Can We See Our Part in God’s Plan?

How often do you find yourself thinking that you’re too busy to take time to pray? Do you ever dismiss the urge to share about Jesus with someone because it feels uncomfortable? Let’s face it, there are a lot of routines in our lives that the claims of the gospel and the work of God’s kingdom can really have a tendency to disrupt.

But what if, in the midst of those things that we marginalize in order to maintain our routines, the actual key to fulfillment is found?

This Sunday we’ll be reading John 4:31-45 – which is basically the falling action after the story of the woman at the well.

Once again, we have a situation where Jesus is talking about one thing but his hearers are talking about another. He talked about living water with the woman earlier, but she took it to mean literal water. He tells his disciples he’s got food they don’t know about, and his disciples are looking for the snack machine that Jesus got his stash from. But in both cases, Jesus is talking about something BELOW the surface. He compares his cooperation with God’s plan to rescue people with food. Why food? What does food do for the human body? What is Jesus trying to tell us about the source of fulfillment in our lives?

The question is…how is your diet? If you look at your normal idea of food/fulfillment and compare it to Jesus’ – how do our food groups compare?

By saying that the fields are white, Jesus is describing wheat that is ripened and ready to harvest. By saying that the fields are white, are ready, what does that mean to us right here and now?

This will prove to be a challenging study for us – but I think it will be well worth it! Hope to see you Sunday!

The Good Life

If someone (who is not Kayne West) talks about having the good life, or wanting the good life…what are they talking about?  Actually, what is Kayne West talking about?  Wait…that’s too broad of a subject that nobody can really answer…scratch that.  What are the examples we think of when we hear that so and so is living “the good life”?

“I wanna’ win American Idol because I wanna’ have the good life from now on!” – what do you think that means?

That’s going to be our topic of exploration this Sunday as we tackle Luke 18:18-30.

Jesus weighs in on the good life when a wealthy local official comes and asks him how to get it.  He actually asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life, which held a greater meaning than just “going to heaven when you die”.  For the 1st Century Jewish person, eternal life carried the implication of the fulfilled purposes for Israel – the wholeness of plan and purpose which extends on into eternity.  We could just say “the good life”…life as it’s meant to be.

Here’s some stuff to ponder and weigh in on.  The guy asks what he “should do” to get the life he’s meant for.  What do you think he may have had in mind by that?  Jesus answers with a list from the 1o commandments…does that seem strange to you?   The guy asserts that he’s being doing good at keeping the commandments all along…but it’s interesting that the very FIRST commandment was not on the list that Jesus gave.  Does that give us any clues about why Jesus starts talking about personal finance with him?

Could it be there was an idol in the wings?

What do you think the message is to us in this?  What does Jesus imply about finding a fulfilled life?  What could hold us back from that?

Ok….that should keep us thinking until Sunday!  Hope to see you then!