HAYSTACKS #1: Hope
This morning the first in a series called HAYSTACKS.
Most North American Adventists are familiar with an entree we call "haystacks." It is a layered dish. Corn chips reside at bottom, then piled above are beans, rice, lettuce, salsa and more. Haystacks can be prepared healthfully. They are commonly seen at social gatherings. You won't find the term "haystacks" in a list of doctrines or a Bible study. But I am going to use the word to compress significant Bible teachings into nine topics. The first letter in Haystacks is "H," and today we start with "Hope."Read more...
The Most Dangerous Form of Church Governance
Jesus Builds His Church
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said He would build His Church. He has built His Church on the twofold foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-22; Luke 11:49; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Peter 3:2; Revelation 18:20). A Church has members, and today most of us are members. When there are members, there is a need to see that things are done in an orderly way.
God always planned for a holy kingdom, and today, you and I have the privilege of being its citizens. Exodus 19:5, 6 tells us that this is God's purpose. His purpose has never changed. His purpose for the church is that we will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. But who ever heard of a nation without order, or a priesthood without a plan? So, just as all the way through the Bible God wanted His people to be guided by Him and to work together toward the goals that He has set for His people, the same is true for you and I today. We are to press together and to move in order. But how?Read more...
Reach Here with Your Finger
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to Him,'We have seen the Lord!' But He said to them, 'Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.' After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here with your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.' Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.' (John 20:24-29 NASB).
We've all have heard of doubting Thomas; he was one of the disciples of Jesus. He said he would refuse to believe that Jesus had risen until He would put his hand in the nail-prints in Jesus' hands and side.Read more...
Too Many Gods
Where are your gods which you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah (Jeremiah 2:28).
Are you busy? Is your life full? Your lives must be quite full. We are a church of 151 members and there were 12 people at prayer meeting this week.
Our lives are full but what are they full of? The things we give our time to, the things we fill our hearts and minds with, those things are like gods to us. Polytheism is the worship of multiple gods. We are Christians--monotheists. We say we worship one God.
Today let us together explore the Lordship of Jesus and compare that to the primacy of other gods in our lives.Read more...
Three Angels and Lots of People
"In the beginning, God." That is how the Bible starts. And at the end, "Even so, come Lord Jesus." Where are we in the flow of time? Not at some random place. There have been developments. We understand from Bible prophecy that the final movements will be rapid ones. In the Book of Revelation, we learn especially about these closing prophetic sequences. It is at the Bible's conclusion that its message is summed and concentrated, outlined and clarified for us.Read more...
God Planned You
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5 ).
Today a message from heaven about destiny and divine purpose. Destiny, because God has a plan for every life. And divine purpose, because He does not force us into His plan; He guides us to his plan. Then He lets us choose. He does not take away the free will He has given us. He seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23, 24). God seeks you, but does not compel you.Read more...