There is an elephant in the room. That elephant, as some have said, is god being described from a blind person’s perspective. That is, many argue that all religions are describing god (the elephant) from their perspective. While this has become a popular way to explain religious differences, there’s only one problem – the real elephant in the room who declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Isn’t the Church just full of hypocrites? Yes, and there’s always room for one more. This saying is true, “The Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”
This question has to be one of the most difficult questions people are asking. Joseph asked it. Job asked it. Even Jesus asked it when He said, “My God. My God. Why have you forsaken me?” Every time we ask this question, the Lord does not answer our question in a way that makes us say, “Oh now I get it.” Rather than finding comfort in answers, our Heavenly Father invites us to find comfort in Him.
The Bible is the bestselling book of all time, and the most criticized book of all time. With all the translations and interpretations, can we really trust the Bible? Since the Bible was written to different people at a different time, does it really apply to us today? Does the Bible CONTAIN the Word of God or is the Bible THE Word of God? Join us for worship as we tackle this question and trust that our faith is not in a book, but in the one whom the Bible reveals – The Word of God who has become flesh.
Most of the questions we have come from our perspective of ourselves, others, and the world. We view reality through different mirrors. We look at the mirrors of Culture and Circumstance and we believe these mirrors reflect the way things really are. As we ask some of life’s big questions, God invites us to see ourselves and all of life through a different mirror – the Cross.
Everything in our life must first be tested. Food, medicine, technology, and so much more, cannot be reliable and useful to you unless it has first gone through intense testing. The same is true for faith. Peter not only describes the kind of testing all Christians will endure, but he also describes how we are to live with hope in the face of intense testing. Peter’s message to all of us is, stand firm and hold on during times of testing knowing that Jesus stood in your place and holds on to you.
Who is my neighbor? Is it the stranger I meet at the grocery store or the gas station? What if my neighbor is actually the person who lives next door to me? Perhaps you begin to Heart your Hood by first loving your next-door neighbor.
All Americans live in a culture that values personal freedom but many times that freedom shuts doors that make it difficult to Heart your Hood. The call to Heart your Hood is a high calling that demands that you give up your personal freedom and make yourself a servant to all (1 Corinthians 9:19). While the world is free to spout off their political opinions, their random opinions, and live according to their own desires, the Lord Jesus calls us to a higher standard.
What can transform a neighborhood? Well-manicured lawns? Block parties? Well run Homeowners Association? As we commit to hearting our hood, we must remember that the only thing that can transform a neighborhood is the message and hope of Jesus. It is the Gospel of Jesus alone, under the Spirit alone, that has the power to transform a neighborhood. This message has been entrusted to you.
Before you begin to Heart your Hood, you must understand a basic truth, it does not start with you. If you believe that loving your neighbor means pouring out your heart for your hood, you will quickly be discouraged when you become busy, worn out, and uninterested. Ezekiel 47 teaches us that it is God’s heart that flows through you into your hood.