PASTOR MARK WHITTEMORE
In our society, "whatever" is a key term. We hear phrases like, "whatever floats your boat," meaning whatever you like is fine. Or, "whatever feels right," which meaning is obvious. Today, whatever YOU think is right; good; just, etc. is great because it is whatever you.... The problem is that we have made the terms that follow "whatever" relative. "Whatever" is right for you may or may not be right for me, but "whatever." A greater problem is that many Christians have bought into this mentality, and the consequence has been that the word of God has become relative!
Selected texts It is interesting to note how often the word “nothing” is used in Scripture. In Genesis 1.1 the word “created” has the idea of created out of nothing. The Lord spoke the word and from nothing came everything in creation. 1 Timothy 6.7 says, “ ... we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” This truth is apparent to anyone. Today, we are going to look at the word “nothing” as it relates to the amounting of something. In other words, God tells us there are things we can do that in the end will amount to nothing.
I have returned to this topic because we live in a world of worry. How many have something they are worried about? Something that you might be thinking about this very second that is causing you to worry? Maybe there is something that has been a source of worry for you over the last few days or weeks. We all have had things that have brought about the pangs of worry. Here are few thoughts about worry:
In our culture there seems to be an acceptance, and growing promotion of, arrogance or haughtiness. We see it in certain athletes, politicians, radio personalities, and many of those who are held-up as the “ones in the know.” Yet Scripture tells us that God hates this attitude because of what it does to our relationship to Him and our relationship with those around us. Today we are going to look at this attitude—What will you do with what you learn?
Ruth 1.16-17 Naomi’s husband and sons have died. Naomi is bitter and heartbroken. Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to pack up and leave. There is no reason for them to stay with her. Naomi can see no hope for the future. No hope for marriage for the two young ladies. No future in sight for any of them. Naomi develops a pessimistic view of life. One daughter-in-law leaves but Ruth says: 16“Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
During this time of year, we hear many songs that refer to who Jesus was at His birth. Immanuel; Prince of Peace; Wonderful Counselor; Almighty God; etc. In and of themselves, each tells us something about the child born in Bethlehem. Today we are going to look inside the Christmas story and find out some of the things we are told about this “Babe”.
One of the most precious commodities we have, whether we are young or old, is time. It is a safe assumption to say that what we see as important is defined by the time we give to it. Those things that are important we give our time to. Those things that are not important we do not give our time to. One wrote this about time: “We all need more time. But the time we have is all there is. There isn’t any more time.”
We live in a world of hurting people. People, like you and me, who have made bad choices and now live with the consequences — broken hearts, homes, relational scars, guilt and shame. People who long for forgiveness, a new heart, and a new start in life. People who question if these are even possible. People who need to experience from us the grace and comfort we have been shown. Today we are going to look at a few situations that show that in the person and work of Jesus Christ there is grace sufficient for all our sin and love that is amazing in its height, breadth and scope.
This past Sunday I preached a “hard” message. It dealt with having an intimate relationship with the Lord by staying away from the things He hates. I began by asking the congregation how relationships go between people we are close with if we continually do things they hate. In reality, we cannot have a relationship with anybody if we do things they hate. The same is true with the Lord.
We live in a culture that struggles with pride. While there is a healthy side to pride, the side that calls us to do the best we can, become all that we can and make the most of what God has given us, we are much more aware of the pride that is selfish, self-seeking and self-promoting.