Redlands Christian Reformed Church are a community of people, of all ages and cultural backgrounds, that come together in the Redlands.
Our common link is Jesus Christ and our desire is to worship God and help others in their relationship with God.
The Heart of Discipleship (AM Service) - Audio
It is possible to misunderstand following Jesus as merely following a set of rules. That is especially a danger as we come to the end of a set of instructions and hear Jesus urging us to put His teaching into practice. But that is not a good summary of the life of discipleship. A far better picture is the one Jesus uses here, of fruit trees producing their fruit and of hearts that produce good works. To understand that picture and to understand what it has to do with coming to Jesus, listening to Him and doing what He says, we will need to delve into what the Bible means when it speaks of our 'hearts'. Then the question will be, how do we get a heart that produces good fruit, rather than bad?
Bible Text: Luke 6:43-49
Correcting Without Judging (AM Service) - Audio
'Do not judge, and you will not be judged.' So begins our passage from Luke for today. These are well known words but not always well understood words. They sound good to our cultural ears, we like the idea of not judging others. Although as we look around we see a world that is becoming increasingly censorious and quick to write people off. We also know that Jesus in saying this is making a moral command, a judgement if you like. Something He does quite often. So how does this work? What place is there in the Christian community for correction and for calling something right and others wrong? How can we do that in a way that builds community rather than fractures it? In a way that brings peace rather than division and turmoil? Jesus teaches us about that in this wonderful section of His sermon to His disciples.
Bible Text: Luke 6:37-42
Love Your Enemies (AM Service) - Audio
Life as disciples of Jesus would not be easy. To be a Christian will be different; it will be radical; it will be hard. At the beginning of the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus presents a picture of what life would be like as a disciple. They would be rejected and despised. Now, Jesus’ attention turns to love, not an ordinary love but a difficult and superior form of love. He says we are to love our enemies. A seemingly crazy response to hurt, but a love that is an appropriate response for a disciple who has experienced God’s mercy and forgiveness. A response that was to be different than society’s norm. At the time retribution was the common response when someone hurt you, abused you, or did anything to you that was unjust. Jesus presented a new standard, a non-violent, positive approach to any form of hostility. Jesus says we are to love our enemies. So, how are we understand these verse and, more importantly, how are we live this out?
Bible Text: Luke 6:27-36
The Way of Discipleship (AM Service) - Audio
As we continue through Luke, we read about Jesus picks his 12 disciples and then he goes into a sermon message. This is similar to the Sermon on the Mount that we find in Matthew, but Luke’s version is a lot shorter. Jesus begins his sermon with four blessings, defining to his disciples the effect that following him will have on their life. Jesus then adds four woes or warnings to guard against. What we read is a little disconcerting. What is Jesus’ point in defining discipleship this way? The question is, will you treasure Jesus more than anything else? What looks like the good life isn’t that good after all, because it brings only temporary pleasures. The call to follow Jesus is one of total commitment, with it comes the kingdom of God and in it you will be satisfied.
Bible Text: Luke 6:12-26
Faith in the Sight of Death (AM Service) - Audio
Genesis 23 marks, in many ways, the end of the account of Abraham in Genesis. There is a little more on him, but the focus in chapter 24 shifts to Isaac's life. This is an odd section. We have the death of Sarah and then a great deal of information on buying a field. Why? Why is this even significant enough to include in the Bible, when so much else is left out? The answer lies in seeing how Abraham's actions here relate to God's promises to him. Though where a person is buried may not seem very significant to us, for Abraham this demonstrates his belief that God will do what He says. That one day the curse that was introduced back in chapter 3 will be undone by God. Abraham does not know how, or when, but he does know that God will do it. And so this passage helps us, who know far more than Abraham, to live by faith especially as we see the curse play out in our lives and especially as we experience death.
Bible Text: Genesis 23
Faith Put To The Test (AM Service) - Audio
Genesis 22 is one of the most famous stories in the Bible, the story of Abraham offering up Isaac. I think anyone can see, in this account of Abraham offering his son Isaac a remarkable foreshadowing in the Old Testament of the work of Christ in the New. As you read the story you can’t miss the parallel with God sending his own Son to Calvary’s mountain centuries later. While that is true, it is still a disturbing story. What God asks Abraham to do is grotesque and raises a number of troubling questions. The biggest struggle is not what was God doing, but why. Why is God testing Abraham this way? Doesn’t it all go against everything we know about God? These are some of the aspects of the story we need to grapple with on Sunday.
Bible Text: Genesis 22: 1 - 24