Archive for October, 2008

30
Oct
08

Should Christians Be Involved in Politics?

Yes!  In Matthew 5:13 it says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

In this passage Jesus says that his followers are like salt.  You may say, “Thanks a lot Jesus.  Could we be something cooler – like an eagle or a tiger?”  It’s important to understand just how “cool” salt was in Jesus day. 

Salt was a preservative for foods.  It kept corruption at bay.  Salt symbolized purity, and it was extremely valuable.  Jesus is saying to us that we have an important job to do.  We’re the salt of our culture.  We are the preservative agent keeping our culture from falling apart, protecting it from decay and ruin.

Wow!  What’s sad is that many Christians don’t see this.  Many evangelical Christians will choose to not exercise their God-given privilege to vote this coming Tuesday.  They’ve somehow become convinced that it’s OK to express your faith in a building on Sundays but we shouldn’t bring those convictions out into the public arena.  That’s not what Jesus taught.  He wants us not to retreat, but to stay involved and active in the “real world.”

Vote this Tuesday.  Every vote counts.  Let your voice be heard.  Here are three really huge questions that will come up during the next four years.

Who will our next Supreme Court justices be?

What about the rights of the unborn children?  Will continue to allow little babies to be aborted and call it “a woman’s right to choose”?

What about the institution of the traditional marriage?  Should it continue to be between a man and a woman?

The leaders that we elect will be answering those life and death questions.  As you choose your candidate ask God for wisdom and find out where they stand on these important questions.

 

21
Oct
08

Why Belong to a Local Church?

There are two ways the word church is used in the New Testament.  One is for the “universal church”, meaning all people in the world who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, placing their faith in him alone.  The other way is for an actual group of believers who band together as a community of faith in a particular place, at a particular time.  With only a few exceptions, when the word “church” is used, it is always used in this second way, describing a local body of believers.  Here are a few examples.

Rom. 16:5 – Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert* to Christ in Asia.

1 Cor. 1:2 – To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

Philemon 2 – and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

Many more could be listed.  The point is simply this.  God wants you to belong not just to the universal church, but to have roots in a local church that meets regularly for worship.  Why?  God is glorified when we join together in relationship to serve him and be a witness for him.  It also produces greater maturity because God uses our relationships to make us grow.  If we have no meaningful connection with other believers, we’re not growing.

Because church membership is so important we have a special class called Belong 101 that deals with this subject.  Our next class is this Sunday at 1 PM. If you are interested in joining

Victory’s Crossing or would like more information about our church, this is the class for you.  Discover the vision and beliefs of our community and how to become a member of our church family.

08
Oct
08

Don’t Be a Trashcan

Who is it you need to forgive?  The word “forgiveness” in the Greek literally means to release, let go, to loose, or send away.  That’s what forgiveness is.  It’s letting go.  It’s letting go of my desire to get even.  It’s letting go of my desire to make someone pay.  It’s letting go of my desire to make another suffer.  It’s letting go of my desire to let them know how mad I am.  It’s letting go of the hurt.  It’s letting go and leaving justice in the hands of God.

When it comes to forgiveness you really only have two options.  One is to hold onto your resentment, anger, and bitterness.  When you do that you’re choosing to be a garbage can.  I’ve got two really good-looking trashcans at home.  They are painted with green, shiny paint.  But, when I open the lid it’s filled with trash, and it stinks.  It’s filled with garbage.  It’s a trashcan.  They’re a lot of Christians today who look good on the outside, but on the inside there’s a lot of trash, wounds, and hurts that have collected over the years and it stinks up their lives. 

The other option is to let go of resentment, anger, and bitterness by God’s grace.  When you do that you choose to be a fresh spring.  You can drink from a spring because the water is pure.  No matter what impurities contaminate the water down stream, there is always a fresh supply coming out.  That’s what forgiving love is.  Forgiving love is a life, giving spring that will heal your marriage, clean out wounds, and flush out clogged channels of communication.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be a fresh spring.  I want to be a person who forgives.

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

01
Oct
08

Wednesday Night Worship

I look forward to the beginning of Wednesday Night Worship starting October 15 at 7 PM.  Here’s why I’m so excited about it.  It will be another opportunity to get together and worship, pray, and study God’s Word.  In Hebrews 10:25 it says, Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  What encouragement when we stand together as one and lift our voices in worship and hear God’s Word proclaimed!

Here’s the teaching plan for Wednesday Night Worship through the end of 2008.  We’re going to start at the very beginning and study the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis.  These chapters lay a foundation for understanding the message of the Bible.  Then we’ll jump ahead and finish up where we left off in our series studying the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Building a Strong Family.


October 15 – God Created

October 22 – The Fall

October 29 – Cain and Abel

November 5 – The Flood

November 12 – The Tower of Babel

November 19 – Jacob and Laban

December 3 – Jacob Wrestles with God

December 10 – The Story of Dinah

December 17 – Joseph Saves His Family

December 24 – Christmas Eve Service

December 31 – No Service

For the children, we’ll have nursery, and PrimeTime.  Make sure to be there on October 14 for the kickoff.  Mary Chaney is planning a carnival with all kinds of fun activities.