This is the story of a collection of people who follow Jesus. We live in Littleton. We encounter people in the name of Jesus, we allow Jesus to turn us into disciples, we gather often, and we equip people to love and serve other people better.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sermon: Love unconditionally

February 12th, 2012 
Love Unconditionally
Matthew 5:27-30

Matt 5: 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Eph 5: 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

I Cor 13: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Last week we talked about avoiding lust, and guarding our hearts, this week we will talk about why we must do that.  We are talking about the value of marriage.  

1) Jesus is very serious about us protecting ourselves from illicit relationships.  This passage is loaded.  It is harsh.  It catches you a bit off guard on the first read.  With the loose morals of the day in which Jesus lived, this would have really made people sit up and take notice.  
eyes and hands are important
repeats phrase twice
consequence of not heeding advice is hell

2) We can see from these passages that when Jesus talks about marriage, he is thinking about his bride, the church.  For those who have a low view of marriage, and what it means, this passage sends a clear message.  Marriage is a big deal to Jesus, and is to be protected, even if it means great cost to the individual. 

3) Jesus sets the example for how we are to love, by loving us, his bride.  What does that say about how we are to love our brides (and our grooms).  How are you doing?  How do you measure up?


5) Marriage is a very humbling experience.  Nothing brings out our weaknesses, and underlines our failures like marriage.  If we are going to fail as individuals it is seen here first, and if we are unwilling to humbly face our faults, they will destroy us. 

6) But, in a bigger picture, this is not about our ability to follow the law, it is about our ability to accept grace and forgiveness.  Remember that the point of Jesus overall teaching is not that we must make ourselves follow the law, but that we must receive righteousness, by faith in him.  And that he who began a good work in us will complete it.  If we have accepted Jesus, we have imputed righteousness (we wear his Righteousness), but our actions are slower to catch up, and we must grow into our righteousness.

7) We are holy, but not yet holy. 

8) This does not mean we get a free pass.  The Bible says we must fight against temptation, and keep our eye on the goal and run the race, and throw off the sin that so easily entangles us.  We must struggle with everything within us to follow his example (not out of law) but out of gratitude.

9) Obedience is rooted in TRUST.  Do you trust that following God's word is the best way to live?  We become obedient as we daily surrender to His will, and this requires that we trust what He is telling us to do.  We can not obey Him with our full hearts if we do not trust that the direction He is leading us is truly the best.  And to be sure, our culture is doing everything in its power to convince us that God's ways are boring and pointless, and too difficult.

10) What simple strategies do you use to keep your marriage strong?  Are there things we can learn from each other?  What have you seen others do that worked?

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Email I received today from Kristan Hawkins: Making sense of the Komen v. Planned Parenthood Drama

Dear Friends, 

As many of you know, this week Planned Parenthood announced that the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Foundation was cutting it's funding to Planned Parenthood. Susan G. Komen grants make up about 1/20th of 1% of Planned Parenthood's annual funding. As you probably saw, Planned Parenthood went ballistic and launched a mafia shakedown campaign against the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Because they are under congressional investigation and their own President, Cecile Richards, has even admitted that 2011 was their worst year ever, they went on attack because Susan G. Komen pulled funding. And this morning the Susan G. Komen Foundation released an ambiguous statement which has confused everyone. We will not know for a few months whether or not Susan G. Komen has caved into the pressures of Planned Parenthood or not, but it looks like they have. But here is what we know: 1) Susan G. Komen alerted Planned Parenthood that would not renew their funding for Planned Parenthood. However, they admitted they will continue grants to 3 Planned Parenthood locations in low-income areas in the mean time, until other community organizations location could receive the funding. 2) On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood released an emergency fundraising appeal announcing that the Susan G. Komen Foundation would no longer fund them. As you probably saw, a mafia-style shakedown has been raised by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood asked businesses to withdraw funding from Susan G. Komen and asked donors to no longer give to the charity. Simply put, Planned Parenthood told Komen "either give us money or we will destroy you." They were aided and abetted in this hostage taking by the mainstream media. 3) This morning, the Susan G. Komen Foundation issued a statement saying they apologized for the way Planned Parenthood had been treated and will re-evaluate their grant process and "continue to fund existing grants including those to Planned Parenthood." 4) We don't know what this means. We do not know if this means that Susan G. Komen will simply fund those 3 locations they mentioned previously until they find an alternative replacement or if they have caved in to the pressure of Planned Parenthood and will continue funding the abortion Goliath. 5) Planned Parenthood has held women with breast cancer hostage. They have launched a mafia-style shakedown just like they did when the state of Indiana voted to de-fund them. If you remember back a few months ago, they successfully worked with the Obama administration to threaten to withhold all federal medicaid funding to the state of Indiana (money that pays for the healthcare of those who cannot afford it) unless the state re-instated their funding to the abortion Goliath. So, this is what you need you to do: We need you to immediately contact Susan G. Komen ( and tell them not to cave and give into Planned Parenthood's bullying. Tell Komen that their organization should not be aligned with an organization like Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in the country, because it is a proven fact that abortion causes breast cancer. (Go here to see the studies that prove the link: Friends, I promise to keep you alert of what is going on. Please pass on this message and spread the word via e-mail and social media today and this weekend by sending this link: Also, on a personal note: my grandmother suffered from breast cancer, and I am deeply committed to finding an ethical cure for all cancer. However, I will not be donating to the Susan G. Komen Foundation until we know for sure that they haven't caved to Planned Parenthood's bullying and are not giving one dollar to the abortion Goliath. 

Thank you for all that you do for Life, 

Kristan Hawkins
Executive Director 
Students for Life of America

Posted via email from Mark Kraakevik