January 17th, 2013
One of the greatest and most precious promise in the Word of God is th certainty go the return of the Lord Jesus for His church. Christians are expected to live a different kind of life than that of the unbeliever. Col. 3:1-2 tells us that we are to set our minds on the things that are above; that is on things that have a Heavenly perspective.
How should we live and conduct ourselves in the here and now as we wait for Jesus’ return? Every generation of Christians from the first century has had the promise of His coming. Believing that He could come at any time should motivate us to greater service to Jesus and His church.
How should we be living in anticipation of the return of the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)? We must be found not only waiting and looking forward to His coming but must be active and faithful in our service to Him. Paul gave us a wonderful motivation for righteous living–believers are waiting for a hope that is already a certainty. We can look forward to Christ’s return with eager expectation. We must adhere to the words of a popular song: “We’ll work til Jesus come.”
By utilizing the term“Blessed Hope,” Paul brings out at least 2 aspects of Christian living that should be stressed today.
Waiting with anticipation and hoping for Christ’s glorious appearing. The waiting is good for us: it builds character, endurance, and perseverance. The hoping makes the waiting bearable.
C. S. Lewis wrote: “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think to the other world that they have become ineffective in this one. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
Four words seem to characterize our earthly sojourn.
- Occupy. Use your talents for the Lord. I believe that every Christian has at least one talent that he or she can utilize to bring glory to God. There is room in the Kingdom for all Christians to develop and use their talents to further the work of the church.
- Purify. We must say “No!” to the world’s attractions. (1 John 2:15-17) we must practice mind renewal in a mindless society (Romans 12:1-2).
- Watch. This watching will include waiting and working. We must seek to be active in His service and not just occupy a pew. We must want to do all it takes to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Worship. Gathering around the Lord’s Table reminds us of both redemption and the return of the Lord Jesus.
Keep looking up! Jesus may come TODAY!
July 16th, 2012
Why do we believe things about the Word of God the way we do? Why do we hold to the teaching and doctrines? There are many possible reasons for holding these truth. But, are they the right reasons?
All Christians should want to know the truth and then practice that truth in their everyday walk for the Lord Jesus. But the question before us today is: How can we know what I believe is right? Some of the reasons we give may be OK as secondary reasons.
Do we accept the doctrine in the Bible because:
- Our Church teaches it.
- Our parents believe it.
- Our preacher preaches it.
- Our teachers teach it.
Let’s say that the individuals above are faithful to God’s Word. Christians should be able to expect that what is taught by the above is the truth. If we have the faithful influences above, it should help us grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
But we can not be saved by what others believe and teach, no matter if it is the truth. Someone said, “no truth is truly yours until you find it for yourself in the Word of God.”. I must have a personal faith and belief in God’s Word. We can and do learn more about the Bible with the help of others. By having a personal knowledge of the Word and the desire to learn more, that will help us to know whether what is being taught is Scriptural.
By knowing what is real and true, we can discern and distinguish truth from error. The Berean’s in Acts 17:11 were commended by the Apostle Paul, not because they accepted what he taught, hook, line, and sinker, but because “they searched the scripture daily to see if what he taught was true.”
We need to know God’s Word that way. If we do, we will not be influenced by false teachers from within and without. We will be able to help not only ourselves stay true to the “faith once for all delivered to the saints,” but will be able to teach others. We must follow the teaching Paul gave in 2 Tim. 2:2. It is there that he told Timothy to teach the Word to faithful men, who would likewise teach faithful ones. By following this excellent procedure, we can be faithful to the Word and know that we are helping future generations understand the importance of studying and passing on God’s Word to others!
January 11th, 2012
We have been blessed with every Spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) The Apostle Paul is writing this epistle to the Christians in the city of Ephesus. He has talked about grace and peace in Eph. 1:2. We know that the “grace of God” was manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus. That grace was also an action, whereby God showed forth His love for lost mankind and the Lord Jesus was the Redeemer who came down to Earth to die for the sins of mankind. Since we are now “in Christ,” we can claim the blessings in the letter also.
In Eph 1:3, Paul stresses first of all that we need to be praising the Heavenly Father above all things. God wants to bestow, yea, even lavish his love and blessings on His children. He is not up there in Heaven blessing us sparingly. Jesus said that He came that we might have an abundant life in Him. We must desire all that He has for us. We must want to live the Christian life to the fullest, learning more about Jesus every day. We strive for this because we want to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus,” as well as encouraging our fellow believers in their walk and reaching the lost with the message of salvation.
He has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST.” The same Greek words rendered here “heavenly places” are translated “heavenly things” in James 3:12. Since we are “citizens of Heaven,” (Phil. 3:20) we must look to the things above and not things on the earth. Our spiritual mindset must be honed in on Jesus at all times. We are but pilgrims and strangers here on earth. We sing “this world is not my home…,” and rightly so. But we are as John says in I John 2:15-17 “in the world but not of the world,” we have to have a heavenly perspective in life. That perspective comes from believing the words of Paul here in Eph. 1:3.