Is About Living in Deeply Connected Relationships

Scripture: Colossians 2:1-5
Scripture Memory:  Galatians 6:2

 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Journey: People who teach the Bible and seek to help others understand what it means to live like Christ often find themselves confronted with a dilemma. The people they’re trying to help often have a real confidence in God. They often want to please Him and obey his word. But sometimes it is true that these same people are handicapped in their  growth in life because they have bought into ideas that on the surface sound Christian, but are in fact false. So part of the challenge of helping others grow is debunking these “myths” about the Christian life.

One of these myths goes like this: “If I have God, I don’t need people. If I really depend on God, I don’t need to depend on others. People disappoint us, people fail us, but God never fails us, so we should look to God and not to others to meet our needs.”

That may sound good, and as with most Christian myths there is a kernel of truth in it, but it’s a lie. It is a boldfaced, community damaging, life crippling lie. Why? Come along for our Journey in the Word today and we’ll see why – together.  

Hoping for your courage, 

Will (for the pastors)

Is About Making the Gospel Known to Others

Scripture: Colossians 1:24-29

Scripture Memory:  2 Cor 12:7b-9

“in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Journey: Each one of us who is here today (gathered for worship), because of faith in Christ, is here because other people took the time and put forth the energy to explain to us what the Bible teaches about Jesus. Many of you are aware of one central person who “led you to faith.” Some of us can look back in time to a larger number of people who at different times and at different places encouraged us with a Word, invited us to church or who lived “the life” beside us so that we could understand what life is really to be about. This how the church has grown since the very beginning.

Everyone who is truly a member of God’s church has been saved from sin and is given a role to play in joining Christ in His work of reconciling all things unto Himself.

Today in our Journey in the Word we’re thinking about what it means to be “agents of reconciliation” and will be praying that God will use His word to make clear to us who we are as a church and what we should be doing. 

For the hope of glory, 

Will (for the pastors)

What is Lacking in Christ’s Afflictions?

Scripture: Colossians 1:24

Scripture Memory:  2 Cor 4:5

Journey: Today in our Journey in the Word we’re wrestling with one of the most highly debated verses in the whole of Scripture. “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church” (Col 1:24). 

If you’re like me, it’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around those words. Even when you read the sermon title, although it is simply a qoute from the verse, you likely found yourself objecting. Afterall, Paul has just spent nearly every prior word in Colossians to say that there is nothing lacking in Christ’s work. He is above all things. He alone is sufficient. In Him alone you are made complete.

How then can Paul seem to suggest that there is something lacking and that he (Paul) is rejoicing in filling that up? That’s what we’re seeking to understand today and I hope that if you are here you are ready to play your part in helping us grow, as a family, in our understanding of life as it really is – in all of it’s mystery and wonder.  

For His purpose, 

Will (for the pastors)

Christianity? Why Are There So Many Rules?

Scripture:  Deuteronomy 5:6-21

Scripture Memory:  2 Cor 1:3-4

Journey:  This week’s Small Group discussion guide describes a popular objection to Christianity with these words, “People say that the Christian belief in an absolute, one-size-fits-all truth that is objectively true for everyone is subversive to our individual and communal freedom. Christianity is an enemy of authentic personhood, social cohesion, and even freedom.”

 In other words, when you become a Christian, do you miss out on being free, on being fully alive, on the good stuff? Are there too many restrictions?  Do you give up being able to decide for yourself what you think is right and what you think is wrong? 

How do you respond to that objection and help people to see that following Christ provides you with the greatest freedom you can possibly experience in this life? That’s what we’ll be thinking about today in our Jouney in the Word. 

Free from the law of sin and death, 

Will (for the pastors)

What is the Gospel?

Last week we discussed the concepts of alienation from God and being reconciled to God through Christ. Our backdrop question was, “What is the Gospel?” Today we’ll continue looking at the same passage and asking specifically “How can we remain what Paul describes as “firm and steadfast” in the hope of the Gospel?”  Today’s study is an important key for a healthy church – let’s be sure to think clearly together.   

Praying for a meaningful advent season,

Will  (for the pastors)