You and I are living, breathing icons of the living God. Who gets to make a claim on your life? Who is the highest authority? The one whose image you bear.
As you cry out to Jesus in prayer, you’ll find him already praying on our behalf. He sees you. And he loves you.
When Jesus enters into the chaos of your life, he doesn’t just tell you to get over yourself. He tells you to look at him in it, because the storms in your life are the very ways Jesus shows you who he is.
When we come to Jesus, he’s not a superhero shaming you for not saving the world like he is. He’s a man who knows what it feels like to be exhausted and burdened by work, and he’s the God who took all our burdens upon himself on the cross.
Are Christians delusionally optimistic or toxically positive in the face of suffering? Is religion just a sad excuse for a crutch in the face of our crushing circumstances? I would say: absolutely not! Christianity avoids both delusional optimism and toxic positivity, and our text this morning shows us how.
Is sex just a biological urge, or is it the most important thing about you? The Bible offers a better perspective.
There’s something in us that longs for deep family connection and unity, and when we find it, it becomes precious to us. Family is home. Who is your family? Who feels like home for you?
Healthy, Christ-centered preaching is an essential part of every Sunday worship service, and you have an active role in that. Preaching isn’t just a boring, irrelevant lecture. God calls us to something far better.
Do you realize that Jesus considered you precious? He considered it a joy to redeem you. That’s the love we are rooted in. It’s not our own fickle, fleeting, weak love. It is our Lord’s eternal, unshakable, true love. Jesus is worth the pain. He’s worth the awkward, sheepish shame that so often comes with repentance. He’s worth imprisonment. He’s worth celibacy and ridicule. He’s worth the cost of obedience.
We’re a gnarly, messy bunch of branches. We didn’t earn the life Jesus fills us with, and we’ve still got a long way to go before we’re completely pruned. But God in His infinite love and power and mercy chose to graft us to Jesus so that we might abide in Him. And this invitation is open to all.