There are two forces at work in the Christian life, and you have to keep these two in perfect balance. There is union and communion. Union occurs when we first come to Christ and He moves into our life. That’s union. We are in Christ and Christ is in us. It is a relationship that can never be severed. But there is also communion in which we staying close fellowship with Jesus. John 21:1-14.
GET IN THE BOAT Do not let us be a church that rows away into eternity covering our eyes and ears so we can’t hear the screams of the people who are lost and dying around us. Let’s be a church that pursues them, that loves our neighbor in such a way that we can look at them and say, “There is plenty of room for you. Get in the boat.” Matthew 13:1-9.
WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE? It is hard to find authenticity in this world. It’s hard to know what is true, it is hard to know what’s genuine. It seems as if that all of us are expecting some sort of angle. Even the way that you watch the news, even the way that you deal with others. At times we like we have some sort of guard up against our neighbor, against those around us, because we are assuming that they are working with some type of angle in mind. Mark 10:35-45.
JESUS’ REMOVAL FROM THE CROSS The Bible tells us that Jesus had two unlikely undertakers, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. You might expect family members or disciples to step forward and claim the body, but instead these two respected members of the Jewish Sanhedrin collected the body of Jesus from the cross. It was not an easy or a pretty job. First, they had to climb up and either remove the nails or removed Jesus hands and feet from the nails embedded in the cross. Then they had to lower His mangled body. Jesus’ back had been ripped apart with a whip, Water and blood had flowed from the wound in His side. Then they had to remove the razor-sharp crown of thorns. John 19:38-42.
Are you going to be like the first thief or are you going to be like the second? Are you going to be like the soldiers who are just gambling for their eternity? Or are you going to be like the first thief who says, “Listen, I just need you to get me through this.” John 19:17-27.
The sentence that was due Barabbas was transferred to Jesus so that Barabbas may have a new life. And that same gift is for every single person who trusts in him. John 18:33-40.
THE PATH We see two completely different stories between Judas and Peter. Both men failed. Both slipped into sin. But Judas hid and went into the shadows of the night to end his life. Peter ran toward the light in order to have life. Which path are you on? John 18:15-18; 25-27