To be a disciple of Jesus, one does not need to have a strong faith, unusual abilities, or leadership potential. "He appointed twelve - designating them apostles - that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons." -Mark 3: 14-15. Why these 12? They followed Jesus with a willing heart. -Pastor Mike
Taking up a cross is an illustrtion used by Jesus to show what ultimate submission he required of his followers. "...If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." -Mark 8:34b. Jesus wants us to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge. Will you follow Him? -Pastor Mike
There are two kinds of joy; inward joy that comes from trusting and knowing God and happiness that comes from pleasant circumstances. Inward joy defeats discouragement and happiness covers it up. "You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound." -Psalm 4:7. Encouragement vs. chocolate! -Pastor Mike
Yesterday I met with an individual who offered up a checklist of every area that he feels I am weak in. To say he was critical was an understatement. Paul tells us to thank leaders for their efforts. "Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work." -1 Thessalonians 5:13. Thank a church leader today for his/her efforts. -Pastor Mike
God wants us to run with perseverance, the race or activity that he has marked out for us. We are surrounded by encouragers, stripped of all that hinders, run with abandon, knowing that if we keep our eyes on Jesus, through the faith that he gives us, we will never grow weary or give up (Hebrews 12: 1-3 paraphrased). "Find your Race!"-(Coach Bridges) -Pastor Mike
Some Christians push truth while others push grace. Jesus taught a full measure of both. "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." -John 1:17. Jesus gave a full dose of both to the woman caught in adultery, in John 8: 10-11. He did that to everyone except the graceless pharisees who misused truth. -Pastor Mike
A buddy of mine momentarily lost his confidence when he was being challenged about his receptivity to bow to authority. "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to perservere so that when you have done the will of God, you will recieve what he has promised."-Hebrews 10:35-36. Doing the will of God is the key! -Pastor Mike
My running shoes were soaked today after running in the slush. After becoming a follower of Jesus, that's how we should be. We should be so soaked with the Holy Spirit so that he oozes out of every pore in our body. ""Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." -John 7:38. -Pastor Mike.
The whole human race is on death row, justly condemned for repeatedly breaking God's law. Without Jesus we would have no hope at all. "Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." -Romans 8:1. Jesus has declared us not guilty and has offered us freedom from sin and the power to do his will. -Pastor Mike.
Being in a relationship with God is the only way to be complete. We have hope that one day we will see him face-to-face, and all truths shall be known. "Now I see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." -1 Corinthians 13:12. -Pastor Mike