Morning Musing: Mark 10:26-27

“They were even more astonished, saying to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the more memorable illustrations I remember from by days in youth group was when we were all given a coconut and told to figure out how to break it open. We all got pretty creative. I think my group went outside and smashed it on the ground for all we were worth. We made some dents, but didn’t ever get much more than that. It wasn’t until the leaders gave us a little prompting that we finally realized the trick. We needed to ask for help. It was not something we were going to be able to do on our own. Once we asked for help, our leaders gave us a hammer, and we were set. The task was a fairly easy one to accomplish, but it wasn’t going to be able to happen until we got the help we needed. The whole point was that this is how salvation works. The task of salvation is a fairly easy one for us to accomplish…but not on our own. We take this kind of thing as a matter of course in the church, but there was a time this was pretty big news. This morning we’re going to look at one of those times.

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Brand-Spanking-New

We have talked so far in this series about God, people, and sin. Those are all good things to know, but we left things last week in a bit of a hard spot. I told you to come back this week and I’d finish the story. Well, here we go. Although you and I are sinners, God wasn’t content to leave us there. Let’s talk together today about just how He fixed that problem. It’s quite a story.

Brand-Spanking-New

When was the last time you got something unexpectedly good? That happens every now and then and it’s always fun. I remember an occasion like this several years ago when we were eating at a Buffalo Wild Wings. I happened to be wearing a KU shirt. In the next booth over were several young women from the military who were all stationed at Fort Lee. One of them noticed my shirt and immediately asked where we were from. We talked for a minute and figured out that her parents actually lived right around the corner from where my folks live. It was one of those occasional small world experiences that are hard to explain as anything other than a God wink. In any event, they finished their meal and left, but when we later went to pay for our meal, it had been covered in full. I can’t imagine it was anyone other than that soldier who got what was perhaps a welcome taste of home who paid for the meal. We never had even the slightest chance to do anything for her in return and almost certainly never will.

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The Trouble with Holes

The next stop in our journey of understanding in a bit more detail just what we believe as followers of Jesus isn’t an easy one. This is going to be one of the more difficult conversations we’ve had together. This isn’t a fun subject. But it’s one we have to talk about or else we run the risk of missing out on something absolutely essential to a relationship with Jesus. This week we are talking about sin. Hang on tight and stay tuned for what comes next. This one is hard, but it gets a whole lot better.

The Trouble with Holes

Have you ever been in a deep pit, but managed to pull yourself out of it? I remember crawling over and around and through some boulders at a park somewhere near Gettysburg, PA on a family vacation when I was growing up. We were playing tag or something with some other kids and I went into a passage that was pretty narrow. I remember crawling in and thinking, “I’m not going to be able to get through this.” Thinking about it today still makes me feel claustrophobic and panicky. Fortunately, I managed to stay calm then and squeeze through the passage to get out the other side.

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Two Are Better than One

This week we pick back up our teaching series, Love Like Jesus. From our conversation a couple of weeks ago we understand a bit better why loving like Jesus is such a big and important deal (especially for followers of Jesus), but we still need to see it in action. We need examples. What does it look like to love like Jesus. Let’s look together at a story that gives us one of the best pictures we can find in the Gospels.

Two Are Better than One

I want today’s message to be sticky, so we’re going to start out here by talking about glue. Literally, not metaphorically. Have you ever used a two-component epoxy glue before? Admittedly I didn’t know that much about them and had to do a bit of research this week. Epoxies are glues that are chemically activated and form bonds at a molecular level. This makes them much, much stronger than your average bottle of Elmer’s best. Some epoxies use just a single substance that does the trick. Some, though, use two different substances. That’s why they call them two-component epoxies. I know, this is complicated stuff today.

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Morning Musing: Matthew 5:43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One more recommendation for you this morning. This time a show from Netflix that started out on YouTube. This one combines great writing and acting, a terrific story, martial arts, and a heaping dose of nostalgia to make it even sweeter. The language is once again awful and it’s pretty violent, but the picture of redemption we are given along with the power of love over hatred once again shows why the Christian worldview is right and true. Today, let’s talk about why you should watch Cobra Kai.

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