There is nothing I know of on this earth that does not need water to survive. We often take it for granted nowadays, since they invented indoor plumbing. Without the rain that God gives us to replenish the earth nothing would survive. We use water for so much more than just a drink when thirsty. We use it for cleaning almost everything, ourselves, our clothing and occasionally we clean our car. Dishwashers, toilets, water heaters, sprinklers, swimming pools. We use much water in our day to day life. Farmers must have water for their crops to grow for our food. As I said everything needs water to survive. Matt and Tracy recently found out how inconvenient it is to not have water when the well at the house stopped working. Not just no indoor plumbing but no water on the property. We are spoiled in this country that's for sure, God has blessed us greatly.
Let's take a deeper look at the need for water to live. Galatians 3:27 (For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.) Water cleanses us not only on the outside but cleanses us of our sins by bringing us in contact with the sacrificed blood of Christ that was shed for us on the cross. Romans 6:3-5 (Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,)
God often shows us water is life and uses it to save us. 1st Peter 3:18-21 (For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you,)
Revelation 22:1-2 (Then he showed me a river of the waters of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the tree of life,)
Come to the saving waters before it’s too late and give yourself to Jesus as He gave all for you.
In Him, Chuck
“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3–4).
Because we love the souls of men and want them to go to heaven, we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul knew this burden and said, “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:14–16).
Because we love the souls of men, we are not afraid to speak out against sin. We know that passions of the flesh “wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
Because we love the souls of men, we preach the need to follow Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Because we love the souls of men, we point people to what is best. The Lord Jesus came to bring us an abundant life (John 10:10). His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He is “our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). We can do no better than to preach Jesus and Him crucified to every soul in every place who will hear. — Phil Sanders
As we continue our journey thru Romans chapter 12 we know that Christianity is more than just a term that we call ourselves. We must apply our Christianity in all parts of our lives. Christians are brethren. Verse 10 says “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor:” Christians must have the tender family type of love towards one another. We should be free in giving honor to others. Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;” Our love of our brothers and sisters will motivate us Christians to give honor to others and not seek it for ourselves.
Christians are to be full of zeal when we serve the Lord. It is another way of saying to be faithful in serving our Lord. Verse 11 continues with these words, “not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” We have too much at stake and too much to be done in such a short time. The church that Christ could not stand was the lukewarm church found in Revelation 3: 15-16. Serving the Lord is the occupation of Christians. This term is from “doulos” which means to be a slave of one another and wholly subject to his will and committed to him. There must never be a reduction of commitment in our service to the Lord.
Romans 12:12 continues with these great words, “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation devoted to prayer.” The hope that Christians have, an eternal home with God and Christ in heaven, is the grounds for rejoicing. We Christians know that all things are working together for his good (Romans 8:28) thus we can rejoice in hope. There are no hopeless situations in life. There are only those who have grown hopeless about them. More on verse 12 next week. Apply your Christianity every day.
It's a new year again and we have a great new beginning to look forward to. We have our new minister starting soon. We have loan approval to start our new building. We have a great loving church family here to gather with and start this new journey together. It's a wonderful opportunity for us all to enjoy and find our own way to serve in it. Even though God has blessed us so richly this year and we have so much excitement and opportunity ahead, I want you to think even further beyond remembering that which is to come and strive to see, the greatest new beginning which is ever to be known.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, " Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold I am making all things new." And He said, "Write these things for they are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son." (Revelation 21:1-7)
What a glorious beginning we have to look forward to for eternity. Until that day when God Himself dwells with us there, let us take what He has given us here to do His will. And be hard working, loyal and true to Him, Who has given all to us. We have much to look forward to and it's going to be a great year for a new beginning. In Him, Chuck
Romans the 12th chapter is one of my favorite chapters in our Bible. It gives me more encouraging ways to apply my Christian walk. In the chapters leading up to this chapter we have been shown how great God is and how much He has done for each of us. In acknowledging this, we should give ourselves to completely serving Him. God has given to each of us abilities that can be used in God’s service. With these abilities, we can help others and glorify God. This is what God has given us to do.
Starting in verse 9 Paul shows that Christianity must be applied. “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” The word hypocrisy is rendered “play acting” in Vines. When we love one another we do not put on an act. Love must be sincere, love must be genuine. If it is sincere love it is done with pure motives. We Christians must truly love one another in deed and truth. 1 John 3:16 say “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” We cannot pretend love. God knows our hearts. This verse is also dealing with evil. As Christians, we must not only refrain from evil, we must hate it. Many people do not hate evil, they hate the consequences of evil. In our world evil is so common that we [Christians] are no longer shocked by it and this may keep many from abhorring evil. Nevertheless, we Christians must do the opposite and that is to cleave to that which is good. Brethren, there is no middle ground. The only way to please God is to hate evil and cleave to good. There is no good to be found in being evil.
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