The Christians at Thessalonica decided to opt out of the work force, pray and wait for Jesus to return. The tentmaking Apostle Paul was not amused. One of the most Godlike things you and I can do is get up and go to work in the morning.
As America has become more secular, the city can seem less welcoming than rural areas. But the truth is that Christianity is more at home in cities than in any other setting. Perhaps like no other time in Christian history, first-century New Testament life strategies for work and love and truth and sex have relevance and instructional power for us today. Christianity has always been an urban faith.
The feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle repeated in all four gospels. It's a story of how we can become channels of God's power. All we need to do is offer our meager resources to Jesus.
SCRIPTURE: John 6: 1-14
At the heart of life with Jesus, we freely give to others what we have graciously been given from God. In forgiveness, grace abounds and transformation ensues. How do we learn to apply the value of forgiveness in our most precious community - our family?
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 18:21-35
Have you ever felt like caving in? What's the use in such continued suffering? The prescription for discouragement isn't alcohol or shopping or vacations. It's a glimpse at God's majesty in worship.
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40
How do we explain the silence of God? Jesus' own prayers went unanswered. How can Jesus' own forsakenness on the cross help me with unanswered prayer?
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 22
The Bible says this universe is ruled by the mighty will of a sovereign God. On the other hand, it says our prayers make things happen. How can both of these things be true? God is deeply affected by our prayers.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 32, Matthew 5
Prayer is a spiritual discipline. If you're going to be a disciple, you need to exercise discipline. Discipline isn't like eating your broccoli as much as it is creating space in your life for God to work.
SCRIPTURE: Mark 1:32-39
God wills that you pray; God delights in it and really wants it. Prayer is as central to the meaning of the created universe as you can get. He's near as your breathing. Just lift a finger.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:1–13
You can have a faith as orthodox as a bishop and still be a train wreck. Does the Christian life promise more than it can deliver? Learn the key to happiness, according to the Bible.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 1
Tolerance was perhaps late Roman culture's highest virtue. Jezebel, a member of the church at Thyatira, thought she should help the church evolve to a changing world. Sound familiar?
Ephesus was a big, bold and upcoming city, and its church was the most effective church of the New Testament. Peachtree has also had a big impact on its city. But is it good enough?
God invented the city. Cities can be wicked. They are also culture shapers. Even when believers are marginalized, we're to work for the welfare of our city.
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 29:4-7; Isaiah 65; Revelation 21
God can replace our fears and faithlessness with a yearning for new adventure that can only be known with a spirit made bigger by Christ’s redeeming act on the cross.
SCRIPTURE: John 21:1-22
When his ship ran ashore, the apostle Paul learned anew how life is often beyond our control. Yet even in storms that bring damage, God remains faithful and supplies both provision and joy.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 27:27-44
In spite of its reputation for castle-building, sand is not a good manufacturing material. Jesus points out what is obvious to a five year old with a bucket on a beach: It’s not easy to make a good foundation out of sand. It is unstable.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 7:24-28
Like a desert sand dune that overtakes a landscape, sin can bury our best intentions.
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 2:11-15
When forged under heat and pressure, sand transforms from impermeable earth to translucent glass. Similarly, the Holy Spirit has transforming power for our lives.
SCRIPTURE: Mark 4