Jul 29, 2018
Baggage-Unclaimed Baggage
Series: Baggage

 Baggage-Unclaimed Baggage                          Hebrews 12:1-2

Let's also run the race.

Hebrews 12:1-2
1) So then let's also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we ave such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.  Let's throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, 2) and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith's pioneer and perfecter.  He endured the cross, ignoring the shame for the sake of the job that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God's throne.
 
Faithful and fruitful discipleship takes perseverance.  It is more like running a marathon than a sprint.  We have a crowd cheering us on.  We are to "throw off any extra baggage..."
 
What baggage are still holding on to?   Are you gaining anything from holding on to that baggage?  What could you GAIN by letting the baggage go unclaimed?

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  • Jul 29, 2018Baggage-Unclaimed Baggage
    Jul 29, 2018
    Baggage-Unclaimed Baggage
    Series: Baggage

     Baggage-Unclaimed Baggage                          Hebrews 12:1-2

    Let's also run the race.

    Hebrews 12:1-2
    1) So then let's also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we ave such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.  Let's throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, 2) and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith's pioneer and perfecter.  He endured the cross, ignoring the shame for the sake of the job that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God's throne.
     
    Faithful and fruitful discipleship takes perseverance.  It is more like running a marathon than a sprint.  We have a crowd cheering us on.  We are to "throw off any extra baggage..."
     
    What baggage are still holding on to?   Are you gaining anything from holding on to that baggage?  What could you GAIN by letting the baggage go unclaimed?

     For more sermons click here.

  • Jul 15, 2018Baggage – Family
    Jul 15, 2018
    Baggage – Family
    Series: Baggage

    Baggage - Family                           Matthew 12:46-50

    All those who live the perfect family life depicted by the Cleaver's or the Nelson's may exit the Sanctuary prior to the sermon.  For the rest, we see the reality of the struggles of real family.
     
    The Bible is filled with stories of dysfunctional families.  Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Saul, and Jonathan, David, and the list goes on.  Moses had difficulty with his siblings - Marian and Aaron try to stir up the people against their brother (Numbers 11:35-12:3)
     
    Who doesn't carry the baggage of family?
     
    Even Jesus did not have the perfect family.
     
    In the brief story (Matthew 12:46-49), Jesus redefines family.  Family is not defined by biology and bloodlines.
     
    Family is broader and narrower at the same time.  Broader because it includes all those living according to God's will.  It is all those who were adopted by God (Romans 8:14-17).  
     
    It is also narrower - there may be some who are in our biological family that are not in God's family.
     
    How might we as the church be and act differently if we operated with Jesus' definition of family?
     
    How might what we do and say in our nuclear and extended family be different if we operated with Jesus' definition of family?
     
    Reflect on... 1) What most troubles you about Jesus’ statement regarding His family?
    2) What is most comforting to you about Jesus’ statement?

     

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  • Jul 8, 2018Baggage – Autonomy
    Jul 8, 2018
    Baggage – Autonomy
    Series: Baggage

    Baggage - Autonomy                         Jeremiah 2:1-5, 21

     

    John 15:1-8

    Independence, liberty , self-determination, and autonomy are our banner words and values we lift high today.
     
    These words are not words and values of faithful and fruitful disciples.
     
    We live under the illusion that autonomy (even autonomy from God) is necessary for a fulfilling life.
     
    Jeremiah speaks prophetically to the people regarding an autonomous relationship from God.  Jesus speaks prophetically to his disciples about autonomy.
     
    Our faithfulness is discipleship and fulfillment in life are not found in our autonomy.  They are found in our connection to God and Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
     
     
    John 15:1, 4-5 (CEB) reads I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper.
    4)Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  A branch can't produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine.  Likewise, you can't produce fruit unless you remain in me. 5) I am the vine, you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit.  Without me, you can't do anything.

     

    Reflect on...

    1) As a Christian, how does freedom differ from autonomy?
     
    2) What freedom that God gives do you value most?
     

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  • Jul 1, 2018Baggage – Traditions
    Jul 1, 2018
    Baggage – Traditions
    Series: Baggage

    Baggage - Traditions                                              Mark 7:1-15

    Tradition is valuable and meaningful.

     
    What are your favorite family traditions?(Possibly a vacation spot, or something you do every year for the Holidays) Do any of your family's traditions annoy you? In today's passage, Jesus once again steps on some favorite traditions.
    Religious traditions are intended to deepen our faith and connect 
    us more closely to God.  Yet, sometimes, like baggage, they get in the way.  Tradition for tradition's sake doesn't honor God and makes worship a farce.  (Mark 7:6-7)  Might there be traditions we hold onto that are also empty?
     
    When we practice traditions just because we have always done it that way, we are no less hypocritical than the Pharisees Jesus is having dinner with.
     
    Staying focused on God during worship isn't easy. When your mind starts to wander, how do you focus your heart on God? (Try to block out surrounding people and unrelated thoughts. Close your eyes. Meditate on the words. Express the words in prayer to God.)
    As were the Pharisees, are you focused more on your body than on your heart? Which do you care for more diligently? As we pray, let's commit our hearts completely to God and seek His help in living by His Word alone.
     
    When traditions lose their meaning they have become baggage.  God wants a place in our hearts not in meaningless traditions.  
     

    It's not what you put in your body, but what comes out of your heart that matters to God.

     
     
    Reflect On:
    1)  Is there a tradition that you are holding onto even though it has lost its meaning?
     
    2)  Name a time when you experienced a tradition getting in the way of your discipleship.  Of making new disciples?
     

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  • Jun 24, 2018Baggage – Excuses
    Jun 24, 2018
    Baggage – Excuses
    Series: Baggage

    Baggage - Excuses                                        John 6:1-13

    Feeding the Five Thousand

     This is the story of feeding thousands with just a couple of fish and five bread rolls from a boy's lunch.
     
    At first the disciples have their excuses of why they can't feed the people.  The primary excuse is scarcity - we don't have enough food, we don't have enough money.  We also carry the baggage of excuse of scarcity - don't have enough - time, talents, or treasures.
     
    The disciples were hanging on to their baggage of excuses.  A boy gave Jesus his lunch.  And with this boy's lunch Jesus feeds all and there are leftovers -12 baskets, one for each disciple.
     
    Reflect On:
    How might your excuses get in the way of God's work?
     

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