Jeremiah was a prophet to the Israelites during the time of their exile into Babylon. He spoke the Word of the Lord but no one listened. They ignored Jeremiah's warnings. Jeremiah was treated very poorly and suffered hardships of many kinds, yet, he remained faithful. At this time there were also many false prophets. These prophets were leading people astray. The people listened to them because they liked what these prophets were saying. The lies they were sharing talked about comfort and a quick return to Israel. The word of the Lord that Jeremiah shared told them it would be a long time before they returned to Israel so settle in and make yourselves at home. The Israelites didn't like that thought so they chose to listen to the lies of the false prophets. I imagine that when the Israelites find themselves being taken into exile in a foreign land their natural questions might be, where's God in this, what's going to happen to us, are we going to be OK?
This week we continue our H.O.P.E. series. We'll be looking at Opportunities. Reading our Scripture for the week, what can you glean from it that were opportunities? What was the context in which the letter was written? What was Paul trying to do by writing this letter to the Colossians? How can that translate to our world today?
This week we begin our H.O.P. E. series. For the next four weeks we will explore the hope that we can hold onto in turbulent times and the hope that there is a new future ahead of us. I firmly believe there is a bright future ahead for the Church. The Church is God's plan for reaching others with His love and instilling hope into hurting world. I think we can all agree that we live in a hurting world. And yet, we have the hope that sets people free! We have the hope of eternal life! We have the answer the world needs. Jesus. Jesus is leading His Church, I am certain of that. As you prepare for Sunday, be in prayer asking God to open our ears, our minds, and our hearts to hear Him and follow Him where He leads. Ask God to lead the Church boldly into the future. Be in an attitude of openness, willing and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak and to move in you and through you and through His body on earth. Be in prayer for his Church at Battle Ground UMC. Jesus is Lord of the Church and King of the world. Let's humble ourselves and bow before Him in reverence and willingness to go where He leads.
Paul is one of the strongest, most devout evangelists for Jesus in the New Testament. He wrote a majority of the letters we have in the New Testament. He has deep theology and great instruction on living a life for Christ. As we have been journeying through the phases of faith development, we now come to that of a maturing disciple. I think it safe to say that Paul is a good picture of what a mature disciple of Jesus looks like. We will never attain full maturity in Jesus this side of eternity. However, we can have areas of deep maturity in our walk with Jesus. Someone who has developed in their faith maturity has very distinct traits. These are not character traits, but behavioral traits. As you read this Scripture and from your understanding and knowledge of Paul, what traits do you see in his life that might signify a mature faith?
Join Pastor Sheri this morning as she reminds us that we are not alone and that all because our worship has changed, doesnt mean it has to stop. Jesus chose those who are sinners to be the rock on which he built the Church on. During this time, his disciples are the ones that are continuing to share the wonderful word of Christ and be the rock during this unknown time.
Jesus is alive, Christ has overcome! Join Pastor Sheri as she reminds us to soak in the true meaning of Easter. Joy isn't found in our circumstances, it is found in Christ. Your world might be turned upside down but remember JESUS IS ALIVE!! Happy Easter!
This week we'll talk about the timing of Jesus' coming and that when He comes, he cleanses out the temple to root out corruption and prepare the people for the presence of God. Is there anything we can learn from rehashing this old story? Is it just a nice story we tell every year the Sunday before Easter, or is there something more to it, something that could potentially apply to us here in 2020?
Now that you've read the Scripture, do you still have the same thoughts about Zacchaeus or has something changed? If so, what changed and why? Contemplate those questions a bit and maybe even journal about them. A few more things to consider might be, who was Zacchaeus, what feelings do or would you have if he was a living breathing person in your world right now? Can you think of any modern day Zacchaeus'? What arises in you as you think of those? Is it positive or negative? Could you have both positive and negative feelings about that person? What would lead to those negative feelings? What would lead to the positive ones? Who do you know that has changed yet you struggle to see them as the new person they are in Christ? What do you suppose those struggles are really about? Spend some time in prayer inviting the Lord to work within you, allowing His Spirit to transform you, love you and lead you.
Nicodemus was searching and exploring this new way of faith that had come into his world. He was a highly educated Jew who was well versed on matters of the law and his culture. As Jesus came on the scene, Nicodemus became more curious about who Jesus was and what this new way of life that he talked about was like. As he explored Jesus and His teachings, he came with an open mind, eager to learn more. He was exploring the life that Jesus offered.