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?
Eric Crisp - Luke 2:41-52; Colossians 3:1-3, 12-17. Many live life without noticing the absence of Jesus. Others notice Jesus’ absence and, as they begin to look for him, wonder why he isn’t there. We rediscover Jesus, however, when we are in the Father and about the Father’s business, dwelling in the word of Christ and putting on love, peace, and thankfulness.
Steve DeNeff - Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-14. For many, the shift from Slave to Child is only self-actualization. They celebrate the privileges of a firstborn, yet forget their commensurate responsibility. Like Jesus, we are the Presence of God in this world. We live in the Father for the world. That is why Jesus’ birth and ours is “good news of great joy to all people.”
Emily Vermilya - John 1:1-2, 10-14; Colossians 2:9-10. When asked what God is like, most will say that He is “love” but do we know what this means? Jesus said, “The Father loves the Son” (John 5:20) and he prays “that the love you (the Father) have for me may be in them,” (John 17:26). In fact, the love of the Father for the Son and for us is the same love to the same degree. Just as the Father loved us through the Son, the Son will love others through us. God is not just the standard, but the Source of our love for others. This changes everything about the way we love one another.
Steve DeNeff - John 1:1-2, 10-14; Colossians 2:9-10. For many, their humanity is a weakness: “I’m only human,” they say to excuse their last failure, yet the more of these failures they have the less human they become. What if Jesus, and not somebody else, is the measure of our humanity? What if God took on our flesh so that we, in our flesh, can be like God? But how? In his humanity, God makes demands upon our humanity, yet He offers freely to give us all that He demands.