Human beings are not primarily thinking creatures, we are primarily creatures driven by our loves. Although we do think, no amount of intellectual information necessarily transforms or moves you. But rather we are moved toward action when the heart believes, when the loves are aligned. Romans 10:9 "For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved."
Easter harnesses our faith to something that happened rather than to something we merely believe. The foundation of Christianity is not a belief. Christians don’t simply believe something is true. We don’t believe we are to behave a certain way. We believe something happened, something that addresses our greatest fear and consequently diminishes our fear of loss.
The church is not a room with four and a ceiling. That is a building where the church gathers. The church is not a building; The church is a group of people that understand they've been redeemed, bought out of a dominion of darkness, out of the slave market of sin and have been placed in this unique new body, of which Jesus Christ is the head. You were created in the very image of God, and then when you get saved, you get recreated, more specifically into the image of Jesus Christ.
One common problem 21st century American Christians face is that we don't understand how much we have in Jesus; therefore we try to add things to Jesus in order to bring satisfaction. The same type of thing was going on in the early church. So, when Paul wrote the book to the Colossians, it was because people were trying to add things to Jesus. But he doesn't just blast them and go after these other issues. Instead, he reminds them of how much they have in Christ so that they realize, "Wow, we don't need anything else. I have more than enough."
The message of Haggai is simple. People had placed their priorities over God’s priorities, so God had cursed their land in an effort to bring them back to Himself. But when God calls out their rebellion, they repent from their selfishness, begin serving God and God blesses them. That message is the same for us today: Confess your sins to the Lord, repent of your sins, turn from it, and enjoy the peace and the blessing of God again.
God's promise to you is Himself. His reward is Himself. It may not be immediate, but It will always work out best for you to follow Him. It will never be to your benefit to go against God and it will always be to your benefit if you follow Him. The question is, is that enough for you?
Everyone has time to serve God, and everyone has enough money to give to God. Now, do we have enough time and money to where we can serve and give to God and also live the lifestyle that we want to live? Probably not. So, there's a decision to make. In part 1 of this study of the book of Haggai, Pastor Clay lays the groundwork for who should have priority in our lives.
Jesus tells us we are to love one another as ourselves. Therefore, we live in the tension that if you show me your friends, I'll show you your future. You walk with the wise and you grow wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. You cannot live the right life when you have the wrong friends.
You might be one group of strong committed believers, ones that you do life with together in the highs and in the lows, those who lift you, pray for you, encourage you, and always have your back, from changing your future family, from changing future generations, from changing your ability to make a difference in this world.
Proverbs 13: 20 says, "Walk with the wise and become wise. For a companion of fools suffers harm." Another way to say it is, "Show me your friends, I will show you your future." You may be one friend away from waking up with divine purpose and living for a higher calling. You may be one friend away from a life that you never dreamed possible.
"Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 13:20 Friends love you at your worst and can help you be your best, but many of us don't realize the importance of whom we choose to surround ourselves with. The friends you have help determine the quality and direction of your life. Jospeh McMurry shares what the Bible says about the essentials that form a firm foundation for great friendships.
Do you like who you are becoming? Are you aware of who you are coming? In reality, when it comes to self-awareness, often we have something that's distracting us that's really keeping us from looking at some really important things in our life. This message deals with those distractions so the we will quit denying the things that have kept us from becoming the person God wants us to be.
Fear has a way of establishing the limits of your life. Maybe that is why in scripture, God says, “fear not”, more than anything else. Because he knows this is a major excuse that we use for not doing the things that he asked us to do. So, when you think about the CHANGE you want in your life, you will have to face down fear.
When you think about going into a new year and you think about wanting to live a life of wisdom, scripture tells us that if you want to live a life of wisdom, the comparing aspect of what we do with other people has got to go, because as soon as you start comparing yourself to other people, you're going to live a life that lacks wisdom.
If you want to see change in your life, that change is not going to come by necessarily trying harder or by dreaming more or by working yourself to death. That change that we're all looking for has to come in changing the way that we approach making our decisions.
Our level of openness is directly proportionate to the level of newness we can experience. So what are some things that we can do to be open and stay open to changes in our life? The Bible gives 5 very clear, practical steps for making all things new.
At Christmastime, there are a lot of presents given that will not last even a couple of months. But there is a gift that God has given us that will last forever. When Jesus came, Isaiah prophesied that he would be called Everlasting Father. The author of Hebrews declared that, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." He will never change and will always be fighting for you.
Joseph McMurry teaches us that Jesus is so much more than just a name. In fact He is our Mighty God, which can be translated Valliant Warrior. And when he came, this Valliant Warrior represented change. A change in power, a change in worship, and change from Caesar to Christ. This Christmas, the gift of change is available for you as well. All that is required is for you to lay down your "caesar" and accept the Christ.
Christ’s position as our Wonderful Counselor means we can trust Him to listen to our problems and guide us in the right direction. We can be sure He is listening because He told us to pray to Him about our worries. We can be certain He has our best interests at heart because He loves us.