The Rest of the Story – September 23, 2018

The Rest of the Story – September 23, 2018

But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. (Acts 3:6-8)

Luke reported, in vivid stories like these, that the Holy Spirit worked through Peter and John to offer Jesus’ healing to anyone who needed it. Peter made the healing of the crippled man another occasion to preach Jesus’ power. His subsequent encounters with Cornelius, Paul, Tabitha and more showed that he remained faithful, yet flawed, as he simply proclaimed and followed the Savior he served. He wasn’t perfect, but he never stopped trying!

From Cowardice to Courage – September 16, 2018

That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. (John 21:7)

The fish and bread were ready, yet Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Why doesn’t Jesus just do everything for us, changing us into the people he wants us to be, but instead asks us to join our effort with his spiritual power? In what ways does his call for you to work with him to grow spiritually offer the best path to character development, so that you are still “you,” but a new you?

“I Will Not Deny You”

“I Will Not Deny You”

Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else stumbles, I won’t.” But Jesus said to him, “I assure you that on this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But Peter insisted, “If I must die alongside you, I won’t deny you.” And they all said the same thing. (Mark 14:29-31)

With a time of emotional crisis just ahead, one might expect Jesus to give his disciples a “pep talk,” boosting their spirits and telling them how much confidence he had in their ability to handle what lay ahead. Might they have handled things any better if he had given them a pep talk rather than this somber warning? Spiritually, which is more important—to believe you’ve got the strength to handle anything, or to be aware that you need to rely on God’s power, which is greater than yours?

Bedrock or Stumbling Block? – September 2, 2018

Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.” (Mark 8:33)

The very gifts and traits that make Peter a great disciple also made him vulnerable and weak. Why was Jesus worried that Peter could be a stumbling block to him?  What ways might we become stumbling blocks to Jesus’ ministry?

Walking with Jesus in the Storm – August 26, 2018

Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus said, “Come.”Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!” Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” (Matthew 14:27-31)

Peter spoke up. He showed that mix of faith and doubt most of us wrestle with at times: “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.” Next thing

he knew, he was striding across the water! It worked until he lost his focus on Jesus. The strong wind distracted him and his fear took over. “As he began to sink, he shouted, ‘Lord, rescue me!’” And Jesus did. Jesus continues to rescue us when we begin to sink.

The Call of Simon the Fisherman – August 19, 2018

The Call of Simon the Fisherman

When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, “Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.” (Luke 5:4-5)

As we explore the call of Simon, we realize that Jesus calls us right where we are, and draws us in my understanding our gifts, our temperament and our view of the world. He then encourages us on our journey, calling us to deeper and deeper discipleship as we learn to rely on his call on our lives.

 

Exploring our Heritage: Wesley’s Plan – August 12, 2018

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Synopsis: Explore Wesley’s plan of salvation in light of God’s grace for us…with the ultimate goal of discovering and imitating Christ’s love for us.

Exploring Our Heritage: Stay in Love with God – August 5, 2018

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

Exploring ways to stay in love with God through spiritual disciplines and growing the body of Christ.

Exploring Our Heritage: Do Good – July 29, 2018

Exploring Our Heritage: Do Good

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. (John 6:1-2)

Bishop Ruben Job wrote: It is God who loves all and permits the rain to fall on all. So, this decision will mean that I must seek good for all. I must seek what is best for those whose position and condition may be far different than my vision for them. It will mean that I will seek to heal the wounds of my sisters and brothers, no matter if their social position, economic achievement, or lifestyle is radically different from mine. It will mean that the words and acts that wound and divide will be changed to words and acts that heal and bring together. It will mean that movements that seek to divide and conquer will become movements that seek to unite and empower all. It will mean that the common good will be my first thought and what is good for me will become a secondary thought .

Jesus modeled doing good…and John Wesley followed in his footsteps. We will explore how John W. did good…and look at ways we are needed today.

Exploring Our Heritage: Do No Harm – July 22, 2018

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. (Ephesians 2:13-14)

Explore the three simple rules first put forward by John Wesley, rules that have guided the Methodist movement from its inception. The first: Do No Harm.