Have you ever felt that your story doesn't measure up? Your story isn't exciting; it doesn't have a big "Come to Jesus" moment; and you've been going to church your entire life. The problem is that we're comparing our stories when we should be comparing something else...something that will change the equation entirely. Just know that Jesus' band of Ragamuffins included the "day-ones."
Everyone knows who Judas is. Even if you haven't been a church-goer for very long, his name is synonymous with betrayal and deception. All of that comes from the end of his story; but what happened leading up to that end? Who was this treacherous person and why did Jesus invite him to be part of his team?
Quick! What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear...Christian? For many, it's hypocrite. What comes to mind when you hear hypocrite? Judgmental. You'll never guess who the first person to make that connection was.
"Measure twice, cut once." Any good carpenter will tell you that's the number one rule to live by. We don't live like that though, do we? We're impulsive and will often cut before we've even measured once. Surely Jesus wouldn't want such reckless individuals who have made so many mistakes...right? Wrong.
Doubt can be scary. It hits unexpectedly, can shake us to our core and cause us to rethink everything we thought we knew. Even worse, it can make us feel guilty. But what if that's not how Jesus views our doubt? What if there's more to our faith than just having the right answers?
Have you ever felt like you aren't good enough to follow Jesus? Maybe you get hung up on your past or are frustrated that you're not where you should be in life. But what if you're looking at it all wrong? What if following Jesus is more about who you're becoming than who you've been? What if, despite your ragamuffin appearance, Jesus is inviting you to join the journey of a lifetime?
Most of the time, most people are operating from a place of fear. Here's why: life is scary! The good news, though, is that we don't have to settle for that. Jesus offers us a new way to live, where we aren't afraid of the dark!
The classic cartoon, G.I. Joe, always ended with the same phrase: "Knowing is half the battle," which certainly confused an entire generation....because so many other people in their lives told them that "Ignorance is bliss." Which is it? Last Sunday's sermon will help end the confusion.
When was the last time you were disrespected? Do you remember what came to mind, what your natural reaction was? Probably something like this: get even! It's OK, we all have that reaction. We come by it rightly, given the age-old adage, "What goes around comes around." The problem with that cliched way of thinking? It just perpetuates a cycle that keeps going around.
Odds are you've had someone tell you something like, "God helps those who help themselves." And maybe you've lived your entire life working and being diligent, being a strong and independent person, only to be frustrated because you feel God isn't helping you at all...like it's all on you alone. Maybe that cliche is a bust. Maybe there's a better truth we should stake our lives on...