20
Jan
17

The Golden Rule

Jesus summed up the entire Old Testament with eleven words:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

In everything we do or say, we must consider what we would want others to say about us or do to us. This is what it means to live as a Christian. Do you want people to gossip about you or slander you or stab you in the back? Of course not! So don’t talk bad about others. Do you want people to steal from you or cheat on you or lie to you? No way! Then why would you do those things to someone else? Being a Christian isn’t about being nice to earn your way to Heaven. You can’t do that. Being a Christian is about loving God by loving people. Pastor Jon Weece said that we receive love from the Father so we can give love to others. Being a Christian is about learning to put God first and others second and yourself last. When we do that, we’ll look more like Jesus because that’s exactly what He did.

 

19
Jan
17

Bread Or Stone?

Jesus tells us to keep asking God for what we need in prayer. In light of this He tells us that God gives us gifts we need out of the goodness of His heart:

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV)

As children of God who have been adopted into His family by grace through faith in Jesus, we have the assurance that God loves us as our Heavenly Father. He will not cause us to suffer needlessly. If we ask Him for the things we need, then He will provide in His time and according to His will. Tests and trials do come our way in this life. It’s not because God isn’t good. It’s because this world is bad. It’s not because God wants to see how strong we are. God wants us to turn to Him for strength. Too often we try to do it on our own. You don’t have to. You can pray to your Father in Heaven and He will bless you with gifts from His goodness so that you will have all that you need. When He does, pay it forward to bless someone else.
18
Jan
17

Don’t Give Up On Prayer

Good Wednesday morning to you! Do you ever wonder if God hears your prayers? Do you ever doubt His willingness to provide the answer for which you’re praying? Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV):

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

In the original language, the words, “Ask…Seek…Knock” actually mean to keep on asking, seeking and knocking. In other words, don’t give up on prayer. Keep praying for those people who don’t know Jesus. Keep praying for healing. Keep praying for strength. Keep praying for peace. Because when we give up on prayer, we’re actually giving up on God. Until He makes the answer clear, we must keep praying. Take a moment now and pray for that person or request that you’ve just about given up on. The answer you seek may just be a prayer away.
17
Jan
17

Investing Your Time Wisely

Good Tuesday morning to you!  While we are to be careful how we judge our brothers and sisters, there are some judgments that we have to make when it comes to those who will not receive the good news of Jesus. He said in Matthew 7:6 (NIV):

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Some people will not only treat the good news with contempt, but they will actually be hostile and violent toward those who attempt to share it. Jesus said that we must make a careful judgment and we need to know when enough is enough. We must continuously pray for those who need to hear the good news, but at some point we must move on when it comes to sharing that good news. Not every seed that is sown will bear fruit. So keep praying for those who have yet to accept the good news, but be wise about the time you invest in sharing it. Some will respond, but tragically many will reject it.
16
Jan
17

Stuck In A Cistern

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Joseph’s story in Genesis 37.

16
Jan
17

You Might Be A Hypocrite

Good Monday morning to you! When you spend all of your time pointing out the flaws of others and ignore your own, you’re a hypocrite according to Jesus.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, if you judge others for their sins all the while ignoring your own, you might be a hypocrite. Stop pointing out the flaws of those around you and start working on your own. Don’t condemn people for the sins you struggle with as well. Clean up your own back yard before you go digging in someone else’s.
13
Jan
17

Judge Not

Good Friday morning to you! I remember hearing Matthew 7:1 quoted on The Simpsons once. Lisa Simpson said, “Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Judge not lest ye be judged?'” It does! Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV) says:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Does this mean that we’re not allowed to form opinions or to warn people whose behavior isn’t Scriptural? I don’t think that is what Jesus intends. The original language suggests that we shouldn’t be habitually self-righteous. We will all be judged by God. How do you want to be judged? With the same self-righteous standards you have held others to or with mercy and grace? So be careful today how you look at others. Show people the same grace you want God to show you.



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