Aug 12, 2015 - Faith, Worship    4 Comments

WHAT’S YOUR SUNDAY’S BEST?

Several months ago I was sitting in a booth at Bruegger’s with my wife, Amy, and our youngest daughter, Ella.  A waitress named Sue Ellen commented on the black Fedora hat that I was wearing.  As Sue Ellen continued wiping down the tables around us, she shared how she remember the times when men wore Fedoras and how she loved that.  These days, people dress any old way they please, she continued.  Sue Ellen went on to share how she saw a lady in church one Easter Sunday wearing an Easter hat. After service she followed this young lady outside.  Sue Ellen told the woman how great she looked and how she so much appreciated seeing people coming to church dressed in their Sunday best.

I knew exactly what she meant by Sunday’s best.  I, too, grew up in an era where when you entered into the House of God you wore your best.  Everyone had at least one set of dress clothes that they wore to church known as “your Sunday’s best.”  Even though it was the same outfit every Sunday, it was the best you had.  It wasn’t a matter of looking better then someone else, you just wanted to honor God with what you had.  Even if it wasn’t much … like hand-me-downs from another family member or friend.

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I guess times have changed and with it comes our new value system in what one believes will bring honor to God.  The truth of the matter is some of us no longer care how we dress or look. There seems to be now a loose dress code that we put under the pretense that we don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable when they come to worship.

I would that we all felt the same way about our sins towards Jesus and how we affect other people when our behavior doesn’t match our faith.  We have great freedom in the Spirit. But, our freedom should never allow us to become so lax, just to make others feel more comfortable by lowering the standard (bar) just for the sake of it.  What cause or occasion would they then have to raise the bar (standard) if we have grown so lax?  Don’t get me wrong, this is not about clothing or a dress code at all, it’s about the condition of our hearts.

APOSTLE PAUL’S USE OF HIS FREEDOM.

I don’t believe that’s what apostle Paul meant when he said, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

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NOW FOR THE ANSWERS

Last time, we took at look at God’s TRUTH.  I hope that message got you thinking and looking for God’s truths … our guide to the WAY we should go and to the LIFE we should live.

So many of us and so many times, we take LIFE for granted.  But when life is threatened it will sends shock waves of fear into the heart, if not the very souls of men. Yet this most valuable gift called LIFE, which God chose to clothed us in, is as fragile as earthen jars of clay and we must never take it for granted.

2 Corinthians 4:7

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  

As fragile as life is, I thank God that LIFE is in strong hands, His hands.  We are to be a witness to this world that God is the giver of LIFE and LIFE ETERNAL.

LIFE IS PRECIOUS

When God created all life He created it out of one purpose, LOVE.  It was out of His great love that He made man.  He provided everything that mankind would need to sustain his life. However, His creation was not created so that the bond between mankind and his creator could ever be separated. Yet by the choice of one man’s free will to sin by disobeying, God broke that bond and left a hole in all mankind. And thus we come to the meaning of LIFE.

JESUS AND A SMARITAN WOMAN

JOHN 4:1-26

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—  although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.  So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

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Now he had to go through Samaria.  So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”  (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

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Jul 6, 2015 - Hearing From God    9 Comments

I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE

There are three questions that circle our minds everyday whether we realize it or not. What is truth?  Which way should I go? What is the meaning of life? We are faced with decisions imageall the time. It would be merely impossible to count just one day’s worth of decisions we face and make.  I guess from a worldly perspective, one man’s truth can be another man’s lie.  So how does one get to the truth?  A governor named Pilate once asked Jesus, “Are you a king?”

John 18:33-38

Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.  Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime.  Shortly after Pilate had this conversation with Jesus, Pilate released a harden criminal named Barabas instead of Jesus, in following with a Jewish custom that allowed the Jewish people to request a prisoner to be set free during Passover.  If Pilate truly wanted the truth he would had recognized who Jesus was.  Jesus answered Pilate’s question in verse 37 before he even asked it.  “I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” 

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