Have you ever thought back on a day and wished you could get another shot at it so you could get it right? I know I have. I'm sure we all have moments we would like to do different or better.
The problem is, of course, once it's done, it's done. When you have put yourself out there and said or done something it is out there. This is why as Christians we should be careful in speech and in our actions. The truth of it is if people know you are a Christian, and they hopefully do, then they watch how you live, what you say and how you act. Sometimes you feel like you’re under a microscope but we should be ok with it because as Christian people we need to strive to be that example of how God wants us to live. You may only get one shot at helping someone find Christ and we want to plant a positive thought in one’s mind.
When I was young and not yet a Christian, I had friends that went to church and friends that did not go. The problem with what I was seeing is that there was no differences between them except some went to church on Sunday. When church got out we would go hang out and there was no difference in speech or in actions. So what is a person to think then?
Why should a person spend time in church if we all act and live the same anyway? Now there are some that live a good moral life and still don't know Christ and there are some that don't have great morals and values. The friends I had that went to church were not being the example I needed to bring me to Christ, if anything they were probably allowing me to influence their lives. Not the way God would want us to be in actions or speech. Not that I was a terrible person but I was no Christian and needed someone to teach me, not get out of church and be like me.
1 Peter 4:1-2 "Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God."
When you become a Christian some will not understand why you don't run in the same circle with them anymore and may give you a hard time, maybe some in your family. Believe me, I know. Don't allow yourself to be discouraged just surround yourself with the Christian love and strength found in God’s family. If you fall down it’s ok as long as you get back up on the right path and keep living for Christ. We are not perfect, no one is but He. So we will mess up at times and want a do over. Say you’re sorry and move forward and don't try to relive a day that can't be changed.
In Him, Chuck
When it is announced that someone is sick, DO YOU send them a card, offer help, visit them in the hospital, or get irritated with announcements about people you don't even know?
When new souls are added to the church, new members place membership, or people respond asking for prayers, DO YOU introduce yourself and welcome them and encourage them?
When there isn't enough fellowship, DO YOU invite Christians into your home or plan and carry out activities for others?
When no one seems friendly, DO YOU become a friend to someone in need, make it your place to greet visitors, or invite people who are weak into your home?
When Bible classes are provided, DO YOU attend faithfully and encourage others to do so, prepare your lesson, contribute to the class discussion or sit with your mouth shut waiting for the class to become more interesting?
When someone is absent from the assembly, DO YOU call to find out why, exhort and encourage them, offer transportation or even notice that they are missing?
When there is a special program, DO YOU help advertise the meeting, invite others to come, encourage others to participate in a Bible study, support the effort with your attendance or ignore the whole thing?
1 Thess 3:11-13 11 aNow may bour God and Father cHimself and Jesus our Lord ddirect our way to you; 12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and aabound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; 1
DO YOU abound in LOVE for your fellow man? We cannot always do all that is on this list but let us try to do all we can.
We sing the song Father Along, many times in our worship to God. Wonderful words to think about as we sing. The first verses start with “Tempted and tired we oft made to wonder, why it should be thus all the day long.” We all go through times in our lives when we just wonder why we are tempted and tired. In the last year or so I guess we have wondered why the new building has been hit with so many pitfalls in its construction. One of the amazing things about our God is, He can teach us things we need in our lives by just living day by day for the Lord. Patience has been one of those tools that God uses to develop us into the people who will serve Him. There is a saying that goes like this. “I want patience and I want it right now.” It just does not happen like that. One of the things I ask God every day and I mean every day is patience. My attitude is to see something that needs to be done and do it right now, when others see the same thing they will think about it for some time before they act. Maybe we are both right on how we view this. I do know that sometimes I do need to act a little slower.
Patience is again one thing I pray for every day. We need patience in order to endure trials. Hebrews 10:36 “For you have need of endurance (patience), so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised.”
We need patience in order to run the race. The Hebrew writer continues in 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so entangles us, and let us run with endurance (patience) the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
My Brothers and Sisters, who is seeking to serve the Lord Jesus in the best way they can? When we read the example that Jesus gave us, are we doing our very best to conform to the example He gave us? Can we say we are putting the Lord first? In a song we sing the chorus goes like this “do they know we are Christians by our love.”
Our duty in life is to lift up the Lord Jesus before a lost world. Our lights need to be shinning before them and not indifferent towards the lost.
All we need to do is look at Calvary to see the cost that Jesus paid to save us from Hell. I know that motivates me, I have no desire to spend eternity lost in Hell. Yes, it is a privileged to serve the Lord, something each of us should have the strongest desire to do. It will be worth it when Judgement Day comes. What words will we hear, well done or the dreaded words depart from me I know you not? Remember this, it will take effort to serve Him: and anything worth having is worth working for. God word say, “let’s work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 What a privilege we have to serve the Lord.
Most of the time when we think or speak of home, we focus on that place where we live and eat and spend time with our physical family. For many it is the place of escape from the hustle and bustle of work or school or the other activities that make up our day. In our later or “retired” years, home is where we will spend more of our time and it becomes the central place of most of our daily activities. Whether in our earlier or later years, home is the place we go for refuge, comfort, refreshment, and to relax or rest. We express this sense of home as the place where we live with our family group.
Home and family can also be thought of in two other ways. Family can be defined also as a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation or fellowship. In this sense we usually think of home in a social setting. This family can be for recreational activity, such as a sports team. It can also be a gathering for a common spiritual or religious interest– a church family. The common interest of the church family is to help each other reach the goal of the ultimate sense of home – HEAVEN!
The Ripon Church of Christ is a family - a family that belongs to God and is deeply rooted in Christ! Our foundation is His great love that He demonstrated by the sacrifice of His One and Only Son for all of mankind (John 3:16). We love and support each other, and are united in our effort, as we strive to please Him in our common daily service (Rom. 12:1&2). When we assemble for worship we honor, praise, and glorify God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our endeavor in all that we do is helping each other to remain faithful to The LORD and His Truth as revealed in His Scriptures. Our common goal is, of course, eternal life in HEAVEN with our LORD and Savior! (John 14:1-3 & Rev. 2:10)
For our guests today, whether you are with us for the first time, are returning, or are in the assembly after an extended absence from “church”, we want you to feel at home. We are honored by your choice to be with us and pray that you will be edified or built up.
Welcome to our Home!
600 West Milgeo - Ripon California 95366