Return the Favor

Only two more installments in our series, Being Useful, after this one. In this seventh part, we are reaching a point that the qualities on Peter’s list are both the next natural addition as well as the result of the previous additions. What does it look like when we pursue faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, and endurance on a consistent, intentional basis? We begin to fulfill the duty we owe to God. A duty to God? For what? Keep reading to find out more.

Return the Favor

Just out of curiosity this morning, how many of you have both been called and actually served for jury duty?  Thank you for that.  We don’t often thank jurors, but they contribute a vitally important service to our nation’s judicial system.  As much of a headache as this particular service is seen to be—much more of a burden than a blessing—it has kept our court system its distinction as one of the best and fairest in the world for the accused for almost 250 years.  That’s not a small thing. 

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:22

“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever heard a really stirring speech or maybe a sermon that grabbed hold of your heart and made you feel like you were ready to go take on the world? Did you? Or perhaps have you seen one of those commercials with the old white guy promising not to let anymore African kids starve if you give him your money filled with all kinds of really pathetic-looking little ones? Did it yank on your heartstrings? Did you send him money? Being stirred to action emotionally is one thing. Actually moving is something entirely different. James agrees. 

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Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 5:9-10

“Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”‬‬ (CSB- Read the chapter)

At the end of the last post I started talking about what we do in light of the fact that we have this assurance of life after death as followers of Jesus. Paul goes there next too. 

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Morning Musings: Judges 2:14

“So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them.  And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

The Lord is a father and the people of Israel were His children.  (He’s also a bridegroom and they were His bride which is kind of an odd mixing of metaphors, but both are nonetheless appropriate at different times to describe our relationship with Him.)  When they refused to stay on the path down which He was leading them, He disciplined them.  What this summary description of how the rest of the book of Judges is going to go reveals is that once the people were settled in the land they struggled mightily with faithfulness. Read the rest…

Keep Standing

In this final part of our Esther teaching series, Stand Up: How to Fight Injustice, we are reminded that since injustice never sleeps, we can’t either.  Over the course of this conversation I offer four ways we can make sure our lives are always ready to fight injustice.  Keep reading to find out what they are.

 

Keep Standing

Last weekend was the annual Relay for Life Walk event.  While it has gotten pared back a bit over the years, the original vision for the event was for it to last for a full 24-hours.  One of the original slogans that accompanied the all-night walk was that we could walk throughout the night because “cancer never sleeps.”  The big idea here is that cancer is always on and so we must be also.  We must be ever vigilant to halt its life-stealing advance.  Because it never takes a day-off, we can’t either.  This kind of militaristic sentiment works for a while, but eventually people start to get tired.  Sometimes the very advances to which their support of cancer research has contributed allows some folks to relax a bit and let up on the pressure.  It’s tough to stay motivated to support a single cause for a long period of time. Read the rest…