Happy Monday everyone! The goal of this FAQ question section for the next few weeks is to answer all of the most common questions on Christianity in an easy-to- read, concise way. If you have any questions that you have always wrestled with, please send them to email@example.com. Let’s jump right in! Religions throughout the world claim that there is no biblical backing behind the claim- Jesus is God; well, I’m here to teach you that evidence for the full deity of Jesus Christ is found all throughout the Bible!
As we approach this week, I know there is a lot of events going on: work routines, house chores, school, etc. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget about the amazing experience we had at church on Sunday. It’s easy to forget to pray, spend time in God’s word, and serve others. I want to take a moment to share with you the words of Paul. In his letter to the congregation in Corinth, he instructs them to stand true to what they believe in despite the pressure they have in their lives. Lets break it down together:
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” -1 Corinthians 16:13
Happy Monday, everyone! Because of its relevancy, I want to spend a little more time diving into the topic of suffering. In case you missed the sermon or it seemed like information overload, we're going to break it down here for you. Last week we discussed the Biblical response to suffering in our lives: Humility, Union with others, Resist the devil and Trust God. Now that we know how we should respond to suffering, it leaves us with a great question; if God is so good, why does he allow suffering?
Happy Monday, everyone! During our morning sermon at New Walk Church, we spoke about how we should respond to suffering in our lives. In case you missed the sermon yesterday, or if this is the first time you have come across our website, you may be going through something in your life that is hard to endure; in either case, I want to make sure that you are aware that the Book of 1 Peter has answers for your situation. The acronym below is 1 Peter’s solution in a nutshell for us to respond to the suffering and hurt in our lives.
Memorial Day is a day for honoring soldiers who died serving our country in battle. Yesterday, many people used the day as an excuse for a day off work; or to have a barbecue with their family. Today, I want the reminder to be two-fold. I want to use this platform to remind you of the soldiers that died for our freedoms here in the United States; I also want to remind you of the Savior that died to set you free from your sins.
If you are like me, you spend a lot of time on your phone. I want to take a moment to be honest with all of you; I checked my screen-time for last week, and I spent an average of 5 hours and 54 minutes per day on my phone. I’m not even sure how it’s possible to spend that much time on a device, but it was a major wake up call for me. In my defense, some of that time was reading on the Bible app and using my GPS. However, much of it was on Social Media. Before you judge me, feel free to go into your settings to check yours (It’s probably worse). I’m not here to tell you that being on your phone is wrong, but for me, I have always struggled to come up with a routine that allows me to find the time to do everything I need to do for the day. Spending all that time on our devices is not a bad thing if we make sure we are taking the time out to do the essential things for our Christian walk. Today, I want to help you incorporate some things I've found extremely useful in 2019. Once I made these changes, I can't picture ever going back:
During the past two weeks, we’ve discussed prayer and how to start a healthy journey of God’s word being a part of our daily routines. Today, I want to talk to you about the church! In our society, so many people believe that you don’t need the church to believe and follow God. Today, let's dive into God’s word to see what he says about the church! Before we get into that, for a Christian, I think there are important questions that we need to ask:
Two weeks ago, I gave you some practical steps that i believe are necessary in every christian’s walk. In the Mondays that follow, we will be diving into each step with a little more detail. Last week we spoke about prayer and this week, we’re going to discuss how we can study the Bible with confidence. Initially, I want to clarify that there are 2 ways to approach the Bible:
As always, it’s Monday, and our routine starts again! If you’re like me, you had a rough start to your morning; my car broke down, so I had to take an uber to work. Here’s the funny part: I accidentally took the uber to church instead of work! As awesome as it would have been to start any Monday at Church, it wasn’t exactly the start I planned for. I waited another 15 minutes for another uber to come and I was an hour late to work. If you're having a rough start or if your Monday seems normal, I’m here to tell you that the start of your day should not change due to circumstances. We should greet God in the morning and pray to Him.
It’s Monday! If you’re like me and attempting Keto, I’m pretty sure yesterday was an epic fail. It seems inevitable, no matter where you go, friends and family come together to eat all types of ice cream, chocolate, and food! I held on as long as I possibly could, but as soon as my wife brought out her famous tres leches, I flaked (If you haven’t tasted it yet, I think you need to come to New Walk Church and check it out!). I was thinking about our routines on Easter and food isn’t the only tradition almost guaranteed. It seems like churches around America are packed out every year. As awesome as it is that you came, and I know for a fact that our pastor did an excellent job teaching you through the purpose of Easter, I want to take a moment to speak with you about what’s next.
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, a glorious day for Christians; it represents the famous day in history where a rambling crowd in Jerusalem welcomed our Savior, Jesus Christ, riding in on a donkey. They threw palms on the ground to make way for our triumphant King. The crowd was expecting a strong, fearless leader coming to save them and simultaneously, the Pharisees wanted him to be different; they wanted an untouchable, set apart, follower of their traditions-someone exactly like them.
Happy Monday everyone! Yesterday morning at New Walk we were taught about Morir Sonañdo- a Dominican drink known for its freshly squeezed orange juice. I don't know about you, but I want to try it! We were reminded that like the freshly squeezed oranges in this drink, sometimes the best comes out of our lives when the pressure is on! In the book of Hebrews, scripture gives us three reasons why God may allow some pressure in our lives:
Is anyone feeling a mondaze coming on? The weekend has officially ended and yesterday, we heard an amazing sermon on the book of Philippians; we learned about the context of this epistle and examined the life of Paul but now, it’s the next day and reality is here. At times, it is hard to rejoice when we have a full work week ahead of us. It is hard to find joy in waking up early when the weekend went by so fast. We simply go back to our routines and we might forget about the example Paul lived out for us. I’m here to tell you that these four short chapters can be one of the most amazing Monday Motivations we can ever receive! It is something I want you to focus on all week. In this epistle, the words joy and rejoice appear 16 times; with that in mind, it is a perfect insight as to how we should treat the rest of our week.
I remember in my senior year of high school I was tested to see how long it would take me to run a mile; it’s safe to say that even today, I am probably one of the slowest runners in all humanity. The end goal was simple, and the prize was very reachable: run a mile. For a runner, a mile seemed easy, but for me, I had never run a mile in my life and will probably never do it again. After my first lap, it literally felt like I was running with weights in my pocket; I realized that it was way harder than I expected.
It’s Monday! Everyone’s favorite day of the week! In all seriousness, its the day we tend to focus on our 9 to 5 jobs and complain. Yesterday’s sermon was an important reminder of what our real job is instead of focusing on the negatives of our 9 to 5. God has given you unique abilities, talents, and gifts. At New Walk Church, we were reminded of the Parable of the talents. Whether you are a Construction worker, a teacher, a nurse, or a computer technician, God gave you a unique set of abilities to serve others and enhance the Kingdom of God. Now that you are saved, you are called to a mission beyond your 9 to 5. We are about making Jesus first and sharing the gospel with everyone we can.
Preaching the gospel to our friends and families is not the easiest task. For one thing, it can feel awkward, we might feel inadequate, and we don't want to be shunned. However, it doesn't have to be such an uncomfortable experience.
Based on Matthew 10:1-25 and Acts 4, we find four steps to a successful evangelistic strategy.
In Hebrews 4:3, the author tells us what God did to the Israelites that spent their days complaining throughout the wilderness. He says, "For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, “In my anger, I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest,’ ” even though this rest has been ready since he made the world."
This is a sad state. Israel spent their time complaining about their plight, so God decided never to give them rest. Ouch! In Numbers chapters 11-21, we read of all the complaints these former slaves had against God, Moses, and his leaders, although God delivered them from slavery. They preferred to return to Egypt and enslave themselves instead of enduring a short journey into their promised land. It's incredible to think that their lips kept them from their promise.
Let's play pretend for a moment. Let's just say you're an allergist, and if you happen to be one, just follow along with me. You have a patient that loves chocolate cake. He's had chocolate cake every year for his birthday for the past 24 years, and in just two days, he will be celebrating his 25th birthday. He's ordered the most chocolatey chocolate cake ever, and he intends to indulge for his big party.
Now, you've discovered that he has developed a severe allergy to chocolate, and if he has even the smallest piece of this cake, he can die instantly. What's the most loving thing you can do? Keep this information to yourself and allow him to enjoy his birthday cake with friends? Or, is it better to give him the information you have? The answer should be obvious. The right thing, and most loving thing to do is to provide this information, even though it's not what your patient wants to here.
Sin is a far more significant problem and has far greater consequences. Sin is killing us, killing our culture, and will ultimately destroy every unrepentant sinner. Jesus died to save sinners. However, our culture has taught us that sharing our faith with others is unkind and unloving. So, we stay silent and keep Jesus to ourselves. We resolve that calling sinners to repentance is unloving, and Jesus wants us to love people. But the problem is that Jesus, himself, called sinners to repentance. He called sinners to abandon a life of sin and self, and turn their lives to God.
Further, God, in his love for people has given us the responsibility to call the world to repentance and abandonment of sin. He's called us to tell people that salvation is only available through Jesus Christ. In Luke 24:47, Jesus said to his disciples that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem".
We have a mandate to call sinners to repentance. Do they want to hear it? Perhaps not. Do they need to hear it? Absolutely. It is not unloving to call sinners to repentance. Instead, it's the most loving thing we can do. If Jesus, the most loving person to ever walk this earth, preached a gospel of repentance. So should we.
17 from that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Ever feel like God's no longer listening to you? Ever feel like God sees but doesn't want to respond to your needs? I've been there. When I attended Seminary, I remember a day when I was crying those very words to God in prayer. The only difference was that I wasn't actually crying, I was upset with God. I was protesting, and yelling at the top of my lungs because I felt abandoned by God.
To be honest, today, I don't even remember the circumstances, but I'm no longer yelling. Whatever I was praying/whining about has passed. But you know what hasn't passed, God's faithfulness.
In Psalms 13, the Psalmist is crying out to God because he feels God as distant. He asks, "How Long," four times. He feels God is absent. But he does one thing in verse 5 that settles everything. He commits to trust God and sing to the LORD in spite of how he feels.
Do you feel like God's abandoned you, and doesn't care for you? God does care, and whatever you're crying about now will be a thing of the past. What won't pass is his love for you. Be encouraged today. God still cares, and He's is always listening.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:5, and tells him "The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." In context, he's encouraging Timothy to stay at Ephesus so he may combat false doctrine. He tells Timothy that our goal is to love people with sincere faith. Our goal is for them.
As believers, our goal in preaching and witnessing to people is not a gold star in heaven. Our goal in correcting false doctrine is not the satisfaction of winning an argument. Instead, our goal is to love people. The challenge is that loving people is much harder than we often think because people aren't always lovable. People will sometimes irritate us, hurt us, or misunderstand us. And though loving people can be difficult, it is possible with God's help. Loving people is a MUST in God's eyes (see 1 John 4:20).
So, how can we love with sincerity? The key is prayer and self-examination. The psalmist said, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. 24. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).
Our hearts can be deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), and if we're not careful, we can easily stray away from sincere love. I've found that it's always important to ask why we do what we do. Are my actions focused on my personal benefit, or are they putting the advantage of others above mine?
Whatever we do for others, let us remember what our aim is. Our aim, our goal, is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Before acting in love today, consider the attitude of your heart, consider your conscience, and consider your faith. Why am I doing what I'm doing? Am I doing it for them, or am I doing it for myself?
Our goal is to love people with sincerity. Who do you need to love with sincerity today?