Find a quiet place where you can think without distractions, and ask yourself the following...
-What do I need to hear from God?
-How can I better yield myself to God?
-What does God want me to do?
-What do I fear?
-Is there something I'm holding back in my walk with God?
-Is there someone I need to reach out to?
-Can I think of someone I need to forgive?
-How can I increase my faith?
-Who might I share my faith with?
-What about God brings me comfort?
-Is there something about the Christian life that makes me uneasy?
-What is my greatest joy?
There's been a lot of buzz about evangelical writers who question whether there is a Hell, and I understand that it is an unpleasant prospect...but what I find really discouraging is the number of Christians who act like there's no Heaven. What we agree on is that Heaven is where we will be with God, worship, and serve Him, yet how many people are interested enough to get ready for this existence? If going to church is such a burden, they're going to hate Heaven. They can talk all they want about "getting out of the habit", but it's really a matter of priorities--they prefer doing other stuff, instead of benefitting from worship, instruction, fellowship, and service, which is what the church offers. If going to church is as unpleasant as a visit to the dentist, people should rethink whether they've truly given their hearts to the Lord. Pastors do all they can to make worship a pleasant and encouraging experience, and to ground their congregations in truth, which is a response to the lies we hear in our secular culture. Let's be grateful for one of the few places where we'll find acceptance and opportunities for spiritual growth, and preparation for our eternal Home.
1) Stop meditating on the gospel. “They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.”
2) Neglect your devotions and stop battling sin. “Then they cast off by degrees private duties, as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.”
3) Isolate yourself from Christian fellowship. “Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.”
4) Stop going to church. “After that, they grow cold to public duty, as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.”
5)Determine that Christians are hypocrites because they continue to sin. “They then begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly, and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming color to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmities they have espied in them) behind their backs.”
6) Trade Christian community for distinctly unChristian company. “Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men.”
7) Pursue rebellious conversation and fellowship. “Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.”
8) Allow yourself to enjoy some small, sinful pleasures. “After this they begin to play with little sins openly.”
9) Admit what you are and prepare yourself for everlasting torment. “And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.”
Bob Dylan sings, "We live in a political world," and it's getting more and more polarizing. What troubles me is the zealous interest in politics that divides people. Differences can lead popl to demonize the opposition in a culture that thrives on conflict. But I find that with some people, political interest is replacing religious faith. "In politics we trust" seems to be crowding out reliance on God. Politics is a false religion, rooted in a fallen world. While we ought to understand the issues and be good, voting citizens, we cannot hope to find answers to life in our political views. We worship the Messiah--no substitutes need apply. No candidate, no party, no system of government, no idelogy can bring us salvation. The only perfect government will be realized when Christ returns and "the government will be upon His shoulders" in His Kingdom-reign. Our true citizenship is in Heaven. Let's put our political views into perspective.
> Follow the Bible, using it as our only source of God’s truth, and our final authority. > Be practical and relevant to what’s happening in today’s world. > Use normal, everyday language. > Provide good, inspirational music. > Let visitors know they’re under no pressure to give money. > Be friendly, always.
50 Essex St, Saugus MA 01906 ph 781-233-2663 Sunday School 9:30 am; Worship 10:45 (Summer 10 am)