Archive for June, 2012

How much is God’s Kingdom worth?

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” – Matthew 13:45-46

This short parable that Jesus spoke challenges the way we view the Kingdom of God.  The action of the merchant selling everything he had is completely determined by his evaluation of the pearl, which he determined had great value.  He must have REALLY thought it was pricy if he gave up everything to have it!  On the contrary, if he had determined that the pearl was not that valuable to him, he wouldn’t have sold everything he had to buy it. 

In the same way our giving up of everything we have to be a part of God’s Kingdom is based on our evaluation of it.  If we view it as the most expensive prize, then it will not be difficult for us to give up everything. 

This parable can also be thought of in a different way.  Let’s place Jesus into the parable as the merchant.  Have you ever thought of it this way?  Did He not give up everything for us?  How humbling it is that we are His prize!  He bought us with everything that he had, including his life!  What an awesome God we have.  He doesn’t just instruct us on what to do, but sets an example with His actions.

This is my hope for us and for the teenagers of Goss’ Youth Ministry – that we would value the Kingdom of Heaven at such a high price, that our giving up of everything we have in order to gain it would make perfect sense. 

Blessings,

Josh

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06-24-12 Mark 9:2-13

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6-17-12 Mark 8:31-9:1

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Having Healthy Relationships

Here are seven quick things I’ll post to challenge you to think about the relationships you have in your family and with other believers.

  1. Do you look forward to investing in other people?
  2. Are you willing to sacrifice for others?
  3. Are you always expecting someone else to initiate a relationship or further depth?
  4. Do you genuinely pray for the spiritual growth of others and follow through on that by encouraging it in any way possible?
  5. Are you a unifying or a dividing spirit in your relationships with others?
  6. Do you believe that a spiritual community is an effective way to build meaningful relationships?
  7. Do you believe that meaningful relationships are built quickly and without conflict?

Assuming you know the right answers, the wrong answer to any one (ore more) of these questions can represent a serious imbalance in the way you are approaching relationships.   I hope to post some further thoughts on this as time permits, but for now let these questions challenge you.  And by all means, know that I believe it is worth the work to make your relationships as healthy as they can be.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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Creationism Gallup poll

Does anyone else out there like statistics?  I don’t know why I do, but it just interests me.  I came across this report today and thought that I would pass it along for those that are interested.

It is a Gallup poll that surveyed people concerning Creationism.  There were three options for answers.

1) God created humans in present form within the last 10,000 years

2) Humans evolved, God guided process

3) Humans evolved, God had no part in process

In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

A couple findings that stand out to me are:

Little has changed over the past 30 years regarding people’s view of creationism.

The more someone attends church, the more likely they are to believe in creationism.

The higher the education, the less likely someone is to believe in creationism.

Did anything stand out to you?

Blessings,

Josh

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6-3-12 Mark 8:14-21

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How Jesus Made Disciples

Christianity is really a vast, deep thing.  There is no doubt that a lot of intertwined events have come together to bring the truth and the faith down through the centuries.  But one call still stands: go and make disciples.

Today I’d like to offer three principles I’ve been wrestling with about how Jesus made disciples.

1. It wasn’t tied to a place or time.

Churches are great, but the downside is that a lot of folks don’t find purpose beyond the walls of the church.  The service, the program, the outreach event — those are all great.  But, that’s where it stops.  Jesus made disciples in such a way that involved every day life.

2. It was adventurous.

I might have hated being a disciple of Jesus in the New Testament.  I really do like to have some idea of what is going to happen each day.  The disciples were constantly thrust into situations where they didn’t know the outcome.  And, they seemingly were thrust from one outcome into the next situaiton.

3. They made a lot of mistakes.

They didn’t understand.  They flat out got it wrong.  They questioned Jesus when He was trying to directly tell them the truth.  Jesus had a lot of patience in dealing with these men He had chosen.  He had a high tolerance bar for what he put up with from them.

4. How will this affect how you make a disciple?

Be challenged on this today.  Think through the call to make disciples.  How are you doing it?  Are you doing it at all?  And, what can these brief principles teach you?

Have a great Friday.

In Christ,

Pastor Kevin

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