No, that isn't a typo.
There are many wonderful things about experiencing independence from tyranny. On Monday we'll be celebrating the freedom that the United States achieved 240 years ago from Great Britain. Many of us enjoy the independence that comes from owning a home or having our own business.
But spiritually speaking, we need to guard against living independently from Jesus. When we forget that we're called to live as followers of Jesus, we can find ourselves going about our own agenda with little regard to what Jesus has to say about it.
In his book, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, Francis Chan challenges us to imagine Jesus approaching Peter, Andrew, James and John as they mend their fishing nets along the Sea of Galilee. Instead of calling them to drop their old lives and follow him, Jesus says, "Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with me in some way? Don't worry, I don't actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I'm just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in me and call themselves Christians." Seriously? No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way?
In James 4:11-17 we're challenged to submit to God in all areas of our lives. It may rub us the wrong way to give up our "independence", but there is great joy, freedom, and adventure awaiting us as we celebrate our dependence on Jesus! I hope you'll be able to join us as we explore this idea a bit more this coming Sunday, July 3rd.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
A problem that I've had at times - and you may have had as well - is being a bit too quick to confess and seek God's forgiveness. What I mean is that, since God promises to forgive my sins and not hold them against me, I can quickly get the confessing out of the way and move on ... often to find myself right back at what I just confessed. Something is seriously wrong with that!
The Bible calls us to something more than a simply "I confess: I did it and I'm sorry, so thanks for forgiving me." It's a word we don't use in our everyday lives very often: repentance. What exactly does it mean and how can practicing true repentance allow God to transform us more and more into the image of his Son?
That's what we'll be talking about this coming Sunday, June 26th, as we look at James 4:1-10. It may be the missing part in your Christian walk and the key to experiencing a more abundant life with Jesus. I hope you'll be able to join us.
If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
The trick is to make sure that your "wisdom" is TRUE wisdom and not some sort of false wisdom in disguise. So how do we know the difference? That's what James 3:13-18 addresses and what we'll be talking about this coming Sunday, June 19th. I hope you'll be able to join us. It's time to make sure we're not just thinking "deep thoughts" - we need to be thinking "right thoughts"!
CCC has been transported to Egypt!
This Sunday, June 12th, we'll be continuing in our series on the book of James. As we begin chapter 3, we're reminded that even Jesus-followers are guilty of allowing our tongues to destroy others. What can be done? I hope you'll be able to join us.
In 1991 the band Extreme had a number one single with their ballad, "More Than Words". The singer asks for a demonstration of the words "I love you". The first verse goes like this:
Sayin' I love you
I remember that Tami loved the song and wanted to go out and purchase the CD. However, a wise clerk at the music store advised her not to. It seems that this song was an anomaly and completely unlike the rest of the band's songs. In fact, the name of the album should have given that away: "Pornograffitti". The cover also sported a warning label indicating that it contained "explicit content". I guess even the album content demonstrated the need for "more than words" in revealing the band's true nature!
But the truth is that our words can be empty if they're not backed up with actions. This Sunday, June 5th, we'll be looking at James 2:14-26 which addresses this very topic. Our Faith only works if it's alive and leads to action. I hope you'll be able to join us.
ConGRADulations to the Class of 2016!
This Sunday we will also have the privilege of honoring our high school graduates and blessing them as they set off for the next chapter of their lives. Our greatest desire is that the caring relationships that you've established with these young men and women will continue and form lasting bonds of faith in their lives. Plan on congratulating them on their accomplishment and perhaps writing them a short note of encouragement.
The graduates connected with our congregation are: Connor Cooley, Tara Dod, Meritt Fink, Joshua Johnson, Andrew Reggiatore, and KayDee Sims.
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church