It is easy to talk about following Jesus but sometimes those around us think we are a little odd. How do we know what to think, do and become to be sure we are truly following Jesus in spite of what is going on around us? What does it really mean to follow Jesus? Good thing for us, Jesus explained it for us!
Trust is a tricky thing. In some instances it comes to us with ease – as children we typically trust our parents above all others. As we become adolescents we often lose that trust, because we have replaced it with trusting our friends who are obviously much cooler and smarter than our parents. When adults, the door once again opens to trusting our parents because, well, because they have somehow become smart again! Now, let’s look at trust from the other side. Parents will or will not trust a child based upon what they see in them regarding maturity and integrity. A child really must earn their parent’s trust and that usually takes time and evidence. It is the same with God? We obviously should trust Him at all times and for all things. The real question here is can – should - God trust us? What must we do or be to warrant our Father in Heaven truly trusting in us?
Equal pay for equal work. When you hear that statement, you think – who wouldn’t think that is a good idea? Who in their right mind would argue against such a thing? Did Jesus teach us a contrary lesson to this principle of equality? When we read the parable of the workers in the vineyard, it sure seems to be teaching that God cares more about playing favorites than about treating people equally. Is that really the lesson that Jesus is teaching here?
For a Christian, following Christ is supposed to be a way of life. It is supposed to dominate our thinking and actions, which means it is supposed to dominate our attitude as well. This can be a problem, because we often do not focus on our attitude – instead we just use whatever attitude we might have at the moment to dictate what our thoughts and actions will be. What drives our attitude? What makes, shakes or breaks it? How can we drive our attitude so it can drive us to Christ?
Life can be likened to a house. Some houses are spacious and elegant – people tend to notice them when they go by. Some houses are smaller, functional and more basic – people tend to look past them when they go by. When you think about it, whether the house is elegant or basic, the most important part of it is its foundation. What that foundation is made of and built upon has a direct bearing on how long that house is able to endure. So, what about YOUR life – what is your foundation made of and what is it built on? Is your Christian life able to weather any storm?
We all know that Jesus came to save the world from sin and death. We all know that Jesus opened the way to heaven for his truest followers. We all also know that Jesus taught frequently about “The Kingdom of Heaven”. What we may not know is what he meant by that phrase, because it is used in a variety of ways that seem to contradict one another. So, how do we figure out what Jesus was really talking about when he spoke of “The Kingdom of Heaven”?
Social media is one oversized voice with a thousand different facets that begs for our attention, our obedience and our loyalty. As a Christian, walking through this hyped up mass of messages and glittering folly is not only a challenge, it is our responsibility for we are supposed to be following only one voice – the voice of Jesus. How do we find that voice and how can we be sure that what we think is his voice really is his voice?
For many religions, prayer is a mainstay and a staple of ritual and lifestyle. Whatever the religion, prayer is a lifeline to a higher power, a calming factor in individual experiences and a connector to others who share the same faith. Prayer can and should permeate the life of a Christian. So, if this is the case, then the question is, do we know how we should be praying, why we should be praying and for what we should be praying? Stay with us as we explore some of the many teachings on prayer from Jesus!
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?”