Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Greetings Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

Recently I begun a short series from Paul's letter to the Ephesians. I have focused on Ch.4 1-32. There are some amazing lessons/principles for us to learn and live by in these few verses of scripture.

I. In (Vv.1-16). (please go and read) Paul calls the Church a "body of Christ" and this "body" must function as members of one another.
God has gifted each believer to do the work of ministry and we can all use our gifts and abilities in the local communities of faith (no matter your age) to build up the body of Christ. Did you realize that you were a Body Builder? Which naturally leads to the next question, "what kind of shape are you/we in?"

II. (Vv.17-32). Since we are members of one another and ONE in Christ we are to be holy as Christ is holy ('Walk worthy' v.1) becoming what He created and desires for us to be. This 'walk' is a particular walk that is in step with the ways of Christ and not of this world. Paul reminds the Church that once we are saved we receive a new identity. Our new identities in Christ take discipline to perfect, so we naturally desire to imitate Christ and this takes effort. I use to tell my students in youth ministry that it may be better to think about discipleship as training and not practice which carries a negative connotation.

The good news is that Christ has provided all of the resources we need: the Holy Spirit, and one another

May we as ONE Body continue to walk worthy of our calling

Pastor Brian

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Theology for Thursday

I have been preaching from the book of John the last few Sundays. Last Sunday and this Sunday focus on Jesus as the 'Bread of Life.' We could actually spend five Sundays discussing this issue but we will most likely only need two. I found it interesting and informative to run across all of the "i Am" statements again that Jesus makes in John's Gospel.
"I am he" (4:26)
"I am the bread of life" (6:35)
"I am living bread" (6:51)
"I am the light of the world" (8:12; 9:5)
"Before Abraham was, I am" (8:58)
"I am the sheep's door" (10:7)
"I am the door" (10:9)
"I am the good shepherd" (10:11)
"I am the resurrection and the life" (11:25)
"I am the way, the truth, the life" (14:6)
"I am the true vine" (15:1)

He Is! But (I am) had its beginning with a burning bush story, and not just the one concerning Moses and holy ground. I have had a burning bush experience when i experienced God in a profound way and heard God call me, send me, and encourage me in spite of my perceived flaws. Have you encountered I am? God comes to us, and lives among us in so many ways. May we once again come to know the many faceted Jesus-gift of life and share it with the world.

In THE I am, Brian