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Apr 21, 2024
Paul, The Preacher
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  • Apr 21, 2024Paul, The Preacher
    Apr 21, 2024
    Paul, The Preacher
  • Apr 14, 2024Do Not Please Yourself
    Apr 14, 2024
    Do Not Please Yourself
    The importance of unity cannot be overstated. As followers of Christ, we are united with one heart and one faith, and our duty to one another and the body of Christ is paramount. We must not lose focus on our mission and must bear with the failings of the weak. It is not an option but rather a command. We must be understanding and patient with one another, even when we must lay aside our rights and freedoms. If we lack patience or sympathy or refuse to put our rights aside, then we need to check ourselves because these are the marks and obligations of a true Christian. Jesus Christ is our catalyst and standard. He humbly laid aside his desires for the love of the Father and us.
     
    We must ask ourselves, are we givers or takers? Are we understanding or demanding? Christ has welcomed us with open arms despite our weaknesses and flaws. He has been patient and understanding with us. How can we not do the same for others in Christ? Let us remember how Christ has dealt with and is dealing with us now. He demands unity because we have peace with God and one another through it. As we live in this way, it brings glory to God.
     
    Scripture: Isaiah 53:1-9, Romans 15:1-13
  • Apr 7, 2024Maturity, Charity, Unity (Part 2)
    Apr 7, 2024
    Maturity, Charity, Unity (Part 2)
    As we mature in our Christian faith, we are called to exhibit charity, which leads to unity. Achieving maturity requires consuming and conforming to God's word and then understanding and practicing it. This process of maturity is not simply a matter of how long you have been a Christian. Charity is not about compromising truth but embodying wisdom, understanding, patience, and grace. Unity is our ultimate goal, involving deep fellowship and caring for one another.
    When navigating our relationships with weaker brothers or those who have convictions that the Bible does not prescribe, we should refrain from passing judgment on non-sinful matters. Patience, humility, and the love of Christ are key in discerning that some things don't rise to the level of sin. Even when we are correct, we must recognize and appreciate where others are spiritually and be teachable ourselves. Through this, we gain a better perspective on the weaker brother.
     
    Scripture: Proverbs 30:1-9, Romans 14: 13-23
  • Mar 17, 2024Maturity, Charity, Unity
    Mar 17, 2024
    Maturity, Charity, Unity
    The message conveyed in these verses is a powerful reminder that as Christians, we are called to foster unity and love among ourselves. We must be mindful of our maturity as believers and how it influences our behavior towards others. It's essential to recognize that we all have areas where we may lack understanding or have weaker faith. In such cases, we should avoid insisting on things that the Bible doesn't declare as sin. To promote unity, we should welcome our brothers and sisters and avoid quarreling over mere opinions. We should accept them with sincerity, care, respect, and genuine love. We should not keep them at a distance, despise them, or treat them as less than Christian. Instead, we ought to approach them with humility and a willingness to learn from one another. When it comes to areas of sin, we have a duty to confront, rebuke, and urge repentance to the Lord in a loving way. In doing so, we must be careful to judge with right judgment and avoid passing judgment on things that Scripture doesn't declare as sin.
    In summary, as Christians, we must strive to foster unity and love among ourselves. We should approach each other with humility, respect, and genuine love, and avoid insisting on matters that the Bible doesn't declare as sin. When necessary, we should confront sin with love and right judgment, always seeking to restore rather than condemn.
     
    Scripture: Psalm 130-131, Romans 14:1-6
  • Mar 10, 2024The Time Has Come
    Mar 10, 2024
    The Time Has Come
    Our lives are not just about us but the kingdom of God. We must love and respect each other, focusing on the needs of others and letting go of hatred or resentment. Let us love with the same love that Christ has placed in our hearts, allowing it to cover over a multitude of sins.  Salvation is closer to us now than when we first believed. Therefore, we must be alert and ready, living properly according to the Lord and avoiding anything that takes us away from Christ. Let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ and not allow ourselves to be tempted by the desires of the flesh. We should live with a holy urgency and do nothing that would harm our witness. We must prioritize our faith over distractions that do not bring us closer to God and live our lives with a sense of urgency. Let us remain steadfast in our faith, even when life gets busy, and not let the mundane aspects of life rob us of the gift of Christ.
    Scripture: 1 Kings 11:1-11, Romans 13:8-14
     
     
  • Mar 3, 2024God, Government, and You (Part 4)
    Mar 3, 2024
    God, Government, and You (Part 4)
    As we conclude this 4-part mini-series on the Christian's responsibility to the government, we are reminded of the importance of having rightful expectations from our governing authorities. Despite living in a post-Christian society, we must continue to hold them accountable for protecting lawful laws and preserving our lawful freedoms. Civil law should be an appropriate application of God's moral laws to ensure that society remains free from widespread chaos and corruption. 
     
    Furthermore, our governing authorities should pass and uphold laws that reflect, promote, and preserve the lives of all image-bearers of God. Any arbitrary or inconsistent behavior, misuse, abuse, or flippant attitude toward just laws and political vendettas should be exposed and challenged.
    As a church and the people of God, we have a duty to speak truth to the lies and call for righteousness. We must seek to bring God back into the public sphere and preserve our lawful freedoms, such as our right to worship in the way we believe. 
     
    Scripture: Psalm 75, Romans 13:1-7
  • Feb 25, 2024God, Government, and You (Part 3)
    Feb 25, 2024
    God, Government, and You (Part 3)
    As believers, we recognize that God has established the government, magistrates, and authorities. Therefore, we show respect in our dealings and abide by the lawful laws. Our response to the authorities should be peaceful, and we should pray for their salvation while also serving as a corrective influence by reminding them that they are appointed by God and must obey Him and His laws. We must also be proactive at all levels where we are called to serve. In rare cases, when all other options have been exhausted, we may need to exercise civil disobedience to stand up in obedience to God. This may include a situation where the magistrate requires us to do something forbidden by God or to refrain from doing something that God commands us to do. Nevertheless, we must always uphold everything that God commands us to do. Scripture: Daniel 3:8-18, Romans 13:1-7
  • Feb 18, 2024God, Government, and You (Part 2)
    Feb 18, 2024
    God, Government, and You (Part 2)
    In a society where immoral people are in power, it is expected to see partiality, corruption, deceitfulness, and abuse of authority.  Unlawful laws not in line with God's law may be passed and enforced.  This can lead to chaos, disorder, and lawlessness.  As individuals, we cannot reject or detach from the government.  However, we can strive to be the most respectful, honest, and obedient citizens possible as far as we are able.  We should encourage our government officials to act with integrity, justice, and righteousness and hold them accountable when they fail to do so.  We should also remember that God establishes governments and will ultimately be held accountable to Him.  Even though we may need to obey God rather than man in certain situations, we can still show honor, respect, and obedience to lawful laws.
     
    Scripture: Daniel 6:1-15, Romans 13:1-4
  • Feb 11, 2024God, Government, and You
    Feb 11, 2024
    God, Government, and You
    God has established three social institutions - the family, the church, and the government.  As followers of God, we are responsible for shaping these institutions according to His design.  If we overlook the importance of these institutions, we risk the unraveling of our society, leading to a family lacking definition, an ineffective church, and a government lacking justice and accountability.  Those in positions of power must fear God, for without this fear, right and wrong can become distorted, and true justice will be lost.  As Christians, we cannot remain idle spectators,  
     
    Scripture: Deuteronomy 17:14-21, Romans 13:1-7
  • Feb 4, 2024As Far As It Depends On You
    Feb 4, 2024
    As Far As It Depends On You
    As Christians, we can expect pushback and even hostility from the world, so how do we deal with people who don't like us, or more accurately, who we represent very much? We're not "fight fire with fire" or repay evil for evil, even when we're right, for this is where we fall into sin ourselves, but instead, we should seek to bless them, for we have that they need. Pray for them, preach the gospel, be patient, and love them with the love of Christ, even when they don't see it that way.
    We are to live peaceably with all insofar as it depends on us. This does not mean that we ignore sin or compromise our beliefs, but it does mean that we acknowledge problems, deal with them biblically, and speak with softness and humility.
     
    Scripture: Isaiah 65:1-7, Romans 12:14, 17-21