Jesus Centered

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cross & thornsCol. 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…

We all have something at the center of our lives that drives everything else. It might be an unstable shifting center. It might be rock solid. We might be very aware of it or it might be somewhat hidden & unknown to us. Can you see why this might matter? Life could be very frustrating if something is driving you without you being aware of it. It could be more frustrating if you are aware but naïve as your core driver is actually leading you to spiritual danger. Think Captain Ahab!

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Prov 4:23

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Life or Death?

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life and death promoRomans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Easter is an awesome celebration of life. The resurrection is real. Jesus lives. But do we? Remember life as a child… Days were filled with fun, play, food and naps. Even school was fun for a while. Slowly however challenges grew, responsibilities took more time and friendships got more complicated.

As we grew life became more of a struggle. At some points… Usually working on that long paper I put off, or working that boring job I didn’t like, or that relationship challenge that seemed to have more pain than hope I found myself asking, “What am I doing? Is this really what life is about?”

Life gets hijacked by DEATH… it feels as if something in us dies.

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Are You Ready Highlights

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starting lineMatthew 25:31-46 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left… 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

At one time or another, everyone who hopes to be in heaven after they die wonders whether they have done enough to get there. Have I done the right things? Have I done enough of them? Is my faith “real enough” faith to gain the eternal life that Jesus promises to those who trust him?

We wrestled with this question last week on one of Jesus’ more shocking teachings. The highlights are below. You can catch the full lesson at www.parkviewfamily.com. The key passage is Matthew 25:31-46.

First We See that Eternal Life Requires a Faith Response to Jesus.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

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Readiness Test

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starting lineMatt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

One of the scariest verses in the Bible for those of us who want eternal life with Jesus is the warning He gives that not everyone who calls Him lord will enter His kingdom. Fear and doubt rise in the genuine hearted person who wonders whether we have done enough or done the right things. In other words, we wonder if our faith is real enough faith to gain eternal life

This question is big enough to be addressed several places and ways throughout scripture. Jesus’ first followers would face a longer delay than expected for his return. If they weren’t careful they could lose sight of the reality and significance of his return. They might be tempted to live for themselves thinking they would worry about getting ready for him later. Once they do that, they would be likely to forget about living for Him at all. Which begs the question of whether such a person is really a follower at all.

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