In the Nativity story, there is one person that we rarely talk about or focus on and his name is Herod the Great. He caused great pain and suffering throughout his reign and is remembered in the Bible because of His focus on destroying any rivals to his kingdom, including a newborn that some Magi claimed was the next 'King of the Jews'. This focus closed him to the power that God was unleashing on the world... the power that could've brought joy and peace instead of jealousy, fear, and loss. Why was he so opposed to God invading his space? What did he fear? What happens when we allow fear to rule our lives and seek power in the wrong places? Come Sunday and discover how your fear or your desire for power could be draining the joy from your life.
God’s messages can be very unsettling to us at times… even His message of love and peace at Christmas. And apparently, His messengers can be terribly unsettling as well. Terrifying really! But in reality, the fearsomeness of His angels should be a great comfort to us. Angels are those who God has said He has commissioned to watch over, protect, fight for, and defend us. Let’s look at the angelic messengers of God to hear clearly the message they have to speak to us of the power of God that fights for each one of us and our salvation.
With the routine of Christmas and the familiarity of the Christmas stories, it can be easy to miss how radical Jesus' birth really is. God Himself invades our dark and hostile world. Throughout history, God has been invading our spaces through eccentric and sometimes strange people called Prophets. So why did many people miss it when Jesus showed up and fulfilled what the prophets had been proclaiming? Let's look at these prophets and what they said together and see how God always keeps His promises.
When you lose something, your hope is that you can find it again. But what would it be like to find something that you were pretty sure wasn’t there to be found? The Bible talks about discovering the depth of God’s love and salvation as being like finding a hidden treasure in a field, or a spring of water in a desert, or like the one who has no father finding someone who loves them deeply, like a father. God’s love is a game changer.
The brokenness of our lives goes deep. So deep that we don’t even see it as broken at times - it’s just normal. So, what is God’s response to the mess we are in? What is His solution to the problem of His devastated creation? How can we ever get to the place where we can join with Him in His restoration of His beautiful world?
The story of Hosea and Gomer reads like one of our modern reality shows! These are characters we know all too well – the young couple, ill prepared for their life together; their children, victims of the chaos that follows; and the surrounding culture, with no answers to address their mess. So, where is God in the midst of all this? Hosea says He’s right there in the middle of it all; reclaiming, redeeming, restoring!
We know that everything in creation was spoken into being by God's Word, and he has given us incredible power in our words. So, why does it seem like many people are careless with words? With our words we have the power to change our day or to change a person's entire life. Join us as we look into the power of words, to speak life or to speak death.
The big revelation in the Bible is that God is not just some self-absorbed divine being living in the heavenlies, or some impersonal spirit to be “tapped into” for strength and wisdom. Instead, God is a Person (actually a Community of three Persons), who is all about relationship and who desires to have one with every one of us. God desires to be that “third strand” in each of our relationships that makes them unbreakable. Let’s see what that means…
There is no doubt that God has designed, created, and re-created each one of us in Christ in amazing ways. But as amazing as we may be individually, together, as the Church, we are stunning! Together, we reveal nothing less than the glory of God. Let’s be the Church.
We are in a language-centric world. Language matters. What we say, how we say it, and the context behind what we say can help us or hurt us. What happens in a marriage, a friendship, or in a work environment when we use language against the other - or when that language loses its meaning between the speaker and the hearer. In part 3 of Relationships That Last, we are going to ask the question: Did I Hear You Right?