Archive for August, 2012

Hold Fast

August 29, 2012

Here are the notes from Sunday August 26th.

I.  Give Heed:    Hebrews 2:1-4

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

Those who rejected the Law of Moses were punished.  It is even more important that we give heed to the message we have received through the Lord Jesus Christ.  We must give heed, lest we drift away.  Christianity is not about a single moment when we give ourselves to the Lord, but it is about a lifetime of walking with the Lord.

II.  Hold Fast:  Hebrews 3:5-6

And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Moses was faithful throughout his life as a servant of the Lord.  We too, are to be faithful in our service.  As we continue in faithful service we can remain filled with the confidence and hope that God gives to us.  In this world life can be uncertain.  I am very glad that in Christ we can have both confidence and hope.

III.  Hear His Voice:  Hebrews 3:7-11

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

May God help us to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as He directs us through this life.  May our spiritual ears be open and may we be obedient to God as He directs our steps.

IV.  Exhort One Another Hebrews 3:12-14

 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

Let us be careful to continue in our walk with God, and may we also encourage one another to continue steadfast in our commitment to Christ.  We are not alone, we are a part of the people of God and we should look out, not only for ourselves, but also for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Go For Gold!

August 20, 2012

The Olympics have recently ended.  Anyone who was able to be a participant can rightfully be proud of the title “Olympic Athlete”.  It is even better to be one of the top-ten.  Still better is to have achieved a medal.  To be on the platform receiving a medal is every athlete’s dream…well of course, if you are going to dream, your dreams are probably of winning the gold.

I.  II Timothy 2: 14-22  Go for the Gold!

14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for [a]it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their [b]talk will spread like [c]gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “ The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “ Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

From these scriptures we are given the knowledge that there might be degrees of reward in heaven.  Don’t get me wrong, there is no bad place in heaven, it’s all good, but their does seem to be the implication that our rewards in heaven might not be equal.  Let us ‘go for the gold’ and be the very best Christian that we are capable of being, not to earn our salvation, but to be pleasing to our Father in heaven.

First, we should seek to know scripture.  There are people who teach all kinds of things and we need to regularly read and study the Word so that we are not mislead and so that we can help others in their Christian journey.

Second, we should depart from sin.  This entails that we be able to recognize sin, and choose to do what is right.  God will give us the necessary wisdom and strength to forsake sin and pursue righteousness.

Third, we should serve the Lord.  Our lives are not meant to be lived for our own pleasure but for the service of God.  Although in serving God, we will find true joy.

II.  II Timothy 3:1-5 Don’t be Mislead!

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a] haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [b] godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Many people call themselves Christian.  Not all follow Christ.  The power of Christ is able to change us.  We should not remain in our sins with the disclaimer ‘I’m only human’.  We have the Spirit of God dwelling in our hearts, we are able to live victoriously.  We are able to be the people who God calls us to be, not because we are good, but because God is good.  We should pursue holiness, godliness, and righteousness, in thought, word and deed.

III.  II Timothy 4:7-8  Finish Strong!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Paul wrote this letter at the end of his life.  He looked back over his years of service to the Lord and could say with confidence that he had finished the course.  We too, should seek to finish the race that God has for us.   The Christian life is not about a single moment when we give our hearts to the Lord, but rather it is about the life that we live, after we have become believers.

Let’s go for the gold!

Chick-Fil-A: Hatred and Intolerance

August 2, 2012

Hatred and intolerance appear to be alive and well in the United States.

Chick-Fil-A chief operating officer,  Dan Cathy, recently made remarks about his personal support of the traditional family in response to a question posed to him in an interview by a religious magazine.  Dan Cathy is well-known for his conservative, Christian beliefs.  There has been much written about his chains six-day work week.  Chick-Fil-A is not open on Sundays because of the chain’s staunch support of the concept of a Sabbath rest.

The interview demonstrates the hatred and intolerance in America, not because of Cathy’s comments,which simply reflect a traditional religious viewpoint, but because of the strong reaction to those comments.  Gay-activist groups were the loudest to protest, as would be expected.  A little more unexpected, was the reaction of the mayors of Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco, who all made strongly negative comments about the Chick-Fil-A chain, expressing their vehement disapproval.

It would seem, that to many, tolerance is a one-way street.  Religious conservatives should tolerate gay-activists, but apparently, conservative Christians do not deserve toleration.  That is not right.  Our country is a free country and people should be free to express their views.