Sunday, September 27, 2009
With all of our "wins" in this life, do you sense that a great "win" still escapes you, awaiting another, future world? How does this distant, unattainable win impact you and influence your way of living. What does the Apostle Paul say about our future "win" together with Christ? How does the Apostle Paul describe the Holy Spirit's presence and work in our lives until we receive this future win? [See Romans 8: 1-17]
We also talked about a great movie, "The Cider House Rules," in which a big-hearted medical doctor cared for a bunch of kids in a New England orphanage. Dr. Largent always ended each night in the orphanage with this saying: "Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England." Words of affirmation can be a very powerful means of blessing others. As we read today's scripture, we see that Paul has indeed declared us "Champions"--joint heirs with Jesus, adopted heirs to the kingdom of God--and he blesses us with words of affirmation by discussing our royal victory with Christ the King.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, you are winners in Christ. It has already been determined! You and I can rest assured that we will be triumphant over evil and over sin because of the price already paid by our Savior. In addition, we can take comfort in the fact that the Holy Spirit has indwelled our lives and that we can experience strength in the Holy Spirit through the future hope of our ultimate victory in Christ.
I hope you will speak a blessing of affirmation into someone's life this week and that you will draw on the strength and peace of the Holy Spirit in your present life as well as the assurance of your future victory with Christ!
Have a great week, you princes of the Brazos Valley, you kings of Bryan-College Station. You are royalty in the kingdom of God. Live like it!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means.”
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Cindy and I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend with our girls. We watched the girls compete in the "Gatorbait Triathalon" in Boerne, Texas. The triathalon includes a swim in the lake, a run, and a bicycle race. This particular race got its name from the fact that the Boerne lake had a resident alligator at one time. The joke among triathalon participants was that one of the participants would likely be gator bait. Fortunately, we didn't see a gator while our girls and hundreds of others were swimming.
Our oldest daughter, Jennifer placed second in her age category and our youngest daughter, Brittany placed 8th in her age category. Jennifer doesn't like to be second in anything, but she was OK with her performance in this race and even reconciled herself to second place because the first place finisher was celebrating her birthday on the day of the race. She said she told herself, "Jennifer, you slow down and let that girl win....it is her birthday." Yeah, Right!
Brittany, on the other hand, was just thrilled that she finished the race and that she did not have a major crash on the bicycle!
Cindy also celebrated her birthday this weekend, so we were able to "kill two birds with one stone." It was nice to be with the girls to celebrate their Mom's birthday!
I have attached a few pictures from our weekend below.
We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday. Here are the prayer requests copied from Tracey's e-mail for this week:
Jackson- Hollis parents are moving this week. Please remember them as it has been 15 yrs since their last move.Miles- Please remember Beth's mom as she has a melanoma removed from her arm this week. Please pray for AWANAS as it starts back up today.A big thank you to missionaries Leslie and David who spoke to our class today! Please pray for Leslie as she has decided to move to China permanently!Have a great week!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Another example we discussed was the high school student in Indiana who was competing for the state diving championship. During the competition, she removed a pony-tail holder from her hair and slipped it on her wrist. She was disqualified from the competition because one of the judges noticed the item around her wrist and interpreted it to be a violation of the rule prohibiting jewelery to be worn by participants--another extreme example of legalism. We talked about legalism in our society and considered the fact that it is impossible to comply with every law and every rule all the time. There are many special circumstances and considerations that cause people not to be in compliance with the letter of every law all the time.
Deanne Holmes shared a perfect example. She talked about the practice of carrying candy and or snacks into the theatre when the family is going to watch a movie. OK...who among us hasn't done this or something similar? I know someone who has even taken food into Kyle Field. Technically, such behavior is a violation of the rules. Realistically, who wants to pay $4 for a package of Junior Mints or $3 for a bag of popcorn? Where is the line? Where does such behavior become sin? Is there a gray area?
In today's scripture, Paul points out that we are all held accountable for complying with the law as long as we live. He used the analogy of a woman married to a man. As long as she is married to a man and as long as the man lives, she commits adultery if she is joined with another man. However, if her husband dies, she is no longer bound to him and does not commit adultery if she is joined with another man.
Therefore, even though we cannot possibly comply with the law which God gave to His people, we can avoid the penalty of death which is the price for non-compliance with God's law. We avoid the penalty of death by dying with Christ in Sin, being released from the law, just as the woman in the illustration was released from the requirements of the law when her husband died. In the same way that we are released from the legal union of marriage through the death of a spouse, we are released from the law through Christ's death.
We considered the following verses in today's discussion:
What is God's opinion of the law?
Exodus 18:16 The law is the statutes of God for determining right and wrong .
Malachi 4:4 The law is to be remembered.
Matthew 5:17-19 Christ came to fulfill the law not abolish it.
What is the ultimate demand of the law?
Galatians 3:10 Total obedience
James 2:10 Complete perfection of law keeping
What is the purpose of the law according to Paul in verses 7-8?
The law helps reveal sin.
Challenge for this week: Read and meditate on the 10 commandments (Exodus 20). Consider which sins are revealed in your life as you meditate on the 10 commandments.
What emotions do you feel when you consider that God's grace and forgiveness has freed you from the penalty of sin which is death?
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PRAYER REQUESTS
Next week, Cindy and I will be out of town. We are working on getting a college student who participated in the mission trip to China to come share with the class next week.
"Sarah's Redemption"--a Bible Study for couples dealing with infertility
Taught by our own Becky Day. Please tell friends and neighbors about this opportunity. Study will be held on Sunday evenings beginning September 13 from 5:00 p.m.--6:45 p.m.
"Fireproof"--showing of this movie at Central Baptist Church, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. This movie is a great contributor to stronger marriages and could help to save a marriage in trouble.
Jaymee Brick is ill, taking care of small children, and moving--please keep her and the Brick family in prayer
Kathleen Gutierrez's Mom is facing a re-organization in her company. She has worked there for 30 years. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide for her.
Hollis Jackson's Mom and Dad are on the road from Arkansas this week. Please pray for their safety and for peace and strength as they move into a new home in a new city.
Hollis Jackson's mentor in college has been diagnosed with blood cancer. Please keep this dear friend in your prayers this week.
Karri Jackson's brother is struggling with the transition into adulthood. Please keep him in your prayers as he needs God's intervention.
June Creel--1 year-old niece to Cindy and Jimmy Creel--in Texas Children's Hospital--being fed through TPN Tube--intestines still not absorbing nutrients.
Please continue to pray for our teachers, students, administrators, and parents--especially in light of the presidential address scheduled on Tuesday of this week.
May the Lord Bless and Guide Each of You This Week!