It is embarrassing to admit how much you have learned that has long since been forgotten. For those who may not know, I have a Bachelors of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance. I sometimes joke that all that means is that there was a time in my life where I knew how to evaluate a stock price.
One of the quotes I shared in last weekend’s message was from Rev. Mike Slaughter. In a portion of his book, Momentum for Life, where Mike speaks about the essential practice of spending time with God each day he writes, “It only takes me 24 hours to lose a healthy fear of God. Daily devotion renews ‘the why’ of my life.”
In looking at Matthew 6:25-33 yesterday I shared what I see as a common misinterpretation of what Jesus says about worry and faith. Our text for today highlights what might be one of the misunderstood aspects of the Christian life in general.
If anxiety is an ongoing struggle in your life, you probably have not found the advice, “just don’t worry,” to be very helpful. It may sound overly simplified at best and at worst, lacking in the empathy necessary to fully understand that battle. You may even find yourself tempted to dismiss what Jesus offers here for similar reasons.
We pick up today where we left off yesterday. And just in case you missed Monday’s reflection or forgot our focus in the past 24 hours, let me share two sentences from yesterday’s reflection. In the words of scholar NT Wright, faith in Christ is not “a kind of spiritual enhancement for our ordinary life but a radical rescue from a life of imminent disaster.”
In our readings and reflections this week, I want to invite you to put into act the instruction found in the first half of the third verse from Proverbs 16. With our entire church family, I want us to challenge ourselves to ”commit to the Lord” whatever plans we would make for this new year. In the message this past weekend I shared some thoughts on how best to embrace God’s gift of a fresh start.
Have you ever read our church website? “As a United Methodist Church, we are part of the second largest denomination in America, a denomination that has churches in almost every city in the country and a foot print of mission and ministry around the world.
Have you ever smelled the goodness of a blooming flower, but given someone the cold shoulder? Have you ever found warmth by a fire, but felt hate in your heart towards someone?
Today we are looking at making room for the self-righteous. If you are reading this with someone else, or someone immediately came to mind in that first sentence, this is not the time to throw an elbow or shoot a text message making sure they tune into the First 15.
As we focus on making room for people this week we have shared in dialogue about room for others, room for children, and now room for the poor. Before we begin this discussion of what it means to make room for the poor, we must look at three questions first:
There are many words to describe children. Such as: -loud -sad -laughter -smelly -adorable -small -adventurous
Have you ever been in an empty elevator, the door is shutting, and then a hand slips through the opening? You think you are in the clear and then ten other people squeeze in with you.
As we end one year and begin another, I challenge you to not make resolutions or promises. That’s right. Do not start with a list of things you would like to do differently this year.
As we approach the new year, many of us will begin anew. New plans. New goals. New focus. And like many years before, many of us will fail at keeping these new commitments.
Jesus commanded us to love one another. He told his disciples that love was the mark of a disciple. That distinction, how we love one another, would be how others would know we are followers of Jesus.