Right now our church family is teaching through a series to help us experience the greatest life Jesus has to offer. Here are few empty lies robbing us of rest, joy, hope, and peace that is freely given in Jesus:
Spiritual Pride: Genesis teaches us we are created with purpose, meaning, and value that comes directly from God, but when we put ourselves in that position it is going to rob us of all that Jesus has to offer. We will find ourselves saying things like, “How come those good things aren’t happening in my life? How come bad things keep happening in my life? Or, who cares what happens in the lives of other people?”
The reason we will land in this place is because we have placed ourselves at the center, and all the weight of life is resting on our shoulders.
On Sunday mornings North Village Church has been studying through the book of Esther. A common theme we see throughout the book is that God involves people in the lives of other people. It’s that simple.
Throughout Scripture we God involving people in the lives of other people and it is something we need to consider about our lives today. Here are a few questions to help us reflect:
Am I Embracing My Faith? Esther and Mordecai hid their faith for half of the book. There are specific parts where they tell one another to “Tell no one.” Continue reading
On Sunday mornings at North Village Church we have been studying through the book of Esther. In Esther 5, we see two great examples of people chasing after favor in the life of Esther and Haman. Specifically, in the life of Esther she is longing for favor from the King of Persia, she is putting her life at risk, and the text says, “She obtains favor.”
Can you imagine how scary it must have been for Esther in those moments? She is risking her life. She is longing for favor to present her case to save her people. She dresses herself in the royal robes, and then she hears, “what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.”
Scripture teaches through faith alone in the God of Scripture (Father, Son, and Spirit) we are given a greater favor. Esther’s favor is temporal. It was based on her beauty, but God’s favor is eternal established in Christ’s work on the cross. Esther’s favor was based on her effort, but God’s favor is based on grace, and unmerited. Esther’s favor resulted in half of the kingdom, but God’s favor is greater and we are made son’s and daughter’s.
In our culture today that question probably sounds like nonsense. We place ourselves as the final authority in life on all matters, however, this isn’t very logical because all we have to do is look back on the last 6-months of our lives to see that our “final authority” isn’t very reliable.
This is why Scripture is so important.
I know there are some objections and concerns so let me respond quickly:
When we look at Scripture we see the Apostle Paul find his confidence and boldness as an “Apostle of Christ Jesus.” It is easy for us to assume the authority comes from the title “Apostle” but the only reason it carries any authority is because it is connected to Jesus. He found his confidence in Jesus?
Consider all the places where we look for confidence and boldness in life. We easily turn to our physical appearances. If we feel like we are in shape and eating healthy then we walk with a little pep in our step. We also turn to our finances. If our savings is growing then we feel confident about life. We turn to our circle of friends also. If they are inviting us places and including us in social activities then we tend to feel better about ourselves.
In our culture today there is a political debate on the sanctity of marriage, and on a deeper level there is a humanitarian debate on the acceptance of people. When the common Christ-follower hears about these debates in the news or mainstream media it is overwhelming for them. They are confident in their position on marriage taking place between one man and one woman, but they also don’t know how to express their views without coming across hateful. They are conflicted. They want to show their support of what they see in Scripture, but they don’t know where to start, what it would look like, and how it should be expressed.
I think if we are honest there are times in our relationship with Jesus where we are discouraged because we see a lack of renewal and transformation. We are confident of our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross. We have experienced renewal and transformation in the past, but there are times we can get discouraged because we don’t see a pattern of power and restoration in our personal lives.