No one who lives in Jesus keeps on sinning

No one who lives in (Jesus) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. (1 John 3:6)
What do we make of this verse?
It seems to suggest that true Christ-followers will be sinless, and that anyone who sins is therefore not an authentic Christ-follower.

Read the rest of the article here. 

Sermon on Matthew 5:43-48

I am looking for your OBSERVATIONS and APPLICATIONS on this passage, to help me prepare for this Sunday’s message (Dec 23, 2007). What stands out to you? What questions does it raise? How do you hear the Lord challenging you? Thanks for your hep!!! — Pastor Norm

43″You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

OBSERVATION:

1. God did command His people to love their neighbours (Leviticus 19:18), but nowhere does He command them to hate their enemies. It was certainly expressed by OT believers (see Psalm 139:19-22), but this does not mean that it was God’s will.

2. Jesus tells us not to aim for the kind of love that other people show, but to aim for the kind of love that God shows. People naturally love those who are easy to love, but God loves the unlovable, God loves us (Romans 5:8)!

3. Can you imagine the difference this kind of love would have on our world? What if this was the driving motive of the Jews and Palestinians? Of Muslims and Christians? Of whites and blacks? Granted, it would not eliminate evil (it is resident in our hearts), but it would certainly have a more positive effect that bombs and slander and revenge and hatred. These things are not eliminating evil either (ask George Bush whether he eliminated terrorism with his war?). Neither can eliminate evil, but sacrificial, generous, compassionate love will certainly produce better results that violence.

4. Speaking of whites and blacks (see above, 3.), I think of Martin Luther King who seriously attempted to apply this truth to the battle for racial equality. His love did not eliminate evil (he was murdered), but it did eventually win a great victory. Hear what he had to say… “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars… Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

5. Jesus is speaking to His disciples, training them for what it means to follow Him. In other words, this is not optional, this is THE WAY! This is how Christ-followers will act, that is, if they want to be children (sons) of the Father. This kind of love will make it obvious that we are Christ’s disciples. Hmm, I wonder if that means that those who do not show this kind of love show that they are not Christ’s disciples?

APPLICATION:

1. So what does this mean practically? If I am going to be a Christ-follower, then my goal needs to be to love like this, to be gracious and compassionate with everyone, including those who I do not like.

2. To be honest, I have no enemies, so this passage does not speak to me as it might have for the audience Jesus addressed (they had the Romans, the Jewish leaders, the slave-owners, the tax collectors). For me the application is more helpful to read it as “love strangers” or “love those you may not like”. Are there people I go out of my way to avoid, not because I hate them or view them as enemies but because I just don’t like them, they’re not the kind of people I am comfortable with.

3. Who is the Lord bringing to my mind that I could bless with an act of generosity, kindness, undeserved favour? This needs to be specific. If I am going to live like Jesus, then I need to love like Jesus. Who…? How…? What if the Lord is calling me to practice Christmas differently this year, not not give gifts to those who love me or who are my brothers?

The difference Jesus makes!

The difference Jesus makes!This coming month (December 2007) we will be focusing on the difference that Jesus makes in our lives.

As Christ-followers, we are all about Jesus! He is the reason, not only for the season, but for living and serving! We believe that He has changed everything, and now we have hope. Not just hope for ourselves but for everyone, for the whole world.

If you are a Christ-follower, can you explain the difference that Jesus has made in your life? Is it a noticeable difference? Tell us about it. Share your stories, so that we can be inspired and encouraged!

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

What’s the problem with porn?

Can you believe it? Have you ever heard of such a thing? A church having a “Porn Sunday”? Well, we are! On Sunday, November 25, we are going to tackle head on the issue of pornography and its devastating affects on individuals, marriages, families and society as a whole. If you weren’t sure about this, let me clear this up… We are not in favour of pornography.

xxxchurch.jpgWe will be hearing more about a radical ministry to those involved in and affected by the porn industry, called XXXChurch. We will hear from those who recently attended the “All About Sex” show in Toronto, handing out Bibles and holding conversations with those attending.

x3watch_logo.gifAnd we will learn about X3Watch, a free and easy computer program that allows families and individuals to guard their computers from internet pornography.

So what do you think? What is the problem with pornography

What can I do about world hunger?

World Hunger MapThis Sunday (Nov 4, 2007) we have Pastor Gerry Rignalda leading service. He will be speaking on the theme of World Hunger, based on Matthew 14:13-21, You Give Them Something To Eat.

So here is the question, what is our responsibility as Christ-followers to the millions of people worldwide who do not have enough to eat? How does world hunger affect us? How we eat? How we spend our money? How we shop? So many questions, sometimes its easier to do the ostrich, bury our head!

Any thoughts?

What is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?This Sunday (Oct 28, 2007) I am going to try and answer the question, “What Is The Gospel?”.

So what would you say in answer to this question? What is the message of “good news” that we as Christ-followers are committed to sharing…. Just that you know, I find the answer that Jesus died for our sins a simplistic cliche that doesn’t fully answer the question. Tell me more!