Sunday, September 21, 2014
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for September 28th: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4,12-16; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32; Theme: God always Provides; song: God will take care of you UMH 130 Exodus: You can survive for a few months without food, but only a few days without water of some kind. In our world we tend to take water for granted. All you have to do is to turn on the faucet, and the water flows. But what happens when you are in a place where there is not water? What happens when you are really thirsty and there is nothing available to quench you thirst? We have to remember that God knows what you need in order to survive. God will provide. We don’t know what is in store for us, But God does. God thinks ahead of us and behind us. We have to live in trust and pray for what we need. God provides for us in even the harshest circumstances. And if he has a plan for our future, he will provide for our survival. If we do not survive, there is no glory for God. God will take care us for his sake and his glory. Philippians: Paul reminds us that Christ is the glue for our unity. Paul reminds us that as Christians, we live in community. We are never alone in our faith journey, Christ provides a community that helps us to survive. So Paul reminds us what belief in Christ does for us. Paul uses a hymn that everyone is familiar with to remind us of the benefits of unity. There is encouragement, comfort, sharing and joy. He encourages us not to do anything to interfere with that unity. Faith is never about me, it is always about us. We have to remember that Christ showed us the way. God always provides so that we can live out his purposes. Questions: what do you do when you have a fear of losing your basic needs? Do you have the patience to trust God in those times? Do you complain or do you pray? How have you experienced the miracle provisions of God? what does unity mean to you? What does it mean to live in community? How do you practice community? How do you pull away?
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for September 14th: Exodus 14:19-31; Exodus 15:1-11,20-21; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35; Theme: How to Forgive; Song: Help Us Accept Each Other UMH 560 Romans: John Wesley said that we should accept diversity and difference of opinion in everything but the salvation of Jesus Christ. There is never a time when we are all on the same page. But we have to learn how to live with one another anyway. We are always on different pages on our understanding of Christianity. We study on different levels. And yet no matter where we may be in our faith, we are all saved by grace. Paul says that if God has given you grace, then you should be able to give grace to others. There will never be a time when we are all on the same page, but the work of the Holy Spirit beings us together in spite of our differences. We just have to believe that the Spirit is at work, to trust and to move forward. Matthew: Last week Jesus talked about the importance of forgiveness. Today, Jesus tells us how to forgive and the difference it makes in the life of the community. This is a part of Jesus, sermon on the church. Jesus knows that being a Christian is hard work. He knows that being a part of a community is hard work. But that we have to be willing to go through the process. Forgiveness is what we do. Forgiveness is the key to salvation. Forgiveness is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. God forgives us, we need to remember that when it is time to forgive others. We follow in the footsteps of God’s actions, and we live according to them. God is a God of mercy, it is mercy that we depend on. Spread the word of mercy to the world. Questions: Who are those who are weak in faith? How do we take the time to understand them? When we see people doing something that we are not familiar with, do we correct them, try to understand them or both? What stands in the way of you being able to forgive others? How has God forgiven you? What does it mean to give others grace?