How do we have a grateful heart when we get the diagnosis, or the emergency phone call, or the news that we’ve been betrayed and the bank account is empty? Where does a thankful heart come from?
Join us this week as we explore the difference between being grateful in our circumstances versus being grateful despite our circumstances.
There is hope in Jesus that goes far beyond what we see and experience here on Earth. We will all experience heartbreak and loss, there’s simply no getting around it. How will you get through the storms that life brings your way?
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
Mentioned well over 300 times in the Bible, mercy is a word we probably ought to pay more attention to. Especially in this day and age when politics and religion are getting co-mingled in ways that often make us forget that first and foremost, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
The biblical definition for the word mercy, as used by Jesus in his sermon on the mount, is this: to be compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace); have compassion (pity on).
Meanwhile, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way: 1. a refraining from harming offenders, enemies, etc., 2. imprisonment rather than death for a capital crime, 3. a disposition to forgive or be kind, 4. the power to forgive, 5. a lucky thing; blessing.
This episode, as well as talking about what mercy is, we also focus on how to live a life of mercy in our day to day lives. We’ll look at 1 Peter 3:8-12 in the ERV (Easy to Read Version).
So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other. Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind [compassionate; merciful] and humble. Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive a blessing. The Scriptures say,
‘If you want to enjoy true life and have only good days, then avoid saying anything hurtful, and never let a lie come out of your mouth. Stop doing what is wrong, and do good. Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully. The Lord watches over those who do what is right, an, and he listens to their prayers. But he is against those who do evil.’
Listen in to this week’s episode to see some examples of how this might look in your own life.
We all know what it’s like to be hungry and thirsty, longing for something to fill our bellies. But what about our souls? What if there was a way to fill up the mysterious void we all seem to have deep down inside us?
Join Brandy this week for a quick lesson on Beatitude #4 to learn how you, too can be satisfied to your deepest core.
We raise statues, monuments, and headstones to commemorate those we’ve lost and victories won. But what about the memorials and monuments to remember what God has done?
Join Matt and Brandy as they look at some of the Old Testament monuments that the Israelites erected. They’ll also explore different monuments we have and can find in our own lives in order to be reminded of God’s faithfulness.
Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall inform your children saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ “For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed; that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.
What is my purpose here? What happens when I die? If there is a God, why is there still suffering in the world? How do I know if I’m on the right path in life?
These questions and so many more plague our minds and often leave us feeling restless, dissatisfied and often more confused in the end. But still, we ask them, constantly searching for meaning and wisdom and understanding.
Even as Christians who already believe that God is real, we still find ourselves wrestling with many of the same issues.
Matt and I are currently involved in a program called Alpha. It’s a multi-week video program that you watch with a group of people who don’t identify as Christian but are searching for understanding and clarity to some of these larger questions. We have the opportunity to serve as hosts for a new group that recently started and the question at the top of this post is the very question we talked over this last week.
It was interesting to listen to the questions that people have on their hearts. They’re fairly universal, in fact.
In this week’s episode, Matt and I share the questions we’d ask God if given the chance.
SEEING GOOD AND EVIL
The question Matt poses is this: why didn’t God create in us the ability to better see the spiritual evil that is all around us?
Imagine having the superpower called something like…. Dark Vision. I don’t know, maybe that’s already a superpower, but work with me. Dark Vision is the ability to see the evil forces that are constantly at work on this planet.
Not sure if this is the right job for you take? No worries, with the power of Dark Vision you can see clearly that the CEO and President of the company are cutting corners by employing children in economically depressed countries for pennies a day. Determination: Evil. This would be a bad company to align with.
Dark Vision gives you the ability to easily detect what is opposed to God so you can make choices that better align with your beliefs and values. It also helps you to recognize ways to pray for those around you who are struggling in their own ways.
Meanwhile, Brandy pauses to reflect on the same question that David posed to God, “Who am I that you are mindful of me?”
The fact is if God is real (and we’re working on the belief that He is), then it stands to reason that He made each of us with the same care and detail that He made the rest of the natural world. That means, that he carefully crafted each one of us with special talents and abilities, certain physical limitations, brain capacity, and emotional intelligence. That means we were born into the time and place that He chose for us. He knows the intricate details of our bodies, souls, and minds because he intricately wove us together.
And if all of THAT is true, that must mean He loves us, right?
But, who am I?
Who am I that the God of the universe would take the time to even consider me worth the effort? Who am I that He would send His son to die on my behalf in order that He could have a relationship with me? Who am I?
So, if it turned out that there was a God, and you could ask one question…what would it be?
Join us on Facebook to share your answer! Let’s talk about it!
“I like Jesus in the New Testament, but I could do without the God of the Old Testament. He’s just a bully.”
It’s a common complaint, so this week Matt and Brandy sit down with a special guest to talk about it. Is God the same throughout scripture? How can we trust that such a wrathful God is also a compassionate Savior? Join us for a lively discussion!
Gregg Chastain is the Pastor of Sandy Community Church in Sandy, Oregon. You can find out more about this church or contact Gregg by clicking here. You can also follow SCC on Instagram or Facebook.
Community Church of Sandy – A congregation of believers that merged from Community Presbyterian and Fellowship Bible Church circa 2015.
The world has been riddled with bad churches since the dawn of civilization. Corruption, infidelity, abuse, just plain old indifference can be seen throughout the generations, not to mention flat out heresy. So how, in a world full of so many choices, can a person find a church that, while flawed, isn’t outright dangerous? How can you recognize a healthy church where you can find both truth and grace, wrapped up in an atmosphere that appeals to you?
Join us this week as we Flashback to an early episode from season 1 where we address those very concerns.
This is a much larger topic than we had time to fully cover in just one episode, so if you have questions or need help finding a healthy church in your area, please contact us at email@example.com.