Many times, our faith deteriorates as our circumstances deteriorate. When that happens, our faith is quickly overcome by fear, and the future looks dark. The apostle Peter experienced this, and he temporarily fled his faith in Jesus. – Andy Stanley
From an early age, we learn quickly to look for loopholes in the rules. We try to figure out what we can get away with and still be okay. We tend to take this same mindset into our relationship with God, but it doesn’t work. When we opt for loopholes and workarounds, we find ourselves in a category no one wants to be in: hypocrites. Jesus calls us to move beyond loophole religion. – Andy Stanley
Andy Stanley – “Jesus ignored certain religious protocols. He claimed to have authority to forgive sin. He was uncomfortably comfortable with unrepentant sinners. In this message, we hear about three encounters that showed Jesus came to reverse the order of things.”
Andy Stanley – “We often read the Bible for application, inspiration, or direction. However, there are times when the author wants to simply point the reader to a big idea—an idea that fits with God’s grand story. In the Gospel of Mark, we read about Peter’s experience with Jesus that led Peter to believe in one big idea: the kingdom of God is near, and everyone is invited to participate.”
Something in us is tempted to believe God loves his Law more than his people. We’re tempted to prioritize rules over people. Maybe you left church because somebody prioritized the Bible over your divorced mother or gay brother. But Jesus came to offer us a life greater than keeping religious rules.
MOVING FORWARD Something greater than a temple or law has come into the world: the life and light of God; his only Son, Jesus. And Jesus offers you the same invitation he offered to his first-century followers: “Follow me”—not because of faith but because he has demonstrated his faithfulness.
WEEKLY READING Spend some time this week reading and reflecting on Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.