Possibility

Possibility

Some see this blank page and they see someone who has writer’s block or an artist who doesn’t know what to sketch or draw. But others see possibility. A clean slate. A writer or artist has all the possibility in the world. A blank canvas is full of possibilities. They can be as creative as they want to be. They can write anything or draw anything they want.

Maybe you aren’t an artist or a writer but you have an opportunity to do all kinds of things. You are full of potential. You could do great things or you could do bad things.

I am human and know that while I have potential to do good many times I fall short of doing good. We fall short of good. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us because we can look at our lives and see that we fall short in certain areas.  The Apostle Paul says, “No one is righteous not even one.”

So in many ways we may feel like a writer with writer’s block. We are unable to do good and not much is possible. Or maybe the only thing that is possible is to produce something that is bad. And since Paul says, in his letter to the churches in Rome, no one is righteous, the possibility of producing bad is certain. Yet those who have placed their trust in Jesus are made right with God. They have been made righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). This opens up for us the possibility of good. We can do great things. Paul says this in his 2 letter to the church in Thessalonica:

May he (God) give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 2 Thessalonians 2:11

Paul says that God gives us power to do good things. Before our possibility was for bad, but now our possibility is for good. Paul also says something so amazing. He says we are actually prompted to do good. Our faith prompts us.

You have the possibility to do good because God will give you the power to do it

What is your faith prompting you to do? You have a clean slate, if you have placed your trust in Jesus. You have a blank canvas. You have so many possibilities for good. God will give you the power to do good things for His glory and praise.

Thanks for reading.

 

Weight of the World

WeightOfTheWorldHave you ever felt like the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Or maybe just the weight of your world?

The Pressures of Everyday Life

I think every life phase we are in presents challenges that can create pressure and stress. If you are in high school, you want to keep your grades up so you can get into the college you want. If you are in college, you are hoping you won’t regret the major you choose. Once you are out of college, you realize it is not so easy to land the job you want. Once you have the job, there can be a lot of pressure to perform. There is pressure from your boss or coworkers.  If you are single, you are hoping you find someone you can love and spend your lives together. When you get married, you realize being married isn’t easy.  You love your spouse but relationships are hard. When you have your first child, there is a lot of responsibility. You love your child but you are in charge of taking care of a human being! My daughter Joelle was sick just last week and woke up vomiting in the middle of night. Could my wife and I just go back to sleep? Nope. We have to care for her and make sure she is safe.

The pressures of life can at times be crushing. Trying to balance everything and care for everyone can be paralyzing. But what about when things go wrong?

The Unexpected in Life

On top of the pressure of everyday life, there is an unexpected illness or death of a loved one. Cancer, sickness and death can leave you confused. It can leave you feeling alone and in mourning. When the unexpected in life comes, you are still trying to balance everything and care for everyone.

What about when you do or say something that is hurtful to someone else? You don’t know why you keep saying those things or doing those things to people you care about. You wonder why you can’t stop thinking like that toward others. This is sin when we fall short of the way we should treat others. This is God’s standard because he wants us to love one another.

What about when someone does or says something hurtful to you? You want to forgive and move on, but its hard. You wonder if you can forgive. You wonder if you can trust anyone ever again.

When the unexpected comes while you are trying to live through the pressures of everyday life, it can be paralyzing. It can be crushing.

Jesus was Crushed

I can’t help but think of Jesus when he said this:

“My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” Mark 14:34

Jesus is in the garden. He is about to go and pray. He tells his closest friends that he is going to pray and to keep watch. But Jesus is deeply troubled. He is crushed. Why was Jesus crushed?

Jesus went through it all up until this point in the garden. He faced all kinds of challenges and opposition. He received push back from the religious leaders of his time. He was unfairly criticized. He was wrongly accused. He persevered through their opposition. Jesus faced all kinds of people with various issues. Jesus met with people that no one wanted to meet with especially the religious leaders. Jesus healed the sick. He raised the dead. He persevered through it all.

Yet in this moment in the garden, Jesus was crushed with grief to the point of death.

Jesus even asks His Father God:

“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Jesus does want His Father’s will to be done and for that we are thankful. But what has Jesus in this moment asking for His Father to take “this cup of suffering” away from Him? What is “this cup of suffering?”

What is this cup of suffering?

Crucifixion

Jesus knew what was ahead for him. He would be crucified. Today the cross for most people all around the world is a symbol of Christianity. It is a symbol of love, hope, victory and forgiveness. But in the first century there was no framework to view the cross in this way. When Jesus was praying in the garden, there was no frame of reference to view the cross as any kind of positive symbol. He was alone with understanding what his mission was all about. His own friends would fall asleep on him in the garden. One friend would betray him. Another friend would deny him. Others would watch from a distance confused.

For everyone except Jesus, the cross was a symbol of shame. The person hanging on the cross would be hanging there naked and exposed. The person would be bleeding and suffocating to death on the cross. The cross was also a symbol of defeat. There was no victory on the cross. Rome, who was the empire of the day, would squash any would be threats. They would display them on the cross and say, “See! Look at this failed Messiah, King and Savior!” The cross meant it was over. The cross was also a symbol of violent brutality. This was perhaps the most violent way to die in the ancient world. Not much is even written detailed information about crucifixion in the ancient world. In fact, the great sources for information about crucifixion are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the New Testament. No one wanted to talk about it. It was too violent. It was not a subject to dwell on. Jesus would be flogged with streams of blood flowing from his body. He would need help carrying the beam of cross to Golgotha where he would be crucified.

So crucifixion was crushing Him. Crucifixion was part of “this cup of suffering.” But there is more.

This brings me to one of the most disturbing verse in all of the Bible. Isaiah, a messenger of God, would predict what Jesus would go through in this verse.

“But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.” Isaiah 53:10

This was all part of God’s good plan. Jesus was crushed with grief. Jesus asked for the cup of suffering to pass Him by but He wanted the Lord’s good plan and not his own.

Isaiah says in the second half of this verse

“his life is made an offering for sin.”

Jesus would pay the price that we deserved. He would be an offering for sin. Paul, one of the leaders in the early church would say this about Jesus:

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,. so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Jesus never sinned. Jesus would be an offering for our sin. Jesus would die on the cross for the sins not only of those of his time, but for us as well. Jesus would carry the sins of the world on his shoulders. Jesus would carry your sin and my sin. And it crushed Him.

Jesus would carry your sin and my sin. And it crushed Him.

Yet He wanted the Lord’s good plan and not His own. Because Jesus was the offering for our sins, those who have placed our trust in Jesus have been made right with God. We have a personal relationship with God. God is present with you. He has forgiven you, if you have placed your trust in Jesus.

Conclusion

Perhaps you have a huge weight on your shoulders. I don’t know what that weight is, but God does. And Jesus knows what its like to carry a huge weight. He carried your sins and my sins on his shoulders. He paid the price. Therefore, He is present with you and wants to relieve the pressure and anxiety that is crushing you. If you haven’t placed your trust in Him, he offers you forgiveness. He offers you a personal relationship with him. Will you accept? Will you trust?

Thanks for reading.

A Leader Does: A leader is a Trainer

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Many people believe (I believe this too) that a leader shouldn’t “do” but develop others. A lot of leaders do way too much and they become the ceiling for any grow they want to see in their organization. So I agree a leader needs to develop others and let others lead so that they can expand their organization’s ability to grow.

But there are certain things a leader does. Typically these things a leader does has to do with how to develop others.

A leader leads by example.

When you hire someone or ask someone to volunteer in your church or organization, how much do you assume they know what to do? Are you setting them up to succeed or are you setting them up for failure?

There are certain things you can assume they know what to do. You definitely don’t want to insult anyone. Many times organizations will train someone when they start. This is a good way to start someone out on the right foot. The goal is for someone to know what is expected and how they are supposed to do the job.

The leader is a trainer

Is the person training actually excited to train the new employee or volunteer? This leader should be excited to communicate the vision and strategies of the organization. They should show them how to do their job and lead by example.

I think when an employee or leader doesn’t want to or have the desire to train and lead others, its because they were not properly developed on the front end.

When we train and develop people, we must make it clear we are developing them to develop others.

Be an example so others can be an example. When we train someone to just do a job, we miss an opportunity to teach them how to develop others. This then stunts the growth of the people involved.

So what does this look like in your context? How do you train people? How do you lead? Is just getting tasks done the goal for people in your organization? Or are you making people who can reproduce themselves?

If you are a church or a follower of Christ, we only need to look at the words of Jesus to see what you should do.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,  baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Thanks for reading.

Wisdom Where Are You?

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Does anyone ever use a make anymore? And I don’t mean Google Maps or Apple Maps. I mean the old school paper maps! Or how about a Thomas Guide! Remember those. Well, whatever you use to get directions, we use these tools so that we can find the place we want to go. With modern day GPS devices its easier (in theory) to not get lost and to actually find your way.

Life is full of decisions, some big and some small.  Some can change the course of our lives. We look for wisdom. We look for advice. We want to find our way. We don’t want to end up somewhere we don’t want to go. So we search for wisdom. Where can we find it? Is it hard to find? Are we like those old school people with their Thomas Guides trying to match the letter to the number hoping to find our way? Or do we have the confidence to find wisdom with our modern day GPS? (I know some would say the Thomas Guide was like today’s GPS.)

Check out what Proverbs 2:1-5 says about wisdom

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
If I am trying to find my way to let’s say Disneyland, you better believe I am going to figure it out. If someone says there is $1,000 hidden somewhere in your backyard, you will find it somehow. If you search for wisdom with that kind of motivation, you will find it. But we must go to the source. What or better who is the source?
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 6:6
The Lord is the source of wisdom. We find knowledge and understanding by pursuing him and then actually doing what he says. Accept his words and store up his commands.
If we don’t want to end up in a place we didn’t intend, then accept the words of wisdom. If we do this, it will actually save us.
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways. Proverbs 6:12-13
Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words. Proverbs 6:16
We live in a dark world. There are many ways that we could go that are dark. People are selfish. They try and get what they can while they can. Is this the path you want to go? Many don’t always intend to go down these dark ways. They just don’t have their GPS on. Or they are deciding to not use their GPS.
Who are you listening to? Will you accept the words of wisdom? This isn’t easy, but when you seek for wisdom from the Lord, you will find it.
Thanks for reading.

A Leader Does. A leader Listens.

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Everyone has an opinion on leadership. So here is mine! Seriously though, there is a lot of great content out on leadership. I have been thinking about what makes a great leader. And a lot of the great content out there suggests that a leader “doesn’t do”. To clarify, this blog post is titled “A Leader Does.” But what I have heard (and maybe you have too) is a leader doesn’t. A leader can’t. A leader can’t do it all herself. He can’t do everything. She has to let go. And I actually agree!

Micheal Gerber, in his book the E Myth, talks about how there is a myth that everyone that has started a small business is an entrepreneur. This is not always the case. In many cases this is a myth. Just because someone is the best baker you know, doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to run a bakery. They may love to bake but when you run a small business there is a lot more to do than bake. An entrepreneur can’t do everything. A leader doesn’t do it all.

But yet there are things a leader does. So I recognize the tension here. A leader doesn’t but there are things a leader must do to lead others.

A leader doesn’t just say things

Picture it. A conference room where a leader is speaking for 45 minutes and everyone on his team is listening. Then the meeting just ends after his presentation.

Let’s give this leader the benefit of the doubt and assume valuable content is being shared. He is engaging and shares some insight into how to accomplish the mission of the organization. This leader is smart. He has a lot of wisdom. Now his team can go confidently accomplishing their tasks. But has he been collaborative? Has he listened to his team? Could his team possibly add to the valuable content that can lead the organization forward?

A leader listens

A leader no matter how wise should listen to others. If the leader doesn’t listen, the organization will only go as far as he can go. Even the most high capacity leaders have lids. How can they expand their capacity? I know of at least one way.

A great leader listens to others

Instead of a 45 minute presentation, which isn’t all bad (I love going to conferences to hear a great speak talk about leadership), make room in your meetings for people on your team to share their ideas and make observations on what they have seen. Give them a safe place to do this and don’t dismiss their ideas as inferior to yours. Here are just a few simple things to do the next time you lead a meeting.

  • Listen
  • Ask clarifying questions that don’t immediately shoot down their ideas.
  • Listen again
  • Be humble

Simple yes but not easy. It is hard for me to just listen without jumping ahead or dismissing the idea. Imagine if you had meetings where people could share ideas and this was an environment that fostered a collaborative spirit in your office! This could change the culture and morale of your office. And this would help accomplish the mission of your organization!

I will talk more about what a leaders does in the weeks ahead!

Thanks for reading!

Sharing a Meal

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How many people do you have over your house for dinner? Or maybe lunch or brunch? How many weekly, monthly or annually? This isn’t to judge. I know we don’t have people over nearly as much as we should. And in our fast past and fast food lifestyle we can sometimes miss this. But when we do we invite people over its usually people who we know or people who we want to get to know. Having someone over to hang out and have a meal can be intentional for many of us. There is something about sharing a meal that can breakdown walls down and allows people to get to know each other. It is fun and it is relational. A connection happens many times when people share a meal together at their kitchen or family table.

When we take the bread and the juice we are sharing a meal together. This is what we call communion or the Lord’s Supper. In the Apostle Paul’s account of the Lord’s Supper he says,

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:23–26

Also in the first century, people saw hospitality and sharing a meal together as an intimate bond. And for us today there really is no meal no more intimate that can connect us with God and with his people than the meal we are about to share in.

What God has done through Jesus’ body that was broken and his blood that was shed is has reconciled us or brought us into a right relationship with God and he has brought a people, his church together. We are the church, if we have placed our trust in Jesus. He has brought us the church together to share in this meal to remember and proclaim what Jesus has done for us. There is no greater bond and no greater meal that we can share.

Imagine if we didn’t go through the motions when we participate in communion. For those of us who put our trust in Jesus, he has broken down the barrier between us and God. What if we acted like that was the case? How would that change our approach to our relationship with God? He has also brought us together to break down the barriers that we may have with each other. Examine yourself and allow him to work in you so that we can become one as God is one.

If we acted as one people in a world that is divided, that would actually begin to change the world around us.

Thanks for reading!

 

How Did I See God? (Reflections on the Detroit Missions Trip)

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How Did I see God?

This question was asked of us and asked of the youth that participated in a recent Missions trip that Crossroads Church in Albert Lea went on. We had an amazing time together and I am very thankful I went on the trip.

I see God in Detroit

I saw God in the city of Detroit. I saw God in the people of Detroit Love. Detroit Love is the organization that Crossroads partnered with for this missions trip (CLICK HERE for Detroit Love’s website). Their love for the city and the people of Detroit was evident with how they saw hope, love, and redemption happening in the city. The staff showed us hope throughout the city while being realistic of the challenges that are ahead for the city.

I also saw God in the people of Detroit. The kids showed joy and laughter that was contagious. They also loved our teenagers that came to serve on the missions trip. Kids of course are kids and can present some challenges, but they were receptive to our teenagers and to the messages they shared from God’s Word. We also served people in the community and city. They were so thankful for what we were doing for them. A lot of this also has to do with the trust that Detroit Love has gained with those in the community.

I see God in Our Teenagers

I really believe in mobilizing a teenager’s potential so that they can begin to realize their potential. This was the perfect opportunity for them to begin to realize their God-given potential. I absolutely saw God in these teenagers. They had quick thinking and flexibility when planning the Vacation Bible School the night before we had the Vacation Bible School. They showed genuine love and patience toward the kids from Detroit. They had fun dancing, jumping around and playing games. They were profoundly impacted by the city, kids, and people of Detroit.

What Now?

The amazing thing about these teenagers is that they have a passion to serve. I ask myself this question:

What would happen if we took this passion to serve and did that in our community?

The passion to serve and love others out of the love we have for God should be something that is part of our daily lives.

We have jobs, we go to school, we have families, and we have responsibilities so I get that most of us cannot quit what we are doing and do this full-time. However, there is something that I learned that can change how we live our daily lives. We can continue to serve others while maintaining our lives. That doesn’t mean that God won’t ask us to give up things or we might need to adjust our priorities.The thing I learned is to ask this question:

How did I see God today?

This question will help us to anticipate God’s work in our lives and then begin joining in with what he is doing.

So how did you see God today?

Thanks for reading.

Work Is Hard But Its Worth It

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Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4

You know your lazy if . . .

instead of ironing your shirt you just throw it in the dryer.

you hit snooze 5 or more times before you actually wake up.

you hear your baby crying and pretend to be asleep so your spouse has to wake up and deal with the baby.

you mow your leaves instead of bagging them even if it might kill your grass.

Maybe not all of these are being lazy. And I may have been guilty of some of the above. Sometimes we don’t want to work hard. We have moments like this. But have you ever believed in the myth that work doesn’t have to be hard?

The Myth

Work isn’t hard. This is a big misunderstanding. People can hear the quote below and miss point.

If you don’t love what you do, then you shouldn’t do it. Marcus Lemonis

I love what I do. I believe what I do has purpose. It has value. I think what I do brings purpose to my life. What I do helps me grow and develop as a leader and pastor. What I do has an impact on the lives of people. I love working with my coworkers. I love what I do.

But does this mean that what we do shouldn’t be hard? If its too hard, should we quit? If its too hard, do we ask start questioning if we love what we do any more?

Long hours, hard labor, staring at a computer screen all day, and coming home and falling asleep before 9:00pm can be very hard. It makes someone wonder if they should stop doing their job.

The Truth

Anything worth doing is hard.

Its not always hard, but it can be hard at anytime. Its not always hard, but there are moments that are challenging.

Starting a business that you love, starting a church, rebranding your business, opening a new location, planting in the fields, and raising children are all hard work. But anything worth doing is hard. It takes diligent hands to do these things.

President John F. Kennedy in a speech he gave to a stadium full of people at Rice University in 1962 talked about the importance of the USA going to the moon. He called on the pioneering spirit of the US that accomplished so much up until this point. He believed that they would accomplish this goal. Below is an excerpt from that speech.

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.

We choose to go because they are hard. Anything worth doing (like going to the moon) is worth it. No matter how hard, we intend to win!

What is the one thing you choose to do? This is the thing that you love to do. This one thing you love is a challenge. Will you accept it?

There are so many things we could choose to do. What will you choose to do? What are you doing now? What would happen if you believed anything worth doing is hard? You wouldn’t doubt this fact. You would embrace it. You would thrive in this environment. You wouldn’t push through.

Does this mean that you don’t have hard days? Does this mean that you don’t fall asleep the second you get home? Not at all. But you push through those days. You take a day off or a vacation to rejuvenate.

Maybe things are coming easy to you right now. That’s great, but there could come a time when things get hard. This doesn’t mean you need to quit. Ask your self why you are doing what you are doing. And remember anything worth doing is hard.

What do you think? Is anything worth doing hard? What do you do to persevere and not quit?

Thanks for reading!

Good News for Yesterday, Today and Forever

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Good News

We have all gotten good news before. We got a letter in the mail that we were accepted to that college we were hoping to get into.

When my girl friend at the time said YES to my proposal! That’s great news!

Your team won the championship! That’s good news! We receive all kinds of news some good and some bad. I am a Lakers fan and it was good news when they won their championship in 2010. That was good news. It now seems like a distant memory as they have not even made the playoffs the last few years.

News can some times become outdated. With the advent of the 24 hour news cycle news can change quickly. Yesterdays news can seem like a lifetime away.

However, there is news, good news, that is relevant yesterday, today and forever.

Check out what Paul says in his letter to the churches in Roman about this good news.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life g was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power i by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1-7

Good News for Yesterday

The gospel is the good news that he is talking about. Paul refers back to yesterday. He is saying that the good news was spoken about in the prophets and the holy scriptures. This is referring back to the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible. The good news was talked about in the past. Paul gets specific here he says “a descendant of David” and Jesus is Christ our Lord.

Jesus is a descendant of the greatest king of Ancient Israel’s history. And he is the “Christ” or Messiah and king.

Paul says this in the book of Acts when referring to Jesus as a descendant of David

“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“ ‘You are my son;
today I have become your father.’
34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
“ ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’
35 So it is also stated elsewhere: “ ‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’ Acts 13:32-35

This is good news was relevant yesterday and it is relevant for today.

Good News for Today

The good news that Paul spoke was good news for today. It clearly spoke of good news that was relevant for their today, and for our today as well.

It was good news for today because it brings salvation.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

We are saved from our sins. We have eternal life. We are made right and have a relationship with God forever. This is for those of us who put their trust in Jesus.

This is also good news for today because it engages culture. The words “Good News,” “King,” and “Lord” were all also in reference to Caesar. His birthday was even called “Good News.” He was king and Lord. The early church new that this could create tension with the culture. And yet they were to proclaim that Jesus the King is Lord!

Paul’s good news is good news for yesterday, today and forever.

Good News for Forever

Paul’s good news is for forever.  Paul says this later on in Romans

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:11

Jesus our king was raised, so we too will be raised. What happened to Jesus will happen to us. He give us life now and forever. This is good news for yesterday, today and forever.

Conclusion

I think it is easy for us to get bogged down with the issues of life. Even for those who work in the church. We can forget “the why.” Why do we do what we do? Why do we follow Jesus? Why do we serve in the church? It is because the Good News is always good news.

The good news is always good news

This news never goes out of style or becomes outdate. What would happen if we lived our lives day in and day out like the Good News is still good today? What if we realized that the Good news engages culture today? What would happen if we lived like “The gospel” was relevant to our lives today? What if we lived like the good news is not yesterday’s news?

I believe we would not grow weary in doing good. I believe we would engage culture instead of isolating ourselves. I believe we would live out this good news and share it with others.

What do you think? How would treating the Good News like its still good news change how we live? Thanks for reading!