Love the Truth

John 18:38a “Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”

This is a question that all of our society is pondering, what is truth? As believers in Christ we know that answer, we find it in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”

From this understanding there are a few implications for us as believers that I want to cover.

1. We love truth. As believers in Christ our love should be for the truth. We do not love falsehood. Whether this be in our culture or in our own lives. We aim to live out the truth. This means when the light exposes falsehood in our own lives, false beliefs, false motives, false actions we are quick to repent and turn to the truth. This morning reading this I was moved and reminded at how much we love truth. Truth sets you free. As believers we do not fear revealing our sin and repenting, that fear is not of God but of Satan. Know this statement, a secret revealed has no power over you.

2. Jesus is truth. The only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ. He is the savior, He is the way, there is no other way. As believers this is our conviction. We do not believe that there is another way to the Father. Secular Humanism says, that your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth. The Gospel says, Jesus is truth. Jesus alone is truth. Do you really believe that this morning?

I pray this morning that we would be willing to live in that truth. Do not be ashamed of the truth, the truth will set you free. I had to opportunity this morning to share the truth with a man this morning that trusted in his actions, our actions do not save. Only Jesus is the truth, only Jesus is the way.

Humble before God

Daniel 10:12 “Fear not Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.”

When you read this text in our reading plan what thoughts come to mind? For me there are a few things that I would like to share with you.

1. Humble Before God. Our posture towards the Lord must be one of humility. The Lord opposes the proud. As a believer in Christ your approach to the Lord should be that of humility. Think with me for a moment, you were an enemy of God in your sin (Romans 5:10). You lived as if you hated the things of God (Romans 3). Yet, while we were still sinners He loved us (Romans 5:8). That He saved you. That is something that should humble you before a loving and gracious God.

2. Pray with Boldness. Daniel prayed bold prayers to God. The posture of humility is a right understanding of who you are in relation to God. Boldness in prayer is understand who it is you are talking to and His capacity. Daniel knew that His God was able to interpret dreams that he hadn’t heard, shut the mouths of lions, and topple kingdoms. This God is the same God that you and I pray to. Pray with boldness that He would save your lost sheep, that He would begin revival. Pray with boldness that He would change you.

3. Read His Word. We have been given the Words of God. In His Word we find the way we are to live and act as believers in Christ. How we are to be in this world. Here are just a few that we are called to do. Be humble before God (Daniel 10:12), Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31), Sacrifice your wants and desires for others (Philippians 2:4), Love others as Christ has loved you (John 13:34), and share the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20). These are commands we find in the Bible that you don’t have to pray about doing, you are commanded to do, pray for strength to do them.

When you are humble before God, when you trust in His Word, you can be bold in prayer and before men the truth of the Word. In our culture today we need more believers to be bold in the truth of the Word, not opinions, we have enough opinions. My prayer this week for me is to first, be humble before my God, trust fully in His Word, and live for His glory alone. Would you join me in praying that?

Aaron

Unity

John 17:11 “11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”

Did you know that Jesus prayed for unity in the church? Disunity in the church is never of the Lord, but division that is caused by Satan. The reason, a disunified church is not effective, a unified church will charge the gates of hell! This morning I want you to join me in examining this prayer of Jesus for our church.

1. We are in the world. You and I still live in this broken world. This world is marked by sin and death. We see the mark of sin all around us. We suffer because of sin. You and I still struggle to live as God would command us to live because of sin in and around us. Therefore, we must know and understand that we are still plagued by issues in this world, we will still struggle with sin of our own and others.

2. Unity reflects the Trinity. Jesus prays that we would be kept in the name of the Father, the name of “I Am”. That name and power is the same name and power that is given to Jesus that rose Him from the grave. That same name and power is what keeps us. The reflection of our unity reflects the Trinity. When we are one, we reflect the God of heaven.

3. Fight for Unity. This is the question, how do we fight for unity in church and in every aspect of life? It’s not easy. The first thing first, you must be a follower of Jesus. I know this seems basic, but it’s true. Are you a follower of Jesus? Do you display fruit of following Jesus? Are you repentant? Are you forgiving? If these are a struggle, go to the Lord in prayer right now! Secondly, unity requires sacrifice for the weaker. We can’t always have it our way, we must be sacrificial for the wants and needs of others. If it always has to be your way, you are not humble, you are proud. When is the last time that you went along with something that you don’t like? Thirdly, unity matters more than your happiness. You read that right. Unity matters more that my happiness or yours. Unity is what pushes the mission forward. Unity is what builds the body. Lastly, it only happens through prayer! Jesus is the Son of God and He prayed for this. Why would we not pray for this?

Will you join me this week in praying for unity? What would our church look like it we were all willing to be sacrificial on others behalf? How dangerous to the kingdom of darkness would we be?

Sacrificial Love

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

 

Sacrificial Love

 

To love each other as Christ has loved you. What a statement to behold. What a task to ponder. What a command to obey. This is the command that Christ gave His disciples after washing their feet. This is the command that He again repeats in John 15. To obey Jesus is to love each other the way that He has loved you. Of course there is no way to fully cover this subject, there are a few major implications of this command that we can take and apply. We find those by asking the question, how does Christ love you?

 

  1. Sacrificial Love- When we often think of Christ and the work on the cross. That love is a sacrificial love. A love that takes our place. A love that is displayed on the cross. “No greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” V. 13. That is the love that is given to us by Jesus on the cross. That we are not only children of God, but also friends of God. We know this to be true of Christ towards us, but what of us towards others? Do you love in this manner? To love each other as Christ loved you is to love someone sacrificially. We see this lived out in Acts 2:42-47. The scriptures tell us that they were selling their possessions to provide for anyone that had need.

 

  1. Forgiving Love- Another display of Christ on the cross is the work of forgiveness. Jesus said from the cross about those who were murdering Him. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This type of forgiveness was given to those who didn’t ask for it. We often reserve our forgivenesses for those who ask for it, but what about those who never ask for it? Christ showed us this type of forgiveness. That while you and I were enemies of God, He loved us, He forgave us. As believers in Christ this is the command we are to live out. We are to love others by giving them forgiveness, even when they do not ask for it.

 

  1. Rebuking Love- This is one that we often don’t consider love. Jesus displayed love to the woman caught in adultery by showing her compassion, not condemning her, but by also rebuking her lifestyle. “Go and sin no more.” Our love for each other should lead us to confront sin in each other’s lives. This love is for each other’s sanctification. If you love someone, you must be willing to guide them to repentance. On the flip side, you must be willing to take rebuke. Proverbs 9:8 “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” To love is to point to truth.

 

Of course there are many other ways Christ displayed His love to us. These are just a few that we see quickly evident. But the question remains, are you willing to love as Christ loved you? Are you willing to love others the way that Christ loved you? This is how we will show that we are His disciples.

Are We a Blessing?

And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. – Ezekiel 34:26

Are we a blessing?

Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, preached a sermon entitled “The Church of Christ”. In this sermon he stated that the church is to be a blessing not only to it’s members, but to those who surround the church. This is the question that we should pose to ourselves. Are we a blessing? When people in our community think of Springfield Baptist Church, do they think of blessing? God’s promise to Abraham was that his descendants would be what? A blessing. That all people would be blessed. “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2

The church of God located at 305 Lincoln Park Road is to be a blessing. We are to be a blessing in a few distinct ways.

  1. By being a light. As believers in Christ we are called to be a light. A light exposes darkness. A light reveals and heals. A light is not to be hidden. Charles Sprugeon said it this way, “Salvation is not a selfish thing; God does not give it for us to keep to ourselves, but that we may thereby be made the means of blessing to others; and the great day shall declare that there is not a man living on the surface of the earth but has received a blessing in some way or other through God’s gift of the Gospel.” Church let us never grow weary of being a great light in our community.

 

  1. By being generous. Another obvious way of being a blessing is through generosity. Through giving to your local church to support the work of the ministry. Through giving of your time to serve the body of Christ and the community. By being dedicated to praying for your church leaders. The church body needs more individuals willing to teach the next generation the good news of Jesus Christ. Teaching them to obey the commands of Christ. Of giving of their time and their treasure to continue the work of Christ in our church.

 

  1. By Educating. At Springfield Baptist Church we believe in small groups. Small groups are a place where you learn and teach the scriptures. We also believe in this happening at home. That if you are a parent of small children, that you will teach God’s Word at home. We have the North Star Catechism available for you to teach your children to obey the commands of Christ.

 

Ezekiel doesn’t stop there. We see that it continues by saying that God will shower blessings on His people. He does this through His Word. Are you in the habit of coming to worship services? Are you in the habit of being part of a small group? Are you in the habit of coming to prayer service? “24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 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.” Hebrews 10:24-25. You are missing the blessing of God by hearing God’s Word preached and read. If you do attend, I challenge you to open your heart to hear God’s Word. Do not bring an umbrella to shield you from allowing God’s Word to transform your heart. “23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24. Come with expectation to hear from God. Come with expectation to have showers of blessing on your soul.

 

His Fame

In our church reading plan we read Matthew 9 today. In one of the stories there were two blind men that came to Jesus and begged for mercy. Jesus entered into a house where he had a conversation with them about their faith in Him to heal them. Then according to their faith, Jesus healed them of their blindness. After their eyes were opened He told them not to tell anyone of what Jesus had just done, but like many who had experienced the grace of Jesus, they could not help it.

“But they went away and spread His fame through all the district.”

At first I read over this verse, but then it hit me. As believers we are people that were once dead and now made alive. We were once blind, but now we see. Yet, how are we spreading the fame of the one who gave us such sight? How are we telling of the life that has been given to us? We act as if no miracle has taken place in our lives. If we were to win a new car or gift a great gift, we are so quickly to tell everyone, but being brought from death to life? Friends, we must do better than this. We have a story to tell, a message to proclaim. How can we sit by and not proclaim of the glories of our wonderful savior? I challenge you, I challenge myself, make Him famous.

The Progression

Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;”

For years reading this passage the progression within this verse has not been evident to me. Rather, I’ve looked at how a man is not of wickedness seiners, nor scoffers. I want to take a look at the progression that we see here.

First, we see look at the one who “walks”. They are listening to the counsel of the wicked. They hear the advice of the wicked and take heed of it rather than godly advice. In so many of my counseling sessions I take time in helping people see the biblical way of doing things and combating unbiblical advice.

Secondly, standing in the way of sinners. Now you are taking part of the way. No longer are you simply hearing advice, rather you are part of it. Your identity has become your sin. Rather than seeking the Lord, you continue down the path of sinfulness.

Lastly, you sit in the seat. You are now an evangelist of the sinful way. You call what is evil good and good evil. This individual is set against godliness and seeks to take down godly ways. Our culture is becoming more and more like this type of society.

The blessed man or woman is one that seeks not these ways but looks at verse 2. They desire the law of the Lord, they seek God’s Word and His ways. Their identity is in Christ and not their sinfulness. They seek to tell others of the goodness of Christ. That is a blessed man. My prayer is that we would all seek to be blessed.