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Archive for the ‘Kingdomtide’ Category

Eighth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Oct 24

20 Oct

Eighth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Oct 24-Church and State-Christ said to render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s. Unfortunately, we often become confused about what belongs to each. God is the one who establishes the law and commands man’s obedience, while government is ordained to keep the peace and maintain order as God’s instrument on earth. Men seeking power try to ignore God in the equation, because they want to claim man’s worship and obedience which belong only to God. While God calls us to obey the government because He established it, He calls us to obey Him when the government goes against His directive and usurps power which does not belong to it.

 

Seventh Sunday of Kingdomtide,-Oct 17

12 Oct

The Rule of Law-Without God, law depends on who holds the power. Those who make the laws can change them and exempt themselves and their friends. With the Jewish and Christian faith, we believe God made the laws and only He can change them. No one is above the law. The king is subject to it like anyone else. When Samuel confronted David, he carried the authority of God and David listened. Most kings would have had Samuel killed for confronting them. We see today the damage done when those who make the laws do so to benefit themselves and those who judge the courts slant their decisions to benefit their friends and punish their opponents. One day we will all stand before God and He will not judge us on if we obeyed the laws of the land, He will judge us on if we obeyed His law. While He wants us to obey the laws of the land to live peaceably with those around us, when man’s laws conflict with God’s laws, we must decide whether to obey God or man. The ruler who exempted himself from his own laws on earth will not be able to exempt himself from the final judgement.

 

Sixth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Oct 10

09 Oct

In the early days, children were valued because the community’s survival depended on it. Later, children were valued because they provided labor to help in the fields. Lately, children have been looked down on as a burden on society because they don’t support themselves. Without God, everything and everyone has value only if they contribute to society. From that standpoint, unborn babies, young children, those who are chronically or terminally ill, the elderly, and those suffering serious injuries are expendable and even a burden that should be eliminated. We have no way of knowing what someone’s future holds. Many seriously sick have been healed and many in comas have suddenly recovered. Many people have overcome great trials to accomplish more than anyone could have believed. I was paralyzed from the waist down at age two and they said I would never walk again, yet I not only was able to walk again, I went on to accomplish far more than many people thought possible. God values all life because He created it for a purpose. When it no longer has a purpose here, God will end it. We have no right to judge the value of a life solely on what it can contribute financially. Many people contribute a great deal to those around them long after they can no longer contribute financially.

 

Fifth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Oct 3

01 Oct

– While those who see marriage from their own perspective, see it only as a source of immediate pleasure and convenience, those who walk with God are able to see beyond that to the long-term benefits to them and to society. Those who see it only from their own perspective are often ready to abandon it if they see no immediate benefit, while those who see the long-term benefits are willing to endure a few problems to gain them. Many of the social problems we face today are directly related to a loss of fellowship with God and the resulting loss of respect for marriage. The church can do a great deal to strengthen the marriages in its church families, but many churches today are failing because they do not support the families in the church.  The subject is too broad to cover here but I have written a series on God’s design for His people including “God Made Them Male & Female” (about differences between them), “In Defense of Marriage” (about benefits of marriage), and “What is Normal” (Problems we have today due to the breakdown of marriage) which are available electronically upon request at no charge.

 

Fourth Sunday of Kingdomtide-Sept 26

22 Sep

Men are by nature bigger and stronger than women. To those of the world, that means that men can dominate women and use them for their pleasure. However, God created men and women to be different so they could best fulfill what they needed to do. God created men bigger and stronger, and more independent so they could protect women and provide for them. God gave women the ability to bear children and care for numerous children, the sick, and aging parents. It was not meant to be something of domination by the stronger but a pooling of abilities between two equals. People have distorted that to fit their warped desires. With modern technology, a lot of jobs have opened to women that were formerly closed to them allowing them to expand into new areas but that was not always so. You can’t go hunting for days on end or go to war dragging a child who is still nursing. God knew what He was doing but man has twisted it for his own benefit. Feminists in the early 20th Century fought hard to gain the right to walk with their husbands as equals but modern feminists care only about themselves and in their push to become dominant over men, are destroying many of the gains that early feminists fought so hard to win.

 

Third Sunday of Kingdomtide-Sept 19

17 Sep

Value of life-As we grow in Christ, we become more like Him. While those of the world only value things that benefit them, those who walk with Christ begin to see what God values. One of the marks of a Christian is their value of life. Those of the world only value those who benefit them. They feel that they can determine whether someone has value and if they don’t seem to have value (unwanted babies, the sick, disabled, or elderly) then they feel they should not be taking up precious resources and should be terminated.  Those who follow Christ feel that everyone is created by God and so has value.  Only God can determine when to terminate a person’s life.  Babies who may not be wanted by their parents, may be an answer to prayer of someone who wants children but cannot have them on their own. Those who are sick, disabled, or elderly may continue to contribute love, encouragement, or other benefits that cannot be measured. Walking with Christ helps us see things as God sees them and not just what we see on our own.

 

Second Sunday of Kingdomtide-B

10 Sep

Many church leaders have occupied the same positions since anyone can remember and probably will as long as they are able. This results in the church getting in a rut and refusing to do anything new.  In addition, few churches have outreach ministry to the community. The church needs to expand the churches ministry to involve more members.  An effective way to draw new ideas into the decision process is to return to the Biblical principle of the Sabbatical. Establishing the Biblical doctrine of Sabbatical where workers serve for six years and then take off a year on a rotating basis allows new Christians to gain experience and allows workers to step back and look for other areas that might interest them.(See “To Preserve The Light”) In addition, Christian para-church organizations often need volunteers and provide training for them providing excellent opportunities for those seeking to get experience in ministering to others. Some even have paid positions where members can become involved in full-time ministry.

 

Second Sunday of Kingdomtide-Sept. 12-A

10 Sep

A-Growing in faith-Learning By Doing-A Children learn by doing and new Christians learn the same way. Unfortunately, few churches today have training programs where new Christians can work alongside more mature Christians. By involving new Christians in hands-on ministry in the congregation and in Christian ministries under the tutorage of more mature Christians, new Christians learn how to serve Christ and the Church. They learn how to minister as they watch others minister and get to minister to others themselves. As new Christians minister to others, they not only learn to identify those who have needs and how to minister to them, they also develop a love and concern for them. However, few churches today involve many of their members in ministry. They wait until an opening occurs and try to pressure someone to take the position, even though that person may have no prior experience and may not have the gifts for it or the concern for it. As a result, many Churches today are very ineffective in training new Christians in ministry or reaching people for Christ. Involving more members in ministry will allow the church to train more people for ministry and reach more people for Christ. It also enables the church to train them for when the present leadership can no longer serve.

 

First Sunday of Kingdomtide-Sept 5

01 Sep

 Growing in faith by watching Kingdomtide is a time when the church should be active in helping new converts grow deeper.  While few new converts are coming into the church this is vitally important today when so few churches teach members how to live a life pleasing to Christ. Many members who transfer in from other churches where they were members for many years come with very little spiritual depth. As a result, I was asked to develop the lecture series  “In The World But Not of It” (published by Outskirts Press). Surrendering to Christ does not automatically bestow maturity in Christ. When we are born again, we are like babies in the faith and must grow to maturity. Children learn by observing adults and copying the way they do things. In the same way, new Christians need to observe more mature Christians in the faith and interacting with them. It is very hard to explain in a sermon or Sunday School class how to love others or to humble ourselves. It must be learned by watching others who are more spiritually mature, and interacting with them, as they live out their faith day by day, however few churches today have the close relationships needed to help new Christians grow in Christ. With very little spiritual training, new Christians have few mature Christians to learn from. There is also no close interaction of members with spiritual leaders to enable them to grow spiritually as they see them in action. There needs to be active mentoring of new members by those who are spiritually mature,  however  many church leaders today are chosen for their financial management skills and popularity rather than their Christian maturity and do not provide good spiritual role models to follow.

 

 

Kingdomtide-B

01 Sep

As the church has begun to neglect Bible teaching, the harvest of souls has failed and Kingdomtide has become a forgotten season. In fact, many Christians today are not trained in Christian living and easily fall back into living like the world because they lack spiritual depth. Therefore there is a great need for a time of renewed effort to help members to develop spiritual depth. The Bible says that in the final judgment, we who are in Christ will be tried, as with fire and every man’s work will be revealed, whether it is like hay that is consumed, or like gold or precious stone. If a man’s work shall remain, he shall receive a reward, but if his work is destroyed, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved. I Cor. 3:13-15. We need to work so that our work might be preserved.