God’s word is “living and powerful” ( Heb. 4:12 ). God guides us and communicates His will to us through His word ( Ps. 119:105 ). The gospel message of salvation is revealed to us in God’s word (Rom. 1:16 ). By reading His word we understand that it is through the gospel that we are actually called to salvation ( 2 Thess. 2:13-14 ). His word guides us as to how to live a faithful, productive Christian life after coming to salvation ( 2 Tim. 3:15-17 ). It is no wonder that God instructs us to diligently study His word in order to be able to correctly understand and apply it to our lives, and to stand approved before Him ( 2 Tim. 2:15 ).
Drive in any direction in any part of this land, and it won’t be long before you pass a church building. They dot the landscape throughout the countryside, and several will usually be found in any neighborhood in any city. While many people do not attend church services frequently, a majority will attend somewhere at least once or twice a year, and a vast majority will claim an actual identity with some church.
Tomorrow we celebrate Labor Day, a federal holiday set aside to honor the working people of this nation. The first Labor Day was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. It was made a national holiday in 1894. While the holiday was originally designed to recognize organized labor, it has become a holiday for all workers. For many, it marks the end of summer and begins the activities of the fall season. It is somewhat interesting that a day designated as Labor Day is celebrated with a day taken off from laboring.
It’s rather amazing how many people subscribe to the notion that it doesn’t really matter much what a person believes, when it comes to Christianity. They would hold that a few beliefs, and it would be a very few , are basic to being a Christian. If pressed, many of them would probably state that while their personal preference is Christianity, they don’t necessarily believe that a person has to be a Christian to be saved.
Jesus told the apostles, "and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). He would establish His church, and nothing would prevent its being established. The establishment of the church was of paramount importance in the Lord's mission to this earth.
Last Sunday I began a short series of sermons on Self Esteem. Self esteem has to do with a sense of self worth, and it's a part of the human psyche that affects every area of our lives, including our spiritual lives. First, we'll look at the very concept of self esteem and consider why we ought to have a sense of self worth. Then we'll establish what is the best source for good self esteem. We'll conclude by examining some Bible examples of people who found the right source for self esteem and thereby changed their lives for the better.
Many people find themselves torn over how the universe came into existence. The Bible does not, in the slightest, beat around the bush on the matter. It states, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).
Many so called gods have come and gone through the ages. The Lord God Jehovah is completely unique - He is "the everlasting God!" (Rom. 16:26). Without beginning and without end, eternal by nature. He was not created, designed, fashioned, manufactured or imagined into existence. It is not enough to say there is no god like Him - there is no God except Him!
Probably, one of the most prominent characteristics of God that immediately comes to the mind of most people is His power. Nuclear weapons, laser beams, super heroes with super powers... We're bombarded with images of power through literature and media. But all of those images, and all of the potential power that can be conjured up by the imagination of man, does not begin to compare with God's power. His power is infinite, limitless. The scriptures refer to Him as omnipotent, all powerful! (Rev. 19:6).
We don't like to think of God being a God of judgment (Eccl. 12:13-14) and wrath (Rom. 1:18). However, we need to keep in mind the reason for His exhibiting those particular characteristics - sin, unrighteousness, unfaithfulness, wickedness, evil - all of which are contrary to God's very nature and self-destructive to those who practice such. God is totally righteous, and He created us in His own image. He holds us accountable for living up to that image as best we can. While God condemns sin and warns us to abstain from it (1 Thess. 5:22), He is also merciful and eager to forgive when we repent and seek His forgiveness (Dan. 8:8-9).
Gary L. Hutchens