Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Your Own Song

Sermon: When the Devil Roars;Roar Back Sunday School; Purity

Is it possible that each individual carries their unique song within them? Recently a friend encouraged me by reminding me that God created us to be a song that glorifies Him. She heard on KLOVE radio station that the each individuals dna holds a unique song. When dna is stretched it resembles the same wave lengths found in music. I looked this up on the internet and found some scientific articles that supported these statements. While the thought is new and certainly will continue to be tested the implication is that individuals were wired with a unique song within their dna.

We give God praise through the song of our life. My friends observation about dna reminded me that we have a built in song given to us by God no matter what is going on in our lives circumstance. It makes sense then that God's Word exhorts us to praise Him at all times...and sing to Him out of the abundance of our heart. Music moves the heart of man like nothing else can. When we draw near to God He draws near to us and from our innermost being comes a song that the creator of our soul put within us. It is exciting to discover that even our dna was meant to line up with God's Word and His love for us.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

God's Best...Our Best

Sermon: Fear Not and Sunday School: Sanctity of Life
I was thinking about love the other day and my thoughts went to the most famous verse in the Bible. John 3:16 is known by many people even those who do not profess to be Christians. It has a profoundly simply message. God is love. We are called to be imitators of that love which can only be obtained and expressed by accepting Jesus as Savor. At salvation this same love is deposited in us and must be cultivated in our life. In a world where hurts, betrayals and disappointments run rampant it is easy to lose sight of true love. I found three aspects of God’s love in the verse. We’ll talk about the first one today.

God’s love gives.
It’s not the kind of love that gives to manipulate the targets response. We’ve all come into contact with people whose giving always has a catch. Manipulative love says, “I’ll give you something but then your freedom to chose is a thing of the past.” The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were still sinners. He loved us before we loved Him. He loved us before we ever made the choice to serve Him or reject Him. He sets before us today as He did in Joshua’s day a choice between life or death, blessing or cursing. Every choice we makes leads us somewhere. Choosing Him and His ways bring life and purpose to our existence on this earth and beyond.

God’s love gives the best.
Another part of God’s giving nature is to give the very best. He so loved the world He gave His one and only son. Some of us have had times where our best was limited. Christmases when perhaps the gifts were few or where they were from a discount store or better yet homemade. Yet they were from our heart…they were our best. Maybe you’ve re-gifted at least once in your life because an occasion came up that caught you unaware or your heart wasn’t really touched by the event. It is at those times when we have to admit that our gift was in the pile…but it wasn’t our best effort and certainly didn’t attach any great value. God the Father gave Jesus as his best gift. The love and honor He placed upon Jesus shows us the value He places upon you and I. When I consider my sons and the love I have for them…I realize how hard it would be to give them as a gift to a world that in many respects doesn’t deserve such a treasured possession. They are a part of me and that doesn’t change with age or circumstance. God didn’t give us his second or third best…He gave the very best.

Because He gave His best we give our best.

Sometimes we all struggle with giving our best to others as an outpouring of our love for God. When we accept Jesus our spirit is renewed and His love is placed in our heart. So because we are God’s children we begin to desire to imitate Him in his giving. Yet somehow we still struggle. The value of a person that God’s placed in our path may not be readily apparent to us. We may struggle because the person that God’s put in our path has made so many mistakes it doesn’t seem like they deserve a “millionth” chance even if they have repented. The big and small things that we can do for someone in our life may take a little planning and our time is precious. Biblical love is a lot of things…it doesn’t always ooze with soft words…sometimes it is calling a spade a spade. Sometimes it requires us to let go of a perceived hurt and to give of ourselves anyway. Love isn’t always the easy way.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Encourage One Another

Sunday Sermon with Pastor John...The Word and Sunday School with Bro. Larry.

My niece was on the Cheer Leading Squad this year at school. We went to one of her competitions and I was impressed with the amount of practice and teamwork that it takes to complete the routines.

Cheer Leaders Show Enthusiasm For Their Team

Cheer Leaders must have an enthusiasm for their team and that enthusiasm must transfer to the audience and the players on the field. The Body of Christ needs that as well. We are all called to be encouragers in some capacity. Cheerleaders must encourage and have a respect for the team no matter the score on the score board. A good Cheer Leader cares about the team and the audience.

They Cheer No Matter The Current Score on the Scoreboard

It is easier to cheer when the team is ahead and the momentum of the crowd is high, but a Cheer Leader doesn't give up when things are hard. Their demeanor affects the team and the audience that watches. I've been to games where the home team was down in points and mistakes had been made. You could almost feel the discouragement come into the atmosphere of the room. Yet the cheerleaders would rise throwing off their own discouragement as they began their cheer for the team. As they cheer something begins to change that the scoreboard can not measure...it is a sense of honor (value) towards the team. This type of action changes the atmosphere of both a team (church) and those in the audience (the world...those we have an influence with). It brings hope for the future and desire to focus on a solution.

Local churches need this as well. It is not always easy. Congregations go through different things....some good and some difficult. An encourager cares about their local Body of Christ. They care about solutions and realize that their spirit may well be what helps a discouraged player pick up the ball and play like they need to play to win the game.