Learning to Love Others as Jesus Does

Called To Pass The Jesus Blessing | February 27, 2017
Yesterday at VLC we talked about our vocation or calling to "see people" and to give them the "Jesus blessing." As we begin reading the book of Acts this week, the concept is once again reiterated to us by Jesus. To paraphrase, "Keep the main thing the main thing. Be animated by the Holy Spirit and let people see Jesus shine through you everywhere!" 

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Acts 1:7-8 (NASB)

Sorting Through Perspectives | February 28, 2017
As God is doing a work in our lives or in the lives of those around us, we often try to interpret them from our own perspective. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, only a few understood what God was doing. Those without the "intimate" understanding were left to sorting out what was happening through their own perspective. 

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”
Acts 2:12-13 (NASB)

Do You See Me? | March 1, 2017
One of the recurring themes that captures my heart is what I call, "the invisible man" theme. Because I am self-focused and live in a world of self-focused people, it is rare for myself or others to see each other. Now I don't mean "see someone," I mean "see someone."

When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.
Acts 3:3-5 (NASB)

The Ultimate Conductor | March 2, 2017
It is hard for us to see the "God-Connections" when we are experiencing difficulties. We seem to equate bad circumstances with the absence of God. However, the reality of this scripture and many others affirms that God is in ultimate control over every aspect of our lives. 

For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.
Acts 4:27-28 (NASB)

Miscommunication | March 3, 2017
Sometimes we will not escape the cruelty, jealousy, and judgement of others. Even if it is against wisdom, emotions run hotter than reason. Though this story is tragic at its base, it is a classic case of miscommunication. 

So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.
Acts 5:38-40 (NASB)