PART 5: THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON
God does not reject us; His love is unconditional for everyone. Because of our self-justification and/or self-gratification, we run away from God. Regardless of which of the two sons in the parable of the prodigal son we relate to, God is extending an invitation for us to repent, turn our hearts to Him and join the celebration of His grace and goodness.
July 29, 2018
PART 4: THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
The Parable of the Sower is really the parable of the seed among the soils. Jesus through the parable invites the listeners to pay attention to how they receive and respond to His life and message. While there are many different types of responses, God’s invitation is to receive, hold fast, and bear fruit.
July 22, 2018
PART 3: THE SHEPHERD'S JOY
We all categorize people and things in one way or another. Categories help us to order and make sense of the world, yet they can also create barriers between us and people with whom we are called to be in relationship. Jesus once shared a meal with a group of people categorized as outsiders by religious insiders. His shared meal with these “outsiders” began to disrupt the religious leaders' categories, causing them to grumble. In response, Jesus told one of His most simple yet evocative parables - a story about a sheep, a shepherd and God’s joy-fueled pursuit of outsiders.
July 15, 2018
PART 2: FORGIVING OTHERS
Do you ever struggle to forgive others? It’s all too easy to lash out when we have been hurt by someone. At other times, we secretly hold a grudge or tell others about the faults of the one who hurt us. If this has ever been true of you, you aren’t alone. Followers of Jesus have always needed help forgiving others when they have been wronged. The parable of Matthew 18:21-35 reveals teaching by Jesus about forgiveness that we all need to hear and apply.
July 8, 2018
PART 1: THE GOOD SAMARITAN
For years I thought I understood Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan. It is a story about what kind of neighbor we ought to be, a story that places the emphasis on the listener to be a better neighbor, right? Well, as we take another look, we might discover that the purpose of Jesus' story was not so simple. In fact, parables had a way of revealing and deepening truth to some, while concealing truth from others, all in one simple package.
July 1, 2018