Christ with abstaining from a choice that may cause a brother or sister to stumble in their faith? With humility and a Christ-like love!
Are you dealing with this God's way? In a world that doesn't know how to disagree well, God has a different design.
1) Today's norm for how people who disagree interact is not very Godly
a. People are offended easily
b. People are quick to be outraged and angry
c. People often avoid difficult conversations while silently allowing negative feelings and self-righteousness to grow
2) Love is growing cold among so many because faith is fading
3) God would have us keep looking to Him to bring justice and to trust Him to make things right.
4) God has a design for how to interact with others. Let's follow it and trust God!
5) We interact with others based on how God interacts with us. He acts towards us in love!
Your Enemy Is Going Down!
When the enemy is fighting hard against you, "What Are You Waiting For?"
A Strange Combination of Ingredients Can Make A Great Recipe!
With the beginning of the new church year we're at a time where this is a unique combination of ingredients: thinking about the end of the world + looking forward to Jesus' coming + Thanksgiving. This unique combo makes for a beautiful recipe in a messy world!
1) We can feel that there is a darkness in the world. But in Advent we focus on the light of Jesus coming!
2) When the world turned against Jesus, He lovingly humbled Himself in order to save the world!
3) On the cross an exchange took place. Jesus took on the cold sin of the world and gave us the warm love of God.
4) Even in a challenging world, we feast on God's mercy.
5) A Christian shows Thanksgiving by showing love and sharing the light of Christ!
This World Needs Some Love
God's love is meant to transform us so we love Him and others. In a world where love is lacking, this can be easy to forget. Take a look at what Jesus says about the need for love and how you can "Never Lose Heart" with this message on Matthew 24:12-13.