Do not sorrow – is a command to obey (Nehemiah 8:10)
• Being unhappy defiles the holiness of God. Because God doesn’t want us to be unhappy in the day that is holy to our God.
• When we are sorrowful and unhappy, we degrade the ability of God.
• When we worry about the things that are not in our control, we are—-more—- saying that God you are not worthy of my trust anymore. God is telling us that the joy of the Lord is our strength.
• Joy of the Lord comes from knowing who our God is
• Joy of the Lord comes by trusting Him
• Joy of the Lord comes by having a relationship with God
• Joy of the Lord comes from the infilling of the Holy Spirit
There are definite things or essential things that Bible instructs or commands us to do or not to do. But there are disputable things or doubtful things or non-essential things the Word of God deals with. While dealing with such things,
1. We exercise the great freedom we have in Christ, but it is not a freedom where love is absent, its not a freedom that gives us right to sin, it is not even a freedom that gives us right to cause someone else to sin.
2. We do not cause confusion and do anything that destroys peace
3. We do not do anything that doesn’t help others to grow in Christ
4. We do not destroy the work of God by debating and standing firm on it
5. We do not make others stumble and walk away from faith
6. We keep it between ourselves and God, do not let others know and do not expect others to do
7. If we are convinced in our heart what we are doing is right, we don’t feel guilty
8. If we have doubt whether to do it or not, better not to do it, otherwise we are sinning as it is against our conscience.
Our inner person is easily weakened by life challenges. Inner person has to be healthy to have a joyful and a peaceful life. Key life decisions can be effectively taken only by a healthy inner man. Inner man becomes healthy when we are willing to seek God and allow His transforming power to work. Inner man must be cared, protected and strengthened by the power through His Spirit. —-more—-We must allow the Power that Works – power of the Gospel, power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the power of resurrection.
Only those who have “Tough Minded Faith” can sense success in dark times, come back after defeat and face the future unafraid. One can develop tough minded faith in God by knowing the existence of God, knowing that our days are in His hands and by seeking God as when we seek Him, He delivers us from all our fears.
Life becomes a prison cell the moment we are unable to push through life’s challenges and move forward. Life is capable of confining us inside our own prison cell and making the escape almost impossible.
Prison limits our ability, Prison offers what we deserve, Prison makes us to lose our rights. But God can set us free from the prison. —-more—-He is capable of cutting the chains that are binding us today. He is not only a chain breaker, He is also a door opener who sets us free from the prison.
The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah reminds us that
• God is expecting the church to get into a time of return, repentance and new beginnings
• God reminds us that He is in control of the earth and of our lives too.
• God reminds us to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord—-more—-
• God doesn’t want us to be ignorant of the time that we are living in
• God wants us to celebrate as it is the beginning of a new year and He is going to wipe away the old and make everything anew.
Christ followers cannot have a life that’s Self-Centered, they are expected to live a God-Centered life.
God’s Word, Prayer, Worship and Involvement in local and global mission are the four building blocks to build a God-Centered life. Listen to the sermon to know few simple practical steps of living a God-Centered life.
We all must balance our Christian lives with faith and works. Pray, study, meditate, and be filled with the Holy Spirit to spiritually grow and mature in your faith, at the same time, work hard and allow your faith in God to impact lives around you by meeting their emotional, spiritual and physical needs. Don’t over do either one, balance it.—-more—-
An apparent contradiction seen in what James & Paul are writing about faith & works. Paul is saying, no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. James is saying, man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Scriptures don’t contradict with each other. I believe both Paul & James are talking about Balancing faith and works.
• No one is expected to work to earn salvation, but we are expected to work not to lose our salvation.
• We need faith to maintain our salvation, we lose our salvation if we don’t work towards it as dead faith cannot produce salvation.
• Once saved is not saved for ever.
• We are saved by faith and we keep our faith alive by doing good works. Because without works faith within us dies.
In Psalm 13, David, brought his complaints, his pain and petitions to the Lord, then he realized his inability to hope anything for the future. Day by day he was losing his trust and joy, but one day he turned every frustration, every disappointment, every failure, every delay into praise. God expects us to do the same. Listen to the sermon to know how to turn your pain into praise.
We learn from Luke 6: 27-38 what extreme giving is.
When your giving is extreme in terms of
• Loving those who hate you and loving those who are unloved
• Doing good to those who do evil against you
• Lending those who are incapable of returning—-more—-
God gives it back in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over in terms of
• Forgiving us eternally and
• Granting us divine favor