Closer: Part Four
Seeing & Being Seen • September 15, 2019 • Mike Ashcraft
We tend to search the Bible looking for principles to make our lives work. But, God's Word wasn't displayed to make our life work, but rather to provide us a way of life rooted in Christ. We'll never find meaning and purpose apart from our relationship with God. Everything in the Bible points us toward Jesus. Knowing God's intention for our lives requires us to know Him. Our most precise picture of God is Jesus because Jesus is God. He expressed His heart for us through Jesus. We need to see the One who sees us and loves us anyway. We draw close so we can see everything through Him.
Closer: Part Three
His Revelation - His Invitation • September 8, 2019 • Mike Ashcraft
Jesus invites us to "come as we are," but He doesn't intend for us to stay that way after an encounter with His love. Pride and self-sufficiency do not give way without resistance and a wrestling match. Sometimes God puts us in a situation to reveal something new about Himself. It is through this rumbling that our perspective of God's heart and character. When we avail ourselves to God, He shows up in fresh ways. Over time, when we walk by faith, the freedom and power of His love breathe life into our souls.
Closer: Part Two
A Better Way • September 1, 2019 • Mike Ashcraft
As humans, we love systems. We create them to reduce and understand as well as predict and comply. Our systems even creep into the way we relate to God. We attempt to find ways to manage our behavior, justify our actions, and lessen the divide our struggles created. Trying to balance out our morality by behaving better is an exercise in futility. We aren't made right by "do and then approach," but instead we find peace in the invitation of Jesus to "come and see." Christ offers a better way by making the old systems obsolete. Jesus didn't invite us into a network of religion, but a relationship fueled by trust.
Closer: Part One
Perceptions & Distance • August 18, 2019 • Mike Ashcraft
When you think of God, what do you picture? How would you describe Him? Don't disregard these questions. The image we hold of God matters more than we realize. The way we perceive God determines the way we approach Him. Understanding a person's character is what ultimately determines whether we place our trust in them. The good news is that God did not keep His identity a secret. He invites us to come closer and take a look at His character and being. God knows that if we come closer, we will catch a glimpse of His heart seen in the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. Everything that causes us to hesitate to come closer to God is a perception that needs to be met with a revelation.