Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Service: Introduction

 

What is the purpose of being a Christian? Is it just to have my free ticket to Heaven, ignore others and live a self-centered life? Not at all!  In I Corinthians 12 we learn that every Christian is gifted by the Holy Spirit and called to serve God by serving  others.

 

Why should we serve?

 

In Romans 12:1-13 we learn how the Church, the Body of Christ on earth, is to function. The chapter begins by reminding each of us who have received the gift of salvation, of our obligation to God to present our lives to Him as a living sacrifice.  Then with the gifts He has given to us, we are to serve God by serving others.  No Christian is exempted.

 

How we are to serve?

 

We who claim to follow Christ as Christians have the responsibility to serve, even as our Master served when He walked this earth. Matthew 10:24-25 Jesus contrasts those of us who are in leadership positions in the church with those who lead in the world. He teaches that we can  best exercise leadership by serving others and not by lording  over others. Matthew 20:25-28

 

Read the following articles with your Bible  for further Biblical teaching on serving the Lord.

 

 

June 10, 2006 Posted by | Service Series | Comments Off on Service: Introduction

Lordship

Jesus is Lord, whether we bow to His Lordship or not. Read what the Apostle Peter said about  the lordship of Jesus Christ in Acts 2:36 when he preached in Jerusalem his famous sermon at Pentecost. He announced “Therefore, let all the House of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same  Jesus, whom ye crucified,  both Lord and Christ.”   So Jesus is Lord whether we recognize and bow before Him or not.

 

Must one make Jesus Lord of his life to be saved?   NO!

 

It is clear throughout the New Testament that we are saved simply by understanding we are sinners, under the wrath of God and helpless to save ourselves and by receiving by faith  the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour from sin. PERIOD!  Acts 16:31  John 1:12  John 3:16-18  John 5:24  Ephesians 2:4-9  Titus 3:4-6  I John 4:14 

 

When I was nine years old there came a time when I heard the Gospel in a children’s meeting  and realized I was a sinner, lost and headed for Hell. That night, as I knelt with a lady, she helped me to understand that Jesus had died for my sins and that if I would trust Him, I would be saved.  I gladly  received Him as my Saviour.  At that time I knew nothing of His Lordship.  I knew nothing about the Holy Spirit.  All I knew was that I was a sinner; that Jesus had died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins; and that if I would trust Him, He would save me.  I went home that night with a song in my heart.  A heavy burden  of guilt and  fear had been lifted from my heart and I had peace with God.  I knew for certain that if I died, I would be with Jesus in Heaven.  That event was  years ago and to this day I have continued to rejoice in the blessed assurance of salvation in Jesus.

 

Can one live the Christian life without making Jesus Lord?   NO!

 

You may be a Christian, but if you have not bowed to the Lordship of Christ, you are not living the Christian life.  That is a shame and an awful contradiction.  When I came to an understanding, perhaps several months after my conversion, that Jesus is Lord and that He has a right to be Lord of my life, I gladly surrender my life to Him.

 

Listen as the Apostle Paul reasons with you in II Corinthians 5:14-15  “For the love of Christ constrains us because we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead. And He died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.”   How can one who has received the gift of salvation, go on living for Himself, as though Christ’s sacrifice meant nothing to him?

 

If you’ve never taken that step I encourage you to read Romans 12:1-2 and bow to His Lordship.  “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world (world-system): but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what it that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

 

It is the only reasonable thing to do.

 

It is the least we can do in gratitude for what Jesus did for us.

 

It is the best gift we can give Him.

 

When I surrendered to His Lordship, this is what happenedI didn’t understand the theology of it then,  but I enjoyed the reality of it.

 

The Holy Spirit had entered my life the moment I put my trust in Christ. He had convicted and  regenerated me. Now He indwelt me. Romans. 8:9

 

When I surrendered to Jesus as my Lord,  His Spirit  filled and controlled me giving me  His supernatural  power to live the Christian life.  Ephesians 5:18-21

 

What are the consequences of rejecting the Lordship of Christ?

When one rejects the Lordship of Christ, he has no other choice but to try to run his own life and suffer the consequences.  That’s as unwise as trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean by yourself  in a little swimming pool rubber boat without a paddle or navigation instruments.  You are at the mercy of storms and sharks without  a chance of success.  

 

Furthermore it is  ungrateful, to say the least;  to receive Christ’s gift of salvation and thumb your nose at Christ and totally ignore His plan for your life.  Who loves you more than the God who made you?  Why would you even consider continuing the journey of life without Your Saviour and best Friend.

 

I encourage you to read and ponder Proverbs chapter 1  and then decide whether  you will surrender to Christ or ignore Him and go your own way.  If you decide to go your own way, don’t expect Jesus to be at your beck and call when tragedy strikes!

 

One day Jesus will return to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Regardless of whether you surrender to Christ or go your own way,  understand this. Jesus is returning to this earth to exterminate His enemies and set up His Kingdom.  If you are a Christian, you will meet Him at the Bema Judgement Seat to give an account of how you lived you life.  I encourage you to go to  the PROPHECY link  and read about the BEMA JUDGMENT.   I challenge you to do the right thing.  Receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour and surrender to Him now as your Lord.

 

June 10, 2006 Posted by | Service Series | Comments Off on Lordship

Encouragment

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big “F” at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his record, she was in for a surprise. Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners. He is a joy to be around.”

His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps are not taken.”

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when the students brought her Christmas present, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she explained how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day jut long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smell just like my Mom used to. After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that day she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead she began to teach children.

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets.”

A year later, she found a note under her door from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another one from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his life.

Four years after that, she received another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter. This explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he had decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore the bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach you until I met you!”

Legend has it that Teddy Stoddard is the doctor at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing. Though fiction, the story teaches a powerful lesson!

June 10, 2006 Posted by | Encouragment | Comments Off on Encouragment