• Lori Somerville

In Matthew 8 there is a story about Jesus that struck me the other day. Jesus enters Peter's house and finds Peter's mother-in-law in bed with a fever. Jesus touches her hand and the fever leaves and she gets up and begins to serve Him. (See Matthew 8:14-17). The entire story is only 3 lines long but doesn't this paint a rather amazing picture of what our Christian walk should look like? Jesus touches us and we rise from our "sick beds" and begin to serve him.

The word service gets a bad rap in today's "me first" world. Yet even Jesus made it clear that his purpose in coming to earth was to serve others. Jesus modeled service for us. The Bible tells us that everywhere that Jesus went he served the people around him: he taught them, he fed them, he healed them, he cast out their demons, he encouraged them towards freedom. And then he carried out the greatest act of service of all – when he placed himself on the cross for my sins and yours.

Service is nothing more than love in work clothes.

The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the greatest love story ever told. It’s the story of a God who created the world with us in mind. Who created a way out when sin entered the world causing us to be separated from him. Who has a plan to reunite us with him. Why? Because he loves us. He chose us. He longs for a relationship with us. Think about that. The God of the universe created the world with us in mind. The God of the universe sent his son to die for our sins. What greater service is there?

In a world that at times feels like it is commitment - phobic there has never been a better opportunity to let our service reflect our love for our families, our churches and our communities. The world we live in today is saturated with words...….everyone has an opinion and feels obligated to share it...….which is why the world needs us as Christians to become a people of less talk and more walk.

We don't need to shout our opinions louder than the next guy …. what the world needs is a demonstration of the love that God has for each person we encounter today...…..through our acts of service.

Matthew 20:25: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We are called to become great servants. To let the love that God has poured out on us pour out of us into the people around us through our service.

Who are you called to serve today?

  • Lori Somerville

I scrolling through my Facebook Feed the other day and post after post was of a bible verse or some cute little statement pulled from the Bible and given a modern slant (some completely taken out of context but that's a whole other post :) ). It made me wonder are we really helping to share the gospel by doing this or are we giving Christianity a bad rap?

I will absolutely be the first to admit I do it. All the time. And sometimes people reach out to me and tell me that the words I posted helped them through their day. So it's not a bad thing. Unless our bumper sticker verses on social media are the only exposure people have to Christians and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our Christian faith is not defined by knowing a few Bible verses or a certain prayer but having a living, breathing, vibrant relationship with Jesus. And let's be honest, more and more people every day are falling victim to the lie that what happens on our social media pages are real. I've had adult friends be totally devastated by someone "unfriending" them on Facebook. So let me start by simply stating this: "The reason Facebook and other social media applications are so popular is because they allow us to escape our reality". On social media you can be anything you want to be. It's every little girl and boy's dream - you can put yourself out there as a superhero or a princess and even get your ego stroked in the process.

But the reality is that none of it is real. And when we are walking through a season of grief or loss or hurt or when we are facing off with some of those deeply broken places inside of ourselves a bumper sticker version of a verse from the Bible isn't going to cut it. We need relationship. We need community. We need to know that even when we fall there are people around us who will pick us back up. Even if we walk away there are people who will stand watching and waiting for our return so that they can welcome us back with open arms. We were created for community.

And the reality is that when all we give a person is a couple of words pulled from the Bible we are robbing that person from receiving the raw beauty and power of the Bible. When I first began reading the Bible none of it really made sense to me. I didn't get what a lot of it had to do with me. Until I did. And then my whole world changed. My time of reading the Bible went from something I did because I was supposed to to something I did because it releases power and strength into me to face my day, my week, my month, my year.

The world needs Jesus. That has never been more true. But what the world really need is us. A group of people bold enough to present them with the real gospel. To introduce them to the real Jesus. To the strength and power and joy that our faith provides. They don't need more words...….they need a people willing to disciple those around us right into the Kingdom of Heaven. They need people willing to wade right into their brokenness and walk through it all with them.

Will you be the one?

  • Lori Somerville

Last year was a tough one for me. There was a lot of good but in a lot of ways 2019 was a giant test for me………and there were some lessons that I failed miserably and a few where I aced the test. It was a year of facing off with the brokenness inside of me. But 2019 simply led me to where I am today – recognizing my need for God in my life.

Have you ever heard someone say “God will shake all that is shakable so that all you are left with is what is unshakable? Well that sums up this past year.

But what I discovered and what I found I was left with- is Him. Just Him.

And as I face yet another year that’s enough for me.

Other than God – everything else in my life is shakable – jobs (I’ve lost jobs), my marriage, relationships with family, friendships, ministry – it can all disappear in the blink of an eye.

I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself in a place where it felt like God was literally all I had left. And I didn’t like it at first. I wanted security. I wanted comfort. I wanted someone else to tell me I was going to be okay (as though that would make it so).

And what I got instead was more of Him. And it was worth all the pain, all the loneliness, every bit of it.

I’m hoping today to show you why………….to spur something inside of you to want more of what is available to us all as followers of Christ………….

Matthew 13

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

In these parables, some of the shortest parables Jesus taught, he teaches us two things:

1. The Kingdom of Heaven is a priceless treasure that is to be valued above all else.

or bank statement you can tell within a matter of minutes what they value above all else. What does your bank account tell about your value system?

2. People who become a part of God’s heavenly Kingdom must be willing to give up everything that could hinder their relationship with God or prevent them from accomplishing his purposes for them.

How many of us are really ready to sacrifice our pleasures, our comforts for Jesus?

He is teaching us that the Kingdom of Heaven is our treasure & it should become our absolute highest priority. We can’t earn our way in. We have to follow Him.

We aren’t talking about a call to poverty or to reject what we have or to deny our God-given gifts and abilities.

What we are talking about is a call to be devoted to Christ

Placed at his service

And under his grace & guidance

To leave our comfort zones and wade out into the big beautiful crazy messy world and BE JESUS

He tells us that the kind of devotion he is looking for isn’t for everyone. I want us to be a people ALL IN for Jesus. Sold out. Devoted. Willing to walk through the fire to claim the prize……………..

Heaven on earth is possible but you have to be all in. God is in a good mood. He longs to pour out the more over you but you have to take a step forward in faith.

Let’s go after the more.

Let’s not be satisfied with the status quo

Let’s give more of ourselves & trust that God is going to meet us there with more of HIM

I don’t want to play at church anymore – I want to be the church

I want the MORE that God has for me and I am going after it in 2020 - Will you join me?