Taking Jesus Seriously
Happy New Year and welcome to 2024! I like to begin the new year with two questions:
1. What did you learn in 2023? How did you grow?
2. What are your main priorities or goals as we begin 2024?
On Wednesday night, Jan. 10, Jay and I will lead a special session in the chapel at 6:15 PM called “How to Grow in 2024.” Dinner will be served at 5:30 PM in Drowota Hall and all are welcome. Board members, elders, and deacons are requested to attend this gathering as we talk about Woodmont’s focus areas and priorities for this new year. Also, remember that nominations are now open for leadership through the month of January.
This Sunday, we will begin a new sermon series called “Taking Jesus Seriously” based on the Sermon on the Mount. The first sermon (Jan. 7) will focus on our core beliefs and what we understand to be our foundation as Christians. We will then move on to the beatitudes, the blessed life, as well as the topics of anger, fear, anxiety, worry, prayer, judgment, lust, money, and many others.
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is viewed by many as the heart of Christian teaching. I once heard one NT scholar refer to it as the “greatest hits of Jesus.” However, these teachings are not easy to put into practice. They are difficult and represent a revolutionary way of living that will create the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. So how do we take Jesus at his word and put these teachings into practice? How do we make our faith, prayer life, and spiritual growth a top priority? How do we live in a counter-cultural way, based on love rather than selfishness, that demonstrates the depth of our faith and commitment? Furthermore, how do we do this as a community?
This is what we will be exploring in the coming weeks and I encourage you to go ahead and begin reading the Sermon on the Mount in your own devotional life. Pray over it. Reflect on it. Talk about it. You may be surprised where the journey will take you and how you will be challenged. Here’s to a great new year!
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