October 2, 2011
How does God feel about our enemies?
You could hardly find a more violent enemy that Saul was to the early church. Not only did he join in with the persecution and murder of Christians, he also hunted them down in other cities for the purpose of attacking them.
But something happened to Saul on the road to Damascus in the hunt for Christians.
Jesus encountered Saul in the form of a bright light and told Saul that he was now going to work for Him. The light also happened to knock Saul down and blind him.
And then, Annanias, a faithful disciple of Jesus in Damascus, was asked to go and pray for Saul so that his sight could be restored.
After some struggle, Annanias went and prayed for Saul, a great enemy of the church!
Again and again, Jesus asks Christians to pray for and love our enemies. We never know what will happen. Sometimes, we may have the opportunity to join in with a divine reconciliation! Just like Annanis did with Saul.
Who are your enemies? Who opposes you? What if we ask God to show us His divine plan to love them? And then what if we pray for them along those lines? And then what if God asks us to be part of the piece of love that brings reconcilation? Just like Annanias was.
Check it out ahead of time at Acts 9:1-19.
Come and join us on Sunday at 5 PM as we CONNECT in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff, as we share a Sermon called “God extends love to our enemies…then asks us to do the same”.
December 30, 2010
“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”–I John 4:16
What are most Christians known for?
On a “good” day, Christians might be known for our spiritual understanding, for our faith, or for our generosity. Nothing is wrong with any of these things. They are all part of the Christian life.
But again and again, the core message of Jesus and His followers is grounded in the revolutionary declaration of Matthew 22:37-40–that all of God’s guidance for our lives is tied into these two commandments:
1) Love God with everything we have and
2) Love our neighbors as ourselves.
So–just thinking out loud here–what if Christians were actually known by our love? Or put another way, what if Love is the only measurement for evaluating how we are doing in following Jesus?
Let’s take those questions through a few more steps…
- How are we doing as a church in Love?
- Are we a Loving church?
- And what can we do to become a more Loving church?
These are exactly the questions we are asking God to answer for us in 2011. If Love is that fundamental to following Jesus, then it is certainly worth spending as much time as it takes on getting our hearts moving in that direction.
But exactly what is Christian Love? What does it look like? How does it feel?
Fortunately, God has given us a blueprint for the DNA of love in I Corinthians 13.
Come and join us on Sunday at 5 PM as we CONNECT in shared space at 5413 Blue Ridge Cutoff, and as we kick off a new year together with a Sermon called “Becoming a Loving Church in 2011”.