43 Days in Mercy

One of the most difficult things that Jesus taught was that we are to love people who are hard to love. It is easy to love people with whom we have similar interests, people who don't have sins we think are repulsive, people who aren't annoying, people who share the same political views, and people who who don't require any energy from us. But if all we love are the people who are easy to love, then is Jesus getting through to us?

Join us in this Lenten season as we grow together in seeking out and maturing in this powerful ethic, and perhaps we can all then more deeply develop the kind of love that expresses itself in those famous words of Jesus: "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

1. Who was the Enemy of Jesus?

In our worldly condition, we punish our enemies with retaliation, attacks, condemnation, gossip, shunning, relational fractures, and more as we seek to have them submit. But, something changes after Jesus encounters us with mercy. We become equipped to love our enemies with mercy ... mercy wells up with compassion for the one who falters, continues to engage in the relationship, and withholds punishment.

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   March 1, 2020   |   Matthew 18:23-33

2. Mercy and Partiality

It is common for us to look at the appearance, history, or facts of a person, and then construct a whole biography. In doing so, we might show preference to one person over another. But the people of the Kingdom of God are all new creations - our past and appearance do not define our value, but rather the beautiful spirit that now dwells in us. Judgment looks at a person's history ... mercy forgets their history and looks to their future!

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   March 8, 2020   |   James 2:1-13

3. God's Compassion is in You

Whenever there is a widespread crisis, people feel that their lives are out of their control. This is understandable. In such a crisis, Christians bear the tangible message of the God who is ultimately in control, who loves lost people, and who compassionately ministers to them. Compassion can't be seen if Christians lock ourselves in our houses.

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   March 15, 2020   |   Luke 6:36

4. [Not] Walking Past the Suffering

The parable of the Good Samaritan could be viewed in a lot of ways, but at the heart of the message is a contrast between a person who was prepared to love, and others who were ill-prepared. Religion should not prepare you to be religious, but it should prepare you to love.

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   March 22, 2020   |   Luke 10:25-37

5. Is God's Wrath Upon Us?

Whenever we have times of difficulty, whether with an individual or to a society as a whole, we wonder if God is angry. We wonder if his wrath coming upon us. God's wrath is a reality, and Paul's letter to the Romans helps us to properly understand it.

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   March 29, 2020   |   Romans 5:6-11

6. Time for Patience

Patience is one of the core strengths that comes from God. Sometimes we need to be patient with a difficult person, and sometimes we need to be patient through a difficult time. Patience helps us to get things "right" rather than merely "right now".

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   April 5, 2020   |   James 1:2-4

7. Seeing Jesus in an Unsafe World

We all are feeling the emotional drain of the pandemic to some degree - for some it is severe. An Easter Scene on the Road to Emmaus is a helpful reminder of how we can support one another to find hope.

Doug Ellis  Doug Ellis    |   April 12, 2020   |  

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