Morning Musing: Mark 5:18-20

“As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged him earnestly that he might remain with him. Jesus did not let him but told him, ‘Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.’ So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

I was a band nerd in high school. A proud one at that. And this was a good thing too. The community in the band was remarkable. This was mostly thanks to our absolutely outstanding director. Every year there were some excellent senior leaders whose departure left all the underclassmen weepy for weeks. This was especially true my sophomore year. That particular class of seniors that year was just special. We all wanted nothing so much as to see them stay for another year. But they couldn’t. When Jesus was preparing to leave the place where He had healed the demon-possessed man, he begged Him to stay, but He couldn’t. What He left him to do instead is a reminder for us of what we’re supposed to be doing as well.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:26-27

“‘The kingdom of God is like this,’ he said. ‘A man scatters seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What role do we play in the process of salvation? How do we actually contribute to the growth of the kingdom? If you would claim the name of Jesus as your Lord and savior, those are perhaps questions that have at least occurred to you. We often hear about evangelism and are chided over its lack in our lives and in our churches. What Jesus says here helps to frame out a bit what evangelism actually entails and what should be our focus in it in a way that may help give us more confidence in doing it. Pay close attention.

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Digging in Deeper: Acts 19:20

“In this way the word of the Lord flourished and prevailed.” (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever watched a movie, gotten to the “and they lived happily ever after” part, and thought, “There’s got to be more to that story”? So often, when a movie ends—especially a romantic comedy—it ends at a point where there is still a whole lot left to sort out between the characters. We’re just to assume love will work everything out. The fact is, in the real world, life keeps going. Here in Acts, we see this incredible victory by the believers in the city of Ephesus and for me at least, it gets me thinking there has to be more to the story. Well, there is. 

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Morning Musing: Romans 12:2

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
— ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

We’ve talked recently about how to counter bad religion with the help of some things James, Jesus’ brother, wrote. Christians often have a reputation that we’ve unfortunately worked hard to earn that all we are concerned about is policing the behavior of the people around us. If we really put into practice what Paul says here, we will go a long ways toward fixing both the perception of ourselves and of our religion. 

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Connecting Like Jesus

This week we kicked off a brand new series taking a fresh look at who God has designed us to be as a church. The message is focused on our church, but the ideas apply to every church and every follower of Jesus. Who did God make you to be and how can you become more that person? It starts with connecting with people. Jesus was a master at that. Learn more here about how He did it and how we can join Him in it.

Connecting like Jesus – John 4:1-26

Our culture is a maze of contradictions.  Think about it: We have never been more connected in terms of technology and social media than we are right now and the webs are getting tighter and tighter all the time.  Movies like Enemy of the State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman that envisioned a slightly futuristic reality in which the government can track every single movement we make is now not only completely true in terms of what they can do, it’s actually even more true now than it was then.  Social media and other tech giants are working on algorithms that not only know where you’ve been, but attempt to predict where you’ll go next in order to allow advertisers to even more closely and personally target their efforts. 

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