My Church My Call Saturday, Oct 27 2018 

The scriptures for today may be found in the book of Luke chapter 7 verses 41-50:

41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred [a]denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 49 Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say [b]to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” 50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

And also the book of John chapter 1 verse 17:

17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.

Why isn’t the church filled with joy and peace and contentment?

One of the primary reasons is because they say that grace and truth are in the law. But here it says grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. We know God’s law is truthful and has always been so the conclusion is that we need the law. One of the reasons Christ came to live among us is to correct the misuse of God’s law.

What is the value of all of this for us?

It is the “fullness of Christ”. You see the law was a foreshadowing of Christ. So now we have a marriage of grace and truth. A “better” way.

Why is it we are not more thankful to God for the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus?

Many churches today dismiss the law and say, “We don’t have to bother with that anymore. We are saved by faith.”

But grace does not dismiss the law. Romans 3:31 Do we then nullify [a]the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. It helps us to realize we need forgiveness.

What is the state of your love to the LORD your God?

You will never appreciate grace until you realize your need forgiveness.  Have you ever known deep repentance?

47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.

Unless you know the depth of your iniquity and your need of Christ you will never know the love.

Some think that sin is anything that messes up my life. If I could just stop doing this or that I would be perfect and everything would be alright. But sin is against God. They aren’t concerned with God. They just want to be happy. They want happiness rather than holiness.

Matthew 5:“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Living in a worldly way comes when we dismiss the law of God which leads to a “false joy”. We should examine ourselves in view of the law. The other problem is mixing the law and grace. The moment you begin to miss them you have no joy at all because you are constantly going back under the law again. We are under grace.

Prayer diminishes when we are under the law. Here we go, “I failed again.”

With grace you are sanctified. With the world you need to be circumcised along with Christ. They always try to add something to it. You have to do this or that in order to be saved and you are constantly frustrated going from religion to religion looking for the truth. But truth without grace is not enough.

Galatians 5:1-3

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.

 

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My Church Saturday, Feb 3 2018 

The Scripture that I would like to bring to your attention this morning is found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in chapter 3 verses 20-21: 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations [a]forever and ever. Amen.

When a person attends a particular church they tell others, “My church is such and such.” They identify with a particular church, a particular group of people, a particular location.

My church’s purpose is to worship and glorify God. It is a place of unity. Every Christian member is also a part of the household of God. It is an intimate group. There is a difference between a city where we live and a church where we attend. The city is external but the church is internal or intimate if you will. We know the people of our church. We pray for them and with them. We know their families.

My church is the bride of Christ just like every other Christian church. We are also the body of Christ. “The two shall become one body.”  Ephesians 5:32 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

God wants his church to be united intimately just like a married couple. You share life together. You care for one another. You help each other. You encourage one another. You love one another. John 13:35 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Just like in a family the people of the church are responsible for one another’s spiritual health. We hold one another accountable. We call each other to task if a brother is living in sin. Matthew 18: 15 “If your brother sins[k], go and [l]show him his fault [m]in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every [n]fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as [o]a Gentile and [p]a tax collector.

Most churches today won’t do this for fear that they will lose their members. They say, “Anything goes. We all sin. Why should I call out a brother when my own life is just as vile. No, no we have to love everybody and treat everybody the same.”

 

 

Thankfulness Prayer Friday, Oct 28 2016 

LORD, you know that all I pray today is in the name of Jesus Christ my LORD and Savior.

Thank you that I:

  1. was able to get out of bed this morning without assistance.
  2. could go to the bathroom by myself.
  3. have hot and cold running water.
  4. have dishes to do.
  5. have lights that come on when I flip the switch.
  6. have plenty of food in my pantry.
  7. have a roof over my head.
  8. have shoes and clothes.
  9. have pots, pans, and utensils to cook.
  10. have books to read including my bible.
  11. was born in the United States of America.
  12. can attend the church of my choice.
  13. am free to worship you, LORD.

Vine Ripened Tuesday, Jun 9 2015 

Recently, we gave our first vine ripened tomato to our “littlest, littlest Bo.” That is one of the nicknames we have for our one year old grandson. I rinsed it off and cut it into little quarter wedges so he could fit a whole piece in his mouth and get all the juice out as he ate it. He loves tomatoes! After he finished the whole thing, he took the little plastic bowl and brought it to me and said, “Mo!”

“There isn’t any more. You ate all there was,” I answered.

If you could have seen the look on his face. It was priceless. I thought at the time, we should all look like that at the end of a church service or a bible study; an utter yearning that could not be expressed. We should love the presence of the LORD so much that it is like vine ripened tomatoes.

We should also get our “glow” from the vine. If we are out of His presence for even one day we start to lose our glow just like the glow on Moses’ face began to fade and he had to wear a veil so they couldn’t see how it was fading.

Exodus 34:29-35.

I Am a Platelet Wednesday, Nov 12 2014 

God may choose to use us in the body of Christ, (His Church) for his purposes. Recently, I had two separate women call me to say they were leaving the church. I felt an immediate clenching of my chest, a stabbing pain, and then a sickening feeling overwhelmed me just at the thought of them leaving.

As I was speaking with them, both times, the Holy Spirit said, “Tell them you are a platelet in the body of Christ, in the vein of the Church.”

I didn’t even know what a platelet was. I thought it was the part of the blood that carried nutrients around to the various “vital organs.” This was my pride rearing its’ ugly head again.

Anyway, I told them I was just a little platelet. How little, I had no idea.

It turns out there are hundreds of thousands of platelets, they are very small disk shaped, and they don’t even have a nucleus. Their whole purpose in the blood is to cause clotting to prevent bleeding.

I was very excited to discover that I wasn’t’ as important as I thought I was but still vital to the “life” of the Church. You see bleeding to me was symbolic of losing church members. Our pastor told me that we indeed had lost 25 families who were forced to move away to find work or for other job related reasons.

Platelets cause clotting which is a sort of clumping of the blood cells. The clumping to me represented community groups and their vital function in the “life” of the church.

So now before God I sit astounded at his analogy. I am humbled yet refreshed. I am glad that I did what the Holy Spirit prompted me to do. That I was able to listen and hear their heart’s cry. That I had dedicated myself to be here for them if they should ever need a friend. Knowing full well that whether they stayed or left that God still had them in the palm of his hand and would place them under the wing of a pastor that could love and guide them in a way that they needed.