Important Messages

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharing the Bread of Life


Matthew 14:15-21, 2 Kings 4:42-44
This morning’s devotional readings included Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:30-56, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-71 which tell the story of how Jesus fed the five thousand people in a deserted place with 5 loaves of bread. A similar story takes place in 2 Kings 4:42-44 in which God feeds a hundred men of God with twenty loaves of barley. In 2 Kings we read: “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he (Elisha) repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.”

In all the accounts, not only was there enough to feed the multitudes, but there was some left over. And there was enough leftover to fill 12 baskets…for 12 disciples. An important truth from these stories is that God doesn’t want us to take our fill of the Bread of Life and be satisfied. He has given us more than enough for ourselves and for those around us. Once we have partaken of the Bread of Life, we are to then take that Bread of life to our own starving multitudes. And Jesus leads the way by first showing his disciples how to feed the multitudes then giving them full baskets of their own to go and do the same.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Unsinkable Ship

"Inspired by The Evidence Bible"
I am sure that many, if not all of you are familiar with the story of the Titanic. The Titanic was ordered in July 1908 and completed in March 1912. It could hold 3547 people and was designed to include enough lifeboats to carry 4000 people if necessary. Unfortunately, on her maiden voyage from England to New York they only took enough lifeboats for 1178 people while there were 2227 people on board. Since the ship was designed to be “unsinkable” I guess the captain thought this potential risk was reasonable. Four days into the voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg and 2 hours and 40 minutes later, she sank to the bottom of the ocean, taking the lives of over 1500 people.

The reason I share this story with you today is because there are many lessons to be learned and parallels that can be drawn between the story of the Titanic and our own lives. Just like the Titanic, all of us are slowly sinking into the cold grip of death. The Bible says that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) On that Day, all of us will be called to give an account of our lives and everything we have done will be judged in light of God’s perfect Law, the Ten Commandments. Like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, God’s Moral Law, the Ten Commandments are like Ten Huge Icebergs that will take the entire world down to an icy grave.

To see evidence that we are sinking, all we have to do is look at a few of the Ten Commandments. Jesus said that if you look with lust at another person, you commit adultery with them in your heart and have violated the 7th Commandment. If you’ve ever told a lie, you have violated the 9th Commandment. If you have ever stolen anything, you have violated the 8th Commandment. If you have ever used God’s name in vain to express disgust or excitement, you have blasphemed and violated the 3rd Commandment. If you have ever hated someone, Jesus says you are a murderer at heart and violated the 6th Commandment. If you’ve failed to always put God first in your life you’ve broken the 1st Commandment.

Just like with the Titanic, it only takes one iceberg to bring down the ship. If you've violated one commandment, the Bible says you are guilty of violating all of them. If you stay on the “ship” all of your sins will come out as evidence of your guilt and you will be found guilty on Judgment Day. The punishment God has prescribed for violating His commandments is eternity in hell. God, however, is rich in mercy and does not want anyone to go to hell. Because of His great love, He has provided a way for us to be saved through Jesus Christ, the one the Bible calls the “Captain of our salvation” (Hebrews 2:10). Jesus Christ took our punishment upon himself through suffering and dying on the cross so that we can have a place in the Lifeboat of God's salvation. We violated God’s Law and Jesus paid our fine. Then he rose from the dead, forever defeating sin and death. The moment you repent and trust in Him alone for your salvation, God will forgive you of your sins and grant you the gift of eternal life.

One of the saddest parts of the Titanic story is that even after hitting the iceberg, many people never got into the lifeboats because of the “apparent safety” of the ship. According to eyewitness accounts, some of the lifeboats were less than half full as they left the Titanic. The first lifeboat that left had 28 people in it out of a capacity of 65. The Bible urges us to “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). Don’t be like the people on the Titanic that refused to believe the ship was sinking and failed to enter into the lifeboats provided. Those people perished because of their misguided faith in the “unsinkable” ship. Don’t be like them. Believe the Gospel today. Repent and trust Jesus Christ today and God will never let you down.

If you have any questions about what you read, the Bible, salvation, Jesus Christ, or anything else, please leave a message.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Righteousness and Wisdom

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise."
Proverbs 11:30

As a new parent, when I read this proverb about a tree of life, my mind is initially drawn to the idea of a family tree. How precious is the promise that the fruit of a righteous person is a tree of life, especially when it comes to raising our children. As a Christian parent, the number one desire I have for my daughter is for her to be born again and to be granted eternal life through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Eternal Life that I am hoping for my child by God's grace. If God blesses me with more children in the future, the hope for them will be the same. The same goes for grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. In the end, my prayer is that the life my wife and I are leading will be a righteous life in God's sight and that the fruit of our life will lead to a tree of life for our entire family.

This proverb has application beyond our family as well.  In addition to our family it applies to the friends, neighbors, coworkers, and the strangers we come into contact with on a daily basis. Not only do I desire to see my family saved for eternity, but I desire for the strangers around me to also know Jesus Christ and the gift of eternal life He offers to us. Living a righteous life is something that can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. The proverb then goes on to say that he that wins souls is wise. Every soul is of infinite worth to God whether it be our children, our friends, co-workers, neighbors or strangers. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added to you.

Here are some practical tips to help cultivate a lifestyle of evangelism:  
1) Pray that God uses you to reach the lost.
2) Ask for wisdom to use the time you have effectively for evangelism. Treat every day as though it were your last opportunity to share Christ. One day you will be right.
3) Study how to answer every man who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15; see Proverbs 16:23).
4) Find a “fishing hole” and go there regularly. Don’t wait for sinners to approach
you; go to them (Mark 16:15).
5) Use any anxiety as a catalyst to drive you to prayer and trust in God. Don’t let the fear of man paralyze you (Philippians 1:28). You will realize the spiritual nature of fear after you conquer it. Confront it with the Word of God—“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” 
(Adapted from http://www.evidencebible.com/.)
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