- Why do we keep going over these old familiar stories year after year?
- These stories belong to our family, and in telling them, we are renewed in our identity.
- Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem was the fulfillment of a prophecy of Zechariah.
- The people who lined the streets of Jerusalem knew that prophecy. It was one of their great family stories.
- We are all waiting and searching for something, or someone, who can fix what is broken in our lives.
- When the Savior brings hope, that hope is carried on the back of what you loan Him.
- Jesus cannot get into town, or even into your life, unless you let Him use what you are holding.
- We should not simply keep waiting for the Savior to arrive and magically fix us. We are already holding the means of our salvation from our problems. We just need to let Jesus hold that means.
- There is a holy purpose for everything we have.
- We are just talking about loaning these things to Jesus long enough for Him to give them a holy purpose – to transform them. Then He sends them back to you.
- We just cannot out give Jesus. But that is the way our family story goes.
- Life confronts us with a lot of choices.
- Maturity is about embracing who you are, who you have always been, and who you were before you even knew it.
- Paul tells Timothy to rekindle the gift that is already within him.
- Tradition is an inevitable inheritance. But it does fall to the members of each generation to receive this inheritance, and then to mold and shape it during the years while they hold the baton.
- Faith isn't something that Timothy chose. It is something that chose him.
- Lois and Eunice were real people who no doubt had real flaws, just like our mothers and fathers. But these flaws didn’t limit the faith within them.
- When the storms of life come – and they do for all of us – we need such a deep-rooted, sturdy faith that is more than the little faith we have constructed in our hearts.
- Our society will give us so many reasons to be afraid. It will try to make us cowardly. But we have this powerful gift of faith.
- We also have love. God loved us before we knew His name, or what it meant to receive and respond to His love. And we have self-discipline. That will save us from bad choices which only hurt us.
- Our world will also keep finding ways to tell us that we are ordinary.
- If you are just ordinary, then you can leave it to the important people to change the world. If you are just ordinary, then you aren't responsible.
- No one can opt out of the great conflict between good and evil. You have to choose a side! Either you are working for the faith that is within you, or you are working against it.
- Jesus loves us ordinary persons for extraordinary purposes. That is what great faith can do in your life and mine.
- The First
- The Second
- The Six
- One Another
- We have a Savior.
- We have the Spirit.
- We have the Scriptures.
- We have the Saints.
- John claims he has “great joy” because some of us have learned how to walk in the truth.
- What is the truth the Church is walking in that so overwhelms John with joy?
Truth appears at various levels for Christians
- The literal understanding of what is true and what is false, as these truths have been woven into creation.
- Maturity introduces you to a deeper and more complex understanding of truth. The more you learn, the more you respect the truth that is enveloped in mystery.
We believe truth is finally and ultimately found in a person. And that person is Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
- The true leaders of the society and the Church have always found truth in mystery.
- Our society, and sometimes even the Church, didn’t naturally create the visions of these men and women.
- Great leaders have left that false security to plunge their lives beneath anxieties, uncertainties, and risk in order to explore the mysteries of life in hopes of discovering a true dream for how we could live.
- If the Truth doesn't make you loving, it is not God’s truth.
- To live in Christ is to discover the greatest truth of all – God is in love with all of His creation. And like all love, it isn’t done.
- Christians are always trying to hold together truth and love, passion and conviction. And that is a challenge!
- The only way that we can hold together truth and love, conviction and compassion, is by walking with Jesus every day.
- We pray about these things we need, but our belief that God will provide is mixed with unbelief.
- So, being smart, careful people, we have learned the importance of having a back-up plan.
Significant differences between God and Baal
Baal wasn't transcendent.
Baal made no demands of worshipers.
Baal did not require fidelity.
- Baal is alive and well today and remains in a corner of our hearts – just in case.
- Elijah has exposed our implied polytheism that we must silently confront.
- Why does God call us to Mt. Carmel to confront the two altars in our lives? Because God loves us and hates to see us limp along without real, gutsy, vital faith.
- You can bleed for an idol, but there will not be any salvation from a god you have made for yourself.
- When your favorite Baal fails to pull through for you, it isn't because God is angry. Sometimes Baal has to let you down before you can see that he is not God.
- God doesn't want to judge you but simply wants to get your heart back.
- The first apostles didn't want a god they could drag about like Baal. They had the Holy Fire in their hearts.
- If we are ready for passion in our faith, we don’t have to look up to the sky for a miracle. Now we have only to look deeper into our own hearts. The fire is kindled. The Spirit can make it burn bright.
- Ideas and beliefs are extremely important.
- What you believe determines who you will be and what you will do with your life.
- You want to make sure that what you believe is the truth.
- Our faith in God isn't something we have conjured up in our own hearts. It has come through the faith of those who have gone before us.
- To call yourself Christian is to claim that you have inherited a set of entirely life-transforming ideas.
- Doesn't it make sense to believe in a faith that has guided people through persecutions, plagues and wars, loss and heartache, and everything you could possibly face in life? It is waiting for you. It is your inheritance. But like all inheritances, it has to be received.
- We will all lose a lot of things we love along the way in life. If that is all we believe, then our lives will be a continual experience of despair. But if we lean on the great 2,000-year-old faith of the church, then life will be a continual experience of the salvation of Jesus Christ --- Very God of Very God. It is your choice.