Sermons and Classes
POTLUCK NEXT SUNDAY: Next Sunday is the first Sunday in May, and our custom is to have a potluck dinner on the first Sunday of the month. Plan to come and be a part of this wonderful time of sharing and fellowship.
KEEP THOSE CARDS AND LETTERS COMING: We want to encourage you to continue to send cards and letters to visitors, people who are ill, people who are struggling with problems, and all of God's people who need encouragement. The sheets Julie and Karl provide give you a start. There are many people who would be especially blessed by you taking a few minutes to drop them a note of encouragement or make a phone call.
NEW CLASS: Our Wednesday night class is starting a new study. For the next several months we will be studying the miracles of Christ. Did they have a purpose? Were they really miracles? Were they just random acts of compassion by Christ, or was there a plan and a purpose behind each miracle? In today's world of all kinds of claims about miracles and miracle workers, this is an important study. Come and be a part of the class meeting at 7:15 each Wednesday.
A. Boston Marathon was last Monday.I. SOME NEVER START THE RACE.
1. Enemies of America tried to stop it.B. We all run a race and Satan tries to stop us.
2. Last year's casualties made it special.
a. People doing Christian things stood out.
C. Christianity is a race.
1. 2 Timothy 4:6 – 8D. There are four kinds of runners in any race.
2. 1 Corinthians 9:24 – 27
A. Agrippa in Acts 26:27 – 28II. SOME START THE RACE, BUT QUIT.
1. Belief was the starting point.B. If you are not in this race you are in some other race.
2. Not to start means to have no hope.
3. What you have now is the best you will ever have.
1. Agrippa was in a political race.C. The race ends whether you start it or not.
2. It can be a celebrity race, a money race, pleasure.
A. 2 Timothy 4:10 — Demas (see Colossians 4:14).III. SOME HAVE A GOOD START BUT GET SIDETRACKED.
1. What made Demas quit? Would you quit?B. Satan uses many things to make us quit.
1. For Judas it was 30 pieces of silver.
A. 1 Kings 11:4 – 6 — for Solomon it was his wives.IV. SOME RUN THE RACE TO WIN.
B. Strange belief systems can lead us off — examples?
C. Notice it was Solomon's heart that was affected.
1. All races take preparation — are you preparing?
A. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
B. 2 Timothy 4:6 – 8 — we cannot re-run the race.
C. The race analogy breaks down when it comes to us.
1. We do not run the race alone.
2. Acts 2:38 — God helps us win the race.
3. We have each other to help us win the race.
4. Matthew 11:28 – 30
THE BACK PAGE
THE BOSTON MARATHON
Today's sermon is about running the Christian race. The analogy between running a race and being a Christian is hard to miss. Most of us know someone who is a runner, and we are aware of how much preparation it takes to be a successful runner. You cannot train for running by doing a day this week and another day three weeks from now. Training to be a runner demands consistency. It means being committed to not only getting out and running, but doing other things to help you be all you can be as a runner. Eating right, getting enough sleep, avoiding things that can lead to illness are all important.
In the same way, being a Christian requires many of the same things. You cannot be what God calls you to be just by attending a class or a worship service every so often. Christianity is not just about “going to Church.” It is also about how you live, what you do, how you conduct your life, what your morals are.
It is interesting that the enemies of the United States would want to attack a race. The Boston Marathon was a threat to terrorists, and the two brothers who attacked the Marathon are hailed as heroes by Al Qaeda. The City of Boston and the whole country in general viewed the attack on Boston as something that could not be allowed to change us, or to make us fearful. The man who won the race, the first American to do so in over 30 years, has told how he began training the day after the attack, and how his training consumed him for an entire year. People who were injured by the bombs came back to the race and made defiant stands against what they viewed as an attack on their freedom, their country, and their culture.
Are we as concerned about the attacks on Christianity? Are we preparing “to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15)? We are in a race, and preparation is what we do here every time we meet together. Join us!
— John Clayton