God has interested gifts to you. He has deposited potential within you for his kingdom. You’re meant to use it. We are not in a physical battle, but a spiritual one. We are called on to fight the good fight as solders for Christ. We really are in the Lord’s army. We need to work hard for the kingdom, not so that we can earn our place, but that we can show God to be good. So many people turn away from God, there are very few who are in the middle anymore. But we have God’s word. Always pointing us to the truth. Like a compass, aiming at our goal, Jesus Christ. It’s a message the world needs to hear. We must tell people about Jesus. It also matters how you live. God has designed the church to function with a common vision, in unity. To accomplish this, we set aside called men to lead. These men need to be above reproach, a tangible example to look to for the people of God to become more like Christ. We must stay true to God’s word. We need pastors who preach sound doctrine. We all need to be ready for every moment to serve God’s kingdom. When we have the opportunity to help a brother or sister in Christ, we need to take it. Not by way of forcing someone to act this way or that, but by convincing them of the truth of right action. We, as Christians, don’t live as we can, but as we should. Jesus is better than anything else. We follow him, not simply because of lack of options, but because he is the highest imaginable good. May we not take our salvation for granted and thus squander our opportunity to do what we were made to do. Everything in our lives should be about Jesus, he is our everything, the greatest there ever has been. We can rest in him, he is our link between us and God and he cleanses us from any wrongdoing. Don’t think that we are automatically fine just because at one time we were religious. Salvation is real and it doesn’t fade away. Real Christians remain true, let your faith be genuine. Follow Jesus, for real. It’s not a game, it’s life… eternal life!
It is always encouraging to hear of Christians who are living out their faith. May we all strive to be an example for others. We don’t seek our own glory, but that the mission and ministry of God be more effective because of our service. We love the church, and we care for them. Our work is a joy, not a burden, to see people come to know God through Jesus Christ as Lord. That’s a life which is pleasing to God and a person who can look forward to the return of the Lord. We don’t know when that will be, but we know that he will bring the dead in Christ with him and we’ll all be together. All the world will see the truth when Jesus returns, we need not worry about being vindicated here on earth, it will be obvious. Even though governments fall and the whole world may appear to be going wrong, it’s all in God’s plan, we need not worry, we should stand firm, never wavering and never giving up, constant in prayer. Don’t fall for the latest fad or tickling of ears that false teachers love to proclaim. Jesus Christ came to save sinners. We should pray for all people and remain steadfast, looking to our leaders as examples. Leaders of the church need to live a life above reproach. We must hold the line and only allow qualified and sold-out people to hold positions of authority in the church. Some will fall away, but we must remain faithful, as good servants of Christ. Day-to-day, how we live matters, with honor and integrity honoring those who preach the word. False teachers and fake theology will always be present, we must pursue righteousness. It’s hard, but it’s worth it!
Our lives should reflect God, like we are his children (because we are) not like the world. That is love, to give ourselves for others. Love doesn’t tolerate sin. Sexual immorality, impurity, wanting to tear others down because they have something you don’t, these can’t even be hinted at in the church, love won’t allow that. Make the most of your time, don’t waste your life in pursuits which numb your feelings, give your life to the mission of the Lord. In your family and your job, honor God and be the best you can so that people take notice. It makes God look good. Arm yourself for the spiritual battle we all must face. Our goal is to advance the gospel, to see more people come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. For us to remain alive should be more effectiveness for the kingdom. We should be marked by humility and strength, just like Jesus, who gave himself for us. We’re lights in this dark world, shining the way to Christ. Our advantage isn’t how good we are, it’s how forgiven we are. Our righteousness comes through our faith in what Jesus has done. We never give up, reaching, straining towards a life worthy of our gift. Salvation. God provides us the way. Jesus is our highest goal and the only one who ultimately matters. Jesus has a heart for the church, and so do we. We have received this amazing gift from the Lord and that same grace which saved us can sustain us for the life God has called us to. Don’t let the self-righteous modern day pharisees make you feel like you are less because of fringe issues that don’t really matter, you are a new creation in Christ. Remain pure in the big things, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, jealousness of others to the point you’d rather tear them down to build yourself up, don’t go there. In your family and in all that you do, honor the Lord. Live for him. Advance the gospel. That’s why we’re here!
“Some people are saying” isn’t something a Christian should ever say. If there’s something wrong at your church, then it needs to be exposed in the light. You’re not acting faithfully if you hold back and don’t expose something that is wrong. You’re also acting wickedly if you’re talking about things that you think are wrong, but only with a select group of people, causing factions and divisions. If it’s bad, expose it publicly, if your complaint won’t hold up to public scrutiny, then you need to let it go. Harboring secret dissatisfaction, feeding it within wicked clicks of subversive minority power groups seeking to get their own way, is nothing but evil. God will not bless this kind of wickedness. Examine your own life. Do you support your church, it’s leaders, your pastor? If you don’t, why not? Have you brought your dissatisfaction to the church? If not, why not? Is it because you’d look ridiculous and petty to say it publicly? Then you have some repenting to do. It is never a brave thing to withhold the light. Godly leaders never run from the light. Our goal is the gospel, there is no other reason for being here. We are called, even as Paul was, by God for his kingdom work. Nobody is perfect, when we see a brother or sister going the wrong way, we need to expose it to the light. If their goal is the gospel, they will thank you for it. If their goal is to look good, then they will reveal themselves as not only your enemy, but an enemy of the gospel. We are not saved by being good enough, we are saved by faith. That means when we mess up, we admit it and embrace God’s grace all the more. We are not slaves expected to live perfectly, we’re sons who are seeking to please their father who loves them simply because we are sons. We need to follow Jesus, there is no other way. We are free in Christ, even though it seems like freedom to do whatever we want, genuine freedom comes by following Jesus. The Holy Spirit is always with us to empower us. We need to be there for one another, lifting fellow believers up. Quick to forgive and slow to hold a grudge, understanding that we all make mistakes. We are so blessed, shouldn’t we be a blessing to others? Have we been saved by what we’ve done, or by grace through faith in Jesus Christ? If we’ve been saved by grace, shouldn’t we extend that grace to others? We are one in Christ, Christians are in this together. It’s an amazing thing, not only are we saved individually, but we are a people. This is our new life. Individually faithful and part of a community of believers. Trust in Jesus and help one another. The Lord will bless your efforts.
The church has met on Sundays for almost 2,000 years. It has been the Lord’s day since John was on the island of Patmos. And one of the key components of worship has always been giving, supporting the ministry of the gospel. We’re called not to just raise big offerings at the point of need, although that’s a great thing to do too, we’re called to give each week, as we receive from the Lord, we give back to his kingdom through the local church. That’s how we’re all in this together. God has given the church to function as a community, it’s one way he comforts us. He allows us to go through hard times so that we can help others through similar situations, that’s community. Forgiveness, encouragement, care, these are the marks of a great church family, all rooted in the triumphant Christ. We are a covenant community bought with the blood of Jesus, that is our identity. The Gospel message is our purpose. We are flawed and will make mistakes, but the message is pure and leads to life, real life. Even though this earthly existence is temporary, we have an eternal home, and we’ve been given the job of telling the world. To reconcile God and man through Jesus Christ, that’s why we’re here. Our lives preach a message, do those around you know Jesus through you? Is your core, the most important thing to you, Jesus or is it something else? Are your friendships or other relationships more important to you than your relationship with Jesus? If someone rejects Jesus, do they reject you? Where is your joy. Is it when someone comes to Christ, or something else? Are we generous with our time, or talents, or finances? Where is our heart? Are we investing in the next generation, like Titus, or do we highlight their shortcomings? Are we cheerful in what we sacrifice for the Lord, or do we expect something in return? If we were put on trial, would be be found “guilty” to the charge of being a faithful Christian, like Paul? Is our message the gospel, are our actions genuine? Have we suffered because of a stand that must be taken, or when the going gets tough, do we look for a way out? Following Jesus is not an easy road, but it’s worth it. It doesn’t mean we always get our way. Sometimes we get the opposite so that we can learn of God’s provision. His grace is enough for us, we don’t need anything else. Engage in his mission!