Saturday, November 11, 2006


When your best friend is sad, don’t you feel a little sad too? Or if they get a promotion or some special award, don’t you want to throw a party and celebrate with them?

That is how it is supposed to be with ALL of us in the church. Not just those that we know really well. But every person that claims Christ as their Savior is to be like our “best friend.”

We have a bond with each other that transcends all others. Every one of us, whether young, old, male, female, preacher or pew sitter, is a member of the same family, the family of God through Christ Jesus.

We need to behave toward each other with love and compassion, praying for each other continuously.

1 Corinthians 12:26 (NLT) If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

We are ONE in Christ. Think of someone in your church or another that maybe you don’t get along with very well. Pray for that person. And, next time you see them, tell them that you love them in Christ.


Friday, November 10, 2006


I don’t like them because...

They’re from the other side of the tracks.

They’re Puerto Rican (or black or white or ?)

They _________________________.

I won’t worship with those people because…

They believe in speaking in tongues.

They do communion differently.

They _________________________.

What reason does God say is “good enough” to not get along with each other in the body of Christ?

1 Corinthians 12:12 - 13 (NLT) The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

All of us that claim Christ as our Savior are together in

One Body

Each one of us that follows the Lord Jesus Christ partakes of

One Spirit

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3. being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (NASB)


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Christmas is only a month and a half away. While the most important aspect of that holiday ought to be celebrating the birth of Jesus, gifts have become an important part of the celebration as well. You will be giving gifts to people who are special to you just as the Wisemen gave gifts to the baby Jesus. And, you will be receiving gifts from those that are close to you.

Every single one of you that claim Christ as his Savior has been given a special gift from God in addition to salvation.

1 Corinthians 12:7 - 11 (NLT) 7A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice (word of wisdom); to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge (word of knowledge). 9The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages (various tongues), while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

Notice that not all people have the same gift. Not all have special wisdom or knowledge and not all speak in tongues. We don’t decide what gift we get. The Holy Spirit does.

We are given these gifts, not so that we can boast about what he gave us; not so that we can “wow” people with what we’re able to do. We are given these gifts SO WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (v. 7).

God is a God of love and wants us to be like him. Only when we’re thinking of other people, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and those that don’t know Jesus, are we following in His ways.

If you don’t know what your special gift is, ask God to show you. Expect Him to answer and earnestly desire to use your gift(s) to further the Kingdom of God.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When I was growing up I had a friend who played trumpet. I wanted to be like him so I began to take lessons. It seems that we always want to be the same as our friends or people we admire.

Later on in high school, trumpet players were “cool” but double reed players (oboe and bassoon) were “weird.” Another tendency of us humans is to form little groups of our “own kind.” Everybody outside that circle is “not cool.”

Now adults, before you go saying, “how true that is of teens” reflect on how we act as churches. If somebody goes to our church, they’re OK. But if they go to “that other church” they are probably just confused, wrong, or just plain lost!

Paul was trying to help the church in Corinth see that differences were OK. Read this short passage from 1 Corinthians 12:4 - 6 (NLT)…

4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

Same Spirit

Same Lord

Same God

There is only one Creator. He created us all. He made differences between us so we could function better.

I am no mechanic. I thank God for mechanics! I don’t have the gift of healing. I thank God for those that do!

Rejoice in our differences and use your gifts and talents to serve the Lord, our God. We are ONE in Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006


There are people that claim to have messages or special insight from God. Entire “religions” are often built around such individuals.

So how do we keep from being led down the wrong path? Paul gives us guidance in the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 12

1. And now, brothers, I want to write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of you, for I don’t want any misunderstanding about them. 2. You will remember that before you became Christians you went around from one idol to another, not one of which could speak a single word. 3. But now you are meeting people who claim to speak messages from the Spirit of God. How can you know whether they are really inspired by God or whether they are fakes? Here is the test: no one speaking by the power of the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” and really mean it, unless the Holy Spirit is helping him. (The Living Bible, 2nd edition)

When someone says Jesus is Lord and means it, the evidence should be seen in their lives. The Greek word translated Lord here is “kurios” which Strong’s Dictionary defines as supreme authority. If you and I believe that Jesus is the supreme authority then the evidence should be seen in the way that we live, in the way that we talk with people and the way that we treat each other.

On the other hand, if someone does not treat Jesus as the supreme authority, and even goes so far as to curse him, we know that this person is not a believer in Jesus Christ and we are not to follow any of their “teaching.”

They may be very smart according to knowledge and the ways of the world. They may appear to be extremely gifted in certain areas. But, this is not to be confused with Spiritual Gifts from the Holy Spirit. They may be extremely likeable and friendly, but without Christ as the guiding force in their lives we cannot allow them to influence our thinking.

Instead, we should introduce them to our Lord, Jesus Christ. We should tell them what kind of difference that he has made in our life. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to influence them.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV)

Monday, November 06, 2006


In Luke chapter 12 Jesus shares a story with his disciples about a man who was very wealthy. He wanted still more so he decided to tear down his barns which were already overflowing and build new and bigger ones so he could put even more in them.

20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21“So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20 - 21 (NASB)

In one national study George Barna (pollster) discovered that people's views of success had little to do with their faith and spiritual wholeness, much like the man in Jesus’ story. People focused on personal accomplishments, family solidarity and emotional fulfillment.

Barna notes that only 7% identified spiritual wholeness and development as the factor that will produce a successful life. "The Christian faith commends sacrifice, servanthood and sharing as the means to significance," he noted. "How is it possible to have more than 120 million adults attending Christian churches on a regular basis, but only 15 million who grasp the message that success is not about personal accomplishment or material possessions?"

That’s an excellent question! Where is your focus, on the things of God or the things of the earth? Is it on career advancement or spiritual growth? What is at the top of your priority list?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:34)

2 Peter 3:18 (NASB) 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Obedience. Obey.

For some reason these words have negative connotations for many people.

Perhaps it is our stubbornness or built in rebellious spirits.

Perhaps we feel it threatens our independence or individuality.

Whatever the reason we seem to shy away from it.

· Employees resist strict obedience to their bosses and do it “just a little differently than they were asked.

· Children don’t feel compelled to obey their parents because the consequences aren’t really that bad.

· Criminals disobey the law trying to do things the “easy” way.

Take a look at Paul’s perspective on obedience:

Romans 6:16 (NLT) Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

Well that seems pretty clear. Two choices: Sin & death OR Obedience & Life.

8. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. Hebrews 5:8-9 (NLT)

Even Jesus had to learn obedience! And he suffered in the process. Philippians 2:8 tells us that he humbled himself in obedience to God the Father and died on the cross!

Obedience isn’t always easy. We will suffer sometimes when we obey. But we need to remember that it is God who determines to whom we are to be obedient.

Jesus said in John 14:15 (NLT)

If you love me, obey my commandments.

What does he command of us?

  • To love God and to love each other with a holy love (not the TV version!).

Does that mean obeying our parents?

  • Yes, because he tells us to honor them in the Ten Commandments.

Does that mean obeying the government even though we may not have voted for the party in office OR our teachers OR our bosses?

  • Yes, because God tells us He put them in authority over us.

God is a God of order.

Obedience to Christ may be costly at times, but the rewards of pleasing Him and living with Him forever will more than offset that cost.