We are excited to have our Mentoring Ministry kickoff on Sunday, June 2 following our worship service. Sign up now. Helping a young Christian during the first year of their spiritual life is one of the best ways you can impact the future of the God’s Kingdom. It is a rewarding and helpful ministry to be a part of. For more information contact Eric Nelson.
We recently enjoyed a great evening where the best performances and movies of 2012 were recognized. The Academy Awards began in 1929 with the express purpose of “promoting excellence in American film-making. Each year the best actors, actresses, directors, movies and technical people are recognized.
What about Jesus? Did he recognize excellence in the spiritual world? You bet he did! There were at least seven times that Jesus stopped and recognized people for their spiritual qualities. This message discusses three of those times–the humble tax collector, Zaccheaus and a leper. The four that are not mentioned in this lesson are
Mary, the Sister of Martha
In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus recognized Mary, the sister of Martha for her willingness to not let the things of this life interfere with her sitting at the feet of Jesus. She sets an example for us to make sure that we keep our eye on the ball–that we stay close to God first and foremost.
The Faithful Centurion
In Matthew 8:5-13 Jesus made a comment about a Roman Centurion’s faith. The Centurion recognized Jesus’ authority and trusted that he could do anything. He did not blame God for his sick son but he trusted that God could heal him. That kind of submissive and trusting spirit will get you a long way with God.
Jesus loved kids! Even though they were marginalized members of his society Jesus didn’t just want to be around them he told us to look to them for spiritual guidance. In Matthew 18:1-5 and Matthew 19:13-15 he holds them up as an example of what it takes to be right with God. Their innocence, trust and playfulness remind us of what’s really important in life.
The Thief on the Cross
Even while dying for the sins of the world Jesus took time to recognize the thief on the cross. He admired him for taking responsibility for his own actions and for realizing who Jesus was. Matthew 27:38-44 recounts this moving story and stands as an example for us to follow.
The people Jesus recognized for their spirituality were not who you would expect–they were not the religious leaders, the prominent members of society or those usually thought of as spiritual. Instead, he was impressed by people that were marginalized or even hated by the Jews. God looks at your heart. When he sees humility, faith, trust and focus he is impressed. Commit yourself not to impressing others but to impressing the Lord. That will take work on your heart. Then you will find the true treasures that God has in store for you.
Well, we had our first Serving Sunday yesterday. It isn’t that we haven’t served the needy before. And it isn’t like we haven’t had Sunday church before. But we combined those two things for the first time yesterday–at least for the first time since I’ve been in town. As a church in Los Angeles we feel a need to reach out to the community. The three words for our fellowship is serve, strengthen and celebrate. Yesterday, I think we did all three.
We had a fantastic time of worship. I continue to be impressed by progress of our worship team. Mickey and Michael provide great leadership. All of the musicians and singers are so talented and work so hard to minister to us every Sunday. The technical crew arrives early and does the setup each week. They are truly servants of the Lord and the church. I can’t wait to see what God does through this ministry in the future.
Also for the first time we were joined by the Alpha Omega Campus Ministries. These are mostly students from USC, Glendale Community College and Pasadena Community College. Marcell and Karina Hall have been leading that group for the last several months. What a great energy these college students bring! They were at the site at 8:30 AM ready to serve. Their enthusiasm and conviction are inspiring. They definitely added something special to yesterday.
The Feed the Homeless Los Angeles Meetup Group also brought several volunteers to help out. This great group is led by Molly Sakahara and has over 200 members. They have different service projects that they do each month. Here’s a link to their meetup group: Feed the Homeless Los Angeles Meetup Group. The folks I have gotten to know from this group have a sincerity and heart that reflects God’s heart. I look forward to sharing more times of serving with them in the future.
We also had guests attend who found our website and signed up online for the day. Our little website has only been up a few months. It is so encouraging to see that it is connecting with the community and their needs. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do with SoulofLA.com in the days to come. My prayer is that many lives can be transformed through our efforts here. Thanks to all of you who came out to serve.
Music is such an important part of our life. The Grammys celebrate our most recent year of music. Music is one of God’s greatest creations! The first mention of music goes all the way back to Genesis 4. Men and women have been inspired by God throughout history to compose and perform music. We are a church in Los Angeles that likes to keep things simple. We serve. We strengthen. And we celebrate! Celebration with music is an important part of our fellowship. This is an audio message that helps you understand what church is supposed to be like. You can listen to it here. Or you can download it above. You can also subscribe to our podcasts just by entering your email above. Have a great week!
You may not realize it but there are spiritual lessons to many of the Super Bowl commercials! Included in this post are five commercials we looked at in church last Sunday and the the spiritual lessons that can be gained from each of them. Enjoy!
The spiritual lesson here is not to get stuck in your thinking.
I must admit that I was completely duped by Lance Armstrong! I don’t follow bike racing closely but until last week Armstrong was one of those personalities that transcended the sport. He was an iconic figure who represented overcoming obstacles, hard work and he embodied the “make no excuses, just do it” attitude that called all of us higher. I guess it just didn’t hit my radar screen that someone who denied allegations so strongly could be lying. He even sued someone for libel that he KNEW was telling the truth–and won!
It made me think about the whole idea of good and evil. We want to believe that we don’t need God to be good. We think that if we just study more, try harder and work on ourselves that we can be good in and of ourselves. But if Armstrong teaches us anything it’s that we need God in our lives. God is good and he is the source of all good in the world. For you to be good you need God. This message takes some time to study out the topic of evil and overcoming evil. If you are looking for church in Los Angeles, I hope you’ll check us out. We meet in downtown LA at the Roybal Learning Center.