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TAKE NOTES!

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Do you take notes during your pastor’s sermons? I’m a note taker from way back. I not only stay focused; I save valuable teaching for future meditations. Pastors use varied methods in the delivery of their messages; the changing of methods is of little consequence as long as the message remains founded upon scripture. SEPTEMBER 2014 002

I am a fan of three-point sermons…

If you take notes, jot down this scripture verse from a KJV,                        1 Peter 5:10.

Message Outline:
I. Stablish
II. Strengthen
III. Settle

“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect , stablish , strengthen , settle you (1 Peter 5:10 KJV).”

I’m flexible; I see a fourth point in the passage. I just might drop Stablish into second position and place Suffered in first place.

Keep pens and highlighters handy; take notes and hide God’s word in your heart. [Psalm 119:11]

1-2-3

1-2-3

1. One church member resigns him or herself to sittin’ in their self-assigned pew. At the conclusion of the worship hour, he or she exits the sanctuary unmoved by the pastor’s call to sacrifice and service.SEPTEMBER 2014 002

2. Another, in the same congregation hears and decides to volunteer, to start servin’ others in their congregation. If a brother or sister in God’s family has a need, they will reach out a helpin’ hand.

3. The 3rd hears and hurts. He or she grieves over the indifferent and lost and as the Lord leads, will be sowin’ seed unto salvation.

“But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times [what was sown] (Matthew 13:23 HCS).”

UNITY EXPERIENTIALLY

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“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJ).”

Are we, as Christ followers, making a diligent effort to guard cherished unity of the Spirit? Most of us never give unity a thought, or if we do, think it would mean forfeiting individuality.

We might better understand this passage when taken in by small bites.

Paul, though often a prisoner to Rome was willingly held captive by Christ. He felt a sense of urgency when addressing the church. Christ had called them to follow Him; they had answered His call to holiness and evangelism. In all endeavors, they were to be compassionate.

When will I experience unity of the Spirit?

Undoubtedly, I will know it experientially when tenderly bearing the burdens of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Where might I discover unity of the Spirit?

The LORD safeguards such unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…

SEARCHLIGHT

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My Dad liked flashlights; well to be honest, he was obsessive-compulsive about flashlights.

He could never have too many. I have no idea how or when the obsession began. I recall one flashlight with a beam so bright it could have served as searchlight at a small airport.

I have enjoyed occasional airport searchlight sightings on cloudless nights. The lights slowly moved back and forth across a large expanse of the sky. Much like windshield wipers clear a rain streaked window, a searchlight clears the way for approaching air traffic.

I want a heart clear of sin…

“LORD, turn on Your searchlight!”

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.”
                                                             Psalm 139:23-24 (HCS)

A careful search would reveal the sin of worry over finances, family, and the future. How foolish! The Father knows my needs and is faithful to meet them.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
                                                           Matthew 6:33-34 (HCS)

MAKE HASTE!

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Make haste; there is no time to waste!

The shepherd’s story is as relevant in June as December.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them (Luke 2:14-20 KJV).”

When God makes the gospel truth known to us, we are compelled to make haste.

There is no time to waste.

HEALER OF THE NATIONS

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LORD of hosts, healer of the nations…

“I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for My anger will have turned from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily and take root like [the cedars of] Lebanon. His new SEPTEMBER 2014 002branches will spread, and his splendor will be like the olive tree, his fragrance, like [the forests of] Lebanon. The people will return and live beneath his shade. They will grow grain and blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon (Hosea 14:4-7 HCS).”

Bless the LORD of the vineyard. I cling to the life-giving vine.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in Him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me (John 15:5 HCS).”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Mission accomplished…SEPTEMBER 2014 002

It happens daily; I take on household chores. There are always dishes to wash, our bed to make and clothes to launder. Nothing glamorous about housework, I just go through the routine. Yet, there is a feeling of satisfaction when I finish the dishes, walk away from our made up bed and put way the last of folded laundry. Mission accomplished.

The Apostle Paul had a message for a certain man by the name of Archippus.

“Pay attention to the ministry you have received in the Lord, so that you can accomplish it (Colossians 4:17b HCS).”

Paul practiced what he preached.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7 HCS).”

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