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Receiving To Give

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Matthew 25:14-30.


Mourning Our Sinful Condition

At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ longest recorded sermon in the Gospels, Jesus describes a person who is devoted to His Kingdom. It’s a passage known as the Beatitudes. These are the traits of someone who is on the right track to becoming what God wants them to become. The first step is to recognize one’s spiritual poverty. The next step is described in this way. Jesus said:

Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

This is not just any kind of mourning, though. It is a mourning over one’s spiritual condition. God comforts the brokenhearted, to be sure. But this kind of mourning goes deeper than being sad over a death of a loved one or a broken relationship. This is mourning over the fact that you are a sinner and there’s nothing you can do about it. When you get to the point where you realize just how bad you are and how much you need a Savior, that’s when God will comfort you with His grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Spiritual Poverty

Are you poor? Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Do you wish you had more money to afford the things you’d like to buy? You’re probably not alone. You may not be living high on the hog and, in fact, you may feel like you’re living underneath it. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, talked about a different kind of poverty. He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3 (NIV)

Those who realize that they are spiritually poor will receive the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus said. When you realize that you’re living paycheck to paycheck of grace, you’re on the right track. When you understand that you’re spiritually bankrupt, you understand that there’s nothing good in you that God should desire. God doesn’t need you or anything from you, but He wants you. He wants to have a relationship with you by grace through faith in Jesus. It all starts when you realize that your spiritual bank account is running on empty and that your need of Him is greater than anything else.

Jesus Was A Teacher

Jesus Christ is many things. He is the Son of God. He is the Savior of the world. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Friend of sinners. He was also a teacher. Matthew, in his biography of Jesus, wrote:

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. – Matthew 5:1-2 (NIV)

This is how Matthew begins his account of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus, exercising the authority given to Him by God the Father, taught people. Jesus, who was God in human flesh, taught people how to have a loving relationship with God and how to please God. He taught people how to have better relationships with others, too. Jesus was more than just a teacher, though. He is the Messiah and He came to seek and to save the lost and to bring them home. If you feel lost, know that Jesus is chasing after you to bring you home. He knows right where you are, so you can stop running away and just fall into His arms and He will teach you how to know and love God.

This Is Your Story

The apostle Paul, as he concluded his letter to the Philippians, sent greetings to them and then pronounced a blessing over them. He wrote:

Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. – Philippians 4:21-23 (NIV)

Notice what he said in verse 22 about those who belong to Caesar’s household. Paul had been under house arrest because of his faith. Did that stop him sharing the blessings of God’s grace with people? Nope! Wherever Paul went, he talked about Jesus. Whether he was in chains or free, he talked about Jesus. Even the people who worked for Caesar were being changed by the grace of Jesus. As a follower of Christ, your job is to be an ambassador of Christ wherever you are. You don’t have to go halfway around the world to tell people about Jesus. You may simply have to walk across the hall or across the street. The key is to know your story about how Jesus has changed your life for the better and being willing to share it with others. Pray for an opportunity to share your story with someone today.

The Shepherd Welcomes

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Psalm 23:6.


Complaining About Worship?

One of the things about which Christians complain the most often is worship. It seems that everyone has an opinion on worship services. I don’t like these new songs. I don’t like these old songs. I think that the music is too loud. I don’t think that the music is loud enough. I don’t like it when the lights are out. I don’t like it when the lights are turned up. Everyone has an opinion about worship. The apostle Paul might help us by directing us to the object of our worship. He wrote:

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. – Philippians 4:20 (NIV)

In the statements that I listed above, they all had one word in common: “I.” When we let our personal preferences get in the way of our worship of God, we’re no longer worshiping God alone. We need to remember that God is the object of our worship. Instead of complaining about our worship services, why don’t you pray for the people preparing and leading them? Remember that they are trying to worship God, too. When you complain to them after a service, you’re distracting them from worshiping the Lord. Someone complained to pastor and author Francis Chan once and said that they didn’t think that the worship service was very good. He said that that was okay because “we weren’t worshiping you.”

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