To follow Jesus Christ means to put your faith into practice. Faith with hands and feet. This message is the beginning of a series from Luke 9. The challenge of this chapter is to examine the claims of Jesus and ask if you believe. In Luke 9:20: Jesus says, “What about you? Who do you say I am?” The question is directed at Peter but it is also a question for me and you. If you believe he is who he says he is it shapes how you see yourself. A little later in Luke 9:46 it is reported the disciples were competing with each other about which of them is the best. They still did not understand the message of Christ, for if they did, they would know Jesus is saying to follow him is to break down the walls of competition, self promotion, and status, and instead become kingdom focused, putting others ahead of you. What you believe about Jesus shapes your own character, values and patterns.
The end. 62nd sermon over a 5 year period. When I started in June 2010 I intended a single series from one chapter, but for whatever reason, some very kind words from one of you got me to thinking, why not the whole book. That person: Kathy Kamphouse…. We come to the end. The book of Romans ends with a surprising warning, then a grand dedication with a purpose. The purpose: stand/ firm/ in/ Jesus/ Christ.
The surprise warning comes first: Rom. 16:17-20 is so different from the rest of the book. As we have walked through Romans, the message over and over has been to include as many people as you can into your circle ~ don’t include only people like you, proper behaved people, but messy people, people unlike us. Jesus loves people who you may not understand! The Salvation of God is for people of all nations, all backgrounds. All people need a place to be loved, accepted and find forgiveness. All are sinners and none has the advantage when it comes to God’s grace.
I heard a story at the elders meeting this past week from Hope A.C. Church in Chicago. The question was how the Pastor of the church led the congregation from a struggling group of 30 people to several hundred people excited about ministry. One day the pastor found gang members tagging the side of the building. A large man with an imposing presence, he confronted them ~ “What are you doing?” As they stammered out a non-answer, the pastor said, “My favorite color is red.” Hesitantly they gave him a red spray paint can. He joined them defacing the building. Then they asked him who he was ~ he told them he was the pastor of the church. This made no sense! And he challenged them to show up the following Sunday. “We don’t do church” they responded. “I’ll tell you what,” the pastor said, “You come to church one time and tell me that afterwards.” Six of them showed up that Sunday. Today, I’m not sure how many years later, two of those six are in youth leadership and a couple are worship leaders. And the church has it’s finger on the pulse of the community.
Welcome to the crazy family called the church.
Carl Crouse, Pastor
At SACC we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Every Sunday the worship service includes a message from the Bible. My words are an attempt to understand and apply the Bible to our daily living. I post weekly sermons and other biblical messages on this page. May you find meaning and hope as you read through each message and seek to hear God's voice. Leave a comment to ask questions or inspire others with your insights.