Sermons by Pastor Keith Brich, First Baptist Church, Albion NE
Run for the Goal!
I was a horrible student as a teenager. I remember taking Algebra…and failing it when I was in High School. I saw no use for it. It wasn’t relevant to my life.
It didn’t matter if I could solve an equation and tell you what “x” was. Why?
Because it didn’t matter to me. As a high school senior I had determined that I wanted to be a police officer. I was going to graduate high school….and I was going to major in Criminal Justice. I just KNEW as a police officer that I would NEVER have to solve an algebraic equation. I just wasn’t worth doing, in my mind. Weird how things change…and careers change
I wonder how many people have the same mindset when it comes to studying the Bible. I wonder how many people feel the same way about the Christian life in general.
Oh..sure……it’s good to sing songs to God on Sunday morning…it’s good to pray on Sunday morning…it’s good to go to church….but is that REALLY supposed to change the way we live every other day of the week?
We are told that if we trust in Jesus we will go to heaven. And we will. Jesus’ death on the cross is the payment that secures our home in Heaven. If we trust in HIM our eternal destiny is secure. It’s not even up for debate. The man that tells you that Jesus is not enough needs to be rebuked.
But what AFTER that? Do we simply trust Jesus and then go back to our life? We trust Jesus…then…..what?
What Do we Trust in?
From time to time I’ve considered writing a book about the people I’ve met in ministry. I remember talking with an older gentleman I used to know. Great guy — very likable guy. His name is LaVon.
LaVon would tell me about how they used to do things in the “old days”.
I remember him telling me that when he was a young man....they didn’t have telephones. Seems crazy! He told me of how he applied for a job when he got out of the army and he had to wait for a LETTER from them to tell him when to start work!
But then when the phone line was put in…they had to SHARE a phone line with several OTHER houses — and people could LISTEN IN on each other!
I remember the PRIDE that he had — in them living on the farm — far from the city.....and they were self-sufficient. They raised enough vegetables in the summer to preserve them and had them for the winter. They would raise their own animals to slaughter, and he told me the would store meat without refrigeration!
He even told me about how they had a windmill that would charge batteries to provide electricity because they were not on the electrical grid.
I remember hearing it and MARVELING about how independent previous generations were. Nowadays if the internet goes down for an hour we act like it’s the end of the world.
As he was telling me this, I could tell he was proud of how hard they worked — of how they had accomplished all that they did through hard work and innovation.
Follow the Example
In recent years I’ve discovered I enjoy reading biographies. I like reading the stories of great men and women that accomplished great things.
One such man was someone I saw interviewed on television about 10 years ago. He’s kind of a hero of mine — his story was so interesting, and so inspiring. In this interview, he told some of his amazing story, and said he had written a book. I went out and bought the book and was inspired by his life.
Walk the Walk
Remember what we looked at last week?
Last week we read from Philippians 2
The apostle Paul was writing that we should practice humility — we should not think too HIGHLY of ourselves, but we should be willing to bite our tongues, at times…in the interest of getting along with others.
He challenged us to be in agreement with other Christians on the IMPORTANT things.....
but that it’s ok to disagree on the secondary issues — or issues the Bible doesn’t speak clearly on.
And he pointed at the example that Jesus gave us.
Jesus, who is God himself, was willing to condescend to step out of Heaven, and become a man so that he could die on the cross to redeem us.
So what should OUR response be?
Today, we see that.
When the world looks at Christians…they form an opinion of Christ.
We may think that’s fair, we may NOT…but we must remember that we are ambassadors of Christ.
We represent him to the world.
In the past few months I’ve seen a lot of tv commercials, and I’ve gotten a lot of emails from different companies saying something to the effect of “We’re all in this together”.
And, the past few months have been a trying time.
And it’s interesting to see the secular world — meaning the non-church world — promoting the idea of unity, and working together as one.
We, as the church, are called to have the unity that the world would only HOPE to have.
We have a common bond that unites us — and it goes deeper than skin color, or what our social status is, or any interests or hobbies....
If you are a Christian, then you are a child of God. And we share the bond of being children of God. We are united in that aspect.
But what happens when God’s children feud? What happens when we disagree on issues?
EVEN in church, people sometimes disagree…and today we see instructions regarding unity among Christians.
We are the family of God — we are his people. We come to church to be around God’s family. And a family should love each other, and enjoy spending time with each other.
Before we jump into chapter 2....I’ll give my first point.
To Live is Christ
What’s the purpose of life?
When we trust in Christ, and we are saved....then what? If we are ready to go to Heaven — if we are ready to meet God face to face…why doesn’t he take us there immediately? Why would he leave us here?
The apostle Paul, in today’s text, tackles that question.
IF we are saved — if we are guaranteed to be with God in Heaven someday....WHY would we continue here? Why ARE we still left on earth?
What is the purpose of the Christian life?
If you have your Bible, please turn to Philippians 1