Posts Tagged good

Mark 10.17-31 “A Good Man is Hard to Find” 

  
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ ” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” [NRSV]

WHAT IS GOODNESS?

  • Be a good boy or a good girl?
  • Act like a good young man or good lady?
  • Work hard, follow the rules and do t get into trouble?
  • Do good things and you will become a good person?
  • Just avoid doing really bad things, get away with being good enough?
  • All wrong.

AM I GOOD? GOOD ENOUGH?

  • The short answer: no 
  • your no good, your no good baby your no good
  • And no matter what you give up you cannot buy, make, earn or steal
  • Goodness is a God given gift

THERE IS GOOD IN ALL OF US, Right?

I trust that is the image I which we are created
GOODNESS IS NOT SELF INTERESTED
GOODNESS IS GOD INTERESTED, GOD FOCUSED, GOD DRIVEN 

ITS TOO HARD TO BE GOOD

  • WE ENJOY BEING BAD
  • No one WANs to be the goody-two-shoes
  • No Eddy Haskle faking it when the auority is looking 
  • I fact there are times WE ENJOY DEFINING WHAT IS GOOD

WHO ARE WE TO DECLARE SOE THING TO BE GOOD, IF IT IS INDEPENDENT OF GOD

JESUS IS DEFINING GOODNESS AS GOD-ness. 

Good comes with the persecution
God is Good, so give God your self, your all. 
Am I all in? 

The reward of Goodness is realized in heaven 

  • The world will define its own goodness 
  • Good will not get you into heaven if it’s your own goodness
  • So what’s the deal with being good?
  • We think and behave is goodness because God is at work in us
  • Keeping the Rules for the rules’ sake, correctness is not God’S Goodness
  • Keeping the commandments because we trust God reflects Gods goodness guiding us

The time to be good: 

  • When our team looses. When our team wins
  • When face life. When we face death
  • When he world says it’s good to be bad, we ask Whatglories God
  • When wealth, comfort, fortune, acceptance surrounds us AND when povert, discomfort, rejection, and unfortuent events weight us, 
  • When we have governments we like and those we dislike, goodness is still defined by God, not politics, agendas nor principles. 

So is God my trust, my focus, my faith?

  • There are fears of wars, financial crashes, changes of power and culture
  • The Question: is it my Goodness that will save or Gods? 
  • Whomever can save us is the good that we are to follow.
  • So don’t follow me. I’m not following you. We are called to trust Good as Gods

This is what the world need to know

Not their they are bad, we are all short of Good if God is not at the heart

Are you telling the world that simple blessing 

“God is greatest, God is Good” everything and everyone else will fail you. 

Invite Gods goodness to make you Gods own Goodness 

 

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Ephesians 2.1-10 “Saved by Grace” RSUMC 201503015

HOPE_Deadend_RoadYou were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. [NRSV]

  1. Before you found salvation

    1. You were walking dead
    2. Traveling on a dead end road
    3. You were like zombies, those who thought the only thing real in this world was themselves, their own efforts and failure, their own riches or poverty, their own reality and rules.
    4. DON’T Go Back To That Pace!
  2. We once were children of wrath

    1. You love to push the limits of both God and yourself.
    2. How many people hate God because one or two people in the church act inappropriately
    3. How many people run from God because we never explained why God/Jesus/Spirit are vitially important to our own lives (We just hope they see the testimony we live and say nothing.)
    4. Say that one again: (We just hope folks see our intended testimony of our actions and we teach, explain, tell folks nothing to confirm they got the correct message.) SAVI
  3. But we are no longer on the dead end road.

    1. We are on the alive for evermore road
    2. We are on the alive road with Jesus
    3. We are on the alive road together with one another, we are not alone
    4. We are on the alive road that is paved with grace, paved with the sacrifice of blame, sin, curse, and judgement that is due us, but has been taken on by Jesus instead.
    5. Don’t be rude, but don’t get lost in political correctness,
    6. Reach out to the lost and show them, tell them, plead with them the way of grace in Christ.
  4. SO WHAT?

    1. So in at a future time, when we leave this earth and this physical body is no more
    2. So when Christ returns to claim us and clean things up for the fresh start.
    3. So at a time in the future of God’s own choosing we can look back and see that God is not nearly as concerned about where we have wandered, as much as God is ultimately concerned about our being with God for today and the time from NOW on.
    4. God is kind enough to judge us, give the sentence to himself, and restore our relationship.
  5. BOTTOM LINE:

    1. For we are what he has made us,
    2. We are created in Christ Jesus for good works,
    3. To become the people God has hoped and dreamed we would be
      1. for the way of life intended from the beginning.
      2. for the relationship that was at the start, God opens to us,
      3. because God operates from a bedrock, foundation of love and kindness.
  1. COUNTER Point: There are those who will be so quick to respond.

  1. Why did my parent or child or sibling have to suffer and/or die.
  2. Why did God take them?
  3. From a loving point of view, which would you rather God be interested in your life:
    1. The absence of a family member for four to forty years or for them to be absent in eternity?
    2. GOD is not punishing up with death.
  1. If God is so good and kind, why doesn’t God stop evil in the world? hunger, disease, acts of terror, etc?
  2. The presence of evil in the world affirm that we still have choice to live for God.
  3. If evil were removed from the world without our our choice in the matter, then life and relationships would not matter.

iii. The reality of evil is evidence that God is still wanting us to choose to be in relationship with God.

  1. If I give up to the dead end road and allow evil to consume my heart and intentions and actions, then I don’t need God.

Go back to the key verse, the heart of this passage to the church and community at Ephesus:

***STAR (by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is God’s gift.)

Step you through… Tab A into Slot B:

  • 1. Our life and relationships are entrusted to us from God. God made each of us, and declares we are good.
  • 2. Before, Christ, you and I  were walking dead…like zombies
  • 3. We lived like we had no choice and no help.
  • 4. Because God operates from Love, God has not forgotten nor forsaken us.
  • 5. Evil is still present because God still wants us to have a choice in the matter of our lives.
  • 6. By Faith, by intentionally choose to live in God and grow in God, the gift is opened and realized.
  • 7. We are in this together. See a zombie, open the love of God to them in kindness.
  • 8. God is more concerned about who you now than who you were, God makes us all new.
  • **Because God operates from love for us, God takes the time, for settling our crime.
  • God love us, the whole world, God waits patiently for us to want to travel with God…
  • Q: What road are you traveling? dead end or life transforming?
  • Q: People are going on the dead end road and we have news that will save them.
  • There are people who are living as though they are not spiritual people in a physical body.
  • Do go back down the road that dead ends
  • Do go back, Don’t give up
  • Turn town God, even at a crawl. baby steps before we run.

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Isaiah 1:1, 10-20 “Oh Little Town of Jackson, GA” JUMC 20130811

JAX
1:1 The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Listen to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

1:11 What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 12 When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; 13 bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation– I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. 14 Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. [NRSV]

Our reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah begins with a vision for the people of God. Isaiah is embolden to speak, teach and warn the people. The prophet’s word in phrase, is summed up by Aretha Franklin: “You Better Think!”

People walking around everyday, playing games, taking scores
Trying to make other people lose their minds.
Well be careful, you’re gonna lose yours.

Yeah, think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me
Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free

You need me (need me) and I need you (don’t you know)
Without each other there ain’t nothing we can do (AF: “Think” 1968)

Imagine the prophet coming to our town and saying, Oh Jackson, under the reign of Wayne, when we Georgia’s hand has a Deal, and the Oval office has an Obama, you are acting like you all live in Vegas or Chicago. You better wake up O little town.

The full activity of the temple worship goes under attack, the whole enterprise of religiosity is put on trial. You have a great number of members, you have special Sundays, dinners and picnics galore. You remember all the holidays and know all you favorite hymns. You look pretty, you sit reverently and call on me when you get into trouble.. Well no more of that!

1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

• Stop doing evil.
• Do Good
• Seek Justice
• Recuse the Perishing
• Care for the forgotten and the dying.

Here is how you town this town around.

There is an ultimatum:
You can do it God’s way or your way. You can eat of your own labor or you can be nourished by God work.
God’s way leads to life, your way just ends up empty and dead.

So what is it going to be?

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Luke 10:25-37 How Radical is My Hospitality? JUMC 20130714

street violence

10:25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” 29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” [NRSV]

How Radical is My Hospitality?

Our first practice is to be a good neighbor. What does it mean to be a ‘good’ neighbor. Sometime we want our neighbors to be quiet, private and not bother us. I happen to live in a neighborhood where neighbors genuinely look out for one another. But these are not my only neighbors.

There are neighbor that live less then a mile from my house that I have never met, but may know and see my witness.

We are neighbors with those who we work and interact in our daily living. People we know well and those we simply cross paths.

All my life I have heard some one say, “I’m not good a telling about my faith, I just try to live my life as a witness.” I suggest that is very dangerous. What if someone sees us on a bad day? What is the measure if they come in the room when we hear our frustration and fears without the rest of the story?

This story is about the part of neighborhood life that gets messy and involved.

If we are avoiding looking at the poverty, racism, crime, or other uncomfortable things, we are like those who keep their eyes on their own task and missed the neighbor in trouble. The jury is out on a case where the idea of neighbor has broken, badly. <comments on response based on trial outcome>

Just as that story is not in our neighborhood, neither is the Jericho story.

There is part of us that wants to applaud the neighbor who stayed out of the controversy and didn’t get involved in the politics

There is a part of us that wants to exclude the community folks who have important work that

There is a part of us that is afraid that trouble, danger and evil will come upon us if we get involved.

There is apart of us that knows being a neighbor will cost our time, energy, money and heart.

Jesus’s question is on who receives the title of GOOD.

Everyone’s work was important, one was Good.

Everyone’s was involved in some part of the community, one was Good.

Everyone was spending money, time, energy and heart, one was called Good.

Jesus’s definition of Good Neighbor is modeled by the person who got involved, got their hands dirty, got their heart mixed up with dangers and strangers,…

and responding in the way we would want someone to respond if we were in there victims situation.

So Aren’t we Good Neighbors?

The story does not point to how we are in relationship to the people most like us, or near us, our in our own circle, rather

How do we treat people who are different, injured, rejected, in trouble, and difficult.

Good neighboring is not convient, east, comfortable, affordable nor safe.

As the person near you, “Am I a Good Neighbor?”

Encouragement: We need to recognize, teach, model and celebrate when we see Good Neighbor are revealing Christ,

Not for ego’s sake, but that the world might know when Christ has come near in our hearts and lives.

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