This morning we heard lessons from three young men, Kent Cates, Cameron Wallace, and Caleb Cates, who have spent last week at Oldham Lane preaching camp.
Hebrews 1: 1-4
Gal 4: 1-2
Matt 28: 18
The last formal lesson Christ taught His apostles (chosen disciples) was that of the True Vine and its branches (John 15:1-8, 9). When the apostles’ hearts were troubled at His leaving (John 14:1), He instructed them to abide/remain in Him and let His word abide/remain in them so that they might love each other and bear much fruit to the glory of His Father.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13 (NASB)
Those of us who have had a Christian mother, or watched one, know well what a beam of light that Christian mothers are into this dark world and into our lives. The darkness of this world has not appreciated, understood, nor overcome the light that Jesus Christ shines into it through Christian mothers (John 1:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 2:14-16; Ephesians 6:10-12).
Jay Don Poindexter
We may think of God as waiting in heaven for us to change our lives by our own strength and effort. He told us what is right and wrong. Now, He waits to see if we can force ourselves, knowing the difference, and choose the right and do it. More important than what we think is what God says: Rom 12:2; James 4:4-10; 1Tim 2:4; Acts 2:38-39.
Paul, as a prisoner, writes to all the saints in Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons, to encourage them against the four thieves of joy in this world: things, people, circumstances, and worry. These four things are often the source of anxiety. In this letter he gives them a very short and clear message in Philippians 4:5: The Lord is near. Paul didn’t minimize the facts of life in this world, but he deliberately puts them in perspective with this simple and short statement: The Lord is near.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the historical fact upon which our faith is based. In the first gospel of Christ sermon, Peter preached that God had accredited Jesus by many signs, miracles, and wonders but that He also raised Jesus from the dead to immortality. The subsequent implications of His resurrection are that He has been made both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:24, 31, 32, 36). This gospel is same gospel that the church in Corinth received, took a stand on, were saved by, and held fast to for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Paul goes on to say that if Christ is was not resurrected then his preaching is useless and so is faith because it is futile and leaves them still in their sins (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). Paul continues that if only for this life we have hope (i.e. there is no resurrection) then we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Corinthians 15:19)!
Treasure in Jars of Clay
Paul the Apostle had a glorious ministry by and in the mercy of God. It gave him vision to see past the temporary troubles of this life and wholeheartedly speak the truth that he honestly lived. He encouraged the church in Corinth to see their faith and lives the same way by keeping their eyes on what is unseen, the eternal, and not the temporary! Today, the church will do well to do the same!