Your World Is Too Small

This week, as we continue in our series, Answers to Tough Questions, we took on a debate that has been going on for a long time. It may not burn today as brightly as it once did, but that doesn’t mean it has gone away. Instead, it has become the background assumption of many of the people around us. This debate is the clash between faith and science. Read on to find out how we can engage in this debate as followers of Jesus.

Your World Is Too Small

How do you know that you know something? Have you ever thought about that? Unless you’ve taken a philosophy class, you probably haven’t. But, the answer to that question is a lot more important than you might think. For example, I have a stool up here on stage with me. I bought this at Walmart. How many people in here have sat on this stool before? I know there are a few, but most of you have not. Given that, how many of you who have not sat on it before would be willing to sit on it if I asked you to do so? If you said yes to that, beyond simply fulfilling my request, why would you sit on it? Probably because you believe you will be able to sit on it. But why? Why do you believe that? Or, to put that another way, how do you know you’ll be able to sit on it? How do you know it will not collapse underneath you? Pushing this one step further, how do you know you know that? This same kind of line of questioning could be used relating to anything else you do. How do you know the food you eat won’t poison you? How do you know your car will make it to work? How do you know the store clerk will give you your change? How do you know your family members love you? How do you know that you know the things you know? This may all seem silly, but the answer to this question really does matter. I’ll tell you why in just a bit.

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

“Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: ‘Be reconciled to God.’” (CBS – Read the chapter)‬‬

This morning we laid eyes and hearts on the truly amazing fact that in Christ, God doesn’t count our sins against us. Rather, He counts Jesus’ credit in our favor so that our accounts can be reconciled. Once we’ve been reconciled, though, then what? 

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Planting Seeds

God designed you to grow. And, when you’re growing like you should, you’ll be producing seeds that can be planted in other people that will affect the way they see and interact with and think about the world around them. The question is: Are these Gospel seeds, or are they seeds for something less savory. As a community, God designed us to be a place where people grow in Christ. Read on to see what this means for us, what it can mean for you, and what we should to about it.

Planting Seeds

I don’t have any corn growing in my front yard.  You can drive by my house any day of the week, any time of the day, and you won’t ever see any there.  It’s the weirdest thing.  It just isn’t there.  I like corn.  I love eating it.  I love it when we buy a whole bunch at the store, strip it off the cob, freeze it, and pull it out months later to enjoy.  Lisa is a wizard with those goodie freezer bags.  But there just isn’t any in my front yard.  There aren’t any green beans either.  That’s really too bad too, because it’s the one vegetable we’ve managed to be able to get all three boys to eat without much in the way of complaint.  I can’t tell you how convenient it would be to simply go out the front door and pick what we need rather than having to go to the store all the time for them.  Alas, though, the yard is bereft of beans.  And greens.  Now, I’m not much of one for greens myself, but Lisa likes cabbage.  You won’t find the first leaf of it in my front yard. 

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Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 13:12-13

“I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

There’s a lot going on here, but at a glance, this seems like another one of those places where, yes, though Saul didn’t do what the Lord had apparently told him to do, He’s overreacting to his failure to do so rather wildly. But, while that is perhaps the obvious understanding, it misses the bigger and more important picture. Let’s take a look at that one. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Judges 2:10

“And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers.  And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The most important verse in all of the Old Testament as far as Judaism is concerned is Deuteronomy 6:4. It is called the Shema, the Hebrew command “listen,” because that’s the first word. It goes like this: Read the rest…