Facing the Future on Firm Footing (Part 5) “Keeping First Things First”

Facing the Future on Firm Footing (Part 5) “Keeping First Things First”   (Matthew 5:3)

Theme: Examining the basics disciplines of prayer, Bible study, giving, fasting and serving

Introduction: We tend to think that the more faithful we are to God, the more spiritual we will feel; but really, quite the reverse should take place.  You see, it is not what I have that makes me feel more spiritual, it is in realizing what I don’t have, that drives me to the Lord.  In Jesus famous sermon on the mount, He begins by telling us “Blessed (or happy) are the poor in spirit…” theirs is the kingdom of heaven” However, becoming poor in spirit requires discipline and today, in our last message of “Facing the Future on Firm Footing,” I want to share five spiritual disciplines that will help us stay poor in spirit. Exercising the disciplines of prayer, fasting, giving, Bible study, and Christian service, will lead to a new love for the Lord, and they are actually designed to help us maintain our sense of our desperate need for Him. These are what we would call “The first things” Leadership expert John Maxwell says, “There are two things are the most difficult to get people to do: To think and to do things in order of importance.” Maxwell goes on to say, “prioritizing is the key to personal effectiveness. I would say to us today, making these five disciplines a priority in our lives will be the key to our spiritual growth, maturity, and effectiveness as well.  As we look at each one, we just want to grasp a deeper understanding of what they are, how they work and how they help us.

Listening Guide Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 5 Keeping First Things First

January 30, 2022 Service with Sermon  Keeping First Things First

 

Facing the Future on Firm Footing (Part 4) “The Danger Zone”   (Revelation 2:2-5)

Theme: Protecting against allowing our love for the Lord to grow cold

Introduction: When a person accepts Christ, they usually start the journey excited, going and growing. Most want to make the most of the Christian life and strive to grow and become all they can in Christ. But sometimes, the genuine joy which we feel ought to be part of the Christian life, easily slips from us. Perhaps that’s what happened to the believers in the church of our text which caused them to leave their first love (the Lord). Some people deal with this by continuing to go through the motions of service, and try to worship, but for some reason it doesn’t seem real anymore. Apparently, this is what they were trying to do. However, a concerned Christian may ask, “Is there some sort of safety check list that I can tap into to protect myself from slipping or at least be alerted to it happening?” Yes! beyond the obvious indications of back-sliding there are some things we

should check and pay attention to, to help protect our relationship with the Lord and keep it as it should be. Today I want to give us 10 things I am titling “The Danger Zone.” This is a place where we find ourselves pulling away from the Lord. I am headed for the danger zone when…

Remember: Having an unforgiving spirit is a clear indication we are in the danger zone of pulling away from the Lord. In the Christian life, there is no neutral position. We are either walking with the Lord or we are walking away from Him. Which one are choosing to do today?

Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 4 The Danger Zone

Service with Sermon January 23, 2022 Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 4 The Danger Zone

 

Facing the Future on Firm Footing (Part 3) “Staying in Love”   (Romans 8:16)

Theme: We keep our love for the Lord alive by recognizing our daily need for Him

Introduction: Immediately following salvation, the Spirit of God enters our life and confirms that a new loving relationship has been established with God. Knowing what that relationship is and how it works is what gives me the firm footing I need to live for the Lord in harmony and right fellowship with Him. Over the remaining weeks of January, I want us to spend some time being sure we are starting the New Year, “Facing the Future on Firm Footing.” Dealing with the knowable things can establish us a firm foundation upon which we can stand and move forward with great confidence!

In our text Paul tells us, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Rom 8:16) It is God’s Spirit within us that produces our love and obedience to God and His Word. In the previous verses Paul told us… (Rom 8:14) In contrast with the control of sin, which enslaves to the point of fear, believers have received the Spirit of adoption. Adoption- means “placing as a son”

Believers are adopted sons (Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5), not slaves (Gal 4:7); We don’t serve, love, and obey God because we have to, but rather because we want to! As long as we are dependent upon God for our strength and obedient to His Word, we will experience the grace of a new Christian’s “First love” (Which is to be God Himself or keeping God first). However, the danger many overlook is, that it is easy to grieve the Spirit of God and to leave our first love in pursuit of other things.

We must do all we should to stay in love with the Lord and keep Him first in our lives or we will lose our first love which is the greater tragedy for many Christians today. How can we stay in love with the Lord? There are several things we must understand to protect our love for the Lord and keep Him first.

Conclusion: It is God’s Spirit within us that produces our love and obedience to God and His Word which sets our feet on firm footing! But is it our job to be sure we stay in love with the Lord and not grieve the Spirit above all else.

Listening Guide Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 3 Staying in Love

Service with Sermon January 16, 2022 Facing the Future on Firm Footing – Staying in Love

 

Facing the Future on Firm Footing  (Part 2) “Check the Evidence”  Various scriptures

Theme:Examining six evidences that show we are growing in our relationship with God

Introduction: God’s plan of salvation is very simple, but the Bible tells us in Matthew 7:13-14 – Jesus said, “…Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. I wonder, is there a sadder message in the whole Bible than this one?

Sometimes we observe people, and wonder, are they going to get to heaven despite the way they act? Now I couldn’t answer that question nor can you. You and I do not truly know if a person is saved or not, but sometimes we can get a pretty good idea. However, you and I see only the outward appearance of the person while God alone sees the inward appearance., So, only God knows for sure. What we do know is that the Bible teaches us very clearly that after a person has received salvation through Jesus that a change should take place in their lives. There should be visible evidence of their salvation! As the Apostle Paul told us in II Corinthians 5:17. So, how can I know salvation has taken place in me? Well, one way to be sure is to “check the evidence!” True salvation results in a growing relationship in which we become more and more conscious of God’s words and ways by obedience to Him through the prompting of the Holy Spirit who now lives in us. Today, I want to give us six evidences to check to reassure us our salvation is real and our relationship between God and us is on track as it should be.

Listening Guide Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 2 Check the Evidence

Service With Sermon January 9, 2022 Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 2 Check the Evidence

 

Facing the Future on Firm Footing (Part 1) Settling the Issue   1 John 5:13

Theme: How to be sure you are a Christian

Introduction: The land of what-ifs is a tempting place to go. It is also a dangerous place to be. And chances are, you have visited there.

There are countless “what-if” scenarios, both big and small. But they have two things in common:

  1. They are all about the uncertainties we face in life.
  2. They don’t help.

There are too many uncertainties in life for us to worry about that we have no control over. Over the next few weeks of January, I want us to spend some time being sure we are starting the New Year, “Facing the Future on Firm Footing.”

Dealing with the knowable things can establish us a firm foundation upon which we can stand and move forward with great confidence! The truth is the decisions we make in life are based on the ideas we have already accepted. Wrong ideas lead to wrong conclusions and take us down dangerous paths. Just as right ideas lead to right conclusions and right paths. The most important decision that we will ever make in our lives involves our relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ. Believe it or not, this decision will affect every other decision we make in life.  In order for us to have firm footing here, we must once and for all settle the issue. Can one really know? Yes! And this is how we settle the issue.

Conclusion: The land of uncertainty and what if’s is a terrible place to live. Dealing with the knowable things can establish us a firm foundation upon which we can stand and move forward with great confidence! This new year you’re going to make some decisions no doubt. But the most important decisions you’ll make your whole life is about your relationship with God and His Son Jesus.  Do you know you are a Christian today, and your eternal life is secure because you have rejected the lies of Satan, recognized your sinful condition and received your new birth and life in Christ? Have you settled the issue once and for all so you can move forward facing this new year on firm footing knowing who have believed in?

Listening Guide Facing the Future on Firm Footing Part 1 Settling the Issue

Sermon January 2, 2022 Facing the Future on Firm Footing (Part 1) Settling the Issue – Due to equipment failure there is no online service from Tanglewood Comminity Church today.

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