Month: March 2017
2 Corinthians 5
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
This is the text for this Sunday’s message. It is a difficult text for it deals with impending judgment for us all. This judgment is different from the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20 in that the end of that judgment is the Lake of Fire for all whose names are not written the Lamb’s book of life. This judgment is going to be a judgment where Christ examines the works of our lives for His kingdom.
Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” He also gave several parables dealing with stewardship of money, of readiness, of responsibility, and of opportunity. In those parables the return of the lord or the coming of the bridegroom was the day of accountability. We call these parables “Kingdom parables.”
Beyond the Kingdom parables there are several mentions in the NT about a day of judgment for all. We can know with certainty that there will come a day, a time, an event in a place when we will give an account to the Lord Jesus of what we did in this life with the things that He gave us to use for His kingdom. This is a convicting thought to some and a teaching to rejoice in for others. We will not be judged here for our sin; Jesus took that judgment upon Himself at the Cross. We will, in essence, give back to Christ the return of His investment into our lives. Think about this and come ready Sunday to hear what the Bible says about this judgment and what our attitude toward it should be.
Josh and Barb Hedges have been supported by us since they began their mission work. We have supported them, known them, and prayed for their family as it has grown in number and age. Josh has been a Bible translator in Chad Africa working on the “Day” language translation. We are thrilled to have this family with us Sunday. I will be taking Josh and his family horse-back riding tomorrow afternoon. After we ride we will be shooting at the horse owner’s farm. If any of you would like to spend the afternoon with us just let me know.
We are looking for people who would like to read Scripture or a reading on Resurrection (Easter) Sunday. If you would like to participate please contact Bobbi.
Have a great day in the Lord,
2 Peter 3
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
There is a contrast here between verses 17 and 18. In 17 Peter teaches that we can fall from our own steadfastness being led away with the error of the wicked. Satan is and always will be the master deceiver. He will try to deceive the elect of God and draw them away from God’s fullness for their lives. Since we know this, we must ever be on guard, a military term, against Satan’s deceptive ways.
How do we remain on guard against these deceptions? That is the contrast in verse 18. As we are ever growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will ever be aware of His truth verses Satan’s lies. There is no place in the Christian life for plateaus. We must never level off and just coast in what we already know. We must never revel long in past victories without remaining steadfast in our guard.
Never forget this, Satan hates you and only desires your destruction. Nothing of this world, your flesh, or the devil will bring you lasting good. Everything about sin is a hook to get you to be drawn away from God’s peace and joy in His presence. So, keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Why? Because to Him alone is the glory both now and forever. Everything done in and for Jesus Christ is eternal, everything! We will never regret growth in Him and deeds done for Him. Stay in His truth and ever be on guard against the lies and deceptive ways of the enemies of your soul.
Sandra requested prayer for finding an apartment. It is not going as she thought it would and this has brought her a level of distress. Give her a call and let her know that she is exactly where God wants here and speak some peace into her soul.
Nancy is home but the healing from the surgery is painful. She too could use some loving help.
Men, we have our monthly prayer breakfast at Denny’s this Saturday morning at 7:30. Join us.
Josh and Barb Hedges will be with us this Sunday. Come ready to be a blessing. We asked for gift cards in $5 – $10 increments to fun places to give to the girls. If you bring these Sunday give them to Michelle.
Have a great day in the Lord,
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
As we anticipate the day when we will be with the Lord, and what an amazing day that will be, we should be looking forward to seeing Him. Jesus addressed a crowd and said that there would be those who would call Him Lord but they would be people that He did not know. I have been very careful not to give anyone a false hope that they will be with Jesus because of something they said or did. We should be anticipating the return of Christ because we have been saved from sin by Him. And those of us who know Christ, walk with Him, enjoy Him, grow in our relationship with Him, truly are looking forward to being with Him.
But Peter makes what sounds like a strange directive to us. He tells us to be diligent so we will be found by Christ in peace, without spot and blameless. When we see Christ there will be a judgment of our lives lived for Him. (I will be speaking on that very judgment this Sunday from 2 Corinthians 5.) We need to diligently live for Him now. God has given each of us unique abilities that He wants us to use for Him in this life. Be diligent to use those things for Him. Last Sunday, as we gave testimony to what Sandra meant to us, it was made clear that she had the ability to show love to us and she did just that. What are you diligently using for Christ?
“found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” I want to see my Lord. I want Him to be glad to see me because I have kept myself in His peace. As I live in peace with my Lord I am living faithful to Him. I long to see the One who gave His life for me. I want Him to know that I have lived without spot and blameless in this world. No, this is not perfection but it is a daily striving, daily battling against this world and my own flesh to end each day at peace with my Jesus. Thus when He comes may He see each of us diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
Many many thanks to all who helped us load up the truck for Sandra on Sunday. We pulled out Monday morning and got into Murfreesboro around 6:30. It is always a great day when God’s people gather together to help each other.
This Sunday we are looking forward to having the Josh Hedges family with us. Be in prayer for Sunday that God will use this family to be a blessing to us all and for us to be a blessing to them.
Caleb and Lindsey are driving all day. Join us in prayer for their safety.
Have a great day in the Lord,
Taken from 2 Corinthians 5:4-9 this message looks at how our faith from God and in God is sufficient to carry us through trials, into obedience and to be forever with our Lord.
2 Peter 3
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Peter, led by the Holy Spirit of God, tells us of a coming day when God will destroy this earth and will create a new one in righteousness where sin will never enter. We who know the Lord and love His word look forward to this great and coming day. (As an aside, I am not an environmentalist because all that they are trying to save God is going to destroy in a moment since it is all tainted by sin.)
But Peter’s emphasis is not on God’s coming destruction and renewal but on how this revelation affects our lives today. So he asks, “what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” Since we now have a right perspective of this earth and of its stuff, how should we live? Well, first he tells us that we should live holy and godly lives, which lives are above this tainted world. A friend of mine worked for Mercedes. They have him a brand new SUV that was going to be crushed at 50,000 miles. The knowledge that this beautiful and expensive car was going to be crushed kept my friend from getting attached to it. In fact he named it “crusher.” Peter wants us to know that this world is going to be crushed and wants us to have a right perspective of it. We are to live above its lusts, its pleasures, its enticements, its ways, and its calls. It is slated for destruction.
In fact, he goes on to tell us that we are going to (absolute fact of the future) live with God in His new place for us and calls us to look for that place instead of looking for this one. Where do our hearts long for? Oh my friends, I hope and pray that your hearts long for heaven and that the calls of this world will ever pale in your ears as you have heard the call of God to you for His home. Live in anticipation, with holy conduct and godliness, of God’s eternal home for you. When this world is but a shadow of your memory you will be eternally glad that your gaze and your grip was on heaven.
Nancy’s surgery went well, thanks to God for that. As expected, she is quite uncomfortable. Do keep her in your prayers and feel free to call her. If she doesn’t answer, send her a text or leave a message. Thanks to those who sent her cards. I was with her when a hospital mailman brought her a card from a church family. It was very special to her.
Tomorrow we are having a work day at the church from 9:00 – 3:00. Any of you who can come for any amount of time, please do. Spring cleaning is a big deal and there is much to be done.
After church on Sunday we will be loading a moving truck for Sandra Smith. I am heading this up. If you can help for an hour or two please bring clothes to change into and stay to help. Sandra lives very close to the church. She is leaving on Monday so if you can bring her a card on Sunday it will be our last good-bye to her.
Have a great day in the Lord,
2 Peter 3
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
As we have been studying the Fruit of the Spirit on Sunday mornings I have come to understand the gift of longsuffering in a new light and this verse makes that light bright. When we think of being longsuffering we think of putting up with an annoying person who is just hard to live with. Our “putting up with” has a time limit, a patience limit, and emotional limit and a love limit. We put up with that annoyance just as long as we have to and then either blow up or quit or breath a huge sigh of relief when the time comes to an end.
God’s longsuffering is so much different from our longsuffering, and I am so glad it is. For while we might practice longsuffering when we have to, God is longsuffering. God is longsuffering with humans because He wants to eternally save them from their sins. And since God’s longsuffering leads to our eternal life we have a different example to follow. God does not put up with sinners to give them a chance, no, God shows patient longsuffering with a desire to save them from eternal damnation.
Suppose you knew that the person you have to put up with was put in your path by God to show them His love, His kindness, His gentleness, His patience, in essence, His salvation. And suppose that most difficult person whom you can’t wait to get away from saw God in you and was drawn by God to eternal salvation because of your longsuffering toward them. Would your care for that difficult one have been worth it all? Of course it would. Furthermore, you would have gained an eternal brother or sister who would forever thank you for showing them the longsuffering of God.
Whom does God have in your path that He wants to show His longsuffering leading to salvation through you?
I heard a woman on the radio this morning saying that she is showing God to those around her through kindness. She feels that in this current political climate the missing element is kindness so when she shows it people will truly see God in her. What a great way to look at life.
Nancy Schmidt’s surgery got postponed again so she is now scheduled for 1:00 on Wednesday.
I am going to need some help this Sunday after church loading a truck for Sandra Smith. She is getting everything ready and is on the first floor so I think with enough people we could load the truck in two to three hours. If you have teenagers they are a great help too.
Have a great day in the Lord,