Follow the Thread

There’s something about looking closely, intently, at Jesus and the love He has shown us that grips our heart and demands that we take Him seriously. And that is what Jesus invites each one of us to do today: to look at Him very closely and decide who He is going to be in our lives.

This story, our Scripture passage today, indeed our own experience demonstrate that it is very possible to come to church, to be in the presence of Jesus, to engage in religious activities without really taking Jesus seriously, without really making a connection with Him, without realizing how loving, how incredible, and how great He really is.

The Joy of Living

Are you a person who needs to hear the words of Jesus this morning: “Cheer up”? Are you someone who is known for being of good cheer, like Jesus? Do you generally have a smile on your face? Proverbs 15 says, “Smiling faces make you happy.” In other words, if you live with a smile on your face, it will help you cheer up!

Studies have found that even when we fake it, when we smile or laugh our body releases a chemical that makes us feel better! Other studies have found that how big we smile is a good predictor of how satisfied we are in life as well as how influential we are to others. Jesus knew that if His disciples were really going to make disciples of all nations, they needed to cheer up!

The Joy of Living

Are you a person who needs to hear the words of Jesus this morning: “Cheer up”? Are you someone who is known for being of good cheer, like Jesus? Do you generally have a smile on your face? Proverbs 15 says, “Smiling faces make you happy.” In other words, if you live with a smile on your face, it will help you cheer up!

Studies have found that even when we fake it, when we smile or laugh our body releases a chemical that makes us feel better! Other studies have found that how big we smile is a good predictor of how satisfied we are in life as well as how influential we are to others. Jesus knew that if His disciples were really going to make disciples of all nations, they needed to cheer up!

Read More

Stay the Course

Do you know what the average attention span is today? Eight seconds. That’s shorter, by the way, than the attention span of a goldfish! People are still in fast pursuit of immediate results. Listen to these recent book titles I found: Thirty Days to a Better Life, Seven Days to a Brand New Me, Sixty-Minute Marriage Builder. Still not fast enough to address your crisis? How about One-Minute Father, Sixty Seconds to Serenity, and Instant Sermons for Busy Pastors.

That is not how the spiritual life works. When it comes to following Jesus, starting is easy, but enduring, persevering, staying the course over a long period of time is hard. And without endurance, there is no blessing; without endurance, there is no reward; without endurance, there will be no fruit. The abundant Christian life is only found by those who set off after Jesus and encounter trials, run into problems, face opposition … but stay the course.

Click here to download the sermon outline