“When We Stumbled”

“When We Stumbled”

Friday, September 21.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him in his way.

There is nothing that affects our dignity then when we stumbled.  Throughout life, I have seen people, dressed to the hilt, stumble and fall flat on their faces.  I have seen footage of a president that stumbled. Celebrities have stumbled and fell.  Can you remember a time in your life when you stumbled and fell to the ground?  Nothing is more humiliating or embarrassing than spilling our dignity as we fall flat on our pride.  This is why we get up and look around to see who was watching.

The good news here is that when we stumbled, there are many people around who wants to help immediately.  Also who people who stumbled get up immediately, shrugged off the momentary humiliation, and forged ahead.  There is something to learn after we stumbled.

James 3:2 informs us that we all stumbled at times.  Nobody is perfect. To stumble is normal.  It is a fact that guarantees our humanity.  Perhaps you have just stumbled.  You feel guilty, you feel like a failure.  You wish you had never opened your mouth or felt guilty.  I want you to get out of that pool of self-pity, brush off the dirt with the promise of God’s forgivingness.  God still wants to use you.  You just have to get up!

Memory verse: Hebrews 4:12

“In the end, it all come to choices to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.” Amber Frey

“Prayer Partners”

“Prayer Partners”

Thursday, September 2o.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their travail.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”

If we sat and tried to raise our legs upward, it wouldn’t be long when we get tired.  In Exodus 17:8-16, Moses was executing his prayer duty.  His soldiers were in battle while he prayed. They were fighting the powerful army of the Amalekites, but the Israelites were more powerful.  As long as Moses hands were raised up while he prayed, the Israelites prevailed in battle.   Moses could not carry on the task of praying and holding up his hands for long.  He needed the help of Aaron and Hur.

The sovereign Lord never expected Moses to do the job all by himself.  In like manner, God never expects us to be independent of Him.  He wants our lives to be good.  He wants us to partner with others to pray.  God designed the church in such a way that He wants the world to recognize us Christians by our love for one another.  As we depend on God, we need to be interdependent on one another.  Everyone of us need an Aaron and a Hur.  We need people who can hold up our arms and held us in our intercessions before the Lord.

May God bring people in our lives who can faithfully and lovingly lift us in prayers without judging us or expecting anything in return.

Memory verse: Ecclesiastes 4:11

“Prayer is God’s ordained way of bring his miracle to bear on human need.” Wesley Duewell

 

 

God’ Church”

God’s Church”

Wednesday, September 19

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…”

The word church does not mean the big dome full of smiling people.  God created the church to be a fellowship of believers, who encourage each other and carry the good news to the world.  The ministry of the church is worshiping the living God, instructing and edifying believers, making disciples of all nations, and serving the needy.  If the leadership of the church is not careful, these purposes of the church can easily be missed.  For an example, congregation that emphasize teaching might lose their joy.  If a church emphasizes only evangelism, it could miss out on great faith.

Sin and human imperfection can also hinder church fellowship.  Divisive arguments, music preferences or choice of clothing are all issues that can destroy church unity.  Greed, pride, selfishness, and gossip can also tear a congregation apart.  Let us strive for God’s original design of the church.

Memory verse: Hebrew 11:5

“Prayer is a strong wall and fortress; it is a goodly christian weapon.” Martin Luther

“What is the Church all About?”

“What is the Church all About?”

Tuesday, September 18.

“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy.”

There are plenty of church buildings in this country. If one want to locate one, it an easy job.  Joining one of the many churches is the tough decision.  One would want to give it some thoughts.  It is good to look to God’s word to make such choice because His word gives us specific instructions.

The word church comes from the Greek word ecclesia meaning a group of people who are called out of the world.  God calls us by grace for us to assemble together to worship and serve Christ.  Reading Ephesians 5:22-30, we will see that the believer is the body and Jesus is the head of the church.  Under Jesus’ leadership, we can enjoy the unity and purpose of the church.

God design this fellowship for us to worship, instruct, encourage, evangelize and to take the mission to those who are in need.  This is to happen both within the fellowship and outside the fellowship.  A healthy fellowship is also possible when believers rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance.  It is good to always ask if a church believes God’s Word is infallible and inerrant?  It is good to ask if the church is discipling its people?  Joining a congregation is an important decision, as a fellowship of believers is one tool God uses to mature and encourage His children. Let us discern God’s will.  Let us listen to the Holy Spirit to warn or direct us as we prayerfully investigate our options.

Memory verse: Timothy 3:14

“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.”

“Blessed are the Persecuted”

“Blessed are the Persecuted”

Monday, 17th September.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecuted you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account…your reward is great in heaven.”  Matthew 5″10-12

Yesterday in our sermon, we talked about how grace is not cheap but costly.  Following Jesus Christ is very costly.  Following Jesus is costly because Jesus lay down His life for the sins of the world. He was persecuted and so those who follow Him will also be persecuted.  According to the World Watch List, 312 million Christians face significant amount of persecution in 2018 alone.  Many more are killed, abducted, rape and sexually harassed.

Jesus Christ did not misinformed His followers about the danger that is involved in peaching the good news.  He gave them these encouraging words in Matthew about the rewards that await them. I want to encourage you today that God who watches from heaven will bless those who suffered for Christ’s name.  If you are a Christian and do not suffer some kind of persecution, then begin questioning your allegiance to Him. God who will certainly reward you for your allegiance to Christ.

Memory verse: John 3:30

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own belief. Rather it condemn the oppression or persecution of others.” John F. Kennedy

“Peacemaking and being Pure”

“Peacemaking and being Pure”

Friday, September 14.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:8-9

The Beatitudes or “The Sermon on the Mount,” are Jesus’ word to Christians.  Christians are to possess these traits or qualities.  We must possess them in some measure.  This is because of our claim to have faith. Remember we cannot please God if we do not have faith.

Jesus Christ is saying those who are pure in heart receive blessings from God and will one day see Him. This is good news.  The Psalmist tells us in Psalms 24 verses 3 and 4 that those who “have pure hearts and clean hands” can stand in the Lord’s presence.  Those who have pure hearts devote themselves to God in worship.  A person with a pure heart does not lift his/her soul in worship to falsehood.  Everything he/she does is lined with pure intend.

Peace making is tied to the work of Christ, who came to bring together divided.  Christ came to reconciled those alienated from God by sin.We are peace maker when we share the Gospel in words and deeds.  Let us be like Christ, who is the Prince of Peace.

Memory verse: Mathew 5:6-7

“Purity of heart means loving only what is real.” John de Ruiter

“Blessed are the Meek”

“Blessed are the Meek.”

Thursday, September 13.

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

A meek person is a person who is conscious of his or her limitations. A meek person knows he cannot depend on himself or herself alone.  When a person is meek, that person knows he or she is as guilty before God as any other person would be.  Meekness makes it difficult for a person to judge others or hold a grudge.  Meekness helps one not to hold grudges.  If one has such character, one gains God’s approval.  What am I saying?  God loves folks who are humble and are of gentleness.

Meekness enables us to look to God.  It helps us to reject sufficiency.  It is our limitations that help us to turn to God for guidance, protection, and grace.  This is why Jesus is telling us that meekness will earn us a place in the kingdom of the Most High God.  Numbers 12:3 tells us Moses was meek.  Moses was ready to endure anything.  Let us be meek always helping others to understand how important it is to look to God.

Memory verse: James 3:13

“God has two dwellings; one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart.” Izaak Walton

 

“Blessed are those who Mourn”

Blessed are those who Mourn”

Wednesday, September 12.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:4-5

We will be doing a series of devotions from the beatitude.  When Jesus spoke this sermon on the mount, He began with the word blessed.  Some scholars will look at the Greek word for blessing (makarios) as being happy.  One would agree happiness is link to blessings. But a better way to put it is when one is blessed, one has God’s approval.  To be blessed is to be called a child of God.

In our verse of today, Jesus is talking about those who mourn.  This does not necessarily apply to those who lost a love one.  The take from this verse is those who mourn of their sins will receive comfort from the Lord. Jesus mourns over Jerusalem and the devastation sin had brought.  Sin had brought destruction in many areas of our lives.  Mourning for our sins and wrong doings points us upward towards God’s grace.  This brings about comfort and redemption.  Jesus will always give us comfort when we repent of our sins.

Memory verse: Matthew 5:5.

“Everything on earth has a purpose, every disease and herb to cure it, every person a mission.  This is the Indian theory of existence.” Mourning Dove

 

“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”

“Blessed are the poor in Spirit”

Tuesday, September 11.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Matthew gospel has always been cherished by many.  It contains lots of teachings of Jesus’ instructions to His followers.  In chapter five Jesus’ teachings is popularly referred to as the “Sermon on the Mount.”  In verse three talks about those who are “poor in spirit.” Jesus is talking about those who embrace God’s kingdom.  He talks about a place where the people of God will embrace his rules.  It is also a guide for life in a believing community, the community of faith, or the church.

The essence of this teaching is those who do not rely on their own goodness are blessed.  These are the people who will be granted entry into the kingdom of God.  Jesus is not telling us to deny our worth as humans, but to recognize our sin and our need for salvation.  I agreed with Matthew Henry’s commentary which talks about “having humble thoughts of ourselves.” It is a blessing when we humble ourselves because God will always lift us up.

Memory verse: Matthew 5:4

“A sound head, an honest heart, and an humble spirit are the three best guides through time and to eternity.” Sir Walter Scott

“Having a Pure Heart”

“Having a Pure Heart”

Monday, September 10.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

There is a bumper sticker adage, “Lead me not into temptation I can find it myself.”  We all do a good job allowing ourself in the way of temptation.  When this happens, we blame it on the Devil or on other people.  The reality is that we put ourselves in the way of temptation.  Sometimes we feel when we move ourselves from temptation, we will not sin again.  But this is not true.  The problem of falling into temptation is within us.

The Bible tells us how temptation is bad.  It comes from the lure of our inner desire.  James points out that the evil we do comes from a desire within our hearts.  These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death.  Jesus quoted the law of Moses concerning committing adultery. But Jesus added that if anyone looks at a woman lustfully, that person eyes have already committed adultery.  Let us cultivate a pure heart.  Let us bring every sinful thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ Jesus.  God loves us and wants to have a pure heart.

Memory verse: 2 Corinthians 10:5

“Great thoughts and a pure heart is what, that is what we should ask from God.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe