Manchester Church of Christ
Good evening. This evening I would like to give a short report about some of the things that have been going on in the Southbridge Church of Christ as well as some personal things going on with my family and me, and after that I will deliver a message.
First let me give all of you some update information on the Church that meets in Southbridge. Some of you may know that we purchased a building about two years ago and we have been in the process renovating it. This building has been a blessing. God provided this building for a very low price. The building when we bought it needed a lot of work. A new roof, in fact we still need a new roof, renovating all of the rooms and really just a lot of cleaning. Well, The Fourth Ave. Church of Christ in Tennessee sent up some of their men who were skilled in different areas and also sent the money to purchase the supplies we needed and they spent about three days working on some of the major areas in the building that needed the most work. They came down last summer. Since then we have continued to work on this building doing as much as we can with the time and money that God has provided, but there are still a lot of major things that need to be done. This really is a major blessing.
Even thought we spend a lot of time working on this building we realize that a building is not what makes a Church. Its Christ and people following Christ that makes a Church. The Church in Southbridge continues to preach Christ and to spread the word to those in the community through its members and through the Family Groups that the Church has set up. The community were the Church is located is a very needy community. There is not a lot of light in this community so Christ shines bright in this dark are.
The Southbridge Church has for about a year and a half been working with small groups that we call family groups. Basically these groups are made up of the members of the Church and are located in different towns were members live and held in the homes of Christians. We get together once a week on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, sometime in the middle of the week. The group that I lead meets on Wednesday and we share in a meal together and then we have a bible study. The reason for these groups is to gather and get to know some of the other members of the church and to talk about Jesus and act like Jesus. We invite people who are not Christians to these groups as a way to evangelize and we use these groups to get things done. For example if there is a need in the church for a meal to be made and delivered to a family, these groups organize that meal and a date to deliver it. If the need is small then just one family group, the one that the need was made known to tales care of this, but if the need is of a larger scale then these groups come together and organize and meet the need. And this applies to those who are Christians in the Church and those who are not Christians. If we are made aware of a need then we meet that need whether or not these people are Christians. We are trying to act like Christ and to show love to people.
Some things in our family have changed in a major way within the last few months. We have been blessed with a new member of our family (baby Ethan) and we have moved to a new apartment. Whenever we go through changes, whether small or big, it makes me think about life before Christ. I would have seen a new child as a burden instead of as a blessing, I would have looked at having to move as a hard time instead of as a new opportunity to meet new people and share the Gospel of Christ with them. I can see God’s hand in every aspect of our lives and it feels great to know that we are secure in the arms of the creator of the universe, Praise God for Jesus Christ.
My schooling is going good. I just completed two courses from the Sunset curriculum about a month ago (“1, 2 Timothy and Titus” and “The History of the Church in Acts“). The course I am taking now is the course on Acts. This is a more in-depth course on the book of Acts than the “History of the Church in Acts” was.
I have been continuing to preach on occasion at the “South Road Church of Christ” in Farmington Connecticut. I have to say that this has been a great blessing and a privilege. And I continue to preach in Southbridge from time to time and lead songs and do readings as well.
I think I have covered just about all the major things. If any of you have questions for either me or my wife we would be glad to speak with you after the service or you can always visit us in Southbridge we would love to have you visit.
On that note would you pray with me and we will get into our study for this evening.
God Loves You
Ps 33:6-9By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
Their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
How Amazing the Creator God is. The Creator of all things
Have you ever just sat back and thought about creation? Thought about the sun, the Moon, or even the whole Universe.
Facts about the universe.
Do you know that scientists have calculated how big the universe is? If we could start at one end and travel in a straight line till we reached the other end traveling at the speed of light it would take us 5 billion light years to reach the other side. 5 billion. The universe is massive.
Or how about this have you ever thought about a tree, a grain of sand, or the smallest part of an atom.
It boggles my mind when I think of these things. I’m blown away.
Let me read some more scripture.
3When I consider your heavens,
The work of your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
Which you have set in place,
4what is man that you are mindful of him,
The son of man that you care for him?
This brings us to a question. Why are we here?
The atheist might say were here by accident. There is really no purpose.
The Buddhist might say we’re here to work off our bad Karma so we can reach nothingness.
Well we can go through and disprove these theories. Scientifically, Philosophically. Historically. Ect.
So why are we hear
When we look in the accurate and reliable word of God we find the answer.
In scripture we read that man was created to have a relationship with God.
Stop and think about that for a moment. The creator of all things created man to have a relationship with him.
The plain and simple fact is that God wants to be in a relationship with each one of us. And In the beginning God had a personal relationship with man. He walked with Adam and eve in the garden. Scripture says:
8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
God walked with man and had a relationship with man.
Sin the problem. Man moves away
When we read the scriptures we find out that man moves away from God. We move away from the creator. How did that happen? Well, God gives one command “don’t eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. Why? Because it will hurt you and God didn’t want that. God waned and still wants what is good for us.
Man Moves away
When I was a younger I listened to everything my mother said but as I got older I think my brain shrunk because I started to do things that my mother told me not to do. Or didn’t want me to do. Not because she wanted to keep me down or under her control but because these things were bad for me or harmful. She loved me so she wanted what was good for me. I decided she didn’t know what she was talking about so I moved away. I ended up moving out of her house and going off on my own. What resulted from me disobeying my mother was that our relationship broke down and not only that but I found out the hard way that she was right.
When Adam and Eve disobey God and ate of the tree. Sin was introduced and man moved away from God. Just like the relationship between my mother and I was broken. When man moved away the relationship between man and God was broken.
God pursues man
God doesn’t leave things the way they are. He doesn't say well man will have to find away to fix our relationship. God pursues man.
People don’t think like this. If someone does something wrong to us we, most likely, are going to push them away. Have nothing to do with them or at least wait until they come to us and say they were sorry or fix things however they can. The likely hood of us pursuing our enemies for a relationship is even more ridicules to the way man thinks. So why should God help us fix a relationship that we broke?
Well when we look in scripture we find the answer.
1 John 4:16
God is love.
Now we really don’t have a full understanding of what Love is.
God Loves us and wants to have a relationship with us.
But sin needs to be dealt with. God is loving but also just and righteous so he needs to deal with this or there is no possibility for a relationship. God knows that we cannot do what needs to be done.
Jesus the precious gift of redemption
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God sent his son to be born on earth as a human live a sinless life teaches us how to live. And to die for us on a cross. You see the price for sin is death. I think most of us know that. We have all sinned. We deserve to die but because God loved us he sent Jesus Christ to die for us. To be our payment.
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God has given us another chance to have a relationship with him threw the Blood of Christ. God’s love is just poured out on us when we are baptized into Jesus. We receive the forgiveness of sins which in that gives us a relationship with God and we have Eternal life and even more than this.
Rejoice in your relationship with God threw the body and blood of Christ
5:1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
We have peace with God. Christians that broken relationship is fix thought Jesus.
2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Jesus Christ came to this earth that we might choose to have a relationship with God threw Him, threw Jesus.
God has given us a gift. A way back into a relationship with him.
How do we get to the father? Threw Jesus, Threw baptism.
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you remember nothing else remember this God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. If you’re a Christian you have that relationship (Rejoice) you have a special relationship with the creator of this universe. Tell someone about that relationship tell someone about Jesus.
I don’t think anything I said here today has been anything you didn’t already know but I believe we need to be reminded of the basics. God loves us, Christ died for us, and that we are called to act like Christ.
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.