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.

Living Our Best Life 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 “Living Our Best Life”. 

If the progress in making human life more convenient, safer and easier to live could be graphed, for nearly all of human existence the line would be almost flat.  With the harnessing of electricity and other sources of power and energy in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the line becomes an upward curve. 

So that now, people in certain parts of the world have been freed from focusing on daily survival to contemplating ways to use extra time, money and resources nearly all of humanity before them never had. 

One’s best life was and still is one in which all of one’s necessities of life and safety were and are met.  But even a life such as this has limitations.  Therefore, people for centuries have recognized that the possibility of life with God is the best life possible.  Because life with God will not have or be saddled with any of the limitations of human weakness and frailty in any life people can make for themselves. 

But now, there is a growing number of people who have abandoned any vision of a best life with God and have decided to seek their best life here and now.  To facilitate that life, there is a pursuit and love of money at the expense of the pursuit of the righteousness of God.  For people perceive money as the means to purchasing best life experiences.  

In HER song, “Come Through”, she sings about her crew not telling anything because they are trying to live their best life.  For more and more people, pursuing our best life excludes obedience and approval of God. 

Advances in human utility, tools and resources have embolden people to believe they no longer need God or look to heaven to have or experience their best possible life.  Contrarily, people of faith are extremely thankful to God for the progress that has been made in what is required to live their daily lives. 

They are thankful the all the conveniences, utilities and resources both economic and otherwise that all the people before them never had.  Yet, they realize that no matter how much their natural lives may improve over previous generations, they will never reach the point of what only God can and will provide for those who believe on and seek His righteousness. 

As Christians, and all people who fear God, let us continue to praise God for the best life He is allowing us to experience here and now as we seek and await our best life with Him in eternity. 

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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Fishers Of Men 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 “Fishers Of Men”. 

There are men, and when I say men, I don’t mean just all males but all people, who seek glory.  They want to feel good about something they have accomplished and have others to take note of it.  Because one may reason, why create a great painting or invent a great machine or device, break and establish records and do all manner of amazing feats if there is no one who knows you did it or can appreciate it. 

While all people don’t seek glory to the extent of others, it is probably safe to say that most people want to be noticed for something that they do or did at some point and times in their life.  The glory people seek and desire is from those in the world in which we live. 

But suppose there is glory to be had outside our world.  Suppose there is glory that comes from God, our Creator.  The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us of God’s mission to personally come on a rescue mission to salvage and save the fallen into and after evil humans He made.  His purpose and intent for creating them was and is communing with Him. 

When given the choice, men have found themselves preferring evil over good and the love of self over the love of God.  God, in the person of Jesus Christ, set out to call men to repentance and seek forgiveness in order to fulfill their created purpose. 

To get this done, Jesus sought help.  While walking near the sea, He called to a man named Simon and his brother Andrew as they were casting their nets into the sea for fish.  He called to them and told them to follow Him and become fishers of men.  The bible said the immediately forsook their nets and followed Him.   

This brings me to the point of seeking glory I began with.  There is a glory of and from men or the world and there is the glory of and from God.  Any glory received from or of God is greater than that of men and the world.  Why?  Because the former glory will fade and only last a while, the latter glory of and from God is eternal. 

Those who help God by becoming fishers of men shall receive eternal glory that shall never fade or fail that only God can provide.  Beside the glory, fishers of men will receive their own soul salvation and the joy and feeling one has when a lost child is found and restored while helping Jesus to seek and save lost humanity. 

There is no earthly honor or glory that can surpass the honor that comes from being a fisher of men alongside Jesus.  I ask you today, are you a fisher of men working alongside Jesus as your main and primary occupation and life’s work? 

To do this work, as Simon and Andrew did, one must forsake their earthly nets use for capturing earthly glory and treasure and begin to follow and work with Jesus to free and rescue the lost.  If not, I encourage you to forsake your nets for earthly and worldly glory and join Jesus as one who is seeking and searching for God’s lost children and offspring.  Our eternal glory and rewards await 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

 

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Dealing With Differences 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 “Dealing With Differences”. 

Mankind is at a place that it may find difficult to navigate through.  It is almost like the situation of placing a loaded gun in the hands of a child.  The danger is that a loaded gun can accidently kill someone, especially a child, who doesn’t know how to properly handle it.  

The loaded gun is the internet and other forms of unfiltered and controlled communications directed at people for the purpose of manipulation toward a certain action, behavior or belief.  People are like children in that we don’t have the means or tools to validate all that is being said and done in this name or that or for this cause or that. 

It makes it nearly impossible for some to distinguish between what they should believe and what they should not.  The rapid, relentless flow of communication is accelerating change in what was considered normative and sparking division in nearly every part of society.

I purposefully call that what is being transmitted as communication as opposed to information.  Information is that which alerts one to something real or legitimate one needs to know.  Communication is everything capable of being cognitively processed people are receiving on and in every possible medium it can be transmitted across.  

One such change is in how many more people view sexuality.  The standard or straight view, which is part of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which has prevailed for centuries is being challenged.  People with different views and beliefs concerning sexuality are openly demanding and petitioning to be protected by and treated like those with full citizenship rights and privileges. 

Until fairly recently, people with such views and beliefs were mostly suppressed and not allowed to openly express them.  The sexual differences are just one of many people are grappling with brought about in large part by the flow of communication reflecting the opinions and beliefs of anyone no matter how sensational, unorthodox, radical or divisive they may be. 

How are Christians, as well as others, suppose to deal with all the differences these things are fostering.  In a democracy, the will of the majority should prevail while protecting the rights of the minority.  As the majority view changes on topics like sexuality, what are those who hold the traditional view grounded in Judeo-Christian ethics to do? 

There are many things that need to be sorted out and consulted on concerning this and other changing attitudes about culture and society.  Much of which I hope to engage in future sermons and follow ups.  But suffice it today to remind everyone that America and all the Western democracies are not ruled by God. 

A society and culture ruled by God would be a Theocracy.  This is what Israel was initially established as.  But even it refused to abide by God’s commands for which it paid a substantial price.  But it did survive long enough for God to establish the meaning of holiness, His will for human behavior and the means for humanity’s ultimate salvation and deliverance from sin. 

For centuries people in the West and many other parts of the world, were in general agreement based on what was revealed through Israel on what was right and wrong, good and evil. 

However, with consensus on such things being harder to come by, Christians must reevaluate their approach and methods to reach a changing world of growing diverse opinions and beliefs while remaining faithful and true to the teachings and message of the gospel of Jesus Christ before humanity accidently shoots itself.  Once shot, God only knows how serious a wound will be inflicted. 

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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Doing Time 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 “Doing Time”. 

Most people would agree even without firsthand knowledge that the United States or any prison system is not a place they would want to be forced to be.  First and foremost, it is confining and restricting.  It severely limits the freedom of movement to a small space even though there is so much to see and so many places to go outside that space. 

I believe and the bible indicates that likewise there is so much to see and so many places to go outside the world we know.  People can experience many unpleasant and even dangerous things while serving time in prison.  The same can be said of anyone living on the earth. 

From being separated from family and friends to experiencing injury and even death, people living in the confines of this world will experience unpleasant and even dangerous things.  For most who go to prison, their stay there is not expected to endure until the end of their natural life even though some die in prison before their required time is up. 

However, there are some who are sentenced to spend the rest of their life in prison without the possibility of ever being released.  Can you just imagine if this was your fate?  What hope could you have?  Where or in what would you find joy?  What would be your outlook your life and how would you view others who are in the prison with you? 

These are just some of the questions that could be posed to those who have no or little faith in life beyond this one.  Just as those serving life in prison, they see themselves as having to make the best of what this life affords with all of its’ limited options and other things to contend with.  And that sometimes means doing things without regard to the effects and consequences to others. 

It is disappointing to see anyone living their life as if this world is the last place they will ever be and ever see.  Yet the bible teaches us that our stay in this world, while required, is only temporary and not our final destination. 

Like most prison sentences, our stay will come to an end and when it does, we, like them, shall experience freedom.  But the freedom Christians shall experience is not the freedom this world affords, but true eternal freedom from all the things this world was not able to provide including from pain, suffering and death. 

Those who go in the prison system loathe and hate the time they are required to do before being released and for good reason.  Christians on the other hand should rejoice over the time we are required to do before our release. 

Why?  Because it gives us the opportunity to learn so much more about our Heavenly Father and His will and design for us.  It gives us the opportunity to spread and share His love and purpose for those He has made. 

We can rejoice while doing time as we behold the presence and purpose of God in the face of the things He has made.  They remind us that we are not alone nor has He abandoned us.  And while doing time here brings all the hurt and challenges found in this world, it also brings precious moments we have to spend with family, friends and the rest of humanity God has place around us. 

Doing time in the fear of God informs us that we are accountable for what we do and how we do it in the short space we have before our departure and release.  Every moment is precious.  They are moments we can’t recover and each one subtracts from the remaining moments we have left before we are forced to leave those we love and care most about. 

Let us do and spend our time well for God has given us only a precious few moments, none of which we know when they will be over.  But we do know, and by this I mean know by believing, after we do our time, our true and eternal freedom will begin with the One who made 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

 

Comments



Dealing With Tragedy 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 “Dealing With Tragedy”. 

Tragedy is an intense form or type of trouble that can occur quickly, unexpectedly and fatally that can inflict much pain, sorrow, devastation and loss.  Within ten days of each other, there were two mass shooting in the United States that took the lives of at least 10 people in one incident and 21 in the other. 

They were tragic in that there was no apparent justification for someone murdering them as they were, there was no expectation that they would be targeted and murdered that day and their family, friends and community are left to mourn the loss and the departure of people who were taken from them without warning, apparent cause and in a violent and senseless manner. 

It is hard enough to make sense of tragic events by understanding the why these things occur.  But understanding why some things occur is not the same thing as dealing with the aftermath of their occurrence.  In order to deal with the aftermath of tragedy there are several things we can recognize to help us. 

Tragedy does not discriminate based on any human qualifier that can be used to distinguish one person from another.  Every living person is subject to encounter tragedy.  Therefore, we must not feel that we are or have somehow been singled out to experience tragedy no matter how grave.  There are others who have suffered great tragedy before us and there will be those after us.  We are not the first and will not be the last. 

Tragic events can leave behind scars that remind us of what took place.  Tragic events may not soon be forgotten if ever as some scars remain and can be seen for life.  Tragic events take time to heal and recover from and the recovery time can vary from person to person.  We must allow the healing to run its course and take all the time it needs and never compare the time it takes one to heal to that of another. 

All of these things help us to cope and deal with tragedy once it happens.  But as a person of faith, I found that the greatest and most effective way to deal with tragedy is to believe in and rest in the assurance of God that He will make everything alright. 

No matter the difficulty of the situation, depth of pain and sorrow or the enormity of loss, God will fix it and make everything alright.  Exactly how God will do this and when He will do this, no one really knows. 

There are some clues left for us in scripture, but it doesn’t explain the whole story.  This is where we are called upon to believe and have faith that God has subjected us to tragedy but He will somehow make things right for what we had no choice but to endure. 

And because we cannot avoid tragedy, it should serve as a means of unifying us as we face a common and equal opportunity antagonist of humanity’s well-being and prosperity.  This may be partly the reason God has subjected us to tragedy. 

Christians and people of faith in the living God should unite and set aside differences we allow people and others to divide us over and begin to see all of our individual struggles in life as a common struggle for us all and this planet will live on. 

By doing this, we may not be able to eliminate troubles and tragedies, but we will be able to lessen their frequency and alleviate some of their intensity. 

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



Making Sense of 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 “Making Sense of the World”. 

After listening to and watching what so many people are doing and saying, I repeatedly hear the question “what is wrong with people, why are they doing this, what is going on”.  These questions and others like them are attempts to make sense of the world in which we live.  

Some of the things we are witnessing defies common sense, self and common interest, defies obvious truth and facts, is completely irrational, callous and without feelings for the pain and suffering of others. 

There seems to be a constant stream of such occurrences and madness.  So many people are angry with someone or something.  About the only time people appear to be happy is when their side or team is winning or has won.  Outside of that, there is a lot of hand ringing and questioning about what is going on.

The problem is attempting to make sense out of something that is incapable providing it.  People are looking in and to the world and the things therein to make sense of itself.  That is like asking a chair, a house or a bucket to make sense of itself and what you are doing with or in it.  The world cannot provide us with the answers we seek and need any more than these objects can tell us what they are doing here or what their functions are. 

Can that which is created change the reason or purpose it was created?  The answer is absolutely no!  If it is capable, it might do or be used for something other than its created reason, purpose and function, but that doesn’t change the why it is. 

When someone or something is not functioning according to its created purpose, the possibility of it doing or be used for something that doesn’t make sense continues to grow.  If God created man and man is not doing what God created him to do, then doing what does not make sense becomes highly likely. 

The bible, observations and experiences lead me and others to believe that God created man for the purpose of communion with Him.  When people don’t live according to that purpose, it begins to make sense why we see people doing and saying things that don’t make sense. 

Those who fail to understand and perform their purpose will live and die never fulfilling the reason why they were created in the first place and trying in vain to make sense of the world and their own life.  

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



Place Of Good Neighbors 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 “Place of Good Neighbors”.

A racially motivated mass shooting took place in Buffalo, NY that left at least 13 shot and 10 of them dead.  Later on the next day, another shooting took the life of at least one and left at least four others wounded at a place of worship. 

These violent acts are some of the latest to be reported of our lack of love and respect for our neighbors.  Buffalo’s city motto is “City of Good Neighbors”.  Even if all the citizens of Buffalo don’t always behave as good neighbors, it is a wonderful idea to aspire to and the only one that will cure the world of the violence, cruelty, insensitivity and indifference we have for one another in this world. 

The concept of neighbor needs to be expanded to those far beyond our streets, community, towns and cities to the global community of all humanity.  As the recent pandemic and resulting supply chain problems and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and many other evens demonstrate, we are interconnected like never before in human history. 

Distance is no longer the limiting factor as it once was in determining who we could call a neighbor.  We are able to be almost anywhere in the world in a matter of hours and speak to and see anyone anywhere in a matter of seconds.  These advents in travel and communications have made our planet very small and intimate so that every place is in our neighborhood. 

The problem is and has been our inability and refusal to love our neighbors as ourselves.  This is the command God gave to Israel and Jesus repeated.  We have allowed others to exploit the things that make us different for their advantage by manipulating us into thinking these differences should be reasons to separate us, keep us apart and even hate one another. 

When we look into the face of others, God said we should see ourselves.  Instead, we see someone we don’t love because we have been conditioned not to.  True Christianity involves a reconditioning that overcomes all the centuries of conditioning to kill, steal and destroy our neighbors. 

If there was ever a time for Christians and other people to demonstrate love for our neighbors, now is the time.  We still have time to change the course of human history to one of a better life for all of our children and our neighbor’s children and all their posterity. 

It begins with each of us beginning to refuse to let others turn us against our neighbors with all of our differences and instead loving our neighbors and seeking the common good for everyone in our neighborhood. 

Knowing that we all share a space on this tiny planet that is not ours and we can’t be good neighbors to each other by insisting everything go our way and sharing and being good stewards of the limited resources of this world. 

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



Freedom From Religion 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 “Freedom From Religion”. 

In the movie “The Godfather”, he was approached with a problem the one with the problem didn’t see how he could fix.  When asked how he was going to fix the problem, the godfather said he was going to make this certain person an offer he couldn’t refuse. 

In order to get people to comply with their wishes, people have and will use violence including war to force people to do what they want.  They make people offers they can’t refuse.  This is also the history of humanity. 

Those who can and will use whatever means at their disposal to get people to do what they want including following the dictates, practices and beliefs of a religion.  And while all religions may not have evolved, been initiated or created for this purpose, religion is and has been used to control the behavior of others by others. 

Because religion has this controlling aspect, there are some that say all religions and the gods of these religions were created, made up and invented for this purpose.  Whether it is a religion or something or someone else, everyone is under some measure of control. 

In so much as a person can’t do whether he or she wants, they are under control.  The eternal God who made heaven and earth and is the Father of Jesus Christ who He proclaimed has made an offer and issued an invitation to humanity to be placed under His control.  His offer is one of salvation, the deliverance from death. 

Jesus describes this control as an easy yoke and light burden.  Many people have mischaracterized this yoke and burden and don’t understand it.  But it is an offer and invitation people are free to refuse.  The God who made the offer also made it such that people are free to refuse it. 

While some other religions may have been and are forced upon others, Christianity was never intended for that purpose though it has been and is currently being used in this fashion.  In fact, there are those who claim and hold to the Christian faith who are still attempting to force people to comply to so-called Christian values, beliefs and practices.  They are engaging in what are being called culture wars. 

But the author and finisher of the Christian faith never instructed His disciples to engage in a war with the culture.  He made the offer on behalf of the Father and has instructed His disciples to do the same.  Nothing more or nothing less.  We are not to fuss and fight with others over their response to the offer.  God left it completely up to them to accept or reject His control or yoke over their lives. 

God intends for people to have freedom from religion.  He wants them to have absolutely no part of His offer if this is what they choose.  The sooner the true believers in the Church of the living God realize and accept this, the sooner we will find ourselves out of these wars to control the behavior of people by people who want to control them. 

This is the way the One true God structured the world.  He gave humanity the freedom from religion.  He gave them the freedom to be under the control of all the other things they are under the control of except Himself. 

They are free to reject His offer of salvation through His means of control.  And when they find themselves without a resting place for their eternal souls, it will be because they never heard of, believed in or accepted His offer and invitation of life under His control. 

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



Christian First 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 “Christian First”. 

Many people today have lost, are losing and never coming to faith in Christ because they are listening to and believing those who question whether anything is true or that there is no objective or absolute truth. 

For them and anyone else I believe it is hard indeed to deny that it is easier to destroy than to create.  Easier to tear down than to build, easier to fall than to stand and to go down than to go up. 

For any remaining holdouts to this truth, just look at what Putin has been able to destroy in a few weeks that took the people of Ukraine months and years to build and create or what terrorist did on 911 that took years to build or what happens almost nightly on the news as a life that took years to build is taken out in a matter of seconds. 

The universal force of gravity works this way.  Gravity tends to bring things back toward it or down.  Tossing a ball up in the air doesn’t continue going in the direction it was tossed because gravity brings it back toward it or down.  Human behavior tends to bend down toward the less desirable qualities in interaction between people. 

People tend to pursue and want what is best for them and what they care about.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The problem is what we are willing to do in the process of doing that to the exclusion and hurt of anyone and everyone else.  We are a people who will kill, steal and destroy seeking what could be called the “me first” principle. 

This is why Jesus told all those who want to be saved, rescued and salvaged from this world of death and misery that they must put Him first.  By doing this, God’s will, His ways and His priorities comes before everything and everybody else. 

We are not allowed to put family first, property first, business or possessions first, race first, country first, teams and dreams or anything in or out of this world before God.  Yet this is what people are doing and it is why there is so much killing, stealing and destroying in society and around the world. 

How we answer the question of what is first in our life tells us a lot about ourselves and others.  Some don’t readily know the answer to that question.  They may say, let me think about it for a minute.  For others, what is first changes from time to time. 

One way to help determine who or what is first in our lives is to examine our daily motivation for waking up and getting out of bed if we are able each day and what we think about and do each day. 

One thing many people already know and can be sure of is that God is not first in the way Jesus describes and means.  But if He is not first, something definitively is and this is one way to help determine what that is if we are not sure what or who is first. 

When God is first, we tend to go against the natural tendency to pull us down toward the lower qualities of human behavior and elevate to the higher virtues that God is calling and has called us to.  It is like defying the laws of gravity. 

Water flows downstream and so will our behavior when God is not first.  This is why Jesus said to be saved we must place Him first.  He tells us we must be Christians first before anything else we can or want to be.  

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



Avoid Being Played 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 “Avoid Being Played”. 

The Christian Church is in trouble.  It has been in trouble since its inception.  The Jews and then the Romans tried to shut it down.  Both were unsuccessful.  False teachers and teaching permeated the early Church, but the truth prevailed and overcame the lies, lairs and heresies. 

Those who used violence as a means to an end attacked the Church and has caused it great distress.  Then there are those who are and have used the Church to further their own interest with and without the Church’s knowledge or consent.  This practice of using others to achieve one’s own ends is referred to as being played. 

The Church, Christ’s name and parishioners have been and are still being used do many things that are the interest of other people and the world.  While the main focus is and was on covetousness and idolatry, the fact that Jesus wouldn’t be used or played by others to promote their agenda or cause is widely overlooked in the scriptural text. 

The greatest danger facing the church today is it becoming irrelevant and ineffective for the reason it was established which is for mankind to receive salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Not from the lack of possessing the truth and word of life, but by being seen as just another tool or instrument of the world to control people and to get what some people want. 

The task of teaching and observing the commandments of God have been forsaken for attempts to dominate and control others in the name of Christ.  This has allowed the Church to be dragged into and entangled in the affairs, desires and passions of men. 

Men who want to control, who want to rule, who want to dominate, men who love money, wealth and power, men who don’t follow the teaching of Christ themselves, but who would impose them upon others if it helped them to achieve their ends. 

The mandate of Christ to His Church is to inform and bare witness of the truth.  Nothing more or nothing less.  People are then free to make up their own mind to accept or decline His offer of life. 

There was to be no tricks, no collusion, no coercion, no deals nor anything else to force or compel people in any manner to obey God and accept His offer of salvation.  Whosoever wills, let them come.  When we fail to realize this, we leave ourselves open to being used and played.  Why? 

Because we are relying on more than our testimony and witness to do what Christ called us to do and because we are attempting to do more or something else other than what Christ told us to do. 

Today, Christianity’s name has been and is currently being tarnished and its name associated with corruption, greed, injustice, politics, heartlessness, selfishness and many other things all because the Church has been and is currently being played.  The world can hardly see anything of the love, kindness, mercy, grace, holiness and salvation the Church was established to show and tell the world. 

What they are increasingly seeing among those who are naming the name of Christ are people trying to run and control their lives by imposing their beliefs and attitudes upon them while simultaneously denying the practical words and meaning of their faith and being used by ungodly people with their own agendas. 

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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