Jesus Centered Relationships

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friends laughingCol 3:12-17 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you

The Carnegie institute states the 90 percent of all people who fail in their work fail because they can’t get along with people. Something in us makes relationships hard. Our gut instinct, annoyances, and distaste for conflict drive us to avoid, eliminate or control others. Those we deal with most often are often the most challenging. We wish they would change. But we can’t make them. If we force it, we probably aren’t following Jesus in that moment.

Shouldn’t we have better relationship through our relationship with Jesus? Theoretically yes, but we must be intentional about following His lead. Three things become possible when we center our lives on Jesus. I encourage you to pick on as a starting place to start today an experience the difference He makes.

Embrace Jesus’ Heart of Grace Towards Others.

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What is Your Mission

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john-child-fishingMatt. 4:19 And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

John 15:8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Do you ever sense that you were made to matter, to make a difference, for some ultimate purpose? God did in fact make you for a purpose. You have a destiny that touches eternity. But it is so marred by darkness that only Jesus can reclaim it for you. This weekend we are going to pull the “Follow Me” series together. Everything we have studied in this series has an ultimate purpose.

Those who followed Jesus first needed to know the purpose of following. What was the end game, the point? They needed focus & purpose for their lives that came from Jesus. It wasn’t just about what they got. It wasn’t just about how they felt or where they ended up. What did Jesus say were they supposed to do, to live for?

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Don’t Be Gullible

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truth        “Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1John 4:1 

      “Don’t believe everything you hear.” Did you ever hear a parent or teacher say that? These days that applies to every kind of media we experience. Especially in a campaign year! One of the pervasive marks of our age is exaggerated marketing. Everywhere we turn someone is promising something guaranteed to change our lives. This isn’t new But we have gotten much better at it. My first memory of this is seeing advertising for X-ray glasses and Sea Monkeys in my favorite childhood comic books. Somehow they just didn’t live up to my expectation.

Back to the point: don’t believe everything you encounter. We all know and embrace this truth but the problem is in the follow-up swing. How can we figure out what or who to believe? If we get this wrong with x-ray glasses or sea monkeys it is not that big of a deal. But what about eternal things like the purpose of life, the true God, life after death and what it takes to survive final judgment- if there even is one? Religious media has grown into such a large business that even in that world there is much taught that is simply not true. What you base your life on and how you live it our matters.

In our post relativistic age few are willing to claim an anchor of truth to help define reality for living life well. Most advise some form of going with your gut while the rest of the room nods with affirmation. But there are so many conflicting voices , honesty requires us to admit they can’t all be correct. What if God is real? What if we are accountable to Him? What if we listen to the wrong voices and get it wrong when that moment comes?

This week’s passage (1John 4:1-6) warns us about being gullible spiritually. It then offers two keys to discerning reality from deception. God clarifies an anchor point for all willing to accept it: Jesus. For true believers, Jesus is the anchor points that defines everything. Jesus is the measure by which everything assessed. That which does not square with Him should not be embraced. For those of us who believe the true God of the Bible this will help us assess and filter what we hear from the many claiming spiritual authority in this world. See if you can recognize the second key to determining who to believe. Join us Sunday as we worship our Father and look to His word together.