How do we handle adversity when it comes our way? And it will come our way. Do we respond in ways that are self-destructive, or do we respond in ways that bring us closer to God and make us more like Jesus? Do we appreciate adversity?
(1 Timothy 6:6-10)
6 Godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
How many times all of us have wished we could go back and do things over again. Regrets. The desires for a “do over.” Everybody has them. We can’t change the past, but as long as we are breathing we can start doing better. We can change things... starting now.
On many occasions we say goodbye to family, friends and acquaintances. One may say, “Keep me in your thoughts.” In essence, that’s what Jesus told the disciples to do when He gave them instructions regarding the Lord’s supper.
Question: What is the greatest gift of the holiday season? Answer: Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Many people view meekness, gentleness, and kindness as weaknesses. The Bible presents these qualities as strengths. We need to have the strength to stand against sin, but we need to have the compassion to be gentle with God’s creatures who have been made in His image.
What do you think of when you think of heaven? Do you think of pearly gates and streets of gold? Do you think of heaven primarily as the place you want to go in order to escape eternal punishment? Or do you think of something more substantive when you think of heaven?
In 1 Thess 5.18, the apostle Paul says, "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." With the struggles we face in this life, and with our tendency to be earthbound in our thinking, that can be a pretty tall order... but we need to cultivate thankfulness in our lives.
Saul of Tarsus had knowledge, position and friends in high places. I‘m confident that Saul had a lot of confidence in himself. It was when he faced severe difficulties that he learned to lean on the Lord.
How much confidence do you have in yourself? Do you think of yourself as independent? Do you think you can handle pretty much anything on your own, thank you very much? If so, you might find it difficult to lean on the Lord. The Lord is looking for those who will lean upon Him.
Anyone can start something. But how many people lack the tenacity, the patience, the commitment to finish the things they start? When it comes to serving the Lord, how much does it take for us to falter? Are we committed and determined to go the distance?
All of us are sometimes guilty of treating the special as if it were common. The soldiers near Jesus’ cross were guilty of this when He was crucified. How do we treat the Christ on the cross?
Do you ever feel like God does not know what you’re going through? Do you ever feel oppressed and afflicted and feel that you’re alone? The Israelites felt that way when they were in Egyptian bondage. But God heard them and brought deliverance.
How often do you find yourself saying, or wanting to say, to someone in a conversation, “listen up!” Or, “you are not listening to me.” In relationships it is important to be good listeners. It’s even more important to be good listeners regarding God’s word.
Making changes in our lives can be difficult; making changes in ourselves can be even more difficult. Some changes can come about only with the help of God. This sermon is about an account in Mark chapter 5 which clearly demonstrates that Christ changes lives.
Are you content? Do you think you would be content if you had more things? Maybe if you had fewer things? What about if you had fewer difficulties? Is there a secret to being content? Paul said there was.
The cross means different things to different people. Some see it as nothing more than a fashion statement. Others wear it as protection or a good luck charm. What does the cross signify to you? What does the cross require of you?
How we handle failure is a big determining factor in how well we do in life. How we handle failure is a big factor in remaining faithful to God. How do you handle failure?
On the night of Jesus betrayal, by washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus set an example that all His followers are to emulate. The world views greatness by how many people serve you. Christ views greatness by how many people you serve.
Most of us are too reserved to give our hearts fully to anything. But we are told that we must give our hearts wholly to the Lord. Too often we have a divided allegiance where we emphasize one thing to the neglect of the other. The Lord wants our hearts. Completely.
Do life-storms cause us to question our confidence in the Lord? Or do storms make us rely more heavily upon Him? In Matthew 14, the disciples faced a storm on the sea. Their confidence in Jesus was strengthened through this encounter. Ours can be too.
What are our reasons for seeking to follow Christ? What other commitments do we allow to stand in our way of wholehearted service? What other enticements do we allow to have first place in our hearts?
The prophets of old spoke of the day when the Messiah would make salvation possible. They did not understand these things, and we sometimes find it difficult to understand how our struggles in life work to our benefit. but, we are told that they refine us and prepare us for an incorruptible inheritance.
How does your faith impact your influence? The things we do, the things we say, and the attitudes we exhibit — influence others. How is YOUR faith influencing others?
Question: What kind of person could knowingly and willingly continue behavior that would get them thrown into a den of lions? Answer: Someone with a faith like Daniel’s
Most of the time, we criticize ourselves for forgetting things, but there are things we need to forget. And sometimes we can’t move forward unless we do. We need to learn to use “forgetting” to our benefit.
Are you free? If you answered in the affirmative, on what basis do you make such a claim? Can one be truly free if he is in bondage to sin?
Do not be deceived. That’s a warning given more than once in scripture. Could anybody be so deceived as to think they could plant an apple seed and grow a banana tree? Self-deception is more abundant than we prefer to think it is.
Following Jesus is something we are called to do. Luke 5:1-11 is an account which shines light on three particular characteristics required to be followers.
Do you ever catch yourself wishing you had more time in a day? Do you ever catch yourself spending inordinate amounts of time doing things that really don’t have much benefit? We need to consider whether we are often busy here and there with “much ado about nothing.”
Do you ever find yourself fretting? Fretting over the behavior, the attitudes, the success of the wicked? David certainly understood the behavior, the attitudes and the success of the wicked. And Psalm 37 gives us David’s remedy for fretting.
Do you ever get discouraged? How do you handle discouragement? Do you focus on the negatives, beat yourself up and wallow in self-pity? Nehemiah chapter 4 shows us a better way to deal with discouragement.
How seriously do we take the time we are given? Are we using our time wisely? Are we using our time to ensure that we are growing spiritually? Are we numbering our days?
When you encounter problems in life, do you become afraid? Do you seek help? Do you turn to the Lord only after you have exhausted every other possibility? Or do you live life with the view that your battles belong to the Lord?
People have all kinds of ideas about what others need. They have ideas about what others need to do. Often people don’t know what their own needs are. If someone asked you to make a list of your fundamental needs, what would they be?
In Luke chapter 12, Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who is foolish. Most people think of foolishness as someone who is given to too much humor or who lacks common sense. But this parable makes it clear that being a fool is about what we value.
What can you do? Can you bear up under temptation? Can you bear up under trials? Can you fulfill your responsibilities? We can do all things that God expects of us.
Are you hard on yourself? Do you often have that little voice playing in your head telling you what a mess you are? How much difference would it make if you were really convinced that God believes in you?
Do you have troubles? Do you have enemies? Do you sometimes wish you had a place to go… a safe place, a refuge? Psalm 9:9 says, “The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.“ God is a refuge for those who have been raised...