Christmas is all about Immanuel – God with us! It’s all about God wanting us to know this in a profound way as He brings the birth of Jesus before our eyes. Every human being longs to know that they are not alone, especially in the brokenness – the knowing - that things are not right in our world and in our lives. Our longings bubble up at Christmas and God brings us face to face with a brother who is Immanuel – God with us! As a friend of mine once said, “no one can ever say that God is not there; that He doesn’t care; that He hasn’t done anything; for the Child is born – and that changes everything! It makes everything new!”
In the next few weeks, we focus on the gift that this is meant to be in your lives. We focus on this baby that would turn our world upside down and make everything new! We focus on knowing Jesus better!...And living in His gifts in our lives!
Have you ever noticed how quick all the Christmas decorations come down? It’s as if everyone is trying to “get back to normal” at warp speed! It’s as if the brokenness of our existence is so familiar that we are all frightened to actually embrace a different way…even the way of hope, joy, peace, and love, the very things we deep-down long for. But the whole reality of Christmas is that God has something better for us than the “normal.” He has Jesus. Immanuel. God with us. And He is meant to “make everything new!” This then is our focus; “Making Everything New – Knowing Jesus Better!” What might this mean for your life?
Weekend of Dec.29th/30th New Beginnings
“God’s mercies are brand new every morning.” Lam.3
“Behold, I am making everything new!” (words from Jesus in Rev.7)
Where do you need a new beginning in your life? God wants you to know Jesus better. He wants you to know Him as the One who brings and gives new beginnings! What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Jan.5th/6th New Heart
How do you see yourself before the face of God? And how does this color how you see others? Today, God would rock our world with a picture of how God sees us…and others. God wants you to know Jesus better. He wants you to have a new heart. What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Jan.12th/13th New Connections (1)
The first day of High School Summer football practice I didn’t know hardly anyone because I went to a different grade school. But a couple of guys I did know quickly introduced me to everyone and all of a sudden I was part of the family. Has this ever happened to you with a friend and their family group? To know Jesus better is to understand what new connections He would bring into our lives; to understand life in a whole new sense of family. What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Jan.19th/20th New Connections (2)
When I got my first real job (in a grocery store) the people I worked with became almost a second family. And when I met Jane and got married her family became my family – and vice versa. To know Jesus better is to understand what new connections He would bring into our lives; to understand life in a whole new sense of family. What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Jan.26th/27th New Growth (1)
Lee Genter. He was a good friend of mine in the seminary with whom I would have long talks about theology. Looking back (and don’t ever tell him – I don’t want him to get a “big head!”) God worked through that relationship and those conversations to grow me as a person and pastor. But that’s the way it works – right? You could state the above exponentially with my wife…or my children (don’t tell them!), my parents, and many others throughout my life. How about you? Today we see what Jesus has to say about this as we look to know Him better; as He shows us how He works the gift of new growth into our lives! What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Feb.2nd/3rd New Growth (2)
Who do you call if you have a plumbing problem? Or your car won’t work? Or you have a financial decision to make? Most of us look for an authority we can trust – right? And when we find them we go back again and again – right? How about you? Today we see and know better the authority of Jesus. What might this mean in your life as He works the gift of new growth?
Weekend of Feb.9th/10th New Paradigm (1)
Sorry. I use this word “paradigm too much. But I couldn’t help it. A paradigm is a way of looking at life. Jesus would give us the gift of a foundational, startling new beginning in how we see ourselves in the life we live. He said it best, “when you lose your life, you find it.” Today, as we come to know Jesus better, He would work this new beginning in each of us. What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Feb.16th/17th New Paradigm (2)
A paradigm is a way of looking at life. A new paradigm is a way of seeing things differently. Today, Jesus would give us a shocking new way to see reality…and where we fit into it as one who follows Him. Today, we come to know Jesus - and the lens through which He sees life – better. What might this mean for you?
Weekend of Feb.23rd/24th New Awe
What causes you to pause in awe? Is it a sunset in the Sierras or over the ocean? Is it the power of a storm or the crash of a 20 foot wave as it hits the shore? Is it an athletic feat or a musical performance? Is it the mystery of life or even our existence? Today God would reveal just a bit the glory and power of Jesus face to face! He wants us to know Him better so that we can live brand knew in the awe of this Savior who has come for us! What might this mean for you?