Does Worshiping God Really Matter?

We have all been there, haven’t we? Life isn’t fair. Being a generous, loving person doesn’t guarantee anything. Why do I keep following Jesus, when the wicked get all the goodies?  It is so easy to end another week of life bitter and confused.

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Roger Greene Comments

The Burden of Self-Justification

Because of God’s mercy we don’t need to be afraid to be honest about all of who we are. The self that needs to justify its existence is constantly editing out our failures; the self that knows it is loved, in spite of our flaws, can afford to acknowledge all the chapters of our lives. Self-accusation is the light burden when we have the capacity to love ourselves—warts and all.

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The Church--The Challenge of Life Together

Apparently, the great theologian Karl Barth was once asked after a lecture, “Do you think we’ll see again those we love in heaven?” Barth answered, “Yes, I do. And those we hate.” I have a hunch that one of the reasons many people find it hard to be a member of a church is that disciples are called to live with those we find very disagreeable—and yes sometimes hate.

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Roger Greene Comment

Lack of Connection and Depression

Social scientists have been asking a cross-section of U.S. citizens a simple question for years: “How many confidants do you have?” They wanted know how many people you could turn to in a crisis, or when something really good happens to you. When they started doing the study several decades ago, the average number of close friends an American had was three. By 2004, the most common answer was none. It’s worth pausing on that: there are now more Americans who have no close friends than any other option.

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Being Ashamed of Jesus

If I am truly honest with myself, I could identify any number of times that I have been “ashamed” of Jesus and the Gospel. As a preacher, I have often been afraid to challenge a congregation with the full implications of the Gospel because I was afraid of my loss of status in their eyes. Surprise! Like most people I like to be liked.

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Valuing Every Person

Most churches, including my own, are involved in all sorts of ministries that respond to the needs of others. The great danger in these ministries is that we forget that we are all in the same boat. We quickly divide up people between those with something to offer and those in need, those serving and those being served. As we make this division, it is easy to divide people between those who have value and those who don’t.

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Compartmentalized Religion

For Paul religion wasn’t something separated from the rest of life, it had to do with the totality of life. It had to do with how you related to your neighbors and  political authorities. It had to do with what you ate and with whom you ate. Religion had to do with the biblical hope that one day God would act decisively to establish his kingdom and make this world what God wants it to be.

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Failure and Renewal

The earliest witnesses of the Good News didn’t see their failures as an embarrassment to be denied, but as an essential chapter of the Good News. The Good News is not just that God raised Jesus from the dead, but that God transformed a bunch of total failures into a movement that changed the world.

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