The Shepherd’s Voice
 
The Shepherd’s Voice is our pastor’s devotional, supplemental, informational communications extension to the Church, our friends and the world.  He uses it as a way to keep in touch with our faith community while providing spiritual insight and perspectives to the events and issues of our day.  We are welcomed and encouraged to comment on any of the messages by clicking the “Fine Points Monday” link you want to comment on, going to the bottom of the page and filling in and Submitting the Reply at the end of the message.  Most of the blogs have audio playback so we can listen to as well as read them.  We hope you are blessed and inspired by our Shepherd’s Voice.

No Fear Of Failure Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “No Fear Of Failure”. 

Disappointment occurs when things don’t turn out the way we want or expected.  Disappointment is a common occurrence in our life.  Therefore, when we publicly place our hope, trust and effort into someone or something and it doesn’t work or turn out the way we say it would or should, we end up looking foolish and feeling disappointed and ashamed. 

Disappointed and ashamed we believed and had faith in something or someone others didn’t.  In some cases, we even tried to get them to believe as we had in which case they would be disappointed and ashamed as well. 

This is part of the dilemma Christians face in believing and sharing the gospel.  Disappointment occurs because some things are not certain.  In other words, we are not sure how a situation or circumstance will unfold. 

For a Christian to say he or she knows that everything in the bible is true and everything will occur just as the bible says is first a statement of faith for there is no way to prove this and second it eliminates the need to be justified by faith or need faith. 

The fear of being wrong about God, Jesus, the bible and all that is in it is what keeps many, if not most, people from becoming or behaving like God’s eternal people.  People have a tendency to want to avoid being ashamed, disappointed and wrong about public declarations that require sacrifice.   

So, people consider themselves playing it safe by investing in the here and now and have given up on or declined the invitation to the now and later.  This worldview and life principle is one in which people search and seek for whatever is available here in this world in order to enjoy life now as opposed to living now in a manner to seek and please God to receive eternal life and prosperity after or later. 

People with this former view tend to focus on things they believe they can control in order to limit their failures and subsequent disappointments to maximize their pleasures and joys of life.   People with the later view also do the same as the former with one major difference. 

Those with the later view make decisions with an eye and ear open to seeing and hearing and doing the will of God.  For them, the maximization of pleasure and joy cannot be sought when it jeopardizes or places at risk eternity with God.  This is why expectations are so important in the life of believers and the people of God.   

Most people and unbelievers have settled for dreams and expectations that this world can provide.  They don’t look for nothing or much beyond it and therefore they act accordingly.  God’s people dream and focus on the world to come and also act accordingly.  The song “There will be no disappointments” is a song about realizing such a world. 

The material aspects and opportunities in our present world and those going forward make it more satisfying and the other world less appealing.  Coupled with the uncertainty of achieving and arriving at such a world, people have all but given up on settling eternally with God. 

Therefore, we have settled into making our lives into sandcastles which we know will not last.  We rush to build and design them to be as elaborate and beautiful as we can because we know we only have a day to do it before the tide or death comes in. 

We are motivated in part to see who can make the most impressive castle.  The more our castle seems to be better than the castle of others the better and more important it makes us feel.  Yet no matter how successful we are at constructing our sandcastle, we still end up disappointed as we watch it being washed away by age, sickness and eventual death. 

But the bible tells us that those who build their lives on belief in God will never lose them neither will they be disappointed or ashamed.  This is why a life of permanence with God will always be and surpass a momentarily instance of pleasure derived from the satisfaction of building a castle made of sand. 

True believers don’t doubt God’s ability nor accountability to make it all happen making them unafraid of failure and being ashamed or disappointed in placing their faith in God through Christ.

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

Pastor Jordan

 

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Crisis Of Authority Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “Crisis Of Authority”. 

“I don’t recognize your authority to relieve me” is the reply a deranged captain gave Star Trek’s Mr. Spock after he told him he was relieved of duty.  These are the thoughts and behaviors of an increasing number of people, especially in the United States, when it comes to complying with authority. 

This was also reflected in the thinking of an atheist who engaged in a debate I listened to with another person about morality and God.  His main argument concerning moral obligation is that no one, including a God who created others, has the moral authority to command others without them first voluntarily agreeing to submit to their authority. 

What he fails to take into account is that he nor any other human is completely sovereign, self-contained and sufficient all to themselves.  In so much that we need the help or assistance of others we are morally obligated to ask for their assistance. 

But instead of asking for what we need, people often take by force that which they want or require from others.  Some may believe there is nothing wrong with this especially if they are doing the taking and aren’t having anything being forcibly taken from them. 

But if we need or require someone’s help, if they set some condition or requirement for us to receive that help, seems like they would be morally within their right and authority to do so.  If they withheld that help from someone who needed it for not complying with what they could do, but refused to do so, then those who needed the help would have to deal with the consequences of their refusal to comply. 

People have the moral right and authority to set conditions for the use of their possessions by others.  For a civil society to function peacefully, members of that society must respect conditions set forth by others and must be reasonable and accommodating in the conditions they make. 

The reason for this is because no one is sovereign and we all must share some needed and required resources we all have common.  When we relax our conditions for the use of what we possess or share in common, to the degree we relax, we are yielding to another’s authority.  When no one yields, it sets up confrontation in which the matter may end up being settled by force. 

Unfortunately, this is a major part of human history and the bases of authority in most of the world.  It has been responsible for wars and the killing and destruction of millions of people.  What is different today than in times past, mankind has the capacity to inflict much more devastation and destruction on his neighbors than in previous times.  The weapons of war and personal injury are far more lethal than those use before. 

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullest thereof.  The truth is that no one really own anything.  We don’t even own ourselves much less anything in and on the earth.  This is why the Owner, who is God, has set some conditions for the use and treatment of His property.  Because He owns it, He has the moral right and authority to set the conditions of its use.  This is what the atheist failed to see. 

God is the source of all power and authority on this planet.  Everyone, the atheist included, will have to answer for their own use of God-given authority and power of what we possess.  A crisis in authority occurs when people ignore this fact and begin to behave as if they are sovereign, really own what they possess, can trample over the truth and can choose to do and think whatever they want.  

Even in our own homes, we set guidelines and boundaries for those who enter our house.  Those who abuse or ignore those guidelines and boundaries, will be asked to leave and forced out if necessary.  The same is true with God.  God is perfectly willing to share what He has made with us but under certain conditions. 

We can stay as long as He stays if we obey or yield to His authority or we will have to leave if we refuse.  There will be no crisis of authority among the people of God’s and within His holy kingdom. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

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The Day After Christmas Fine Points

 
Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “The Days After Christmas”. 
 
There is no mention in the New Testament of the disciples and followers of Christ ever celebrating or commemorating His birth.  Sometime after all the scriptures had been written, some in the Church who had the authority and influence approved setting aside a day to celebrate and recognize the birth of Christ. 
 
While some settled on a day in January, others set the day as most people recognize it today on December 25th.  It has proven regrettable that this day was chosen.  Seeing that the actual date of His birth is unknown, every one of the 365 days was a likely candidate. 
 
These officials choose a day near the end of a month that was already filled with pagan beliefs and traditions especially around light, darkness, life and death.  Maybe the thinking was to introduce a Christian holiday to challenge directly the holidays, festivals and other traditions directly in an effort to replace pagan thought and practices with worship of the One true God in Christ. 
 
Or maybe many of the Christian worshippers refused to stop the practices and traditions they were doing before they became Christians so the thought was if we can’t beat them, then let’s join them.  Or maybe it was for some other reason that December 25th was selected as the day to celebrate the birth of Christ. 
 
No matter what the reason was the result has been a blending of pagan and worldly practices that has overshadowed the spiritual and social impact a day dedicated just to commemorate and celebrate Christ’s birth could have on both believers and nonbelievers. 
 
The Christian message that Christmas represents is like a store item competing for shelf space and attention among competing brands shoppers can choose from.  Or it is like a frosted 3-layer cake in which people enjoy and eat all the frosting but leave the cake behind.  Could those who made the decision to place the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25 not see this possibility nor consider it?  And if so, why would they take the risk of it being corrupted as it has become? 
 
The observance and celebration of Christmas would be so much different if it had only been placed in a different month not already jammed with pagan superstitions and traditions especially around the issues that Christianity addresses.  Yet, regardless of the reason or causes here we are today like someone yelling in a noisy and festive crowd look at what God has done and being drown out as we attempt to get people to pay attention. 
 
If Christmas remains on December 25th, the message of life, hope and salvation in Christ will continued to be muted, sidelined and sidetracked by entrenched commercial interest and traditions.  The Christian Church is beginning to be caught up in a similar situation as Christmas itself. 
 
Christianity is no longer the main and accepted idea and worldview of the masses that it once was.  It is being increasingly challenged by others as a belief on par with many others and with no more of a claim to truth as many others.  This is why it matters what we do the day and days after Christmas. 
 
If we do as the world and unbelievers are doing, then we have surrendered December 25th to the merchants and others who use Christ’s name to peddle their wares to whoever will buy them as we buy in along with all the trappings, trimmings and traditions of holidays and practices rooted in paganism and superstition in the month of December. 
 
As difficult as it is, we must contend to keep Christmas relevant and meaningful just as we must do to keep Christianity itself the same way and from being perceived as something other than the true message of salvation from the One who made and created us and entered this world to save us. 
 
You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 
 
Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.
 
Pastor Jordan
 


The Son Of God Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “The Son Of God”. 

People in many parts of the world but particularly in the West which includes Europe and North, South and Central America and many parts of Africa have been indoctrinated to engage in a variety of festive activities by freely spending on gifts and other things for themselves and others as a way of celebrating a number of holidays with Christmas being the major one in the mix. 

The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects Americans alone to spend between $843 and $859 billion this 2021 holiday season.  Amid the spending, the colorful and dazzling light displays, the many images and symbols, advertisements, parties and other festive activities taking place during this time, few people seem to focus on or believe in Christmas itself. 

The word holiday is formed from the words “holy” and “day” and designates a day that is set apart from others.  For a day to be set aside from others, something special should be recognized or acknowledged as to have occurred on that day worthy to be remembered, commemorated or observed every year. 

Christmas is losing its distinction as a “holy day” set aside to remember, commemorate and observe the birth of the Son of God.  The only significant thing about Christmas and December 25th for many people is that they have become a deadline by which all their shopping and festivities should be completed while others await the after Christmas bargains. 

In all this, little or no attention is given to the reason Christmas is a holy day and should be celebrated.  The fact or belief that God, the Creator of our world, became one of us by being born of a woman and coming into our world is a very big deal with huge implications on the destiny of mankind.  Yet, during this season of holidays, fewer people believe or know this about Christmas. 

Christmas is in serious danger of becoming just the name of a date that marks the beginning and ending of a season of festivities and activities where homage is given to a variety of reasons and causes.  The birth of Christ, the Son of God, is becoming and has become for a growing number of people just a symbol, image and afterthought of a holiday no more real or believed than Santa and his reindeer. 

Christmas has lost and is losing the meaning that makes it a holy day.  This meaning is largely being ignored, disbelieved, overlooked and downplayed in the general population and among many who identify as Christians. 

For the past few years, we at the church I pastor had met on Christmas day in an attempt to bring and put the real reason for the holy day in focus.  Otherwise, the day passes as mainly a day to open and exchange unopened gifts spent with family and friends and accompanied in many cases with lots of eating, drinking and entertainment with little or no focus on contemplating the meaning and implications of God coming into our world as one of us.  This year, as well as last, will be the one of the few years we will not meet since we have been doing this.  

Christianity in general is following the fate of Christmas.  Christmas is being seen by a growing number of people as only the name of the primary or main holiday among many in a season marked by several end of year holidays.  They attach no religious or spiritual meaning to it for themselves while they acknowledge it has meaning for some just as the other holidays have for others within the season. 

Likewise, Christianity is being seen as just one of a variety of religions, spiritual points of view, lifestyle choices, claims of salvation and worldviews among many competing for attention and converts.  When we observe the spiritual relevance of Christmas on the majority of those who participate in the $850 billion holiday shopping spending, we also see a reflection of the spiritual position of Christianity as a whole in the general population. 

When it comes to Christmas, people have about as much knowledge, belief and faith in the birth of the Son of God for which the holiday exist as they do in Santa Claus.  When it comes to Christmas, they fail to see any significant difference or distinction in it or why it should be observed or celebrated differently from what they are already doing. 

Christianity is becoming the same way.  They are finding little difference or distinction in it from all the other religions, ideas and faith claims people are making in the world today.  Why is Christmas and Christianity different and distinct?  If we don’t show and tell them by the way we choose to celebrate and live each day of our lives, not only will they not see any difference or distinction, as far as they are concerned, there is none. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

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Hiding Behind Faith Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “Hiding Behind Faith”. 

We live in a world of unknowns.  We must make decisions without the answers to unknown questions.  After looking at and taking into account all the relevant data and information, we must fill in the blanks with what we believe to be the case.  That which we believe, but don’t know to be for a fact is called faith. 

Much of what we know and believe about and concerning God is drawn upon faith.  If there is a God, which I believe there is, then God has chosen to use faith as the means to justify mankind.  People have used and are using the excuse of not knowing for sure as a reason for not obeying God.  I call this hiding behind faith as a stated or given reason for not obeying God. 

On the other hand, those of us in the church use faith as an excuse for not obeying God.  We believe our faith absolves us of all accountability for disobedience.  It really doesn’t matter how much or how often we disobey as long as we have faith in God through Jesus Christ.  In this respect, we too are hiding behind faith as a stated or given reason for disobeying God. 

But the truth is faith, sacrifices or anything else can’t replace or substitute for obedience.  These things are worthless and meaningless without obedience.  Hiding behind faith exposes a heart of rebellion and stubbornness as Samuel confronted Saul revealed when he disobeyed God. 

In the case with Saul, faith wasn’t even in question.  Saul didn’t doubt that God is real and that He gave him the command.  However, Saul placed something else before his obedience to God.  On top of that, he seems to make light of the fact that the portion of his disobedience really didn’t amount to disobedience at all because he claimed he obeyed God. 

Today, we are dismissing our disobedience as a light thing to be overlooked and not to be concerned about.  Some are going so far as to say that God doesn’t expect us to obey as we rely on the grace of God to cover and neutralize our disobedience.  This is a misreading and misinterpretation of the gospel. 

Nothing God has done has removed our responsibility to obey Him.  If anything, it has given us the opportunity to amend our ways and become compliant with His expectations of us.  We must come to see that obedience is something that is expected and disobedience unexpected with grace being there in those rare unexpected cases.  For grace is an outgrowth of faith.  We can receive God’s grace as a result of our faith. 

When everything that we depend on faith for is no longer hidden or unknown and there is no need for faith, what will then separate those who are in the kingdom of God from those outside the His kingdom.  Obedience. 

Faith doesn’t release anyone, especially believers, from obedience.  It doesn’t release those who say they don’t know enough to obey nor those who say they have faith enough to believe God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. 

Obedience is better than sacrifice and to obey better than all the faith in world.  For without obedience, both are worthless and meaningless before God.  This is why we must stop hiding behind faith to excuse our disobedience. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

Comments



The Fear Of God – Pt 2 Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “The Fear Of God – Part 2”. 

For the last two Sundays, the subject has been on the fear of God.  The society in which we live is increasingly suffering from violence, incivility, immorality, decadence, greed and many other ills brought on in large part by an absent of the fear of consequences of our actions and behavior which is the result of an absent of the fear of God. 

A godless society is one in which people have a general belief or sense that either God does not exist or even if He exist, He poses no threat to them or is not interested in them.  In any case, God has become a nonfactor in their decision making and way of life. 

Even many or most of those who have some ties to a church allow God only marginal influence over their lives.  This too is because they foresee no real, severe or significant consequences for the life they are choosing to live.  All of this too results from an absent of the fear of God. 

The fear of God is a strong motivator for seeking to do His will and for keeping His commandment.  The bible indicates that every saved person fears God.  This fear does not focus on what God will do if we don’t obey Him.  This fear that saved persons have reverences God for the Creator He is, for the respect and honor He deserves and for our dependency upon Him for life and everything that makes life possible and worth living. 

Too many people have been deceived into believing God no longer exist or matters nor has the power to improve and save their lives.  They have been deceived into discounting not only the value of their own life, but discounting the lives of others.  Increasingly they view other people as objects to be manipulated, moved, removed and arranged in order to achieve their own selfish interest and goals.  

They have been deceived into settling on rummaging through the garbage heaps of this world’s goods fighting over its filthy scraps to find joy, purpose, meaning and fulfillment believing within the world is the only place these can be found.  When our lives have been narrowed down to this, God becomes someone we might occasionally think about but not someone to worship, fear and obey. 

This is the challenge for the church today.  Our task is to undo the damage that has been done by deceivers who have managed to remove hope and faith in, love for and fear of the God who made us from us and replaced it with the worthless trinkets, lustful pleasures of human flesh and lies that God doesn’t exist, doesn’t care or can’t do anything for us. 

The fear of God begins with the belief that our Creator cares about us, loves us and wants what is best for us.  Anything He commands of us we must trust is only in our best interest and the interest of humanity as a whole. 

The fear of God begins with a belief in a future where He reigns and all the best is yet to come. The fear of God begins with the belief that in Him we have little or nothing to lose in comparison to what we have to gain. 

Even though our world is in a self-inflicted mess brought on by our selfish desire to seek things and living apart from and without the fear of God, those who fear God can have peace and joy and happiness knowing that their future is secure while taking comfort in doing what they can to help others secure that same future. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

Comments



The Fear Of God Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “The Fear Of God”. 

Fear is something that is experienced by most living creatures.  It is a reaction to a real or perceived danger or loss of something valuable including one’s own life.  Fear is also a demonstration or attitude of respect, reverence, love or devotion for someone deserving of it because of their power, authority and ability to use either or both in combination. 

King Solomon, who is the Preacher in the Book of Ecclesiastes, under the discipline of divine education used his experiences, observations and unique privilege and perspective as the riches and wises king to write down what he discovered is most important and meaningful in life. 

There was nothing he did not or could not withhold from himself to see, observe or experience.  What he discovered in the end was that the fear of God and the keeping of His commandments is all that matters.  Everything else he said was vain and worthless. 

This fear of God is what is missing in much of today’s society and culture.  It is also at the heart of the cross section of believers and worshippers of God from humanity’s beginning. 

Without the fear of God, people have no fear of accountability for their actions.  They simply have to avoid being caught or have the means to avoid any consequences if they are caught or called out for their actions. 

This lack of fear of God is driven in large part by unseen spiritual forces and their agents who oppose God to undermine people confidence and believe in God.  The goal is to get people to believe that God poses no threat to them because either He is not real or, even if He is, He doesn’t care about us as individuals. 

These forces and agents are having a lot of success lately getting people to believe this lie.  As a result, church involvement and participation is steadily decreasing especially over the past several decades. 

People are more willing to behave immorally, uncaringly, and uncivilly in every aspect of life because there are not universal rules, laws or truths that govern how life should be lived.  Without God to answer to, we can make up our own rules or live without any. 

People have the attitude that they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do and no one has the right to tell them what to do.  “Make me” is their response to request or compliance with actions that don’t want to take. 

This is a result of a lack of fear of God and of anyone or anything else for that matter. This is not good for society in the long run and will lead to moral collapse and failure of institutions and norms that have stood and enabled human intellectual and civil progress. 

In part one of this message, it was pointed out that Solomon concluded that our whole duty and purpose is to fear God and to keep His commandments.  Without this fear, people begin to feel they can’t be held accountable for their actions.  Without accountability, people will behave immorally and are only concerned if they can get away with whatever they are doing. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

Comments



Cause For Thanksgiving Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “Cause For Thanksgiving”. 

Thanks.  It is an age old common expression or word found in all known cultures and languages that expresses gratitude for help or assistance that been received outside oneself.  If a person is thankful, it means he or she is grateful for something received that they did not provide for themselves. 

We often hear people say they are grateful or thankful for this or that.  What people fail to acknowledge is not what they are grateful or thankful for, but to whom they owe this thanks or gratitude. 

For instance, if one says they are thankful for their health, or their family, for their job or business or any circumstance, situation or thing, to whom are they thankful to is what people are failing to acknowledge. 

By not acknowledging the source of what they say they are thankful for, they are saying in essence that no one had a role in their receiving or obtaining whatever they are expressing thankfulness for. 

This is regrettable because the bible teaches to give thanks unto the Lord for everything.  People are increasing failing to acknowledge our Creator and God for the help He provides for us each day to live and survive. 

We are failing to acknowledge the source of all the necessities of life, the providential care God provides, the mercy He extends to undeserving and ungrateful people and the grace He gives for those who try to amend their ways.  When we recognize the help we are receiving, it should move us to extend help to others. 

This is part of what the scripture tells us in the passage we examined in the sermon.  Believers are called upon to help other by warning them of their undisciplined behavior, to strengthen those who are weak and comfort those who are poor in spirit. 

They are called upon to help in other ways as well by being examples of forgiveness and goodness by not returning evil for evil and doing whatever is good.  We are to be helpful by being patience with others and to never stop praying. 

The world in which we live is growing increasingly insensitive to the needs and concerns of others in part because, while we are grateful for many things, we fail to acknowledge to whom we should be grateful. 

If more of us began to realize we didn’t get to where we are alone without the help of others, especially God our Creator, it should lead us to return that gratitude in the form of helping others. 

As we sit down this Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends and reflect upon what all we are thankful for if anything, then let’s also reflect on who we have to thank for those things as well.  Being thankful by definition acknowledges the receipt of help for something we are glad to have or receive.  And if we received help, then someone helped us. 

Who was it and how do we show our gratitude is the holiday and every day question? 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

Comments



Keeping Salvation Alive Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “Keeping Salvation Alive”  

King syrup, lard for baking and chitlings were all common food items that could be purchased in nearly every store that sold groceries as their main product when I was a teenager in my small hometown. 

Those small grocers were eventually bought out by larger grocers who were bought out by even larger ones or ran out of business because they could not compete with them because of volume pricing. 

That meant that items that were not popular with many “mainstream” customers were taken off the shelfs to make room for more culturally refined products.  This has left shoppers for these items mentioned above that were once common, scrambling to find them anywhere in the few places they are still sold. 

The true gospel of Jesus Christ is following a similar fate as once common foods.  And just like them, it is becoming more challenging to find churches that preach this gospel.  In attempts to attract and draw people, churches are avoiding language that seems to limit personal freedom or liberty or require someone to live a particular way. 

They are designed to make people feel good just the way they are and to give them advice on how they can achieve their goals while continuing to live selfish, inward focused materialistic lives pretending to be or deceiving themselves to be followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.

These types of churches are more appealing, draw larger numbers of people and have more resources than the ones who stay with the true gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Just like the larger companies bought out the smaller companies or ran them out of business, these alternatives churches that preach and teach an appealing to the flesh form of Christianity are threatening the existence and availability of true gospel churches. 

Soon the gospel of Jesus Christ will be so widely compromised, revised and adulterated that it will become ineffective in producing lifegiving and live-changing faith required for salvation. 

There are people who think they are followers of Jesus Christ, who think they are doing God’s will, people who are being told they are born-again and are forgiven who haven’t repented of their sins or even been told they need to repent.  Repentance isn’t just about being sorry for something, but it is a turning away of all things evil and a turning toward all things good and to God Himself. 

Not only are they not repentant, but they still fail to see and love others as themselves by behaving selfishly, greedily and indifferently to the suffering and welfare of others.  Many become merchandised for the promotion of other people’s agendas for power, wantonness and licentious lifestyles.   

These merchandisers are agents of evil because instead of helping to bridge the divide between people, they help sustain and intensify division because is serves their wicked and lustful purposes.  But true believers and followers of Jesus Christ must see through this dilution of the gospel. 

We must see that Christ never told us to be at war with the people we are called to help save.  Our task is not to force obedience or morality onto our neighbors or the world, but to demonstrate the love of and obedience to God and help them see and come to the same saving faith we ourselves have. 

While we who preserve, preach, teach and live this gospel may become hard to find, we must remain in accessible places so that those who seek, want and desire the truth and those whom God has ordained to eternal life can find us and see and hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

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Reconciling The World Fine Points

 

Greetings Flag Branch members and friends and thanks for taking the time to join me, Pastor Jordan, for some Fine Points from Sunday’s service and message “Reconciling The World”. 

Reconcile means to mend, repair or restore a relationship between individuals.  Differences and points of contention are set aside, neutralized or removed in order to establish a viable and optimal relationship. 

The United States is losing, and some are saying has already lost, its technological, political and economic edges it has held over the rest of the world since the end of the 2nd World War to the People’s Republic of China. 

China reportedly successfully test fired the world’s first hypersonic missile – something the US and others have been trying to do but haven’t been able to so far.  China was able to contain and control the spread of the coronavirus in a nation of a billion thousands of times better than the United States and has administered over 2.2 billion does of vaccine to its’ population, while the US struggles with daily deaths and infections. 

The point here is that the United States, once the undisputed world leader by almost every measure, is in a decline while China is poised to overtake the US as the world’s most dominant power. 

Much of this change in global leadership can be blamed at the internal strife now taking place in the US that has only been intensifying in the last few decades.  The roots and seeds of racism run deep and they manifest themselves in many places and different ways. 

But the main effect is that it keeps preventing the citizens of the nation to see themselves as a common family of humanity which works for the common good of everyone and living out the words in the preamble of the Constitution. 

There is a need for reconciliation in America.  There is a need for reconciliation in the world.  The good news of the gospel is that God has been reconciled with man through the blood of Jesus Christ.  He is no longer holding our sins against us when we accept His offer of peace. 

That peace offering is contingent upon us doing for others what He has done for us.  Forgiving others as He has forgiven us.  Loving others as He has loved us.  To love others and treat others as if they were ourselves.  This is the message the Church is charged with bringing and demonstrating to the world. 

Sadly, when this nation and world needs this message as much as ever, too many in the church are sending and portraying a different message than the one Jesus commissioned the church to carry.  In many cases, we who claim Jesus as Lord are being drawn in and fighting battles and waging wars Christ never called us to fight. 

Our only task is to present the gospel to a fallen world in both word and deed, not make or ensure it heeds it.  Yet somehow some of us have gotten the idea that it is our responsibility to do more than that and we are being used to fight against the same people we are sent to reconcile. 

Charity begins at home.  If we here in the United States, the true church and believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ, can get back to our true calling and purpose of reconciliation between God and man and man and man, then this nation may serve as a model for the rest of the world. 

If successful, one day our planet may stop spending billions of dollars on ways to destroy one other instead of spending billions on ways of helping each other live the kind of lives we all want for ourselves. 

You can hear the complete sermon by clicking the sermon title above.  You can also see and listen to our previous Sunday School, Missions and BTU sessions by clicking this link.  Be sure to download our mobile app on your phones and mobile devices to get the latest news, updates and shortcuts to all of our ministries, functions and activities. 

Click the SS Daily Bible Readings for an excellent devotional and preparation for the upcoming Sunday School study.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question down below.  As always, remember to fear God and keep His commandments.

 

Pastor Jordan

 

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