Faith

What if God’s Love is NOT Enough (to save you)?

“Jesus loves me, this I know.” Did you read the words or sing them? Those of us who grew up in church are familiar with the song we learned a long time ago. It was probably the first thing we absorbed in church. Jesus loves me. God loves me.

God’s love is a one of the most central themes of Scripture. Some would say that without the love of God, He would not have created the universe or put humanity within it.

Another staple of early learning in Christianity is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” The path to true life is founded on Heaven’s love. Imagine what would not exist without the motivation of that love: forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, relationship, purpose, mission, spiritual gifts and fruit, hope, everlasting life.

But is it really enough that God loves us? Is this inexplicable connection which breaks through time and space enough to fill us with the “blessed assurance” that Jesus and His promises are mine? Will God’s love alone save me, or you?

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Faith

The Advent Promise of Life-Changing Peace

This past Sunday I shared the Advent-themed call to worship. I thought it would be fun to share it here. This post is also a little longer, as some of the material was cut for the sake of time. Enjoy!

This is the second Sunday of Advent, the season leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ birth: Christmas. Last week we heard about Hope and Faith. This week focuses on the theme of Peace.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Conditional, failing love

Love. It could be the most powerful verb in any language. When we love and then act out of love, the possibilities are endless.

God’s desire to love and be loved motivated Him to create the human race. Scripture proclaims: God is love. It also tells us how we are ambassadors of Christ. If Jesus is fully God and fully man, and we are His representatives on Earth, we are supposed to be representatives of love.

The love of God, which motivated Him to create the universe and to later send His only begotten Son for our salvation, sets a high bar. Souls are searching for this love when they come to church. If only the Oxymoron Church knew how to love.

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Church Life

The Oxymoron Church: Series Introduction

Oxymoron. It’s one of my favorite words. No, it isn’t a cleaning a solution, nor a personal insult. The term describes the appearance of two words in one thought, but those words are typically understood as opposites.

Cold that burns. A dark light. Deafening silence. These are examples of an oxymoron. Each of these can be true, as well.

Church is another favorite word of mine. It holds so much promise, power, and potential. But it can also fit into the category of an oxymoron. This series of posts are meant to shine a light on the way our churches contradict all the power and promise they should deliver.

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Inspirational

When God Looks on Our Sin

I still haven’t figured why, but “The Walking Dead” is one of the most popular shows on television. Even Christians get a rush from a program filled with diseased, hungry, undead zombies and the fight to stay alive in a world filled with them.

No, I’m not a fan, and I’m not living in fear or anticipation of a coming zombie apocalypse (though I do believe something terrible will come one day). The pictures and commercials I see are enough to know that as a person already susceptible to images, I don’t need those ones stuck in my head.

Recently, though, I thought of those rotting undead as the perfect example of a gruesome sight. Maybe you heard something over the recent Easter season, or from some preacher over the years. It makes me think of what God might see when He loks upon us in our sin.

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Bible, Ministry

Which Messiah are You Looking for?

Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).

Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.

When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?

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