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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Words of Encouragement October 15, 2017

We had a good Sunday School lesson with our substitute leader. We celebrated communion and the Pastor delivered his final Sermon on Tension. (After church we had a lovely congregational picnic.)

Accept the tension. Where there is tension, there is power. Tension brings us to a decision point.

If you have ever been to a Sleep Number store, you know that you test the bed. As you adjust the controls, there is a point where the body relaxes. It finds a comfort zone. There is a different point of comfort to suit different people. We each tend to find our own spot of comfort, rest, and safety.

But tension can bring opportunity. For the Christ follower, the comfort zone is the most dangerous place to be.

Soldiers who fought for freedom know part of natural tension. People at home remember the fight for freedom with celebrations and apple pie. But if we truly begin to forget the cost of freedom, God can kick us out of our comfort zones.

The Holy Spirit is the comforter, because we need comfort when we experience tension. Jesus sent the disciples out as lambs among wolves and told them to take nothing with them. Luke 10: 1-4. Would we go with nothing if He sent us? Jesus mission does not provide a comfort zone.

1 King 19:19-21 tells how Elijah went and found Elisha to train under him. Elisha killed his oxen and burned his plow, his former work implements, to destroy any backup plan as he stepped forward into God’s plan.

Positive tension is created when we become a Christ follower. As followers we are to do more than coming to church each Sunday.

Point: Power is not in the comfort zone. The power is in the tension created when we step out of the comfort zone.

Jesus adjures us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. Luke 9:23. It is a daily thing. When was the last time you took up cross?

Matthew 14 tells the story about Jesus walking on water and surprising the disciples in the boat. Peter was the only one who said, “call me out”. Stepping out of the boat most of us would immediately sink, but Peter stepped out and only began to sink after a few steps. There comes a time to get out of the boat instead of letting the work boat become a cruise ship.

Do you just talk about God or do you step out? The cross is no place of comfort.
Take up your cross, today and the next, and the next. God has power for you.
Lean into the tension; create the opportunity. Take the gospel out each day.

This song video fit with today's message.

Verses for Today:
Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Lord, help me to step out of the comfort zone and carry the cross for You each day.

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