Last week we started the Sunday school class with the question, what comes to mind when you hear or read the Great Commission. We at SICC are committed to the Great Commission. What does that actually mean?
The Great Commission found in the Bible in Matt.28:19-20 is Jesus’ final instructions to his disciples before he went back to heaven. It is the last command Jesus gave his followers. It is the mission Jesus left for those who are his disciples.
The story of the preacher and the man: “Son you need to join the Lord’s army.” “I am in the Lord’s army already pastor” said the man. “Why do I only see you in church twice a year?” “Oh, I belong to the secret service.”
The majority of us are familiar with the term undercover cop or agent. One whose main purpose blend in while hiding his true identity. Undercover: done or working in a secret way in order to catch criminals or collect information.
As followers of Jesus we need to be acquainted with the gospel; we need to know what it is and what it isn’t. In a shifting culture, it’s imperative that Jesus followers know the content of gospel; a word that appears over 75 times in the NT. For some people when they hear the word gospel, they think of a type of music. When we read in the NT about the gospel, it never refers to a musical genre. The gospel was the reason many Christians died in the first and 2nd century.
We everything that is going on in our world today, wars, hate, discrimination, etc. It’s evident more and more that our world needs Jesus, his touch, his love and compassion in order for it to eliminate hate and animosity from our midst. Think about it, if we treated each other the Jesus way this world would be better. People who came in contact with Jesus were never the same; their lives were transformed. We need transformation in our lives, but we are seeking in the wrong places.
What if I told you that for the rest of this week, in every text you send, every email you write, every conversation you have regardless who you talk to, you have to skip every third word. No matter what, you have to skip every third word. How do you think you you’d do that? How long do you think you would last? How helpful or productive do you think you’d be?
It would be awkward if not downright frustrating, right?
It would be so hard to get across the simplest of ideas
There is a phrase people like to throw out very loosely. “Only God can judge me” When people say this, this only partially true because in saying it, you ignore the great deal of judgment that takes place around you. The place where you live have authority figures who will judge your behavior; at work they will evaluate your effort and dedication (employee of the month) that is a judgment call;
Some of us love watching movies, there are different genres of movies: drama, comedy, action, horror, science fiction, etc. The Bible has different genres as well and within these genres you find, drama, comedy, action, horror, romance, etc. I love those movies that have a hero who comes and saves the day. People like Braveheart, Jack Bauer; Jason Bourne. Detective John Mclean among others.
Some of you who watch sports know that there are many advantages to being the home team. It plays in his home count, it gets the cheers of the crowd; the atmosphere favors it. When the OKC Thunder could not win game 6 at home, everyone thought they would lose because they would then face the Golden State Warriors in their home court where they were truly dominant.
You see when you are the away team, the atmosphere in the building is hostile towards you; you truly have to set your mind to play well because no one will be cheering for you.
Very often we wonder why some people grow faster than others; or why there are some who hardly grow in their faith. Scripture tells us why some people mature and others don’t. We have read that story many times; but I think we don’t see ourselves in it when we read it. It’s been around for two thousand years now. Wouldn’t you like to know what keeps people from growing? Why some grow at a faster rate than others? Jesus tells us the reason using a very common illustration. Farming or gardening. You know that a seed will not grow the same way on any soil in which you plant it. The condition of the soil is very important; it will determine the productivity of the seed. So also the condition of your heart will determine your growth.
Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day, but it was officially proclaimed Memorial Day on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan. Memorial Day is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.
It’s a day to remember fallen heroes; why do we remember them? We want to remember them because they fought for our freedom. Monuments are built to help us remember something important in the past. Photographs become memories, a photo can take us back in time to remind us of a joyful or painful memory.
Sometimes we wonder why God allows certain things to happen; things like pain and suffering. Job’s suffering was a test to his integrity; but he chose to worship God even in the midst of pain and suffering. He never cursed God for the things God allowed in his life. We struggle with the question, why does God allow pain and suffering in this world? Why do you and I go through rough times in this world?
We all at one time or another experience pain and suffering or know someone very close who is going through. My wife and I followed the updates of a family friend of ours, whose youngest son died not long ago. He had battled cancer for about four years. He suffered a lot during that time, the family when through suffering and pain and still dealing with the grieving aspect of losing a loved one. Pain and suffering is real. We are not exempt from it, sooner or later you will have to deal with it, if you are not already. You read about it, you watch it on the news, you experience. Pain and suffering is part of our world, it is all around us.