Christ the Truth

Sermon Audio

Do you ever worry that you’re not a proper Christian?  Do you fear you might not be a child of God after all?

Do you ever struggle to pray?

Do you worry about friends who are caught in certain sins?

Do you wonder what to do about those who once said they were Christians and now they’re speaking against Christ?

Do you ever find your heart wandering from Christ, and falling for other things?

John is going to address all these questions as he concludes his letter.  And his answer to all these questions is to bring us back to Jesus.  If Jesus is at the heart of our thinking then we’ll be able to handle these question.

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“I’m always listening, are you?”

So, I’m sitting at work desk feeling spiritually useless and dry as ever. I can’t figure out what to do or what to read or listen to, so I literally just start asking God:

“Jesus! Hello! Do you hear me!!?”

And immediately the Holy Spirit responds: “I’m always listening, are you?”
😳 Wowwwww. 🔥. But wow. God already knows our hearts and He’s in us, so of course He knows what we desire ( 1 Kings 8:39, Mat 12:25).  The real question is: do we know what God wants? Are we actually listening to God? We’re constantly waiting for God to show us a sign…throw us a gadget or something in order for us to be in His will….but we forget that we already have all that we need. Deep this real quick.

“His Divine Power has given us everything we need for a godly life through…

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Sheep of Christ

Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

What are the desires of your heart?  Our habit as sinners is to desire things that gratify our sinful, fleshly desires.  We might say we desire Christ, but as the values of the world bombard us with their false ideologies, we begin to lose our desires for things that concern the Spirit and move towards those that our flesh desires.  No matter how hard we try, deep down we desire something more than Christ.  What is it that you desire?  Is it money?  Is it sex?  Is it drugs?  Scripture promises that God will give us the desires of our heart, but only if we delight in Him.  Desiring anything that does not delight in Him does not guarantee its deliverance.  If we desire anything that is a perversion of God’s will, He…

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Do you know God has a plan for you?

God is clear on it: “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord….plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” Jer 29:11 See the Lord knew you before you were even conceived: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jer 1:5 We think we know what is best for ourselves but God says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways….For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Is 55:8 If Jesus can do the Fathers will surely we are called to do the same: “I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent…

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Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

incompetentAll of us have people in our lives who annoy us. Most of the time, our annoyance comes from the fact (in our eyes at least) that that person is incompetent in everything they do. One day, years ago now, I was coaching a little league baseball team. I received a call from one of the parents asking for the name and number of my immediate superior. I gladly gave him the information he requested and then asked if he’d mind sharing with me the reason he wanted to talk with my supervisor.

His response when something like this, “I want to talk to him about how incompetent you are as a coach.”

That set me back on my heels a bit! For one thing, the player in question was one of our better players and one that I felt I had a good relationship with. I’d also talked with this dad on occasion and never felt any animosity between us.

My nature, as I’m sure many of ours would be in that situation, would lead me to be very defensive and offended by his remark. Somehow that day, however, I remained calm and in the discussion that followed, was able to diffuse what turned out to be a lack of information and misunderstanding.

Sociologists will tell us that there are two main responses to attack, fight or flight. Jesus offers a third option, forgiveness based on the understanding that we have been forgiven for our faults as well. Jesus forgave us when we were at our worst so that we could be our best for him.

It’s not easy to accept others weaknesses, or as Paul puts it, “Make allowances for the faults of others”. “Making allowances for each other’s faults” involves two actions on our part. One is to realize that we too have been forgiven for many faults. The second is to rely on the Holy Spirit to work through us to forgive and through our antagonist to bring them to a relationship with Jesus.

PRAYER: Father God. I want to take this time to meditate on my faults and thank you for your forgiveness. I ask that your Holy Spirit would give me the power I need to forgive others when their actions are hurtful or offensive to me. Let me show them the love you’ve shown me. Amen.

Pastor Mike and Built with Grace

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