Steve DeNeff - Mark 8:31-9:1. What is it about Jesus that most surprises you about God? The images that we have of God come early in life and, over time, become fixed and then fragile. When something goes wrong, or when God is silent for a period of time, it rattles these images and we let go fo them a little. Something about God “dies” and in this death, something new, something stronger, more personal and closer to the Truth rises in its place. This cycle, known as “conversion,” is a predictable, normal and even healthy process. By holding on to things we know for sure, we can emerge from this “death of God” experience with a stronger grip on Him who was dead and is alive forevermore.
Joanne Solis-Walker - Acts 10:25-35; Isaiah 43:18-19. Cornelius, an officer in the Italian group of the Roman Army did not expect to be in the presence of Peter and yet Peter stood before him. The thought of Peter welcoming men from Caesarea into his house was not conceivable, yet the men are not only welcomed, but Peter invites them to spend the night. Though alienated from each other, these two men were brought together by unexpected visions from God. These visions represented something new that exceeded their wills and imaginations. In a similar manner, God is doing a new, new thing today to bring to fruition the vision He has for His Church.
Steve DeNeff - John 11:38-45. In one of Jesus’ most memorable and disruptive miracles, he raises Lazarus from the dead. But this time he does not finish the miracle alone. He orders his disciples to “take off the grave clothes and let him go.” This week, we’ll profile some of our people who have been forming one another communities across our city. We’ll tell their stories and celebrate the ways that they have been “taking off the grave clothes” for people that Jesus has raised from the dead.
Steve DeNeff - Luke 11:1-10. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer… Have equal concern for one another… (and) pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Steve DeNeff - John 13:1-17. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves; each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others… Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Steve DeNeff - John 8:1-11. “Do not repay evil for evil; if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone… be patient, bearing with one another in love… Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another; forgive, as the Lord forgave you… Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed… (and) remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his ways will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
Steve DeNeff - Matthew 7:24-29. “I am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another… Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ… and let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom… set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Steve DeNeff - Matthew 9:18-26. “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another… Don’t grumble against each other or you will be judged, for the Judge is standing at the door… Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing… Let us hold unswervingly to the hope that we profess… and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Do not give up meeting together – as some are in the habit of doing – but let us encourage one another, and all the more as we see the (last) Day approaching.”
Steve DeNeff - Luke 5:27-32. “Live in harmony with one another. Don’t be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position… Do not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another… Instead, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another… accept one another, just as Christ accepted you in order to bring praise to God… be devoted to one another in brotherly love (and) honor one another above yourselves… be kind and compassionate to one another… offer hospitality to one another without grumbling… and when you gather to eat, you should wait for each other.”
Steve DeNeff - John 17:20-26. In Jesus, God’s solution to a universal problem is a particular person and not just a person but a people through whom God will bless the earth. These people live with God and God lives through these people in ways that are peculiar, yet attractive to the rest of the world. Jesus, the Son of God, is the whole Church in the shape of a single person. What if a whole community moved toward this together, from slave to child? What if the Church was truly the Body, the physical Presence of Christ in the world? If we lived together as God lives within Himself, in the Trinity, how would we live And how would it be peculiar yet attractive to the way everyone else lives?