The Fine Print: Approved


By Mark Regis, Associate Priest
Listen Online

Posted on January 13, 2016

Approved

So much of life is about approval. We seek approval at work, at school, at home, even from perfect strangers. Sometimes we experience the bliss of knowing we belong, that we’ve ‘made it’, but much of this world’s pain and disillusionment comes from the ways in which we fail to reach the level of approval we yearn for, or the ways we exclude others from experiencing acceptance.

There is something hardwired into our core that needs to know we are accepted, we’ve reached the goal, and we’ll work hard to get there.

Religious systems are predicated on the same foundation: if you behave well, all will be well. If not, then life won’t work out.

What if Jesus came to radically reorient the way this dynamic of approval affects all of life?

Growing up in a rural obscure town, to poor parents with no significant connections, Jesus, who as yet had not begun his public ministry, stepped into the waters of baptism at the Jordan River.

Coming up out of that river, he heard these words from his Father in Heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love – with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)

What is remarkable about these words is Jesus had at this point accomplished nothing of outward consequence but yet approval shone down with eternal joy and delight.

Jesus came to give us that very same gift, to know no matter who we are or believe ourselves to be, we can receive the voice of unconditional approval from God. From there we can experience transformed lives and show grace to others as we have received it.

The Apostle Paul, writing to the churches in the ancient city of Thessalonica wrote this: “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4)

Join with us as we explore what it means to be truly and completely approved through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Fine Print

The Bible is by all accounts the single most impactful book in history but to many of us these same words can seem like, well, fine print… inaccessible and daunting. In today’s world, how do we make the connection between our real lives and the majestic and searching words of Scripture?

We have been engaging the fine print of God together over the last few months. We are exploring an enduring story of God’s faithfulness and love beginning at creation and culminating in his triumphant victory over evil and death through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, you can be enriched and transformed by the faithfulness and love of God found in His Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. Utilizing our Sunday sermons, and an accessible reading plan of key passages for individuals and small groups, we are exploring the Bible and discovering the important part each of us has to play together in community.