Our challenge as believers is to become anchored in Jesus as the unwavering stone that will keep us firm in our rapid changing culture.
As we walk with each other on this journey and take that sometimes scary step of sharing our faith with those around us, there is a season for patience, but as relationship and trust develops, there is space for the right kind of urgency
Resilience, or the ability to bounce back in the midst of adversity, is one of those words that communicate inspiration, power, and perseverance. However, we often overlook the most important part of resilience, the “hard times and adversity” part.
I am the most privileged immigrant because I have the option to enjoy aloofness and detach myself from other minorities. I can live quietly and make no noise and continue to patiently prosper without the blame of the white man. I can let other people fight their wars and participate not at all, because only a fool takes up arms against someone else’s enemy.
When Jesus asks us to let go of everything and follow Him, that's scary. As believers it’s our responsibility to care for our non believing friends who share the fear that they will lose everything in following Him.
When we consider the people that God has allowed to be in our lives, our schools, jobs, families, etc, do we judge them just like the Pharisees did or do we embrace them in whatever journey they are in their lives? Are we clear demonstrations of Jesus?
We are called to slow down, to pray, to listen, connect, affirm, and ultimately welcome our neighbors.
The word “evangelism” is not necessarily a word we use in everyday conversation, even among Christian circles. Why? Because it lies at the intersection of all the things we try to avoid the most: lack of control, waiting, and uncertainty.
Jesus died on our behalf, because God knows our every wrongdoing, and there had to be a punishment for the sin. And although we often submit again and again to a yoke of slavery (see Galatians 5), acting from our flesh and not in newness of the Spirit, God will not condemn us in the end.
Jesus’ sacrifice is what gives me the freedom to live my life as he would, without having to prove myself to either the Christian or the non Christian. The certainty and the authority to live out that life unapologetically has only been granted to me by the Holy Spirit.
None of us get saved to sit, we get saved to be sent.
Because Jesus ascended we have power, an advocate, and hope.
Because of the Resurrection, we are free from the bondage of sin, free from oppression, free from injustice - and we have a hope that anchors our souls even when we don’t fully experience that freedom in this life.
Jesus gives a voice to our suffering, the posture of the woman who is clearly portrayed as an outcast, and how He is concerned for not only the confessing sinner, but even the arrogant and proud who justify themselves by their religiosity.
In Sunday's sermon, Ruben Ramirez continued our Bread Trail series by giving us a kingdom view of temptation, where it comes from, and how to overcome it just as Jesus did.
This sermon was a great reminder that Jesus’ baptism was more than just a Christian’s rite of passage towards repentance and righteousness.
When I speak to others about Christ, I must be aware that the power to compel a person to Jesus, put to death their worldly identity, and have them be reborn in His image, is not in my ability to teach and preach God's word- it's all Him.
We can trust that He will not shame us of our sins but in fact bring glory to Himself and redeem us. I trust that He takes what we are most ashamed of and uses it to draw near those that are far away through our vulnerability with others.
"Hospitality - Offering to others the very things that refresh us, the definition Pastor Rich shared with us about hospitality. How often do I invite people into the things that refresh me? Very rarely do I desire to yet, this is precisely what Jesus calls me to do every day."
The truth is, every Christian can be a perpetuator of justice, in any capacity. Only when we understand and know Jesus can we truly be doers of justice.