1 Timothy 6:6-12
All around us, we are confronted with the overwhelming reality that we are living in a culture that is consumed by the love of money and the pursuit of pleasure. The common man has never known such abundance of wealth; goods which once upon a time only the rich could once afford, the average Joe now owns in no small measure. Via the cheap manufacturing and exporting of goods from the East, and the boom in the technology industry, every man, and his dog now own a smartphone of some description, not to mention besides, a flat screen television, a laptop/tablet computer and the like. As Christians, we must ever be on guard to ensure that we have not found for ourselves an abiding home in this world.
Tell me, dear friend, what does this world mean to you? Does its sparkle still attract? Does its charm still pull at the strings of your heart? Does its promise of happiness, security, prosperity, pleasure, and peace still entice you to come and enquire at its gates? This sermon is an exhortation to godliness, coupled with contentment, which is of tremendous gain. In light of the coming great tribulation and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, we must see to it that our hearts are not be found in this world; in the words of Christ…“Remember Lot’s wife” (Lk. 17:32).
There’s a familiar saying; “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”. As with any proverb, there’s always a smattering of truth contained within it, and though this proverb is not found among those of Solomon’s, it nonetheless when run through the filter of God’s Word has significant meaning to what is being shared in this sermon. Whilst the world shuts its ears to facts and closes its eyes to reason in the hope that truth might go away; it doesn’t change reality!! If a man has a terminal disease, he can wish as much as he likes to not have it discussed in his hearing, but the fact that he chooses not to talk about it, doesn’t take the disease away! And you know...there’s some Christians that are just like this; practicing in the dark, things that they know deep down to be wrong and all the while unwilling to have those sins brought into the light!!!
This sermon is a call for all who name the name of Christ as Lord and Saviour to come from under the cover of shade and to allow the light of God’s searching rays to shine into their heart. Beware how you hear dear soul, for hearing not only has to do with perceiving, but also a heeding! How do you intend to respond?
Part 19 – How Do I Pray and What Is Fasting?
As one opens the Bible and turns to the pages of the New Testament, one is struck by the sheer number of references and exhortations calling God’s people to prayer. As Christians, we cannot dispense of this holiest discipline since it is the very lifeline not only of the Christian but of the Church. Yet sadly, the prayer meeting has almost disappeared from view and if there is one, it is the least attended meeting of the week. What is prayer? Prayer in its most basic form is talking to God and includes in its function petitions, supplications, intercessions, praise, thanksgiving and worship. In this nineteenth teaching part, we examine some of these functions and explore practically and theologically the question, ‘How do I pray?’
Finally, there are times in our lives that call for desperate action; times of great calamity or urgent needs where prayer alone does not seem to cut it. It is during these times that we may resort not only to heightened times of prayer but enjoin to our prayers the discipline of fasting. We shall seek also in this teaching then to bring some practical help and guidance to this matter and in so doing, clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding prayer and fasting.
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We are exhorted in Hebrews 10:22 to draw near to God. This command is not written to unbelievers but to believers! The ground upon which such an exhortation rests is the person of the risen Lord and His finished work upon the cross on which He shed His precious blood. What a High Priest is ours!! What a hope and what a confidence! Yet; as one looks closer at the verse in question; we are exhorted to draw near to God with a true (sincere) heart free from hypocrisy so as to be able to draw near in full assurance (entire confidence) of faith.
Sadly, there are many who through consciences defiled by sin; are not able to draw near to God with a true heart and in full assurance of faith. This sermon is a challenge to such to forsake that which they know to be wrong in their lives so as to be able to exercise a good conscience towards God, holding faith unswerving without which we cannot ever draw near to our God; For, “…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
1 Chronicles 13
We are living in a generation, where the litmus test for determining what’s true is determined by how one feels. Feelings trump in a postmodern world where truth becomes relative to each individual’s experience and frame of reference. Such thinking is even seeping into the Church and is fast becoming the method by which we do everything from Church to family life. In the days of King David, David determined to bring up the Ark to Jerusalem and in consulting the people, it was deemed among them to be a good idea. However, what seemed to be right in the eyes of all the people cost a man his life, as God brought a premature end to their celebrations. The fear of God had been lost and God had not been sort after the due order appointed in His Word. Will the Church not take note and return again with fear and trembling back to the objective truth of God’s Word and allow it alone to form the bedrock of truth upon which we stand.
Part 18 – Why Do Christians Suffer?
Of the top ten questions of all time, it ought to come as no surprise to us to learn that they’re the same as they’ve always been from the dawn of time; “What is the real meaning of life?” “Is there a God?” “What happens when I die?” Despite the exponential advances in technology, economics, medicine and science over the last half a decade; man with all his worldly wisdom is still no closer to being able to provide adequate answers to these crucial questions, nor will he ever be. This is because principally they’re not scientific questions nor are they even philosophical ones. Fundamentally at their core, they are theological questions. However, since man has cast off the wisdom of God in his own professed wisdom, man will search in vain to find the answers his soul so desperately seeks for and will never find them in this world. We could well add into the list of greatest questions of all time, “Why is there suffering in the world?” and more specifically, the question bearing the title of this teaching; “Why Do Christians Suffer?”
In this eighteenth teaching part, we seek to provide a Biblical answer to the question of Christian suffering.
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