Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-37, John 17:6-11
In Acts, that they shared and had everything in common was not a command for how to live in Christian life, but a description of how they lived as Christians. First, their culture was very different than our American culture. They love in a culture that was collectivistic – concerned about the community. Whereas, our American culture is individualistic. Neither is wrong, but they are different!
In Jerusalem, there were two cultures:
- Roman: based on heredity, property, wealth
- Jewish: based on family and purity
The Christian culture is different from both in that we are welcoming of all no matter their family, wealth, health, or whatever. Furthermore, each member of the Christian community is equally valuable and precious.
Even Jesus considered nothing to be His, not even His own disciples. Jesus became one with us when he came to earth. He bore our sins as His and paid the price so we could have life through Him. Because He lives, we live. We have everything in common with Jesus! Sins, forgiveness, salvation, & eternal life.
In the early church, they had everything in common because their everything was Jesus. Christian community is more about “we” more than “me.” Communities like this are a reflections of Jesus.
- faith is marked by actions
- turning to God to rely on
- recognize its not me, but God
If we are doing what we’re supposed to do – our duty – what we are indebted to do – obligated… it’s not above and beyond, & we’re not all that, but still unworthy servants. We need Jesus! He did the hard things, the above & beyond – died on the cross paying the price for all sin – my sin. Therefore, he gets all the glory! All the credit. We are restored to God.
We are indebted to Jesus and that’s why we need to turn to Him & trust Him because He can do so much more than I can imagine with a greater love and compassion for me that I can imagine!
When you are at your worst, who is walking with who?
Luke 22 is all about the upper room.
v.35-38: Before they were so full of faith, they lacked nothing. God provided. Remember those days of faithfulness in the darkness…
v. 47-51: What are you relying on?
God or the sword? Kingdom of God or kingdom of darkness? Faith or things of this world? There are only two options!
You are either working in and advancing the kingdom of one or the other.
Nothing is impossible for God. God still provides!
Jesus walks with us even at our worst… and doesn’t leave us that way.
These are my notes from this sermon message.
Luke 18:9-14 ~ My Sermon Notes from the service today.
Who was Jesus talking to?
Those confident in their own righteousness & looked down on others
… that I’m not like other people…
It’s our nature to compare ourselves to others – as better than, or at least not as bad as…
We are all the same. Sinners, fallen short of the glory of God.
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
“comparison is the thief of joy”— Theodore Roosevelt
“God have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Actions are louder than words. The actions in the story? stood apart, didn’t look up to God, beat his breast. He didn’t even consider himself worthy to approach God.
Be humble before God, or be humbled. – Luke 15:14
God can exalt us WAY more than we can exalt ourselves.
Jesus sees us through the loving eyes of compassion. We are not the standard of comparison, Jesus is.
The older son’s relationship with the father is based on obligation, whereas the younger son’s relationship basis transformed from selfish rebellion to humble submission. The father’s relationship with the sons is based on unconditional love.
There’s also a whole works vs. grace vibe in this story as well as obligation vs. sacrifice element. What is your motivation/attitude regarding the inheritance we receive from the Father?
When I spotted this Habitica App from my Evernote newsletter a little while back, I just had to try this out! It speaks to my GTD kind of personality. I thought my teenagers might like it enough to use it and maybe remove the need for me to “nag” so much!
I downloaded, installed, and registered with this app on Android earlier today. The app is lovely, easy to use, the tour is cute without babying, and the website interface is spectacular. I can see this being a lot of fun (AND productive) for the teens. If I were more of a gamer personality, I would probably really enjoy this myself!
One caution: I wouldn’t recommend this for younger than teenagers since there are chat rooms (taverns) and the like. Here’s more info on the app from Common Sense Media. I’m curious to see if Bark.us* is able to monitor this platform.
I’ve been a member of WPMUDev.org since 2014! I love their blog, their forums, knowledgebase, customer service, and, of course, their plugins and services. Not long ago they started offering dedicated WordPress web hosting. Exciting!! Well, I finally got the chance to give it a test drive. Naturally, this little guinea pig blog is now officially hosted by WPMUDev. So far so good.
I did the site migration manually rather than by automatic means mostly because I wanted all my content, but not necessarily all of the other stuff that I’ve been experimenting with (plugins and the like). Clean slate time!
Because of this decision, I started to receive SPAM comments again! I have a list somewhere of all my standard plugins and Anti-spam Reloaded is one of those. It’s a quiet little plugin that chugs away and keeps me from having to do extra work. I highly recommend it.
Now, I need to go find that list!
Be Angry…and Train Your Kids: Directing Your God-Given Energy to Wisely Fuel Godly Parenting Strategies
by Peggy Ployhar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The format of the book is easy to read in small chunks, which is good because small chunks of time is all I have! Her honesty in the struggle is encouraging and refreshing on its own, but her Christ-centered instruction and intentional hope-giving tones are what I valued the most. This is an excellent read and a book not going on my shelf, but a book going to another parent in need. I’ll buy it again if I need to.
View all my reviews
I was recently reminded of this book and even used it in a devotional earlier today. It’s a really great book. Two of my favorite bits:
“The prayer of the morning will determine the day… The temptations which the working day brings with it will be overcome by this break-through to God. Decisions which our work demands will be simpler and easier when they are made, not in the fear of men, but solely in the presence of God. ‘Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men’ (Col. 3:23). Even routine mechanical work will be performed more patiently when it is done with the knowledge of God and His command. Our strength and energy for work increase when we have prayed God to give us the strength we need for our daily work.” page 71
“And we may be certain that our prayer will be heard, because it is a response to God’s Word and promise.page 85
“It is one of the particular difficulties of meditation that our thoughts are likely to wander and go their own way, toward other persons or to some events in our life. Much as this may distress and shame us again and again, we must not lose heart and become anxious, or even conclude that meditation is really not something for us. When this happens it is often a help not to snatch back our thoughts convulsively, but quite calmly to incorporate into our prayer the people and the events to which our thoughts keep straying and thus in all patience return to the starting point of the meditation.”page 85