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Kinetic: Throwing Stones

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On Sunday, Alex York continued our Lenten sermon series called "Kinetic" with a sermon from John 8 called "Throwing Stones."

Though there is some question about when this section was written, the story certainly sounds like the authentic Jesus.

The motives of the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus and pit him against Moses.

Their motive is political, using the woman as a means to an end.

They don't apply the law fairly.  Where's the guy?

They're actually misquoting -- death was prescribed for adultery, but not by stoning except in very particular circumstances (as given in Deuteronomy 22:21).

Jesus wrote something on the ground with his finger.  Something convicting.

"Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

Jesus swiveled the spotlight onto them.

This fits with Matthew 7:1-5.  You need to be careful when you find yourself judging.  When it comes to judging, your first priority is you.

God doesn't let us prescribe the consequences of the sins of others as much as we would like.

It doesn't mean that we can't know what's right and wrong.  (Hebrews 5:14)

For us as a church:  Broken people are going to be coming -- broken people like us.  Resist the temptation to judge people.  The challenge is to offer love and grace.  Show that God loves us in spite of our flaws.  People with problems are welcome.

Jesus doesn't excuse her sin -- but he's very gracious.  John 3:17 -- Jesus didn't come to condemn, but to rescue.

"Go now and leave your life of sin."

Don't let your brokenness define who you are!  God's grace is greater.

Don't let your sin keep you from becoming what God made you to be!  Jesus makes us the same offer.

Practical Alternatives to Judging Other People:

(We're good at identifying other people's flaws and coming up with proposed consequences!)

Bless instead of curse.  (Romans 12:14)

Focus on the positives. (Philippians 4:8)

Pray for the people who make life difficult for you.  (Matthew 5:44)

Examine yourself.  Are those annoyances a mirror?

Daily ask God to search your heart.

We should be living joyful lives.  (Malachi 4:2)

Kinetic: Trajectory

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On Sunday, Associate Pastor Alex York brought the message, continuing the series "Kinetic" with a sermon titled "Trajectory," taken from John 4 and the story of Jesus and the woman at the well.

Pastor Alex knows well that the healthiest thing you can do after knee surgery is move.

Motion is also important for Lent.

In John 4, Jesus moved toward a spiritual outsider.

Trajectory:  The path an object takes as a result of forces acting on it.

The Samaritan woman's trajectory was dramatically changed by her encounter with Jesus.

She was an outsider in her own village, but Jesus treats her with unexpected dignity and respect.

Jesus offers a wellspring that flows from inside of you.

The Old Testament had already introduced the idea of living water in Isaiah 12:3 and Jeremiah 2:13.

No matter what you're facing, Jesus will refresh your soul.

Jesus knew the truth about the woman, but he was gracious.

She turned the conversation to religion, but Jesus diverted it back.

The time has come that God cares more about hearts.

The real satisfaction comes from doing the will of God.

One day the sower and reaper will rejoice together.

Four perspectives:

From Jesus' perspective:  He's busy.  He takes time for this woman and changes his schedule for Samaritans.  He knows her and speaks to her real need.

From the woman's perspective:  She's broken, but she's carrying on.  She's figured out a way to make it work.  Jesus says:  Have some living water.

The living water wells up in us and splashes into the lives of people around us.  Their feet will get wet with Jesus' love and grace.

From the disciples' perspective:  Good stuff got in the way of better.  They missed out.

From the Samaritan neighbors' perspective:  They came to Jesus and heard for themselves, but it was sparked by seeing a change in the woman.

How do I see people and judge them?

As a church, let's notice the fields are ripe for harvest!

Our new building isn't for us, it's for spiritual outsiders!

Are we willing to let Christ change the trajectory of our lives?

The field is ripe for harvest.