A woman lost her faith because she prayed for healing and healing didn’t come, as if prayer could control God’s will. She said, “The God of my childhood died.” Our childish gods need to die. We need a childlike faith but not a childish faith that cares more about magic than submission to the perfect will of a loving God.
An elderly man, Luigi Tarisio, was found dead in his home. It was discovered that he had stashed away a remarkable collection of 246 priceless violins. The pinnacle of his collected works was a Stradivarius. He obviously cherished these instruments, but his love for them deprived the world of the beautiful music they would’ve produced. We have a treasure that people need to hear--not kept to ourselves.
We reach out to others because we’ve seen the light--we’ve had a “spiritual awakening”. The Good News of Jesus has changed our lives and we believe it has the power to change others. We’re like the people Jesus healed, who go and tell others of the Master’s touch. “I once was lost but now am found; was blind but now I see.” There are only two kinds of people: sinners, and recovering sinners. Christians aren’t “better” than unbelievers; we’ve simply accepted the remedy for all of life’s pain and hurt, and we want others to have it. The kindest thing we can do for someone is to introduce them to Jesus.
Being a silent witness isn’t enough. St Francis allegedly said, “Preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words.” We have to live our faith before we can give it...but if the media followed this approach they’d be obligated to report the news without words. We need to communicate the Good News and this means telling people facts they need to know. We need to seek opportunities to share Christ, teachable moments. There’s something wrong when we can’t talk about Someone we love.
Jesus, divine Son of God and Son of man, You are more wonderful than we will ever be able to say. We cannot "do You justice"; Hymns, prayers, sermons, and theology can at best bow in wonder. We love You and confess You as Lord. You are the son of all sons, The ultimate embodiment of unfallen humankind. You carry the image and essence of the invisible God. You radiate glory as the exact, full representation of God. We desire to know You as our friend, our brother, and yet our Lord. We are in relation to You because You have initiated this connection. We are Yours, not due to our grasp of divine knowledge; Not because of any superior righteousness. We have nothing to boast of, except Your grace, Giving us what we don't deserve; And Your mercy, Not giving us what we do deserve. You chose us while yet estranged sinners in dire need. You are our Bridge to life. Cause us to ever celebrate Your person and work, And to live as Your devoted followers always.
Gresham Machen gave this advice to Harold Ockenga as he was beginning his ministry:
"The whole world is your province as a preacher of the Gospel of Christ. Be interested in the teachings of science, in literature, in philosophy, and art. Do not be content with a superficial study of the Holy Book, but be a scribe who has become a disciple of the Kingdom of God. Do not be content merely with a chance acquantance with the Book, but seek to study it in the light of the grand, exegetical tradition of the Christian Church. Then you will know that nothing, no hostility of the world, no adverse decisions of souls and bodies of the visible church, no defections, no hostility can ever separate you from the great heritage that God has given you and these people in this Book."
> 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)