Items filtered by date: February 2014 - Harris Creek Baptist Church
The 18th Century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau is famous for saying, "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains." While Rousseau was speaking to the injustices happening in France during his lifetime, his statement is also an accurate description of human nature. We are born with an innate longing for freedom, whether we know what that fully means or not, yet we constantly find ourselves in chains. In the Book of Romans, the Apostle Paul says we all have been found, at one time or another, enslaved to sin. In chapters five through eight, Paul uses the Old Testament story of The Exodus as an object lesson, or model, to explain what Jesus accomplished for all of creation. Paul begins by reminding the reader of the slavery we find ourselves in before fully fleshing out the liberation that Jesus brought to the world. In facing the harsh realities of life when we are enslaved to sin, we begin to truly long for the freedom that comes from submitting ourselves to the lordship of God.
Life presents many unknown aspects and an abundance of questions soon follow: What do I do, and when do I do it? Where do I go, and who is going with me? When walking through these unknowns, you will either have no clue what to do to discern God's will, or you will instinctively take action. The process of discerning God's will for your life will either be one of confusion or clarity. God brings His will into focus through the Word of God, the Spirit of God and the People of God. If you enter a season of unknown and you want to have a better understanding of God's will for you then the best things you can do include instinctively studying God's Word, asking God's Spirit to lead you into all truth, and submitting your life to the counsel of a few trusted advisers. If the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God are demonstrating signs of agreement, then God might be trying to tell you something.
There are times in life when we all experience pain, suffering, and tragedy that seems to be senseless. These stories surface a lot of raw emotion and cause us to ponder some of life's most profound questions. This is a difficult message because it deals with some of the most fundamental questions that we face as humans. When we go through these difficulties, one of the first questions we ask is, "Why?" Why doesn't God keep us from experiencing this pain? Why doesn't God reward those who live faithfully by helping them escape tragedy? These questions have been around a long time, but they are also as current as today's news. No matter how long you have followed Christ, we all have questions like these that we cannot answer. We don't always understand what God is up to and why certain things happen in this life. Knowing that difficult seasons like this may find their way into our lives, it's important to know how to navigate these experiences. One of the most helpful things we can do during these seasons is maintain an accurate picture of who God is and how He works in our lives.
Before his ascension into heaven, Jesus gave the commandment to his followers to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28). Jesus was reminding his followers of their purpose in being called out by God. He is reminding them that the people of God were formed for the purpose of movement and mission. In other words, God's people are always a "sent" people and called to bring the Good News with them wherever they go. The problem is the Church in the Westernized parts of the world has largely forgotten this purpose. In the process, we've turned the purpose of the Church into meeting our personal desires and needs. However, when we look at the full scope of the Bible, we can see that God's purpose in forming a distinct people was for movement and mission. He wants us to share the Gospel while we are going, often times even before we know where we're going, so that all people will get a foretaste of what His Kingdom is all about.