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God's voice can be difficult to hear, as the boy Samuel found out. However, Samuel was able to discern God's voice through the help of his mentor Eli and through praying this prayer: "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." Often, the first step needed to hear God's voice is simply to listen.
On Friday, Jesus was crucified, and his followers were overcome with pain. On Saturday, they waited, and nothing made sense. But on Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, and they experienced deliverance. Whether you find yourself in a time of waiting or pain, Easter means that Jesus still delivers us from death to life, hope, and love.
While it's easy to see greed as a temptation only for the very rich, the desire for more affects all of us. Instead of accumulating as much as possible and holding on for dear life, though, Jesus teaches that generosity sets us free from greed and lets us live lives of blessing for others.
Whether it's food, shopping, or scrolling on our phones, we all struggle with wanting more than is good for us, and the excess leads to ruin. But God desires our freedom, and through the virtue of temperance, helps us trust that Jesus is enough. Find sermon notes and more at https://acts2umc.org/sermons/gluttony-and-temperance/.
It's easy to respond with anger when things don't go our way, but patience allows us to let go of the anger that ensnares us.
How can we best love our families? In the conclusion to “Relationship Bootcamp,” we look to the latest research and biblical wisdom for dealing with parents, children, and in-laws.
We all have difficult people in our lives, and we struggle to know how to be in relationship with them. The Bible gives us guidance for how to relate to wise, foolish, and evil people. When we follow this teaching, and we set and maintain healthy boundaries, we grow in our ability to love others and ourselves.
Relationships are the greatest source of both joy and pain in our lives. But before we can begin to improve our relationships, we have to start in the right place—the love of God that makes possible our love for others. Our ability to love begins with the recognition that God first loved us.
What is perhaps most unexpected in the Gospel of Mark is the ending. In the oldest manuscripts, the Gospel ends with three women finding Jesus’ tomb empty, encountering an angel, and fleeing; “and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Their encounter shows us the consequences of fear in our own lives. Learn what Jesus teaches about fear so that we can live unafraid.