Friday, December 19, 2008

What are you pointing to?

This past Wednesday I completed a 7 part series titled "Glory Revealed" based on the book by David Nasser.  This week's sermon was title "Glory Revealed through Arrows".  Now at first thought it may seem weird after looking at what the Bible has to say about His love, friendships, prophecy, etc. but arrows.  Seems odd but I promise it is Biblical

The main scripture used was Isaiah 40:3-5.  This passage tells us that we are to "prepare the way of the Lord."  We are to be arrows that point people to God.  I made three points that we need to think about as we are all arrows.

1)  Worship the Target and Not the Arrow- I'm not talking about an actual target or the store, but we are to worship God Himself.  It's easy sometimes to get so distracted by the messenger that we miss the message altogether.  John the Baptist was one of the greatest arrows in the Bible.  He prepared the way for Jesus.  In John 1:6-8 and Luke 7:28 it tells us that as great as he was, he still wasn't the target, just a great arrow pointing to the truth.

2)  Be a Real Arrow-  We all the difference in a real arrow used for hunting and a toy arrow.  In Matthew 23:27 Jesus calls out the Pharisees for having the appearance that they live great lives, but on the inside their hearts were corrupt.  How horrible would have been to be one of these that were called out by Jesus.  However in reality we (myself included) are all like the Pharisees too many times.  We should strive to be real in our faith and not hypocritical.

3)  Be the Right Arrow- Whether or not we want to admit it, we are pointing people to something.  We are either pointing them toward God or away from Him.  Romans 14:21 warns us to not cause our brother to stumble.  We can not take lightly the chance of leading someone astray.

In closing we read in Philippians 2:7-8 that Jesus gave up his own reputation to lead people to God.  If he did, then we should even more so.  So take some time today to think about what you are pointing people to.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Challenge

This week at Wednesday Night Worship we took a week off from the "Glory Revealed" series and we talked about the Christmas season and I challenged the students with a few things.  We read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-12.  I was asked why we were reading it then and not closer to Christmas so I responded that I wanted them to be challenged and realize some things now to be thinking about during this entire Advent season.

I shared with them that for several years Christmas would come and go and it seemed like I would say "It just didn't seem like Christmas this year."  I knew that Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, but I was missing it somewhere.  Here are three points that I want the students and myself included to get this Christmas

  • First, the latter part of verse 7 says that "there was no room for them in the inn."  We know that there was a census going on and so the city was full of people.  The city was so full and busy that there was no room for Mary and Joseph.  With the city being so busy, how many people are mentioned in the manger scene (what the Bible actually says and not what modern Christmas dramas show).  The people were believing that their Savior was coming but were too busy and missed Him.  How sad it would be to have been so close and missed this miraculous birth.
  • Second, the latter part of verse 10 says that this news is for "all the people."  Jesus didn't come for only the best of the best, He came for everyone.  I challenged the students to close their eyes and think of someone that they despise or dislike very much.  After a moment of them thinking of someone, I told them that Jesus came for that person too.  When we say that we "hate" someone, I believe it's the same as saying we are better than them and they do not deserve Jesus and instead deserve hell.  I'm so glad that Jesus came for everyone because if He only came for the best of the best, then I would be left out.
  • My third point was that the Christmas story doesn't end in the stable.  Jesus grew up "in wisdom and in stature" as stated in Luke 2:52.  Jesus grew up and died on a cross for "all the people."
Don't miss Jesus this Christmas.  I expected to get some warm, fuzzy feeling for several years from the music, movies, presents, etc. that come with the Christmas season.  I missed it too many years and regret it.  Please don't miss it this year.