Who Is My Neighbor?

Posted by on March 28, 2010 under Sermons

Parables – part 1

  1. Jesus used parables
    1. Stories that communicate truth
    2. More engaging and compelling than simple propositions and facts.
    3. Facts can be debated. Stories thrust us into reality of the kingdom.

  2. The Parable of the Good Samaritan
    1. Lawyer testing Jesus
      1. The question of eternal life
      2. Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18 – Jesus agrees.
      3. “But who is my neighbor?”
      4. Expecting an exposition, the lawyer get a story
    2. The Story:
      1. The Traveler (Jerusalem to Jericho)
        1. He is ambushed, beaten, stabbed, and robbed.
        2. “He will die if someone does not arrive and help him.”
      2. The Priest:
        1. “Disregard for God’s commands led him to this fate.”
        2. “He will die if someone does not arrive and help him.”
      3. The Levite:
        1. On his way to do service in the Temple
        2. Levite forbidden to touch a dead body
        3. “Surely the man is dead.”
        4. “He will die if someone does not arrive and help him.”
      4. The Samaritan:
        1. The Hero. Who is it? What will he do? Anticipation!
        2. Shock – “It’s a Samaritan!”
          1. Show historical examples of the hostility between Samaritans and Jews.
          2. Why does Jesus use a hero that the hearers will not associate with?
          3. He is calling out their prejudices and showing them that love is about mercy and compassion, not the definition of neighbor.
          4. Hosea 6:6 – What does the Lord require?
        3. No penalty for killing a Samaritan. Stiff penalty for associating with one
        4. This is the Hero of Jesus’ story
        5. He stops, makes bandages from his own garments, oil and wine (his provisions for his journey), takes him to an inn where he is very likely unwelcome, pays the bill and more.
      5. “Which of these three became a neighbor?”
        1. Does Jesus answer the question? (No) He invalidates the question.
        2. When it comes to love, one does not choose one’s neighbor, one chooses to be a neighbor.
        3. Christ-like love does not ask “Who is my neighbor?” Rather, it is active. (“Go and do the same.”)

Worldwide Revival

Posted by on under Sermons

Three Subjects To Brush Up On That Just Might Change The World

Salvation history. God is in command of and working through the events in history (vs the deist watchmaker and vs the god who represents our agenda)

  • God’s people have chronicled history as a series of God’s creative and redemptive actions
  • Creation, Covenant, Exodus, Kingdom, Exile, Messiah, Cross, Resurrection, Spirit …
  • History teaches us that God is now doing what he has always done

    The Future Is God’s History

    What kind of world will the children born this year live in?

    How you answer. Pessimism or optimism is largely influenced by culture and the way we feel about right now

    I can recall the optimistic predictions of the future. New technology. Communication scientific advancement perspective

    • Earth 2100. Largely pessimistic outcomes – It’s an idea that most of us would rather not face — that within the next century, life as we know it could come to an end. Our civilization could crumble, leaving only traces of modern human existence behind.

    Our hope about the future can be misplaced. But so also can our despair about the future.

  • Romans 8:18-25
  • Past History = Future Hope

    Romans 8:28 – Hope

    Here’s a history lesson – God’s people in the past had problems with geography. They thought that salvation was limited to the boundaries, borders, and ethnic barriers of Israel.

    Boundaries, Borders, and Barriers – Hostility and Separation – “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-18)

    This is real political stuff … Our politics have to be Kingdom Politics – God’s geography. God’s grace does not end at the U.S. border.

    • And everything outside of the US is not just mission work.
    • The day will come when missionaries from Africa come preach the gospel to the US (if that thought grieves you, so be it. If it offends you, then please consider why.)

    The Trip to Mexico That Wasn’t – This isn’t just a problem for Mexico. It isn’t a problem that a fence or a border

    A statement on a newsite from Sir Bikesalot 8:12 – “If you overindulgent Americans would stop smoking, shooting, snorting, and inhaling your precious drugs, none of this would be happening.”

    He makes a point. It isn’t just Mexico’s problem – the market for drugs is in the U.S.A.

    When we say, “But there’s sin and suffering in that nation. How can that be godly?” Then we are on the verge of two mistakes:

    1. We assume that God is something like fortune. He is with you and things go well. If things go bad, then he isn’t (misfortune).
    2. That people in other nations need to become more like us (Southern? American? Middle Class?) and then they will be alright.

    Geography Lesson: All mission is to the world, including our nation. All mission is sent by Christ from heaven, not from one nation to another …

    This is our Father’s world! He has claimed it long before there was a U.S.A. To say this is our Father’s world is to say more than just the brooks and streams and flowers and trees. It also means the cities, the streets, the highways and byways. Those are part of God’s world, too. And if they don’t look like it, then it is no different from the fact that some of God’s children don’t live up to their birthright. Juarez, Mexico is my Father’s world. Fifth Ward of Houston is my Father’s world. Iran is my Father’s World. Hollywood, California is my Father’s world. Haiti is my Father’s world. Every Muslim nation and every communist country is my Father’s world. Nigeria and North Korea. This is my Fathers world – Satan cannot lay claim to any of it. Jesus Christ rules it all. The world just needs to know.

    People don’t need to become more like us. No. What they need is what we need, to live out the story. Next subject, literature.

    Telling the right story.
    From the movie, Walk the Line:

  • Young J.R. Cash: “There’s more words in the Bible than in the Heavenly Highway Hymns.”
        Young Jack Cash: “Look, J.R., if I’m going to be a preacher one day, I gotta know the Bible from front to back. I mean, you can’t help nobody if you can’t tell the right story.”

    2 Peter 1:16
    Talking and Walking – Eyewitnesses to the story. Tell it and live it.
    Our Story and The Story – Authenticity is authority. Not everyone accepts the authoritative base of the Bible – we do, but how do we communicate to those who do not? They won’t listen unless we are credible. (Peter was an eyewitness.)

    Knowledge and Art – Know it. Tell it well – in many languages and many ways. Capture minds and hearts. Tell the story and tell it well … with passion, with conviction, with style, with color, with words, with deeds.

    Math wasn’t on here because we’ve done too much evangelism “for the numbers” and people aren’t numbers. Leave the counting to God. We need to tell the story, tell it well, live it out, and trust God.

  • The Beginning of Faith

    Posted by on under Bulletin Articles

    The paragraph previous to Romans 10:17 deals with the failure of the Jewish people to realize that God’s great agenda included extending salvation to all people-even idol worshippers who had the wrong concept of deity and no idea about godly morals. God simply wants everyone to have access to Him. God through Christ granted that access to all, in spite of where they were. It is not about one’s education, or one’s society, or one’s material success, or one’s ability to read, or one being primitive or advanced. It is about understanding the message of what God did in Jesus Christ.

    This article is not about seeking to deny the message of Romans 10:17. It suggests faith begins earlier. The message begins with God’s concern forming the basis for God’s act.

    To act to benefit a perceived god was not unusual in any religion. For God to initiate an act of compassion to benefit people was incredibly different. For God to act on our behalf when we had done nothing to “obligate” Him was absolutely amazing (Romans 5:6-8)! The message from an involved God was unique-but true!

    Faith begins with understanding that God gave His most precious relationship to make our salvation possible (John 3:16-21). Do you understand that God made a major sacrifice to make salvation possible for us? He hurt first that we might rejoice in Christ!

    Do you understand that God is even involved in our coming to Him? We are enabled to repent through God’s support (2 Timothy 2:24-26)!

    Do you understand that entrance into Jesus Christ begins a continuing forgiveness for those who refuse to reject Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1-10)? God is even involved (if we permit) in our remaining in Jesus Christ. We are not “on our own “!

    God is involved in our salvation from A to Z-accepting God’s concern begins our faith!

    Can We Be Confident and Christian?

    Posted by on March 21, 2010 under Sermons

    1 John 5:13

      “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

    Q: How do we know God loves us?
    A: He sent his one and only Son so that we might live through Him.

    This is Love …

    • God loved us first (4:10)
      – compare John 3:16
    • Jesus gave his life for us (3:16)
    • We may be called God’s children (3:1)
    • So, we should love God (5:2) and one another (3:11)

    Q: How do we know what is true and what is false?
    A: Every ‘spirit’ that does not acknowledge Jesus is false.

    Recognizing the Spirit of God

    • The problem with false prophets (4:1)
    • They left the fellowship of believers because they did not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the Son of God (see 2:18-27)
    • Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is from God
    • Those that do not are not (4:2-3)

    (Romans 14, Colossians 2, 1 Corinthians 8-9, 2 John 9)

    Recognizing the Spirit of God

    • God’s truth overcomes the ‘wisdom’ of the world (4:5-6)
    • We can know the truth (2:21)
    • So, we can set our hearts at rest in God’s presence and know we belong to the truth (3:18-19)
      – Confessing Christ (2:23)
      – Remaining in the Spirit’s teaching (2:27)
      – Putting love into action (3:19)

    Q: How can we know that we know God and abide in Him?
    A: Whoever claims to abide in God must live as Jesus did.

    Recognizing the Children of God

    • Confessing Christ (4:15)
      – Relying on God’s love!
    • Walking in the Light (1:5-7)
      – Cleansing from sin (2:1-2)
    • Obeying his commands (2:3; 3:24)
      – Especially the command to love one another (2:7-11)

    The One Who Has The Son

    • Proof of God’s Love
      – Jesus Christ
    • Test of God’s Truth
      – Jesus Christ
    • Standard of a Godly Life
      – Jesus Christ

    Everyday Revival

    Posted by on under Sermons

    Three Simple Suggestions That Might Just Change Your World

    And if they change your world, they just might change the world. Last weekend Randy Harris spoke of revival in terms of Christians being more serious about living out the story of Christ. Changes in our attitude and spirit might give us the opportunity and credibility to speak up for Christ in a way that the world would listen.

    No Whining
    How would this make church and world a better experience? Our culture whines a lot. Especially in America with our limited perspective and our sensationalist media …

    Virgin America flight 404 departed LAX on time at 7:30 a.m., flew to the New York area where it was scheduled to land at 3:30 p.m. But with a storm raging and JFK closed, the flight circled and was eventually ordered to land at Stewart Airport at about 5:30 p.m. to wait it out. The storm lasted longer than expected so bus transportation was arranged and passengers eventually made it to JFK by about 1 a.m.

    David Martin who runs Kontain.com was blogging the ordeal from his seat in first class.

    Headlines and news leads featured the word NIGHTMARE frequently. about the HORROR! The NIGHTMARE! The STRANDING! The CRYING BABIES! The FORCED RATIONING!
    Martin even noted on Kontain.com that MSNBC coached him to be mad.

    Compare to other problems in the news.

    We all whine. We commonly greet each other with whining. “How are you?” “Tired, worn out.” I suppose it is more acceptable to be tired than to brag about feeling good. We whine when we are kids and then we graduate to griping. (The pitch and the amount of power that we have is different)Whining and griping gets us off mission. Who wants to follow people with a negative spirit?

    The antidote or alternative is gratitude. A virtue for God’s people. How would this change the world?
    (I recall a brother who would greet you by saying “I’m blessed.” I paid attention to that.)
    Hebrews 12:28 – We are the recipients of the Kingdom, how dare we whine?

    No Worrying
    We haven’t given ourselves much confidence when it comes to salvation. Example: People who are dying and worried that they are not good enough. Fear of eternity.
    Someone says: “But we shouldn’t be overconfident.” But this isn’t a confidence in our own ability. History and experience and Bible would show that we have no reason to be confident in our own ability. This is a confidence in God and his promises. Confidence comes from surrendering control to God.
    That lack of confidence makes us worry. It makes us a church of worriers and gets in the way of the mission. Worry can devolve into fear.

    Trust. The antidote is trust and a rich eschatology. When you turn it over to him, why worry? When we turn this over to God but we sit around and worry if we are going to make it to heaven, then that is sinful. Jesus is impatient with people who do not have trust. (See Martha and Mary.)
    Someone may say, but if you don’t worry about going to heaven then someone can just live however they want. Not at all. Take away salvation on the basis of merit, and establish that salvation is on basis of trust, then you do not behave a certain way to GAIN salvation, instead trust is a matter of living within the trust we have for God and in God. It’s confidence.
    If you trust God to save you, then you are going to live in a way that is going to be the substance of your trust.Everyone who hears me and puts these words into practice. Blessings have already been showered.
    Matthew 6:27 and John 14 – Worry and Trust

    No Wrath
    Our world is an angry world. Just think of how we could make a difference if we were a people who were less angry and wrathful than the rest of the culture.

    Wrath and anger come in a variety of styles: Notice the works of the sinful nature – Galatians 5:19-21.
    We are often offended by acts on either side of these. But do we understand why acts of anger and wrath have such a warning?

    Anger is a “do-nothing” emotion. About the only positive benefit of anger and wrath: determination.
    Imagine working on a project and you have a nagging problem. You might get angry enough to put some effort into it. But if you continue to be fueled by anger you will soon have a mess.

    Anger has a way of building like a poison and it becomes more toxic. It will in time turn into resentment and passive aggression. Ultimately becoming hate. This is why wrath has a warning …

    burning carOf all the emotions, Anger is the nitrous oxide. Do you understand what I mean? N2O injectors go into the system and give the car extra speed. But it is used cautiously and carefully or it will burn up the engine.
    Anger and wrath have to give way to better emotions and attitudes.
    Our families, nation, and churches cannot be fueled on anger. Jesus put a limit on anger.

    We have better options at the point of anger is the goal follows the mission.
    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22. The fruit of the spirit show the better options. Self-control allows us to cultivate compassion kindness (makes us active, not just a feeling) ultimately love.

    Angry Church – One of the hindrances of mission is a critical spirit in the Lord’s churches. I have decided that there are certain journals and article in our fellowship that I just cannot read anymore. Not because I have a problem with the authors. Not because I have a problem with their conclusions. And it is not because I do not want to hear truth. But I have a problem with their attitude and their critical spirit. They are uncharitable and critical. They do not seek peace. Often they refuse to communicate directly with the individuals that they pillory. [Journals – Emotional Pornography]

    It’s in the culture, too. I walked in the house the other day one of the news talk shows was on and people were in their little boxes arguing. Conservative vs liberal And the tone continued to become a drill that bored into my forehead. Why do we tune into these shows and watch overpaid pundits argue, and then punish our children for behaving the same way? Reveling in rantings. Outpouring of wrath.

    The poison seeps into our fellowship too often. A wrathful culture spewing its poison. That poison can leak out when we sit down at table with one another. When we come together for worship.
    Much of preaching has been filled with such wrath. Anger aimed at people. I pray that I have not done so – I don’t want to. Preaching may be direct, but it doesn’t have to be violent.

    A pledge of support comes with this preaching. A word of encouragement that in God’s spirit and with God’s help. You and I can be people who are grateful, fearless, courageous, hopeful, self-controlled, truthful and loving. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe that with Jesus’ help we could really be that.

    “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
    Galatians 5:25

    Our “Safe Place”

    Posted by on under Bulletin Articles

    Among the things Randy Harris discussed Sunday night with the youth was the American Christian’s preoccupation with finding our “safe place.”

    What is the “safe place?” In this culture it would (a) protect us from physical death [that is the foremost concern]; (b) provide us maximum opportunity to experience our dreams; and (c) protect us from want and disaster. We want no bad surprises!

    In this material existence, does this place exist? No! Can Christians die early and unexpectedly? Yes! Can Christians fail to achieve and experience material dreams? Yes! Can Christians die in man-caused or unexpected disasters? Yes!

    In this world, there are no people-made “safe places.” When I consider the miles we log collectively by roadway vehicles, those who run red lights or stop signs, those who break the speed limit, those who drive with a suspended license, those who drive under the influence of medication, alcohol, or pleasure drugs, those who text-telephone-eat-“get ready”-etc. while driving, and those who “aim rather than drive,” I marvel that more of us are not “road kill.” We are rather irresponsibly confident that we can prevent death and maximize desired opportunities. We are just beginning to learn neither is true!

    There is a “safe place” Christians should know well. God’s care for all people wants (a) for everyone to know about this “safe place,” (b) for this “safe place” to determine our behavior, (c) for Christians to live in danger now because of what God did in Jesus for everyone, and (d) for Christians to understand only internal values control external acts.

    Where is your “safe place?” Is it God-designed or your “this world” creation?

    Things That Do And Do Not Burn

    Posted by on March 14, 2010 under Bulletin Articles

    Peter’s point is fascinating! He is writing Christians (1:1) who faced and endured struggles (1:10, 11; 2:1; 3:3-7). He did not say it would be easy to be a Christian! He was honest about the hardships! Never did he say Christianity is the “easy way to live.”

    After assuring them that God knew how to rescue the godly from temptation (2:9), and stressing the importance of remembering the prophets’ words, the commandments, and Jesus’ words (3:2), he affirmed judgment’s certainty. However, he did not ask them to live in the terror of punishment. He did not try to scare them to heaven. It would have been the ideal set up for some type of message about, “You are going to pay for godless living!” or “Do you not realize what God can do to you?”

    Peter acknowledged (1) God keeps His promises. (2) God’s judgment is a certain reality. (3) Judgment will be a surprise. (4) The judgment will be a devastating, destructive event for the ungodly. However, for the godly it will be a pleasant, victorious event. The godly will become part of an environment where the righteous belong and the unrighteous do not-the exact opposite of this existence!

    With this reality, Peter asked a question. The question was not associated with the “turn or burn” philosophy which attempts to scare people away from hell and into heaven. The question: “Should you invest life in things you know are temporary, things you know will burn?” Or, is it wise to knowingly invest yourself in something you thoroughly understand cannot and will not last?

    Heaven is not a destination for a person who goes kicking and screaming because he/she fears going elsewhere. It is a place for thoughtful, righteous people who trust God. Make the journey with us-the destination of the righteous is worth the price!

    Here’s a Trustworthy Saying, part 4

    Posted by on March 7, 2010 under Sermons

    further studies in I Timothy

    Trustworthy Sayings

    1. Christ came into the world to save sinners (1:15)
    2. Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task (3:1)
    3. Our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers (4:10)

    Teach These Things

    1. All ages (5:1-2)
    2. Widows (5:3-16)
    3. Elders (5:17-25)
    4. Slaves (6:1-2)
    5. Wealthy (6:17-21)

    Promoting Godliness

    • The Tragedy of the Trouble-making Mind (6:3-10)
    • Flee From All This Man of God (6:11-16)
      – Don’t dance to their tune
      – Pursue godly life
      – Hold on to eternal life
      – Don’t waver


    • Some people just need to be mad. They want their pain.
    • Angry people don’t speak “reason.”
    • Some people need to be “right,” regardless of the cost.
    • Anxiety spawns triangles–even over distances.
    • Upset people lose the capacity to practice grace and will believe the worst of others in an instant.
    • Just one willful angry person can stir up a group if the healthier ones do not respond with godliness.
    • Anxiety spreads like a virus in a group that lacks immunity provided by godly leadership.
    • During times of acute anxiety emotionality trumps rationality, even in a church full of “smart” people.
    • Trust is a gossamer thread; once severed it’s almost impossible to regain.
    • Information reduces anxiety (but for anxious people, so will misinformation).
    • When people lack data, they’ll fill in the blanks.

    Teach These Things

    1. All ages (5:1-2)
      • Older men, women; younger men, women [Not elders]
        – This is not “diplomatic immunity” for elders
      • Teach gently; be an example
      • Contrast to 5:20 (applied to elders)
    2. Widows (5:3-16)
      • Widows in ancient society
      • Help those who have no one else
      • Encourage others to follow God’s ways (care for family, marriage)
      • What principles could guide the way we help others?
    3. Elders (5:17-25)
      • Honor those who serve well
      • Beware of frivolous accusations (see Deuteronomy 19:15)
      • Do not be hasty to appoint or accuse; let the evidence surface
      • Bring everything into the open
    4. Slaves (6:1-2)
      • The statement accepts slavery without endorsing it
      • There is neither slave nor free in Christ (Galatians 3:28)
      • Show due respect and do not shame the way of God
    5. Wealthy (6:17-21)
      • Do not trust in riches
      • Trust in God
      • Use wealth for doing good and sharing (Luke 16)
      • Focus on the future

    Elder Ordination Service

    Posted by on under Sermons

    Three purposes of service:
    1. Profess that Christ is the head of this congregation and that he appoints leaders for the church.
    2. Praise God for providing leaders for the sake of the church.
    3. Petition God for his blessing on the relationship of the new shepherds and the congregation.
    4. Proclaim our hope in moving forward under our new and renewed spiritual leadership.

    Order of the Service:

    Worship Leader – Brent Evans
    103 – He Has Made Me Glad
    238 – You Are The Song That I Sing

    Welcome – Chris Benjamin – Reading Philippians 2:5-11 [Christ is Lord] – Congregation responds: “Amen”
    577 – We Bow Down (vs. 1, 2)
    578 – We Will Glorify (vs. 1, 2, 4)
    In Christ Alone (on screen)

    Communion Prayers – Jake Odell

    704 – Bind Us Together
    Coins for Christ – (No Children’s Worship)

    Scripture Reading – 1 Peter 5:2-7 [Race Burns]

    Reaffirming Our Shepherds

    • Introduction of Mat Griffin and thanks to the Reaffirmation Team (Mat, Helen, Jack)
    • Mat will thank the congregation for their feedback and report the result of the reaffirmation
    • Prayer – Mat

    705 – A Common Love
    [The five new elders and the seven current will come to the front pews during this song.]

    Commitment of New Elders- A Pledge of Servant Leadership
    [Benjamin will ask the new elders to move onto the stage]

    God has spoken graciously through his church calling you to tend his sheep. You are being asked to assume the responsibilities of shepherd, overseer, and elder.

    • Will you serve Jesus Christ as your Lord?
    • Will you teach and model the gospel of Christ?
    • Will you ensure the healthy teaching that strengthens the Lord’s people?
    • Will you guide us patiently and prayerfully?
    • Will you lean on the Spirit of God as you equip the church for acts of faithfulness?
    • Will you mentor and shepherd the other leaders God gives to the church?
    • Will you lead us rather than appease us, resolving to keep us focused on God’s purposes?
    • Will you pray for us when we are sick, minister to us when we are hurting, and rejoice with us when we are blessed?
    • Will you work in harmony with your fellow shepherds and with the church?
    • Will you be great among us by serving as Christ did?

    Response: “With God’s help we will.”

    Read John 13:1-17[The current elders will now join the new five and present them with the “servant towels.”]

    As a reminder of the Lord’s example of servant leadership, we offer you this small symbolic token of this day for your encouragement. This is a towel embroidered with the words of Jesus. We hope it serves as a reminder of Christ’s grace to you, your commitment before God and our support of your oversight.

    Russ McConnell will lead a Prayer of Blessing.
    During Russ’ prayer, the “current elders” will be laying their hands on the “new five” – a gesture that demonstrates the sharing of God’s spirit and their affirmation as elders.
    [After this prayer, all assembled on the lower stage may return to the pews.]

    Part 3 – A Pledge of Support: The Commitment of the Congregation

    Scripture Reading – Hebrews 13:17 [Tanner Robbins]

    Church, our worship today confesses our belief that God has called these men to shepherd our congregation. Our actions from this point forward ought to reflect that belief and it requires commitment on our part.

    Brothers and sisters …

    • Will you follow these men in service for the sake of Christ?
    • Will you be respectful of their leadership and imitate their faith?
    • Will you support them in prayer and serve them in peace?
    • Will you “lift up their arms” even as they care for our souls?
    • Will you do all of this knowing that it pleases the Lord and shows the world the perfection of his ways?

    If you so agree and pledge, then I ask you to affirm by saying: “With God’s help we will!”

    Prayer of blessing for the church:
    [Kevin Hesslen will ask God to help us live up to this commitment.]

    Invitation for Responses

    • Larry Todd will offer the invitation.
    • The five new elders will assemble down front (spread out) to receive responses. This indicates that these new shepherds are ready to engage in the ministry of prayer for the sake of the congregation and for the glory of God.

    Song for Responses
    448 – Greatest Commands

    Sending Out Prayer – Bill Dickey
    [Bill will thank the congregation for participating in the reaffirmation and charge us to go out in service to Christ.]


    Posted by on under Bulletin Articles

    The context of this statement: It is part of a discussion Paul had with the Corinthian congregation of Christians about their internal division. Basically, Paul affirmed that if they understood God’s work in Jesus Christ they would not sanction their internal division, but they would eliminate their internal division.

    Note three things. (1) God spent much effort and “time” preparing the foundation (Jesus Christ) for His building. (2) God prepared one foundation (Jesus Christ, not the church-though it should be built on God’s foundation). (3) God’s foundation work is done. (That is not to imply that all God’s involvement/efforts were limited to foundation work.)

    Note this. Just as the Corinthians, we face choices. Will we build on God’s foundation or not? Will we build what God wishes to build in the manner He wishes to build? Before you quickly answer that is what we are about, do some serious thinking.

    It is easy to think weak human beings are doing precisely what God wants when, basically, we are doing what we want. It is easy to base what we build on our thinking rather than on God’s purposes revealed in Jesus’ teachings. It is easy to conclude we have found the whole foundation when we have uncovered only part of the foundation. It is easy to make our biggest investments in that which God said little or nothing about and neglect that which God said much about.

    Consider two things. (1) Will I encourage the congregation to be focused on God’s foundation? If so, how? Will my efforts be constructive or destructive to God’s purposes? (2) Will I build my life on God’s foundation? Will I promote God’s purposes in how I live and who I am? Will the congregation be blessed because I am part of it?

    Paul told the Corinthian Christians what was built would be tried by God’s fire. God is serious about what is built on His foundation. May we be serious builders! Do you think about what you are building and assisting to build? How serious are you about your life?