We follow Jesus
Be faithful. It's worth it.
Being faithful in your marriage will sometimes be difficult. But it's worth it. Similarly, being faithful to God can also be difficult. But it also is worth it.
In order to be faithful, you'll face times when you have to trust God's promises rather than what you think you know or see. Fortunately, you can ask for God's help.
God, help us to be faithful! Thank you. Amen.
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Ask God to help you to see like Simeon and Anna
Simeon and Anna each did something remarkable.
Simeon looked at the baby Jesus and saw the savior of the world.
Somehow Simeon was able to recognize all the possibilities of the future when he saw the baby before him.
Others in the Temple that day only saw a baby brought by a poor couple who couldn't afford a sheep for the required sacrifice.
But Simeon saw what he had been longing to see before he died.
Anna had a similar experience. Anna was a prophet, at least 84 years old. She saw the baby Jesus and started to praise God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna saw what Simeon saw and likewise rejoiced. But then she sought out others to tell them the good news. Anna was strategic. She knew who to tell. She sought out the people were who were looking for Jerusalem's redemption, and brought the news to them.
God, thank you for people who can see what you're doing early and who act appropriately. Help us to value your work at whatever stage we see it. Thank you. Amen.
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Stand your ground
Sometime this year you will need to stand your ground in the face of pressure from others.
Elizabeth is a great example of someone who stood firm in the face of community pressure.
Be encouraged by watching the video below. The sound quality is a little scratchy, but the content is great. Click the triangle in the center to start it .
God's ideas often sound like they won't work.
We reject them because they don't seem believable or reasonable. But Mary said yes to God (in Luke 1) even though what she heard didn't seem very likely. You can, too.
Most of us reject some of the good ideas God gives us because we have other priorities. We haven't trained ourselves to listen closely to God and to joyfully follow God's direction. So we miss many great opportunities, focusing instead on the small things that capture our attention.
Sometimes we dismiss the ideas God gives us because they don't seem that important. "I can do that later," we say, or even, "I can do that any time." But God lets us know when the timing is exactly right, when immediate action will have dramatic impact. It's helpful to listen to God for timing as well as for ideas of what to do.
Occasionally we hear from God about something that seems completely unreasonable. We don't believe it could be God talking to us. That's why it's so important to get practice listening to God, so we recognize God's voice even when God tells us something we don't believe.
A week ago, no one thought someone could sell a banana for $120,000. It sounded ridiculous! But artist Maurizio Cattelan's gallery sold three such bananas in just one weekend.
Some of the ideas we hear from God will sound as impossible as finding buyers for three $120,000 bananas. We'll be tempted to dismiss God's ideas as unreasonable. But the world will be changed if we get to know God so well that we trust God even when everyone else thinks what God is telling us doesn't make sense.
God, help us to follow you, even when it doesn't make sense to ourselves or to others. And help us to let go of things that aren't from you, even if we don't (yet) recognize the danger. Thank you. Amen.
Watch this week's video for more encouragement. Click the triangle in the center to start the video.
Improve your life. Learn about Jesus and discover what the Bible says.
Pastor Mark's messages will give you something to think about each week. His clear teaching on the Bible will help you apply it to your life.
Our mission statement is simple: We follow Jesus. When you arrive, you'll find kids, parents, and grandparents, all worshiping together in one extended family.
Our worship service is at 9:30 a.m. From September through June, kids are invited to be in the worship service for part of the time with us and then to go to Sunday School after the children's message. In July and August, kids are part of the whole worship experience. (A nursery is provided for kids under three.) Worship is followed by coffee at 10:45 and Bible Study at 11:05.
Pastor Mark is the author of How to Pray for Healing (and what to do if nothing happens).
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7111 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, California, 92037
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