The gospel as revealed in Holy Scripture serves us in a number of ways. One of those ways is to encourage followers of Jesus. Christians are not immune from discouragement. In fact, as Christians come to see their own weaknesses and failing more clearly, they are often very much in need of encouragement. The Apostle Paul demonstrates in his words and in his actions how the gospel serves to encourage us. And we, likewise, should look for opportunity to encourage those we touch each day.
God has a plan, a mission, for each Christian. He had one for the Apostle Paul. Paul was committed to that mission even though many of his friends and other Christians tried to dissuade him. Even though he knew it would likely mean hard times. Even though the Prophet Agabas predicted he would end up ‘being bound’, presumably by the Romans.
So, who is my neighbor? And how might I love that neighbor? These are questions asked 2000 years ago by a Jewish lawyer, but we ask the very same question(s) if we would be honest. Pastor Alan offers some very helpful, practical advice on just how this might be done.
2016 has seen a significant increase in tension between African Americans and the rest of the population. Race has been an issue in most cultures throughout history. Pastor Frison challenged us to engage in the dialog, engage in our community, engage with believers ‘who don’t look like us’. The best hope for progress is if Christians can demonstrate the power of Jesus to break down the wall that separates races in America.