For Americans, the Fourth of July is a time to look back - and look up. On Independence Day, we take a break from our busy schedules to appreciate the blessings of freedom and liberty - the noble values upon which our nation was built. We look back with gratitude at our founding fathers' vision. We appreciate the courage of those who have protected our freedoms.
When God uses ordinary people beyond what is usual, ordinary or regular, He establishes the extraordinary. People do not usually think they are noteworthy, remarkable or exceptional in character. Outside of occasionally having a special, often temporary, task or responsibility, we may not address the possibility of being extraordinary. But there are "gifted" people among us. We celebrate their accomplishments with enthusiasm and amazement. What we may not consider is that God depends on ordinary people. The Bible shows us that ordinary people are chosen by God for phenomenal and special service.
When I was 16 years old, I had my dad drop me off at a lake to go fishing on his way to a church board meeting. This 30-acre private lake sat about a half of a mile off the road.
I have to admit that I love to sing. I sing along with the radio in the car. I sing in the shower. I sing as I work. (I'm not a good whistler, so I can't follow the advice of the Seven Dwarfs).
God made man a free moral agent: "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
In the book of Psalms we are told that God has a purpose for each one of us.
In the preceding weeks, we have talked about pleasing God. Last week, we saw that if we really want to please God, we must understand that Christ is a part of God's plan and must be followed. As we think more about that, there are a few more things we need to know about Christ.
I have a friend who is an author. Mark has published multiple books in the past decade. He served as a pastor for 15 years but has spent the past 10 years writing and submitting manuscripts.
Last week we looked at the question, "Who are you trying to please?" The thought was that in spiritual matters, we must study and obey his word if we are trying to please God.
Tomorrow is Father's Day, which reminds me of baseball player-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday, who once said, "Give a child a good mother and any old stick will do for a father."
Several years ago I ran across a little gospel tract titled, "God's simple plan of salvation." It gave the simple truth that God loves his creation, and he made a way so mankind could get forgiveness for its sins and receive everlasting life.
One of the bad habits that I have is goofing off with my grandkids.
In life it seems we are always trying to please someone. It may be our parents, or it may be our children, a spouse, friends, employers, teachers, etc.
By the time you are reading this, I will be in recovery mode. Our church just will have completed its vacation Bible school on Thursday night.
"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them" Acts 1:2-4 (NIV).
I'm sure you have seen the commercial at some point. She says, "It has to be true. I read it on the Internet." And then she meets her date -the "French supermodel." And you chuckle because you know someone who is that naïve.
Do you understand that Jesus loves you? Yes, you - you are important to God.
Recently, a celebrity made the news because of an illness and death.
I recently spent much of a day on hold with customer service - with two different companies. I pressed 2 and 3 and the pound sign and almost every other button on my phone as I was transferred back and forth.
The sacrifice made by Christ caused him to suffer humiliation and pain.
Second Corinthians 5:20 says, "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us." The writer here is saying that if the message of Jesus Christ is going to get out, it will be through his followers.
I'm so excited - he's coming home this weekend. By the time you read this, he should be here.
It is in Christ whom man can find victory.
It is in Christ whom man can find victory.
Whether we're talking about the children of Israel during biblical times or present-day Christianity, mankind has a tendency to have problems when things always go well.
Last week, our church elected three young men to serve as deacons within our congregation.
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