This month we’re in a 3-week series called Think Different. I’m writing the talks right now, but am excited to take on 3 topics that the Bible challenges us to think different about. Here’s where we’re headed:

People are mean. People are selfish. People let us down. We’re mean, selfish and let others down, too! With all of that in mind, it sure makes it difficult to love people. The world says there are all sorts of reasons to give up on people, but Jesus calls us to something greater. He calls us to show GRACE. Why show grace to other people? Because He has shown grace to us. We have been given forgiveness that we don’t deserve. Even though we fall wayyyy short of being perfect every day, the Lord still chooses to love us. In fact, grace is what separates our fleeting idea of love from God’s unconditional love. Grace allows us to see past people’s brokenness and love them as they are, because we have an understanding of God’s grace for us. God sees us as we could be, and once we realize God’s grace in our lives, we can truly love others, seeing them as God does- loved by Him. Think different and cut someone else some slack this week.

“Church is a place where I can go and hear a good message that makes me feel good about myself. But lately, I’ve stopped going because I’m just not getting anything out of it.” Sound familiar? What is church, really? Most people think of a building, filled with perfect people, eating donuts on a sunday morning, and listening to a talk that makes them feel good about themselves. Boy that sounds fun. Not. What is church, really? Church is more than a building. It is a living organism that covers the planet. A body of believers from every nation, every tribe, every language, worshipping the same God. Church is more than donuts and a message. Church is a community of broken people saved by grace who love Jesus. Church exists to encourage others in their faith, to share with those in need, to love those around us. The goal of church isn’t to get, but to give. Church isn’t about keeping us entertained, but getting involved. Loving others. Taking time out of our busy lives to serve. Giving back. Church is about worshiping God not only on Sunday, but every day, with our whole lives.

Look around the room. Really, take a look. Not one person in this room is perfect. We have all messed up and we will continue to do so daily. But that is why we are here at church. Because this is a place for the broken. It is a place for sinners, in desperate need of forgiveness. Jesus saw this need and died on the cross to sacrifice himself for our sin, taking on ALL sin so that we might one day receive the Kingdom of Heaven. But some of us abuse this grace. This wonderful gift we have been given. We see it as a free ticket to do what we want, when we want. But that is a huge misunderstanding. That’s NOT how this works. With our forgiveness comes a call to a new life. We are called to die to our old ways, our old wants, our own desires, and come and follow him. Only when we understand the gravity of that choice, are we able to fully live out the call HE has for our life.