Are you a glass half-empty or a glass half-full person?
Does it depend on the day? The weather?
Your response to these words of Jesus might tell you.
Ask and it will be given to you.
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and the door will be opened to you.
At times those words have inspired me with great faith, boldness and hope.
At other times the same words have mocked me.
Some people have actually lost their faith because of these words.
At the Gathering Church this Sunday we will discover why these words made absolute sense to the one who said them and the ones who first heard them. Found in Matthew 7:7-12, they occur in the home-stretch portion of the Sermon on the Mount, a summary of Jesus’ teaching about how to live well by experiencing God’s kingdom now.
The secret of understanding these promises from Jesus is found in understanding the ‘scale’ of your life.
How does God change the scale of everything?
Half-empty or half-full?
Or maybe, “Where did you get the glass?”
It pretty much never works.
To tell someone to stop worrying.
At least it doesn’t work with me. I immediately think that whoever says that to me doesn’t really understand the situation. If they did they would start worrying with me. We would get busy trying to fix or control whatever was the source of the worry.
Yet, this is exactly the advice that Jesus gives about the necessities of life: food and clothing.
This Sunday at the Gathering Church the teaching of Jesus from Matthew 6:25-34 will be the focus as I continue the series, At Hand: Jesus’ Teaching on Living Well.
Did you know that Jesus was a funny guy? Not a silly guy, but definitely someone who uses humor to make his point. This passage is full of his humor.
You know how seriously Jesus takes the concerns that drive us crazy? He laughs about them. He says, “Are you kidding me? Don’t you know that…”
Come learn the “that” this Sunday.
That’s the word that probably best describes Jesus.
Especially in the way he experienced God.
The way he talked to God was different. Like he knew God. Like they were close. Like he was talking ‘with’ God instead of ‘to’ God.
Jesus’ teaching on how to talk with God will be the focus this Sunday at the Gathering Church. In Matthew 6:5-18 Jesus gives us the model that has become known as The Lord’s Prayer.
The Jews were a praying people. Jesus’ disciples had grown up saying prayers all their life. But, the way Jesus prayed was so different that at one point they asked him to teach them to pray in the same way.
What made Jesus’ prayer so different?
It’s possible to pray his model prayer without it being different at all.
How can ordinary people like us talk with God like Jesus did?
Has anyone ever asked you to teach them how to pray?
This Sunday – At Hand: Jesus’ Teaching on Living Well.
On a bike ride this week my friend and I took a route that would bring us down the long hill instead of up. It is a brutal hill, not just steep, but long. You go around a curve twice only to discover that it keeps going.
Shortly after coming down it we saw a group of about twenty riders approaching – did I say approaching? – I meant flying towards us from the other direction.
They were headed toward the hill.
After they passed my friend said, “They probably don’t think we’re real men because we came down instead of up.”
Knowing that my sermon this Sunday was going to be about some stern warnings that Jesus issued concerning caring what others think, the comment struck me. But, before I had time to judge my friend for being so self-conscious I replied, “It would have been worse if we had been going up and they had flown by us.”
Appearances. Positioning. Posturing.
Why are the opinions of others so critical to us? What are things we do to make sure we look good?
What good things do we not do in order to avoid the risk of looking bad?
How stressed are we to keep it up?
At the Gathering Church this Sunday I will teach from Matthew 6:1-18 continuing the series, At Hand: Jesus’ Teaching on Living Well.
What happens when we’re free enough for God’s opinion to matter most?
Love your enemies.
Jesus expects the impossible.
How about if we just don’t hurt our enemies? Wouldn’t that be good enough?
I grew up in the South, so I don’t have any enemies. Just some people who are hard to be with, bless their heart.
This Sunday at the Gathering Church I teach from this famous passage found in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:43-48. Jesus is defining what goodness looks like in God’s kingdom which he says is at hand.
He expects that the transformation is so thorough in anyone who receives the kingdom of God that even enemies get loved.
Covered this Sunday:
- How to recognize an enemy.
- Sizes and shapes of enemies.
- How to stop making enemies.
- The Best Act of Love for an enemy.
- What’s so important about loving enemies?
- What happens when we do?
Someone who can’t stand you is going to be really glad that you came to the Gathering Church this Sunday.