Sometimes it has to Get Worse Before it Gets Better – The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost [8/18/19]

Today’s Passage:  Luke 12:49-56

Opening Prayer: Father God, if we look close at the ministry of Jesus, we see that he was a change agent.  He didn’t come to make peace, at least not in the short term.  He knew things needed to change and that things would get worse before they would get better.  Help us to see the changes that need to place in our world to bring about lasting peace and true justice for all people.  May we be, as Jesus was and is, a change agent.  In Jesus’ name, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and all for Your glory, I pray.  Amen.

Opening Song: Casting Crowns – Courageous [Official Music Video – HD]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

Message [used with permission from A Sermon for Every Sunday]: Sometimes it has to Get Worse Before it Gets Better – The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost [8/18/19] by Brian McLaren, speaker, activist, bestselling author, and former pastor.
Brian McLaren begins this week’s sermon by explaining how he got a call asking him to come to Charlottesville to join the group of clergy praying for those protesting in August, 2017. He didn’t tell anyone he went. Later, his pastor at his home church mentioned it in his sermon. McLaren tells how an older gentleman got in his face after the service and lectured him, saying he did not respect what he did and thought he was wrong to do it. McLaren said this experience reminds him of today’s passage from Luke 12:49-56. He says, “Jesus’ work as peacemaker often makes things worse before they get better…When Jesus came, he was not a pacifier. He was not a law and order dominator…He was an agitator. He was a fire starter. He knew that things had to heat up before people would wake up.” What needs to be heated up today? What needs to get worse before it gets better? What fires do we need to start in order to bring about justice for all?

Closing Song: Passion – Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies] [feat. Chris Tomlin]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q24z4XcJxnM

Closing Prayer:  Father God, we know that most people do not really like to change.  We also know that when people are challenged with the truth about the need to change they will often push back and seek to hurt others.  May we not be afraid to be afraid to be one of Your change agents.  May you place a hedge of protection around each one of us who steps out to speak and act according to Your truth.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Epilogue: Peace Be Still (feat. Lauren Daigle) // The Belonging Co // All The Earth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUpKZz0Nm7c

Posted in Bible, Christ-Centered, Organic Church, Scripture, Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [8/18/19]

  • By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
  • By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
  • By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

And what more shall I say?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 11:29-32, 12:1-2 (NIV)

Posted in Bible, Christ-Centered, Encouragement, Inspirational, Organic Church, Scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer, Praise, & Promises Aug. 17, 2019

Father, to you be honor and power and majesty forever. We praise you for your many blessings that flow from your lovingkindness. Amen.

Posted in Encouragement, Praise reports, Prayers, Promises | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [8/17/19]

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 10:32-39 (NIV)

Can anyone relate?  Those who have ears to hear, may they hear. Those who have eyes to see, may they see.  Those who have faith, may they remain faithful.

Posted in Bible, Christ-Centered, Encouragement, Inspirational, Organic Church, Scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer, Praise, & Promises Aug. 16, 2019

Acts 14:17 (NIV)

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.

Posted in Encouragement, Praise reports, Prayers, Promises | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections… a Scripture verse and inspiration for daily living [8/16/19]

A day is coming.

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.  “‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’

For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’” Jeremiah 33:14-16 (NIV)

The person who sits on that throne and intercedes for us is found in the person of Jesus, the Christ.

The Lord has said, I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.’”
Jeremiah 33:22 (NIV)

May serve and minister to those around us.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.

Posted in Bible, Christ-Centered, Encouragement, Inspirational, Organic Church, Scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer, Praise, & Promises Aug. 15, 2019

The roaring thunder of the law and the fear of the terror of judgement are both used to bring us to Christ, but the final victory culminating in our salvation is won through God’s loving-kindness.   – Charles Spurgeon

Posted in Encouragement, Praise reports, Prayers, Promises | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment