WE NEED TO HEAR THE SPIRIT

Revelation 3:6

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:6 (NLT)

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

Ephesians 2

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

YOU KNOW YOUR CHURCH IS DYING A SLOW DEATH WHEN?

  1. No Open vision for the church
  2. People stop forgiving one another and start holding grudges
  3. People stop attending
  4. Living in the past glory of the church
  5. The offering is decreasing
  6. The excitement is going
  7. The lack of commitment and accountability
  8. The young people stop coming
  9. Arguing and division is everywhere
  10. All actions are inward with little or no outward mission
  11. No community focus or ministry/ No Evangelism
  12. Not seeking to reach the lost or those who have strayed away
  13. Not warm toward visitors
  14. A feeling of we only want people like us

Sardis was the capital of the Lydian Empire and was still an important city during the Roman Empire.

Sar’dis had become famous for their abilities in arts and crafts.

They made lavish use of the local brightly colored and semi-precious stones such as fire opal and banded agate.

The Sar’dians also had a process in which they used blue stone that they mined nearby.

Their jewelry was renown throughout the empire.

Some historians claim that Sardis was the first city to mint coinage using the precious metals; gold and silver.

The nearby mountains were dotted with gold mines thus making the city the monetary capital of the region.

The patron deity, named Cybele, was believed to possess the power and ability of restoring the dead back to life.

The Romans built a temple for the goddess Artemis and a large bath-gymnasium complex.  

NOW WE NEED TO HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING TO THE CHURCH.

You can look alive on the outside but dead on the inside.

Matthew 23:27 (NLT2)
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.

HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING….

Revelation 3:1–3 (NLT)

Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:

I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.

Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.

Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

Revelation 3:5 (NLT)

All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

Luke 10:20 (KJV)
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

More important than the disciples’ authority over spirits was their position as God’s children.

Their names were known to God and were written in God’s book.

This was the disciples’ greatest blessing.

The church must wake up and stop worrying about titles, positions, buildings, and know that our bodies are temples for the Holy Ghost and the greatest joy is having our names written in the Lambs book of life.

Paul asked the believers have you received the Holy Ghost.

If the church is filled with people with the Holy Ghost the thing in our church is that our names are not blotted out of the Book of Life.

2006 PAUL MOTON WROTE “NOT ME LORD!”

It was in Late August of 2005 Hurricane Katrine took both of Paul’s churches, his automobiles, his income, separated him from that which he loved singing and preaching.

It brought memories of the lost of his grandbaby, his nervous breakdown, and his cancer.

Song: Before I ever say one word
Lord, concentrate me
Before I ever sing a song
Lord, clean my heart
You have my permission to do
Whatever You need to do
Because I don’t want them to hear me
I want them to hear You, ohhhh
Not me, Lord, You

We still need Integrity

Integrity makes a difference when it comes to Restoration

The integrity of church and Christianity is on the front line.

The Covid has placed both the church and its leaders there.

Now is not about how much money your church is raising or whether you are being paid fairly. Now is the time to engage people with the truth of the gospel and encourage them to get a vaccination.

Stop waiting on the church to gather inside again and just like John the Baptist in the wilderness go forth and tell those closest and near you.

  1. Wear a mask
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Socially distance
  4. Take the vaccine

That safe lives and just maybe your life…..

Do you have integrity?

There are so many reasons why integrity is important in ourselves and in life in general.

While integrity does still exist today, it is not as prevalent as it was in times gone by.

Integrity could be defined by saying it is the type of person you are in your inner self or when you are by yourself.

  1. You are honest
  2. You are trustworthy

Integrity is the essence of who you choose to be when hard choices press you and there are some choices that may not be as ethical.

  1. INTEGRITY MAKES YOU A BETTER PERSON

2.    ITEGRITY GIVES YOU A GOOD REPUTATION

3.    ITEGRITY IS UNCOMMON

4.    ITEGRITY SHOWS WHO YOU REALLY ARE

5.    OTHERS WILL APPRECIATE THAT YOU INTEGRITY

6.    YOU WILL REAP BENEFITS OF A LIFE WITH INTRGRITY

7.    ITEGRITY IS THE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE

Are you maintaining your integrity?

What does the Bible say about integrity?

Integrity is a long-term character trait.

Caleb was faithful from the start.

As one of the original spies sent into the Promised Land (Numbers 13:30–33), he saw great cities and giants, yet he knew God would help the people conquer the land.

Because of his faith, God promised him a personal inheritance of land (Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:34–36). Here, forty-five years later, the land was given to him.

HIS FAITH WAS STILL UNWAVERING.

The integrity with which he had boldly contradicted the cowardly advice of the ten spies years before was as strong as ever.

Although his inherited land still had giants, Caleb knew the Lord would help him conquer them.

Like Caleb, we must be faithful to God, not only at the start of our walk with him, but through our entire lives.

We must never allow ourself to rest on our past accomplishments or reputations.

MAY INTEGRITY AND HONESTY PROTECT ME, FOR I PUT MY HOPE IN YOU. (PSALM 25:21)

Integrity is being what we say we are. CALLED BY GOD!!!

If ever we needed two powerful forces to preserve us along life’s way, we need integrity and honesty.

The psalmist asks for these to protect him step-by-step.

Honesty makes us learn God’s requirements and strive to fulfill them.

Integrity—being what we say we are—keeps us from claiming to be honest while living as if we do not know God.

Honesty says, “This is the Shepherd’s way,” and integrity says, “I will walk consistently in it.”

(Luke 16:10–11)

Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?

ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT TESTS OF INTEGRITY IS WEALTH.

Our integrity often meets its match in money matters.

God calls us to be honest even in small details we could easily rationalize away. Heaven’s riches are far more valuable than earthly wealth.

But if we are not trustworthy with our money here (no matter how much or how little we have), we will be unfit to handle the vast riches of God’s kingdom.

Don’t let your integrity slip in small matters, and it will not fail you in crucial decisions either.

God trusted me with the ministry of Coffee Time with the Preacher

God trusted me with the 8:30 hour daily.

God trusted that I would be on time daily and prepared.

The ministry is God’s, the people are his, and the time is his.

Things come up that test my integrity to what it is that God has given me.

Coffee Time is small but I must be faithful.

WHAT INTEGRITY IS NOT…

Job 2:7–10 (NLT)

So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.

Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”

10 But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.

Integrity does not give up on God

Integrity does not question the will of God in others life

Integrity trusted God unto the end.

God gave Job’s wife to him as a helpmate

God gave Job’s wife to him as an encourager

God gave Job’s wife to help bear the burden

She had enjoyed the good times in life now her integrity was being tested to see if she could or would support her husband during the worst trail of his life.

Integrity in marriage is not those years of vacation and travel but those years of sickness and failing health.

Can you keep your integrity for better or for worse?

“James Cleveland once sang a song”

My way may not easy
You did not say that it would be
But when it gets dark
I can’t see my way
You told me to put my trust in Thee
That’s why I’m asking you
Lord Jesus Lord Jesus Help me to Hold out I am just
about to make it over I need a little help the
Devil tryn to stop me

Lord I need you to help me to hold out
though the mountain tops to high
I need you to help me to hold out
Give me the patience I need to hold out
Thank you Jesus—Until

until my change come

Your integrity may be on trail in 2021 keep holding on to God unchanging hands….


The Mystery of Suffering

2020 to 2021 has been upsetting for me. I have witnessed the suffering and death of love ones from Covid and other forms of sickness and disease.

Some got sick and got well, some got sick and the side affects linger, while others got sick and died.  

The Mystery of Suffering

Job 2:10

Job replied, You talk like a godless woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.

There is nothing left for Job but to lament.

Photo by Alex Green on Pexels.com

He refuses to lay the blame on himself falsely, and he refuses to blame or abandon God.

But he does not hesitate to express his anguish in the strongest terms.

Let the day perish in which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man-child is conceived’” (Job 3:3).

Why did I not die at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?” (Job 3:11).

“Or why was I not buried like a stillborn child, like an infant that never sees the light?” (Job 3:16).

Why is light given to one who cannot see the way, whom God has fenced in?” (Job 3:23).

Notice that Job’s lament is almost entirely in the form of questions.

THE CAUSE OF HIS SUFFERING IS A MYSTERY.

INDEED, IT MAY BE THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF FAITH.

Why does God allow people he loves to suffer?

Job does not know the answer, so the most honest thing he can do is ask questions.

Regrettably, Job’s friends are not able to endure the mystery of his suffering, so they jump to conclusions about its source.

The first of the three, Eliphaz, acknowledges that Job has been a source of strength to others (Job 4:3-4).

But then he turns and puts the blame for Job’s suffering squarely on Job himself.

“Think now,” he says, “who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?

As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:7-8).

Job’s second friend, Bildad, says much the same.

See, God will not reject a blameless person nor take the hand of evildoers” (Job 8:20). (Miss judging God.)

The third friend, Zophar, repeats the refrain.

“If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, do not let wickedness reside in your tents.

Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear.…Your life will be brighter than the noonday” (Job 11:14-1517).

Their reasoning is a form of logic.

God sends calamities upon wicked people only.

  1. You have suffered a calamity.
  2. Therefore, you must be wicked.
  3. Job himself avoids this false logic.
  4. But it is very commonly accepted by Christians.

It is called a theology of divine retribution, and it assumes that God blesses those who are faithful to him and punishes those who sin.

It is not entirely without biblical support.

There are many cases in which God sends calamity as a punishment, as for example he did at Sodom (Genesis 19:1-29).

Often, our experiences do bear out this theological position.

In most situations, things turn out better when we follow God’s ways than when we forsake them.

However, God does not always work that way.

Jesus himself pointed out that disaster is not necessarily a sign of God’s judgment (Luke 13:4).{When he addressed the 18 who died at the tower being the most wick?)

In Job’s case, we know the theology of divine retribution is not true because God says that Job is a righteous man (Job 1:82:3).

Job’s friends’ disturbing error is to apply a generalization to Job’s situation, without knowing what they’re talking about.

Anyone who has spent time with a suffering friend knows how hard it is to remain present without trying to give answers or make sense out of the situation.

It is excruciating to suffer silently with a friend who must rebuild life piece by piece, without any certainty about the outcome.

Our instinct is to investigate what went wrong and identify a solution.

Then we imagine we can help our friend eliminate the cause and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Knowing the cause, we will at least know how to avoid the same fate ourselves.

We would rather give a reason for the suffering — be it right, be it wrong — than to accept the mystery at the heart of suffering.

Job’s friends succumb to this temptation.

It would be foolish to imagine that we would never do the same.

How much harm have well-intentioned Christians caused by giving pious-sounding answers to suffering, even though we have no idea what we’re talking about?

 “It’s all for the best.”

 “It’s part of God’s plan.”

“God never sends people more adversity than they can handle.”

How arrogant to imagine we know God’s plan.

How foolish to think we know the reason for anyone else’s suffering.

We don’t even know the reason for our own suffering.

 It would be more truthful — and far more helpful — to admit, “I don’t know why this happened to you. No one should have to go through this.”

 If we can do this, and then remain present, we may become an agent of God’s compassion.

Job’s friends can’t lament with Job or even acknowledge that they lack a basis for judging him.

They are hell-bent (literally, given Satan’s role) on defending God by placing the blame on Job.

As the friends’ speeches continue, their rhetoric becomes increasingly hostile.

Faced with the self-imposed choice of blaming Job or blaming God, they harden their hearts against their former friend. “There is no end to your iniquities,” says Eliphaz (Job 22:5), and then he invents some iniquities to charge against Job.

“You have given no water to the weary to drink, and you have withheld bread from the hungry” (Job 22:8).

 “You have sent widows away empty-handed, and the arms of the orphans you have crushed” (Job 22:9).

Zophar’s last speech observes that wicked persons will not enjoy their riches because God will make their stomachs “vomit them up again” (Job 20:15) and that “They will give back the fruit of their toil, and will not swallow it down; from the profit from their trading they will get no fruit of their enjoyment” (Job 20:18).

This is an appropriate righting of the wicked’s wrongdoing, that “they have crushed and abandoned the poor,  they have seized a house that they did not build” (Job 20:19). The reader knows this does not apply to Job. Why is Zophar so eager to blame Job?

Are we sometimes too eager to follow in Zophar’s footsteps when our friends face failures in work and life?

The book of Job demands that we see ourselves in the faces of Job’s friends. We too — presumably — know right from wrong, and have some sense of God’s ways.

But we do not know all of God’s ways as they apply in all times and places.

 “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it” (Psalm 139:6).

God’s ways are often a mystery beyond our understanding.

Is it possible that we also are guilty of ignorant judgments against our friends and co-workers?

But it doesn’t have to be friends who accuse us. Unlike Job, most of us are quite ready to accuse ourselves.

Anyone who has tasted failure has likely pondered, “What have I done to deserve this?” It’s natural, and not altogether incorrect.

Sometimes out of sheer laziness, bad data or incompetence, we make poor decisions that cause us to fail at work.

However, not all failures are the direct result of our own shortcomings.

Many are the result of circumstances outside our control.

Workplaces are complex, with many factors competing for our attention, many ambiguous situations, and many decisions where the outcomes are impossible to predict. How do we know whether we are following God’s ways all the time?

How could we or anyone genuinely know whether our successes and failures are due to our own actions or to factors beyond our control?

How could an outsider judge the rightness of our actions without knowing the intimate details of our situations?

Indeed, how could we even judge ourselves, give the limits of our own knowledge?

Has Faith Been Hijacked?

In the scriptures false teachers were constantly trying to hijack the faith of the believers.

On facebook which I use daily there are people constantly looking to hijack my files so they can impersonate me for their personal gains.

We have to guard against those who seek to Hijack even our faith in God. WOW

For what purpose would others attempt to hijack our faith? Once our faith in Christ has been hijacked the seeds of the flesh can be sown.

Galatians 5:19–21 (NLT)

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

The reason Satan wants to hijack our faith is so we cannot do the thing of God that we should be doing…

Galatians 5:17 (KJV 1900)

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

John 14:12 (KJV)
12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
5   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Satan and his little army wants to hijack your mind.

The potential of the flesh energized by Satan in the life of the Christian should not be underestimated.

Given free rein, the flesh will direct our choices, making us do what we know we should not do.

This inner conflict between the flesh and the Spirit is very real, but there is considerable disagreement as to its precise meaning.

Some believe that flesh here refers to a “sinful nature” continuing after salvation, while others view it as simply the physical flesh and its natural tendencies.

Still others focus on the “fleshly” or “worldlyhabits and patterns that continue after justification.

Although the precise meaning of flesh in unclear, Paul’s intent is plain.

The desires of our flesh are at odds with what the Holy Spirit desires for us: to be free from sin.

The flesh is that which is inwardly born from the mind of man and Satan and against the created purpose of God.

The regenerated human spirit of a man that is placed into him by God through the Holy Ghost is opposed to each the other.

Being on the computer for long periods of time I get these little folders and links that are tempting to click or open. But in my mind I know there is someone out there seeking to steal my identity so they can use it for their purpose.

John 10:10 (KJV)
10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The Galatian believers, under pressure from Jewish legalists, were considering rejecting the gospel of grace and reverting back to dependence on the Mosaic Law for salvation.

Paul wrote this letter to outline the dramatic differences between the two approaches to God.

 I. Grace
 II. Law
Grace…Law…  
•          is based on faith (2:16).  •          is based on works (2:16).  
•          justifies sinful men (2:16, 17).  •          is incapable of resulting in justification (2:16; 3:11).  
•          begins and ends with Christ (2:20).  •          makes Christ nothing (5:3).  
•          is the way of the Spirit (3:2, 3, 14).  •          is the way of the flesh (3:3).  
•          is a “blessing” (3:14).  •          is a “curse” (3:13).  
•          is God’s desired end for His people (3:23–25).  •          was intended to be only a means to an end (3:23–25).  
•          results in intimacy with Christ (3:27).  •          results in estrangement from Christ (5:4).  
•          makes one a son of God and an heir of Christ (4:6, 7).  •          keeps one a slave (4:7).  
•          brings liberty (5:1).  •          results in bondage (5:1).  
•          depends on the power of the Holy Spirit (5:16–18, 22, 23).  •          depends on human effort (5:19–21).  
•          is motivated by love (5:13, 14).  •          is motivated by pride (6:3, 13, 14).  
•          centers on the cross of Christ (6:12–14).  •          centered on circumcision (5:11; 6:12–15).  

There are two directions out there. There is the road of Grace and the road of being Good by the Law.

I seek to live the best life I can but in the end I fall short.

Romans 3:23 (KJV)
23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10–12 (KJV 1900)

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:9 (KJV)
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The jailer that night after witness the miracles of the earthquake asked a question.

Acts 16:30-31 (KJV)
30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

When Jesus found me I was not looking for him. It was by Grace that I was saved.

I got a call yesterday about how was I selected to receive the Covid vaccine and all I could say was it was by Grace.

I didn’t know anyone at the health department to call. I didn’t have a special relationship with my doctor or Atrium yet it was by Grace that I received the letter.

Now I believe in Grace which is God’s undeserved favor.

I cannot allow anyone to highjack my faith in God’s Goodness, Mercy, and Grace.

When you come from where I came from and you are standing where I am standing today and don’t believe in Grace????

I have come a long way and Satan wants to highjack my faith in God no way.

God has been good to me.

Paul S. Morton sings

I’m still standing
I’m still trusting
I’m still holding on to what I believe
Still motivated
Fully persuaded
I’m still standing
Standing on the word
On the word that’s in my heart
Your word says I am healed
So that means I am healed

Your word says I am free
So that means I am free

Your word says I am
More than a conqueror
Through Jesus
Standing, standing
Standing on the promises
Of Christ my Savior

Standing, standing
Standing on the promises of God
Trust in the Lord
Trust in the Lord
I will trust in the Lord
Till I die

Coffee Time January 16th

Panelist: Dr. Benjamin Hinton, Dr. Rodney Freeman, Elder Billy Houze, and Pastor Robert Coleman

Discussion Questions

The questions are not political questions for they are directed toward church life and leadership in the present and future church.

“Words have power then how leadership frames their words matter because they will direct actions.”

  1. Under the present conditions of covid, political polarization, the economic, and anxieties what type of leader will be needed to guide believers through these unchartered waters?

A. Chaplain/Caregiver/Shepherd

B. Apostolic Apostle – Trail blazer

2.      Can the type of leaders who guided the church to the present be as effective going forward?

3.      God’s word is truth and truth is under attack, how do we convince believers that what we preach has eternal implications?

4.      With many worshipers not attending a building for nearly a year how will leadership get them back into a traditional church environment? Or more importantly get them to engage in the five functions of the church.

The new norm of church will possible have a larger online presence that in the building?

How will the pastors seek to lead this type of church?

  1. Worship
  2. Fellowship
  3. Discipleship
  4. Evangelism
  5. Ministry

How do you see church mission as it relate to vision now laid out before the body?

People without a vision….

Is your present vision in need of a revamping?

  • Rewind the vision
  • Rethink the vision
  • Reset the vision for the present age

In what ways will your church be different in 2021 from 2020?

Are churches in a hold pattern waiting to reopen the building or has church already changed?

Have you covid proofed your church for Wedding – Baptisms – Funerals – New Members Classes –

If your church doesn’t make it back after Covid would it be missed?

What ways have you seen Virtual and Online Church have a positive effect your local congregation in reaching, teaching, and maturing the membership?

What ways have you seen Virtual and Online Church have a negative effect on the local congregation?

If Online and Virtual Church has a 12 month shelf life will it……?

1.    Effect how we build church relationships and communicate

2.    Effect how we create ministries, ministry strategies and seek new people to join them {Will the sound and audio tech be as important as the organist and drummer}

3.    How we locate, invite and engage new searchers

4.    How we allocate the budget

5.    How we give people a reason to connect and communicate to others in the body

6.    How will we build singles, marriages, seniors, adults, and children ministries

7.    How do we meet the needs: Grief – Loneliness – corporate worship atmosphere – place of belonging – and families

8.    Gift discovery and Gift development

9.    Will the type of auxiliaries change from the traditional to meet needs in the future

Have you seen a need to restructure your mission given?

Have you seen a need to change your budget to meet technology development?

Have you seen a need to train and equip yourself, staff and deacons to help the membership with: Stress – Grief – depression – job lost – death – post covid church changes

Do you think the membership is prepared for few people returning to the church building due to death and drifting away of members?

Good Representative of Christ

Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all

the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Everything the believers said and everything they did should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, realizing his constant presence and bringing honor and glory to him in every aspect and activity of daily living.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 niv).

To act in someone’s name is to act on his authority; believers act as Christ’s representatives.

Paul echoed the need for a thankful spirit, as he had in 3:15 and 3:16.

All we do for Christ should be done with the spirit of thankfulness for all he has done for us.

Believers are not enslaved to rules about every word they speak or deed they do; instead, they freely put themselves under the Lord’s guidance because they love him, have accepted his salvation, and live to glorify him.

Their thanks can go to God through Christ because Christ is the only mediator between God and people.

Believers are marked by Christlike living.

Paul offers a strategy to help us live for God day by day: {Everyday Praise}

  • Imitate [Follow as a pattern] Christ’s merciful, forgiving attitude (3:12–13);

Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT2)
12  Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
13  Make allowance [Patient and Restrain] for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

  • Let love guide your life (3:14);

Colossians 3:14 (NLT2)
14  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

{1 Peter 4:8} (NLT2)
8  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins
.

  • Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart (3:15);

Colossians 3:15 (NLT2)
15  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

  • Always be thankful (3:15);

Colossians 3:15 (NLT2)
15  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

  • Keep God’s Word in you at all times (3:16);

Colossians 3:16 (NLT2)
16  Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

  • Live as Jesus Christ’s representative (3:17).

Colossians 3:17 (NLT2)
17  And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Doing everything “as a representative of the Lord Jesus” means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of daily living.

As a Christian, you representChrist at all timeswherever you go and whatever you say.

What impression do people have of Christ when they see or talk with you?

What changes would you make for your life to honor Christ?

Believers are marked by the way they treat each other.

Christians should live in peace.

This does not eliminate all differences in opinion, but loving Christians will work together despite their differences.

Such love is not a feeling, but a decision to meet others’ needs (see 1 Corinthians 13).

This commitment to others leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers.

Do problems in your relationships with other Christians cause open conflicts or mutual silence?

Consider what you can do to heal those relationships with love.

The word rule (3:15) comes from athletics: Paul tells us to let Christ’s peace be umpire or referee in our hearts.

Our heart is the center of conflict because there our feelings and desires clash—our fears and hopes, distrust and trust, jealousy and love.

How can we deal with these constant conflicts and live as God wants?

Paul explains that we must decide between conflicting elements by using the rule of peace: Which choice will promote peace in our souls and in our churches?

For more on the peace of Christ, see Philippians 4:9.

Believers are marked by the way they treat outsiders.

The Christian church should have no barriers of nationality, race, education, social standing, wealth, gender, religion, or power.

Christ breaks down all barriers and accepts all people who come to him.

Nothing should keep us from telling others about Christ or accepting into our fellowship any and all believers (Ephesians 2:14–15).

Christians should be building bridges, not walls.

When the Lord returns “in His glory,” He will judge not only the nation Israel (as in the Parable of the 10 Virgins [vv. 1–13] and the Parable of the Talents [vv. 14–30]) but also the Gentiles.

Matthew 25:37–46 (NLT)

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Are we getting a relatable and relevant message about Christ to the people?

I am writing this because after elections people examine cause and effect or what worked and what failed.

Interestingly it comes down to getting the voters out but to get people to the polls means have a message that they can relate to.

Having the right message and the right time came be the different between declared the winner or going home.

It is more critical today that the church get the message out to the world that God is still God!

There were 4 writers who pen and presented the gospel to the world in the New Testament. The 4 writers were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The book of Acts was written by Luke tells of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in the life of the apostles, and the establishment of the church.

There are discussions about the 21 or 22 letters to the church due to the fact that Revelation was written in a different style.

The bible Old Testament and New Testament is about messaging. It was and is imperative that people understand the Gospel to believe the Gospel.

  1. The gospel is a message about God.
  2. The gospel is a message about sin and the consequences.
  3. The gospel is a message about Christ—Christ, the Son of God incarnate; Christ, the Lamb of God, dying for sin; Christ, the risen Lord; Christ, the perfect Savior.
  4. We must not present the Person of Christ apart from His saving work.
  5. But there is a second and complementary point: we must not present the saving work of Christ apart from His Person.
  6. The gospel is a summons to faith and repentance.
  7. The demand is for faith as well as repentance. 
  8. The demand is for repentance as well as faith