Getting Ready for Sunday February 14th at The Crossing

Prepare

Dave Cover continues our series in the Gospel of John this week with a sermon entitled, “The Most Common Lies Satan Tells You” from John 8:31–59. The Scripture reads,

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

God Wants You To Be Happy. So Why Aren’t You?

Charles Spurgeon, the famous English pastor, wrote: “My dear brothers and sisters, if anybody in the world ought to be happy, we are the people.” If that’s true, if Christians really should be the happiest people in the world, why aren’t we? Maybe it’s because we don’t think that God cares about our happiness or that we think that seeking our happiness gets in the way of our Christian duty to live for God or because we have searched for happiness in the wrong places? In his short, little, easy to read book, God’s Promise of Happiness, Randy Alcorn takes on all those issues but most importantly helps Christians find the happiness they crave.

Sticks and Stones, and Serious Words

cupcakes

In grade school a boy told me that my legs looked like the Amazon forest, referring to the never-been-shaved hair on them. I was in fifth grade
and mortified.

A good friend tells the story of a boy chasing her after school, throwing rocks, and yelling, “Run, Fat-so, run!” It isn’t the rocks she remembers as much as the words. A broken bone would have healed more quickly than the damage of those words.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” – Really? My experiences don’t lend truth to this phrase, and I don’t think I am alone.

The Super Bowl: One Big Illustration

SB50I’ve been a football fan ever since I can remember. And I’ll likely be one until I die. So like most Americans, I consider the Super Bowl to be appointment viewing. But a couple of days after Super Bowl 50, I’m struck by how much the sport’s biggest showcase event isn’t just a game. It’s also a giant illustration of some of the more fundamental truths you and I need embrace as we go about our lives.

Think I’m “the-pastor-who’s-really-desperate-for-a-decent-illustration-so-he-can-have-a-topic-for-his-blog-post”?

Maybe. But think about the following:

A Gentle Boost for ‘Prayer Weaklings’

If you have moved around in Christian circles for very long, chances are good that you have met at least one person whom others refer to as a “Prayer Warrior.” The term is often used to describe a much-admired individual who has the self-discipline and perseverance to stay in an ongoing dialog with God throughout

Songs and Scenes: February 7, 2016

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Songs and Scenes is a weekly blog review of songs, readings and prayers featured in The Crossing’s Sunday morning liturgy. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs when available. This week’s liturgy review features photos by Gerik Parmele.

Guatemala Team Update

12694808_10153841819349242_4383435082018828003_oPray for the Winter Guatemala Missions Team as they leave ASELSI in Chichi and travel home. Chris Woodson provides this day-by-day update with photos.

Day 1 As we ended our first day in Chichicastenango, I was reminded what true wealth is…

  • Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? James 2:5

I am thankful to God for the gift of my friends in Guatemala.