We are a group of followers of Jesus Christ who meet regularly at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings to encourage one another, pray for one another, and study God's word (The Bible) together in order to understand more fully what it means to be a "follower of Christ". We don't have it all together. We struggle over family relationships, work relationships, questions we have about our own faith, why the world is like it is, etc. We are co-struggle-ers together in living out our faith in Christ in a world that seems more and more resistant to any conversation about the relevance of God in our everyday lives. In our dialogue together, we have discovered that God's word does have answers to these perplexing questions, but they are not always easy answers, and certainly not always the answers we want.
Most recently we completed a study on the hard sayings of Jesus., i.e.;
"Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
What does it mean to deny yourself in a culture that says "Grab all you can,"? What does it truly mean to "follow Jesus"? To die daily? To put your will in subjection to God's will?
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" Luke 6:46
Can we really call Jesus "Lord" if we don't do the things he asks us to do? Like die daily to self and follow Him? What does that look like? What exactly does he ask us to do?
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" Matthew 7:21-23
This caused us to ask ourselves what does it truly mean to have a relationship with Jesus that will ensure that one day we will "enter the kingdom of Heaven".
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’" Matthew 25:34-36
As followers of Jesus Christ, what are our responsibilities toward the less fortunate, the hungry, sick, imprisioned, and "least of these"? Did we meet needs in his name, or did we look the other way? Did we hoard or share? Can we truly be followers of Christ and ignore the desperation all around us? How can we meet such monumental needs?
These are just a small sampling of the difficult sayings of Jesus we recently studied. To say the least, it resulted in some very "soul-searching" conversations we had together as we studied God's word together.
If you have had some of the same questions...
If you are seeking to find a relationship with God in a world that seems more willing to dismiss Him everyday...
If you are struggling with life's difficult issues, we invite you to come struggle with us. Again, we don't claim to have it all together. We have discovered that we are stronger together than we are apart., and that there are answers to these questions is the Holy Scriptures, even though it may take some digging and perseverance to find them.
We'd love to have you join us.