Posts Tagged ‘fellowship’

The Christian Experience

February 22, 2016

I.  Repent!  Acts 3:19

 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

A.  Repentance involves two aspects: a turning away from sin and a turning towards God. It is not simply a cessation from sin.  It is a time of drawing closer to God.  There is the initial repentance when we are first saved, but that is not the only time that it is needed.  Repentance is needed anytime that we have strayed off the course that God has for us.  It is like a course correction.   It does not necessarily mean that we have lost our salvation, but rather that we have momentarily lost our way.  We need to get back on track.

B.  In our initial conversion, we become something new.  We are born again, a new creation.  (John 3:3, II Corinthians 5:17)

C.  At this point our sins are blotted out.  They are removed from our account even more effectively than hitting the delete button.

D.  We cannot overestimate the importance of receiving the refreshing that comes from being right with God.  God is our source of strength.  If you are feeling weary, turn to God for strength.

II.  Continue!  Acts 2:42

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

A.  They continued steadfastly.  Sometimes people fade, or go in spurts.  We should seek to be people that are consistent in our walk with God.

B.  Doctrine is not a bad word.  It simply means teaching.  We should continue to grow in our knowledge of the Word and the things of God.

C.  They continued in fellowship with other believers.  We are not meant to be alone.  We are meant to be a part of a community of disciples.

Hebrews 10:23-25*

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

D.  The breaking of bread may be a reference both to sharing communion and to sharing meals.  Both of these activities can help to bring a sense of solidarity to a group of people.

E.  Praying together is important.  Our prayers are strengthened by numbers.  Prayer is one of the most important things that we do as the people of God.

The Christian experience is not just a moment in time, but a lifetime of moments.  Once we have our new life in Christ, we are to live out that new life, not just occasionally, but continually.

These are the sermon notes from 1/24/16.  Any advertisement that might appear has been placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

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Back to Basics

February 13, 2014

There are three primary ingredients for continuing Christian growth.

I.  Prayer:  Psalms 55:17

Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.

Prayer is spending time communicating with God.  There are a number of different components of prayer.

Praise:  We should spend some time each day expressing our praise to God.

Thanksgiving:  We should thank God for what He has done, is doing, and is going to do.

Confession:  We should regularly confess our sins, as God brings them to our attention.

Supplication:  It is appropriate to bring our concerns and needs before God.  He is able to help.

Intercession:  We should pray for the needs of others.

Listening:  Communication is a two-way street.  We should spend some time in silence, allowing God the opportunity to speak to us in our hearts.

II.  Scripture:  I Peter 2:1-3

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Read:  We should regularly read the Word of God.  Both the Old and New Testaments should be read.

Study:  It is appropriate to spend some time in in-depth study.  There are many study-aids available including various versions, commentaries, Bible dictionaries and so on.

Memorize:  It is a good discipline to commit scripture verses to memory.

Meditate:  Christian meditation focuses on the Word of God, or the presence of God.  It can be incorporated into our times of prayer.

III.  Fellowship: Hebrews 10:24-25

 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Fellowship does benefit us.  We are not meant to live in isolation, but as part of a community of believers.  This community can be called the body of Christ, or the family of God.  It is important to gather together.  Sometimes we are in need of encouragement and support, and other times we give encouragement and support.

At our church we have Sunday morning worship, Sunday School and Wednesday night Bible study.  Each of these opportunities are there for believers to promote Christian growth and fellowship.

It is also good for believers to gather together outside of church.  There are many different ways that Christians can gather for fellowship.  We are not meant to be alone.  We should reach out to each other for encouragement and support.

These three things are basic components necessary for Christian growth.  In the same way that football teams need to properly execute the fundamentals of blocking, tackling and ball control; so Christians must continue to regularly spend time in prayer, scripture and fellowship.

These are the sermon notes from January 26.  Any advertisement that accompanies this blog are placed there by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any financial benefit from them.

 

 

 

Why Go Ice Fishing?

March 3, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I took our Royal Ranger group ice fishing.  It was the first time in a long time that I had gone out myself.  I thought that it would be a good activity to introduce our rangers to, since we are supposed to give them a variety of activities in which to participate. 

We caught one, teeny, tiny, little fish, which we looked at briefly, and tossed back into the water.

The next week, I went out with a couple of guys and tried my luck at a different spot. 

I, again, caught nothing.  They caught a fair number..of teeny, tiny little fish, that were tossed back into the water.

The other night, another guy asked me about going out again, at yet a different lake.  I am wondering if I will be able to fit it into my schedule.

Why go ice fishing?

First, it’s great to be outdoors, even in the cold, on the ice.  There is something about being out on a lake in winter that will take your breath away.

Oh wait, maybe that’s just the cold! 

 No, there is a stillness that is just different from other things.  It must be experienced to be appreciated, and not everyone will appreciate it.

Secondly, there is the camaraderie of a shared activity.  The old, hunting, gathering, er..fishing, thing.  There is not a lot to do while you wait for a bite, so you talk about this and that.

Third, it is about hope.  Hope that down there in the dark waters, there is a fish that is going to take your bait, so that you can have the thrill of pulling the fish out of the water, a successful catch! 

Even if it is teeny, tiny.

When the thrill is gone, or the hope has died, it is time to go home.

Until the next time.