Vulnerability

Vulnerability is trusting that God wants the best for you and wants to provide what you need. Take it all to the Lord, not just the cleaned up version but the hard core nitty gritty side of your life. He knows it all already, keeping things from God is like trying to keep things from a good godly parent who knows you better than you know yourself. You are important to God and He wants to hear your real heart and real circumstances. The Lord longs to be there for you and to be a part of your solution and the Lord is not afraid of your drama and extreme feelings or emotions.

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The Way to the Top

“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). This might seem backwards to you, it would have seemed backwards to the disciples as well. The way of the world is to promote yourself. To fight your way to the top. To make sure you get ahead so you aren’t left behind. This attitude comes from a lack of trust in God.

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Evident Faith

I’m glad that we began our worship this morning with “A Mighty Fortress,” one of Martin Luther’s most famous hymns, because today we are going to dig into the Letter of James which Luther deemed “an Epistle of straw” when compared with the letters of Paul and Peter.

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Christian Marriage

Jesus wants us to have thriving marriages and to struggle for the good in each other. Jesus wants to be in the midst of us challenging us, changing us, and showing us how to live more kindly, more gently, and more lovingly. If you choose to walk in the spirit then your closest relationships in life are supposed to be filled with gentleness, love, kindness, and faithfulness. I would encourage you to take some time and reflect on how God might be wanting to help you in your life.

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Shocking Words

Today we hear these words about Jesus’ flesh and blood in sixth chapter of John as words of comfort. Imagine, however, that you didn’t know these words. They would be shocking! Jesus was known as a rabbi or teacher in his day and he spoke these words in the synagogue at Capernaum (v. 59). Imagine if I as your pastor said these same words. How would you react? “Unless you eat my flesh, you have no life in you!”

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Bread of Life for Eternal Life

The eternal life that Jesus offers is not just an elongation of our present life. It involves his transformation both of us and of all creation. Elongation would involve continuing in this present world with all of its sin, suffering, and difficulties. On the other hand, Jesus boldly proclaims in Revelation 21:5 – “Behold I am making all things new.” And the verse before this tells us that “[God] will wipe away every tear from every eye…” So Jesus, the bread of life, is both a gift for this life (no more spiritual hunger) and for eternity.

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Growling Hunger

Have you ever felt concerned about running low on things you need? What do you do? Grumbling is often our natural response. Anxious feelings or scrambling and striving for a solutions are common responses as well. The Lord invites us to open our hands and ask. “Our father who art in heaven…give us this day our daily bread.”

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Jesus in the Storm

We so often like to imagine that Jesus is off somewhere holy and pristine not getting mixed up in our messy lives. We like to imagine Him contained and not going all the places that we go. The reality is that where you go Jesus goes as well. Whether you are doing church things and serving or whether you are off carousing in ungodly ways there Jesus is. We often want Jesus when we want Him and we want Him to remain in a box or separate place to only see us in our cleaned up Sunday best. Jesus shows us to today his great love and willingness to show up in the midst of our lives.

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Truth in Christ

Where there is Jesus, there is truth, where there is Jesus there is life, even life eternal. Scripture reminds us that Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.

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Sent

How long is a long time? When your parents were born? The Civil War? The Declaration of Independence? Martin Luther? The formation of the Grand Canyon? Even before that, Paul reminds us in his letter to the Ephesians, he chose you before the foundation of the world.

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