Micah: Warnings and Hope

Like Amos, Micah speaks to Israel about the coming judgment of the people.  His ministry began in 740BC.  By 722 BC, the Assyrians take Israel into captivity. With every prophesy, God always give a warning. But, He also gives a promise. He is a just God, but also a merciful God. God’s word always has a message, and although Micah may be speaking to Israel, all of us need to take note. What He teaches one people are words for all people. The words of more than 2000 years ago still apply today.

Continue reading “Micah: Warnings and Hope”

Amos: Greed and Justice

Idols and justice are common themes in the Bible. It is in our society as well, but idolatry comes more in the form of pride and greed. Who or what do we put first in our lives? And, how do we treat others? These are two questions that God was addressing through Amos.

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Great Gifts

God has blessed me throughout my life; a good family, a wonderful wife, great friends, and so may experiences and blessings that give me joy in my heart.  I am sure all of us have something to be grateful for in our lives.  God also gives us special gifts through the Holy Spirit to help others and strengthen the church, giving glory to God.  Using our gifts is a part of worship.  You may not know what your spiritual gift is.  My suggestion is to get involved in your church and serve.  If one thing doesn’t work or doesn’t seem to fit, try another.  God will lead you to the gifts He wants you to use when the time is right.  I believe He may give us different gifts at different times to fulfill a need of a ministry He has for you.  I have seen that in my life.  When I was young, I tried helping with the youth group, then became a youth leader.  That didn’t work out too well.  Later on several other ministries came up and God gave me the gifts needed for my particular ministries.  No matter what your gift is or if you know what it is, get involved with your church and serve. Let’s not be just a  pew sitter but be active for God’s Kingdom. Continue reading “Great Gifts”

What Should the Church look like?

When you hear the word, “church,” what do you think of?  How do you picture it?  We don’t “go to church.”  We are the church.  Why do we often associate the word “church” with a place and time…or a building?  Even though it is symbolized as a building, that is not what the church, “eklesia,” is.  In a study we did this week, we found that eklesia, the word Jesus uses when he talked about building His church, actually means “gathering.”  But it is more than that.  It is the body of Christ.  It is a group of believers gathered together in unity, to worship God, to lift each other up, to pray together, to meet each other’s need, to live life together, to go out and share the love of Christ to others.  One of the churches I was a part of had a simple mission statement:  To love God and to love others, pursue Christ’s character, serve the world.  To follow Christ and invite others to follow Him.  That is what church is all about.

So what should it look like?  What do you look for in a church?

These are my personal desires in a church.  First, small groups (not necessarily in a particular order).  Having a small group Bible study in a home each week is the most important to me.  That is where you get to really know others, where you can dig deep into the scriptures, where you can grow together.  Along with that, and most importantly is Biblical teaching.  Does the church follow the Bible and teach the truth without sugar-coating or avoiding certain scriptural truths?  Does it have sound Biblical teaching?  What is most important to a church, God’s truth or attendance or something else? Christ should be the foundation.  Then, is the church welcoming?  Are the people loving and friendly?  Of course, we must remember that they are human.  Expect flaws and imperfections.  People are people.  We all have issues.  What kind of ministries do they have and how can I get involved and serve?  Church is not just a service to attend.  We all have a part.  Then, it is a matter of personal preference.  music, style of preaching, etc.  I like contemporary Christian music.  I love to see musical talent (of which I have none), I love a good dynamic speaker.  But we shouldn’t get bogged down on some of these things.  We are there to worship God, not be entertained.

What do the scriptures say about what a church should be?  What is God’s desire in a church? Continue reading “What Should the Church look like?”

Our Cornerstone

In the last post we talked about the foundation of the church.  Christ is and always will be that foundation.  If a church does not center on Christ, if it does not teach scripture, it is a false church.  Jesus should be the center of the church and the center of our lives.  Our strength is in Him.  Our salvation is through Him. Continue reading “Our Cornerstone”