1 Corinthians 1:10-17 Unity vs. Denominationalism

We’re continuing our lesson series on the Corinthian letters with 1st Corinthians 1:10-17.

I believe this section from Paul’s writings is one of the most timely exhortations for the Church in our day as we find ourselves smack in the middle of 37,000 distinct denominations, countless scholarly opinions on each verse, and an ever widening schism in the brotherhood!

Marriage & Christ

Any time you enter into a relationship with someone, it alters your life.

When I married Mary, my life changed forever. My time, my efforts, my thoughts and feelings, all began to gravitate towards her. And nothing has changed so far; my time, thoughts and feelings, and efforts still gravitate towards her, even on my busiest weeks, the gravity still pulls us back together because we are God-pronounced as one.

I’ve heard it said, and tend to agree, that one of the best indicators that trouble is on the horizon between a husband and wife is when this gravity is broken and one of the spouses begins to retake their time, attention, thoughts, and feelings, and invests them in other pursuits.

Many couples are living in virtual-divorce; they occupy the same space, but live completely separate lives, pursuing completely different goals, and share relatively few commonalities together.
This same principle applies to our relationship with Christ because we are His bride.

One of the best indicators that our relationship with Christ is in trouble is whether or not we have broken the gravity that pulls us together with Him. There are a lot of Christians who are living completely separate lives from Christ, pursuing completely different goals and sharing almost nothing in common with Him- they are living lives virtually divorced from Christ. They have retaken their time, and invested it elsewhere, and they’ve retaken their hearts, and invested them elsewhere.

We need to understand that it’s usually when the gravity between a husband and wife has been broken that one of them is in the most danger cheating with someone else. Rarely does someone become unfaithful when they are utterly in love with their spouse and that gravity remains in tact. Their time, attention, thoughts and feelings all act to reinforce their relationship. Likewise, a Christian who is no longer drawn to Christ in these real and tangible ways is in extreme danger of being seduced by the World.

It’s worth mentioning that a lot of husbands deceived themselves into thinking that their relationship was good with their wife because they were out working 60 hours a week “for her”, but yet their relationship deteriorated and they fell for someone in the office because they had broken that gravity with their spouse. “Ministry” is not the same thing as a relationship with Christ. Nothing can replace our time in fellowship with the Lord. Nothing. When someone has a vibrant relationship with Christ, then their ministry and kingdom-work is meaningful and fruitful.

I hope to encourage my brethren to give meaningful consideration to their relationship with Christ; it is the most meaningful and life-altering relationship you have.

Sermon: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 on April 4th 2015

Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians are an incredibly timely message for the Church in the U.S. Corinth was an epicenter of trade, wealth, political power, culture, and idolatrous religion; the ancient world made the term “corinthianize” synonymous with “practice evil”. Amidst all this wickedness and spiritual oppression, the Holy Spirit inspires Paul to pen a letter that many today claim won’t hold up to modern challenges.

Please join us as we take a look at this amazing letter.

Why Redemption?

It is natural after we hear the gospel preached to ask “why did God chose to redeem us?”

The answer is given great prominence in catechisms, but is so often lost to our distant thoughts, and scripture weaves the answer so extensively throughout its pages that we often “read over” it.

The reason for redemption is that we have been chosen for the glory of God so that we may proclaim His praises as a royal and holy priesthood. As  A.W. Tozer put it, “Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died on the cross and rose from the grave to make worshippers out of rebels!”

Unfortunately, anyone listening in on what Christians are saying today would run a far better chance of thinking that God’s purpose in redemption was to give us healthy, prosperous lives, than that His purpose for us is to be instruments of praise!

There is no reason for a god of health and prosperity to reveal himself to us in such intimate ways as the God of Heaven has chosen to; the god of health and prosperity would have no reason to dwell in us, nor to enlighten our hearts with the light of Christ.  But that is what our Father has done; He dwells in us, and among us, and He gives His only begotten Son as a light to enlighten our hearts and drive away the darkness!

God wants us to come close to Him and know Him because we are His priests, appointed to declare His praises from generation to generation.

If you read the scriptures you will find that we are appointed to proclaim the praises of His great wonders, of His judgments, of who He is, and of His great mercies, grace, and love!  It follows that God does not want mere academic acclaim to these praises, as we get when we merely read about them in a book, He wants praises that flow from those who have encountered the glory of each one of these aspects of God, and turn around and praise Him for them!

Do you know your Father?  Are you fit and able to proclaim His praises forever and ever?

Spiritual Disciplines- Part 2 “Thanksgiving”

This is our lesson on the spiritual discipline of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is something we see offered to God when people and angelic majesties enter into His presence: the psalmist wrote “enter into His courts with thanksgiving and praise”.  Thanksgiving is the fruit of our lips that we offer to God as an acceptable sacrifice to Him.

Please join with us as we consider some thoughts on the practice of thanksgiving.

Join us for Prayer

Tonight we are holding a prayer meeting at 7:00p and welcome anyone who would like to join us; we’re at 5806 Briarwood CT, #20, Grandview MO, 64030.

We’re taking this time to lift one voice to God to offer Him thanks and praise through prayer, and pray for the Church, both locally and world-wide.  We want to pray over the concerns our nation is facing, and support our leaders in prayer.  And we’re going to be praying for our persecuted brethren (this week is specifically for North Korea).
If you have any questions, call me (David) at 816-969-0085.

Walk Humbly With Your God

We began this sermon series under the great conviction of our desperate need for a complete renewing in humility.  This series is less of a “comprehensive” series on the subject, and more about the seeds God has placed in our hearts that are growing to bear fruit in our lives.

Our desire is to walk humbly with our God; and I ask my brethren to consider whether or not it is even possible to walk in any other way but in humility with God?  Will He even walk with someone who isn’t walking humbly with Him?

I will continue to build on this post, adding more text and audio lessons as they develop.

FEATURED SERMON

SERMON SERIES

The Sacrifice of Praise

My heart burns to see spirit-full, truth-full worship being offered to God from the Church!  I long to see our oft heartless worship give way to the continual worship that God is worthy to receive!

WORSHIP IS NOT WITHOUT COST

King David refused to offer sacrifices to God that cost him nothing; he even refused to take a discount!  He wasn’t looking for the cheapest way to get around a duty-bound sacrifice to God, but came with a heart groaning deeply to please his beloved LORD!

Worship costs something; if it doesn’t, then it is not worship.

Churches have become so concerned with maintaining their tax-exempt status because they know that most of their constituents won’t give unless they can claim it as a tax-write off and get a discount on their giving.  But I am so very concerned with the defilement of our offering to God!

If you will worship God in this age, it will cost you something- not only of your monetary gains, but of your heart and your self-will!

THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE

 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ~Hebrews 13:15

Our lips are altars of God: from them we offer praise to the God of all creation!

Priests always seek to offer the most holy, pure, and perfect sacrifices to God.  No priest would ever take dung and offer it on the altar of God because it would be an abomination to Him! Yet, when we grumble, complain, backbite, slander each other, and gossip, that is exactly what we are doing.

When we enter trials and difficult times, we have a decision to make: will we offer up to God a worthy sacrifice from the fruit of our lips with thanksgiving to His name, or, put dung on the altar of God and offer up grumbling and complaining to the God who shed His own blood to save our souls?  Will we be like David who refused to offer up to God sacrifices that cost him nothing, and offer praise to God even in the pain of our darkest hour?

COMING TO WORSHIP

I was worshipping this week with a song that began by saying “we come here today to worship you”, and I pierced through the heart by the Holy Spirit because that statement did not feel true of me; I did not “come to worship”.

I was overwhelmed by the reality that my heart is not prepared enough to continually offer the sacrifices of praise with thanksgiving to the name of Christ to the point that I can say, wherever I am, that “I came here to worship God”.  But oh how I desperately want to be able to say from my spirit in truth, “I came here to worship God”, wherever I am!

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

I have great hope for the future because I know that my Christ is a refining fire and a purifying soap, who has come to purify us so that we can make offerings to God in righteousness!

I am calling on Jesus to purify my heart, whatever the cost, so that I can give Him the fruit of my lips with thanksgiving to His holy and worthy name!

Spiritual Disciplines- Denying Self

This is the first lesson on denying self in our spiritual disciplines series.

Spiritual disciplines are those practices by which you nurture spiritual attributes.  They are not self-empowered, nor do they come from the will of man, but are spirit-empowered according to the will of God.  It’s for the lack of regular spiritual disciplines in our life that we so often experience dryness and weakness in our spiritual journeys.

Redefining Dangerous

The most dangerous place on earth is the safest place for you to be if it is God’s will for you, and the safest place on earth is the most dangerous place for you if it isn’t.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. ~Luke 9:24

It is always a curse to God’s people whenever they begin to trust in the elements of this world for their safety: weapons, walls, geographic locations, or money- all these uncertain things prove to be a bitter cup of woe and disappointment in our hour of trial.  But, whoever understands what Jesus said here will be full of peace in their season of trial because they are standing on the Rock.

Recently there have been a lot of news reports interviewing U.S. generals about American military preparedness= something I think the U.S. should try to maintain- but, there is a tremendously deep-seeded foolishness among our people that believes we can sow abundant wickedness and reap anything less than destruction and injustice.

No military, no great wealth, no place of refuge can hide you from the wrath of God.

Speaking to my brothers and sisters in Christ now, you cannot hide from your woes, nor can you find peace in any stronghold if you are not walking the path God wants you to walk.  To you whom God is saying “go”, do not fear because of what may be ahead of you if you do go, rather, fear what will overtake you if you do not!  And to you whom God is saying “stay”, do not fear the wild beasts in the land where you reside, rather, fear the plagues that await you in the stronghold to which you seek to run to!

Brethren, it is not for us to reason with God, nor make plans of our own, saying “tomorrow or next year I will go here and there”, rather, it is for us to listen and obey.

Be of good courage- you are in mighty hands!  Simply trust Him.  Seek not your life, but seek Him!

A ministry of faith