Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holes in Ceilings

 This past Sunday, November 25th, in RiverKidz (Rocky River Church's Kids Ministry) we talked about Luke 5:17-26 (NIV) and here is the passage:

17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

I have thought about this passage a lot for about 2 weeks and yesterday it really hit me. These 4 friends really believed what Jesus was doing. They really believed that Jesus could heal their friend and change his life. What would it be like if every person who goes to church on a regular basis or every person who says they are a follower of Christ, had the same faith and commitment as these 4 friends did? How packed would our churches be, how many holes would be in ceilings and how many lives would be changed?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

...Evil for Evil...

Romans 12:17-21
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

I am the first to admit that these verses are hard for me to do. To be completely honest with you, I am someone who wants to pay evil with evil. I have to always to be on guard with my thinking and my actions about this. These verses summarize the core of Christian living. If I love someone by the way Christ loves me, then I should be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s grace, then we should be will to pass it on to others. And remember, grace is undeserved favor. By giving an enemy a drink, we’re not excusing their misdeed. We’re recognizing him, forgiving him, and loving him in spite of his misgivings- just as Christ did for me. 

We live in a day of constant lawsuits and incessant demands for legal rights, Paul’s command sounds almost impossible. When someone hurts me deeply, instead of giving that person what they deserve, Paul says to befriend them. Why does Paul say for me to forgive someone who is my enemy, who does me wrong? 1- Forgiveness breaks the cycle of retaliation and leads to reconciliation. 2- Repaying evil for evil hurts not just your enemy but you as well.  Even if my enemy never changes, forgiving them will free me from the heavy load of bitterness. 

Forgiveness involves both attitude and actions. If I find it difficult to feel forgiveness toward someone who has hurt me, then I try respond with kind actions. If appropriate, tell this person that you would like to heal the relationship. Lend a helping hand. Smile at them and right actions will lead to right feelings.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I want to encourage everyone to attend Rocky River Church THIS SUNDAY (November 11) to hear the faith story of Sampson Parker (of Harrisburg) and how God gave him an incredible courage to do what most think would be impossible. If you are struggling to overcome an impossible situation in your life be sure to be at one of our three identical services on Sunday at 9am, 10:30am or 12pm. And bring someone with you! For directions from your doorstep to ours, click here http://www.rockyriverchurch.com/directions. See you Sunday!