featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Sometimes it takes grit

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Grit is that sense of summoning both passion and stick-with-it-ness to reach forward towards a desired goal. It’s a sense of boldness in the face of conflict, cancer, job loss, divorce, single parenting, abuse, mental illness, and more. Grit is that leaning into God and, with confidence, pressing on. Life sometimes takes grit! When people do strap on some grit their stories are a bright light that give hope and inspire. Their stories inspire me, not only as I face difficulty or adversity or hardships, but also just in life. For if they can be bold and keep moving, then so can I. Like when I think about my own mom. When she was younger, she had to face the abuse of an alcoholic husband, who not only landed up in jail a few times, but crashed a car, was gone a lot, and even cheated on her. Many times she had to clean up after one of his many drunken rages, and also endured physical abuse. Though she wore the emotional scars of all this, she found faith in God. She trusted in God’s help and believed in God’s love, care, and rescue. This gave her a boldness to start a new life, doing her best to raise two boys. She did this with hardly any help from my dad. He was inconsistent in child support and rarely showed up, but with boldness, she pressed on! Way to go mom. Now sure, she was not perfect, but did her best, trusting God and taking life one day at a time. I know many others who are trusting God and taking on that sense of grit. If they can, we can, because sometimes it takes grit!

Psalms 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;wait for the Lord!

To ‘wait’ is to place our trust in, to lean in, to fuel our hope on the great character and promises of God. For God is all-powerful Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 19:26, caring 1 Peter 5:7, will not abandon us Deuteronomy 31:6, and gives us strength Psalm 138:3. Trusting, waiting on God, gives us courage and boldness to live. One area to summon that sense of grit is in love. Love?!? Yep, applying some grit to acting in a loving way towards others. Especially when they are not all that loving towards us.

Luke 6:32 If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Loving those who are not loving towards us takes grit!! Yet, we are called to treat others how we want to be treated.

Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Romans 12:16-18 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Wow, the peace, calm, and kindness this gritty action of love could create is amazing. See, sometimes it takes grit. How could you choose the brave actions of gritty love? Our world needs it.

Church can be a great place to be emboldened with gritty love. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking to bring a gritty love to life along with you,

Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church