Stand with the End in Mind

As we near the end of our series, Standing Firm, Peter pours a little bit of apocalyptic fervor over the whole thing. Why is it that we stand firm in our faith even when things get tough? Because the journey we’re on won’t last forever. Let’s explore this together today.

Stand with the End in Mind

I want you to do a little remembering with me this morning. Think about the last time you watched a movie or television show that was set in a post-apocalyptic environment. Now, you know what a post-apocalyptic setting is, right? Most directly it is a story setting that takes place on the other side of some kind of an apocalyptic event. Whether it’s a nuclear war or an alien invasion or a series of natural disasters or a horde of self-aware nanites eliminating all electricity around the world or a virus pandemic that turns people into zombies, something happens that causes massive numbers of people to die, and the survivors are left to figure out how to do life in a whole new world with a whole lot less people and no modern conveniences. In most of these shows people do reorganize into some sort of a society, but have you noticed that this society is almost unfailingly way more violent and brutal than it was before the apocalypse? It’s like the apocalyptic event gives people the freedom to give in to their darkest desires and tendencies. It’s like we’re in the wild, wild west again. These are the kinds of things I think about while watching TV. I’m a ton of fun to watch with.

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Live Like It’s True

Have you ever had someone be really unkind to you and then expect you to listen to what they had to say? I suspect you weren’t quite as interested at that point as they wanted you to be. There’s a lesson here when it comes to sharing our faith. As we continue in our series, Tell Someone, instead of turning to tips and tricks for effective evangelism, we’re taking a pause to talk about something we have to have in place before we start doing it (and I’m not talking about prayer). What is this thing? Read on to find out.

Live Like It’s True

In a headline that grabbed not a little attention a couple of weeks ago, the Gallup polling organization released a survey on religious participation in the United States. They found that for the first time since the organization began tracking this particular bit of data in 1937, church membership had fallen below 50% of the population. In other words, for the first time…perhaps in our entire history…less than half of the country reports being a member of a church. The problem runs deeper than just that, though. These folks who are leaving behind their church membership are overwhelmingly not just leaving that behind, they are abandoning the Christian faith entirely.

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Morning Musing: Mark 7:14-15

“Summoning the crowd again, he told them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you get when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste? I recently saw a magician squeeze ketchup and then pour salt out of the same tube of toothpaste. I’m pretty sure he monkeyed with the tube somehow. Normally, when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste out comes a glob of…toothpaste. This isn’t rocket science. Now, here’s the real trick question: Why does toothpaste come out of that tube when you squeeze it? Ready for this: Because that’s what’s in it. I know, I know, this is mind-blowing stuff. So why am I thinking about toothpaste this morning? Because of what Jesus said here. Let’s talk about it.

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The Leaders We Deserve

As we continue in our journey through the book of Judges, things are getting ugly. God keeps raising up leaders to help the people when they are in trouble, but the stock of people from which He can draw is getting pretty poor. As a result, rather than leading the people, these men are merely reflecting them. There’s a lesson here for us: Our leaders are ultimately going to look like us. What kind of leaders are we meaningfully going to be able to produce? Let’s talk about it.

The Leaders We Deserve

Have you ever seen a movie in which a great leader calls a people to rise above themselves and do great things? That’s a pretty broad category of mostly good movies if you think about it. There is one, though, that stands atop the rest: Braveheart. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what scene I’m talking about. The Scottish clans are all lined up on the hill waiting to run into battle against their English oppressors. They are hopelessly outnumbered by the British regulars. And then William Wallace rides up and down their ranks and speaks courage and confidence into their very souls. The most famous passage of the speech ended like this: “And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

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Digging in Deeper: Micah 6:8 (Round two)

“Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
— ‭‭Micah‬ ‭6:8‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

So, yesterday we talked about the sarcastic response the people had to God’s case against them. God’s case was that they had left Him without cause. Their response was to sarcastically ask what He wanted from them? Bowed knees? A sacrifice? A thousand sacrifices? Their own children sacrificed? What would make Him happy? From there we talked about the fact that we sometimes feel similarly in our own lives. What does God want from us? What is it we can do that will make Him happy? Today, we get an answer.

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