As a Christian, we look at Jesus not only as our Lord and Savior, not only as the Ransom given for the sins of the world, but as a great teacher as well. One can spend a lifetime learning from him. One of the unique aspects of Jesus’ teaching is the fact that he taught in parables – stories – lots of stories. Stay with us as we will look at one of those stories and see some remarkably clear lessons about life and the challenges of following Christ.
Sometimes you read a scripture and it makes you do a double-take, because it simply does not make sense. It then ought to become our responsibility to figure it out – to try and understand what the real message is. Such is the case with our theme text from Jesus’ parable of the unjust steward. Jesus seems to say ‘make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth, so you can have it easy later.’ It sounds like Jesus is throwing integrity out the window along with honesty and accountability and replacing them with a situational ethics "it’s all about me" approach. Could this be? Stay with us as we look into this parable, its context, its meaning, and its lessons for us.
Do you know who your neighbors are? I am not necessarily asking about the people who live to your left or right, but am more readily referring to the people who live around you – all around you – the people you work with, the people you shop with, the people you go to the gym with, the people you go to church with, the people you pass on the street or in the parking lot – those people - you know, the people you notice and the people you don’t notice. Are they your neighbors? Do you owe them anything – or do they owe you anything? We want to talk about the relationship between being a neighbor, being a Good Samaritan and being a human being. Stay with us as we look into this somewhat well-known parable of Jesus with some striking and perhaps not so well known details! Who is my neighbor? Let’s see if we can find out...
There are certain questions that everyone, no matter what your faith affiliation, wants to know about. One of those questions has to do with our direction in the afterlife. What kind of a destiny might be waiting for us? Does what we do in this short life dictate what will happen forever? There are many denominations of Christians and there are along with those, many interpretations regarding the answers to these questions. What did Jesus teach us about our destiny after we die? Stay with us as we look into some of Jesus’ teachings on this all important matter of life!
No matter who we are and no matter what it is we may believe in, we always have some kind of foundation that our beliefs are built upon. Sometimes that foundation is weak and sometimes it is very strong. Just because you are a follower of Christ doesn’t automatically mean that your foundation is solid. How do I know that? Jesus himself taught a lesson on this very point and it is this very point that we are going to discuss. Stay with us as we look into the parable of the wise and foolish builders and try to determine just what makes a solid foundation for a follower of Christ to build a life upon!
Mention oil and you probably get a reaction. In our world, oil is one of those commodities that drive our society – its price and availability can have a great impact on how we live our lives. Our subject is oil – but not in the sense that you may think. No, rather than dealing with the “crude” kind, we are going to talk about a much more refined kind – the kind you would have put in a lamp in ancient days. In Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins, oil plays a key role. So, what does it represent? How does it project our being “wise” or “foolish?”
What’s this? A parable about Jesus giving us money? What is that, you say? TWO parables about Jesus giving us money? Hmmm, how MUCH money? So, what are we supposed to do with this money? Hold up – hold on – hold the phone! That is NOT what these parables are about...not even close! They ARE about something of value and they ARE about investing. The something of value is our lives being invested in the service of Christ. So, if you are a Christian and you want to get a clear picture of what this life of yours is supposed to be about, then this program is for you. If you are NOT a Christian, then this program is for you as it will (hopefully) give you perspective on what a Christian life is supposed to look like. In any case, stick around as we discuss what it means to create value through the life of a Christian.
Outside of the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son is probably the most widely known of Jesus’ parables. It is a classic story of youthful self-centeredness contrasted with fatherly wisdom, complete with a twist at the end. Now the question is, what was Jesus’ primary reason for telling this story? Who was he speaking to and why did they need to hear it? What can we learn from the Prodigal Son? Stay with us as we open up this parable and find its value, both in the days of Jesus as well as in our day.
Everybody has attitude. For some of us, it is much easier to see the attitude than for others. Take a teenager for instance – their attitude is written all over their face, their body language and their words. Well, there is good news here and there is bad news here. The good news is, we can choose our attitudes should we desire to do so. The bad news is most of us, rather than choosing, allow our “default” attitude take center stage. Jesus saw this very problem with his followers and did something about it. Stay with us as we look into attitude, Christianity and our choices to see if a true Christian should have attitude.
Just because we may be called to serve God through Jesus, it doesn’t mean that we no longer have anything to do with the world around us. On the contrary, we are widely instructed to deal fairly and generously with the world around us. The question is what does that mean? On this program we will look at one of Jesus’ parables in which his lesson is, at first glance, not very clear. Is Jesus saying to be friends with – to join forces with - “the mammon of unrighteousness” or is his lesson entirely different? Stay with us as we study the issue and try to get its proper meaning.