1) Built On The Right Foundation. 1/24/15
Most of us are familiar with the account in the Bible when Jesus speaks about how important it is to build on the right foundation. If we build on the rock that is Christ then we will be building on the right foundation for it is sturdy and sure. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:48 that those who dig deep and build on Him as their foundation, when the storms of life come and when the winds of change blow those who are in Him and doing His will, they will be able to stand against these trails and overcome. But for those who fail to build on Him their foundations are like fools who build their homes on the sand. When the storms of life come and the winds of change blow they quickly fall away from God and their faith collapses right from underneath them. So the simple question that we need to be asking is are we built on the right foundation. Are we in Christ, adhering to His teachings, constantly striving to make ourselves more in His image, or are we fooling ourselves by thinking that we can be a Christian yet live like everyone else in the world. We need to never forget that we have been called out of the world (2 Cor. 6:17-18) with a price (Acts 20:28). We need to make sure that with every word we say and every decision we make we are allowing Christ to be seen in us. There are plenty of people out there who claim to be Christians who are skipping down the road toward the gate that is broad and leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13). So let us all do a self-check and make sure that we are shining lights by being examples of what a Christian should look, sound, and live like. Let's make sure that our foundation is built on the Rock which is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Chris Gardner
2) Buying Truth (Proverbs 23:23) 9/2/15
In the 23rd chapter of Proverbs and the 23rd verse we read of Solomon giving some very basic but good advice, "Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding. Here Solomon declares how it's good to buy truth along with wisdom, instruction, and understanding and never sell. For a world where most people are so self absorbed, only worried about the now, this advice from Solomon is timeless. As Christians we know better than most how, due to our evangelistic efforts, the one thing people need the most seems to be the one thing they do not have time for, referring to Godly truth. The problem is most people just do not understand how precious their souls truly are. But Jesus knew all too well and clearly conveys this message to us in Matt. 16:26, "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? There is some question here whether the word soul (in the Greek) is meaning either the life force that animates the body or the eternal part of our existence, but with each view we can still see Jesus' point in how both are precious. If it is referring to our life force, we all understand the value of life for we only get one and there are no do over's. We have to be sure we make the most of our time so as not to squander it with vain pursuits of pleasure. If it is referring to our eternal part then salvation becomes man's earthly focus so as to prepare themselves for the life to come. Either way, the time we spend here in the physical earth becomes important, stressing to each individual that they do not squander their lives on chasing the pursuits of the world, but instead make the most of our time living for God. The best way people can do exactly that is by buying truth and not selling. Once individuals gain the understanding of how vain the pursuit of worldliness is they usual begin to seriously look for better answers- as Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:23 there is nothing more valuable than truth. Our Lord and Savior proclaimed that there is power in the truth and the truth is what has the potential to set every individual free (John 8:32). The truth that Jesus was referring to is the power of His gospel. Once we have gained the knowledge of the gospel and what it has the potential to do, each person is left with the choice to either buy the truth that will set their souls free or they can sell it and continue to pursue the vain pursuits of life hoping that they will bring them happiness. Some have found the truth and bought in, but the majority of the world (under the influence of Satan) has not yet found the truth to buy. That is where the Christian individual comes into play. Our responsibility is to be the constant salesman looking for opportunities to sell the truth, because we have the greatest thing anyone could ever want to buy with the gift of salvation. The greatest thing about it is that it is free for Jesus already purchased it on the cross. As Christians let us also be examples to the world in that once we found what we were looking for we do as Solomon suggests and never sell.-Chris Gardner
3) Wisdom and Spiritual Understanding (Colossians 1:9) 8/23/16
Last afternoon in our afternoon worship we went over the lesson found in 1 Kings 3 about the time when Solomon was given by God the gift of a wise and discerning heart. God had approached Solomon in a dream and basically asked him what He (God) could give him (Solomon). As the text states God was well pleased with the response that He had gotten from Solomon. Solomon had self proclaimed the need for awise and discerning heart to aid him in being the king. As we all know God gave Solomon what he asked and Solomon went on to become one of (if not) the greatest minds this planet has even known. As I was preaching this sermon last week it hit me how wonderful it would be to be like Solomon and have that kind of wisdom and understanding. Then it came to me there is no reason why I can't have that. Now I understand fully that I will never be on the same level as Solomon, but thanks to the Word of God having been recorded for us in the written form and the open access that we all have to it, the only thing holding us back from have a wealth of Biblical knowledge is ourselves. There is no good reason why we can not spend more time reading the Bible and meditating on the lessons given. The is no one holding us back and preventing us from memorizing Scripture and writing it on our hearts or stopping us from studying more in our free time. The only thing holding us back is ourselves.What is lacking in our spiritual lives is motivation. We are told in (2 Timothy 2:15) "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. And in (2 Peter 1:10) "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble. In these two verses we are given all the motivation that we should ever need, which brings me back to the original point and the need for a heart like Solomon. Solomon asked God to increase his wisdom and that is the exact thing we all should be doing as well. Who among us wouldn't benefit from knowing more about the Bible? Would a wiser and discerning heart not help you in dealing with loved ones who have either fallen away from God or who continue to stubbornly refuse to turn away from the world and obey the gospel? To the surprise of some the answer to what we seek is right in front of us. As alluded to earlier we have the written Word in our midst “just waiting for us to pick it up and allow the Holy Spirit to work on our hearts from its ancient pages. But there is another avenue in which we need to be exploring. In the book of Colossians the apostle Paul was writing to the brethren in Colosse and in the salutation part of the letter (in the opening verses of chapter one) we read how Paul is bragging about their faith in Christ and love for the brethren. Once Paul had learned of their status we read how he is very proud of them and declares in v9, "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Notice here what Paul says to the saints in Colosse. Because he was hearing such rave reviews about their conduct in his absence, he and those with him were praying without ceasing and asking God to fill them with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Because these saints were already displaying great love for Christ and their fellow brethren, Paul petitions God to grant them what they were lacking through continuous prayer. Brothers and sisters, is that not what we should still be doing today for one another? Once we can love God and His Son the way that we should and love our brethren in serving their needs without grumbling, once we empty ourselves out of our old selves and are striving to truly do God's will in our lives, then we are ready, as Paul was seeing with the congregation in Colosse, to be filled up with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. So let's learn from the church in Colosse and be working on doing a better job of showing our love for Christ by sharing the gospel with the world. But if you like most people and have no idea where to begin to evangelize, try grabbing some tracts off the tract rack and read them. Then take the one(s) you like most and hand them out to friends and family, people you meet on the street or even just leave them at the places where people have a tendency to read: hospitals, Dr. Offices, DMV, coffee shops, even public restrooms. The job of convincing the world about Christ is not ours but the Holy Spirits which He does through the power of the gospel. The job of the Christian is to have the courage to present the gospel to the world by any and every means we can, because neither individually or collectively are we ever going to convert the lost by doing nothing. Then once we are doing that and also showing love for our brethren then let us do as Paul was doing and be praying for each other to increase our wisdom and spiritual understanding. When we collectively start doing this, we will see increase in not only our numbers but in our influence with the world and in the knowledge of God's Word. (Colossians 1:28) "Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.-Chris Gardner
4) You Can't Change God's Will. 7/30/16
Have you ever wondered how much force and energy it would take to move the moon out of our orbit or to drag a star from one galaxy to another? I'm sure someone on the internet has already done the math and come up with a feasible calculation to pull off this monumental feat. But we all know that moons and stars and planets have been set in their position by God and it would take the power of God to reposition such mammoth pieces of mass. The point I want you to consider is like moving the moon something's are impossible and cannot be done. And if there is anything in our universe that absolutely cannot be done no matter how hard some tried is to change God's will.
No more can any more move a star or moon or planet out of its orbit which was placed there by God in his infinite wisdom and power-then you can change anything that God has promised or predicted that will happen. Since God is beyond time He knows all of time-it is almost as if there is a giant chalk board in front of Him with a straight line draw right down the middle. And at one end it says creation and at the other the second coming and all in between is everything that has and will happen. And God is able to look at this chalk board and know what is going to take place along with how, why, and where at any point in time.
But yet in our day there are all kinds of people who are currently riding the wave of free thought that suddenly despite what the Scriptures actually says-God now has changed His mind on certain things as found in the Bible.
Things like how the marriage union consists of one man and one woman, homosexuality, that any church is a good enough church, that salvation now works like osmosis, that woman can lead in acts of worship. And if you oppose these current trends being proclaim and done in Christianity today and hold onto the morals as taught in Bible then you must be either small minded (which is another way to call someone stupid) or a bigot. But what the world has forgotten is that the Bible is not just another book written by man, but is the literal God breathed instruction given to us so as to help us overcome the false teachings of Satan. And no matter how cleaver Satan tries to manipulate the vast majority of the public into believing his false propaganda-the truth of the matter will remain that the teachings as found in Bible are like God Himself-they never change. The prophet by inspiration wrote in Malachi 3:6, "For I am the LORD, I do not change¦ Meaning that God doesn't declare that something is wrong one day, and then feel guilty about it the next and then change His mind, and then proclaim that He was different back in the old days; but is now a whole lot more tolerate toward man and more open minded to allow man to basically do whatever and due to His vast love will grant them eternal life.
So the next time you hear someone trying to claim that God is now okay with things that He has in the past (in Scripture) declared to be immoral and sinful, redirect these individuals to the Scriptures and show them Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 that clearly help us see that God's will unlike man's does not change. A person would have an easier time tying a rope around the moon and moving it an inch out its orbit than seeing God change His will on moral issues such as what is right and what is sinful. So let's be thankful God isn't wishy-washy, and be glad His yes is yes and His no is no for it helps us have a standard to live by, which will be also the same standard every soul will be judged by in the end. Psalms 9:19 "Arise, O LORD, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight. “Chris Gardner