Jun 4, 2017
How Should We Respond To Change In The Church?
Series: Other
Many local churches are dying partly because, being steeped in tradition, they are unwilling to implement necessary changes, even when such changes are directed by God.
 
Jesus addressed this issue with the Jewish religious leaders in Luke 5:33-39. For, many Jewish people in Jesus' day resisted the change that Jesus brought. Misunderstanding who Jesus was, they tried to conform Jesus to their ways. Since they were too set in their Judaism to change, they missed out on the greatest change in human history.
 
Of course, this should not surprise us, since God's people have always resisted change. For one example, consider how the Israelites resisted all the way during the Exodus. Throughout Israel's history and church history, even to the present day, God's people resist necessary change. They fail to realize that there comes a time when the forms of a local church ministry must change in order to accomplish the functions of ministry that God has set forth for the church in His Word. 
 
Therefore, embrace divinely directed change. If you're resistant, ask yourself, "Why?" Does the change violate the Scriptures? Is the change being made for the wrong reasons? Are you just comfortable with the way things are now? If you are genuinely concerned, then ask honest questions to the right people.
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  • Jun 4, 2017How Should We Respond To Change In The Church?
    Jun 4, 2017
    How Should We Respond To Change In The Church?
    Series: Other
    Many local churches are dying partly because, being steeped in tradition, they are unwilling to implement necessary changes, even when such changes are directed by God.
     
    Jesus addressed this issue with the Jewish religious leaders in Luke 5:33-39. For, many Jewish people in Jesus' day resisted the change that Jesus brought. Misunderstanding who Jesus was, they tried to conform Jesus to their ways. Since they were too set in their Judaism to change, they missed out on the greatest change in human history.
     
    Of course, this should not surprise us, since God's people have always resisted change. For one example, consider how the Israelites resisted all the way during the Exodus. Throughout Israel's history and church history, even to the present day, God's people resist necessary change. They fail to realize that there comes a time when the forms of a local church ministry must change in order to accomplish the functions of ministry that God has set forth for the church in His Word. 
     
    Therefore, embrace divinely directed change. If you're resistant, ask yourself, "Why?" Does the change violate the Scriptures? Is the change being made for the wrong reasons? Are you just comfortable with the way things are now? If you are genuinely concerned, then ask honest questions to the right people.
  • May 28, 2017How Can We Help People Know Jesus?
    May 28, 2017
    How Can We Help People Know Jesus?
    Series: Other
    People need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal and abundant life both in this present life and in the age to come. As followers of Jesus, we have been commissioned to help others know Jesus as their Lord and Savior just as we do. So, how should we help people know Jesus? 
     
    In Luke 5:27-32, we find two contrasting approaches to people who are presently living their lives far from God. First, the Pharisees and Scribes practiced segragation.  Segragation drives people away from God, because it sees people for who they are without God and stays away our of pride and fear. Second, Jesus and Levi practiced association. Association draws people nearer to God, because it sees people for who they could be with God and approaches them out of humility and love.
     
    So, strategically bring people to Jesus. Look around you. Be intentional. Use your personal style. Then, let Jesus be Jesus. Having pointed people to Jesus through the words of the gospel and your testimony, let Jesus do the rest, opening their eyes and bringing conviction to their heart as only God can.
  • May 14, 2017Will Jesus Still Care About Me?
    May 14, 2017
    Will Jesus Still Care About Me?
    Series: Other
    Sometimes, we may wonder if Jesus could still care about us given the way that we've treated Him or ignored Him or on account of something we've done or undesirable things in our background. We can learn on this subject from Jesus' interaction with a man with leprosy in
    Luke 5:12-16.
     
    In these verses, we see how Jesus loved an "unlovable" leper. For, this man had been enduring a living death in a painless hell before he came to Jesus in humility and faith. Jesus was probably this man's last hope. However, while everyone else would have ignored this man, Jesus had compassion on him and cleansed him.
     
    Jesus has demonstrated compassion to you, as well. His cleansing of the leper is something amazing that really happened, but it is also a living parable of the spiritual ministry for which Jesus came. For, leprosy in Jesus' day had a close association with sin, the latter being a condition that is common to all people. Our sin is a lot uglier than we might realize. It renders us unapproachable by a holy God. And yet, Jesus, being fully God, not only came, but provided cleansing for your sin. 
     
    So, receive Jesus' compassionate cleansing. Come to Jesus as your only hope in humble faith. Walk in the new life for which He cleanses you. Then, share your testimony that others might be cleansed, too. 
  • May 7, 2017How Can You Become A Good And Faithful Servant?
    May 7, 2017
    How Can You Become A Good And Faithful Servant?
    Series: Other
     
    To be accepted into a right relationship with God by grace through faith in Jesus is truly a miracle. However, as we submit to the gracious work of God in our lives, we find in the Scriptures that we can also become good and faithful servants to the Lord. 
     
    In Luke 5:1-11, we find three characteristics of a good and faithful servant exemplified by Simon Peter. Through Peter's example, we learn that faithful servants obey when Jesus gives the word. Faithful servants are also humble before Jesus. Finally, faithful servants are fully committed to the call. 
     
    So, what about you? Are you obedient to God's commands, even when it's hard. Do you realize that you bring nothing to the table before a holy God? Are you all in with Jesus? For, these heart attitudes of reverence, humility, and faith characterize the good and faithful servants through whom Jesus can do great things for God's glory.
  • Apr 30, 2017Does Jesus Have What It Takes To Keep His Promises?
    Apr 30, 2017
    Does Jesus Have What It Takes To Keep His Promises?
    Series: Other
    Sometimes we get broken down by this fallen world. Satan exerts his influence both directly and indirectly. The world is characterized by sickness and death.
     
    In Luke 4:31-44, we see evidence of such brokenness in people's lives when they came in contact with Jesus. However, we also see that Jesus came to fix that. Jesus has power and authority over demons and disease. He genuinely cares enough to do something about it. He is not disuaded by politics. 
     
    Are you broken by this fallen world? Turn to Jesus! He is willing and able to keep His promises. Therefore, He is is the basis for hope to persevere.
  • Apr 23, 2017Who Do I Say That I Am?
    Apr 23, 2017
    Who Do I Say That I Am?
    Series: Other
    The greatest question of all demands a great response, namely, "Who do I say Jesus is?" However, so many arrive at the wrong answer to this question because they've failed to come to terms with an even more basic question, namely, "Who do I say that I am?" 
     
    It is this second question that led to conflicting responses when Jesus began His public ministry as recorded in Luke 4:14-30. In that passage, we find that people want to embrace the popular view of Jesus, but His claims won't let them. For, Jesus claimed to be the Prophet, the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Savior of the World. Jesus also claimed that God's favor is only for spiritual "losers" who recognize that they bring nothing to the table that would merit God's acceptance. 
     
    So, ask yourself, "Who do I say that I am?" Are you basically a good person whom God should accept on your own merits? If so, then like the people of Nazareth in Jesus' day, you've already made up your mind that the real Jesus isn't for you. On the other hand, are you a spiritual loser in need of a Savior? If so, then humbly come to Jesus in faith, and you will find the grace that you need, not only for salvation, but to live the life for which God created you.
  • Apr 16, 2017The Greatness Of The Resurrection
    Apr 16, 2017
    The Greatness Of The Resurrection
    Series: Easter
    True greatness demands a response. In John 20:24-31, we witness the interchange between Thomas and the resurrected Christ, a truly great moment in history. In this account, we find Thomas, a great man, making high demands. Jesus satisfied the high demands but with a great command. Thomas then made a great confession to which Jesus responded with a great blessing.
     
    Are you wrestling with doubt concerning Jesus. Then, in the words of Jesus to Thomas,
    stop doubting and believe. Believe what Thomas believed, namely, that Jesus is your Lord and your God. The evidence is more than sufficient to provide a great response to the greatest question of all: Who do you Jesus is? Stop doubting and believe.
  • Apr 9, 2017When You Face Temptation
    Apr 9, 2017
    When You Face Temptation
    Series: Other
    Temptation challenges our trust in the Lord. It causes us to ask whether God's provision, plan, and/or protection can be trusted. In Luke 4:1-13, Jesus demonstrated trust in God's provision, plan, and protection in the face of temptation.
     
    When you face temptation, turn to Jesus! He's been there. He's qualified. He's promised to help. His grace is sufficient.
  • Apr 2, 2017An Eternal Weight Of Glory: Eternal Reward
    Apr 2, 2017
    An Eternal Weight Of Glory: Eternal Reward
    Series: Other
    As a summary application to his teaching on eternity, Paul explains how Christians should seek to please the Lord in light of the coming judgment. Looking elsewhere in the Scriptures, we find that the Judgment Seat of Christ is focused on the gracious bestowal of eternal reward. So, make it your goal to please the Lord. Be motivated by your eternal reward and don't give up!
  • Mar 26, 2017An Eternal Weight Of Glory: Life After Death
    Mar 26, 2017
    An Eternal Weight Of Glory: Life After Death
    Series: Other
    What happens after we die? In 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Paul explains that, for Christians, death is a transition into Christ's presence. The transition happens immediately at the moment one dies. Understanding this, our eternal hope in Christs shapes our attitudes about death and life. Have confidence with respect to life after death. Don't give up following Jesus in your life before death.