I wrote some words to encourage someone at HOPE last week that I believe need to be heard by more people. From my experience, it is common to struggle with feelings like we don't measure up in God's eyes, that He is displeased with our Christian performance, or that God is mad because we're not close with Him.
Our family has been working through the Advent readings in the booklet we gave out at HOPE last month. That free resource has been a helpful source of Christmas reflection to see Jesus more clearly in this season. Maybe you've found the same to be true if you grabbed one of these booklets too.
Spiritually speaking, for me, entering Christmastime is a wonder and delight as well as a challenge. Often a steep challenge. Do you feel the same?
Jesus is relentlessly intent on rebuilding lives. He personally stated His entire life mission/purpose as One who came to earth to seek and save that which is lost. Which, in other words, means He is the perfect, divine contractor for all rebuilds.
How actively are we engaged in God's mission to redeem and serve the world?
I received an email this week in follow-up to Sunday's message, making me think deeper still about the reality of love that must be alive in followers of Jesus for one another. That email included an article by Eric Metaxas who wrote of the depth of believers' love for each other, to the extent that we are vulnerable with one another in our struggles.
The news of refugees fleeing Syria increased over the summer and now has much world attention, including mine and yours. This is a complex issue, and it's not profitable to spend HOPE eNews space opining on causes, motivations, or politics. You've got the TV news machine for that. However, I do think it's profitable to help guide toward a spiritual perspective of this world crisis. How can our responses and thoughts be submitted to God in a way that honors, seeks, and follows Him in such a difficult world issue?
We've gotten some good feedback from last Sunday's focus on what it looks like to fully lean on Jesus, and not ourselves, in this season of change. With kids back to school, new jobs beginning, new moves into this area, and more, many of us are impacted by this season's changes in daily life.
A few weeks ago I shared in HOPE eNews some exciting fall direction for our church. It was a quick first mention of how HOPE leadership is pouring energy, resources, and focus into Biblical learning & application in a new way and also into the spiritual community of Grow Groups. Here's some more on what's starting up and available for you in September.
I can't imagine life without Jesus or the Word of God, the Bible. When I think about all the pressures from culture, uncertainties in my own mind, questions that come up, and the ever-present opinions of everyone around me, how could I ever know and decide what's right, good, and true? I am so thankful for God's no-matter-what gift of truth through Scripture. I sensed God impressing upon me recently a few strengthening reminders of this.