Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Thursday, July 23

Today’s Readings: Psalm 129; 2 Samuel 5:17-6:11; Mark 6:14-29; Ephesians 6:18-24; Psalm 4

If I were to ask you, “What is the greatest threat a person faces in her or his attempt to live out her or his faith?”; I wonder how you might answer that question. Some might say the greatest threat would be human impulses like greed or lust. Others might say the greatest threat would be the doubt or fear that creeps in to one’s spiritual life. While those things certainly present formidable challenges to our efforts to live out our faith, I don’t believe any of those things represent the greatest challenge. The greatest challenge – at least for me – is living out the counter-cultural nature of our faith. By this, I mean that our faith often puts us in places where we have to buck the crowd and take positions that are not popular. Our need to fit in with those around us, however, frequently causes us to take the easy way out and compromise our faith. Today’s story from the Gospel of Mark provides us with a great example of that. In the story, King Herod develops a powerful relationship with John the Baptist. While Herod doesn’t always like what John has to say, the relationship was so strong that Herod couldn’t stay away. You’d think such a connection would guarantee a happy ending to Herod and John’s story. It didn’t. That’s because Herod was ultimately more concerned about saving face (i.e. fulfilling a promise he made to his niece) than he was about doing the right thing. Consequently, he allowed John the Baptist to be put to death. Today, I would invite you to take an inventory of your own life and see if there are places you are tempted to do the popular - rather than the right - thing. Til next time…

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