It was not without a painful struggle and at the cost of many a night spent in agony, that the Psalmist came once more to find in renewed vision, the truth of the words that we find here in the 25th and 26th verses. “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever”. It’s one thing to profess one’s love for God the eternal Saviour in the times of plenty; in the days when the sun light’s its refreshing rays upon your soul; but when the thunder rumbles overhead and the storm clouds break? It’s then, when we truly discover the authenticity of that profession of love! Without the aid of physical comforts to spur us on; will we still in that place of testing, be able to say what we could in the absence of it; “Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all in Thee I find”.
2 Corinthians 10:13-18
I find within the body of Christ, two extremes when it comes to people’s outlook towards Christian service and ministry. At the one extreme, there are those who care very little, if at all about having any part in what must be the greatest privilege this side of eternity, to be a co-labourer with Christ in His vineyard. Such are content to sit back and watch others do the work, while they largely take their ease, busying themselves with their own cares and affairs. At the other end of the spectrum are those who in their great zeal and enthusiasm, give themselves to labouring in every sphere of Christian service possible, having their finger in every pie; a jack of all trades if you like but inevitably and regrettably, a master of none!
It is this second extreme that is often overlooked by many, even evading the attention of the most discerning amongst us on account of the great display of business. It is assumed that if a man or a woman is busy for Jesus, then by default, this must be a good thing! Yet, the question that must be asked…busy doing what? If we are busy ploughing the furrow assigned to us by Christ, then well! But if not, we need again to return to plough the Master’s furrow.
Part 17 – How Do I Handle Relationships?
In this seventeenth teaching part, we look practically and biblically at how as believers in Christ, we are to relate to one another in the relationships given us by God. One only has to look down through the ages, beginning with the first offspring of the first man and woman; Cain and his brother Abel, to see that how God intended man to relate one to another has been seriously marred. Murder and war was never God’s intention! Broken homes and marriages; damaged and fractured relationships, were never his will. We live in in a world where such abounds and is on the increase. Even in the professing Church, we turn to find a better example and see the same broken relationships; failed marriages and Church splits. Surely there is a better way revealed in Holy Scripture, a way that we are called as Christians to walk.
We shall then look now at just three areas where the Bible offers practical help in preserving and nurturing relationships as children of God. These three areas include marriage; children and the Church.
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1 Samuel 23:1-14
Perilous times face the Church of Jesus Christ in the days ahead for Christians living in the West. Look outside the Western world and see; our Brothers and Sisters worldwide, suffer persecution for the cause of Christ. It is with firm conviction that I believe that our times of freedom are coming swiftly to an end and that we shall in like manner also suffer persecution for our stand in Christ. In light of this, God is wanting to prepare His Church to stand. Where is your trust and your confidence found and upon what ground are your feet planted? If ever there was a thing that will test the authenticity of your answer it will be the blazing fire of persecution! In that day, your trust had better not be found in another for that day shall reveal it. Christ alone, in Him alone must our trust alone be found.
There has never been a point in its 2000 year history that the Church of Jesus Christ has not had to contend against false teachers and their damnable doctrines. Even in the first century, within a decade and a half of Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension, the apostles found themselves contending earnestly for the faith against the errors of the false Judaizers and later on, the early Gnostics.
As nears our Lord’s return, we are witnessing the rise of many sects and movements which by stealth are sucking in those once sound in the faith. One such sect is not new; but is seeing a resurgence in our day, namely that of the Judaizers, under the auspices of the Hebrew Roots movement. This sermon is a flat refutation of their damnable heresies and a passionate plea for the Body of Christ to shun all such sects which have as their goal the aim of leading men away from the simplicity which is in Christ the Head, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and to ruin men’s souls in perdition!
Part 16 – How Do I Overcome Sin?
Perhaps no greater area deserving of our attention is the question posed as the title of this teaching part; “How Do I Overcome Sin?” Ask the average Christian this question and you’re sure to be greeted with a mixture of responses. I hear one say, “why are you worried about sin, it’s been dealt with at Calvary; the grace of God has covered all sins, past, present, and future”. Another, I hear say “didn’t Paul struggle with sin? The things he wanted to do he didn’t do and the things he desired not to do those things he did; what’s the problem? Join the club! If the great Apostle Paul couldn’t gain the victory over besetting sins then how much less us sinners?”
In this sixteenth teaching part, we tackle the issue of overcoming sin head-on, clearing up some of the misconceptions surrounding this matter and providing biblical answers to questions such as; how do I overcome sin? What does it mean to walk by the Spirit and how does one overcome besetting sins? May God see fit to use this teaching to bring victory to many lives for His glory!
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In a world where love is waxing cold all around us, the Church of Jesus Christ has been called to shine and to register a blazing heat on the thermostat of love. "Am I my brother’s keeper?" was Cain’s response to God when asked where his brother Abel was. If we are a member of Christ’s spiritual body via the new birth, then we cannot dodge the great command of our Saviour, calling us on to a more fervent love of the Brethren. Am I my Brother’s keeper? In a word, yes!
In this sermon, we offer three areas in which we can better serve one another in love; firstly, in the area of kindness; secondly, in the area of prayer, and thirdly, in the area of rescue! May the Lord cause us all, to increase and abound in love one toward another (1 Thess. 3:12).