Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | April 21, 2022 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

April 21, 2022

I spread out my hands to you;

I thirst for you like a parched land.

Psalm 143:6

Dear friends,


People, by nature, seek some form of power and control for themselves, or over their circumstances, or their context. Whoever or whatever places offer it, if it seems promising, you will find people gathered.


The promise of personal power is a popular way to build a crowd or a following. The key to this is not dependence but independence, and the way to this is by capturing personal power. And the way to have and keep personal power is through moral performance.


But Jesus often condemned moral performance for self-justification. At one point claiming, religion was just as spiritually dangerous as plain to see immorality.


He gives us the classic picture of the failure of both religion and irreligion in His parable of the two sons in Luke 15. The elder brother represents the religious leaders; he never disobeys any of his father’s laws. As a result, he tries to control his father and exclude his brother. However, the parable ends, and the obeying brother is the one who misses the feast of salvation rather than his sinful but repenting brother.


There could not be a more eye-opening warning: The elder brother is not lost despite his obedience to the father but because of it. His morality weakens him and does not strengthen him.


Personal power, the desire for it, and the lengths one might go to get it is a delusional and empty way to live. Sure, a person may have a moment or two of dominance. I am sure the older brother had several religious highs obeying his father, but they cannot continue to satisfy the soul, as the parable explained.


We often take stock of our strengths and resources and find them less than we thought and less than we need. But this is not to let our hearts sink within us. This is to take us to the safest place in the universe—dependence on God.


The fact is that God gives unexpected strength in the normal course of our days, when unusual trials come, and when sin overwhelms. It is the promises of God that make us brave. There's no telling how much power God can put into a person. When divine strength comes, human weakness is no more a hindrance. And probably the greatest impediment to divine strength is humans relying on themselves.


Humans, religious humans at that, are who started the conversation to put Christ on a cross. But God's power was made perfect in Christ's weakness on the cross. So were we. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Weak and wounded sinner

Lost and left to die

Oh, raise your head for Love is passing by


Come to Jesus

Come to Jesus

Come to Jesus and live

Untitled Hymn

God bless you in all things great and small.

Pastor Joe