Run Toward It

Pain, trouble, heartache and brokenness... alienation, loneliness, and loss. These things are a part of every life. Nobody likes them. In fact, it's natural to want to run from them. Many people spend their entire lives doing all that they can to stay as far away from these things as possible. Jesus, on the other hand, spent his earthly ministry with people experiencing these things to offer them hope, love, acceptance, and grace. And in the Gospel of Luke he tells the story of a father running to embrace and kiss his estranged son when he sees him on the horizon. Jesus doesn't just welcome the hurting, he seeks them out, searches for them, and runs to them with love. God's love and grace as experienced through Jesus is tireless, tenacious, and persistent. Jesus doesn't just welcome us, he runs to us. Having experienced the love of God through Jesus when we felt we least deserved it, we might look with new eyes towards the hurting and needy around us and ask, "To whom are we running?" Worship link:


Just how long have you been living with that 'bend' in your life... that hurt, or anger, or bitterness? That misunderstanding, estrangement, or rift? All sorts of things get out of whack in our spirits over time, and the longer they go on, the harder they are to work out. Even if we wanted to straighten them, the crooked parts of us are so deeply kinked and bent that we don't have the power to smooth them. A woman who met Jesus in the synagogue one day had suffered a physical condition for eighteen years that had her "bent over." With his words and touch she was healed - her crooked spine was made straight! In all the ways of our crookedness, Jesus calls us to wholeness. Will you let him make your crooked places straight? Worship Link:

Even If

If you were going to meet someone in a coffee shop who you had never seen you in person, how would you describe yourself to that person so that they might recognize you? Can you remember a time when you met someone that you were just enamored with? How did you describe that person to your best friend? How would you describe someone you know very well? You might describe things like their appearance and personality traits. You might also talk about the things they do like their work or their hobbies. You might even tell a story that you think gets at the heart of who they are. How would you describe God? We would likely each give a different description of God, but with much the same perspective. We would describe God as we've known and experienced God at work in our own lives. Even if we've not seen God, we can describe God. Who is God? God is the One you know. Worship Link:

The Bible calls David “a man after God’s own heart.” As we look further into the story of David & Goliath we discover that David was 1) anointed by Samuel 2) a respected musician 3) a humble shepherd and 4) a model for servant leadership. Throughout the beginning stages of David's story, we find David exhibits 4 characteristics of servant leadership: 1) takes the initiative 2) responsible for tasks 3) obedient 4) expedient - wasted no time. Goliath embodies the obstacles that we face today. God fills us with the power of the Holy Spirit to face these obstacles in unique ways. Intimidation, fear of man, jealousy, and anger were all obstacles that David faced. However, he overcame by walking in obedience and understanding that he carried his own unique gifting and skills set that would help him overcome Goliath. Worship Link: