Posts Tagged ‘Church

23
Aug
19

Like-Minded Family

One of the most important themes of the New Testament is that of unity in the church. A divided church cannot accomplish the Christ-given mission of making disciples of all nations. How can we make disciples when we spend so much time fighting with other disciples? This is what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:8 (NLT):
Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
We can get on such a soapbox and a high horse as Christians, can’t we? We somehow believe that we finite creatures have the market cornered on God. We somehow think that our particular flavor of faith is God’s favorite. So what do we do? We divide. One group won’t fellowship with another group because they interpret Scripture differently. One group says that this is essential and another says that is essential and since we can’t agree on the essentials, we can’t be friends, let alone family. What did Peter say? Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude. We can’t be like-minded if we aren’t tenderhearted. It’s time to drop the theological arrogance and to start working together with those who wear the name of Christ, no matter how wrong we may be.
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16
Jul
19

The Cornerstone

The cornerstone of a building is the stone by which the foundation is set. According to Peter, Jesus is the cornerstone of the church.
1 Peter 2:4 (NLT) says:

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

I like how Peter says that Jesus is the “living cornerstone.” Sounds like a contradiction in terms, right? But Jesus is alive and He is the cornerstone of our faith and the church. He sets the foundation. Everything we are and everything we do follows Him and His leadership. A church that is not based on Christ is not a Christian Church. If the church follows anyone or anything else, it is not a Christian Church. A Christian Church follows Christ’s leadership as revealed in the Word of God. Jesus is the Lord of all and that includes His church.

15
Jul
19

Craving Nourishment

One of the reasons people give for leaving a church is that they were not being fed. This is entirely possible if the church is devoid of study and growth opportunities or the preacher is feeding the congregation a diet of sermons lacking in substance. At the same time, it is up to the believer in Christ to not only take advantage of growth opportunities, but to also feed himself or herself. You have to want to grow. You have to want to be fed. 1 Peter 2:2-3 (NLT) says:
Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.
When we come to faith in Christ, we are like newborns. What do newborns do when they are hungry? They cry out for milk. If you are a spiritual newborn, you have to go where the nourishment is and cry out for spiritual food. If you are a more mature believer, you need to pick up the spoon and feed yourself, too. Read your Bible. Get in a group. Worship regularly. And don’t think that a 30 minute sermon once a week is enough to nourish your soul. If you only ate once a week, you’d be physically malnourished. Why do that to your soul? Use the tools God has given you to feed your soul.
09
Jul
19

Love One Another

As part of God’s family, we have an important command to follow: love one another. Jesus commanded it in John 13. Paul commanded it in his letters. Peter said the same thing. 1 Peter 1:22 (NLT) says:
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
When you came to faith in Christ and obeyed Him by being baptized, God washed away your sins. God made you a new creation and adopted you into His family. You were then called to obey a new command: love one another. This is not a lip-service kind of love, either. Peter says to love one another deeply from the heart. We rejoice with one another and we mourn with one another. We accept one another in all of our faults and failures. We encourage one another. We support one another. We walk through the storms with one another. Christ’s church is built on love – love for God and love for one another. He commanded it and we submit to Him. If there is someone you’re having a hard time loving, start by praying for them and for opportunities to show them love this week and then follow through with action.
07
Oct
18

The Most Important Thing

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on John 13:34-35.

23
Jul
18

Showing Our Concern

The apostle Paul was sending one of the Philippians’ own back to them. His name was Epaphroditus. Apparently, this man became sick and nearly died while he was visiting Paul. Paul wrote:

For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. – Philippians 2:26-28 (NIV)

Epaphroditus was a beloved member of the Philippian church. His illness was a great concern to his church family. We need to be concerned about one another in the church. When people are sick or hurting, we need to pray for them and tend to their needs. Pick out someone in your church who is hurting and sick and find out how you can ease their burden or lighten their load. It’s one thing to say you’re concerned and another thing to show the love of Jesus to our brothers and sisters.
20
Jul
18

Who Knows Your Name?

There are people in the Bible whose names you probably know. There’s Abraham, David, Mary, Peter and Paul among others. There’s Job, Solomon, Esther and John the Baptist, too. These are the ones who appear in the “Hall Of Fame” of the Bible. They all played important roles in God’s story as revealed in Scripture. There are some lesser known people, too. Paul wrote about one of them to the Philippians. He said:

But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. – Philippians 2:25 (NIV)

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Epaphroditus. He was a messenger sent to Paul from the Philippians to report on how things were going in the church there. He also brought Paul a gift from the church. While he may have been a bit player in the Bible, he was important nonetheless. It is important to know that there are no unimportant people in Jesus’ church. Everyone’s name is written in a book – the Lamb’s Book of Life. You have incredible value in the church and in God’s Kingdom. Don’t let anyone dismiss you as a bit player. Jesus died for you because you are precious to Him. He knows your name.



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