For Christians, one of the most important things that we can do is to teach, invest and develop the growth of other Christians. That is how deep friendships are made. How community is grown. How the goodness of Jesus is spread. How we can save others. This is called the process of discipleship. And we know it’s one of the most important things because this is the process Jesus used to grow his ministry. And it’s been booming since 2000 years ago.
But like all valuable things, discipleship is costly. It requires us to give up things for the sake of another person’s growth.
Today, we’re addressing the question; What is the cost of discipleship? The cost of discipleship is:
Too often at church we talk moreabout evangelism and discipleship, and character development (and of course that is important), but we can’t neglect community and friendship.
It is a necessary ingredient for life change and this is what I want to show from the Bible today. Our Bible passage today comes from Philemon 1:1-7.
At first glance, it feels like nothing is really going on. Paul is just saying some nice things about some guy named Philemon. But if we dig deeper, we see that these nice words between friends are leading to something life changing and greatly important not just for them two but for all of history.
And it’s a reminder to us, that if we want to be agents of change and people who make a difference, we need to invest in friendships too.
My plan today is to show you two ideas from our passage:
Some of us are going through a difficult season and the trouble just keeps coming. And it feels unfair and pointless. And we’re praying about it but God doesn’t seem to be doing anything.
Which leads me to my question today. I want to ask: Where is God when we need him?
I think all of us will have to answer this question sooner or later, because all of us will go through times when life feels unfair and even cruel. And in those times our understanding of God makes a big difference. Some people get angry at God or they lose faith and they stop following Jesus. But if you can answer our question well, you can find peace and courage, and direction when life gets really difficult.
So once again my question is, where is God when we need him? My answer is that when we need him, God is near, and God is powerful. And my goal is to show you this answer from the Bible.
Many people see Jesus as just a nice guy. But Jesus was more confrontational than we think- he confronted the injustice of the religious elite. He said a lot of harsh things and because of this he made a lot of enemies who constantly wanted to kill him. You don’t kill nice people. Nonetheless, Jesus was perfect and this was a time where his perfect character and perfect love demanded more than just some kind words- it demanded action.
These stories are important because it gives us the proper understanding of who God is and what he is like. It gives us a picture of what God wants us to be like because we are called to imitate him, so we can join him in his work.
So our big question today is: how does perfect love respond to brokenness? When we unpack our passage, we’ll see it responds with action and with sacrifice. That’s how God responds, and that’s how he’s leading us to respond as well.
That’s just a fancy way of saying, how can we know what is right?
It is really important to have a strong sense of ethics, because there are so many opinions out there on what is right. If our sense of ethics is off, we could really do some damage with our actions, or we can even be crushed by unnecessary guilt. Or even worse, we can become self-righteous and think we’re better than everyone else. Our moral compass makes such a difference. But ethics is not just a black and white thing. We’ll see that in our Bible story today.
There are some people who are so cynical that they believe that there is no real security in life, but the Bible argues that there is one place where we can find true security, and that is in our relationship with God.
Our Bible story today is one of the strangest and most interesting stories that you’ll find in the Bible, and yet it’s relatable, and it carries a deep lesson for us on the source of our security.
My question today is: how do we make sense of suffering? This is a huge complex question that people have been pondering for millions of years. Suffering can sometimes crush us, it can be the cause of great anxiety and uncertainty.
So today we’re going to look at the Book of Job and if we can learn the lessons that this book has for us- it could give us comfort and the tools we need in our darkest moments.
Our passage today gives us two points to remember when we are going through dark times:
1. Remember the stakes are eternal 2. Remember that God is still in control
Today’s Bible story is about where it’s like the universe conspires against the bad guy, And the good guy gets a break. This could have been a story of revenge. But instead there’s a twist in the story, that teaches us an important lesson in life.
Today’s lesson is that, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That’s a verse straight from the Bible, in Proverbs 9:10a. David started with the fear of the Lord, meaning the respect of the Lord And based on his respect for God, he used as much wisdom as he could.
So, if you ever wondered what God wants you to do in life, or what his will is for you? Remember this principle. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
We’re continuing our series on Strange Stories in the Bible. And I love this series because these extreme stories help us to understand things about God that we wouldn’t see otherwise. This week is about a guy named Jephthah from the first half of the Bible, back in the time of the judges. He is put in charge of the army of Israel to fight against the oppressive Ammonites… but he makes a mistake. He thinks that in order to ensure his victory against them, he has to make this strange contract with God.
This leads us to our question for the week; How can we protect ourselves from life’s biggest mistakes? The answer we get from our bible story this week is that we need to know God’s characters and his laws.
Today we are starting a new series called: Strange Stories from The Bible. In this series, we are going to look at some of the most peculiar stories that Bible has to offer- stories that have a lot to teach us. Today we’re going to look at Mark 5: 1-20. It’s a story about Jesus, Demons and Pigs.
This story may sound strange and confusing to us but this Bible story actually answers an important question for every Christian. The question we need to ask today is: what is the value of a person’s soul? We need to think about this question as Christians.
Most likely, many of us are already convinced that it’s worth the effort and sacrifice to help people find Jesus. But when it comes to actually doing this, most Christians find it’s very hard and equally discouraging when we try to bring people to faith (I get it, I’ve felt this way too).
But from my experience, if you can get past the fear and embrace the hard work that comes with it I think you’ll find that sharing your faith can be a meaningful and thrilling experience.