Archive for February, 2012


Listen?!

A spiritual lyric for your consideration…

Is your relationship with God full of words but missing in action, and your lifestyle one that ignores God and seeks self-satisfaction? Why waste your life, imposter, claiming to be a Christian; the Lord is not seeking those who are “all talk”, He’s calling those who will listen (obey)! Mark 4:9- Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (NIV) James 1:22- Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it! (CEV)

Make time daily to listen to the Lord by studying/applying His word, engaging in decent conversation, and by committing yourself to prayer. Tune out that “real spit” from the world, lest you get caught up!

MD 2/28/12

How do you reason…?

One of the greatest attributes (if not the greatest) of man is his ability to think or rationalize. Take one glance at the news or media, on any given day, and you might not be convinced; however, God did give man this distinct ability. The ability to think, reason, and rationalize, when used righteously (as God intended) is life saving; on the other hand, when used maliciously, it can be detrimental. Recall the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32? It was only after the wayward son reasoned within himself or “came to his senses” as some versions will state (vs. 17), that he went back to his father. In this case, the son’s reasoning was life saving because of the actions that followed. How about the parable of the talents? Remember what happened to the man who was given one talent at the king’s departure and only had one when the king returned? (Matt 25:24, 25) His reasoning led him to not make the most of what the king had given him; figuratively speaking, he slept on his talent and it led to his own demise because what he had was taken from him and he was thrown in the place of torment.

How about you? Daily, does your reasoning lead you to do things that are Godly or ungodly? (Hint- there is only one correct answer if you claim to be a Christian) When your reasoning is spiritually focused, then your actions will be as well; conversely, when your reasoning is based on self-justification, you’ll do whatever is most convenient to save yourself.  (see Gal 5 :16-24). Galatians 5:24 says this, “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Basically, those who are committed to Christ will reason and act in an unselfish manner, seeing as though they no longer live for themselves, but for God. If you consider yourself to be a Christian yet your thoughts and actions are always self-serving, and never Christ-like, your reasoning is definitely skewed and you should revert back to the word of God and seek Godly counsel for a spiritual tune-up.

Assess your thoughts and actions daily and determine whether they are self-fulfilling or aimed to please God. If you determine that they are pleasing to God, great…keep striving to do so! If you find that your thoughts and actions are centered on the idea of self-preservation, change while you still have time! Luke 9:24– For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it! (NASB)

 MD-2/22/12

Campaign for Christ Rally

Friday Night Lights Young Adults Fellowships 2012
(Projected to meet on the 2nd Fridays of each Month unless otherwise noted)

v March – Johnson’s Home (Brother Eugene and Sister Tonya)
v April 20 – Johnson’s Home (Brother Roy and Sister Matilda)
v May – Brother and Sis Beaty’s Home
v June – Brother and Sis Bonnett’s Home
v July – Brother Richard Blount (TBD)
v August – Brother and Sis Dangerfield
v September – Johnson’s Home (Brother Roy and Sis Matilda)
v October – Church Annex, Young Adults Host and Pot Luck

Please Join us each month and bring a friend for this empowering fellowship. The lessons and subject matter will be relative to young adults ages 20 – 38.

So much emphasis gets placed on the four letter word l-o-v-e. Certainly, the idea behind the word love is one that is very powerful warrants much attention. In fact, love was the driving force behind God sacrificing his only son Jesus Christ (John 3:16), it’s a fruit produced by the spirit (Gal 5:22), it’s an identifier of one who is a true disciple of Christ (John 13:35), it covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8), is from God and is God (1 John 4:7,8), is patient and kind (1 Cor 13:4), is the greatest (1 Cor 13:13), and the list of what love is and does goes on and on. While many people claim to be great lovers or scholars of love and will readily provide their own commentary on what love is, what love is not is often ignored. I truly believe that a good approach to understanding what something is includes identifying what it is not. Consider what Paul tells the Christians at Corinth (and all believers today) what love is not and does not do:

“Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and is not proud…is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others, does not count up the wrongs that have been done…takes no pleasure in evil!” (1 Cor 13, NCV)

While humans may be deceived by empty words or actions that suggest love on a certain day(s) throughout the year, God is not. If your attitude and actions consist of those things that fall into the “what-loves-is-not-and-does-not-do” category, it’s safe to say that your love is worthless; God already knows this, and others may eventually find you out! Consider this the next time you fix your tongue, teeth, and lips to tell someone that you love them or you render some act in effort to convince someone that you love them.

Jesus shares, “Those who know my commands and obey them are the ones who love me, and my Father will love those who love me. I will love them and will show myself to them.” (John 14: 2, NCV). Follow the example of Jesus and learn what God wants and you’ll find yourself executing love rather than acting in a way that indicates the opposite.

MD (2/14/12)

I could claim to be a close and personal friend of Kobe Bryant. I could share stories about when we first met, basketball games we played in together, times I’ve visited his home for gatherings, parties, etc. I could even go so far as to show photos of us during a championship celebration, and text messages we’ve sent back and forth. I could be so convincing that you may believe that Kobe and I are the best of friends. If you, however, stumbled upon Kobe Bryant one day and told him you knew a close friend of his and gave him my name, he’d probably say “who?” At hearing Kobe’s response and seeing his facial expression, you would know with certainty that I spent a lot of time fabricating evidence and that my claim was a bold face lie. You’d probably not believe anything else I had to say.

The truth is Kobe probably couldn’t pick me out of a line-up of six people on the first attempt; he doesn’t know me from Adam because we’ve never met. If this is clear and easy to understand, consider the words presented in 1 John 2:2-6 (The MSG). 2-3Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments. 4-6If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.

In other words, saying we’re Christians and that we know God is a flat out lie if our actions prove that we ignore Christ and act like we’re God. Many people claim to have a personal relationship with God but their lives don’t support the claim; on the contrary, their gatherings, parties, photos, text messages, etc. may be evidence that the opposite is true; they don’t know God at all! Re-read the above passage giving special attention to the thoughts underscored and judge yourself accordingly, that is, if you claim to be a Christian! Keep in mind that others may not believe anything you have to say if they find you to be a liar.

MD (2/6/12)

One of the most profound statements Jesus ever made to an audience, in my opinion, is found in Luke 9:23. It reads, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (NASB) Jesus, in a very straightforward manner, uses a few words to summarize the criteria for being his follower; they still apply today.

“If anyone wishes” signifies that Jesus was not seeking people to force into submission; rather, he presented an invitation and the people had the freedom to choose whether they would follow Him or not. Those who chose then (and who choose now) to follow Him must do the following…

1) Deny himself– Mankind, naturally, has selfish tendencies. As humans, we instinctively look out for our own interests and wellbeing first. The battle between the flesh and spirit is so intense for Christians mainly because catering to the flesh requires no effort at all; living spiritually, however, requires much effort all of the time. (Gal 5:16,17)

2) Take up his cross daily- Indeed, all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus, will be persecuted. (2 Tim 3:12) As Christians (followers of Christ) we are sanctified and set apart from the world though baptism (Gal 3:27, Rom 6:3-11, 1 Pet 2:9, 10); we show our commitment to Christ by endeavoring daily to maintain a positive, righteous response even during unfavorable situations. Daily, we must bear our burdens, and humble ourselves before God, just as He did.

3) Follow me- One is able to follow Jesus only after he/she has committed himself/herself to previously mentioned commands. Following the lead of another means that one makes a choice to forfeit his/her plans and adhere to the instructions that the leader gives. If we will truly follow Christ, we must line up behind Him. He can’t lead us if we’re in front and we can’t follow His steps if we’re not behind Him; two people cannot lead at the same time. (Jer 10:23)

Make some time to pray and ask God to help you increase your faith in Christ. Recognize that Christ has all power; only He has the power to lead you from this life to the next. Stop wasting your time and energy trying to “figure it out” and trudge your own path; trust Jesus Christ, follow His ways and find true life!

MD

While there are many things we say we love, those things which we truly love and hold dear will be readily identified by onlookers. In fact, it doesn’t take one knowing a person several years to determine if he or she has a genuine love for someone or something; this can often be determined at first glance. In John 14:15 Jesus tells his disciples (MSG), “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.” A few statements earlier (John 13:34, 35) Jesus explains to his disciples that they should demonstrate love to others just as HE had modeled and shown love to them. Jesus concluded his statement by asserting that others will see this love and recognize them as disciples of Jesus.

Question? If you say you love the Lord, can others vouch for you based on their observations of your interaction with others? Or, would others conclude that you love and follow after material things, fashion, money, etc.?

Make it a point today to reflect on the goodness of GOD rather than pondering on worthless ideas or engaging in futile conversations; seize every opportunity to do good for others, without any selfish motives, and onlookers will have no doubt about whom you represent! Don’t just talk about it, be about it!

MD

Young Adults Minister, Bro. Mike Harris, brings the lesson at 10 am service on New Years Day.

“God’s Recipe for Growth”
1 Cor 3: 6-9

 

Please join us Friday night for the Sugarland Church of Christ Young Adults Fellowship at the Bro and Sis Beaty’s home at 7:30pm, where Bro. Trevis Bonnett will be bringing a lesson. On Saturday, October 1st, we will be coming together for more fun at Zuma at 8:00pm (6767 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas)