|Posted on March 8, 2015 at 12:25 AM||comments (1)|
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:19-25 NIV)
John Donne wrote, “No man is an island,” and the Scriptures also encourage us not to “go it alone” in our Christian life. We need each other.
As we prepare our hearts, minds and bodies for Good Friday and Easter during this year’s Lenten Season, we are challenged by five “Let us” commands in Hebrews 10.
1. DRAW NEAR – Praying. “Let us draw near to God” (10:22).
2. HOLD ON – Trusting. “Let us hold on to the hope we profess” (10:23).
3. SHOW LOVE – Helping. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds” (10:24).
4. SHOW UP – Gathering. “Let us not give up meeting together” (10:25).
5. CHEER ON – Encouraging. “Let us encourage one another” (10:25).
Which of these is God challenging you to grow in this Season of Lent? I am encouraging each of us to focus on taking action in ONE of these five during the next six weeks. Will you meet with us for prayer on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm? Will you read the daily Bible readings with us? Will you help another Christian to grow as a disciple of Jesus? Will you show up for every worship service during Lent? Will you invite someone to attend with you?
Lord, draw us near to you. Amen.
|Posted on March 8, 2015 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can't come.’ (Luke 14:16-20 NIV 1984)
Jesus said these words to a man who said, “Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
Unfortunately, many will miss that glorious feast with our loving Lord because they just couldn’t be bothered to show up.
Jesus is calling all of us, all humankind to join him at his banquet table. Jesus is not willing that any should perish. Nothing would please Jesus more than having you and me, and everyone else he made in his own image, be present for the supper of all suppers.
But so many people just cannot be bothered with Jesus and his benevolent invitation. They have bought land and businesses and are too enamored with their own plans. There is no time for Jesus.
Others are enjoying their new trucks, cars, off-road vehicles, and other oxen-equivalents of our day. Church, the Bible, Jesus, and other Christian involvements have no room in their lives. Yet Jesus is calling them and weeping when they just keep going their own way.
Still others find themselves with friends who have no interest in the Lord. They are “married” to their crowd—and their crowd doesn’t devote any time to serving the King of Kings. So they go along—and miss the feast.
Would you please say a prayer with me? Dear Lord Jesus, I want to be a part of your kingdom forever. Open my eyes to any distractions that are keeping me from accepting your invitation. Touch my heart so following you is my greatest desire and use me to bring others into your kingdom. Amen.
|Posted on May 28, 2014 at 2:15 PM||comments (0)|
"… from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15 NIV)
Why read God's Word every day? By reading the Bible daily we learn the way of salvation in Christ, we grow in our relationship with God, and we are able to share the Scriptures with others—including our children and grand children.
Let’s buck the trend of biblical illiteracy…
“Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: ‘Americans revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don't read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.’ How bad is it? Researchers tell us that it's worse than most could imagine.
“Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels. Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. According to data from the Barna Research Group, 60 percent of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments. ‘No wonder people break the Ten Commandments all the time. They don’t know what they are,’ said George Barna, president of the firm. The bottom line? ‘Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate.’” (Albert Mohler, “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy: It’s Our Problem” ChristianHeadlines.com)
Timothy was blessed to have a mom and grandmother who taught him the Scriptures. What will our children and grand children say about us? Did we pass on the greatest knowledge of all?
“Recovery starts at home. Parents are to be the first and most important educators of their own children, diligently teaching them the Word of God. [See Deuteronomy 6:4-9.]” (Albert Mohler, ibid.)
Let’s pass it on!
|Posted on October 30, 2013 at 4:55 PM||comments (0)|
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 NIV).
One of our most important responsibilities as parents and as a community of faith is to be sure that the generations that follow us know the Lord. The Lord wants you and me to love him with all that we are: heart, soul and strength. But he also wants us to teach our children the Word of God. If we don’t pass the Faith on to the next generation, we have failed to do all that the Lord asks of us.
This is one of the biggest challenges to the church in our day: Will our children and grandchildren know the Lord? Will they know God’s Word? Will they be committed to carrying on the mission of the church?
Right now, we have the opportunity to start a new ministry that we pray will help pass on the faith to our children and grandchildren. Please join me in praying that we can successfully begin a Contemporary Ministry that will “speak the language” of the younger generations. Please pray that we will not only help our own young people and contemporary-minded adults, but that we will also reach many people who do not currently belong to any church.
We still don’t know exactly what this Contemporary Ministry will look like. However, we are NOT planning for this ministry to take place on Sunday mornings. Most likely, this ministry will include singing contemporary Christian songs, a message from God’s Word, and a time for interaction and prayer. Will you pray for this ministry with me?