Watch this video first:
Here are the Bible verses that this video is based on: John 1:35, John 1:40-42, Acts 2:36, Acts 4:12, Acts 4:19, Acts 8:1-4.
For some reason, God chose to use humans, weak as we are, to bring the gospel to the entire world. God shows his power when one person tells another person and that person goes and tells someone else. God’s plan is so simple.
As Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)
Let’s plant a seed and see how God makes it grow!
- Philip Williams
Be sure to watch this video first:
As this video illustrates, I can’t hold onto Christ until I let go of this world. Each of us have things in our lives that we need to leave behind. It may be a sin like an addiction, an immoral relationship, or a covetous desire. It may simply be a distraction like a hobby, a time waster, or an unhealthy friendship. The obstacles in your life may be different than the ones in my life, but each of us have distractions we need to leave behind as we earnestly pursue Christ.
As the Hebrew writer says:
…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, - Hebrews 12:1
Let's leave so we can cleave!
- Philip Williams
Extra note: Our congregational theme for 2017 is titled Leaving the Nets. Throughout the year, our sermons and activities will help us become more devoted to Christ. You can learn more about our theme here.
How different does your life look from those around you in the world? I think it's difficult for us to grasp the extreme nature of the Christian life.
Be sure to watch this video before reading this post:
The thoughts in this video came from Hebrews 11. That chapter poses some challenging examples to us as Christians.
Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
Noah did something extraordinary because he saw the “unseen.” His lifestyle was unique to say the least. It also involved a tremendous amount of hard work. When we see the unseen we will give ourselves fully to tasks that seem illogical to the world around us.
Why would anyone leave their comfortable house to go wander around in a tent for the rest of their life? The Hebrew writer explains by saying, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10)
Abraham wasn’t living for this life. It’s easy to become too attached to things, places, and people on earth. Real faith is when we see the temporary nature of this earth and we sacrifice everything in this life so we can enjoy the next.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The ultimate example of faith is Jesus. His death on the cross baffled even his closest friends. The secret was that he’d already read the last chapter. He could taste the joy that would result from his suffering. That’s real faith.
What does that mean for us?
Sometimes we need to step back and ask the question, “How do people in the world perceive my life?” It seems that if we’re walking by faith, then how we use our time, how we spend our money, and where we set our goals, should seem illogical to someone who isn’t seeing the unseen. Christians are not a tweaked or recalibrated version of humanity. We are headed in a completely different direction.
- Philip Williams