It is my hope and prayer you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Gratitude doesn’t come natural to many of us. This is one of the first things we were taught, and we then tried to teach our children-to be grateful.
During the holiday season, people tend to be much nicer to others. (Except on black Friday lines). During holiday season we witness generosity take place. Have you ever wondered what motivates people to be generous? What motivates you to give of your money, your time, talents? For some people it is compassion, for others competition, jealousy, guilt, pride, or the spot light.
Last Sunday I preached about the question “who is Jesus?” A question every follower of Jesus must be able to respond biblically. Studies have been conducted which reveal the sad truth that our Christian faith is shifting in this country. There is a disconnection in what we say we believe and how we live. The Barna Research Group conducted a study in 2009 which reveals how the faith of many professed Christians has changed throughout the years.
Throughout centuries people have wrestled with the identity of Jesus. The question “who is Jesus?” has puzzled many great minds for centuries. Some people have viewed Jesus as a prophet, a great teacher. Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet like Muhammad; Jehovah Witnesses believe Jesus was a created angel (Michael the archangel). Mormons believe Jesus was Lucifer’s brother. Scientologists believe Jesus was a great teacher who taught us how to be spiritually advanced. Who do you believe Jesus is?
We all have to fight battles in this life; perhaps you may be fighting one right now. We all face challenges that make us feel afraid, helpless, hopeless, to say the least. At times these challenges get the best of us; stress and anxiety and insecurity. This is how the first king of Israel felt for over a month; he faced a huge problem. He didn’t know how to overcome it; he was afraid and the whole nation with him.
Every believer in Jesus is called to ministry. There are different kinds of ministry, but every Christian is called to. The word ministry is the word diaconia, which means ministry or service. Everyone of you is called to service in God’s kingdom. Jesus said he came to serve (minister) and to give his life for many. Have you ever wondered what Jesus’ ministry was about?
When you read the Bible, you are confronted with the notion that God is a God of restoration. Even after mankind failed God he drafted a plan to restore mankind back to himself. When his people were enslaved, he made the provision to rescue them and give them a new beginning in the land of the promise. When we go through tough times in life, when we experience struggles with relationships, family issues. At times, we may feel discouraged or hopeless because of how things develop in our lives. However, God in his word gives us hope; he gives us the key to be made whole again. To be revived.
Every Sunday we gather here for “Worship.” Churches around the world meet together to worship. But the reality is that many attend church services, but only a minority worships or at least understands worship. Worship is one of those words we throw around in church a lot, but many times we quite don’t understand what worship is. How do you know you have worshiped God? How do you know you are truly worshiping God?
Maybe you have heard people say that they love Jesus, but don’t like the church. There are people who think they can have a relationship with Jesus apart from his church. They want to love Jesus and believe in him but don’t want anything to do with the church. The sad reality is that according to the Bible, this sentiment goes against God.
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?