We live at a weird time in human history. Society is over-sexualized and under-loved. We are simultaneously more connected and lonelier than ever. We have a basic human need for affection and touch and many of us are starving for it.
Does God have a plan for your life? Does He have different plans like Verizon (different levels or versions)? Is there a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc?
If He does have a "Plan A" for your life, can I miss it? Jesus did teach us to pray, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." So if we have to pray for God's will to be done in our lives, is there some sense, some times, some ways, where I miss out on His Plan A?
One of the more puzzling passages in the Gospels is found in John 14, when Jesus tells his followers, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:12-14). I've always wondered what that meant. Jesus healed lots of people and resurrected some: does that mean I'll heal lots of people and resurrect some? If I can't, is it just a lack of faith on my part? Jesus miraculously fed thousands: does that mean I'll do the same? That would be a useful trick to keep up my sleeve whenever the fridge is running empty (not to mention the whole water into wine situation).
As we finish up our "People Skills" sermon series tomorrow, we'll look at what Holy Scripture has to teach about parenting, and the child-parent relationship. In preparation for this sermon, I went through my "vault" of past sermons to see how I've approached this topic before. After a thorough search, I realized I have never preached a full sermon dedicated to parenting--partially because early on in the life of the church we didn't have that many kids, and partially because as a new dad, I was still figuring things out (on the job training). In the past couple years, the Lord has really blessed Mosaic with families and children (Mini-Mosaic is booming!!), and now that I've got four kids and almost a decade of parenting experience, I feel like I've got something to share!
One of my favorites stories from church history is that of 5th century "Desert Father" named Simeon the Stylite. Simeon is famous for his increasingly extreme ascetic feats. One time, he shut himself up in a hut for a year and a half. Another time, he went all of Lent without eating or drinking. He later took to standing continually upright until he toppled over. When people heard of his severe austerity in the name of God, they started taking pilgrimages to see Simeon. The crowds grew so large, that Mr. Stylite decided it was time for something new. Simeon discovered a nine foot pillar with a small platform at the top. He lived on that pillar for six years.
On Sunday, Dr. David Butler will teach on marital relationships. He is the North American Mission Board's Send City missionary to Boston. He gives oversight to a city strategy to plant 100 life-giving, multiplying churches throughout Greater Boston by 2025. His great passion is to shepherd kingdom leaders. He and his wife of Gayle, are the parents of three married children and nine amazing grandkids.
Millions of people will gather tomorrow to proclaim that "Christ is Risen!! He is Risen indeed!!" Jesus died. Jesus was buried. Jesus rose again. But what's the big deal? What does that have to do with me?
Tomorrow is Easter... so what?
If that's what you're thinking, tomorrow's message is for you!! The Gospel is the BEST NEWS EVER... come tomorrow to find out why. And bring your friends.
I'm so excited, I even went suit shopping.