Important Truths

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When we consider the fundamental values of the world around us, acceptance, security and comfort consistently remain at the top of the list. It’s difficult to imagine pursuing happiness without one of these categories in mind. Unfortunately, as believers, our lifestyles too often reveal an overemphasis or an unhealthy priority placed upon such pursuits. When I think of what drives the majority of my day-to-day decisions, acceptance, security or comfort will be an influential factor. When we become followers of Jesus, we are not promised a safe and easy path. We know from Scripture that the life of a disciple is often devoid of such temporal pursuits (Matt. 16:24; 1 Pet. 4:19; John 15:18, etc.); and yet at times, our lives say otherwise. This is not to say we pursue the opposite for the sake of merely living antithetical lives. Instead, the author of Hebrews exhorts us to simply pursue Jesus even when it’s unpopular and uncomfortable (13:13; cf. 12:2). To bear the disgrace and shame that He bore on our behalf involves a shift from a safe position to a threatening one. The exhortation in v13, “To follow Jesus outside the camp,” speaks to the rejection, vulnerability and pain that He endured. It assumes that life will be difficult, lonely and impoverished by the world’s standards. However, it supports the reality that we do not have a permanent home here on earth (v14). To live “outside the camp” is not all that bleak after all. We get Jesus! May our lives be characterized by an earnest longing for our hope and joy that surrounds our heavenly home to come. These are the important truths that mark the life of a disciple. Let it compel you and encourage you to follow after Jesus as our lasting joy—the Author and Finisher of our faith.  –Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

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