Are You Glad to be Here?
Are You Glad to be Here?
There was so much in the news this week I hardly knew where to start on writing this article. Passenger jet shot down; ground war in Gaza; border crisis; drought and wildfires cover the western US; China hit by worst typhoon in their history. In Washington, political infighting is at an all time high. And the attack ads for the next state campaigns have already begun on TV. In the meantime sickness and death affect so many of our own lives here. It could be really depressing. I read one time about a woman who became so fearful and overwhelmed by the world’s problems she could no longer get out of bed in the morning.
Well I did get out of bed this morning but it is a world with a dreary looking future out there. It really makes me grateful for the Lord’s Day. After a week of hearing all about the mess the world is in, a day centered in hope is refreshing and encouraging. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psa. 122:1).
Do you regard Sunday worship as a burden? Perhaps you need to re-evaluate what is important in your life and how much you desire heaven. Worshipping with fellow Christians is a joy to the heart set upon God. The scriptural form it takes, though important, is useless if our heart is not ready to worship. Come ready to praise God for His blessings and care and to be uplifted by fellowship with others who love God. It will give you a different outlook on the world in which you live.
By Steve Patton
Freedom - "The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint."
Freedom is a cherished concept. We celebrate our nation's freedom from tyranny this weekend. Yet I do not think any human being posesses the freedom described in the definition above. No one in this country has the right to act or speak without any kind of restraint. No one can kill or even harm another person with impunity. Lots of restraints exist upon us in this country. There are things from which we are free and things we are not. Freedom is always a limited concept.
"Liberation from slavery or restraint or power of another." This definition better describes not only the freedom our country enjoys but also the freedom we enjoy in Christ. "For freedom did Christ set us free" (Gal. 5:1). The freedom we enjoy in Christ has released us from the curse of the Law and the condemnation of sin. We are no longer in bondage to sin (Rom 6:6). But our "freedom" does not allow us to act however we wish. We have simply switched Masters. Being made free from sin we have become bondservants of righteousness serving God (Rom. 6:18). Our new Master set us free from a horrible curse and now directs us in paths or righteousness and self-control that will lead us to rejoice in the Judgment Day. What a joy to be set free from sin! What a blessing to have a benevolent, wise and loving new Master who can guide us to Heaven. Enjoy that freedom! It is the best.
Second Holy Spirit Sermon
A PDF of the second Holy Spirit sermon can be downloaded here.
First Holy Spirit Lesson
If you wish to download a PDF copy of the first Holy Spirit lesson, click here.