The Three Truths
This week Blaine addressed three truths that we all must realize:
1) The need for a savior
2) The need for the church
3) The need to tell others
Unfortunately, our society has transformed these truths into suggestions. Through entertainment and other venues, the world tells us that are multiple avenues to salvation and numerous churches to select from. What is more, society is slowly creating an atmosphere in which sharing ones’ faith is viewed as offensive.
Nevertheless, the bible is clear regarding the road to salvation.
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Although the bible clearly outlines the path to heaven, what other false forms of salvation has the world offered?
In addition to our need for a savior, Blaine highlighted how important the church is in our spiritual journey. Blaine discussed the value of attending church functions and having meaningful relationships with each other. However, due to family obligations, work, and other commitments, it can be easy to put church relationships on the back burner. Let’s read the following scriptures to remind ourselves how important church relationships are to our lives.
1 Samuel 23:1-18
Saul Pursues David
7 Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” 8 And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
9 When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod.” 10 David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.”
And the Lord said, “He will.”
12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”
And the Lord said, “They will.”
13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
14 David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.
15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
Can you recall a time when someone helped you find strength in God or when you helped someone find strength in God?
How did that encouragement help you?
In the previous scripture, we notice that Jonathan was intentional in uplifting his friend. He was willing to lose his position as next in line to be king. Moreover, he was willing to go against his father. Similar to Johnathan, we must be intentional in building meaningful relationships in the church.
How can you be intentional in realizing your need for the church?
done with intention or on purpose;
Blaine further told us that God has given everyone talents so that we can strengthen the church. Oftentimes, we can feel either that we do not have any valuable talents to use or we do not have enough time to use our talents. On the other hand, some of us may be focused on using our talents to build our own kingdom instead of God’s. Nevertheless, God expects us to use our gifts for his glory. It is by using our gifts for God that we find our true purpose. Lets look at an example of individuals who used their skills to rebuild Jerusalem.
Builders of the Wall
3 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate…. 2 The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them. 3 The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. 4 Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. 5 The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.6 The Jeshanah[b] Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. 7 Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah—Melatiah of Gibeon and Jadon of Meronoth—places under the authority of the governor of Trans-Euphrates. 8 Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section. 10 Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him. 11 Malkijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.
Seeing how these men and women used their skills to rebuild Jerusalem, what talents do you have and how are you using them for God’s kingdom?
Why do you think the nobles refused to contribute?
What can tempt you to not contribute as much and how do you overcome those temptations?
We notice that Shallum brought in his family and they all used their skills together. How do you use your gifts collaboratively?
Bringing it Home
Blaine concluded his message by reminding us how important it is to tell others about Jesus. Similar to using our talents, sometimes it can be challenging to tell others about Jesus. This is illustrated in the story of Jonah.
Jonah Flees From the Lord
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
· Why do you think Jonah refused to go to Nineveh?
· What keeps you from telling others about Jesus?
However, when we open our mouth for God, then he is able to work powerfully. This is best evidenced in the second half of Jonah.
Jonah Goes to Nineveh
3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Although this occurred thousands of years ago, God still works powerfully through people.
Can you recall a time when you shared your faith and you witnessed God working during that occasion?
Please continue to pray for a speedy recovery for Lisa Reaney and for God to comfort Willy Fields and his family.