Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday Morning Sermon on the Computer - Dorothy Hammer

In reading God’s word this morning, I was reminded of how sometimes what we say can destroy our entire witness. In Galatians 1:10, Paul asks, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God”. As I continued to search and read, Paul’s words again popped out, “God does not judge by external appearance”. God looks at our hearts and our motives. Galatians is an excellent book to prepare us for our journey ahead. I encourage each of you and pray for you and myself that we guard our mouths remembering that sometimes what we mean to be cute or funny can hurt someone else deeply. I am so guilty of having a flippant attitude rather than taking seriously what someone else might be saying. What I regard as nothing may really be something to someone else. We need to be very sensitive to the questions posed by others. In the days ahead, we will become tense, irritable, anxious, impatient, frightened and other ungodly feelings. Ephesians 4:29-5:1-21 should be read often to remind us how to live.

4:29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, 1 that it may give grace to those who hear. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 4:31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 4:32 Instead, 2 be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. 3

Therefore, be 1 imitators of God as dearly loved children 5:2 and live 2 in love, just as Christ also loved us 3 and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering 4 to God. 5:3 But 5 among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, 6 or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 7 5:4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. 5:5 For you can be confident of this one thing: 8 that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Live in the Light

5:6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 9 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 10 5:8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are 11 light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 5:9 for the fruit of the light 12 consists in 13 all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 5:10 trying to learn 14 what is pleasing to the Lord. 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather 15 expose them. 16 5:12 For the things they do 17 in secret are shameful even to mention. 5:13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 5:14 For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: 18 “Awake, 19 O sleeper! 20 Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!” 

5:15 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 5:16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 5:17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise 22 by understanding 23 what the Lord’s will is. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which 24 is debauchery, 25 but be filled by the Spirit, 26 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 27 in 28 your hearts to the Lord, 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 29 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 30

Let us not be guilty of disregarding one another’s feelings as well as those we will be coming in contact with in the coming weeks. Let us not be guilty, also, of reminding others or bragging to others about our good works. We are not to be boastful. Often times we do a good deed and then ruin the testimony of our good behavior by telling others and complaining because some other did not join with us in doing good. We are not to judge others in this way. Each person has their own gift or gifts and we are to act accordingly while helping others in whatever way they may need us with eagerness. We should never bring notice to ourselves but remain humble in all that we do. We are not to judge others motives as to what they may or may not do.

I urge you in the coming days to read Galatians and Ephesians through in your morning devotional time. I desire to pray and read over this so that I can be better prepared for April 16 and 17.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Time for New Life

Acts 17:27-29 (New International Version) God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill.

Grass is peeking up, trees budding, flowers blooming, and baby animals being born. Our barest human senses are reminding us that we are born desirous of birth and new life. It is an innate part of us to be inspired by these things.

However, birth and spiritual rebirth are only made possible by the Creator Himself, and are gifts to us from His Son, Jesus Christ. They were purchased by Him on the Cross, and gift wrapped for us individually at His resurrection. He gift wrapped our ability to be reborn and truly understand new life when He rose again on that third day.

What we fail to acknowledge, is that He knew the price all along. He did not just endure the agony of the cross for a few hours. He counted the cost for every healing, every act of mercy, every Word spoken in love, and every act of forgiveness. All of these gifts would be paid for on the cross to come. He loved us and counted us worthy of the price of the gift …and the awe inspiring gift wrap. His work, completed, in power and majesty for the love of you and I. And the gift continues today.

Bunnies, eggs, baskets and bonnets are cheap substitutions for the gifts we truly need to celebrate. Go to Him, not to buy a new dress, but to receive new life. Spend time worshipping the One who died for you, not something you dyed. Let’s celebrate The Resurrection, and hunt for Christ to deliver His gift of eternal life wrapped in the bow of His risen glory. Let Christ Resurrect your life.

No other has the power. No other has paid the price. No other has defeated the grave.

Acts 2:21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

He loves you. Will you seek Him?