36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples,“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus was traveling through all the cities and villages around Jerusalem and he noticed that there were many, many people that were confused on what God was like, what it meant to follow God, and who the people could look to for help in the midst of a broken world. The spiritual leaders of the day had become more interested in sideline issues, whether it was meticulous law keeping or status within the nation of Israel, than the huge, glaring needs right in front of them. The people needed help, Jesus had compassion, and Jesus called for workers. Here we are exiting 2012 and entering 2013, and the conditions (although culturally different) are the same. People are still harassed and still needing help.
Who will help?
If you are reading this, ... Continue Reading.
When I was young(er) and had fewer children, I came across these verses:
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (NIV84)
11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
Paul here is writing to the church in Thessalonica about how he loved them and dealt with them as a father would his own children. Although the point of the verse is that Paul dealt with his non-relative church family as if they were blood family, I was struck with HOW Paul explained a father’s actions should be toward his children. I took it as a verse to model how I should deal with my own children. I come back to it often:
Encouraging: This may be a no-brainer in theory, but it is way more difficult in practice. A father should be quick to encourage his children and definitely quicker to encourage than discourage. I need to be reminded of this often.
Comforting: Godly comfort must find its ... Continue Reading.
Thinking of myself as a sheep (from the last two Sundays’ sermons) is both encouraging and laughably realistic. I am thankful for this not-so-flattering metaphor because it keeps me from taking myself too seriously – a fault that trips me up often. This is not to take our sinful natures lightly – but it takes away the self-condemnation and puts it in the perspective God wants.
Not living in a rural culture, the metaphor takes a while to sink in, but it is still a powerful one. Certainly following the voice of my Shepherd is my goal in life because I know whose side I want to be on and to follow. I know who is for my good. I know who knows better than I.
But I have a found a distinguishing characteristic of this particular sheep (me) – and some of you may relate – that I just don’t want to FOLLOW him at times. I really want to show Him I can take care of myself – to “help Him out.” He’ll like me more that way.... Continue Reading.
Are you crazy? You be the judge of that. Well, maybe you shouldn’t be the judge of that. Can a crazy person tell if they’re crazy? I wonder if a crazy person thinks that he is normal but everyone else around him is crazy? So, maybe you should let Scripture be your judge.
Craziness is a result of not being right in the head. Right? We know that craziness can be produced by chemicals, hormones, or accidents. But I’m not talking about that kind of craziness. There is another kind of “not being right in the head”. I’m talking about the type of craziness that comes from not being right in our thinking.
Romans 12:3 ESV – “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment…”
“Sober judgment”. That’s an interesting phrase because the Greek that makes it up is found elsewhere in the New Testament translated a little differently. Let me give you one. Mark 5:15 ESV – “And they came to Jesus and ... Continue Reading.
This one is for the parents. If you are looking for a great, simple storybook that takes bible stories and explains how Jesus is the fulfillment of each one, then this is the book for you! Truth be told, I’ve found this book to be very encouraging for myself as I’ve read it to my children. In fact, we break it out periodically and it keeps their attention and draws it to Jesus each and every time.
As a follow-up to my message on Sunday, I wanted to point out a few verses in Philippians that should give Christians great confidence in their future. Specifically, a future that should involve growing in obedience to God and in love for others. The scriptures and a brief explanation:Philippians 1:6
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
There are many analogies or descriptions that are used in the bible for the Christian faith. Here, Paul says a “good work” has been started in us by none other than the creator of our souls……and the universe. Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Colorado to spend some time visiting friends and taking in the sites. I was in awe of the immense power of God in forming and controlling the universe.
Psalm 97:5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
This very same God who has formed the greatest sites we will ever ... Continue Reading.
I don’t know some of you very well (or at all), and I’m sure some of you don’t know me. Therefore I will do a quick intro. My name is Morgan Kluck and I am a member of Bend City Church along with my husband, Steven, and our daughter, Elinor. We have a heart to share the Gospel and glorify Jesus with our lives.
Proverbs 31 about the wife of noble character has been on my heart lately, so I thought I would share some of the things I have learned with you all.
I remember the first time I read this passage I was appalled. I thought it was impossible, unrealistic, and discouraging. As time has gone by I have come to truly love and appreciate this section of scripture, and I continuously go back to it to strengthen my heart as a woman of Christ. I would encourage you all to take this passage verse by verse and apply it to your own lives. I chose to pick out five verses I want to focus on, ... Continue Reading.
This short and to the point book is loaded with biblical truth about how God intends for Christians to be generous and joyful givers. If you have ever wondered if the bible has something to say about how we use our money, read this book. Be encouraged that God will always provide for our needs and give us grace to bless others.
This coming Sunday morning we are starting a 4 week teaching series called “Partnering Together for the Gospel: God Gives, We Give”.
In this post I want to point out 3 characteristics that should be the aim of every gospel partnership that wants to honor Jesus. I’ll do this by looking at a specific gospel partnership that existed in the Macedonian church written about in 2Corinthians 8.Gracious Generosity vs 1-3
2Cr 8:1-3 ESV – We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord
Perhaps no other characteristic in Jesus honoring partnership is more important than that of gracious generosity. A gracious heart is a heart that has been touched by the grace of God and knows that we have nothing unless the Lord first gives it to us ... Continue Reading.
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