One of the greatest helps God has given you to remain faithful and a productive member of God’s family is His faith family, the church. When God’s grace washes away your sin (Acts 22:16) by faith when you are baptized into Christ He adds you to His body (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 1:13). The primary reason God does this is that you and I can help each other get to Heaven. Let us help one another to be our best for Christ. Keep your eye on the goal.
What are the Christian’s goals in life? We have multiple goals as disciples. The following list of Scriptures indicate some of our goals: Matthew 5:48, 6:33; 2 Corinthians 5:9, 13:11; Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 2:5 and 1 Thessalonians 2:12. There are many goals that we hold close to our heart, but they derive from desiring to please God and letting His goodness flow through us both in our physical family and spiritual family.
There is not a day that goes by when we can take our eyes off of the goal of pleasing the Lord. We must keep our actions consistent with our heavenly goals. We must keep our priorities consistent with our heavenly desires. Keep your eye on this goal: We make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it (2 Cor. 5:9).
The above title and the following comments are taken from a blog my son, Brandon, writes for the Oklahoma Christian Academy. Memories shape the soundtracks of our lives. All through the Bible we see examples of the power of memory. In the Old Testament, Israel's national identity originated in their exodus from Egypt. This event was so important that God instructed them to annually observe the Passover ceremony because He realized that a time would come when a generation would no longer remember the Exodus without a memory aide. The Passover ceremony was important because it was a reminder of God's faithfulness. This would create a great object lesson for parents to retell the story of God's faithfulness for generations.
Wrapped up in Passover is a memory that God has the power to give hope. We are moved by the memories of God’s faithfulness (Psalm 105). God’s people were instructed to raise an Ebenezer (1 Samuel 8:12), a stone of remembrance, where God helped His people. It was simply a physical marker to help them remember the important life-changing events. Seeing these stones (Joshua 4:3-9) would remind them of God’s faithfulness, and help them make decisions with God’s faithfulness in mind. As fathers, we are in the business of creating memories. We should keep before our children the memory of God’s faithfulness. Let us as parents seek to intentionally create memories for our children that will lead them closer to God and His Kingdom.
One of my favorite illustrations is how the news the battle of Waterloo was communicated to England. The message was sent by rider, then by ship across the English Channel, and then from ship to shore. The message had only four words, but unfortunately the first two words were the only words communicated initially due to the heavy fog that descended rather suddenly. The only part of the message that got through was, “Wellington defeated.” That is all the tower of Winchester Cathedral saw and all the messenger could do was pass on the sad news. England lived in disappointment for 24 hours. As the fog lifted the whole message could be completed. The two missing words hidden from the fog were “the enemy.” The whole truth was “Wellington defeated the enemy!”
Between the crucifixion and the resurrection, the followers of Jesus lived with half a message. “Jesus defeated.” Then on resurrection morning the fog lifted and the confusion to make sense of life became clear. The missing words blazed in the hearts of the disciples, “Jesus defeated the enemy!” We who believe in Jesus are the resurrection people who will live forever with God because we are in Christ Jesus. Jesus bridges the gap between confusion of life and the purpose of life. God can take tragedy and turn it to victory. Amen!
The story of David and Goliath from 1 Samuel Chapter 17, reminds me of the importance of having a proper perspective. There is a little difference in most people, but that little difference can make a big difference. The power of a proper perspective has everything to do with my attitude toward God and especially is this true when we encounter a problem. It is worth noting Israel had a big army and a good legacy, and a great God, but Israel had one big problem. The problem had a name. Goliath, was the champion warrior who was over nine feet tall who publicly taunted the army of Israel. The problem was so intimidating that they didn’t want to face their problem, but if we try to ignore our problem, it usually just gets worse.
The proper perspective we need in life is faith in God and what a difference faith makes. When we rely on the power of God regardless of the problem we face, we have the right attitude. David puts a stone in his sling and lets it go and God guided that stone to a small opening in Goliath’s armor. The stone sinks into his forehead and Goliath falls in defeat. The Philistine army cannot believe what they are seeing. David’s faith made the difference. When we have a problem, we can either face it with fear or faith. How is your perspective?
The leadership of this church realizes there is no greater group of workers in the world than Bible class teachers. There are many vital ministries of a healthy congregation, but there is no greater work than the work Bible class teachers do from week-to-week. Therefore, we salute you with honor in the blessed name of Jesus Christ.
Christian teachers, as well as all Christians, could be viewed as tree-planters. Whenever the seed of God’s Word is planted in one’s heart, Sunday morning, Wednesday night and all the times in-between, the planter provides an opportunity for godliness to take root. Some of the teachers at 14th and Main are fairly new teachers, while others have taught for many years. We have great confidence in all of our teachers because of their love for the Lord and desire to teach the good news of Jesus.
I wanted to remind our teachers that your spiritual growth makes it apparent that you are like trees planted by streams of water (Psalm 1:3). Whether you teach a formal class or not may God help all at 14th and Main to see: 1. The power of influence - (Matthew 5:13). 2. The importance of preparation - (1 Peter 3:15). 3. The power of prayer - (Colossians 4:6). 4. The worth of every soul - (Matthew 28:18-20). If you would like to be in our teacher rotation please see Alex or Jennifer.