In our walk through the book of Philippians with Joe and the lesson he brought us, we were challenged to look at what we had our hands on. When we look at what is afforded us as Christians by our God, we should never take it lightly but with a seriousness and as the number one purpose in our life. Our Lord left heaven and suffered in the flesh as man and was put to death for us. We do not deserve such a love that was shown for us. The perfect example of selflessness, giving yourself for others.
Philippians (2:5-8) “Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to point of death, even death on a cross.”
Let us all as one body and likeness of mind and one purpose putting God first, serve Him and seek out the lost. Without selfish ambition, work together to show God to our community, neighbors, friends and loved ones that haven’t listened yet. It is not about us anymore, but what the Lord would have us to do. No one here can save us but the Lord who died for us. So let us live for Him, for we are His now. No more excuses, no more fear, no more putting ourselves first, but God before all and others before self.
I know you all do a good job of serving here, but we could all do better. We all know people that need Jesus in their own life, so let us reach out to show them how to find Him. We have been given such an amazing gift we should not hesitate to share it with others.
Many years ago Joe was here and had a lesson in which he talked about us putting ourselves on the ark and the flood came. No one else could get in, the door was closed and it was too late. Now picture all those on the outside crying and screaming, drowning and begging to get in. You know them, did you try to tell them about Jesus? It’s a terrible thing to wait until it is too late. We know not when Jesus will come, so please share Him now.
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
We look at this and wonder, how can our righteousness surpass theirs. They were supposed to be the most righteous in the land. If we read through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us who can accomplish this. He tells us how we are to live if we truly believe. He lays out how we are to live and the blessings that can bring. Jesus explains how we are to be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. He warns us not to become tasteless salt for it is no longer good for anything. How are we to shine our light? "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The Pharisees, rather than listening to Jesus, were constantly plotting and trying to trap Him with His words but always failed. In Mathew 23, Jesus spoke to His disciples saying, ”The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men.”
We cannot be like the Pharisees but must live righteously as Jesus taught us to in His sermon on the mount. We must choose to live for Christ and not for self, putting others first, and loving all men for God created man. Let us shine our light brightly wherever we go in this life. Live for Christ, be that example of how a Christian should walk through this life. Live righteously so that we may all be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.
In Him, Chuck
This can be a question that we may have to face often when doing Bible studies with someone, like my family with generations of denomination backgrounds growing up. Many will say, “But my grandma or mom was a good person and always read their Bible. Are you saying they might not be in heaven? These can be hard to answer, so let the Bible do it for you.
It is not our place to judge someone’s eternal destiny. So the question should be more like, “What would your grandma, grandpa or parent want you to do?” In the book of Luke starting at 16:19, is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Being in torment and agony he asked to send Lazarus, who was comfortable in Abraham’s bosom, to his father’s house because he had five brothers and wanted to warn them so they would not go to that place of torment like him. So, if anyone we know may be in torment we can be sure they are aware of us being in jeopardy of the same and would not want the same for us.
So, what would grandpa want you to do? He would want you to follow the Bible, wouldn’t he? To confess and repent and follow the Bible and be saved from such a torment. Most religious people in America believe they will go to heaven no matter what they believe or teach, or how much they water down God’s word to fit their own life. The Bible gives us the guide, or map to heaven you could say. There is only one way to get there, not several. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:14. “Not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 7:21.
Try to teach people to take comfort in the fact that it is what grandpa would want you to do. Your relatives would not want you in torment, they would want you to follow what the Bible says. If it is a struggle for you, take comfort in that fact that it is what they would want for you also. We can’t go back in time only into our future, so help to make others and your own beautiful and full of grace from God. Let the Bible be the guide for you.
In Him, Chuck
Who will be the next generation of not just leaders, but members that will keep the Lord’s church going strong? How do we now try to help them be prepared to lead and keep the church strong and thriving for generations to come? All good questions to ask. It will take much work and teaching and training on our part. We must be diligent to the conditions of the flock. Pay close attention to the entire herd as we learn from Proverbs. We must do our best to imitate Jesus and all that He taught. His faith and love for God’s will to be done. If we have the love for the truth and teach it to our children as we should, the love for the truth in God’s word will continue. If we allow it to be watered down, or don’t show our children that we must always put God first in all things, the church will suffer. When we teach the truth and live according to the word, our younger ones see it.
What would the young ones around you say is the most important thing to you? A good question for all of us to ask ourselves. If we don’t make God number one in our lives, why would we expect them to? I can think of times in my life when dad said not to do something because it was bad for me, but dad was doing it so I couldn’t imagine it could that bad or he wouldn’t do it. So of course, I did it anyways.
We need not only to instruct but to show our young ones how they should live, by example. Show them how we ought to live for God. Teach them all that God has done for us and the love God has for us. What a privilege it is to live as God’s people and the promise that has been put before us if we remain faithful. What a rewarding life it is to know the truth and share it with others so they can be a part of the family of God. There can be no greater joy than to share the gospel and see someone choose life eternal with God through Jesus Christ and His blood.
Teach it, live it, and help them learn to do the same. Never give up, if someone stumbles pick them up. Do your best to leave no man behind. They won’t all come but we must do our best to share the gospel with all. God loved us and gave His Son for us. Let us show our love for God by keeping our faith and love for Him by keeping His commandments.
In Him, Chuck
Have you ever ask yourself, where will I be or what will I do tomorrow? How about next week? Do you ever ask that question about next year or maybe even five years from now? For me, the most important time I am looking at, is eternity. All of the above questions we have on what we will do or where will be in our future is up to us, to a large extent. Where I put God and serving Him will answer the last of the questions. As true as it is that I can’t work myself to heaven, it is also true, I can sure miss heaven if I have not served God. In the book of Matthew 7: 13-14. It reads “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and the are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that lead to life, and there are few who find it.” It is a verse in the Bible that I pay attention to. What if I have not put God first in my life and have walk in the broad path. Not a pleasant thought.
It is up to you and I to put God first. Surely one way is to put the activity of the church ahead of things that are in the world. Not saying we can’t do things in the world, but when the church has things that will help you and I live in harmony with God, we should make that a priority. In March we have set aside time for Joe Wells to be with us, to help us grow. It is of importance that each of support this meeting with Brother Joe. I do hope we can count on all of our membership to be a part of this meeting, starting on Friday and going through Sunday afternoon. Can we count on YOU?
It is also important that not only are we there, but also be a part of it. This is a quote that Brother Mike Hite from Bear Valley made, and I hope you will think about this quote.
“Today we each have a choice- to attend church or to worship. God deserves your praise not just your presence.”
Where Will You Be
13397 West Ripon Road, Ripon CA 95366