Descending into Greatness 4.21.19

The Scripture this week is Philippians 2:6-11.

“Some may not be ready to bow your knee to Jesus because you have doubts and questions … you’re not convinced … but curious

The invitation for you is to continue on your course of curiosity – be honest with your doubts and lean into your questions – their your guides.

Some reject … may even ridicule Jesus’ resurrection and the claim that He is the Lord as nothing more than fantasy or magical thinking.

The invitation for you is to revisit the reasons you resist acknowledging Jesus as your savior and Lord … reconsider who Jesus is.

Others of us, maybe the largest number in this room, affirm the historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection.

We acknowledge Jesus as our savior.

But the resurrection and the name given to Jesus calls us to something far more than belief in the facts.

The invitation for us is to bend our knee in complete surrender to Jesus Christ as our Lord – he deserves obedience with every aspect of our lives as we follow Him.

At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord

In the end…we will all acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord.

So wherever we find ourselves today…Why not now?”

Silvina Erwin
Descending into Greatness 4.14.19

The Scripture this week is Philippians 2:6-11.

In our everyday vocabulary ‘down’ is not a word we welcome.

The way’s we use it betrays our attitudes: down and out, downfall, and downhearted.

Down is reserved for the depressed, the defeated, the weak, or the poor.

By contrast is down’s antonym - “up”. Up and coming. Upwardly mobile. Upscale. Upper class.

Up carries a more attractive appeal to us.

Up is the direction we all prefer to be heading with our lives.

Why Philippians 2 may be one of the most countercultural chapters in the Bible.

It’s message …

· Downward is the pathway that pleases God

· Greatness in God’s eyes is not a measure of self-advancement but self-abandonment

· The more we give up, the more we gain

The model of downward mobility was Jesus …

Silvina Erwin
Face2Face: When We Welcome the Stranger We Welcome Jesus

Matthew 25:31-45 and Hebrews 13:2

We’ve invested the last 8 weeks examining the ways Jesus welcomed people who weren’t seen as ‘safe’ or as being ‘too risky’ – people the NT referred to as ‘strangers’

What we’ve seen is that Jesus modeled a way of life marked by compelling curiosity, hospitality and love for the stranger.

We’ve looked at 8 stories of Jesus welcoming a wide spectrum of people …

* people across the boundaries of our deeply rooted and generational prejudices
* people who have hurt us in the past
* people with lifelong struggles/suffering
* people facing devastating moments
* people in their sexual brokenness
* people who step into our lives in surprising ways
* people who walk away from us and Christ
* people who are our enemies

Throughout this series we’ve looked at the stranger through the lens of how we bless and benefit the stranger when we welcome them into our lives:

* Treat people with dignity and kindness
* Listen to their story
* Respond to real/felt needs in generous ways
* Extend compassion, understanding, grace, mercy

We display the love of Christ in personal ways with the hope that the kindness shown in welcoming them might invite them to consider and welcome Christ.

In this final study I’d like us to look at it through a different lens …

The ways the stranger we welcome into our lives may bless and benefit us …

Inspire and challenge us to push beyond realm of ideas to change the ways we live … from thinking better to living better.

Silvina Erwin