In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus makes the disturbing claim that if we do not hate our families, carry the instruments of our own execution (the cross), and give up all our possessions, we cannot be his disciples. What is going on here? Well, “family” or “possessions” aren’t the enemy. A too-easy faith, a faith that never makes sacrifices (which isn’t really faith after all), is the enemy. It holds you back from the adventure of real faith. This sermon begins our series called “Nothing Better,” where we look at just why the call to follow Jesus is so challenging: because there is nothing better.
In Luke 14:1, 7-14, Jesus calls us to a kind of humility that allows us to focus on others. In Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, the author focuses us on generosity and hospitality. In this sermon, Pastor Eric looks at how these passages apply to current social questions and, ultimately, to the changes that God’s mercy makes in our hearts.
Far too often, we settle for the avoidance of conflict instead of real peace. True peace can be a struggle, even a battle. But the good news is that the “war of peace” isn’t yours to fight. God will fight it for you, and in you. In this sermon, drawing on Jeremiah 8:6-12, Romans 16:17-20, 25-27, and Luke 12:49-53, Pastor Eric challenges us to stop settling for the appearance of peace and to let Jesus fight for peace in us.
After hearing from the Bible on Peace with God, Peace with Ourselves, and Financial Peace in earlier sermons in this summer series, Pastor Paige addresses “Peace with Others,” and how we are to deal with conflict and disagreements in our lives today. In Romans 14:13-19, Paul discourages the early Christians from judging one another and putting stumbling blocks in each other’s way. In our time, people still judge, criticize, or avoid others when they disagree. Paul urges his listeners, then and now, to live out of an attitude of love instead of judgment, in order to make a way for peace with others.
This Sunday, we are joined by Karen Kretschmann, the Associate for Generosity serving our DE-MD Synod. She continues our series on “Peace” by considering how generosity can move us into a place of deeper financial peace. Listen and be inspired and encouraged!