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What We Are Worth To God

Monday, September 10, 2018

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Matthew 20:28.

A simple man lived on the coast and there was nothing he liked more than sailing. Every free minute he used to go out to sea. He had good knowledge about wind and weather, knots and fishing.

One day he took his 10-year-old son and his friend of the same age sailing. Having a fantastic time they went out to sea. Suddenly a strong storm arose, charging violently against the sailboat.

Far from the saving coast the boat began to sink and the man and the two children fell into the sea. The only thing that the man could take with him was a rope. A wave took him to a buoy, where he managed to hold on.

At a distance the children drifted away but with the rope he could only save one of them. He knew that his son knew Jesus Christ and loved him. He also knew that his son's friend was not a Christian. What should I do?

A terrible pain must have broken his heart. He shouted to his son, “I love you” and threw the rope to his friend, who was saved. The body of his son was never found.

God has done that for us, He has thrown us the rope to save us, and He has let His Son die in our place.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. – Romans 5:6-9.

- Jaime Restrepo

Soaring Like an Eagle

Friday, September 07, 2018

Soaring Like an Eagle

In a July 2, 2018 article published at inc.com Jessica Stillman writes, “Americans are becoming more disconnected from traditional social ties like church and civic groups. There is a greater detachment and weaker sense of belonging that is increasing the risk of existential despair.” As we grow more secular as a culture, as the nation continues to turn away from God, this problem will become more widespread. If this world is all we have, then we’ll soon find ourselves slipping into a lifestyle of selfishness, indulging of the flesh, and worldly pursuits. However, if we have something beyond to look forward to, we can face anything.  

Christians live their lives with a vital connection to the future. This is why hope makes us invincible, Romans 8.24-25. Trusting in the mighty promises of God is embedded in the passage we’re examining this Sunday. 

During the sermon, we’ll look at Isaiah 40.21-31 and learn about:

  1. 40.27 - Despair
  2. 40.28-29 - God’s Greatness
  3. 40.30-31 - Renewal

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • How susceptible are you to doubt? What are some ways you deal with it?
  • Read 40.12-26 - what is God trying to tell His people?
  • Why is it important to remember that you can never get too far away from God?
  • What are some ways you can build your trust in God’s promises?
  • Why is waiting such an integral part of our faith?

Sunday Song Leader: Dru McLaughlin

Sunday Scripture Reading: Dan Teater

TEXT: Isaiah 40.21-31

"Till He Comes Again”

Monday, September 03, 2018

The following article was is Sunday Mornings Bulletin:

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.     1 Corinthians 11:26

The Lord’s Supper looks forward to the future.  This memorial feast will be observed until the coming of Christ.

The Christian’s eye of faith not only goes backward to the death of Christ, but it goes forward and sees Him coming in the clouds.  It goes forward to the time when He shall come to take us home, where we shall praise His name and rejoice that He loved us so much that He gave His blood for our sins.  Yes, the death of Christ made it all possible.

No wonder God wants us to remember His death in a special way on the first day of the week.  Every Christian should rejoice and be thankful for this great privilege.  Someone said, “The Lord’s Day without the Lord’s Supper is the setting without the gem,  the rose without the fragrance,  the honeycomb from which all the sweetness has been extracted.”

- Jaime Restrepo

The Invalid, the Lame, and the Stooped Man

Monday, September 03, 2018

As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. …Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.   1 Corinthians 12:20-22,27.

On one occasion a man gave God his whole heart and life to God’s service. God listened and gave him the opportunity to work in the church. His job was to search for souls. The man waited for God's instructions. He waited and waited ... until God told him that he was going to send him the help he needed to preach the gospel.

The next day an invalid man arrives in his wheelchair. The man receives him, and then asks God, "Is it a joke? The invalid will not do much”.

God answered, "Wait, because everyone has not yet arrived to help you."

The next day a lame man arrives, with a wooden leg, who walks making holes with his wooden leg. The man received him, and tells God, "I will wait, for the evangelist or preacher to arrive."

The next day a stooped man arrived, so stooped that his hands reached almost to the ground. The man received him and he kept waiting but nobody else came.

Angrily, he complains to God, ”What happened, Lord? You told me you would send people to help me, and only an invalid, a lame man and a stooped man came. With these destitute people do you want me to preach the gospel? Look, they're just useless, a waste of society.

God answered, ”Those you call a waste are those who will help you. The man in the wheelchair will make the furrows with the wheels of his chair, the man with the wooden leg will make the holes, and the stooped man will plant the seed with no difficulty for him. Your job will be to take care of the plants, which you certainly did not plant."

Then, the man asked for forgiveness for letting himself be carried away by what his eyes saw, and he asked God to change his outlook.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-9.

- Jaime Restrepo

The Assurance of Faith

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Assurance of Faith

Reading the Scriptures fills us with hope. One day we’ll be just like Jesus and be with Him, 1 John 3.2. Passages like this fuel our hope and press us on in perseverance as we move forward in trusting God’s plan. We operate here, knowing this is not our home. We’re headed for a better place. We very much look forward to being at home with the Lord. Over the next few months, we are committed to strengthening our trust in the promises of God. We renew our expectation to press forward in the pursuit of Jesus. And, we’ll gain confidence in the fact that God will deliver on everything He has promised.

Today, we’ll kick the fall quarter off with a look at Hebrews 11 - the hall of fame of faith. Since we’re focusing on God’s promises during September, there is probably no better place to begin than by defining our faith as found in Hebrews 11.1-3. In Sunday’s lesson, we’ll examine four things:

  1. What Faith is Not
  2. 11.1 - The Nature of Faith
  3. 11.2 - The Testimony of Faith
  4. 11.3 - An Illustration of Faith

As you get ready for worship, be thinking about these things:

  • How does the world typically define faith? How does that differ from Hebrews 11.1?
  • What things inspire you most about Hebrews 11?
  • What is so amazing about Noah’s faith?
  • How does the evidence of creation serve as a foundation for our faith?

Sunday Song Leader: Randy Mullins

Sunday Scripture Reading: Matt Ringle

TEXT: Hebrews 11.1-3

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