|A view from our sanctuary to the new construction.|
Pastor Brad welcomed us warmly to worship today. The message is titled Heroes. Recent events reminded us that earthly heroes can let us down, but when we put our trust in God, He always comes through. God is ever faithful.
We'd like to do lunches for the contractors once a week to show our appreciation for the people working on the new building. If you are able and interested, contact Nancy Vanderscheuren.
Chuck, Darlene and Ken led the worship today. Chuck began by telling us a story about a quadriplegic woman in Australia who after seventeen years had a longing to go surfing again sometime in her life. She achieved this by being duct-taped to another surfer whom she had to have complete trust in. In the same way we can fasten ourselves to the Holy Spirit and be taken places in life we never imagined.
After the offering we had a time of prayer and praise, culminating in the prayer Jesus taught us.
The first commandment states, "You shall have no other gods before Me."
He then went on to describe a spectacular and unexpected experience of northern lights that utterly moved him.
From here he shared a story about a man in our congregation who was in jail reading Romans 3 and how he was blindsided by the love and compassion of God, in the same way as those striking northern lights unexpectedly hit Brad that one night.
Brad's story moved to the manner in which he has seen lives changed, people who began to follow Christ who at one time had no concern for the poor and were suddenly becoming aware of this heart change within.
The first commandment states, "I am the Lord thy God. You shall have no other gods before Me."
It's straightforward and clear. God says if you honor Me as God I will honor you and bless you in return.
There are some people who wonder why God would demand such a thing. Does God have a fragile ego and needs to be worshiped exclusively? No, that is not it. The primary reason is because God knows that if you focus your affections elsewhere it will not come through for you.
Pastor Brad then read Psalm 115 to us. In our time of greatest need, turning to idols will not comfort us. Your idols are a waste of your time and your worship.
The true God will come through. He listens as we poor out our hearts to Him. And He has the power to change a life. Don't waste your worship on other things. Any other focus of your ultimate affection will disappoint you.
Stories are many where people order their lives around some other person or thing that ultimately failed them. Whether it be a spouse or job, the foundations are shaky if our house is not built on God.
When your world falls apart, God will come through for you.
Now, how do we make God first in our lives?
1. To honor God as God you have to acknowledge God's assessment of you, which is that you are sinful and so am I. We start by recognizing we don't deserve it for God to come through for us.
This confession brings about forgiveness and is the first step to a right relationship with God.
2. The second step is simply obeying God. What is it that God wants of you? There is no such thing as honoring God as God without a level of commitment to obey Him.
Obedience is not just for pastors or the super-religious.
Some of us are lying to ourselves. The Bible says speak the truth to one another. Come clean in every area of your life. Stop sexual sin. Stop filthy language.
Over time, the one who obeys God experiences a clean conscience. And knows what it is to walk in the light.
Risks taken to honor God, God always honors those things in return.
We were reminded that there is a cost for choosing otherwise. You have one life to live, don't waste it.
Constantly take inventory to see what is competing with God's supremacy in your life. All too often we allow those second place idols to interfere, block the sun for a season. It's necessary that we monitor our affections. Pay close attention to what occupies your mind in your free time.
Don't toy with it or flirt with it Die to it.
Honor God as God and see what happens. See and experience His wisdom, compassion and transforming power.