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The Good Father

The greatest father-child relationship in history that we can learn from is Jesus and his father. The way that Jesus interacted and related to his Father allowed him to live the life he did here on earth. And in the same way we are to imitate the intimacy of that relationship. Knowing we are starts with knowing who we belong to. The truth is that we have been created in the image of Jesus as sons and daughters of our heavenly father. This truth allows us to live life with purpose and freedom, in pursuit of doing "the Father's" will. 

John 8 : 32
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

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Better Together Because Of Love

We believe that the love that we are meant to walk in with one another truly makes us better together. But what is this love and how does it differ from the kind of love we so often hear about. In Psalm 25 the writer says that 'The lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness' or "kindness" and "faithfulness". These two major aspects make up the love Jesus shows us and the love that we are meant to show to one another. It's a selfless love, one that is committed to the long term best in other, and does't seek reciprocation. These two things, kindness and faithfulness are both equally important and equally required. Because kindness without faithfulness is exploitation, and faithfulness without kindness is judgment. But love is kindness and faithfulness met together. This is true love, this is what makes us better together. 

Psalm 25:10
"The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands." 

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How's Your Soil?

When it comes to relationships, the benefits and "fruit" of every relationship that we have is determined by the soil of our lives. We all have a perspective and a paradigm in which we live that's determined by our beliefs, our experiences, and our decisions. All of these things make up the soil of our lives that relational seeds are then sown into. So many times we can look at the fruit or status of a relationship and be unhappy or frustrated by it and neglect to address the very thing that is determining those outcomes, our soil. Is your soil bitter from a past hurt? Is your soil fearful or judgemental? Is your soil hopeful and always assuming the best? Is your soil encouraging and full of faith? If we want our relational seeds to flourish then we have to take ownership and responsibility of our soil. God desires for our relationships to grow and flourish and He wants our soil to always be fruitful. 

Mark 4 : 3 - 9
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

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God's Glory Is Our Motivation

Motivation is a key factor when it comes to relationships, especially when it comes to the longevity of relationships. One of the most notable attributes of relationships is that they tend to have "highs" and "lows". Whether its family relationships, work relationships, or church relationships; when it comes to relationships there are good moments and moments of challenge. It is in these moments of challenge that our motivation plays a crucial roll. If our ultimate motivation for that relationship isn't so God would get the glory and that person would know him and love him deeper, it makes weathering the challenges difficult. When we decide to love, encourage, and pray for one another despite the challenges that relationships bring, God gets the glory.

 

Romans 6 : 6 - 13

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

Do not let sin control the way you live;do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

Check out the message from this week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_1yX6bcmCw

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Things That Stay Attached Stay Alive

John 15 : 1 - 17

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.17 This is my command: Love each other.”

Remaining in Jesus is something that we seek to do but we may not know how to actually walk that out in our lives. From this passage of scripture we actually see that Jesus tell us to remain in him by making three points of attachments in our lives. The first point of attachment he asks us to make to remain in him, is to attach out lives to Him. Attaching our lives to Jesus is the first step to "remaining in Jesus". It's so easy to find our identity in the words that other's say about us, the words that we say about ourselves, or the mistakes that we've made in our lives. But our true identity can only be found in the words that God says about us. The second point of attachment is, attaching our lives to The Church. Attaching our lives to the church means attaching our lives to people. Jesus says to love one another the way that He has loved us so to remain in Him we need to remain in relationship with his people. The last point of attachment is, attaching our purpose to people. If Jesus is the vine, if we are the branches, then the fruit that He is asking us to produce is people. We remain in Jesus so that we can reach people. We have been called to be fruit bearers, people who are passionate about reaching people with the love of Jesus. We remain in Jesus to reach people.

Check out the message from this week


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIG1FjZah4E

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A Pep Talk From God

In the book of Romans the writer Paul encourages us to "be honest in our evaluation of ourselves". I think if most of us were to look our lives and begin to evaluate ourselves we could quickly begin to feel limited. Limited by the season that we're in, limited by mistakes that we've made, limited by the choices of others. But I'm so thankful that the verse continues and tells us to measure ourselves by the faith God has given. What is clear is that how we tend to view ourselves is not how God views us. God is not limited by our seasons, and He is not limited by our mistakes. There is potential and greatness placed inside all of us that God wants us to access by the faith he has given.

Romans 12 : 3

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

Check out the message from this week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGky-if9IZQ

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The Fruit of Relationships

Whether you're a "people person" or not, there's a certain amount of courage that it takes to step outside of the comforts of the life you've set up and venture into someone else's. Stepping into other people's lives and allowing other people to step into yours may feel awkward and uncomfortable at times but the fruit that it can produce is well worth the trip. God has called us to not exist as islands but to exist as a community. He has called us to benefit from the fruit of strong, real, and meaningful relationships. 

 

John 15 : 9-17

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.

Check out the message from this week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBz8PnNmQ78

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