On Sept 12 The Somerville, MA Police was looking for a man who urinated on the American flags at the Veterans cemetery. The person who saw this and reported it said, “What possible reason could they have for desecrating a WW2 Memorial?
There are people who have no regard for memorials, for the sacred. No respect at all. However, this man will pay for his offense; Somerville police is investigating, and he will have to give an account for his actions to the authorities.
A picture tells a thousand words, when you look at picture, your mind takes you to that moment in time. You may remember either fond memories or perhaps devastating ones.
Slogans or phrases also remind you of a event. “United we stand” “We won’t forget” “Boston strong” This week our country will be commemorating Sept.11. The time when our nation was brutally attacked by terrorist. Everything in our nation changed after the events of Sept.11.
I wonder what would be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of God. For millennia people have wrestled with the question. Who is God? Throughout Scripture God has revealed himself to us so that we learn about who he is. The Bible tells us about God’s communicable (transmittable) attributes. Those of God’s traits that can become true of us. For instance, God is holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, truthful, patient and wise. How should the knowledge that God is______ change the way we live?
A Christian is a person who transitions from death into life and from darkness into light. How should we then live now that we have chosen to follow Christ? We are to live as people who have the identity of Jesus now, people of the light since Jesus himself calls us to be the light of the world. Paul writes a letter to a church to remind Christians what it means to live as children of light.
It’s easy to believe when things go well in your life, when you have “mountain top” experiences; when you feel closer to God; however, it is in the valley moments, those times when you are not in control that we tend to doubt God; for some it is during trials, suffering and turmoil that they question God. I think is safe to say that the majority of us at one time or another have struggled with trusting God wholeheartedly; perhaps you are truly wrestling right now with doubts and unbelief. How can you overcome these struggles?
We all go through trials and difficult times in this life; things happen to us that tend to squeeze our joy and test our faith in God. As Christians you may feel at times empty, stagnant, and hopeless in the world. You may feel like God has left you; that he is not answering your prayers; you may feel you are running on empty, you need to be revived again; you don’t even know where to begin.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “The discontented man finds no easy chair.” There are many who struggle with contentment. Some people think that to be happy in life, they must accomplish something. If I get this promotion, then I will be happy; if I marry this person or that one I will truly live happily. If this happen in my organization, then I will be happy. Their happiness is circumstantial; it depends on the situation they experience. The Bible teaches us that we can be content or happy regardless of the situation or circumstance you may find yourselves in.
At one time or another we have experience worries or anxiety in our lives.
A lot of things can cause you to worry: Threat, unmet expectations, fear of the unknown; etc.
Some of you here today may be experiencing anxiety right now because of a situation or circumstance you’re in. Jesus has a message for you today; he wants to show you how to eliminate anxiety and worries out of your life. Jesus addressed anxiety or worries in life during the so called “Sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5-7). Matthew 5 tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, he went on a mountainside. His disciples came to him and he began to teach them saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit…..
During the Olympics, athletes represent their nations or countries. These nations send their best athletes in their discipline to compete and bring honor to their nations. Following Jesus is spoken of in Scripture as entering into race. The moment you agreed to be a follower of Jesus, you enter that race. The Christian life is a race; at times you may feel very good in how you run and progress in your walk; but at times it turns out to be very difficult and the temptation to quit or give up will always be there. Perhaps you know people who stopped running their race;
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they traveled through the desert where they endured hunger and thirst. However, Yahweh continually provided for them. Just in the previous chapter we read about an incident in which they came to a place where there was no water. People grumbled against Moses; God provided water to drink from a rock. These people were on their way to the land the LORD promised to them as their inheritance. This land would be their future; however, an enemy came against them and threatened their lives, their future. This is the first war Israel had to fight after coming out of Egypt.
It is much easier to destroy something than to build it up. Jesus told his disciples that he will build his church. This started in the first century at the preaching of the apostles. This is how Jesus began to build his church. The apostles preached the good news of God’s kingdom and those who believed became followers of Jesus and continued to announce the life-changing message of the gospel. The group or gathering of believers is what is called “ekklesia (church). Peter’s 2nd sermon to a Jewish council was “Jesus is the stone, you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.” (Acts 4:11); when it comes to building his church, Jesus used his apostles whose main message was salvation is found only in Jesus. The cornerstone upon which people are to build their lives.
When the Restoration Movement began in our nation in the early 19th century their slogan was: In essentials unity, in matters of opinion liberty, in all things love. This is the movement from which independent Christian churches, Disciples of Christ and Churches of Christ emerged. People wanted to restore the church back to the Bible. The Bible would be the only creed. They understood that when it comes to our Christian faith, we must be united in the essentials; but when it comes to matters of opinion there is freedom. Today there are people who confuse their opinion with the essentials of theology. As followers of Jesus, we must be able to know the essentials from the non-essentials of our faith. The non-negotiable from what is negotiable.