When opportunities arise and we are thrust into the spotlight, we have a choice to make. We can choose to camouflage our convictions to match our surrounding culture, or we can stand true to the people God calls us to be.
Resources to rest and restore the soul
Every person in every church and every pastor should never forget a singular, irreplaceable truth: Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus is first in everything.
No other event is more central to our finding and following Jesus than His resurrection. Without it, the Christian faith is just wishful thinking. But if Christ is raised from the dead, that changes everything.
God is gracious and that is a very good thing, and, normally, we consider it a good thing. But what happens when God shows His grace to those who have hurt us or others?
We can make peace with others.The peace that God gives us will make us want to make peace with others. After all, God set the example when He made peace with us by sending Jesus. And BECAUSE God made peace with us . . . we can make peace with others. Every day, we...
We are all familiar with these words, right? As children, the happy ending is drilled into us over and over again. Books, movies, and stories are all wrapped up in the final scene with a pretty bow.
Yet, life in our current fallen world is rarely like a fairy tale. We suffer countless trials. Some end better than we ever imagined. Others just keep us steadfast in the muck. The truth is some trials don’t end. The big, bad terrible thing doesn’t go away or get fixed. In fact, sometimes our circumstances get worse. Our lives are forever altered.
God made peace with us - through Jesus!This month we are looking at PEACE - Proving you care more about each other than winning an argument. Today we celebrate that Jesus is ALIVE! It was the greatest news anyone had ever heard, and it’s the reason we celebrate...
I imagine the crucifixion scene from the vantage of a mother. To witness the brutalizing public display of degradation and horror must have felt more than any mother could ever possibly bear in a lifetime. Jesus’s mother, Mary, remained by her child’s side, helpless to stop the horror, but a faithful presence of love in the midst of so much hatred. How could she let her son go, even in death?
A man named Joseph of Arimathea learned this when he played a major role in the burial of Jesus. Joseph appeared to be an upstanding citizen and a decent human being, but there was nothing special or extraordinary about him.
What is considered to be an uneventful portion of the narrative of Jesus’ crucifixion was actually a stepping stone to the greatness and impact of the resurrection.
He’d lost count of how many crucifixions he’d witnessed. Too many. It wasn’t something a person ever got used to – the visceral brutality of the Roman death penalty ensured it left an impression – but after participating in so many over the years, he’d gotten numb. Numbness was preferable to flinching at every stroke of the whip during a scourging, gagging at the feel of the nails piercing flesh or pitying the criminals as they spent hours suffocating to death while hanging on the cross.
At the height of the drama of the Easter story you’ll find Pontius Pilate. Jesus’ fate was in Pilate’s hands but he let the pressure from those around him influence his decision. He even chose to ignore his wife who told him to “have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.”