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Trusting a God Who Moves

Ecclesia is doing a series titled God is Moving. This is the first one in the series and a really good one. The big takeaway with this one is that, if we start trusting God before knowing why things happen, it's better than if God gave us all the answers before we trusted Him -- if He did that, we'd still be left without the peace of trusting Him. That's really what we long for anyway, right -- peace? Something else that hit me is that we tend to make a god out of things we want, or at least attribute them to God being pleased with us. If I'm not healthy or getting richer, than I must be doing something to make God mad. Or flip it -- if I am super healthy or have been very blessed financially, God is pleased with me. But if those things are suddenly taken from me, I must have made God mad. Both of those are folly of course, but at the bottom of it, that's probably how most of us view God -- the great Gift-giver. God does give good gifts of course ( "Eve

I'm Good Enough

Here is I'm Good Enough by Joseph Barkley. He has an awesome way of taking a lot of information and making it relevant to the heart. Most people would say that, as long as they're not a "bad" person (i.e.-don't kill anyone or steal something major), they will go to Heaven. I think that would be great, but that point of view doesn't line up with the bible. And since we're getting our information about Heaven from the bible, we should probably pay attention to what it says about getting there. There are several excellent lines in the notes below, but this one is a good summary: Grace means we can get all of the love, acceptance, forgiveness we long for, not because we worked harder, but because we accepted defeat. Pretty much every religion is centered around pleasing a god or gods in order to get into an awesome afterlife. It's all based on our works! With Jesus, we get all of the benefits, without the endless work! And I love what Joseph points o

Is One Way the Only Way?

This is a good sermon by Greg Koukl about religious pluralism, which is very popular these days. The basic argument against this, though (which is detailed in the sermon), is that contradicting ideas cannot both be correct. This has to be one of the most relevant subjects around right now, as the belief that "you believe what you want and I'll believe what I want and everything is okay" is so rampant. It's a nice point of view and I wish it were true, but it's just not logical. What's good about this sermon is, at the end, Greg appeals to the heart. He says that everyone has something inside them they don't like. We can attribute this to many things, but maybe, deep down, it's guilt; and if we all feel guilty, maybe we are guilty. I don't know if I can say that everyone essentially feels guilty in life, but I would say that most people, if they examine the innermost of their hearts, would recognize that something is broken. Jesus claimed to fix

Make Room for Mission

This is the final sermon in the "Make Room" series, this one by Josh Surratt, centered around 2 Kings 4:8-36 about a woman who made room for Elisha the prophet. Somewhere in here he says that "you can be the chance encounter that changes someone's life." So true. Look for those. I don't have a ton to say about this one, but it was a great series and I encourage listening to it. I've got some stuff from Judah Smith coming up that I'm pretty excited about sharing, so look for that. John 14:12 - " “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." The Shudnammite woman isn't even given a name -- it's not about her. Mission: a specific task with which a person or a group is charged  Jesus' mission = to seek and save what is lost Expect divine appointments ( 2 Kings 4:8 ) Do we miss these because we're

Make Room for Generosity

God has been doing great things in my life concerning my desire for money, and I think this sermon played a part in that. I grew up in a middle class family, but I always had friends who had more than me (at no fault to my parents). I was consistently one step behind...especially when it came to video games. I'm okay with that now, but when your friends are getting Playstations and you're just getting a Sega Genesis, it's not the coolest. Anyway, I think this birthed in me a desire to have what I wanted, when I wanted it. It has put an emphasis on money that slowly made its way to a central spot in my life. It doesn't help that so much of Western culture teaches us that the point of life is to amass lots of money and things in order to create a comfortable life; and then die, leaving it for your kids. Jesus says don't amass things on earth, but things in Heaven . So how can the Western church reconcile both ideas into one, when they are opposing ideas? We find ou

Make Room for Rest

Any teaching on rest usually grabs my attention. I feel that resting is so undervalued in our culture, and this sermon by Josh Walters asks some great questions that should get us thinking about the connection between rest and our relationship with God. While on the subject, I love this website and what they stand for: http://www.sabbathmanifesto.org . If we're not careful, it doesn't take long to get sucked into a busy life, filled with technology, advertisements and constant updates on everything you care (and don't care) to know about. Taking a day off is literally essential for our health - we're designed that way, so why fight it? Jesus often went off to quiet places to pray . I'm sure this is where He rested, recharged and got his direction from God. Shouldn't we do the same? Busyness is not equated with godliness What if my ability to rest would determine the degree to which I could walk in the promises of God? What if how I manage rest is

Make Room for a Miracle

I love when people of God challenge us to really believe that God is as big as the bible says, and can do what He says He can do. It's so easy to forget this when life gets mundane and it seems like we're on our own, or that God doesn't really act the way He used to in the bible. I think this is a trap though, because if we don't believe God acts anymore,we're obviously not living in faith. The bible says that, " without faith, it is impossible to please God ,"so how can we expect God to act if we don't believe He will? Not to say that God is powerless if we don't believe, but if we personally want to see God do things in and through our lives, we have to take Him at His word. That's the beauty of the Christian faith -- God promises things in the bible; when we take those as truth and stuff happens, it eases our doubts and confirms that God does in fact do what He says. This only increases our faith, which allows us to believe even more in