Jesus teaches us to see each person as filled with God's Holy Spirit, as never "just" anything. I invite you this week to notice when you think of others, or yourselves, as "just." Remember that no one is "just" in God's eyes, not even you.
The sin is not the wealth, but blindness to the brokenness - by Deacon John (Sunday 8:00 am)
The sin of the rich man was not his great wealth, but the lack of seeing the plight of those around him who were caught up in the brokenness of that world, of his world. His sin was not feeling, not walking in the footsteps of those suffering around him and to reach into their lives and to touch them with love.
Don't Be Caught In Hell - by Stephen Leader Steve (Saturday 4:30 pm)
God's redemptive love for the world was infinitely expressed in His gift of His Son as a sacrifice for sin. Hell is not God's choice for us. His grace has demonstrated that. The choice is ours. Luke related this parable to warn us that punishment is ahead for those without faith and that we should heed God's word now in faith.
A Sting Operation - by Pastor Lynn (Sunday 8 &10 am)
We may hesitate to be bold in making ourselves known as Christians in public, because we have no desire to be ridiculed for being people of faith. Fortunately, here in the south, in this part of the Bible Belt, many people are believers, and actually welcome our reference to the Divine. It is easy here to pray our thanks at a restaurant, and to say "God bless you" when someone does something nice for us. It's easy to notice someone's cross and ask about it, and learn about their faith. These simple activities may not be stings, and they are not for any underhanded activity. My hope is that by using the idea of a sting, it will encourage you to think more often about sharing Jesus with others.
Jesus had a sense of humor - by Stephen Leader Steve (Saturday 4:30 pm)
Three questions our parable today leads us to ask are:
1) Are we Sunday morning Christians or 24/7 Christians? 2) Is the life we live serving God in such a manner that others will come to love Christ?
And above all, 3)Is our light burning for Christ so brightly that others can see Him clearly?
We humans feel joy when we know we have been found, when our lives are better because of the presence and grace of God. Jesus assures us that there is even more joy in heaven when we are filled with joy. We don't have to work hard to be found, we simply have to look around for Jesus, who is always looking for us.
Fortunately and unfortunately, the lost and found cycle seems to happen over and over again in our lives. We think we have it all together, we are filled with joy, and suddenly realize that we are actually lost and need to be found again. And Jesus just keeps on looking for us.
Every sinner is a prize worth searching for - by Deacon Diane (Saturday 4:30 pm)
To Jesus, every sinner is a prize worth searching for. He dearly loves every single person whether they are far away from God or are
close to him. If we are lost, it's not because God lost us. It's because our sin has caused us to wander farther from God but He never stopped loving us…even if we run away. He sent His Son, Jesus to die on a cross for us. Jesus rescued us. And if even one lost person believes that the Son of God died so this sin was gone and they will be lovingly returned to a right relationship with God, and all heaven will have a party to celebrate.
What does it cost you to follow Jesus? I'm not just talking about how deeply you dig into your pockets for the offering, although that is one consideration. Do you put following Jesus above your family members, as Jesus insists? Do you consider how much food you waste, and how hungry the homeless are? Do you treat others as your equal, as your brother or sister in Christ? Do you pray for your enemies? For our nation's enemies?
What does it cost you to follow Jesus?
It is not easy to follow Christ - by Deacon John (Saturday 4:30 pm)
Jesus is saying, if you want to be my disciple, if you want to follow me, here is what you are called to do. Place me first above everything else in your life, and then before you say you are willing to do that, you had better count the cost and see if you are willing to make such a sacrifice for me. See if you are willing to pay that kind of price.