Going Deeper

1.30 - 2.4.2023

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Questions?

Pastor Jim Hoffman

816.523.6788

circleemail

  • SCRIPTURE

    • Matthew 4:12-17

    • Mark 1:14-15

    • Luke 4:16-21

    • Isaiah 9:1-2, 42:1-9, 58:6, 61:1-4

  • REFLECTION

    As most of you are aware, Margaret and I take a few road trips each year to visit our granddaughter, Chloe, and her parents.  Before this last summer, it was to Warren, Ohio but now they live in Monroe, MI.  It is not exactly a straight shot from our house to theirs.  You actually have to make several turns onto different roads to get there.  Typically, once I get to Indianapolis, I put their address into my GPS and follow it the rest of the way.  Some of you have done this and in doing so you probably experience the same results I do.  GPS offers you several different routes and you have to decide which one to take.  If you do not mind tolls, you can select that route.  If you do, then it will offer you a route that avoids tolls.  I have even noticed that when I put in their address while at home in our driveway it will suggest a route through Des Moines and over through Chicago instead of through St. Louis and Indianapolis.  Usually I select the quickest route especially since we have never made it there in under twelve hours.  While there are options, there is usually a best way to go.

     

    The prophet Isaiah describes the people as dwelling in darkness.  We all know that true darkness makes it difficult for us to know where to go.  I have stubbed many a big toe wandering in the darkness.  Isn’t it funny how often we think we know where we are going only to find out we are lost (wandering in the proverbial darkness.)  Parts of life are often like that; sometimes it feels like all of life is like that.  Certainly, in the times where we are trapped in our self-centered and sinful ways, we are in darkness whether we realize it or not.  At least until someone comes along and points us in a different direction.

     

    God became one of us not to merely tell us about a different way.  Anyone can tell you which way to go.  Instead, Jesus came to show us the way to go.  For me, it is like going to Brookside market and asking the manager, where are the diced pimentos?  He has yet to say to me, “They are on this isle, half way down, on the left side in the middle.”  Actually, he takes me on the journey and shows me exactly where the pimentos are located.  Jesus not only says to us, repent (which in the Greek means literally “go a new direction”) but Jesus shows us the new direction he is leading us to go.  That new direction is into the kingdom of heaven that is come.

     

    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Pause for a while and discern where you find yourself spiritually – dwelling in darkness or walking in a different direction that is light and life.  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

  • QUESTIONS & ACTIONS

    Questions to Consider this week:

    • Monday:  Is there something that you repeatedly do even though you know that it is wrong, sinful?  What is it?
    • Tuesday:  Have you ever prayed that God help you to stop doing it or have you resigned to the notion that this is just the way you are?
    • Wednesday:  What steps are you taking that lead away from “darkness” and toward God’s light?
    • Thursday:  What specific thing about Jesus is an example for you of what it means to dwell in light?
    • Friday:  When Jesus says, “the kingdom of heaven is near” what do you think this means spiritually and physically?
    • Saturday:  What do you believe your path looks like in an effort to follow Jesus?

     

    Actions for the Week:

    • Head:  Assess the internal voice and the positive or negative things it is telling you.
    • Heart:  Consider the ways in which you are resisting God and the ways in which you are a repentant follower.
    • Hand:  Adopt an attitude of prayer empowering you to consistently seek the way God would have you to go.

  • PRAYER

    Eternal God, you invite us to follow and become fishers of others.  You equip us with talents and gifts for our venture.  We humbly respond to your gracious invitation and place our gifts at your disposal.  As we go out to serve, receive the results of our efforts in your name.  Turn them to good where we have erred.  Shed light on our path as we seek to abide in your way.  Amen.