November 23, 2014
We know a lot about happiness–at least, about trying to be happy. We think we deserve it. We recognize each other’s right to have it. We spend our lives chasing happiness. But happiness doesn’t last. Joy does. There is a big difference, and Paul tells us how to have the real thing.
November 16, 2014
Paul was a Jew–and a leading Pharisee at that. He was also a Roman–holding a citizenship that literally saved his life on several occasions. Paul used these credentials when they helped further the gospel, but his real prize was his citizenship in heaven. He understood what that meant, and was willing to rid himself of anything that would keep him from living as a citizen of God’s Kingdom.
November 9, 2014
Our society–and often people in the church itself–values being “good”. That usually means thinking “I’m good enough”. But the reality is, none of us has anything to brag about–our credentials don’t impress God. Our “righteousness” is an illusion. No one is good, much less good enough–except Jesus. The amazing thing is, he “gives”, us his righteousness!
November 2, 2014
That phrase is usually heard as an expletive, but Paul took it seriously. If we belong to Jesus as our King, it changes how we approach life. Now we know it isn’t what we are interested in–what our agenda is–but what Jesus’ is interested in that is important. When we know that, the phrase changes and we actually live “for Christ’s sake”, and Paul gives two examples of men who live this way.
October 26, 2014
One of the most difficult things for people in the world to understand is how “God” could become “flesh”. It boggles the mind! And yet he did–and in doing so, he “made himself nothing”. What does this say about how we who follow him should live?
October 19, 2014
Paul didn’t seem to react to things the same way we do. When people tried to hurt him, he asked one question: Is this helping or hurting the gospel? Why? Because Paul lived by a simple principle–he wanted to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
October 12, 2014
As we begin our study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, Paul greets his readers and reminds them that God is working in them–and that he will continue to do that work until he has completed it! We need to be aware of God’s work in us as well–and know that, regardless of how we feel, God isn’t finished with us yet!
October 5, 2014
The “Converge” series ends today with an exploration of the simple question, “Where do we go from here”? Given our mission and what we’re doing to accomplish it together; given the parts we each play as we work together, what needs to happen for us to be as faithful in accomplishing our mission as possible? Today, we converge on a simple adjustment of strategy designed to insure that this church is faithful to the one we belong to!
September 28, 2014
For us to “Converge” effectively, it is important for each of us to understand our own part of the mission—who we are and what role we play in the body of Christ. When we understand the mystery of the body of Christ, we appreciate our own roles and the roles others play alongside us—and we’re able to converge on the mission the Lord has given us.
September 21, 2014
NOCC has many positive things going for it right now—many people serving faithfully, and God changing and strengthening lives. We are working together to fulfill our mission. All we need to do now is continue what we are doing, and make sure we are pulling together and in the same direction. So, today we begin “Converge”—a time to explore our mission and make sure we are accomplishing it—together.