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Archive for August 2013

Series: Beware of the Little Things
8/25/13
There's an old song, much before my time, titled “You Don’t Own Me,” and some of the lyrics of the songs say: “I am young, and I love to be young. I'm free and I love to be free. To live my life the way I want, To say and do whatever I please. So don't tell me what to do, Oh don't tell me what to say.” The words of that song express a universal sentiment that resides within every human being.

There was someone in the pages of Scripture that wanted to do as he pleased, and he soon found that there were serious consequences for his self-willed choices. Saul had a reputation of rebelling against God by doing his own thing, making his own rules, and worshiping the way he wanted to. But in 1 Samuel 15, his rebellion reached its climax, and Saul was rejected by God, the kingdom was torn from him, and virtually his entire family would be killed, leaving no one to sit upon the throne. What Saul thought was no big deal, was the most serious of sins in God’s eyes.

Verse 23 identifies for us one of those seemingly “small” foxes, in our eyes, that ruins the vine - it is the sin of rebellion. Samuel told Saul that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft… a sin so terrible that it was punishable by death in the Old Testament (Lev. 20:27). Saul is not the only one who is guilty of rebellion. Many Christians today are guilty of the same thing, and like Saul, they often do not even realize it. Today let’s learn from Saul so that we do not repeat his mistakes in our life. Let’s consider the nature of rebellion and how to avoid it.

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Learn to Be Angry

Series: Beware of the Little Things
8/18/13
From a baby who has a toy taken away, to and adult who doesn’t get their way, everybody gets angry in some shape or form. Anger is a universal human experience. And for many of us, it is the single greatest challenge in every area of our lives.  Anger is an inherent part of our human nature. We were created with the capacity to express anger, because we were created in the image of God.

God gets angry. Jesus got angry in the Temple and turned over the tables of the money changers and sacrifice sellers. Yet we know that God is holy, and Jesus is without sin. So anger is not necessarily sinful. But our human anger often is, that is why Paul warns in Eph 4:26-27: “In your anger do not sin.” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Anger is one of those little foxes that ruin the vines. Where there is anger, sin is nearby.  Jesus warns that anger can have very destructive effects, leading to further evil, the ultimate of which is murder (Matt 5:21-24). Anger’s price tag is very high, leaving in its wake a trail of hurt feelings, and broken relationships. For Christians it results in a damaged testimony, lost witnessing opportunities, and wrecked credibility with family, friends, and coworkers. Sinful anger is not a little thing, it has very destructive consequences. We must learn how to be angry in way that glorifies and honors God.

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SERIES: BEWARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS
7/28/13

Jesus plainly tells us that it is impossible to go through life without having the opportunity to be offended. No matter how many times this subject is preached on, it seems to be a recurring problem in peoples lives. We listen and say “Amen” to the message, until we are the one that is offended. Then suddenly all that we have learned from the Bible seems to go out the door, and we deal with the offense in a fleshly, and ungodly way.

We are continuing our series based on Song of Sol 2:15, “it is the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.” Offense is one of those little foxes. One of those things that we don’t think are that serious. We try to minimize, ignore, or deny it, yet it carries grave consequences. Today, we want to talk about the reality of offence, the reasons for offence, the root of offence, the results of offence, and the remedy for offence.

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Series: Beware of the Little ThingsFOXES.png

8/4/13

Peter knows first hand how easily offences come, and how difficult it is to overcome them. He is living with 12 guys who are not very sanctified. They are wrangling about all sorts of things, this chapter begins with them wanting to know who is greatest in the Kingdom. They are competing for power and recognition. Two of them, James and John, were hot tempered. Peter himself had foot in mouth disease. Thomas was a skeptic who questioned everything. Judas was stealing from the offering. They had many opportunities to offend each other.  And Peter is thinking, “there has got to be a limit to this forgiveness stuff --where do you draw the line?” This is the very reason a lot of people struggle with forgiveness: they don’t want to keep getting hurt.

Peter is really stretching himself when he says, “how often shall we forgiven, seven times?” But Jesus corrects him,“no Peter, seven times seventy...” – Jesus didn’t just mean 490 times, as if we are to keep a running tally. He is pointing to infinity. To explain His point about forgiveness Jesus tells a parable about settling accounts.

Unforgiveness is another one of those small foxes that destroy the vine. We think it is a small thing, but it has major consequences. This parable reveals to us some powerful principles about forgiveness.

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