Tag Archives: Letters of Paul

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Others” (March 24, 2019)

from Ephesians 2:11-22

By nature we have a tendency to form teams. We gravitate to or surround ourselves with people who share things like our ideals, our values, and our view of morality. While this is not inherently wrong, what happens when our forming teams becomes choosing sides and choosing sides sets us at odds with those who aren’t like us or don’t agree with us…those who are outside of our circle? When this happens in the church, how does the way we treat those who are “outside” have any hope of looking like the Gospel?

What if God is calling you into relationship with those not like you so that God can work in you…and God can work in those relationships?

w/ Vern Collins

“Belonging: Offering Accepted” (February 17, 2019)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

It is difficult to feel a sense of belonging when you don’t feel like you have anything to contribute to thing to which you have given yourself to belong. Even for those who would just as soon fly under the radar and are content with doing next to nothing, eventually the chasm of disconnect created is too much to navigate, and you are left feeling like there is no place for you.

In God’s Kingdom, in the Body of Christ…in the church, no gift offered is too small. In fact, Paul suggests that those who feel the least significant are perhaps the greatest gift to the church, and to what the church is called to be in this world.

What if your belonging included your willingness to use the gifts God has given you…no matter how small they may seem…to use the gifts God has given you in and through the church to transform the world?

w/ Vern Collins

“Revelation: Power to Serve” (January 3, 2016)

from Ephesians 3:1-12

The season of Epiphany is about the hope of humanity being revealed in the birth of Christ.

Epiphany.  Revelation.  The Ah-ha moment.  The time when things become clear…when there is knowledge of something not previously possessed…if knowledge is power, it begs the question , “what kind of power are you in pursuit of?”

Paul has experienced a deep revelation of Christ…and it has empowered him in significant ways…but perhaps not in the way we tend to think of power…

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Life”

from 1 Timothy 6:11-19

Time, Relationships, Headlines, Money…these are just SOME of the things in life that overwhelm us.  For the past four weeks, we’ve considered what it looks like to navigate those times when you feel overwhelmed by one or any number of these things.

What if the key was not just to navigate the overwhelming things, what if the goal was not just to get through them…what if the goal was to live an overwhelmed life?

A life overwhelmed by the reality of the goodness, and faithfulness, and love of God…present right in the midst of the rest that you are carrying.

Perhaps then you would find as Paul says, “the life that is truly life.”

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Money” (October 11, 2015)

from 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

Whether it is the worry associated with not having enough, or the pressure of knowing how to steward if you have it, money continued to be for many one of the greatest causes of stress in many people’s lives.

While it is a necessary part of living in this consumer-driven culture, surely God’s intention was never for it to become the burden that it is.

In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul is telling of a group of believers who though they find themselves in the midst of severe persecution and poverty, are begging for the opportunity to participate in the offering for the Jerusalem church.

How is this possible, when many of us stress over paying bills for the roof over our heads.

Perhaps our problem is less a money issue, and more one of perspective…imagine how you would view the things in your life, money included, if you had a bigger view of God.

w/ Vern Collins

“Overwhelmed: Relationships” (October 4, 2015)

Ephesians 2:11-22

In the Creation story in Genesis we see that were not only born out of the relationship of Who God is in Three Persons, but we were created with relationship in mind.  Add to that science’s understanding that physically and emotionally we have to have relationship (because without it both the mental and physical state of our bodies suffer), and we know we need relationship.

If this is the case, then why are relationships often one of the biggest burdens and largest source of stress in our lives?  Because we are broken people trying to be connected to broken people.

What if you approached relationship differently based on the relationship God has mended with you through Jesus Christ?

w/ Vern Collins

“Dreamers: Taking Hold of the Dream” (September 6, 2015)

from Philippians 3:3-16

What goals have been set before you?  What are you chasing?  What are your dreams for your life?  Have you accomplished any of those goals?  Are you in the midst of chasing them?  What happens when you’ve completed them?  What happens when you accomplish your goals?
What are you going to do now?
How does that accomplishment leave you feeling?  Satisfied?  Empty?  Worn thin?  Like you have purpose, or like life has been stolen from you?
What if you pursued the dream that Jesus and the dream He has for you with the same drive that fuels the pursuit of your own dreams?
What if the dream Jesus has for you was enough?
w/ Vern Collins

“Transitions: Rooted and Sent” (July 26, 2015)

from Ephesians 3:14-21

For many the idea of committing one’s life to Christ is committing to a life full of rule-following and void of freedom.  In Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus, he prays that they would be rooted and established…but he is not praying that they would be rooted and established in RULES, rather in LOVE.
Perhaps it is not about a loss of freedom that Paul is after for followers of Christ, but that they may know what freedom truly is.  A freedom from fitting the mold the world tries to force you in to, so that you are open to inviting the world into a life grounded in the One Thing that doesn’t change.  God’s love for humanity and His desire that they may know the fullness of life only found in Him.
w/ Vern Collins

“Body of Christ: as Church” (June 14, 2014)

from 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

We are conditioned from an early age that if we have any hope of success, we need to be set apart.  This is great for those who feel like they are, and a road block for those who feel less than unique in a world that values distinction.
The problem is, our distinction often creates division, so we find ourselves not only suffering the effects of this, but trying to compensate for it by calling for unity in the midst of our diversity.
Paul argues, that as the Body of Christ, we find unity because of our diversity, not in response to it.
How would the church begin to look different; how would your life begin to look different if you saw yourself as one part of the whole, and began to value the parts around that also contribute to the church being the body of Christ?
w/ Vern Collins