New International Version (NIV)
26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Drama moment " Priorities"
Note from webperson : Nancy thruly surprised us with this drama moment as it was not written in the buletin and she really got into the character..... Great !
AMY -- (enters crosses briskly to DC) Listen, I'm sorry to interrupt, but... well something... unusual happened to me on the way here. You're probably not going to believe it. You're probably going to think I'm a fruitcake or something, but... well here goes...
I was riding in my car on the way here when, all of a sudden, a man appeared in the seat next to me. Well, he looked like a man, but he was no mere man. I mean, what kind of man appears out of nowhere?
He said, (imitating slow, low voice) "It's time". (backs away, gasps) I knew exactly what he meant.
(reliving the experience) I said, "I can't go. Not yet." He said, (imitating slow, low voice) "It's time".
"No! I'm not ready!"
(deep breath, steps toward audience) You know how in the movies when someone is about to die, they show his life passing in front of him? It didn't happen like that. Not for me. What passed before MY eyes was just a handful of things, things I left undone.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking the reason she's not ready to die is because she's not a Christian. But I AM a Christian. I put my trust in Jesus. I know I'm going to Heaven. But I still had some unfinished business to deal with, my mother for one. She and I, we had an argument a couple of days ago. So I told the angel, I said (relives the conversation with the angel) "I can't go until I make things right with my Mom!"
He said, (imitating slow, low voice) "It's time".
"And my Dad. I haven't told him I love him for two or three weeks."
He said, (imitating slow, low voice) "It's time".
"What About Jennifer? I borrowed some mon,qm from her. I've been avoiding her. I've got the money. You can't take me away before I pay her back!"
He said, (imitating slow, low voice) "It's time".
"Will you stop with the 'It's time', already?!" Coo! He was completely unreasonable!
(relaxes) Then it dawned on me. We Christians are supposed to live life as if there is no tomorrow. I had no right to put off these important things. Do you know why I let all these things slide? Because they were out of my comfort zone.
I figured it would be easier to apologize to Mom if I let things cool down for a while. And Daddy knows I love him. I don't have to go out of my way to tell him so. And do you know why I didn't pay back that money to Jennifer? The ATM machine was a little out of my way. The same is true for the video movie I borrowed from my brother and for that ministry I was going to get involved in at church. "I'll get around to it.., some day."
Then the angel said again, (imitating slow, low voice) "It's time". (sigh) It's time. And I'm not ready to go.
So, I asked him. I said, "If you won't let me tie up MY loose ends, at least let me warn the others." (points to audience, turns her back to exit) So, here I am.
(looks over shoulder at exit, shouts) I know. "It's time."
(backing to exit) Listen, I've got to go. But take it from someone who knows, don't put off the things you'll regret when it's your time to go. Get out of your comfort zone and do it NOW.
What is Christian reconciliation? Why do we need to be reconciled with God? There is a website called "GotQuestions.org." and this is the answer given on the site.
Imagine two friends who have a fight or argument. The good relationship they once enjoyed is strained to the point of breaking. They stop speaking to each other, communication is deemed too awkward. The friends gradually become strangers. Such estrangement can only be reversed by reconciliation. To be reconciled is to be restored to friendship or harmony. When old friends resolve their differences and restore their relationship, reconciliation has occurred.
The Bible says that Christ reconciled us to God. The fact that we needed reconciliation means that our relationship with God was broken. Since God is holy, we were the ones to blame. Our sin alienated us from Him.
When Christ died on the cross, He satisfied God's judgement and made it possible for God's enemies to find peace with Him. Our reconciliation to God involves the exercise of His grace and the forgiveness of our sin. The result of Jesus' sacrifice is that our relationship has changed from enmity to friendship. Jesus said, "I no longer call you servants, Instead, I have called you friends." Christian reconciliation is a glorious truth! We were God's enemies, but are now His friends. We were in a state of condemnation because of our sins, but we are now forgiven. We were at war with God, but now have the peace that transcends all understanding.
What creates animosity between friends? What creates walls between men and between nations? I believe there are 4 reasons, the first being fear. For many reasons we fear one another, and to fear people is to be separated from them. The second reason is pride. When we're confronted by the truth about ourselves, our pride keeps us from facing our inadequacies. We're separated from others who might free us and allow us to know them.
The third reason is power. Wanting to control lives and governments, we build walls of concrete or wood or even ideas, and we lock ourselves in as well as lock others out. Living in this province, at this time, I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about. The last reason, and perhaps the most powerful one, is hate. We are unable, or maybe we're just unwilling, to love each other. We hate people we don't know, and some go as to wish harm or even death. Death of recognition is a hard, cold wall.
We ask ourselves, can these walls be broken down? Yes, but we are like the walls. They make us feel safe and secure. As long as no one scales the walls, there is a kind of peace, or should we say silence, the silence of the dead. We seem to prefer the peace of death to the struggle of life. So I'll ask again, can the walls be broken down? Yes, they certainly can, with faith. If we dare to trust one another, if we dare to trust the Giver of all life, then fear can be banished, and so, too, the wall made of it. But both sides of the wall must trust each other, and trust must have a foundation on which to build understanding.
Humility breaks walls of pride. Then we who dare to see ourselves as we are can begin to build relationships out of what is really there. But humility must first be cultivated in ourselves. Love is the perfect breaker of the walls that separate people. We all need the confirmation of love. Others need such love from us. We all need to know that God cares for us.
If all this true, the walls come down at tremendous cost to us as we try to break them down. Sometimes the cost is death. Jesus died on a cross, but though He was killed, yet He loved His killers. The walls of hate and power and pride and fear could not prevail. Ephesians 2:14 states, "For He is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing walls of hostility."
A little boy went out to ball field by himself, wearing his baseball cap and carrying a bat and ball. In his eyes was the look of steely determination. He was so full of confidence that he put his bat on his shoulder, tossed the ball into the air, and said, "I'm the greatest batter in the world!" But he swung and missed. "Strike one," he said. He picked up the ball and carefully examined it. Then he threw it into the air again. As he watched the ball descend, he repeated, "I'm the greatest batter in the world." But once again he missed. "Strike two," he said with a puzzled look on his face, and he stopped to examine the bat to make sure there wasn't a hole in it. A third time he picked up the ball, adjusted his cap, and tossed the ball into the air. As the ball went up a third time he repeated the refrain, "I'm the greatest batter in the world." He swung with all his might, but he missed for the third straight time. "Strike three. Y're out!" he said with the emphasis of an empire. But instead of being discouraged, the boy began to jump and shout across the ball field: "Wow! What a pitcher. I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"
So far this year, things may have gone very well for you. On the other hand, it may seem like you struck out. We have all struck out in some areas, but the good news is that you don't have to justify it somehow, or call failure by another name. Because even though you may have messed up, there is always another chance to begin anew, especially with God. Anybody here need another chance, a new beginning, a clean slate? We serve the God of second chances, and I, for one, am very grateful for that. Our sins can never be greater than the grace of God. Our failure can never be greater than the love of God. Our failure in the past does not determine what we will become in the future.
Failure is not final. If failure was final none of us would make it. None of the people of the Bible would make it. In fact, the Bible is one story after another of people who messed up repeatedly, and how they were coached along by God until they got it right. Names like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jonah, David, Paul and Peter, along with many others, including my own. If failures were not included in the Bible there would be no one there. If failures were not included in the church no one would be here either. But the Bible also shows us that failure is not final. The Lord says, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." (Jeremiah 31:34). That's why the Bible says, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16).
In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5. Paul writes about reconciling with God, but is he in fact speaking about overcoming alienation and establishing new and peaceful relationships? Later in Corinthians, Paul is trying to convince the people of Corinth that the death of Christ has abolished the old standards for what counts as power and persuasiveness, and he urges them to stop their rivalry and boasting and conflict. They should be reconciled to Paul and to one another. Paul proclaims the transformation of the world and summons us to see all things made new in the light of that transformation. God was reconciling the world to Himself, not just individuals. Paul says that the whole world is being made new by the cross and resurrection, and that all our relationships have to be re-evaluated in light of that transformation. '
One consequence of God's reconciling act in Christ is that God has now given us the ministry of reconciliation, as we read in verse 18. This is an amazing act from God, so amazing, that Paul repeats it in verse 19, "in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."
Verse 21 states, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." This is one of the most magnificent verses in the Bible. Everything you need to know about how to get into heaven is in these 23 words! Sometimes Christians fall into sin. This is an unchangeable fact. But thankfully, it's the exception, not the rule. Temptation can sweep a weak believer off his feet and send him tumbling into sin. When this happens to someone, what are we supposed to do about it?
This is the Apostle's advice: "Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also. Bear one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ and complete what is lacking in your obedience to it. For if any person thinks himself to be somebody when he is nobody, he deceives and deludes and cheats himself."
Jesus faced temptation head on, full strength, all that the devil could throw at Him. But having felt its full weight, He never gave in, never flinched, never even came close to sinning. He never confessed a fault, because He had no faults to confess. He never asked for a pardon, because He never needed one. He claimed that no one could convict Him of sin, and He was right. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, became sin for us. When Christ died on the cross, He took my place and He took yours.
Jesus' gift to us is that we might become the righteousness of God. That's what we all want, to have our record cleared, to know that when we go to sleep at night there's nothing between us and our Heavenly Father. Jesus was condemned that we might be justified. He bore our sin that we might be set free. He died that we might live. He suffered that we might be redeemed. He was made of sin that we might be made righteous.
This message of reconciliation is not just a promise of life after death. It's a message announcing that God's work of reconciliation has begun. The ministry of reconciliation has begun, and we are caught up in it. This means that even in the midst of present sufferings, we can trust that God's reconciling power will prevail. Paul's concluding announcement is, "See, now is the well-accepted time; see, now is the day of salvation."
The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions. So I will leave you to ponder this Russian proverb: "In a quarrel, leave room for reconciliation."
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