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TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED CHALLENGE 7/1 THRU 12/30, 2013
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Don't Stop At The Border!
Topic Started: Feb 7 2010, 11:29 AM (561 Views)
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A troubled man paid a visit to a therapist. "What can I do for you," asked the doctor, "what's your problem?" The patient answered, "I think I'm suffering from an inferiority complex." He then went on to talk at length about his background, his relationships, his job, his whole life story. Hearing all of this, the therapist said to himself, "I've got news for this fellow. He doesn't have a complex, he really is inferior." Of course, the same can be said of each and every one of us. In a sure and certain sense, we're all inferior. To some degree, we're all imperfect. We're all sinners. Who among us can lay claim to having achieved her or his full human potential?

Throughout the Gospels, in His teachings, in His miracle-working, in His prayerlife, in His relationships, the Lord Jesus is saying to us, "I've got news for you, you are not living up to your full potential as children of God." From cover-to-cover the New Testament writers constantly remind us that, in terms of who we are and what we ought to be doing, we're falling short of the ideal. The call to repentance -- the need to change for the better -- is ongoing. And, for our fulfillment as human persons, we are dependent, absolutely, on the wisdom of a Superior Being!
One of the reasons we have come here today is that we want to become complete persons. We want to be able to accept ourselves with integrity. We want to be able to see and appreciate the unique beauty of our own individuality. We want to be able to love other people without taking life from them. We want to be able to call forth their unique beauty and their unique gifts and not feel threatened when we see them coming to their fulfillment. We want to be people like that. But in order to achieve this wonderful style of life we must let the Living God come first in our lives, and rule over our lives.

Luke tells us in today's Gospel Lesson that when Jesus began preaching one of His first sermons, the congregation responded to His words with high praise. "He won the approval of all," Luke says, "and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips" (Luke 4:2-2). The congregation was spellbound! And everything was just fine. Jesus was saying things the congregation wanted to hear. And they wanted to hear even more from this great preacher who was thinking like them. But, as Jesus continued to speak, the congregation's mood suddenly turned ugly. Jesus was saying things the people didn't want to hear. Jesus was saying things that contradicted their thinking. Suddenly, Luke tells us, "Everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled Him out of town; and they took Him up to the part of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw Him down the cliff, but He slipped through the crowd and walked away" (Luke 4:28-30).

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