Compelled: Part Six

Compelled To Receive • October 18, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft

Trust is the foundation of any relationship; without it, there is no connection or vulnerability. This holds true in our relationship with Christ. He's asking us to trust His heart, character, and ways. How we come to Him matters; the posture of our heart dictates our response. We have to see Jesus as worthy of giving our life to a purpose greater than ourselves. The only way to walk in the way OF Jesus is to walk in the way WITH Jesus. As believers in Christ, we aren’t called to end the chaos but to navigate it faithfully by remaining close to His side. God gives us enough light to take our next step of faith, not illuminate our entire path. The faith that was sufficient in the past is not enough for what we need in the future. Small acts of trust lead to more significant steps of faith.

Compelled: Part Five

Compelled To Seek • October 11, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft

Seeking and seeing are two vastly different things. God inviting us to "seek first His Kingdom" means that we do not readily see Him at work and compels us to pay attention. Navigating the chaos taking place in our world requires incredible wisdom and discernment. If we believe God's Kingdom is unshakable, then we need to learn how to see it so we can face any circumstance that comes our way with confidence, courage, and hope. We see what we cannot yet see by seeking. Blindness gets met with faith because of God's promise of revelation. How things get revealed in relationships is by shared experience - we need to spend time with Christ. By looking to Jesus, we learn more about God's love, character, and ways. Revelation isn't about creating anticipation or some dramatic experience; it's merely the reality of a relationship.

Compelled: Part Four

Compelled To Believe • October 4, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft

Many of us operate our lives with an "apology theology." When we believe forgiveness provides a license to continue to do what we want, we show a limited understanding of forgiveness, grace, and what it means to be a relationship. As a result, we cheapen grace. On the other hand, some of us walk around in a constant state of condemnation, shame, and guilt. We attempt to make up for our mistakes and earn His love. We lose sight that forgiveness isn't a system we exchange, but a state we call home. Forgiveness means we don't owe anything. Our chains have been broken, but sadly we keep holding on to them. We have to consider what holds us captive to understand freedom. Don't worry about bringing the fullness of your mess to Jesus. Sometimes the hardest thing to believe is that we simply have to believe.

Compelled: Part Three

Compelled To Hope • September 27, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft

If something is broke, you fix it - that's what we've always been told. We can all agree that we live in a broken and hurting world. Yet, when it comes to how we heal and solve these issues, disagreement and disillusionment creep in. Many of us reason that if we fix all the problems, we will finally experience peace. Problems drive a solution mindset; purpose fuels a redemption mindset. Our sense of frustration and anxiety serves as an indicator of our deep need for Jesus. Brokenness is met with hope because of the promise of Christ's redemption. The way of Jesus is not a strategy for solving the world's problems or fixing our issues, but rather a way of life under His rule as Our King. God-like love is a force that breathes worth and value into the soul of another. As Christ-followers, when we encounter brokenness, we enter into it, empathize with those who are hurting, serve, and bring hope.

Compelled: Part Two

Compelled To Enter • September 20, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft

We love loopholes that keep us from obeying Jesus. We distract and entertain ourselves with lesser things to avoid being moved by the brokenness around us. We look for ways to exclude while Jesus invites and encourages us to include. We ponder who we can keep out while we should be asking, “who can we invite in?” The power to make someone our neighbor gets sustained by His love for us. The way of Jesus redeems and heals our poverty, brokenness, bondage, and blindness. The love Jesus uses to pursue us is aggressive and tenacious. God-like love is a force that breathes worth and value into the soul of another person. God entered into our mess so we could wade into the problems in our world. We bring dignity to another soul by making them our neighbor.

Compelled: Part One

Compelled To Release • September 13, 2020 • Mike Ashcraft

Who is Jesus? Don’t answer so quickly. What we do with Jesus has massive implications on how we interact and see the world around us and our part in it. We often miss the things that make Jesus so compelling because we are trying to figure Him out, place Him in a box, or explain Him away. All at the same time, Jesus was overtly subversive, puzzlingly clear, and profoundly deliberate. The message He proclaimed was a radical one that tore down the rule of law and religious establishment. So, we want to slow down and look at the way of Jesus and what made Him unique. We perceive the Word of God by tuning our ears to His Son. To know what God’s character is like, we must pay attention to Jesus.