We all know that Jesus taught us to forgive. If your brother trespasses against you seven times in a day, Jesus says to forgive. Okay, while this may be difficult, we can see its value and strive to live up to that standard. But, but what about when someone commits a horrible crime – what about when someone guns down in cold blood, innocent God fearing people in church – at a Bible study? Is the same lesson of forgiveness relevant? Do the teachings of Jesus include forgiving those who are simply and purely evil in their actions?
Enemies. For some of us, naming them is easy – we can put a name and a face to them and recite the reasons we have to consider them enemies. For others, the idea of an enemy may be more related to a general group who may have a different ideology, or a different political perspective. Whatever makes someone your enemy, the question remains, how do you treat them? Jesus says to love our enemies, but is that really a practical statement? Doesn’t loving an enemy overlook and minimize the very reasons that they may justifiably be our enemies? Stay with us!
Grace...even speaking the word seems to give a sense of calm. It is almost as though the word itself emits a fresh and breathable air that clears away the stuffiness of a confused life. Grace can have lots of different meanings, from something that comes with elegance to a powerful heavenly gift. So, what is grace and more specifically, what is God’s grace? How does it work? Who gets it bestowed upon them? Can grace change your life?
As Christians we believe that we have been given the answer for the major dilemma of life – sin and ultimately death. We believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus put back in balance what Adam’s sin originally put out of balance. The problem is this: We as Christians cannot agree as to whom to apply that sacrifice. Is it for all - every man and woman who ever lived, or is it for only the few who have ever followed after Jesus? Stay with us as we take an honest and scriptural look at the question!
We all know what it is like to be wronged, and we all know what it is like to do wrong to someone else. We also have all probably experienced being accused of or assumed to have done wrong when in fact we are entirely innocent - in that circumstance anyway… Is it right or just to ask for forgiveness when we are not in the wrong? What are the guidelines of this whole forgiveness thing anyway?
Sometimes in the overwhelming flow of life we can forget the simplest things. We get so caught up in a “me first” – and sometimes a “me only” mentality - that it never even crosses our minds to stop and consider some of the most basic and healing attributes available to humankind – kindness and mercy. What is mercy? How does it work? If we were to apply mercy on a regular basis, would it change our world and more importantly, could it change the way we see our world?
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is probably one of the best known of Jesus’ teachings. It touches the heart because of its very practical and dramatic lessons of humility and forgiveness in action. As we look into the story we want to look inward as well. Are we, or have we ever been, prodigal sons? If so, have we come all the way back? And what about the other part of the story – the part we almost never talk about..? Stay with us as we journey through some life changing events!
"Trayvon Martin"...mention that name and you unleash a flood of emotion and turmoil. This young man was tragically shot to death at age 17 and his death has raised a firestorm of controversy. Was it self-defense? Was it racially motivated? Should his killer have been arrested immediately? Will there be justice? These are all questions that we have no answers for – sorry! What we do want to discuss though, is the emotion, reaction and desire by some for vengeance. Is vengeance ever appropriate for us to take? What if justice is NOT served? Does vengeance give closure? What does it really mean to leave things like this in God’s hands? Are the Old and New Testament different on this? Stay with us as we look into this important question.
Everyone hurts someone at some point in their lives, whether it is intentional or not. Many of us carry the scars of past disappointments, broken trust, or just plain tragedy with us for our entire lives. Even though we know what forgiveness is, sometimes it seems too hard to truly exercise it because it seems that if we forgive, then we are somehow letting the other party off the hook. Is this true? Stay with us as we look into what forgiveness is and what it is not and try and get our arms around one of the greatest earthly powers that God ever gave us!
We all know someone who knows someone who has committed suicide. It is unfortunate to say that death by suicide is and always has been a fixed part of the human experience. What causes suicide? What leads someone to such a drastic act and can we help them? Is it an unforgivable sin or did Jesus' sacrifice address even this? How can we be better equipped to understand it and to be helpful to those vulnerable? Stay with us as we look into this sobering and difficult subject to find understanding, hope and courage. We believe it IS forgivable and present a lot of scriptural reasoning in this special podcast.