There is a need to redefine our theology today; most of us grew up believing certain things that have been passed from generation to generation. We have believed them without questioning. There are lots of things people believe today just because it makes them feel better about themselves; however, that doesn’t mean their beliefs are accurate or true. Sometimes we believe things without applying logic or reasoning. We don’t research it ourselves to see if they are true. As disciples of Jesus we need to know what God has said and says in his book, the Bible. Our theology will be messed up if we don’t know the teachings of the Bible. For example, most people believe they are children of God just because they are humans and believe God exists. What does the Bible say? Who are the children of God? How does a person become a child of God?
A young woman at a Bible study had the toughest time viewing God as a father. Her earthly father was abusive and was never in her life. She didn’t understand a father’s love because she didn’t receive love from her biological dad. I explained to her that God is the ultimate Father; that our earthly fathers would do well to emulate God. God is not like our earthly fathers but our earthly fathers should be more like God. There is a story in the Bible that illustrates to us the kind of Father God is.
Last week we talked about prayer. We discussed that Jesus modeled prayer and his followers were committed to it. We also learned that what most people know as the Lord’s prayer is truly a model prayer; a prayer given to his followers as a pattern or model. Prayer is not meant to be about meaningless repetitions.
Prayer is a very important discipline of a disciple of Jesus, Jesus himself modeled prayer during his earthly ministry. He taught his followers how to pray. Prayer was one of the things the first Christians were devoted or committed to (Acts 2:42)
Last year we celebrated the 45th anniversary of this church and we had chosen a theme “Moving forward.” We talked about in order to move forward you must not linger in the past; leave the past behind and press forward to the goal. We all set goals in life, we make plans but many times we don’t accomplish them all because somewhere along the way, we stop pressing forward. At time we forfeit victory because we give up too quickly; we keep ourselves away from the blessing God had for us due to our attitude.
Most people define peace as the absence of war or conflict. Webster’s dictionary defines peace as a state in which there is no war or fighting. It is freedom from civil disturbance; a state of tranquility or quiet; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom.
This definition of peace that most people have goes against peace as described in Scripture.
At the beginning of the year you get to see lots of resources on the web in how to be a better person; people pledge themselves to obtain certain goals in life and so forth. You are probably familiar with the book “Become a better you” by Joel Osteen. His book and many other books have great advice for people whether you are Christian or not. Things like don’t worry, be kind to yourself and others, set goals, forgive those who offended you; always love people more than things, work diligently, etc. However, why is it so hard to implement these things in our lives?
Raising Faith Psalm 78:1-8
Some Christians talk about God’s will as if it is something vague, or hazy thing. People talk about God’s will as if it is something you have to seek or found out. “All I want to do is the will of God” But what is the will of God for his people? For my life? How do I find out what God’s will is? How can I do his will if I don’t know what it is? These are very important questions that some of us have wrestled with.
I am sure you have heard many sermons or lessons about faith, trusting God. The Bible is filled with passages about trusting God, We all may profess to trust God but our actions don’t reflect it. Why is trusting God so hard at times? It doesn’t come naturally; it requires us to not be in control at times and most of us don’t like that. Trusting God goes against our reasoning; it goes against our comfort. Therefore it’s hard. Would you trust God even when it doesn’t make sense?
Before an army goes to war against another, it studies the enemy to see how it can defeat it. Sport teams do the same thing; they analyze and study another team strengths and weaknesses in order to defeat it in the competition. You and I are in the battlefield; we are at war. The moment you chose to pledge your allegiance to Christ, you enter into this conflict, this war. As Christians, we need to know our enemy in order to prevail against its attacks.
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to a church in Ephesus, one of those churches he planted in his missionary endeavors.