Twice in the last week, I've seen news about American-based Chase Bank and what they did for their Canadian customers. a
They erased all CREDIT CARD DEBT for them!
WOW. What an amazing feeling that had to be for so many people knowing that they were relieved of that financial burden. Many live with a tremendous amount of credit card debt. It can feel overwhelming. It forces people to work even more, in an attempt to get out of debt.
It can create fear and anxiety for some. But CHASE CREDIT CARD paid the debt. They certainly didn't have to, but they did. It was a gift.
As I read about all of this, I thought about Jesus the Christ. He has paid the debt for our sins.
He came to rescue us from a debt that we could never pay.
Mark 10:45: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Romans 5:6-8: For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
Colossians 2:13-14: "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
REJOICE with the debt our Savior has paid for US.
God is good, not just some of the time, but all the time.
Is it possible for Christians to fall away? Many say NO. But what does the Bible say?
The Bible says YES. I’m currently teaching the book of Hebrews in my Bible class. What a great study it’s been. I would like to share a few passages with you to consider.
The first is found in Hebrews 2:1 where it says, “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.”
What had they heard?
They heard about the SUPREMACY of Jesus Christ. They were reminded in chapter one that Jesus is heir of all things, creator, the radiance of His glory, the exact representation of His nature, purified us from our sins, and has sat down at the right hand of God!
They had been given the words of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 2:3-4. The words that had been spoken by the Lord, then confirmed to them by those who had heard (apostles) who testified with signs, wonders, and various miracles.
What they heard was sure. They could be confident in it. But they needed to PAY MUCH CLOSER ATTENTION TO IT. Why?
Because they could begin to neglect their great salvation, Hebrews 2:3.
What do you have to do to neglect something? NOTHING. Far too often this can happen when it comes to our faith. Apathy creeps in. So does Complaining. The same for being too BUSY. Before you know it, BOOM….We’re drifting.
- Pay Attention more closing to what you’ve already heard.
- Remember, Jesus is the anchor for our soul, Hebrews 6:19. Our hope in Him is an anchor for our soul. Remember what you have now in Christ, and what is to come.
- Remember who Jesus is. Never stop appreciating His majesty and what He has done for us.
God is with us.
The book of Hebrews is an interesting book. There are some things we don't know for sure about it.
1. We don't know for sure who wrote it.
2. We aren't for sure exactly who the recipients of the book were as well.
While we're not able to know these details, it doesn't mean that we can't know anything. The truth is, we can learn and know a lot from this inspired book.
1. We can know that it's possible for Christians to leave Christ.
2. We can know that we all need encouragement from time to time.
3. We can know that it's good for Christians to be warned about their spiritual condition. Consider what the Hebrew writer said in a number of passages.
Hebrews 2:1" "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."
Hebrews 3:7-8: "So, as the Holy Spirit says, 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion..."
Hebrews 5:11: "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn."
Hebrews 10:26: "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left..."
Hebrews 12:25: "See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?"
Just as the saints in the first century needed to take these warnings seriously, so do we.
There are a variety of ways one can reach out to the community and share the gospel.
1. One can post sermons or articles on Facebook. That's a good thing to do.
2. You can purchase a newspaper ad inviting the community to sit in on a Bible study. That's good as well.
3. You can begin a neighborhood Bible study. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.
4. You could write write religious articles for a newspaper. Earlier this year, I was able to write an article about the resurrection of Jesus in one of our local newspaper.
All of these tactics are really good. Yet there is something very important to remember.
Evangelism is Personal.
Personal Evangelism must be Personal.
As we seek to invite other and welcome people who visit our congregation, let's remember that eventually things must become personal. Here's what I mean by that. We will need to get personal and ask someone if they would like to have a Bible study. We will need to get personal and sit down with someone face to face. We will need to get personal and answer tough questions people will have. Evangelism is personal in nature. While we can do things as a congregation (like a Bible class on Evangelism), eventually it must become personal. We must make the decision to talk, share, and study with others.
Let's make it personal. Great things will happen when we do.
God Bless. Don't forget that Jesus loves you.
I’ve been in QUESTION MODE. When I see people doing something well, I begin to get curious. I want to know more.
- What’s their secret?
- What advice are they willing to share?
- What I might be able to modify in my life?
The last few weeks I’ve had an opportunity to talk to some people who have been married for a LOONNG TIME. My wife and I will be married 15 years this month.
Marriage has changed a lot in our country and the world for that matter. But my standard is what’s found in the scriptures. In the beginning…Genesis 1:1. God set the standards for what marriage is supposed to look like way before the nation of Israel was established, and way before Christianity was established. One man and one woman for life, Genesis 2:21-24. That’s not as popular, but I believe it to be the standard.
So I asked some couples recently who have been married for over 40 years some questions. Here’s what I learned.
- For Men: Put your wife on a pedestal. Treat her like a queen.
- For Men and Women: One man I spoke to said that his parents couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. That’s some good advice right there. Keep the passion burning.
- For Men: Your wife is always right! There have been plenty of times where I should have listened to my wife MORE. It didn’t serve me well when I didn’t.
- For Women: Always give 110%. That’s what a lady told my wife last night. She mentioned how so many give up too quickly when it comes to marriage.
Marriage is a blessing from God. Let's enjoy what God has given us.