Unity in Christ's body is maintained by more than individual behavior and relationships. It is maintained by having a unified mission.
Spiritual togetherness is another way to say "unity." Believers will be spiritually one as we understand who God is and who we are in Christ. We should not want to live life alone.
The content of Psalm 14 is repeated three times in the Old and New Testament, once with commentary. (See also Psalm 53, Romans 3, and Romans 1.) How should we respond to increasing moral corruption?
Humans need to be together and to celebrate something bigger than themselves. We also need to be together as God's people. We prepare to be with each other, and we enjoy being with our Christian family. Our unity is based on our position in Christ and our disposition produced by the fruit of the Spirit.
Our theme for the year is not just a slogan; it is a practice of our faith. Our church's One Legacy goals for the year are things we have to do together, because that is how God designed the body of Christ to work.
It is natural for humans to worry, but in a life governed by God, worry will be controlled. Believers don't have to dwell in anxiety.
Our theme for the year will be "Doing Divine Things Together."
The book of Matthew has 5 discourses and 5 narrative sections presenting Christ as the King. Our passage today is part of the Sermon on the Mount, which is not new information. As one author described, "It is the wisdom of God inviting all of us through faith to orient our vision, values, and habits from the ways of external righteousness to wholeheartedness towards God. Jesus' method of teaching uses thematic structures, images, and poetic language to allow His listeners more simple ways to remember, meditate on, and memorize Christ's heart on how to live every day."
Luke 1:67-80 occurs just before the birth of Jesus, after the birth of his cousin John the Baptist. Zechariah is holding his newborn son and speaks promises inspired by the Holy Spirit. He answers the question, how can we be sure of Jesus' ability to save us from our sins?
We can trust in Jesus because God says we can. His Word is enough, because His promise will always come true. What He says, He will do.
Christmas is when God became man. This is the meaning of "incarnation." But why did God become man? The whole Bible is the answer; this morning, we look at Hebrews 2 for part of the answer.
Solomon offers more wisdom principles as he concludes the book of Ecclesiastes. He urges us to embrace good, simple things as we have them. As we discipline ourselves to use our energy to enjoy God's good gifts, we will be a joyful people!
Solomon has several concluding chapters as he shares wisdom on enduring the margin of mystery. The theme is similar to 1 Peter 4:19: When life is hard to understand, stay active doing good things.
We are learning from Solomon how to live simply in the margin of mystery created by the unpredictability of life. Ecclesiastes 9:11-18 warns us not to trust our personal ability or opportunities.
We try to understand God's plan, but we can never know all of it; and we couldn't handle that knowledge anyway. Life is full of spiritual mystery. What can and should we do as we live through this reality?
Pastor Kamibayashiyama presented his ministry in the Philippines and preached from Romans 15.
Ecclesiastes 8:12-17 are addressed primarily to the wise employee of a despotic king. Though we are not all government employees, all of God's people can learn a wise disposition while we live under human government from these verses.
Ecclesiastes 8:1-15 is our last set of verses in the third section of this book. These verses tell us how to respond to darkness in government. Ecclesiastes 8:15 sums up the conclusion of the whole section: an exhortation to enjoy life. We should never let inequity in government distract us from living joyfully as Christians.
In Solomon's discussion of living life on purpose, we have studied a bold determination in Ecclesiastes 7:15-18. We now turn to a balanced assessment and some benign reminders.
Psalm 6 meditates on a difficult Christian endeavor: responding while under the disciplinary hand of the Lord. This endeavor is the sole property of people who have been transformed by Jesus into the often-uncomfortable condition of being lifelong learners, lovers, and worshipers. The joy of learning often includes the negative experience of shame, stifling our own pride, and enduring the consequences of our sin.
At first reading, Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 seems to advocate being a little bit wicked. But this interpretation would not fit with the rest of Scripture. Instead, Solomon is showing that excessively applying righteousness and piling on wickedness are both dangerous. We should not come to conclusions about a person's character too quickly.
In our American church context, we are all wealthy compared to the rest of the world. So there is much for us to learn from Solomon's wisdom for wealthy people in this section of Ecclesiastes.
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