•August 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Moral: “Truth can strike down the spectre of fear.”
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15, NIV).
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18, NIV).
•July 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Moral: Fear is a great motivator.
We all are driven by fear–at least some of the time. And some of the time it’s good: fear keeps us out of danger. But fear can also make us do stupid things.
Fear can keep a church from reaching out to the people who need the church. Fear can keep a church all one skin-tone. Fear can keep a church from standing up for injustices.
Fear is a great motivator. But it shouldn’t be the greatest.
Love should be the greatest motivator.
Love changes the world. Love has brought the gospel to the unreached corners of the earth. Love has touched the untouchable. Love has brought about justice when there was none.
Love sent His Son to die on the cross so all might have salvation. Not fear.
•June 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Moral: Love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Jesus calls us to love everyone, to love our enemies even. We are to love regardless of color of skin, religion, political affiliation, gender, sexual preference, or even socio-economic status.
Most of our churches, however, are pretty homogeneous. They tend to have people of all the same race, economic status, and background.
The Heaven the Bible talks about is made of people from every tongue, tribe, and nation. That can happen when we love all. No matter what shape or size.
•June 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Moral: “A failure in planning is a plan for failure.”
We’ve probably heard the axiom above before in some form or another. It’s still amazing how often churches fail to plan. Often we may think that God will handle anything. And while God could (and sometimes would), He generally expects us to use the intellectual capacities He’s given us.
We should plan to prevent harm from coming to the children in our care in church. We should plan for what to do when the needy “sinner” arrives through our doors. We should plan for emergencies. We should plan for the unexpected. And while I generally believe we should let the Holy Spirit guide us, we should also plan for worship (and let the Spirit guide us in our planning).
Most of us don’t evangelize to our friends and neighbors because we don’t plan to do so. We don’t practice what to say. We don’t practice inviting them to church. We fail not because they don’t come or believe, but because we don’t plan to initiate it.
•November 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Moral: “The future has many paths–choose wisely.”
Every choice we make has consequences. Sometimes our choices are easy and obvious. Sometimes they are obvious, but difficult. Sometimes they are just difficult–whether they be choosing the lesser of two evils or choosing between two great options. Sometimes we choose well. Sometimes we don’t.
The good news is there is always grace. God is a God of second chances. He forgives and gives grace. There are still consequences for our choices, but He doesn’t give up on us.
Still we must strive to choose wisely.
•November 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Moral: “Those who enforce the law must obey the law.”
There is a lot of hypocrisy in this world. We’re aware of it. Doctors tell us to be healthy–but they go out and smoke during their break. Priests tell us to be celibate–but some have molested children. And the church tells us not to sin, but everyone in the church still sins.
This frustrates many people. But we shouldn’t expect it not to be so…church is for sinners. Even though we follow God, we will still mess up at times. But we don’t revel in our sin. We keep striving for godliness. And we acknowledge our sins, not sweeping them under a rug and ignoring them.
•October 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Moral: “The challenge of hope is to overcome corruption.”
It’s hard to stay sin-free. God gives us grace, but He also expects that we don’t devalue Christ’s sacrifice, but rather that we strive for perfection. To ward off the corruption of sin, we must stay rooted in Christ and a spiritual community. We need daily (minute-ly) time with God to remember who we are in Him and who He calls us to be. We need other followers of Christ around us (not just on Sundays) because we need others to walk alongside us.