Pastor Joe takes some time to acknowledge that we will all encounter sin in life. In many cases it will be sin in other people, so he looks at how Christ dealt with it. Although all sin is equal in God's eyes, the way He handles it can be quite different.
God often calls us up to the plate in order to walk through defining moments in our life. Last week we looked at some very practical steps to help us in that process, but there is also a hard reality looming if we don't follow through. God accomplishes His plan no matter what, and thankfully He has a huge reservoir of grace when we run the other way.
Often times God uses defining moments in our life to shape us. The problem is that they aren't always easy to walk through, yet facing difficult situations is inevitable. The Bible, as well as those that have gone before, are a rich source to learn ways to stand tall and persevere when the fear of your next challenge begins to set in.
Many of the lessons in life that dictate how we treat others were learned at a very young age. There is also a good chance they came directly from God's Word even if they weren't taught that way. Our challenge becomes keeping these important ideals front and center in our lives no matter when, where, and from whom we first heard them.
There are a number of inspiring stories of people starting something great, but what makes a story memorable is actually the finish. Despite the start, nothing can overshadow a great beginning like a disastrous end, because it's the finish people pay attention to. The world needs more strong finishers, and once again, Jesus shows us the way.
Relinquishing control within a group that is not unified is the last thing most people want to do. We'd all rather solve any problems ourselves. But like often times with God, He will make incredible things happen towards restoration when we follow through with the tough stuff - like asking for help.
Have you every turned your house upside down looking for your keys only to find them in your pocket? What you needed so desperately was in your possession the entire time. Often times we don't pursue what's in our hearts because we think we lack the resources; all the while, God is prompting us to take a closer look at what we already have.