...to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power...

Revelation 5:11-13

Black and White – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

One of the dangers of being a Christian is becoming self-righteous. What does it mean to be self-righteous? It means that you think you have earned your way into God’s love and other people aren’t as good as you.

Being a Christian and self-righteous is particularly damaging to the name of Jesus Christ and to one’s soul. So what does self-righteousness look like?

One of the ways a Christian can be self-righteous is if they see everything in-terms of black and white. This is what the Pharisees did. They could see that Jesus’ disciples were not prepared for the Sabbath and therefore they should not eat. They caught the woman in adultery and were ready to kill her. Jesus told them, “you without sin cast the first stone.” Of course no one is innocent and no one cast a stone.

The problem with viewing our faith in terms of black and white gives no room for mercy, compassion, grace and love. If God dealt with us only in terms of black and white we would all be in lots of trouble. But the Bible is painfully clear about what God gives us. He gives us love, mercy, kindness, forgiveness and ultimately his Son on the cross.

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Out of the Bushes – Pastor Matt Ragain

Posted by on Jun 15, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they hid from God. The question is why? Did God do something that caused them to fear him? No. Did God react to their sin in a way that caused them to fear him? No. Did God change in any discernable way after they sinned? No. God went looking for them in the cool of the day like he normally did.

What, then, was different? Adam and Eve. They gained the knowledge of good and evil. They saw for the first time that they were vulnerable because of their nakedness. They also knew, from their actions, that people can be duplicitous. In other words, not everyone is entirely trustworthy (according to them)…including God.

I believe the main reason people don’t believe in Jesus Christ is not because they don’t have enough evidence. I believe they struggle trusting him. Jesus says, “no one comes to the Father (God) except through me.” Philip then says to Jesus, “Show us the father, and we’ll believe.” Philip couldn’t take Jesus at his word, even after all Jesus had done to show was trustworthy. Philip is hiding in the bushes like Adam and Eve.

Are we hiding in the bushes too? What would it be like if we believed what Jesus said? Well, define belief? Belief is more than just something you agree to intellectually, it’s how you live. If you want to see what a person believes, watch how they live. Believing in Jesus makes us vulnerable (not hiding in the bushes) to what Jesus says. What does Jesus say? What is written in the Bible?

Adam and Eve didn’t trust God—not because of anything God did—but because of what they did. God didn’t hide or leave. In actuality God has never left, he’s waiting for them and us to come out of the bushes.

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