What About Crazy People?

What About Crazy People?

If you have turned on the news lately, you may have thought, “Where did all these crazy people come from?” I have heard statements recently like, “The world has gone crazy”, “Things have never been this bad” or “This must be the end of times”. These are strange times and I’m sure some could make a compelling case for this being the end but, we must not get distracted. We must keep things in perspective and keep the mind of Christ as others seem to be loosing their sanity and not knowing what to do in the face of chaos in our culture.

Just a brief study of history will tell you that there has always been trouble of grave nature. Most of humanity has suffered under tyranny and horrific living conditions with little or no medical care and short life spans. We actually are extremely blessed to live where we live and with all the advantages of technology, hygiene, medical care, food, shelter, clothing and an abundance of so much more.

That’s perspective. Now, how do respond to the craziness? As Jesus would. We absolutely must make sure that we are the respectful, grace giving, loving and kind neighbors that Jesus has appointed us to be and that we don’t fall into the category of those whom Jesus chastised the most. Those people of course were the religious elite. Jesus became angry with them many times and said that they did not belong to God at all but that they were hypocritical, blind guides and belonged to their father Satan.

So demonstrate the nature of Christ always and especially when you are angered by sin, ignorance or disrespect. Do not repay with the same sin, ignorance and disrespect but with love, patience, respect and understanding. When someone offends you, don’t think too much. Just respond with the same love that Christ has loved you with.

We will go much deeper with this Sunday morning, 10:30 a.m. online at thenet.org or in person at 2620 Clinton Ave. West, Campus 805. Just follow the blue flags! See you there!

Rob

Inspired!

Inspired!

Our next series is called “Inspired”. It will start a week from Sunday. The idea is that I will talk about whatever God is currently showing me. Each week will be inspired by something that is going on in my life or by something that is on my mind. This Sunday, I’m going to give you an opportunity to pick some sermon topics that may be on your mind. I’ll do at least one message that is inspired by you and maybe more. So come prepared! I’m excited to hear what you have to say! 

This Sunday at 10:30 a.m., we will conclude our study of Galatians with some life-changing truth! So join us online at thenet.org or in person at 2620 Clinton Ave. West, Campus 805. Just follow the blue flags. See you there! 

Rob

You Can Have What You See

You Can Have What You See

Would you like more out of life? Specifically, would you like to get more out of the life God has given you? God told Abraham in Genesis 13:14,15, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever”. Who are Abraham’s offspring? Galatians says that it’s everyone who believes. We are his offspring because we believe and we receive the promise of the spirit through faith. (Galatians 3)

Let’s look at this physical promise to Abraham and its spiritual application for us. If you can see it, as far as you look in any direction, God will give it to you. Can you envision a life in which your character is so Christlike that you become a blessing to all those around you? Can you imagine having faith, hope, and love that permeate everything you think, say or do? Can you fathom having the ability to even genuinely love and pray for those who would do harm to you? If you can see it, you can have it.

Faith is not just something you say. It’s something you see. You envision it. You practice thinking about it. Maybe you don’t see it yet, but practice envisioning it and before long you’ll see it. And when you do, you’ll have the substance of the things you hope for. (Hebrews 11:1) Why not practice believing? Take a few moments each day and envision your most faithful, most influential, most kind, and loving self. If you can see it, God can produce it in your heart, mind, and soul. You are a child of promise! God loves you and wants you to receive the character of Christ that already belongs to you. Can you see it?

Join us this Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. online at thenet.org or in person at 2620 Clinton Ave. West, Campus 805. Just follow the blue flags. See you there!

Rob

When A Friend Opposes You

When A Friend Opposes You

Has it ever happened to you? Have you been surprised and completely thrown off guard by a friend who opposed you openly? Do you remember the embarrassment? When I get embarrassed, all the blood rushes to my face and my head gets hot. It’s not a good feeling. How do you respond when it happens? Do you first get angry? Do you speak up for yourself – argue your case maybe? Or, do you immediately ask yourself where this is coming from and seek to understand where you went wrong?

There are many cases of this in the Bible. One such case, was when Peter tried to convince Jesus not to go to Jerusalem and be crucified. Jesus’ reply to him was, “Get behind me Satan”. I’ll bet Peter’s face got hot. Another instance, was when Paul opposed Peter openly, because he was showing favoritism to the Jews, while in the company of Gentile brothers and sisters. This had to be deja vu for poor ole Peter. Here he was, one of the most respected if not the most revered Apostle, being openly corrected by Paul, who was kind of an outsider. That had to have been unsettling even for Simon Peter, “The Rock”.

But Peter loved Paul and held him in high regard. He took the chewing out and learned from it. Later Peter would call Paul his “dear brother” and acknowledge the wisdom that God had given him. Dawson Trotman, who founded The Navigators, said that when criticized, he would take it into his prayer time and ask God to show him the kernel of truth in what was said. I wonder how much we would grow and how far we could go, if we learned from each critique instead of fighting back. Try it and see if God doesn’t begin to bless you in amazing ways.

Join us for a great story, this Sunday morning online at thenet.org or in person at 2620 Clinton Ave. West, Campus 805. Just follow the blue flags. See you there!

Rob

I’ve Always Been Lucky In The Order

I’ve Always Been Lucky In The Order

When Clint Eastwood’s character in “Unforgiven” was asked about the order in which he shot a room full of outlaws, he replied,” I’ve always been lucky in the order”. The order matters in gunfighting and in almost everything else in life. I have a good many conversations over email with people who see videos that I’ve posted. I almost never get emails from strangers who agree with me. The emails I get are from people who disagree with something I’ve said. Most are irritated and some are downright angry over some minor point.  Sometimes it’s only a word choice that I’ve used. Their faith has lost its order.

No one ever sends me a message saying “Hey, you’re wrong, Jesus is the Savior of the world”. That never happens because we all agree on the main things. People get bent out of shape over some point of theology that we may see differently. And there is something about our brains and our faith that causes us to get frustrated and angry and even fuels hatred at times when others think differently about the finer points of Christianity. What is really going on when we allow these disagreements to fester? Our faith is out of order. We’ve lost perspective of first and second things.

I like to build houses. I’ve been doing it on the side for many years. I know the sequence. If you get the sequence wrong, the outcome will be a disaster. There are only a few things that you can interchange the order within building a house and get away with it. It’s the same with math, cooking, manufacturing, and almost everything else. The order matters. If we get the order right our faith and relationships will thrive. If not, we will have lots of trouble. If you only remember one thing, you’ll do well. Keep Jesus, (God incarnate, the Savior of the world, and the sinless Sacrificial Lamb) first in all your religious thinking and conversations, and enjoy listening to and considering the thoughts and beliefs of your brothers and sisters in Christ. You might actually learn something in an unexpected place!

We’ll learn the order this Sunday morning. Join us at 10:30 a.m. online at thenet.org or in person at 2620 Clinton Ave. West, Campus 805. Just follow the blue flags! See you then!

Rob

You Might Be An Influencer

You Might Be An Influencer

There is a fairly new career category that has been added to the list. “Influencer” That means that others are influenced by someone’s content. But, you don’t have to have a social media account in order to be an influencer. There are many influencers out there who spend their time working on their latest projects, writing books and articles, others pouring their wisdom, time, and love into other people and influencing the world by the “content of their character”. Dr. King’s famous words outlined so succinctly, the thing that we should be judged by. And it’s also the thing that carries the most influence in this world.

How are you influencing the world? Have you thought much about the imprint you are leaving? You are influencing the world in some way. You are leaving a mark. The question is, what kind of mark are you leaving. Whatever is in your heart will almost always make its way out through the things you say and do and others will be influenced by them. Sometimes, I think about all the people that I could have encouraged but didn’t. I think about the ones I could have helped, but walked on by. I also wonder about all the people I’ve injured in some way. Some of those I know about, but there are probably many more that I don’t. It’s a sobering thought. Most of the time, you can’t go back and undo what has been done. The only thing you can do, is just move forward and give your heart to God.

In the hands of Jesus, your heart will begin to produce the love and the works of Christ. It’s amazing what your life can mean to so many when your trajectory is determined by the Father. Put your destiny in His care and you will be as the scripture says in Isaiah, “Like a well-watered garden”. Your influence will grow by leaps and bounds and the mark you leave will be that of Jesus Christ. One more thing. When you hit a bump in the road and it looks and feels like you’ve totally ruined everything and there is no hope, think about what God would want you to do. Get up quickly, go boldly before the throne of grace. Boldly, not because of anything you deserve, but because the blood of Christ deserves consideration even for the worst sinner. God doesn’t want you to stay down. Accept His redemption and move forward as the influencer He has called you to be.

Join us this Sunday as we continue our series called, “Influencers”. 10:30 a.m. online at thenet.org or in person at 2620 Clinton Ave. West, Campus 805, between Lone Goose and Straight To Ale. Just follow the blue flags. See you there!

Rob