Galatians: Freedom in Christ

October 31:   “No Other Gospel”   Galatians 1:6-10

November 7:   “The Law and the Promise”   Galatians 3:15-22

November 14:   “Life by the Spirit”   Galatians 5:13-16

November 21:   “Doing Good to All”  Galatians 6:1-10

And Then Some

Have you ever seen the video called Cosmic Eye? It’s an incredible video that starts on someone laying in the grass and it continues to zoom out beyond our earth, then beyond our solar system etc. Then it quickly zooms back in and goes into the eye of that person breaking down the biological make up of our genes and DNA to the most basic atom. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a three minute video you can watch by clicking here.

The universe is absolutely massive, and there are parts of creation we have no clue about! Colossians says, “By Christ all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things were created by him and for him. he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). There was intended to be things we would never see on our own or in this lifetime. But one of the things that really caught my attention was “in him all things hold together.”

The very same God that created the universe in it’s entirety and in it’s complexity created and holds you. The same power and authority that commands the rain and the waves when to fall and when to stop speaks life into you. The same breath that is in the wind breathed into your lungs and gives you life. It can be easy to feel small in such a big universe, and yet God intentionally created you.

I don’t know who needed to hear that today, but I hope it gave you comfort and value in the midst of a world that is so complex that we can feel lost. God loves you in ways that you experience and understand, and then some.

Blessings friends.

All things were created by and for him.

God Sized Prayers

We’ve talked about prayer on and off the last few weeks, and make no mistake we’re not going to slow down that conversation. Especially as we approach our stewardship series, I’ve found myself praying pretty intensely over the commitment cards, over the budget, and over our congregation as we discern how we are going to serve God this upcoming year. Yet, I found myself convicted by the Holy Spirit that my prayers were too small. At first, I felt somewhat offended by this conviction, because these prayers came with the truest of intentions. This conviction led me to an old book I’ve read called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

The part of the book I was drawn to discussed big dreams. I realized the point of this conviction was that I was praying for things that were obtainable even without God. Sure, I was being realistic in what I was praying for, but I certainly wasn’t being faithful to God’s possibilities. Maybe you’ve found yourself in that place before as well. You’ve prayed for the bare minimum because you were able to just take care of that yourself. If that’s where you’re at because you’re struggling with even getting there, that’s okay, and I think that’s a God sized prayer in the moment. More often than not, it’s because we just haven’t stepped into God’s possibilities yet, whether out of fear, complacency in where we are, or not knowing it.

I want to invite you to join me in a prayer initiative for the rest of this year. This week as we begin asking the question “What If?” we will start with a passage in 2 Chronicles 7. A familiar verse arises from this passage in 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” So, what will God do if we humble ourselves, pray, and seek God’s face? Every day at 7:14 in the morning and/or in the evening, let’s say this simple yet powerful prayer together:

“God, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to discern Your vision for Grace UMC.”

Write it down, set a reminder in your phone, put it on a calendar. Let’s pray boldly to God who is bold in response.  Powerful things can happen when people of God pray together and trust faithfully together!

What If…?

October 10th:   What if…We Humble Ourselves and Pray?   2 Chronicles 7: 14-15

October 17th:   What if…We Seek God First?   Matthew 6: 19-34

October 24th:   What if…We Do Something Extraordinary?   2 Corinthians 8: 1-7