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Devoted to the Growth of God’s Kingdom

September 25th, 2011 by Will Martin

Scripture: Colossians 4:3-6 

 

Scripture Memory:  Psalm 77:1-2


 I cried out to God for help;
   I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
   at night I stretched out untiring hands,
   and I would not be comforted.


Journey: As we’re nearing the end of our study of Colossians I find it interesting that the very last “instruction” Paul gives concerns how we relate to people outside of the church. Paul has just given a general exhortation to prayer and then he says, “And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message . . . “ (Col 4:3). 

  

So Paul starts the book setting us straight on who Christ is, portraying Him in all of His greatness as the one in whom we find all we need. He then gets very practical and describes many implications of the Gospel for our relationships within the church, in our homes and in our places of work and now he turns the focus outward.


What about our relationships with those who do not believe what we believe and do not live the life we live? How should we think about them? How should we relate to them?   A question: Do we think about them? Do we relate to them? I’ve got a rap to share with you on this passage – can’t wait for you to hear it. 

   

God’s blessings,  


Will (for the pastors)

 

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Prayer

September 18th, 2011 by Will Martin

Scripture: Colossians 4:2 

Scripture Memory:  Psalm 62:1-2

1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
   my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
   he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.  


Journey: Since we’re thinking about prayer today here’s a short passage to move us in that direction:  

 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. . .  (Luke 11:1-3).


It has been said, “Just as every day has it’s demand for bread (and many other things), so every day has it’s demand for prayer.” A question: Do you think that is really true?    


Seeking, knocking and asking,  


Will (for the pastors)

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Devoted to Prayer

September 11th, 2011 by Will Martin

Scripture: Colossians 4:2 

Scripture Memory:  Psalm 55:16-17

As for me, I call to God,
   and the LORD saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
   I cry out in distress,
   and he hears my voice.

 

Journey: Chances are that many of us will “yawn” when we read the title of this morning’s sermon. It almost sounds mundane. Honestly, what provokes more immediate excitement and a greater sense of anticipation, “How to Have Great Sex” “5 Principles for Absolute Financial Freedom” or “Devoted to Prayer”?

 

Maybe the title should be “Face to Face with an Awesome God.” That is more to the point anyway. When I weigh the experiences of my life (and there have been quite a few that have really caused my heart to redline) I don’t think there is anything I could compare to standing face to face with God Almighty, speaking with Him and Him speaking to Me.

 

When I think about it that way, maybe there’s really nothing mundane about the title “Devoted to Prayer.” Perhaps what is mundane and ordinary is our understanding of and personal experience of God which causes us to read the title “Devoted to Prayer” so sleepily. What do you think?         

 

Hoping to chase the good things in life with you,  

 

Will (for the pastors)

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Slavery: In the Light of History and Scripture

September 4th, 2011 by Will Martin

Scripture: Colossians 3:22–4:1 

Scripture Memory:  Psalm 46:4-5

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day. 

Journey: This past week as I was reading an article on CNN about a Malaysian “pastor” (who is also a homosexual) I took a look at the posted responses of other readers. It went like this in the main: One reader would post a biblical injunction against homosexuality as a lifestyle. Another reader would parry with something like, “The Bible? Do you believe other fairy tales as well?” This didn’t surprise me, it’s pretty typical blog-banter, but several anti-bible tirades did especially catch my eye. A few responses read similar to, “The bible? Although it condones slavery, you still believe that archaic book?”

I don’t know if you are aware of it or not but this view of the Bible (condoning slavery) is a very popular criticism of Scripture and is the precise reason why we’ll spend today thinking about slavery historically and Scripturally.

Although this is not “usual” Sunday morning fare I hope that it will be profitable us as we see more of the brilliance of God’s plans to redeem humanity from our moral messes.       

Please bring a pen and a piece of paper(!), 

Will (for the pastors)

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