Being a Good Samaritan

One of the most popular parables in the Bible is the Good Samaritan. What is Jesus trying to teach us? What does it mean to love your neighbor? Who is your neighbor? As Jesus often does, He takes it a step farther. This is not about salvation. Doing good deeds to your fellow man or woman does not save you. But it is the right thing to do. It is what a saved person would do. And as we discussed in the previous post, there are no excuses.

Continue reading “Being a Good Samaritan”

Love and Hate

I saw a post on Facebook that started, “I am done with Christians…” I read something about hypocrisy but didn’t go any further. Part of me was offended. But I think part of me was worried about being convicted. Another part of me realized that the world will hate us because they hate Jesus Christ and they are offended by the gospel and don’t want to hear about sin and salvation. Another part of me realize that many claim to be Christian that are not and some of us are followers of Christ and often stumble, not acting the way we should or saying the things we should. One thing I think about lately when scrolling through all the posts on my feed, when was the last time someone (me included) has said something nice about another instead of bashing someone? If you have to think about it, it has been too long. As followers of Jesus, we need to be kind to others and show love to them. I wish that everyone would.

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Racisim

There is so much bitterness going on in the world today.  We have a history of racism in this country as well as many others.  It has been going on throughout the world probably since there were races.  Our country is struggling with this.  It has gotten tremendously better since several decades ago, but we still have work to do.  And racism is not the only problem.  Right now we see hatred on both sides toward and from most races.  We see people judging entire people groups because of what a few have done.  We see disrespect toward those who serve and try to make this country a better place.  We see people looking down on others because of their situation and others taking advantage of it and the system.  We see bitterness toward those who believe differently, whether it would be politically, religiously or what their opinions are about certain issues.  What are we to do?  What did Jesus have to say about this and what was His example?  It’s pretty simple, really.  Be kind, love others and treat each other right.  One parable comes to mind that tells us how we are to treat others. Continue reading “Racisim”

What Should the Church look like?

When you hear the word, “church,” what do you think of?  How do you picture it?  We don’t “go to church.”  We are the church.  Why do we often associate the word “church” with a place and time…or a building?  Even though it is symbolized as a building, that is not what the church, “eklesia,” is.  In a study we did this week, we found that eklesia, the word Jesus uses when he talked about building His church, actually means “gathering.”  But it is more than that.  It is the body of Christ.  It is a group of believers gathered together in unity, to worship God, to lift each other up, to pray together, to meet each other’s need, to live life together, to go out and share the love of Christ to others.  One of the churches I was a part of had a simple mission statement:  To love God and to love others, pursue Christ’s character, serve the world.  To follow Christ and invite others to follow Him.  That is what church is all about.

So what should it look like?  What do you look for in a church?

These are my personal desires in a church.  First, small groups (not necessarily in a particular order).  Having a small group Bible study in a home each week is the most important to me.  That is where you get to really know others, where you can dig deep into the scriptures, where you can grow together.  Along with that, and most importantly is Biblical teaching.  Does the church follow the Bible and teach the truth without sugar-coating or avoiding certain scriptural truths?  Does it have sound Biblical teaching?  What is most important to a church, God’s truth or attendance or something else? Christ should be the foundation.  Then, is the church welcoming?  Are the people loving and friendly?  Of course, we must remember that they are human.  Expect flaws and imperfections.  People are people.  We all have issues.  What kind of ministries do they have and how can I get involved and serve?  Church is not just a service to attend.  We all have a part.  Then, it is a matter of personal preference.  music, style of preaching, etc.  I like contemporary Christian music.  I love to see musical talent (of which I have none), I love a good dynamic speaker.  But we shouldn’t get bogged down on some of these things.  We are there to worship God, not be entertained.

What do the scriptures say about what a church should be?  What is God’s desire in a church? Continue reading “What Should the Church look like?”

Ruth 4: The Redemption

The story of Ruth is a love story.  It is a love story of a man and a woman.  It is a love story of a mother and daughter-in-law, of friendship.  It is a love story of God and His people, God and us.  Ruth goes beyond a love story.  It describes the character of people.  It describes customs of ancient Israel.  It describes compassion.  It shows that no matter who we are, we are loved by God and can be used by God to bless others.  We also see some parallels of how Jesus redeems us.  Though we were sinners, enemies of God, aliens, God provided a way to redeem us.  Jesus is our Redeemer.  Continue reading “Ruth 4: The Redemption”

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