Pastor Stan's Blog
Love In Action
“Whoever loves is born of God.”
These are the simple but profound words of the Apostle John, written in his first epistle. Conversely, in the same letter, John said, “Whoever does not love is dead.” Words that are equally profound.
I think it’s a safe guess that of the 300 or so sermons I have prepared and delivered at GracePointe, the topic of love would head the list in terms of subject matter. Frankly, it doesn’t take a lot of reflection for me to feel justified in that ratio, for Jesus Himself taught that love was the highest goal for humanity as well as the clearest definition of God. The desire to BE loved is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, impulses experienced by human beings. Read more…
Soon we will again celebrate the birthday of the Christian Church, a day we call Pentecost. Some two millennia ago and just seven weeks after Christ’s resurrection, the New Covenant began with God ”pouring” Himself out on a group of 120 Christ-followers. The book of Acts, which is a cursory overview of the church’s first thirty years, begins with this story and continues the refrain of God powerfully moving in the lives of countless people from Jerusalem to Rome.
Spirit to Spirit
I’d like to take a moment and focus on the sixteenth verse of Romans eight which, in the New Living Translation, reads,
“For His Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.”
Some translations of the Bible render that verse, “God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit…” Personally, I like the NLT’s rendering the best, “His Holy Spirit speaks deep in our hearts…” From either, though, the point is clear – God longs to communicate with us, and does so at a deep level alternately referred to as our spirit or the depth of our heart.
Last year I talked about a theme that was drawn from Second Corinthians, chapters eight and nine in which Paul appealed to the Christians at Corinth to be generous in a collection for their hurting brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. I could, and many have, fill a lot of pages with commentary on this incredible text. Instead, allow me to share my single, favorite verse from these highly insightful chapters.
The Serenity Prayer
Sunday we merged two of my favorite spiritual tools – the twelfth chapter of Second Corinthians and the renowned Serenity Prayer. The pair intersected at the great theme of acceptance; Paul wrestling with an intractable pain he referred to as a thorn in the flesh and the Serenity Prayer’s appeal for the calmness of soul to accept those things we can not change.