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DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
As Christians, does it really matter what we do as long as we don't hurt anybody else? The simple answer is... Yes, it matters what you do. Romans 14:13 and 1 Peter 2:8 speak of stumbling blocks and do so to tell us that we are not to be a stumbling block to others. 1 Peter 2:8 even defines it as a rock (something in our life, unintentionally or not) that makes someone fall (desire God less because of our behavior). In simple terms, we are to do those things which build people up and draw people to Christ... not the opposite.
Some reasons for why we are stumbling blocks.
- We think God wants us to be happy with the things we think make us happy. This is a lie. God wants us to be happy, in Him. The truth is we are to have our desires laid aside and His desires (for us) embraced and lived out.
- We think God is supposed to be fair (in the way we define fair). This, also, is a lie. Using the term fair, we must define it in the light of holiness. Everything God does is fair because everything God does is holy. The reason we think things are unfair is that we want to define fair on the basis of our selfishness. It is almost like believing God has a set of holy rules for everyone else, but the rules for us are set on our personal dreams and wishes. What is unfair is when the Christian treats God and expects God to lesson holiness for us so that we can be what we want to be.
- We do not think about others much, if at all. This is a sin. The Great Commandment says we are to love Jesus with all of our heart, soul, and mind and to love others as we love ourselves. (Matt22:36-40). Let me be clear, we do think of others but we easily find us thinking about them in how they can benefit us... not how we can be a benefit to them.
- We just don't care. This, also, is a sin. I have been in ministry long enough and lived long enough to see that the care and concern for others are dwindling fast. I am not talking about short-term caring but investment caring. It is easy to care for someone while others are watching and we have to put on a good face so that people see us as good (a wrong motive to have).
Some ways we can be stepping stones.
- Understand and accept why we are here. Hebrews 3:3-6 teaches us that you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. God brought us into his world for a purpose far greater than we can imagine. We are to be living stones... building spiritual things... acceptable to God.
- Be grounded in the things of Christ and His word. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. These things are taught in Ephesians 2:19-22.
There is much to learn about being a stepping stone... a Christlike example in our journey. Don't let yourself get in the way of knowing and enjoying the better things.
HERE WE GO AGAIN :-(
Every Pastor knows the gut-punching feeling when people leave the church. For me, I have never dealt with it well, even if the reason for leaving is me (Yeah, I know that's hard to believe but... I'll leave it at that). I will say this, even if the reason is me (right or wrong), it hurts more than anyone can imagine. I will leave that subject for another day.
This Saturday, we say goodbye to some of our dearest members who are leaving the country or Emirate and we must show our thankfulness to God for allowing us the honor to have these people in our lives as long as He allowed. Please be at DECC with us as we celebrate God's goodness and present our farewells.
I want to scream at God and say it isn't fair. Yet... I can't because who am I to blame God for causing or allowing these things to occur. In the scheme of things, those who leave without God's calling, I am assured God will keep us covered. Those who leave as God is calling, I am assured God will keep us covered. I rejoice - God is keeping us covered. Psalm 91:4.
HERE WE GO AGAIN :-)
Baby Dedication... As we say goodbye to some, we will welcome a young child and his parents into our church fellowship as they come to make a public commitment to be the best and most godly parents they can be for their precious gift from God... Noah Skyler.
Make sure you are with us to make your promise, before God, to be the best and most godly church family for this child and their parents.
Communion... We celebrate the Lord's Supper this Saturday. Come and be a part of the reminder that we are to remember that Jesus Christ gave His life so that we could have life.
There are two elements in the Lord's Supper... the bread and the cup. I want to take some time in this letter to address the bread. When Jesus says... this is My body broken for you, do this (eat this) in remembrance of me, Jesus is not speaking of eating His flesh. It is a spiritual lesson, that even the disciples had a hard time understanding. Below is a great excerpt from John Piper on the subject.
What Does "This Is My Body" Mean?
So if the words, "This is my body," does not mean, "the physical body of Jesus materializes in this bread," what then is the positive meaning of "This is my body"?