Write What You See

In Worship by Bruce LogueLeave a Comment

Daily Bible Readings:

Monday, August 22. Read Matthew 7:21-23. 1) What did Jesus warn against in this text? 2) What did Jesus say is necessary to be his disciple?

Tuesday, August 23. Read Matthew 10:34-39. 1) What did Jesus say he came to do? 2) Why do you think he said this. 3) Given loving Jesus or loving one’s parents, what did Jesus say must come first?

Wednesday, August 24. Read Luke 9:21-27. 1) What did Jesus say was about to happen to him? 2) Why do you think he told his disciples this? 3) What did Jesus say was necessary in order to follow him?

Thursday, August 25. Read Luke 9:57-62. 1) Of what did Jesus warn a wannabe disciple? 2) What point do you think he was making?

Friday, August 26. Read Luke 14:28-33. 1) What does Jesus say one does before constructing a building or going to war? 2) Why is it logical to do this? 3) What are the implications of this for following Jesus?

Saturday, August 27. Read Revelation 1:9-20. This is Sunday’s sermon text.

Prayer of the Week:

O Christ of God, We want to have the ethos, the characteristic spirit of the church you have described. Help us to be like you and put your interests first above all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn of the Week:

God of grace and God of glory
by Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1930

God of grace and God of glory,
on your people pour your pow’r;
crown your ancient Church’s story,
bring its bud to glorious flow’r.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.

Lo, the hosts of evil round us
scorn the Christ, assail his ways.
From the fears that long have bound us
free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the living of these days,
for the living of these days.

Cure your children’s warring madness;
bend our pride to your control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal,
lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of your salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
serving you whom we adore,
serving you whom we adore.

Devotional Article of the Week:

When a Church Stops Being a Church
When does Jesus close a church’s doors?
by Tim Archer

In the New Testament, we read about a church that was very hard-working and careful to defend all the correct teachings. They were quick to expose those that tried to teach mistruths. They had maintained their faith during difficult times. They had done all these things, yet Jesus told them that if they didn’t change, they could no longer be counted as one of his churches!

Jesus said this to the church in Ephesus: “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Revelation 2:4). Just as married couples can lose the romance from their relationship, churches can lose their love. They begin to focus on ritual perfection and doctrinal hairsplitting, and they forget their reason for existence. They lose their first love. Instead of being an organism, Christ’s body, they become an organization. Rules, regulations, and rituals replace relationships. What gets lost along the way is the loving spirit Christians should have.

Jesus rejects empty rules and hollow rituals. That’s not how he envisioned the church, nor what he will allow his churches to be. The church must be a community of love, characterized by a fervent love of God and of fellow man. It is to be an accepting place, not accepting intentional error, but accepting imperfect people.

If you haven’t found the church to be this way, don’t give up! There are churches out there who remember their first love and continue to live it. There are Christians who work every day at becoming more like Jesus.

If you are a Christian but have forgotten what you are supposed to be about, it’s not too late. Jesus said to these Christians in Revelation 2: “Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:5). We can go back to our first love, living out that love in our daily lives. We can replace empty ritual with a fulfilling life of love. We can return to being the body of Christ.

The church is an organism, not an organization. It is fueled by love, following the God that is love. We must never forget.

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