Stories move us. They make us feel alive. They inspire us. Jesus was a master storyteller. He used humor, current events, objects, historical reference, poetry. But most of all, he told stories. He knew people remember stories. He realized stories are a way to touch the heart and inspire greater understanding about life. Life with God. Life with each other. Join us for this series as we learn from the greatest storyteller who ever lived.
What if you could know what’s going to happen after you die? Well Jesus tells a story that sheds light on the reality that after you die you will be wide awake; and you will be full of either tremendous gratitude or enormous regret; and you will be able to reflect back on your life here on earth with great clarity. It’s critically important that you get right with God while you’re on this side of eternity. That’s what the story of the rich man and Lazarus is all about. Join us Sunday as we look at Luke 16:19-31.
Superiority and self-righteousness are difficult for human beings to recognize in themselves. Jesus attacks these issues harder than anything else because He knows the potential damage that can be done. Jesus tells a story about the up-side-down nature of the kingdom of God, where the religious person who looks good on the outside is blind, unloving, and very, very far away from God; and the person who is despised by society has a humility that keeps him right at the heart of God’s life and love.
Join us Sunday as we look at one of the most misunderstood stories Jesus ever told. Christians can be prone to over-spiritualizing, masking problems with language that sounds spiritual, avoiding realities and being too passive in the face of difficulty. If this dishonest manager in this weeks story had the courage to face his problem head-on by relying on the character and the generosity of his master, how much more can we face anything, confident that our gracious and merciful God can be trusted?
Join us Sunday as we look at a story where Jesus compares those who live by a “wage-based” Christianity and those who live by “grace-based Christianity,” where we’re in a relationship with God based solely on trust. Jesus shows how easy it is for performance-based Christians to become resentful of grace-based Christianity.
In the Old Testament, the banquet was used as a metaphor for God’s Kingdom. Jesus says in this week’s story there are many open chairs at God’s table, and His Father is very concerned that they get filled. Jesus confronts the claims that the Kingdom of God is limited to a certain elite group. We will be encouraged in this message to invite people to the party, for there are many places at God’s table and every chair will be occupied. Nothing is going to stop God’s party!
Two sons are asked by their father to work in the family vineyard. One refuses, but changes his mind and works, while the other agrees to work, but never shows up. This story compares working in the vineyard to doing the will of God. The first son eventually did the will of the father. He saw the truth, said yes and was changed.
Two of the saddest words in the English language are “if only” — “if only I had done this, if only I hadn’t done that.” The story of these foolish bridesmaids will challenge us to make it to the end of our lives where we can say, when we look at the basic areas of life, “I have no regrets.”
There are two constants in this story — the seed and the sower. There is one variable — the soil. The soil represents our hearts. The seed represents truth. The sower is God himself. Soil must be soft, deep and free from clutter in order for growth to occur. With soft, deep and uncluttered hearts, there can be so much growth that we become sowers of seeds ourselves.