In his apology to the world, Tiger Woods said, “Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside [myself] causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint.”
This week’s communion was more wonderful than I’ve experienced before. Instead of the normal: deacons in suits, sitting up front, folding the cloth, serving the silver platters… we shared the bread and juice in a different way; and it was so good, I recommend it to you, too!
Sometimes in life, something so drastic happens, you wonder if there's any way to put back the pieces. According to Luke 4:18, Jesus came to "set at liberty them that are bruised." In other words, He came to set you free from the life-shattering experiences that hold you back. Those bruises aren't surface wounds, their deep. So deep that, even when they seem to be healing, any little thing brings them right back up into view again. Those bruises are caused by our sins and the sins of others, they are loss and loneliness, they are hurts, habits, and hang-ups that wound us for life... or so we think.
Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives and He is still proclaiming forgiveness and pardon to all who are bound and chained. Not all are free. Many are bound by the chains of harmful habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Not all of us chose these chains - in many cases, they chose us. But we don't have to be captive any longer. The gospel has power to set us free! The top four types of bondage that the church faces today...
God is everything mercy ever hoped to be. He isn't just part mercy - He IS mercy. God has NEVER been unmerciful. It's who God is; mercy is His very nature. Mercy can be simply defined as 'Love in Action' (Eph. 2:4). It is living compassion (Ps. 116:5, 145:8). Theologically, mercy is what withholds that which is deserved. I always represent mercy with a "").
Hebrews 10:25 is one of the most quoted Scriptures about 'church' - yet it is probably one of the most short-changed verses as well. Few know how beautifully the context (v19-39) sets it up as a diamond among rubies. In the next few articles, we will unpack the treasures, unfold the tapestry, unveil the plan of God for His church. This series will be one of the most exciting trips we will take together (100% money-back guarantee)... Church Still Works!