Sunday, 9 September 2012

Great in God's Kingdom...

Sunday Sermon Review - September 9, 2012 ( this is the sermon review from my home church that I attend regularly)
Becoming Great in God's Kingdom
 The service began with the singing of several songs but the two favorites of mine were "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" and "Be Thou My Vision".
This was followed by a testimony by a young man who worked at the Pembina Valley Bible Camp and also at Midway Bible camp this summer. He shared stories of children coming to salvation in Christ Jesus and others growing in their faith at camp but also how satan and evil spirits attack children and bind their hearts in fear. Please pray for the children who come to these camps.

The sermon today was based on Matthew 18: 1-14 which is posted at the bottom here.
Pastor Ben spoke on the topic of becoming great and how God's idea of greatness is very different from what most people consider greatness.
Here is some of what Pastor Ben said:
God wants us to be great. ( God's idea of greatness)
Children dream of becoming famous and great. Little boys dream of playing in the NHL, little girls dream of being a princess.
Philippians 3:14 says I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
God wants us to live lives of greatness - not mediocre
Our understanding of greatness doesn't measure up with God's directive on this.
God says we are to become like little children.
Acknowlege that we are needy. Revelation 3:15-17  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Children are dependent on their parents. Pastor Ben gave the example of a baby who is helpless and without care, a baby will die. In the same way we need to become that dependent on God.
Our greatness comes from our great dependence on God.
We should not seek for status, recognition or position to serve God. Pastors and other leaders serve openly but many people serve God behind the scenes and receive no public recognition whatsoever. No one knows the ones who quietly pray in secret for people in and out of the church.
Greatness in God's eyes is a heart attitude. It is a passion for the "little ones". Pastor Ben said this includes children but is not limited to children. It also includes those suffering and those weak in the faith.
Make sure you take no part in causing "another to stumble".
God's anger and wrath are on those who mess with the "little ones" - those who cause the "little ones" to sin or to stumble.
Pastor Ben went on to say that statisically 80% of young people stop coming to church after their parents stop forcing them to go. He suggested in our church it is probably more likely 50%. Pastor Ben asked the question Why do the young people leave the church?? My note: If anyone reading this has any ideas as to why, please leave your thoughts in the comment section. I would be interested to know - why do the young people you know not want to go to church??
God's passion is to seek out the "little ones".
Pastor Ben stressed the importance on not withdrawing or refusing to get involved due to the fear one might have of "offending one of the little ones".
Church cannot replace what is the parent's responsibility in the home. Teach your children and pray with them and for them.
The closing song was "I'll Stand".

Matthew 18: 1-14
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

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