November 29 2015

The Hope of Christmas

Are you ready?   Are you ready for Christmas?    Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the Christmas, or Advent season has “officially” started.    We call it “Advent” season…which is a word we use that simply means the arrival of an important person.   Our looking forward to Christmas REALLY started months ago….for many stores it began before Halloween.     But TRADITIONALLY, Thanksgiving has marked the time when the Christmas season starts.  

So….for the next month we’ll have our kids’ Christmas programs at school.  We’ll have Christmas parties at work, school and other organizations we’re a part of.   Some of us will be traveling out of town to see relatives….some of us will be hosting relatives in our homes.   

Most of us are going to be faced with buying gifts for family and friends.     We will see Santa make an appearance at many of the stores we may go to—that man sure gets around!     Many of us will spend entirely TOO MUCH on those gifts.        

In the busyness of the season….we can forget that it’s not just about a holiday where we give gifts, or receive gifts.   It’s not just about a fat man in a red suit coming down our chimney.   It’s not just about a bunch of pretty lights, a tree, or cookies.     

This is a time when we hope for and we look forward to something entirely different.    We celebrate the birth of our Messiah.    It is with hope that we look forward to this season.

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November 24 2015

Do you have Beautiful Feet?

Our church here in Oak has been with Village Missions since 1958.   That’s ALMOST 60 years.   God has used Village Missions to provide leadership to this church, and helped keep the doors open.    Take a look around us, folks…..there aren’t a lot of opportunities to hear the Gospel of Christ in MOST of the churches in the area.   Think with me….what would happen if THIS church closed?     The simple truth is our church is pretty much broke.    If you’ve taken a look at the financial reports hanging on the bulletin board in the back, we have nothing in savings.      Without Village Missions, we certainly would not be able to operate.      SURELY, this church      WOULD be forced to close down without an organization like Village Missions.   

Village Mission’s stated goal is to “Keep Country churches alive”.     To do this, we strive to “Preach the Word and Love the People”.     What I want to talk about today is that first part – “Preach the Word”.    I want to spend a moment and think about what would happen……if there were no one to preach.   What if the Gospel message was not being communicated?  

I grew up in a church, attending every single week…..but I was never once told HOW I could know that I’d go to be with God in Heaven someday – how I could know for sure.     It’s not enough to simply go to church every Sunday if that church DOESN’T preach the Gospel.   If that church DOESN’T preach the Gospel…it’s no church at all.   

So……let me ask you:          Do you have beautiful feet?   

I never really thought much about my feet……but Truth be told, my feet are probably nothing special…….but I would even suggest that God thinks they’re beautiful.    

He’s going to make a statement, then 4 questions in Romans 10:13-15

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November 18 2015

Don’t Get too Comfortable!

This world is not our home.   As Christians we are exiles in a foreign world.   We should not be surprised when the world doesn't treat us well.    In his 1st letter, Peter gives a series of commands that a Christian living in this world would do well to remember.    Let's see what God's Word has to say:    

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November 10 2015

Husbands and Wives

Submission:    To this point, Peter has talked about the Christian submitting.   Christians are called not only to submit – to forego our own will in lieu of others…but EVEN MORE!    We are called to submit EVEN when we things aren’t fair.  

·        Submission to the Government

·        Submission to masters – in the context of slaves and masters…..but it could EASILY apply to the idea of boss/employees  

In both of those…..we’re dealing with people that are called to submit – to put aside our OWN feelings and our OWN rights….in exchange for a greater good – that being to glorify God and to lift up God’s name.   

He gives instruction to both.   We’re going to look at what he has to say to both men and women. 

Before we really get into the text today…I want to quote John the Baptist when he spoke about Jesus…….John 3:30  

Ultimately….that should be a key motivation to a Christian in EVERY area of life– the name of Jesus should increase……and we must decrease  

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November 3 2015

Unjust Suffering

It's never easy to be blamed for something you didn't do, or to suffer for doing what is right.  Sometimes a good employee gets treated as if they have done wrong.  Either the employer, or a co-worker, or someone might just "have it out for them".   How are we to react when we get accused of and punished for something we didn't do?  Or simply because someone doesn't like us.    It's never easy to be treated with less respect than we may think we've earned, but God's Word tells us how we should react when we are. Peter's first letter gives some guidance on how a slave that is being unjustly treated should react.    Let's check into chapter 2 of 1 Peter and see what he has to say, and how this is relevant to today.     

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