The following article was is in the Sunday Morning bulletin:
A gentleman, visiting a slave-mart, was deeply moved by the agony of a slave girl who had been delicately reared and feared that she should fall into the hands of a rough master.
The gentleman inquired her price, paid it to the slave trader, and then placed the bill of sale in her own hands, telling her that she was free and could now go home.
The slave girl could not realize the change at first, but running after her redeemer cried, “He has redeemed me! He has redeemed me! Will you let me be your servant?”
How much more should we serve Him who has redeemed us from sin, death and hell? JR
In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:14
And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops? And he said, I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21).
I'm tired of working and seeing the same people on my way to work every day. I arrive at the house and my wife serves the same food for dinner, stew. I try to go into the bathroom and my daughter, barely a year and a half, will not leave me because she wants to play with me, she does not understand that I'm tired. My father also bothers me sometimes and between clients, wife, daughter, and father, they drive me crazy, I want peace. The only good thing is when sleep, when I close my eyes I feel a great relief to forget everything and everyone.
- Then I heard a voice, Hi, I'm coming for you.
- Who are you?
- God sent me for you. He says he heard your complaints and you're right, it's time to rest.
- That is not possible, for that it would have to be ...
- That's right, you are dead, you will no longer worry about seeing the same people, or enduring your wife and her stew, or your little daughter who bothers you, or listening to your father's advice.
- But ... what's going to happen with everything? with my job ??
- Do not worry, in your company they already hired someone else to fill your position and, by the way, he is very happy because he did not have a job.
- And my wife and my baby?
- Your wife was given a good man who loves her, respects and admires her qualities and willingly accepts all her stews without complaining. And also, he cares for your daughter and he loves her as if she is his. And as tired as he always comes from work, he spends time with her and they are very happy.
- No, I can not be dead.
- Sorry, the decision was made.
- But ... that means that I will never kiss my baby again, or say “I love you” to my wife, or hug my father. NO, I DO NOT WANT TO DIE, I WANT TO LIVE, to grow old with my wife, I DO NOT WANT TO DIE I STILL ...
- But it's what you wanted, rest, now you have your eternal rest, sleep for ALWAYS.
- NO, I DO NOT WANT THIS, I DO NOT WANT THIS, PLEASE GOD .... !!!!
What's wrong with you? Did you have a nightmare?, said my wife, waking me up.
No, it was not a nightmare, it was another opportunity to enjoy you, my baby, my family, and everything that God created. You know, being dead you can do nothing and being alive you can enjoy everything. LIVING IS BEAUTIFUL !!!!
But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion … Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. Ecclesiastes 9:4,10
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27
- Jaime Restrepo
Gain or Loss?
During August, we’re talking about what it means to selflessly serve Christ. Are you selflessly sold out to Jesus? For Paul, everything had become about God’s plan. His emphasis was always on spiritual transformation and greater dependence on God.
Philippians 3.3 fits in nicely with this month’s theme. We take no confidence in the flesh. Paul will use himself as the ultimate example. He once had all the Jewish credentials. There was no part of the Jewish experience he had not been part of. Yet, he counted it all as loss. It was a huge exercise in self-denial. We need to grow to the point to where we consider all we have obtained as worthless in order to see the surpassing value of serving Him. We’ve accumulated much in life. We assume it has value. But when comparing it to Jesus, of what value is it?
Sunday’s message should speak to us. Everything that we’ve considered to be in the credit column, becomes rubbish. This not only includes sin and perversion, but every form of self-effort and religious works.
On Sunday we’ll talk about what Paul left behind. He walked away from:
- All the things he inherited.
- All the things he achieved.
- Then, we’ll ask: What will you count as loss? What do you need to move out of the credit column so that you may gain Christ?
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- What are some things you’ve been holding on to that you might think would impress God?
- What does it mean to you that Paul says this is rubbish?
- What do you first think of when you think of rubbish? What do you do with it?
- Why is sincerity in what you believe not enough to be saved?
- What happens when we place Jesus in His proper place? How will our attitude be changed?
Sunday Song Leader: Jason Schofield
Sunday Scripture Reading: Tommy Ray
TEXT: Philippians 3.3-8
Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door - James 5:9.
Once, there was a man who did not see well, not only when he wanted to read but when walking down the street. The faces of people he saw blurred, sometimes he even felt dizzy. For this reason, he decided to go to an oculist.
The doctor prescribed a pair of glasses, which were quite heavy because of his poor eyesight. Shortly after using them, the nose began to protest.
The nose complained, "Hey, these glasses are very heavy, they bother me! And why do I have to put up with them, if I work well?"
The eyes answered, "Be patient, we do not see well, and we depend on you to hold the glasses."
The nose protested again, "I do not agree, fix them as you can, this bothers me and it's not my fault".
The ears cried out, tired of listening to the nose, "Do not complain so much, we also hold up the glasses and do not make such a mess!"
However, the nose ignored the reasons and the pleas of the eyes, and secretly began to buck. The nose moved from bottom to top, from one side to the other, until it moved in such a way that the glasses fell to the floor.
Of course, at that moment the good man was walking and when his glasses fell, he stumbled and fell with all his weight forward.
... And, do you know what broke? His Nose.
1 Peter 3:8-9 – Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Luke 6:31 – And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
- Jaime Restrepo
Living is Christ
During August, we’re talking about what it means to selflessly serve Christ and others. Paul is a great example. In 2 Corinthians 6.10 he described his life as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Paul never lost sight of his joy — no matter the circumstance. As you are pushed deeper into bad situations, you become more acquainted with trust and faith. Stressful and difficult times shift your focus totally onto relationship and faith.
For Paul, all that mattered was the advancement of the gospel, God being magnified, and Christ exalted. His focus was all relative to the kingdom. Now, what about you? Are you so selflessly sold out to Jeuss that death has no consequence, attacks by others are meaningless, and troubles and struggles seem light?
Sunday’s message should speak to a very deep and real need in our life. How do we find true and lasting joy, the kind Paul takes about? It will involve our getting to the point where there is none of self and all of thee.
On Sunday we’ll talk about how Paul stood strong as he faced difficult circumstances. He had:
- Confidence in the precepts of the Lord
- Confidence in the prayer of the saints
- Confidence in the help of the Spirit
- Confidence in the promise of Christ
- Confidence in God’s plan
As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:
- When you are in the midst of poor circumstances how strong is your confidence in God’s delivering power?
- How does the prayer of fellow saints help you?
- For what has the Spirit made provision for you in your life?
- What are some ways you can build your confidence in the promises of Christ?
- Can you repeat 1.21 along with Paul about your life?