Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fellowshipping As Forgiven Sinners

We will be having a study at 7pm on Thursday, if you plan to come please email.  
We will continue reading from The Freedom of a Christian. Please read up to The Final Clarification (pg.89). See you then.

 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Casting Your Cares on Christ

Almighty God, with whom all things are possible, hear our prayers as we come to you in trouble and distress. You are our hiding place. You are our very present help in trouble. We have no other refuge in an hour like this. Gracious Lord You can heal. Your grace can restore to health and give us strength to carry on. We know that You are compassionate, for you have sent Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the death of the cross in order to redeem us and make us Your own. As You did not forsake Him, surely You will not abandon us in this great time of need. As You raised Him from the dead on the third day, so we ask that You would also raise up with Him from this present danger. O Lord, we humble ourselves before You and confess our many sins. We pray, merciful Father for your grace hour by hour. Forgive us and restore us for You have made us Your own children in Christ. Remove the worries and anxious fears that would crush us. Give us grace to trust in You, whose will is wiser than our own, for we have been baptized into the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Genuine & Freely Given Service

After our study last night, I couldn't help but keep thinking about this one section from what we read.
This was so encouraging to me (especially after I just got finished having a hassle with my mom about who was going to wake up at midnight to help my sister take her pain killer.) Yes... I was in need of being reminded AGAIN, and thankfully my mom was there to do that.

Our Father does this for each and every one of us out of His purely divine goodness and mercy towards us.

All of our works (or actions) should be guided by one thought alone- that we may serve and benefit others in everything that is done, having nothing else before our eyes except the need and advantage of the neighbor. A true Christian life is one where faith is active in love. A Christian way of thinking is "Although I am unworthy and a condemned person, my God has given me in Christ all the riches of righteousness and salvation without any merit on my part. God has done this in an act of free and pure mercy so that I now need nothing except faith that trusts that is true. Given such a Father - who overwhelms me with riches beyond number - why should I not freely, joyfully, with all my heart and an eager will, do things that I know are pleasing and acceptable to Him? I will therefore give myself as a Christ to my neighbor, just as Christ offered Himself to me. I will do nothing in this life except what is profitable, necessary, and life-giving for my neighbor, since through faith I have an abundance of ALL good things in Christ."

From faith flows love, and from love proceeds a joyful, willing, and free mind that serves the neighbor and takes no account of gratitude or ingratitude, praise or blame, gain or loss. As our Heavenly Father freely spent himself on us, giving all things to both the ungrateful and deserving, we freely spend ourselves and all that we have on others.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Continuing the Mischief...

We will be having a study at 7pm tomorrow night. Please email if you plan to attend. We will be reading and discussing pages 71-79 from The Freedom of a Christian. Bring in Scriptures from Sunday's sermon that tie into this section of the book. 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our help in times of trouble

Lord Jesus, who endured the pangs of death and the torments of hell for our sakes, be with us and save from the spirit of despondency which would drive us to despair, and would swallow up our soul. Pour out abundantly upon us the Spirit of joy and comfort, to lift from us the burden and guilt of sin, and to strengthen and comfort us through Your sacred wounds. Amen.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble... The Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Forgiven Debt

I was reading through an article that was given to me about a year ago, and I wanted to share it with you.

"How big is your debt of sin? Jesus doesn't minimize our debt, but He paid it in full. God crossed out our debt with the cross of His Son. "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgive, whose sin is covered.." 

How you feel about forgiveness depends a lot on how much you feel you need it. If you don't need it, or don't need it very much; the subject of this will probably prompt you to yawn. The joy of forgiveness comes only to the person who sees a need for confession, and is not hiding or excusing his sin. Nor is he trying to cancel out his sin with good he does. Everyday sin is added to our lives. There is no way to pay a debt that is increasing all the time.

Once you see the reality of sin and its consequences, forgiveness begins to glow with joy like the brilliance of the noon day sun. We are daily brought to the Lord's Table to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ that was given and shed for us, to know that as we receive it our sins are covered, cleansed, forgiven; that everything is all right between us and God. Here is comfort, peace, and joy, the joy of forgiveness.

We owe a debt that can never be paid, only forgiven. Come with your debt, says God, and be forgiven and- free."