Monday, March 26, 2012

Making Choices=Choosing Consequences

I realize that many good folks do not want this kind of responsibility or accountability upon them, but according to God's Word it is true that we choose whether to be a slave to sin which leads to death or a servant of God which leads to righteous living. Here is what the Apostle Paul says:

Romans 6:15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

Who We OBEY We End Up Serving

-Bob Dylan was correct when he sang this song: "You gotta serve somebody; it may be the devil, it may be the Lord, but we gotta serve somebody"....
-Every choice we make pretty much shows who we are serving. In light of the Bible and it's teaching, look at your last 3 choices you made in your life. Who have you served.

*Just yesterday after our worship service, I received a call from someone that said they were just about ready to make a decision that would have far reaching ramifications for many people. After worshiping on Sunday, their mind was changed and realized that this decision would not be "God-honoring." I really commend this kind of wisdom. None of us know what kind of tragedy or pain that could have been warded off because of this choice.

Our Character will end up REFLECTING the one we obey

I mentioned in church yesterday that our oldest daughter gets many opinions of who she looks like. Most people, after looking at me and then at her mother will say: "You look so much like your mother!" I am really thankful she looks more like her mom than she does me: 

Do you realize that the Apostle Paul said to Timothy that people in the last days will look like the decisions and choices they have made. When I read this, I start thinking that Paul was right and it seems we are in these days right now! Judge for yourself:

2 Timothy 3: 1---You should also know this, Timothy that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. 4They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.

What do you think? Does this resemble our times? Does this look like a picture of our world? Our church?
Who are you reflecting? Is Bob Dylan right? We gotta serve somebody?
I pray that in my own life that I reflect Jesus Christ and the love that he has for the world, for sinners and for everyone and anyone in need.

Here is a story that I used as a closing illustration at United Wesleyan yesterday morning. 

On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom."

-No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of His true followers

Be blessed everyone! God is on your side....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Takeaways from Sunday

NEW SERMON SERIES: Navigating the Narrow Road...The Road of Reality

Matthew 7:13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

The purpose of the sermon series that I started yesterday was to remind the church that many of our friends, families and neighbors need our influence and love to direct them to find the path, the road or the highway to eternal life. 
(At least this is what Jesus said...we must choose whether to believe Him or not)

As you can see, according to Jesus, there are two paths that everyone can choose to travel on:

  1. The wide road is full of traffic and is leading to hell. 
  2. The narrow road leads to eternal life and few will ever find it
During one of my sermons yesterday, a thought came to my mind as I was expounding on the above scripture. I then asked the congregation the following question:

Why would we not want to help someone get off of the broad highway that MANY have chosen to walk on? 
If Jesus is correct (sarcasm) then I know that the narrow road may be more unpopular but it will end up in eternal life...So, why would we not want to help someone find a better way of life?

  1. Perhaps we love that person more than we love the gospel; thus, we just leave the person alone and not cause any unnecessary stress?
  2. We actually do not love that person, thus we are not interested in their eternal well being...
  3. Maybe we are thinking the "universalist" thought that all will end up in heaven anyway (of course, in thinking this, we are refuting what Jesus spoke about the broad way and the narrow way)...