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Don't Waste the Suffering

Don't Waste the Suffering - Week 1

We have been mistaken by making the foundation of our faith the BIBLE yes that's the book for me. I know how crazy that sounds, but our foundation is Christ. If you are a Christ-follower, a Christian, a part of "The Way" like Peter was, like the disciples were, like both Marys were, like Paul, and others. Then your foundation is on Christ and his death and ultimate resurrection. None of those people stood on the BIBLE, because there was no BIBLE!!! They stood on the resurrection of Jesus. And from there the word of Jesus' death and Resurrection spread throughout the world, throughout history, and still stands today. Where will the church make her stand, what will she call her foundation?

- Pastor Josh

"Dear friends, if you have ever been troubled, or if you have friends who are troubled with skeptical questionings about the Bible and Christianity, let all the other issues go; drop the questions of Moses, Isaiah, and Jonah and settle the whole issue upon this supreme question: Did Jesus of Nazareth really die, and did He really rise again? And if you are fair and candid, you will be compelled to conclude, or to bring conviction to your doubting friend, that these are indeed “infallible proofs” and that the whole fabric of Christianity rests upon one supreme foundation, one rock of ages"

- A.B. Simpson

Don't Waste the Suffering -Week 2

Ancient Israel always wanted to look like everyone else. They wanted a visible god to worship like everyone else, a king like everyone else, they wanted a magnificent temple to house their god like everyone else, but God did not call them to look like every other nation, he called them to be unique just as he was. God did away with one form after another, until the "fullness of time had come" and then he sent the end of all those old ways. He brought the new covenant through his son, Jesus Christ.

- Pastor Josh

"I once saw a picture of the Constitution of the United States, very skillfully engraved in copper plate, so that when you looked at it closely it was nothing more than a piece of writing, but when you looked at it at a distance, it was the face of George Washington. The face shone out in the shading of the letters at a little distance, and I saw the person, not the words, nor the ideas; and I thought, “‘That is the way to look at the Scriptures and understand the thoughts of God, to see in them the face of love, shining through and through; not ideas, nor doctrines, but Jesus Himself as the Life and Source and sustaining Presence of all our life."

- A.B. Simpson

Don't Waste the Suffering -Week 3

I walked into my hermeneutics class and the very first thing we learned was "context, context, context." All of scripture must be read under this lens. Each of the testaments are wrapped in their own context. One in a context of God forming a nation and calling a people unto himself and the other in a context of God taking that established nation, becoming one of them in human form, dying and resurrecting to free them from the bondage of sin and the rules and rituals of old. So that they can take this new and good news to the rest of the nations of the world.

- Pastor Josh

"When God does what God intends to do, this will be an act of fresh grace, of radical newness. At one level it will be quite unexpected, like a surprise party with guests we never thought we would meet and delicious food we never thought we would taste. But at the same time, there will be a rightness about it, a rich continuity with what has gone before so that in the midst of our surprise and delight we will say, 'Of course! This is how it had to be, even though we'd never imagined it.”

― N.T. Wright

Don't Waste the Suffering -Week 4

I love the words of James the brother of Jesus in Acts. As everyone is arguing over whether non-Jewish Christians must keep to the law of Moses or not he stands and interjects a piece of wisdom that the church perhaps has forgotten or overlooked. “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” Jesus had a number of encounters with people who were less than stellar people to say the least. Yet he engaged with them and never asked them to jump through any hoops, he didn't place hurdles in front of them, he did not make it difficult to love him. Yet the church does, we need to get back to making Jesus irresistible, and perhaps heeding James' words.

- Pastor Josh

"The Torah [the Law of Moses] is given for a specific period of time, and is then set aside—not because it was a bad thing now happily abolished, but because it was a good thing whose purpose had now been accomplished.”

  • ― N.T. Wright