Counting the Cost Part 3

How do I get to heaven? Wow! This question is asked a lot today. Maybe not in the way its written here, but whether you are religious or not, this question always seems to be on our minds. What happens after death? Will I go to heaven? What do I need to do to get there? There are all kinds of religions and beliefs that teach different ways to get to heaven, but how do we know which teaching to follow? Your not the only one who’s looking for answers, Luke 18:18-23 tells us about a wealthy ruler, who sought the answer to one of life’s greatest questions. Continue reading

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Counting the Cost Part 2

What is the hardest thing you had to do on the job? Usually doing something that is difficult requires sacrificing something that you desire. For some of us, that could cost us our time and money. But just because something is difficult to do, doesn’t mean it isn’t good for us. In fact, some of the most beneficial things in the world; dieting, exercise, education; are some of the most difficult things to maintain. Luke 14:26-28, 33 teaches us the cost of following the most important priority in life, Jesus, and what it means to be His disciple.  Continue reading

Counting the Cost Part 1

Have you ever felt so passionate about something, that nothing that anybody could say to you could convince you otherwise? Whether its a dream, hobby, or even vacation plans, we all get passionate about something. Our desire to pursue a goal comes from our belief in its ability to make our lives, or others, better. But did you know, that 50% of businesses fail with in the first year of operation, and that 95% of businesses fail within the first five years? Why is that? Planning to pursue something, and actually taking steps of faith to follow-through with those plans, are two completely different actions. Luke 9:57-62 teaches us the importance of counting the cost before making the commitment, especially when it comes to following Jesus. Continue reading

The Challenge of Hospitality

When I think about the meaning of the word hospitality, the first person that comes to mind is Mother Teresa. Most of us know who Mother Teresa is; a Catholic nun, world renown missionary, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner. She gave food to the hungry, medicine to the sick, and took care of the poor. But the challenge of hospitality to those in need, isn’t just limited to those in “ministry,” but is meant to challenge all of us. Luke 14:12-14 gives us an insight of what it means to be hospitable, and who we should be hospitable to. Continue reading

Conquering Our Grudges

 

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, ‘Grudge”? Every time I hear the word, it makes my heart cringe. One definition that explains this word in a nutshell is a “persistent feeling of ill will towards someone.” When we carry a grudge, we constantly think about it  and it ends up becoming a part of our lives. Having a grudge is exhausting, Luke 13:10-12 gives us a great example of how it affect’s us both spiritually and physically. Continue reading

Giving Up Control

How many of you have control over your lives right now? Trying to keep everything in our control feels like swimming across the Atlantic with weights tied around our ankles.  We live in a society where its all about who can get to the finish line first with the most tasks on their plate. Sometimes we struggle just to find some breathing room in our day-to-day lives. When we are so busy trying to keep things under control we forget the one who is in control of everything. Isaiah 40:12-14 reminds us of God’s control over the universe and keeps us grounded in his loving care for us. Continue reading

Sharing the Burden Part 2

Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day? Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you work you just can’t seem to get everything done? Last week we talked about the reasons why we keep the heavy burdens of life to ourselves. Whether it’s because we feel like we can’t trust other people, or we don’t want to be a burden to others, it doesn’t change the fact that we feel overwhelmed. As we read through Exodus 18:19-23 we’ll focus on the importance of our God-given task, how we can share the workload, and what it will accomplish in our lives.  Continue reading

Sharing the Burden Part 1

 

Have you ever felt like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders? Or that people were expecting too much from you? The feeling of being overwhelmed is not unfamiliar to most of us, and over time, can leave us feeling tired and ineffective. We tend to start blaming ourselves and others for not meeting up to par with expectations, and we spiral out of control. God understands why we as His children, tend to keep the burden of worry and responsibility to ourselves. Exodus 18 gives us a great depiction of the heavy burden we carry sometimes. Continue reading

Does God Really Understand Me? Part 3

What is the most painful thing you can remember in your life? It can be physical, emotional, or psychological. Abuse can be so destructive in our lives that it leaves emotional scars that can cause us to question God’s goodness. We start asking questions like: “If God was so good, why would he let this happen to me?” The last part of this series, “Does God Really Understand Me?”, isn’t a way to belittle your pain or make you situation any less significant then what it really is. But as we read through Matthew 27:27-31, we will discover together the amount of abuse Jesus went through before He was crucified on the cross. Continue reading

Does God Really Understand Me? Part 2

Have you ever been hurt by somebody else? Many of us have felt taken advantage of and betrayed by friends and even family. Trust can be a very fragile thing and can be hard to earn back. Sometimes it can leave a scar among relationships and people never leave the same. In the second part of this three-part series, we will explore the betrayal of Judas and ask God the hard question: Does God really understand my hurt? Mark Chapter 14 sheds a new light on the life of Jesus, on the night he was betrayed. Continue reading