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How To Influence The World

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

There is an old saying, “I would rather see a sermon than hear one.” How we are seen is important, especially in regards to reaching non-believers. Sermons are just words to people of the world. To the believer, sermons and Bible classes are important for encouragement, building up of knowledge, and changing our lives to becoming more like Jesus. For the worldly minded, seeing is more powerful than hearing.


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“Beautiful And Fragrant”

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV).

 

To be faithful simply means to do your best wherever you are. God is not going to compare you and your accomplishments with anyone else. Neither is He going to expect you to do more than you can do. What He does expect is for each of us to be faithful.

A man tells that he and his young son went walking one day and in the far back corner of a field they found a small patch of beautiful and fragrant flowers. They were in the middle of weeds, almost completely hidden and almost unnoticed. Yet, these flowers were blooming in full beauty and giving off their fresh fragrance.

All of us have met people who were unnoticed by many, but who, in the middle of struggles and unlikely surroundings, far from the center of attention, live their lives with a beauty and fragrance. Even though they are living their lives in obscurity to most people, they faithfully fulfill God’s calling for them. Remember, the Holy Spirit said, “but thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:14-15 KJV). God wants you to continue to live your good Christian life because you are a fragrance to those around you.

God’s question on the last day will not be “How much were you noticed? or even “How much did you do?” Rather, His question will be, “Were you faithful in fulfilling your calling where I placed you?”

Hymn: “Jesus Rose of Sharon”

Father in heaven, wherever I go I want my life to “shed abroad the fragrance of the knowledge of God.” “Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom within my heart.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Wayne Burger, Conifer, CO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5-23-2014

 

Published

 

The Greater Gift

 

“It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to do, according to His purpose” (Phil. 2:13).

 

A Greco-Roman story tells of their gods gifting a woman named Pandora with a box she was forbidden to open. However, her curiosity was not to be denied and she opened one corner and out flew pestilence, disease and death that ravaged the earth. Amidst this devastation, Pandora decided to try one more time and peek under the opposite corner – and out flew hope!

Man found himself boxed in by his own sins, separating himself from God. To overcome and forgive man’s sin, Jesus died on a cross so that the Father was able to grant grace and save mankind by His gift, great enough to provide hope again.

 

Paul said that Christians are saved by grace, and added, “to work out their own salvation” (Phil. 2:12), meaning that after belief and baptism, we are to move on, not halting but walking in the Word, tending to God’s will, until our salvation is complete. Thus, we have the three stages of working, shining and holding steadily to our hope and assurance until the Judgment Day.

Following the receipt of grace, our salvation is ongoing, while the Spirit acts on a faith centered in us. It is by our works that we grow as new creatures, “born from above” (Jn. 3:5). This continued salvation leads all to be known “by their fruits,” all produced from the gift given them.

 

The gift flows from a request for forgiveness, based on His word and our actions in appreciation, and can be likened to Pandora, risking all in opening what was presented her and then determining her best course in her search for hope. As an old preacher once said, “God, don’t let me become an old fool. Let me die before I lose my influence and mess up much of the good I’ve done through the hope I’ve received in the gift of grace.”

 

Hymn: “Amazing Grace”

 

Prayer: Gentle Father, bless these words so that those lost and without hope may come to know the splendor of Your gift. May they accept Your word and know what Jesus did for mankind’s salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Gordon V. Herrmann, Santa Maria, CA



The Greater Gift

“It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to do, according to His purpose” (Phil. 2:13).

 

A Greco-Roman story tells of their gods gifting a woman named Pandora with a box she was forbidden to open. However, her curiosity was not to be denied and she opened one corner and out flew pestilence, disease and death that ravaged the earth. Amidst this devastation, Pandora decided to try one more time and peek under the opposite corner – and out flew hope!


Read more...