November Month 2011

Who do you hear, Who do you follow?

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5th And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.  (John 10:4-5)

In the life of every believers there are those moments where we ponder our place in the present. Who are we, where are we going, why are we here and what are we doing. One of the most repeated questions in the family of faith, what is my Kingdom purpose, what does God want me to do? Whenever I sat in a classroom at Dallas Baptist, I was confident that if I didn’t know I needed to ask the Professor. They were my teachers, my instructors and if I was going to get better I needed to listen and learn. In life God positioned himself as our instructors, our teacher and guide, but I wonder if we are listening. Think about it, “Who do you hear, Who do you follow?”

Jesus explained to his disciples in the Parable about the good shepherd that the sheep knew the voice of the shepherd. In fact, they were so committed to listening and following the shepherd they would not respond to the voice of a stranger. If the shepherd voice is familiar and worth following, the stranger voice were things opposite of the Shepherd. Believers should know, that if it is unholy, unrighteous and ungodly, it is not the voice of the Shepherd. If it is rude, disrespectful and designed to hurt others it is not the voice of the shepherd. When we consider the people and places that we interact with or go, we must ask, would the Shepherd approve of my actions? When we are wondering about the path we should take, or the words we speak, we should ask if it’s the Shepherd leading the way? 

Who we are and who we will become should not be defined by our physical address, our last name nor the number of 0 before the decimal in our bank account. If we are honest with ourselves we know it is our God that teaches us, guides us and leads us every day. The steps of a righteous man is ordered by God. However if don’t listen and follow him, we  will find ourselves in the midst of strangers. “Who do you hear, Who do you follow?”

Pastor SP Courtney

What you do is all about you!

 Then the disciples, every man according to his own ability, determined to sendrelief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea. (Acts 11:29)

We all are responsible for helping those that are in need, and being a blessing to others as God has been a blessing to us. Many people make the decision about their giving and their kindness based on others. Perhaps it is because we live in a competitive society or because we want to keep up with the Jones’s and what they are doing. Then there are those who don’t give or show any concern for others because they don’t think what they have to give or say will make a difference.  The truth of the matter is that God has given each of us a gift and a role in the Kingdom.  “What you do is all about you!”

Luke rights in the book of Acts about Peter and the church at Jerusalem and their relationship with the church at Antioch. The new believers at Antioch had heard about the persecution of Stephen and his demonstration of faith, and it caused more Jews to become followers and believers of Christ. As a result of the growth and the good things coming out of Antioch the church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas to Antioch. Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch and later other prophets from Jerusalem came and they prophesied of great tribulation, (a famine) that was coming in Judea. As a result of the famine all the brethren determined to send relief to the brethren out of their own ability. Everyone gave, but they did not dictate what to give, they gave out of their own ability.

Knowing that if you have more you have a responsibility to do more is the foundation of what our society should be built. The church should understand this as well. Give as God has given unto you. “What you do is all about you!”

Pastor SP Courtney

Will you show mercy, despite what you think of them? 

 Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

In a world where everyone is trying to take care of themselves, trying to obtain material things and social status believers are responsible for the less fortunate. God said that the poor would always be with us, and while some of us complain about what we don’t have, if we are in Jesus we are rich because our the Earth is the Lord and everything in it. Economist suggest that if you have a bank account, a place to live and clothes on your back, you are in the top 20% of wealth in the world. We are blessed and our Lord expects us to do for others even if we in our shallow minds don’t believe they deserve it.  “Will you show mercy, despite what you think of them?” 

When Jesus is teaching about the beatitudes, I believe he is addressing the church and her character. Yes we take care of one another, but what about those on the outside who you look at and see more evil than good. Those who you look at and you wonder if they will ever get it together. In fact part of our problem is that we look at the world and in some cases we see a reminder of who we once were and we know how terrible we were so we turn away. That’s when mercy should show up and literally show out. God said I will bless those who will not treat others like they should be treated. Instead of treating them as evil, show them the goodness of the Lord. Instead of being afraid of who they are show them that you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The church must demonstrate that God did not give us the spirit of fear but of Power, love and a sound mind.  We must treat them not based on who they are but rather who we are in Jesus.  “Will you show mercy, despite what you think of them?” 

Pastor SP Courtney