Christmas has become a consumeristic holiday. Holiday sales will likely exceed $1 trillion! It seems that we can never receive enough. We always want more. Jesus offers a warning when it comes to receiving things: "Watch out for greed." This Christmas season it's important to remember that life is not about things.
This is one of the most counterintuitive teachings of Jesus: "It is better to give than to receive." It's not found anywhere in the gospels. It's something that Paul attributes to Jesus. In fact, it was so important to Paul that he remembered these words from Jesus in everything he did (Acts 20:34). This Christmas season it's important to remember that it is better to give than to receive.
Life is hard. It's easy to get beat up and, eventually, give up. But, we're a family. We lean on one another. One of the things we do is "spur one another on toward love and good deeds." We inspire one another.
We're a family, which means sometimes, we hurt one another. Families have conflict and the church isn't immune to it. We're called to forgive one another. The standard of forgiveness is high. How high? "Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
The church in Rome was facing a challenging situation. After the church was founded, all Jews were required to leave Rome. Eventually, they were allowed to return. When the Jewish Christians returned to the church in Rome, it was different. That created challenges for the Roman church. They had to learn to accept one another.
During Jesus' life on earth, he was frequently at odds with the expectations others had for him. As he sought to do his Father's will, he found himself constantly in conflict with the religious elite of his day. As the church, our mission ought to be a continuation of Jesus' ministry, which may often call us to be a different kind of church.
Life in Christ is the abundant life but it's not necessarily an easy life. In fact, few things present the opportunity for transformation like suffering. Even Jesus "learned obedience from what he suffered" (Heb. 5:8). It is nearly certain that we will have to persevere through significant challenges to become who God created us to be.
What are the disciplines that are consistent throughout a person's life who experiences transformation? Practicing transformational disciplines makes sharing faith a natural outpouring for Christians.
What are the disciplines that are consistent throughout a person's life who experiences transformation? One of them is gathering for corporate worship. Few things can have a more profound impact on us than worshiping God with the people of God.
What are the disciplines that are consistent throughout a person's life who experiences transformation? People who experience life change believe God cares about the details of their life and frequently pray to him for guidance.
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