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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Spiritual Disciplines: Piecing it Together

There's been times in my life when I feel like I'm just fighting against the wall. I'm not making progress. Nothing seems to change. Now, I'm not one to shy away from hard work. I've held a few different jobs over the years and worked hard at each of them. I don't mind if I have to dig a ditch, but when it seems that all I do is dig a ditch one day and fill it in the next, it starts to wear a person down a bit. I want to know that I'm making a difference, even if it is a small difference to some, I know that to others I have a chance to make all the difference in the world.

So why do I feel stuck sometimes? Well, for starters, we sometimes have a hard time seeing the progress we are making. We cut ourselves short, we can be overly critical, and we don't see the positive impact we are having on others. It's so easy to pick apart my work or my day and call everything a mistake. I could over analyze myself to death if I'm not careful! You need to know that you're making a difference in ways you may not realize in the moment. I think back to Christians I still look up to to this very day and I realize I haven't told them yet what a difference they've made in my life. Know that when you seek the Lord, others will follow.

Other times, I feel stuck because I'm just not getting the kind of traction that I should. I've got worries, doubts, and fears bogging me down and keeping me from being all that Christ has called me to be. Some of us want to progress on the path of discipleship to rise to the call of growth given by the Hebrews author: Hebrews 5:12 "By now you should be teachers. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the first things you need to know from God’s Word. You still need milk instead of solid food." This is a strong admonishment and one that we should take seriously.

This morning, we'll look at one technique necessary for progressing as disciples: building. We'll look at how we can start combining these practices we have been learning about in ways that equip us to face the battles life throws at us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Peace & Frustration

Colossians 3:15 (NIV) "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."

This is a powerful statement to me. Negativity wants to rule in our hearts and minds. It wants us to feed our frustrations, stoke our anger, and succumb to our insecurities. Know that you are greater than all off these. God has made you in His image and brings you to glory. You are loved. You are valuable. You matter. Listen to what should rule us: the peace of God. How? It continues: be thankful.

I got pretty frustrated this morning. I missed my alarm because I didn't plug in my phone last night. Since I was later and it was raining, traffic was worse. There was construction all along the way with people that didn't want to slow down and look out for each other. But the extra time gave me the chance to clear my head and be thankful. I have a car that keeps me safe. I have a job to go to. I have a family that loves me and cares about me.

It took some doing, but when I prayed about it and thanked God for my blessings I really felt this sense of relief come over me. It felt like the peace of God was setting me free from a rough start to my day. Now I want to go out and accomplish what's before me. Now I can work towards my goals. It was like satan was there trying to drag me down but when I resisted and ran to God, I was freed.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Disciples Making Disciples: Building With Care

Study is an important part of the Christian life. Oh that we would have been so fortunate to be able to sit at the feet of Jesus and to listen to his teaching and preaching! Jesus had a way of explaining the Scriptures and revealing the truth hidden within them, even from the teachers of the Law, that I wish there could have been more of! We know that what is in our Bibles is just a taste, a sliver, of all that Jesus said and did (John 21:25).

Though Jesus is not here today in body, we are left with many of His teachings and His example (1 Peter 2:21-25). The accounts of Jesus's life are preserved for us in the Bible, as well as much more from the letters written to the various churches established in His name (Revelation 1:11).

Without study, we are left adrift in the sea of darkness (Ephesians 4:14). Without study, we have no one to guide us (Acts 8:31). Without study, we can be deceived by our own ungodly desires (Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 3:5-8). Without careful study, we can even be misled by those using the words of God! (2 Peter 3:16)

I hope you can join our study this morning as we look at some of the tools we will need to carry with us when we study. If we study with an earnest heart, an open mind, and careful consideration we will be greatly blessed on our discipleship journey (2 Tim 2:15).