Weekly Once-Over (05.07.2015)

How To Listen To A Sermon: So the call is to listen eagerly and expectantly to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, looking for instruction and edification at every opportunity.  But our eagerness must be joined with careful reflection.  Both phases are needed for spiritual maturity and growth in Christlikeness.

How To See Our Differences As Opportunities: But Jesus himself told us to pray for our enemies. Can you do so? Can you understand that different approaches may be needed in different scenarios, like a counselor exercising discernment and care? Even better, can you admit that we need all the compassionate, courageous, and commissioned Christians we can muster to work together out of respect for God’s gifting and in obedience to Jesus? The magnitude of our challenges today ought to dispel the illusion that any one wing of the divided church can go it alone.

The Baltimore Thug Debate: Why It's Not Solving Any Problems: Jesus’ teachings provide answers to the spiritual problems facing African-Americans in Baltimore, as well as some helpful solutions to some of the other challenges currently affecting both black and other racial communities in the city (i.e. blessed are the peacemakers)

How To Shut Down Gossip: Gossip is nasty. It is never good and should be despised by all who love Christ and his church. Instead of being passive and tolerating something that is widespread we should be vigilant to remove something that is destructive and vile. Let’s step our game up and, starting with ourselves, work to shut down gossip.

The Unchanging Truth About Jesus And The Danger Of Following Fads: What was once true about Jesus will always be true about Jesus. You don’t need some clever recreation or refashioning of biblical truth about Jesus. He and the truth about him is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Calling People To The Kingdom Through Feasts: I grew up believing that after I died, I would go to heaven, which would be like an eternal church service. As a teenager, I wasn’t too excited about that. All I could imagine was a bunch of us in white gowns floating on clouds that felt like hard wooden pews. We would forever listen to long sermons and sing songs from red hymnals. Later in life, as I read the Bible, I found out that this is not an accurate picture of our future with Jesus. The Scriptures tell of a day when we will dwell on a new earth and enjoy a sin-free existence, living life fully and abundantly with God in our midst. We will eat, play, create, work, celebrate, and rest in perfect harmony with God and one another. It will all be good and it will all be worship!