How do you make sense out of the story in Genesis 31 where Jacob and his father-in-law Laban part ways sharing a trust in God but without trusting each other? But considering Peter's confession of Jesus as the Messiah. Witnessing helps us move part pettiness and toward following Jesus a bit better today than yesterday.
Concluding our Love Where You Are: The Art of Neighboring Series brings us back to the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus "flipped the script" on the legal expert, and how Jesus flips the script on us.
We have to see our neighbors to love them. Who are the people around you that you most easily overlook or see right through? Who blends into the background? Even these are our neighbors. And followers of Jesus are commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Some of us want to be or live or worship someplace beside where we are. Sometimes this is because we feel out of control or unappreciated. The world around us doesn't seem to value what we believe God calls us to value. Into this situation, the prophet Jeremiah speaks, and tells us to "Promote the welfare of the city where God has sent us into exile." The hardest part of this for American Christians is recognizing that we live in exile - in a place we don't control. God doesn't call us to control, though, but to trust God, and promote the welfare of the place where we are.
If you are a follower of Jesus you have no choice but to be a neighbor to others. To everyone. The bible teaches that God's people are commanded to "love your neighbor as you love yourself." As a result, people ever since have been choosing who they have to consider a "neighbor." Jesus loves your neighbor as much as Jesus loves you, so do the same! Jesus' story in Luke 18 offers an awesome twist, convicting us when we try to decide that some people just don't count as "neighbor." Hint: they ALL count!
A 'legal expert' asked Jesus "Who is my neighbor?" trying to catch him saying something wrong. Jesus answered with the story we know as the Good Samaritan. Jesus taught 2 things with this story: that your 'neighbor' may not be who you think it is and that his followers view everyone as their neighbor. Go and do likewise.
These images may be helpful as you listen.
I quoted the Black Eyed Peas' "Where is the love?" on social media a few years back, and instantly received replies from people offering encouragement. I wasn't depressed; I was empathizing with the message of the song. On this Sunday morning when we worship less than 24 hours after 2 separate mass shootings. Our response as Christians to "where is the love?" is "Right here!" Then we show others the love Jesus has shown us.
A little of the story of why I burned all my secular music as a teen, and how I have learned to tell that story now. Mostly, how I have learned to interpret this phase of my life in terms of some truth offered by Sam Shoemaker.
Music is as old as human civilization. Maybe older, depending on how you define civilization. Like God created us in God's own image, there is goodness, evidence of God, in music - not just religious music. Music itself is sacred.
Joy not based in understanding. We sing Joy to the World - the hymn and the version we all know from 3 Dog Night - for the way we feel more than for the lyrics.
God's love for us is not dependent on our understanding. A God we could wrap our minds around wouldn't be much of a God!
Sing for joy. Sing with joy!
We open our "The Songs We Sing" summer series with a message about one of the most popular hymns ever written. Amazing Grace was written in 1772 by John Newton. At the time he was an Anglican Priest, but he had served for years on slave ships. He didn't renounce the slave trade until 1788. What does that say about God's amazing grace? Give a listen!
You get what you incentivize. Listen to this account of John 11 - the story in which Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Hint: Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead isn't the most significant part of the story
Rahab lived inside the wall - IN the wall of the city of Jericho. This put her in a perfect place to maximize her availability to do what she did, and also to be available to help the spies Joshua sent. Like Rahab, we can learn to live nimbly so that whatever we find in our lives or around us can be part of our being available to God.
May 19th was Senior Sunday, so, in honor of our seniors, this week's episode of the Rise series is about rising above expectations. What can we learn from Ignaz Bosendorfer, Keith Jarrett, Vera Brandes, Philip, and the Ethiopian Eunuch. Listen and find out!
Thanks to the resurrection of Jesus, God's utter defeat of death, we can live lives that rise above the everyday. This week, we learn about faithfulness from the Book of Ruth and from a local Subway that practices faithfulness.
"We shouldn't create problems for Gentiles who turn to God," said the Apostle James in Acts chapter 15. This is a good starting place for us, as Christians, to think about how we treat other people. We shouldn't create problems for people who turn to God.
How do we raise our awareness of the things we do that might be creating problems for others? By spending time together and with those in the culture around us.
Jacob is an example for us; sometimes a good example, sometimes a bad one. Jacob shows a different side when he meets up with Esau after so many years away. I believe Jacob is able to present himself to his brother this way because, through good and bad, Jacob has learned how to find his identity in God. Jesus might have called this abiding or remaining in him, as in John 15.
Jesus rose from the dead to defeat death. God's defeat of death doesn't just mean "getting to go to heaven when you die," but also that fear of death, and thus all fear, has been conquered. We can live risen lives now! Let's get started!
This is the 6th sermon in our Lenten Series, "I Will." This is also Palm Sunday, so our topic is "I Will Follow." Following Jesus is what we are all about at Euless First United Methodist Church, so, on Palm Sunday, we ask, "If Jesus sent you into town for a colt, would you go?" Following sounds so simple, so straightforward, but most of us don't find actually following Jesus quite that easy. And yet, we refuse to let that stop us.
"Giving" is one of our core values at Euless First United Methodist Church. We give because God has so generously given to us! We take very seriously Jesus' words that "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Our Core Values Are Worship, Grow, Serve, Reach, and Give. During the season of Lent, we are preaching through these. This week: I Will Reach. God has reached to us, and has reached us! Because God has reached to us, we reach out to others, to connect with them, to help them know and live in the good news of Jesus Christ that God has reached to us!
Our Church's core values are worship, grow, serve, reach, and give. This week's message is "I Will Serve." We understand following Jesus to include, even require, that we serve others. Our motivation for serving others is that God has blessed us. In fact, we remember that "we were once slaves in Egypt," but that God has delivered us, and called us to be the kind of people who care for, or serve, others.
First message in our Lenten series which is also our capital campaign series. The first and most important of Euless First United Methodist Church's core values is worship, so we start with worship. What is worship, and why is it important? Scriptures: Isaiah 6:1-8, John 4:13-24.
We conclude the "Reboot" series with the final Fruit of the Spirit, self-control. This sermon suggests that self-control is the summation of the previous 8: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. Self-control reminds us that, over time, "we fail in new and exciting ways" instead of just the same old ways.
Sermon number 8 in the 8 week Reboot Series. This series is intended to be a fresh look at the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. This is not exhaustive or definitive, but we hope you find the perspective on each of the fruit helpful to your walk with Jesus.