Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

27
Jun
17

Friendly Criticism

When someone you know criticizes you, how do you respond? Do you lash out or do you take it to heart? When someone flatters you, do you take it to heart or do you take it with a grain of salt? Proverbs 27 says this:

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
    but an enemy multiplies kisses. – Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

We have people in our lives who are very close to us. If they are good and godly friends, they will be honest with us about our shortcomings. They will hold us accountable in our walk with Christ so that we will grow stronger in faith. When we are starting to stumble and fall, they will honestly tell us, not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear. It might not always be pleasant, but it can be trusted. Don’t rebuke those who criticize you in love and don’t merely listen to flattering words. Cherish those who are honest with you for they will help you when you need it most.
26
Jun
17

Can You Afford It?

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Luke 14:25-35 and is about the cost of following Jesus.

26
Jun
17

Saving The Wanderers

As we journey along this path of faith, we may wander from the straight and narrow or we’ll notice that others have done the same thing. How should we deal with those who wander? James says:

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. – James 5:19-20 (NIV)

When someone wanders away from Jesus, we have to go after them. We have to search for them. We have to care enough about them that we will point out the error of their ways. We do not stand over them in judgment, but rather we reach out to them in love. We’re throwing life preservers to our brothers and sisters, not berating them for falling overboard. When someone falls down, we pick them up instead of ignoring them. Let’s encourage each other to stay on the straight and narrow path and seek those who are wandering from it.
23
Jun
17

God Hears Our Prayers

You don’t have to be a spiritual superhero for God to hear your prayers. You need a simple faith in Him and His power and you need to pray according to His will. James gives this example from the Old Testament:

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. – James 5:17-18 (NIV)

Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who was concerned about how the king of Israel, Ahab, had turned God’s people away from the Lord in order to worship the false god, Baal. So Elijah prayed that there would be a drought in the land and there was for over three years. Elijah was an ordinary man who believed in the power of God and he prayed for God’s will to be done. James is telling us that the Lord can and will do amazing things if we simply believe in Him and His mighty power and if we humble ourselves before the Lord. Pray in humility and faith and watch God do the impossible.
22
Jun
17

Prayers And Confession

Good Thursday morning to you! We need to pray faith-filled prayers. Too often we doubt the Lord when it comes to our prayers. James says:

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:15-16 (NIV)

We also need to confess our sins to one another in order to hold each other accountable. I think that we’re afraid of confession because we’re afraid of judgment and condemnation. If we’ll love each other as we love ourselves, we won’t judge each other. Instead, we will encourage each other and help each other overcome sins and struggles in order to live lives of righteousness. Our prayers will be more effective and we’ll see God’s power unleashed in our lives to an even greater degree.
21
Jun
17

The Role Of Elders

James says that if we are in trouble, we should pray. He also said that if we are happy, we should praise the Lord. Then, he says that if we are sick, we should reach out to the elders of the church for prayer.

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. – James 5:14 (NIV)

This is a practice that has fallen by the wayside. It raises several questions in my mind. Are the elders in our churches too busy? Do they feel inadequate? Do we just forget to call them? When should we call them? For a common cold or for something like cancer? I think that the principle in mind here is that the elders in our churches should be available and aware. They need to care for the sheep in their flocks and be involved in their lives. It’s a very tough job and people need to be understanding when it comes to the elders in their church. Elders also need to be ready and willing to pray for their flock when called upon to do so.
20
Jun
17

Praying And Singing

As we go travel along our journey of faith, we are going to have both times of trouble and times of joy and happiness. James tells us what to do in either situation. He writes:
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. – James 5:13 (NIV)
How often do we fail to pray to God when we are in trouble? How often do we fail to sing songs of praise to our Heavenly Father when things are going well? We must not forget God! When we’re in trouble, we think that we have to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and do it ourselves. Or when things are going well, we’re quick to pat ourselves on the back thinking we’ve done something great to deserve such blessings. This should not be the case. We need to pray to God when life is hard and we need to praise God when things are going well. He is the One who can get us through the difficult days and He is the One who blesses us with joy and happiness. May your day be free from trouble and full of happy moments. Blessings to you!



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