eternity

What does it look like to leave a legacy?

Text to Read: 2 Samuel 23:24, 39 NLT

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Main Points to Ponder:

  • The key to dreaming big is thinking long, even beyond your lifetime.

  • When you act based on a short-term outlook, you’re going to mess up.

  • Jesus came despite your mistakes and overcame them at the cross.

  • Action Step:

    • Dream big, dream long: put everything in the scope of eternity as you go out and chase lions.

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Let Justice Roll: The Freedom to Care

Jesus wants his people to live with Justice.

The stats are in: there are a whole lot of people struggling in Pincher Creek--and in every community! People are struggling financially, they are struggling to balance making a living and caring for their children, and are struggling to deal with their grief at the loss of loved ones. Yet, while they are in need of our care, what are we busying ourselves with instead?

Some of us are one of those stats: we need to know Jesus cares deeply about us.

Some of us are just stressed out thinking about how to get ahead or next big thing or secure for future: Jesus offers a better way.

Others of us feel like there’s nothing we can do: but Jesus will give you what you need to make a difference.

Read: Amos 6:1-8, 12 (NLT)

Israel was looking down on the other nations’ failures and they thought they were better than them; the Israelites were pursuing lavish living, even as nation was corroding under them; the Israelites placed their trust in wealth, in size, and in fortresses. We may be tempted to look down on them for all of this, but if you really look at yourself and at our culture, you may see more of this attitude and behaviour in you than you care to admit!

When your trust is in material things, it’s all you can do to keep them. When your trust is in Jesus, you’re freed to pursue godly righteousness and justice.

Jesus’ death and resurrection did what you can never do for yourself.
Jesus’ death and resurrection brings a perfect hope greater than all your failures
Jesus’ death and resurrection begins to change your desires
Jesus’ death and resurrection provides you with the ability to pursue righteousness and justice.

Action Steps:

  • Put your trust in Jesus
  •  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how your lifestyle is contributing to injustice and poverty and what you can do instead to fight for justice.
“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.  May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.  May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.  And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.  Amen.”

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Risen - The end doesn't have to be devoid of hope

Jesus is the resurrection and the life

As much as we try to ignore it or delay it, death affects us all and brings with it a deep sense of helplessness. However, Easter is a day that reminds us that there is hope, because Easter is a celebration of the One who defeated death and brings us life.

Text: John 11:11-44 (NLT)

A few notes on this passage:

  1. Jesus' deep anger is not directed toward those who are mourning; instead, Jesus is angry at the hopelessness his enemy, death, has caused in those he loves.
  2. As Jesus approached Lazarus' tomb, he was facing off against death. This is a battle between Death and the Resurrection and the Life. The best part: Jesus won!
  3. A short while later, Jesus would defeat death again; this time, it would be with his own death and resurrection.

Jesus' death paid the price for your sin (i.e., your rebellion/rejection against God; your wrongdoing or failure to do what's right). At the cross, he took your sin on himself. His resurrection proves that Jesus is who he claims to be, that you can trust him, and that he has defeated death itself!

When you try to find your own way through life, death is inevitable and nothing good lay beyond it.

Jesus has overcome the hopelessness of death with the hope-filled promise of eternal life.

Imagine going through life with hope for the future and assurance of great things to come, even after this body dies!

It may be tempting to drag your feet and try to squeeze out few more days living for yourself before you give yourself to Jesus and his hope for you. It's easy to put off thinking about the end, but it comes sooner than you think!

April 15, 2017, ushered in a historical milestone.  On a day that most of us can't even recall, Emma Morano died in Italy at the age of 117.  None of us knew her, but she was the last known person born in the 19th century.  Although the 1800s were a long time ago, this quiet passing reminds us that a time comes for each generation when the last remaining person dies. 

No longer how long we put it off, death comes for everyone.

Will this short life be one full of hope now and for the future? Jesus is inviting you to step out of the grave and accept his offer of life.

Action Step:
Place your hope in Jesus and choose to follow him.

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Better: Hosea

Jesus loves you so much!

Where were you on 9-11-2001? How did the events that transpired impact you? How did they make you feel?

Now, think of May 2, 2011. That's the day Osama bin Laden was killed. How did you feel about that? Relief? Joy? Pity? Around the world, millions rejoiced at his death, but what we often forget to consider is that Jesus love him. It broke God's heart that bin Laden would do what he did, but it also broke his heart that he would not turn from his sins--his wrongdoings and rejection of Jesus--and accept the gift of life Jesus purchased for him.

We all have different ways of looking at the world. Maybe you think you're not good enough for Jesus to love you or to forgive you. Maybe you think you're too good (oops, that's pride. Guess what? Yep, sin.). Maybe you looked down at someone today or yesterday and assigned them a lower value than you, or you believe Jesus won't save them. Or maybe you don't think about others at all, 'cause they're just not that important to you.

You need to know: Jesus loves you. Jesus loves them. His greatest desire is to see you run into his loving arms.

We're going to look at Hosea and what we can discover about Jesus from it. Hosea was a prophet who lived in the Northern Kingdom of Israel (as opposed to the Southern Kingdom of Judah). Israel and Judah both had problems with turning to other gods than the One True God, and to lifestyles God had told them were wrong.

Hosea 1:2-3 (NIV)
"When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son."

Basically, God told Hosea to go out and marry a prostitute. This being told to a godly man living in a culture that put a premium on marrying a virgin!

Hosea 3:1-5 (NIV)
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.

Hosea brought his wife home. And he paid a bride price for her...even though he didn't have to. Likewise, Jesus paid a price he didn't have to pay to bring you to him; however, the price that Jesus paid was much greater and was the only possible way to open the door for us to come back to him.

Everyone is guilty of rejecting God, but Jesus will never stop trying to bring you home.

When you cling to sin you reject God.

That's not to say that any time you sin you're leaving God behind. Sin is what broke the relationship with God you were meant to have, but when you place your trust in Jesus as Master and Saviour he forgives you of all your sins. No, but when you say that your sin is more important than serving God, that is a rejection of him.

Hosea 14:1-2 (NIV)
Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

Jesus’ love is bigger than all your sin.

Hosea 14:4 (NIV)
“I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.

Maybe you see your sin as a big pile or mountain or wall that you can't forgive yourself for, your friends and family won't forgive you for, so surely Jesus won't forgive you for it either. But his love is bigger than all your sin, and if you'll let him, he'll take care of it for you.

Romans 5:8 (ESV)
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Imagine what Pincher Creek would look like if people understood they have worth in Jesus' eyes--he loves them and he wants them to accept his gift of forgiveness and eternal life!

Action Steps:

  • Have confidence in Jesus' love and grace.
  • Share it with at least one of the people he has placed around you this week!

Would you like to accept Jesus' gift of life, or want more information? Send us an email or contact us on Facebook!

 

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