“12See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you have a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. “
There is an insurance commercial where it jokes about the decision making that characters make in horror movies. The lines say something like “let’s get into the running car and leave” but another person says “No lets go hide behind all these chainsaws.” I laughed at the premise of the intended joke, but soon thought about myself, and the things that I do similar to these characters.
Humanity, including myself, has a long history of making the same mistake when it comes to our faith. We ignore the dangers of sin creeping into our own lives and the people around us. We let our hearts harden and turn away from God.
This passage is telling us one important lesson about living in a community. We need to encourage one another in our walk with God. We cannot keep from sin and temptation on our own. We need the Lord and we need one another to keep on following Him.
When the people of God ignore the warning signs of sin creeping in, our hearts hardening, and people turning away from God; they run into some serious danger and problems.
So if it is “Today” as the text would put it go and encourage someone to fix their eyes on Jesus.
how to deal with emotions
by dakota shyres
Scripture: John 11:1-44, Lazarus dies and is brought back to life.
Jesus wept and mourned over his friend's death even though He knew he was going to come back to life.
All of us deal with emotions. Jesus clearly shows us that He cried when he toured with his people. When we are sad or when our friends are sad, it’s ok to be sad, and it’s ok to cry. No matter what we are dealing with, He has the power to comfort us. God can handle all of our emotions!
Jesus knows the depths of suffering. He was the one person in all of history who didn't deserve to suffer He was the one who suffered the most.
God can handle all of our emotions and all of our deep feelings.
When Lazarus died, his sisters and all of his friends were very sad. When Jesus came to see them, He shared in their sadness, even though he knew the end results.
In this time of life, we might be feeling joy, sadness, anger, fear, depression, or anxiety. No matter what you are feeling or facing, bring those feelings to King Jesus! Let's bring all of our emotions to the foot of the cross.
Give all of our feelings to Him. The Lord will comfort us no matter what we are facing.
how to be Jesus' disciple if we cannot GO
by dakota shyres
The Great Commission
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
My question for us today is how can we in this time of Coronavirus go and make disciples if we cannot Go ?
The “Go” has not changed. Our mission is still the same today as it was for Jesus’ followers back then. We are called to love God, others, and go and make disciples.
But in this time of coronavirus, we need to be creative. We need to think out of our box for a mission!!
The other day I was on Facebook reading the mom gossip and blogs and I saw an amazing story. Someone made a lemonade stand but instead of lemonade it was a take one grab one. There was dish soap, hand sanitizer, food supplies, and it said “take one if you need one”. And if you had extras, they encouraged you to leave it right there.
I feel like that is a perfect way for us to love our community at this time. These are things are so encouraging, as well as being supportive to our local businesses.
Another way that we can GO and make disciples and love others, is to help the elderly in our own community as well as those in our neighborhood. If you look on mypcom.com, you can sign up to GO deliver groceries to church members in need.
GO and be creative and let me know what you come up with! I’m excited to see what you do, so GO and make disciples.
heroes of faith
by matt becerra
"Now Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
In this chapter of Hebrews we find a long list of people whom we could call “heroes of faith.” These are descriptions of people whose faith in God, showed in their actions as they lived out their everyday lives. Faith is intended to be lived out.
Abraham and Sarah trusted God’s promises to take them to a new land and to give them descendants. It took a long time for these promises to be fulfilled, but they trusted God, and he fulfilled those promises.
Moses trusted God to guide him in leading his people out of slavery in Egypt. It took a long time and a lot of hard work, and through a series of miracles God delivered the people. Then Moses served God for many more years, bringing God’s law to the people, setting up the worship of God, and teaching the people how to live God’s way.
I struggle in life trusting and having faith as a whole. I am the type of person that needs all the answers before making a decision. Here, I read we are called to live our lives in faith. Our faith will be able to see when Christ returns, but right now we are called to hope in that promise and put faith in this we can not yet see.
He is the one that is faithful; let us respond to that with our own faithfulness.
fixing our eyes on Jesus
by matt becerra
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
I had a conditioning coach in high school who made this verse stand out to me. As a former soccer player, I can resonate with the idea of running with perseverance. We were often sent out by this trainer to take laps with a catchphrase that would repeat itself over and over by the end of practice, “Two more off you go” ... oftentimes with no end number in mind.
As Christians we are called and encouraged to get rid of and shed all the sin, hindering us from running a good race. We are also reminded over and over that the race is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The race will be long.
As a big man running laps till his legs felt like they would fall off, I often got discouraged, but my teammates would say “remember Saturday”, to remind me of the end goal of getting a victory in our games.
When you keep looking forward to the finish, you remain focused. We are encouraged in this text to “fix our eyes on Jesus”. He is the one who died and suffered for us and perfected our faith. When we get discouraged, have feelings of quitting or backing out, fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the one that will focus us and give us strength to finish the marathon.