Sermons and Classes
FAIR IS A MONTH AWAY: Five weeks from today we will be setting up our fair booth at the Cass County Fair. We are going to repeat last year's exhibit on “Dandy Designs” with a few modifications. The booth got a lot of interest last year, and we will be having a special children's question board in addition to last year's adult boards. Be sure to save July 28 – August 2 to work the exhibit. We had a visitor recently from last summer's booth, and people have e-mailed us wanting to know if we are doing the same booth this year, so we do have interest in the community.
SENIOR DEVO will not be held in July. There is an announcement about it on the bulletin board.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: The Claytons will be working in the Ohio Christian Camp with 140 teenagers this week, and next week the Claytons leave for California to do a week long program at the Lake Tahoe Family Encampment. That means our class on miracles will be suspended until they get back. Come for a special class with Bill Gibson Wednesday night.
A. What does July 4 mean to you?I. GOD WANTS US TO HAVE SOCIAL FREEDOM.
B. Freedom is of huge value today — Iraq.
C. Acts 22:23 – 29 — Citizenship was of value to Paul.
D. GOD CALLS ALL PEOPLE TO BE FREE!
A. Galatians 3:38 — all one in Christ JesusII. GOD WANTS US TO HAVE POLITICAL FREEDOM.
B. 1 Corinthians 10:27
C. Church is not a place for social castes and prejudice.
1. 1 Corinthians 11:21 — what was happening?D. Romans 14:17 – 19
2. Paul calls this “unworthy manner” — verse 27 – 29
A. Galatians 3:28III. GOD WANTS US TO HAVE SPIRITUAL FREEDOM.
B. Matthew 22:17, 21 — Taxes
C. Romans 13:6 – 7 — No discussion of misuse even in Rome
A. Galatians 3:28 – 29IV. GOD WANTS US TO BE FREE OF THE CONTROL OF SIN.
B. You are a a child of God, not a slave to God — Galatians 3:3 – 7.
C. Here is real freedom — Colossians 2:13 – 14 and 20 – 23.
D. One guide to behavior —1 Corinthians 10:23
A. Romans 6:1 – 7 and 6:19 – 23
B. What controls you — or do you have the freedom God wants for you?
THE BACK PAGE
TAKING AMERICA FOR GRANTED
I am not a promoter of the Republican Party, the Tea Party, the Democratic Party, or any other politically labeled group. I am an American and thankful to live in this country. In Acts 22:23 – 29 Paul demonstrates what citizenship in a country can do. I know there were political factions in the Roman Empire, but when Paul was about to be flogged he did not get involved in a sectarian debate with the centurion who was directing his beating. Paul simply said, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn't even been found guilty?”
Thinking people have to be concerned with how much lobbyist control what our political system enacts as laws. We all cringe at the graft and immorality and illegal activities of politicians from all political groups as they get exposed from time to time. The fact of the matter however is that does have any immediate direct affect on my work week here in Dowagiac. I still go to bed without worrying about whether soldiers are going to come in and shoot me because of the way I voted or what I said to my neighbor; I still come to church without bringing a gun to protect myself against religious fanatics who might come storming in and shoot everyone in the building. I still am able to work to make a living and can go to a store and buy food without being fearful that there will be nothing on the store shelves to buy. No one tells me how many children I can have, whether I can buy gasoline or not, or where I can go or shop or whether I can enter a theater or not.
I could go on for many pages talking about things that we take for granted in this country that people in other countries simply do not have. Paul avoided a flogging by his Roman citizenship. God has blessed America with blessings we tend to take for granted, and on this celebration of the birth of our country I urge you to read all the verses of #801 in your song book (see below for the text of the song), and spend some time thanking God for the incredible blessing of being born and being able to live your life in America.
— John Clayton
O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, / For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plains; / America! America! God shed His grace on thee, / And crown they good for brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern impassioned stress / A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness; / America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw, / Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife, / Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life! / America! America! May God they gold refine, / Till all success be nobleness, And ev'ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriout dream That sees beyond the years / Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears; / America! America! God shed His grace on thee, / And crown they good for brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
Song 801 from Praise for the Lord songbook, published by Praise Press, Nashville, TN, 1997