It’s All About Persistence

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This sermon was given at Roseburg Church On The Rise on January 11, 2015.

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30 Days With Wesley – Day 30: The Send Off

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Today’s optional reading is very fitting for the 30th day of this book. It it Paul’s Biblical send off to his readers in 1 Thessalonians. He writes,

Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming. The one who is calling you is faithful and will do this.

It is a beautiful send of. It fits so well for today. If you have been journeying with me through these 30 days with Wesley, I probably have never met you in person and we are not close friends. Though if you are a follower of Jesus like I am, I know that we are both on the same journey of seeking after Christ and letting him transform our lives on a daily basis.

It is this common ground that I send you off. May God keep us dedicated to him and may we be found blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen. 

How did you like the journey of 30 Days with Wesley? Let me know in the comments below.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 20: Weakness Is Our True Strength

Weakness-Strength1(Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

I can admit that I am not in the best shape. I am always trying to think of ways to improve my health and build strength in my life. Just yesterday, I got sucked into a youtube ad that was telling me about how I can build muscle and burn of fat quickly and easy. I sat there for who knows how long watching this guy explain how his awesome workout plan could change my life. For a few simple payments.

Many people, including myself, are in this constant search for true strength. We try different pills, workouts, diets, machines, etc to transform our lives. There never seems to be a perfect answer.

The same is true in our minds, we are always seeking for the next big truth, the next big ah-ha moment that will bring our mind and life to the next level. Paul writes about this in 2 Corinthians 7. He even explains the secret to true strength. The truth is our weakness is our greatest strength. Paul writes of a thorn in his side. He longs for God to take it from him, but he continues to have it so that he doesn’t become conceited.

Then Paul points out the amazing truth about our weaknesses. It is in our weaknesses that God begins to make us strong. It is when we acknowledge the fact that we cannot do this Christian life without God’s grace and empowerment. I have found that within the Christian life success follows humility. If we are prideful about something, it usually comes back to bite us.  Thought when we honestly admit our weakness in an area, God blesses this weakness and uses us in spite of that weakness.

If you want true strength, you must first admit that you are weak.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days with Wesley – Day 14: Loving Revenge

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Romans 12:13-21)

There is a law of the land that we all live by. There are many different elements that make up this law. Thing like; don’t spit into the wind, don’t drink coffee right after drinking orange juice (I learn that one awhile ago. Don’t try it), and toilet paper should always roll over not under. Ok, those might not be huge laws but there is one law of the land that many people today live by: An eye for an eye.

Sometimes, we live in an early elementary age way of thinking. If someone was a jerk to me, I’m going to be a jerk to them. The difference is, we become more malicious as adults. We hold grudges, we talk behind someone’s back or even belittle someone’s value as an individual. If you are wanting to be someone who is follows the teachings of Jesus, we have to begin to look at our enemies in a different way.

Paul writes in Romans, “If possibly, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves… Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.” (Romans 12:18-19, 21)

Jesus calls people to a life of loving revenge. These two word might not seem like they should go together, but they can. Paul paints a beautiful picture of loving revenge. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink.” (Romans 12:20).

When someone mistreats us, Jesus calls us to seek out an act of loving revenge. May we love those who hate us. May we pray for those who persecute us. May we not be defeated by evil but defeat evil with good. 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 13: The Pointless War

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(Optional Reading: Ephesians 2:13-16)

Many years ago, I remember sitting at home in my mom and dad’s room watching the television as the news began to report of the first gulf war. I still remember this moment, because I was sitting there thinking, war impacts so many thing. People’s fathers and mothers were on the other side of the world fighting. There was another war going on when I was younger that I remember as well. As I became older, it dubbed it, the pointless war.

The pointless war was a war of church denominations. There was a feel of; “If you are not in the denomination that I am, then you are not as great of a Christian as I am.” I went to a private christian high school. There were many denominations represented there. One of which was Catholic. At one point I remember thing, “Why are they even here? They aren’t real Christians.” Oh the naïvety of my youth.

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:13-14, “But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us.” I am thankful today that the pointless war doesn’t seem to be raging as strong as it once did, but maybe the war is going strong wherever you are reading this from.

I remember some of the students in my youth group asking questions about Catholics, Baptists, and some other denominations and I made one thing very clear to them. We are all on the same team. We might believe some things different but at the core we all still believe that Jesus Christ is our savior. Christ died to unite us. We must not waste our time bickering over non-salvational issues that we view differently. Let us stop this pointless war and focus on that which is most important: Building the Kingdom of God.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 10: Child of Light

hALOGEN(Optional Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6)

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul describes the church as “children of light.” He goes on to explain how we have come out of the darkness (sin) and dwell in the light of Christ. As Christians, we need to ask ourselves, are we living as Christ’s children of light?

Many years ago, I took my youth group to a youth conference. During one of the messages, the speaker spoke about temptations and our struggle with sin. The key point was the same as the word plastered many times on his shirt. FLEEEEEE! As I was reading this passage in 1 Thessalonians this morning, the image of this speaker’s shirt and him yelling the word “FLEE” kept coming to my mind. 

As children of the light, do we sometimes spend too much time on the outskirts of the light? Do we look into the darkness wondering, “What if I just let my toes be in the darkness, but the rest of me will be in the light?” Instead, shouldn’t we turn to the sources of our light and seek to be fully immersed in Christ’s light?

Jesus calls us to a life of holy living. A life that seeks to be centered in the light and a life that FLEES all temptations of darkness. This is a choice we must make every day and at every moment of our lives.

God help us to live in the light. May you continue to transform and purify us and let us become ambassadors of your light into this world.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 9: It Is All About Love

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Jeremiah 15:16)

It is hard to find any aspect of Christian living that is not rooted in a response to the love of God. It is all about love. Today, I wanted to give you the chance to sit and reflect upon some parts of the 30 Days with Wesley book. Please read these statement below and let God speak to you through them. Also, this is my last post on 30 Days of Wesley for a week. I am going on vacation and will not have access to technology or the internet, but I will continue once I return home.

God I pray blessings on us today as we reflect on these prayers. Help us to love like you and let your love transform our lives.

 

Prayer:

“O our God, fill our souls with so entire a love of you that we may love nothing but for your sake.”

Intercessions:

“To the One who extends his loving-kindness to all humanity, let us pray,

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.

Let us treat all our neighbors with that tender love due to your children.

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.

Grant that we may assist all our brothers and sisters with our prayers when we cannot reach them with actual services.

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.

Make us zealous to take every opportunity to assist the needy, protect the oppressed, instruct the ignorant, and steady the wavering.

O Lord, make us the pattern of your love.”

(30 Days of Wesley, Pg 41)

 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.