Archive for August, 2012
I received word this morning that a dear friend and member of my flock, Clay, went home to heaven. Clay had been in poor health for the last few years and was confined to a nursing facility so I didn’t get to see him very often. Last year, when our church celebrated our 100th anniversary Clay wanted to be part of the festivities so his special caregiver, Treva, made special arrangements for him to come.
It was my privilege to baptize Clay many years ago. While he was still physically able to attend church he always made a point to stop by to greet me. A huge smile constantly graced his face. And he was always grateful for some special new blessing in his life. Maybe someone had given him a new tie to wear, or a friend had taken him out for a delicious meal. Clay always had some blessing to share, and he always concluded by saying, “That’s pretty good, isn’t it?” No matter how many challenges Clay may have faced that week, he always found something to rejoice in … “That’s pretty good, isn’t it?” (more…)
Let’s open our Bibles one more time to the little book of Philemon in the NT. I’m concluding a series of messages today I’ve entitled “Redeeming Relationships.” There are three important people in this story. Philemon was a leading man in the church in the ancient city of Colossae. Onesimus was Philemon’s household slave, who ran away to Rome where he met the third important person in the story … the Apostle Paul. Paul, who is in prison in Rome, leads Onesimus to Christ and now writes this letter to Philemon asking him to forgive Onesimus and taking him back as a new brother in Christ. And in this little first-century letter we find the principles for redeeming relationships, whether they are at home, at church or anywhere we relate to other people. (more…)
Let’s open our Bibles to Philemon. This short letter in the NT portrays for us a network of relationships. There’s the Apostle Paul who is in a prison in Rome for preaching the Gospel. He’s writing to his friend Philemon who is a leading man in the church in Colossae, whom Paul led to Christ. Philemon had a slave by the name of Onesimus who ran away from Philemon, perhaps stealing from him in the process. Onesimus made his way to Rome where, in the providence of God, he comes into contact with Paul. Paul leads Onesimus to Christ, and knowing his story knows that he needs to go back to Philemon. However, it will be difficult for Onesimus to go back to face his master whom he has offended, and it will be difficult for Philemon to accept the man who offended him. So let’s pick up reading in vv.12-21.
When things like this happen it’s much easier to fix blame than it is to fix problems. (more…)
Relationships are so important in our walk with Christ.
ILLUSTRATION – Missy Franklin was one of the most productive medal-winners for Team USA in this year’s swimming competition. She’s an amazing young lady, and she has some amazing parents. In the middle of the swimming competition at the Olympics they gave their daughter some important advice: “Enjoy yourself. Do your best. We’ll always love you.” Do you know what that says? It says, “No matter what happens, the relationship is not on the line. No matter how you perform, there’s nothing you could do or not do that would make us love you any less.” Now that’s great in families. And it’s important for our relationships as believers in the church.
Again, relationships are a vital part of our walk with God. (more…)
Let’s open our Bibles and find the little book of Philemon in the New Testament. It’s amazing that a letter that one might read in a couple of minutes can be so rich that we can talk about it for weeks. That’s the nature of God’s Word. Maybe you are familiar with the book of Colossians. It’s one of the better known letters of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Well many don’t realize that there was actually a second letter addressed to believers in Colossae. It’s called Philemon. Let’s get started by reading vv.1-7. (more…)