Have you ever wondered what God thinks, dreams or imagines? What does Jesus see when He dreams about us or imagines what we could be and do? Whatever that is should become our vision.
Somehow life just never seems to turn out like we imagined. The routine and mundane are accompanied with pain and great disappointment. We may often wonder if it will ever get any better. Today we will see that we can have hope to believe that there is a great future ahead.
Did you know that Christmas is a very depressing time for many people? An article written by a director of the California Department of Mental Hygiene warns: “The Christmas season is marked by greater emotional stress and more acts of violence than any other time of the year.” For many, Christmas is an excuse to get drunk, have a party, give little, get out of work or school, spend money, overeat and give into selfishness. However, the Church, each believer in Jesus Christ, has a reason to rejoice.
This life is filled with challenges and difficulties that drain the joy out of life if we don’t learn how to stay focused on Christ. The believer's joy and the joy of Christmas is centered in Christ. He is our reason for joy; not only at Christmas but all year long.
Church discipline in our world today is virtually nonexistent. Some churches have gone through negative experiences when they have tried to implement discipline, so they have chosen to back off from biblical mandates. Pastors and church leaders often choose to ignore the topic out of fear of offending anyone. Church leaders don’t want to make any waves, lose people, or be considered legalistic, judgmental or anti-grace. The Church has chosen to look the other way in honor of people at the expense of the honor and righteousness of God.
God is the One who causes the Church to grow, but He uses His children, people, just like you and me, to build it. As God’s children, we are called to actively participate in meeting the needs and providing the ministries that will help people grow spiritually and mature and in Christ. Today we will look at the early church in Acts and Ephesians as our example and model.
The power of worship has been displayed down through history. Many Christians know that coming together for corporate worship is a critical part of the believer's life. Is the place of worship the key to having an effective worship experience? Today we will see that the place is not as important at the condition and position of the heart.
When Jesus died on the cross, shed His blood and then rose victorious over death, hell and the grave, He wasn’t doing it to show His authority. The authority of God and Jesus was already demonstrated in heaven when Satan and his rebellious followers were defeated and thrown out of heaven. Jesus did all of this to regain authority for you and me, which had been stolen by Satan through our sin.
Hundreds of years ago, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lost the reason that God had in creating them. They yielded to temptation and lost their birth certificate. Satan became the ruler and prince of this world through stolen authority. The Bible is the revelation of God’s plan to rescue us and teach us how to live as His redeemed children.
I believe that God longs to bless His children, but often our disobedience stands in the way, as a roadblock, to our ability to be blessed from His holy hand. Today I want to call you to a deeper level of obedience in your relationship with the Lord. It is not about feeling, nor is it without personal cost or sacrifice, but the blessings will come when we obey. I am convinced that God has more for us than we are currently experiencing in our walk with Him. Today I want you to hear the biblical call to go deeper in your relationship with Jesus. The challenge comes from a fishing story that is “tthhiisss biigg!”
September 18, 1994 Maurice Bender Holiness for Modern Times Gilmore Trio- I’m Standing on the Solid Rock Kathy Parsons- Master of the Winds that Blow GTH- Only Trust Him, He is Here Matthew 5:27-28 Colossians 12 Romans 16
Rev. Doug Sider The Wrights singing He's in the Midst Sandra Wingert singing Make My Heart Your Home Gospel Tide Choir singing God is Our Refuge and Strength and Let Your Love Flow Through Me
Do you see people as riches and value others like God does? In our story today we find God looking for someone who will value and love people as He loves people. We will be reminded of the love of God for us and His great love and value of all people.