Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Friday, June 5

Today’s Readings: Psalm 21; 1 Samuel 8:1-22; John 15:9-17; 2 Corinthians 5:6-15; Psalm 10

One of my favorite all-time television shows is “Friends”. It’s probably because the cast members were all within a couple years of my age. The comedy definitely had a generational sense of appeal. One of the more memorable episodes for me was the episode where Phoebe and Joey debated the issue of whether or not it was possible for a human being to perform a truly altruistic act. The episode was titled “The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS”. Every time Phoebe would identify a gesture she thought was selfless, Joey would show her something the individual got out of the act. Phoebe’s frustration grew throughout the episode until she reached the point where she began to question her belief that human beings were capable of performing altruistic acts. I thought of this episode as I was reading today’s passage from 2 Corinthians - for in the passage Paul wrote of the two states we human beings find ourselves thinking about: here on earth we live in an extended period of what Paul calls “exile”, and later on when we die we move into a period of what Paul labels “homecoming”. Many people base a large portion of their faith on one of these two states in hopes that their faith might personally benefit them. Those who focus on the period of exile focus on the benefits of their faith in the here and now. Such a theological line of thinking would suggest that those who are faithful will be blessed with material rewards in the here and now. Others who base their faith on the homecoming experience anchor their faith in the eternal reward that awaits them. In both cases, one’s faith can be driven by a “what’s in it for me” attitude. Paul suggests that’s an unhealthy spiritual approach; he suggests our faith should be based upon something else. “… Neither exile or homecoming is the main thing,” Paul wrote. “Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.” (2 Corinthians 5:9 from The Message). So my question for you today is this: what is your faith based upon? Is your faith based upon a desire to please God so that you’ll be materially blessed in the here and now; is your faith based upon a desire to please God so that you’ll be eternally blessed in the hereafter; or is your faith based upon a desire to simply please God? Til next time…

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