Sermon Starters

                            

                          Rev. E. Anderson

SPIRITUAL CONFLICT – A BATTLE IS ON!

WORD FOR TODAY

Reading    Galatians 5: 16-26

Text        vv17

Introduction

No matter how long we have walked with God, our f lesh never improves; it never becomes more like the Spirit overtime! That’s why we are told to crucify it and walk each day by the power God’s indwelling Spirit provides. Listen: ‘…obey only the Holy Spirits instructions. ..then you will not always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to… we naturally love to do evil things that are just the opposite from the things the Holy Spirit tells us to do; and the good things we want to do when the Spirit has His way with us are just the opposite of our natural desires. These two forces within us are constantly fighting each other to win control over us, and our wishes are never free from their pressures… But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…’ – Galatians 5:16-17, 22,23- TLB.

Is such a lifestyle possible? Yes, but you must do four things:

1/.  RECOGNISE THAT YOU ARE A TARGET FOR THE ENEMY AND PROTECT YOURSELF WITH GOD’S WORD AND PRAYER.

2/.  GET RID OF THE ONE SIN THAT REPEATEDLY DEFEATS YOU: ‘…LAY ASIDE… THE SIN WHICH SO EASILY ENSNARES…’ – Hebrews 12:1 NKJV.

3/.  BE CONTINUALLY FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT’S POWER. Without it, you lose every time.

4/.  STAND IN GOD’S STRENGTH, NOT YOUR OWN. How? By fighting until you experience victory. His might plus your choice to obey and keep on fighting, always lead to a clear and lasting victory!

                               

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Prayer Dynamics

                       

                             Rev. Rick Warren

A POWERFUL KEY TO PRAYER
by Rick Warren

“And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with the” -. Matthew 18:19-20 (TEV)

If you look at the Lord’s Prayer, you’ll see that it reflects praying together – “Our Father … give usour daily bread … forgive us our debts … as we also have forgiven our debtors … lead us not into temptation … deliver us …. – Matthew 6:9-13 NIV.

Many of us miss out of so much because they only pray by themselves.  Yet, when Jesus gave us an outline for prayer, he spoke about praying together. There is power in group prayer. 

If you’re not praying with other believers, then you’re not getting the support you need.

If you’re not praying with other believers, then you’re not getting the support you need. You’re missing out on one of the major benefits of being a Christian. Jesus says “whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them. (Matthew 18:19-20, TEV) That’s the power of praying with other people. 

Ask yourself, “Who am I consistently praying with on a regular basis?” You may be saying you’ve never prayed with anybody before and it scares you to death. Its okay to start slow: When you get together with five or six other friends, you don’t have to pray if you don’t want to; you can sit there and be quiet. 

Then, after several weeks, as you become more comfortable, you can begin to participate more in the group’s prayers. You’ll find a new level of stability in your life.

If you’ve never prayed with other people, start by praying aloud when you’re alone. I do most of my praying on the freeway.  I’m driving down the road and praying out loud: “Lord, here are some things I want to talk with you about today.” 

Another suggestion is to pray at meals. Our family holds hands together; sometimes we pray sentence prayers — Thank you prayers to God for what he has done for us.

Praying together is one form of worshipping God.

                              

Just a Thought

                                  

                                  Rev. A. Linford

PENTECOSTAL HYPOCRITES

“Laying aside all ….. hypocrisies” – 1 Peter 2: 1

Peter is writing to seasoned Christians, to established saints, to Pentecostal believers – and he uses that shocking word, ”hypocrisies”

Is it possible that Christians are tempted to hide their true selves behind a mask of make-belief? The apostle admits this danger. Under pressure of persecution some tended to hide their faith behind a screen of fear. But this will not do. Such hypocrisy is an impediment to spiritual growth. Together with malice, guile envy and evil speaking, it acts like a weed, robbing the useful plant of light above and sustenance beneat

Spirits babes may not feel strong enough to maintain innocence in a wicked word, but there is one source of viii nourishment that will promote growth with its accompanying energy to withstand the evil of hypocrisy, it is the “spiritual milk of be word”.

Milk: the nourishing food of babes, a providential provision awaiting their coming into the world. As imbibed from the mothers’ breast it is at the right temperature and sweetness for instant absorption. It contains fats, protein, carbohydrates – plus other essential ingredients – and even holds in its liquid stream antibiotics to prevent infant ailments: all the essentials to promote healthy growth. Such is the word of God to our souls. Rid of the impediment of pretence, we can in sincerity and faith, continue in the way of truth as we “grow thereby”.

                                      

Dave’s Snippets

                                      

                                       Dr. David Allen 

A VISIT TO   VERSAILLES

We went to Paris recently and decided to go to the Palace of Versailles.  It is splendid but it is really a monument to one man: King Louis XIV, known as the Sun King and who is still admired by many French people, even though France is a republic.  The Palace and its gardens   make Buckingham Palace seem mean by comparison with Versailles.

Inside or outside,  you cannot get away from King Louis XIV: his statue is in the courtyard and pictures of him – formal and informal – by numerous great artists adorn every wall.  The furniture, the ceramics, silverware and so on were all commissioned by the king. And all of it is nothing less than   superb.

The reign of the Sun King was a time of artistic flowering. Great composers such as Lully and Charpentier produced splendid music; as for literature, there were dramatists such as Moliere  and  Corneille, the one a master of comedy and the other of  high drama.  The period is still looked back on with longing by some of the French people; but the era was fine  for the rich and for the aristocrats, yet not so for the peasants. And, in that period, the seeds of the   Revolution which later convulsed France were planted and which swept the monarchy away.

As I strolled through the Palace it evoked that time, but I remembered a black period for French Protestants: for nearly a century they  had enjoyed freedom of worship until, in 1685, it was revoked.  From then on only those who returned to Catholicism could continue their professions as lawyers, doctors and teachers. Many quit France forever rather than conform; and those who remained were persecuted very cruelly, especially in the South, where   Protestantism was strong. Thousands were tortured or sent to work as galley – slaves in Toulon or Marseille.

 As a result, France lost some of its better artisans and professionals and was thus    impoverished economically.  But places like   Canada, and Britain too, were enriched by such immigrants fleeing persecution. Only one solitary picture in Versailles makes any reference to these events and few people even notice it amongst the huge canvases, tapestries and sculptures.

Louis for me is not the Sun King, but rather an egotistic and vain despot. That’s my lasting memory from the sumptuous Palace of Versailles!    

                                 

Illustrious Men and Ministries

THE CAMBRIDGE SEVEN

The Cambridge Seven were Stanley P. Smith (1861-1931) of Repton and Trinity College and stroke of the Cambridge eight’s boat; Montagu Harry Proctor Beauchamp (1860-1939) of Repton and Trinity, the fourth son of a baronet; Dixon Edward Hoste (1862-1946) a gunner sub-altern in the Royal Artillery, son of a major-general; William Wharton Cassels (1858-1925) of Repton and St. John’s, a Church of England curate; Cecil Polhill-Turner (1860-1938) of Eton and Jesus, who had resigned his commission in the Queen’s Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards); his brother Arthur Twistleton Polhill-Turner (1862-1935) of Eton, Trinity and Ridley Hall; lastly Charles Thomas Studd (1860-1931) the Eton, Cambridge and England cricketer.

In the history of missions no band of volunteers caught the imagination of the wider public than the Cambridge Seven and they gave a higher profile and added impetus to the cause of Christian Missions in British Society. Even Queen Victoria received a booklet giving their testimonies.

There were three great farewell meetings held for the Cambridge Seven by the CIM in Cambridge, Oxford and London.[1] 1200 people attended the meeting at Cambridge and it is recorded as being the most remarkable missionary meeting ever held at the University. Similarly the Corn Exchange in Oxford and the Exeter Hall in London were also packed to full capacity as people were captivated by the willingness of these very capable young men who were willing to renounce their careers and wealth to become missionaries in China.[2]

During this period Smith and Studd went to Leicester to speak about their call to a large crowd. The man most impacted by them was an unknown 37-year-old Baptist minister F.B. Meyer.

The final two members of the Cambridge Seven were Anglican Church men: William Wharton Cassels (1858-1925) of Repton and St. John’s, a Church of England curate; Arthur Twistleton Polhill-Turner (1862-1935) of Eton, Trinity and Ridley Hall, brother of Cecil Polhill.

Cassels was more of a pastoral worker than evangelist, based in Shansi and then later in West China. Cassels was consecrated the first Anglican Bishop of Western China in 1895.[3]  The Times, when reporting of Cassels’ death, stated that his 40 years of service in China, 30 of which he was a bishop, was a unique record in mission history. Cassels appointed 12 Chinese clergy to assist in his work and during his time of office saw a cathedral seating 1,500 people built in Pao-ning.[4] Cassels conducted the marriage of Cecil Polhill and his wife Agnes Marston at Pao-ning in 1887.

Arthur Polhill was ordained as a deacon in China 1888, then as a priest in 1890. He was part of the Old Etonian China Association that commenced in 1908 that inspired many young men towards Christian missionary work. [5] He lived in North Szechwan using the mission stations as bases for evangelism to reach the densely populated areas. He remained in China throughout the Boxer rebellion and the revolution in 1911. In 1911 his brother Cecil visited him in China and they journeyed together to Pao-ning, where Cassels was bishop.[6] He retired from the CIM at the age of 63. In 1928 he retired to Hertfordshire and died at Letchworth in 1935. These men served God faithfully over many years to reach the massive population of China through a very turbulent part of that nation’s history. Our current global history may seem to be very uncertain but we also need to commit to the cause of serving God faithfully in our generation.

                               


 

 

 

 

 

Great Stories

                                   

                                 Rev. E. Anderson

THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
By Eddie Ogan

I’ll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.

By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.

When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.

We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.

Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.

We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.

That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.

We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.

But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.

When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.

As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.

Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.

We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor.

That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed–I didn’t even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!

I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way.

Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?” We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.

Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.

When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.”

Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.”

We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!

                                

Wisdom’s Ways

                                    

                                   Rev. A. Linford

Rev. A. Linford, before his decease, was recognized as a good, great and interesting Bible teacher in the Assemblies of God Fellowship for many years. He was a well-loved Bible College lecturer and writer that bequeathed a tremendous amount of Biblical material in his generation. What a legacy he has left to be researched and brought forth to refresh our day! We shall be using such on this site: His writings from the book of Proverbs and also his Editorials that he wrote for the Redemption Tidings when he was its editor. I trust you will enjoy and appreciate

SPEECH REVEALS CHARACTER

”Excellent speech becometh not a fool” – Proverbs 17:7

How often the power of the tongue is stressed in this book of wisdom! Speech – the glory of man – is one of his greatest problems. To know when to speak, what to say and how to utter it is a mark of maturity. The ”perfect man’s, says James, can control his tongue and this shows he has the bridle of nature (Often turbulent and contrary), firmly in hand.

The source of words. Words take their colour from character. An empty-headed fool (Hebrew Nabal) will speak folly. In fact no one expects sense from him. ”Excellent speech” is as incongruous to him” as a jewel in a swine’: snout” (to put Proverbs 11:22 in a new context). A churl may speak churlishly, but a ”prince”, in his speech shows himself a man of noble character. A man’: breeding shows in his utterances.

The sound of words. Words are not just things, they are vehicles; they convey by sight and sound both thought and emotion. The way a word is pronounced, stressed or voiced is often more significant than its literal meaning. “Excellent speech”, that is cultured accents and superior talk, is out of place in a fool: his character cannot sustain the affected pose’, nor does double-talk fit in with the status of a prince: good sense will rescue the one, and sincerity preserve the other. The way we say things is as important as the things we say: tone is a revelation of temper.

The subtlety of words. This is why we must guard and regulate our tongues. Not for us the ”double-entendre”, the subtle innuendo, the cheap bon mot the suggestive risque; the Christian (God’s prince) will be as sincere as he is serious in his promises, as firm as he is free in his sentiments, and as clear as he is clean in his pronouncements. Whereas the ”fool” will use words to hide his true intentions and feelings, the ”prince” will use words to reveal his mind, convey his ideas and express his heart-felt emotions.

PRAYER:

My words betray my true self: may it always be to the good.

                                    

Sermons of Note

                                  

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

REMAINING LOYAL AND STEADFAST THOUGH TRULY TESTED

Reading     Ruth 1

Text          vv16, 17

Introduction

OUTSTANDING BOOK: This is only a small book but it is filled with tremendous significance and worth. It is in the sacred canon of Scripture for a purpose. Little did Ruth know in her life that she would be a woman that would make Biblical history and become highly rated and valued by the Jewish nation?  As she lived out her life, she was not conscious of the fact that she would be greatly contributing to the nation of Israel’s history, and world history, too. Her quiet, unassuming life would go down in permanent record for all to note and observe and be impressed.

GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT: It as to be said that reading and studying her life, ministry and testimony, one is immensely and enormously inspired and encouraged. She was a mere nobody that became a somebody by and through the favour of God and her wholehearted commitment and devotion. She may have been a nondescript at the first but as her life unfolds and things uniquely occur through the providence and goodness of God, she leaves something behind for all to observe. What a legacy she left! Her manner of belief and behaviour is a source of incredible inspiration and blessing.

IMPORTANT LESSONS: Reading the little book, there are so many lessons to be learned that will benefit those who ponder and accept them. Ruth herself learned a great deal in the outworking of her life and because she responded aright, she subsequently made a success of it and the lasting tribute in the form of this book. As she learned her lessons she moved progressively forward into a glorious ordained divine destiny. She did not miss out on a future that had been prescribed by heaven and she was to serve as a good example to educate others along the way. Possibly the major message that was driven home was the need to remain constant, dependable amidst great pressures.

There are things that are joined to this principal thought in this opening chapter.

1/. MAKING SURE ONE DOES THE RIGHT THING WHEN DIFFICULT TIMES ARISE – v1

In the opening verse there is the indication that a seemingly wrong choice was made because of extenuating circumstances. Elimelech and Naomi were under a great deal of pressure because of the prevailing fact in Bethlehem, the House of God, Bread. They found themselves in untoward straits and felt that the best thing to do was to quit their home place and try and find a better existence elsewhere. They felt the duress of the famine and believed they could better themselves elsewhere. They could not stick it any further and so the quitting of the place. Whether it was the best decision one is left to surmise. One does know that it is not always wise and best to act in such a way. Extreme care has to be taken because one can find oneself in greater straits and calamity. May be it might have been better to have remained loyal amidst the trying conditions.

2/. REMAINING TRUE IN THE MIDST OF BEREAVEMENT – vv2-5

It was Naomi that was to be sorely tested in their new abiding place. May be it was quite comfortable and easy at the start in the land of Moab. But things did not remain like this. In that strange land she was to be subjected to an immense trial, the loss of her husband. A great ordeal was to be faced that possibly she least expected and a great gap came into her life in the loss of one that meant everything to her. She had to sorrow away from relatives and friends but somehow she seems to hold her faith. At least she had grown up sons who would be strength to her.

Two daughter-in-laws were added to the family and there is little doubt that she must have had some spiritual impact upon them, especially Ruth. This heathen young woman is freed from her wrong religious notions and belief and comes to some understanding of Naomi’s faith.

Everything ran well for a decade and then sudden tragedy and bereavement, both sons were to die. The further loss of her sons presented another trying period but somehow she still nurses her trust in God. Though grief-stricken she does let loose of her confidence in the Lord. Although difficult to understand and interpret it was necessary to hold steadfast to Jehovah. Because she did, it had some marked impact upon Ruth.

3/. HAVING THE SENSE TO RETURN EVEN THOUGH IT MAY BE EMBARRASSING – vv6-7

It was now time for re-assessment in the light of these unexpected developments. Apart from her daughter-in-laws she may have in some senses felt isolated and alone and it was not easy to bear. To stop there would be very difficult and hard because all she could think of was the loss she had sustained. Maybe if she returned things may take a decided change that would her to face life afresh.

Good news had percolated through that gave some hope – “for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread” – v6. It acted as a prod to galvanize her to action, to make the journey back home to see if she could still make a go of life.

There was a deep awareness in her spirit that when she arrived it could prove to be a moment of embarrassment. How would her friends and relatives think when she arrived back in a desolate and destitute state. This had to be overcome and she faced the issue squarely. There would have to be a reliance on the Lord to carve out something of worth in a seeming hopeless state. Her relationship with the Lord was good at this time as she counsels her daughter-in-laws – vv8, 9.

4/. BEING AWARE OF THE LOVE, LOYALTY AND STEADFAST COMMITMENT OF ANOTHER – VV8-18

Amidst these difficult circumstances and conditions she is ministered to in an incredible manner. She possibly thought that her daughter-in-laws would take heed to her advice. Surely they would seek to feather their own nest and leave her to face the prospects ahead alone. But she was to be surprised and overwhelmed by the attitude of one of them, Ruth. Time spent with her had not been in vain because something of a spiritual nature and quality had been birthed and nurtured in her. These were the circumstances where it was to find fantastic expression.

Ruth dared to be different and to make a decisive stand for things that really mattered. Two things of import were in Ruth at this hour: one, Naomi really needed a friend and one who would be with her and stand by in these incredible conditions. She was not for turning in any way and would be loving, loyal and steadfast to the finish.  Her words are memorable: “Intreat me not to leave you . . .” – v16. There was to be no deserting of her mother-in-law whatever the future held. She was prepared to take up residence with another people of a different culture.

But then she comes out with an expression that reveals that something divine had taken place in her being that reflects what had happened in spite of the disastrous conditions. She had come to a faith in Israel’s God. The former deities are dismissed and forgotten as she is prepared to place all in the hands of God. An inspiring, incredible statement of faith is made – “Your people shall be my people and your God my God” – v16. She spells it out simply but surely. There was to be no back from this commitment.

5/. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BE TOO HARD ON ONSELF AND NOT TO INTERPRET THINGS WRONGLY –vv19-21

Naomi is glad to be back home and is possibly surprised at the welcome she receives. Her arrival back creates quite a stir in the place because it is recorded that “all the city was moved about them” – v19. There was a genuine interest in her as can be adjudge by the question – “Is this Naomi?” They had apparently not forgotten her although she had been away a long time from the place.

Her reply reveals that she was simply interpreting things from a human angle and standpoint and appears to give the impression that she had been out of favour with the Lord because of what had taken place. Twice she registers this fact – vv20, 21 as if she had been badly done to hence the need to change her name. If only she did but know, the Lord had her very much in mind at that time and was going to give her a completely different picture of life! Naomi was being very hard on herself and this was not the best thing to do.

The Lord was not going to permit this kind of image to be her lot for the rest of her life. She had been rightly named ‘Naomi’ – ‘pleasant one’ and the bitterness would be turned to pleasantness in His gracious and providential dealings.

6/. KNOWING THERE CAN BE A NEW BEGINNING IN SPITE OF ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED – v22

The last verse gives a true glimmer of hope and possibility. It says “they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest” – v22. This was most significant and worthy of note.

It indicates that they arrived back at the right time. Behind the return of Naomi was the stirring and working of the Lord. It was more than a human desire in Naomi’s heart. Although she did not know or realize it, she was prompted of the Lord to make this journey back and everything was now set up for an amazing and extraordinary happening. Although things appear to be the worst, in point of fact, it was the precise time for a new beginning. 

It prophesies that through this something most providential was about to occur. As later events prove and affirm something of major worth was going to take place in the fields of barley. It was not only to be a place of work and industry alone but a venue where something more telling was to be born. As love, loyalty and steadfastness is to be tested further, it is to yield an invaluable factor that fits in with God’s eternal purposes.

CONCLUSION

Life rolls on for each one of us and we do not know when the tests may come but we must live and be aware of Romans 8: 28 being brought to pass in our lives. Throughout the variables of life, He will be constant and dependable, and so must we. Trust because He will lead and bring us through.

                                   

Powerful Quotes

                                   

                                Rev. L. Goodwin

FAMOUS QUOTES

“Confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside.”
Brian Tracy

“Confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside.”
Brian Tracy

Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is hard to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.”
W. L. Shirer

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”
Zig Ziglar

“The true voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes.”
Proust

                                 

Messages by Rick Warren

                              

                                 Rev. Rick Warren

EASTER MEANS JESUS PAID FOR OUR SINS

“Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness”- Ephesians 1:7 (GWT)

Everything you’ve ever done wrong, everything you’re ever going to do wrong, things you haven’t even thought of yet, all those sins have already been paid for by Jesus Christ as he died on the cross.

There have been a lot of great religious teachers throughout history. They’ve all had good things to say, but what makes Jesus different from every other religious teacher throughout history is the fact that he died and rose again. 

That’s of critical importance because it’s not the life of Jesus that saves you; it’s not the teachings of Jesus that save you; it’s his death and resurrection that open the door for your salvation.

Jesus died for your sins. The Bible says we’ve all blown it. We’ve all made mistakes. None of us is perfect. That’s pretty obvious; I don’t measure up to my own standards much less God’s. We have all sinned. 

The Bible says that justice demands punishment. If you do the crime, you pay the time. If you break the law, you pay the fine. If you get caught speeding, you get a ticket. If you break God’s laws, you pay God’s penalty and, according to the Bible, “the wages [for our] sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT).

In other words, somebody has to pay for all the things you’ve done wrong in life: either you pay or somebody else pays for you. And this is where God says, “I’ll do it!” He steps up to the plate. Jesus Christ is sent to earth—God in human form—and he says, in effect, “I will pay for your sins.” 

Here’s the good news: Everything you’ve ever done wrong, everything you’re ever going to do wrong, things you haven’t even thought of yet, all those sins have already been paid for by Jesus Christ as he died on the cross: “Through the blood of his Son, we are set free from our sins. God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness” (Ephesians 1:7 GWT).

When Jesus died on the cross for you, it showed two things: 

  1. It showed how much your forgiveness cost. The highest price you can pay for anything is to give your life for it. And that’s what Jesus did. He gave his blood. He gave his life. It was extremely expensive. Grace is free but it is not cheap. It cost Jesus his life, but he paid for your sins.
  2. It shows how much God values you. It shows how much you matter to God. Jesus died for you on the cross. It shows the highest price possibly to be paid was giving a life. 

How much are you worth? Jesus says, with his arms stretched out on the cross, “This much I’m willing to die for you.” You may think that you’re worthless because of things you’ve done wrong. But Jesus says, “No. You’re priceless. And I’m willing to give my life in order to pay for your sins.”

                                

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