We don’t like standing out from the crowds. We want everyone to like us. Many of us never move past that middle-school mindset of trying to fit in; We still want to sit at the cool table. But Peter teaches that the weird table is so much better.
Peter doesn’t start off this letter with what the readers can do to fix their situation. He gives them a reminder of what Jesus has done for them, and a picture of hope for the future … for something beautiful. Because he knows that’s what’s going to transform them. That’s what’s going to sustain them.
If we’re not a church that puts prayer at the center of everything we do, then won’t have the connection with God that we need to accomplish His mission, His way. For the last six weeks, we’ve been laying a foundational culture for Refuge.Church. We conclude this evening with a discussion of Prayer.
In the New Testament we don’t see Christians implementing a mandatory tithe, just like we don’t see them sacrificing goats to cover sins. What we do see is Christians being generous, not out of a command or obligation, but cheerfully according to their ability, and almost always the recipients of that giving is to the poor.
One of our goals at Refuge.Church, has been to be a Church in which those who came from a variety of religious backgrounds, including none, could come together and worship. We call this a non-denominational Church. Is that going to make us doctrinally weak? Just the opposite; a Church that is constantly going to God’s word to work out truth together. Is that going to be messy? You betcha!
Scripture tells us that God has gifted each of us with unique talents and abilities. One of the things it means to partner with Refuge.Church, is a willingness to utilize your gifts for the good of the body. This week, we look at what God has to say about the functioning body using Romans 12 and 1 Cor. 12.
Every family, every town, every business, every country, and every church, has a culture. This week we paint the constrast in culture between the religious and Jesus through the story of the “Sinful Women” in Luke 7, using the illustration of a peach and a coconut.
We live in a world were we can connect anywhere; which means we work everywhere. We allow work to spill into every nook and cranny of our lives. We stay so busy that we don’t have time to slow down to form deep relationships with friends, let alone God.
Our vision is to be a Refuge to the hurting and broken, but if we are constantly tired and exhausted, then church becomes just “another thing” we have to do. This will eventually lead to bitterness, stress, and resentment … all of which is the opposite of becoming a Refuge.