Monday, September 19, 2016

Salty Words!

                    
Introduction: 

A.   Watch clip about uses of salt:


     B.   Let me share some interesting facts about salt from Funk      & Wagnalls Encyclopedia.
          1.   Salt - Chemical name is Sodium Chloride NaCl.
          2.   Most widely used as a food and seasoning, as such is                an essential part of the human diet (although we                   don't need as much as we as American's usually                 consume).
          3.   Widely used as a preservative for meats.
          4.   Is used in some refrigeration processes, in dyeing,            and in the manufacture of soaps and glass.

     Trans.    Today we will look at it as a preservative.

                            Prayer

                           Col. 4:6

I.      Let's look at some ways our speech is not seasoned with salt.

     A.   Gossiping - telling something bad on someone!
          1.   It could be true, but if it isn't necessary, it is             still gossip.
          2.   Gossip tears down another's reputation!  Just the              opposite of preserving!

     B.   Have you ever saw people that liked to use their speech       to ag people on?
          1.   Someone tells them about something that happened!
          2.   They respond with, "Boy, I wouldn't let them push me                around that way; I'd give them a piece of my mind!             They think they know it all!  They think they are             better than you!" etc.
          3.   Before you know it, unless the first person is                 really disciplined, he/she will get worked up to the               point of doing something, but it might be the wrong           thing to do!
          4.   Again speech has been used to destroy and not                  preserve!
     C.   The negative tongue!
          1.   "You can't do anything right!"
          2.   "You can't do that; you'll mess it up!"
          3.   "Your stupid!"
          4.   Children's ability to learn and confidence in                  themselves to achieve are greatly reduced if they             have parents that are negative toward them!
          5.   Adults are affected also!
              a)   If we have a boss that is an encourager, we                        will try hard to please, but if our boss is                         negative we will figure what's the use; he/she                 won't be happy anyway!

              b)   One goal of marriage should be to help our                     partner to become the best he/she can be for                   God and for themselves.  We can't do that if we                    are negative!
          6.   If we are negative about people, again, our speech             has been used to destroy and not preserve!

II.    Let's look at some ways our speech can be seasoned with salt!

     A.   By trying to always find something good to say about               someone or not say anything about them at all!
          1.   Unless it is to someone that can help the situation            and with the intent of helping.  90% of the time it           is not!
          2.   This way our speech has been used to preserve                  someone's reputation and not to destroy!
          3.   I'm talking about idle talk, not when someone asks             for a reference, etc.

     B.   By being a peacemaker!
          1.   Matt. 5:9
              "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be                     called the children of God."
          2.   Instead of trying to ag someone on, we try to bring            peace and help them to put themselves in the other            persons shoes, so they can understand why the other               person acted the way they did!
          3.   This way our speech has been used to preserve a                     friendship!

     C.   By being positive.
          1.   By helping people realize they can do things! By                    being an encourager!
          2.   Remember and remind others of Phil. 4:13.  "I can do                all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!"

     D.   Be ready to preserve people's souls by pointing them to        Christ!
          I Peter 3:15b "... be ready always to give an answer to                     every [person] that asketh you a reason of
                        the hope that is in you with meekness and
                        fear."

E.   Our speech seasoned with salt can be the best witness we can have! 
     1.   It can help our personal ministry!
          a. What we say.
          b. What we post online. 
2.   It can help the ministry of our church and our witness in the community!

Conclusion:
A.      Is your speech usually seasoned with salt?

B.      Is it used to preserve or destroy?

     C.   Do you need to come up and ask Christ to help you?

     Prayer

Monday, September 12, 2016

Changed Through Christ!

   
Introduction:


A.      It won’t be long until the season change? Some leaves are falling
already.  The leaves will soon be turning all kinds of fall colors!

B.      It=s getting colder; before we know it there will be snow and ice!

C.      The changes in seasons unveil to us a real fact about life.

D.      Things change!  Situations Change!  People Change!

Trans:
If there is anybody who knows about change, it is Paul.  His life was a complete turn-around after he met Christ on the road to Damascus.  Paul's teachings seem to tell us that if Christians are what they should be, they too will be Constantly changing!

                    Prayer
                 Rom. 12: 1&2
text v. 2a.
"Do not be conformed to this world, c  but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, . . . ."

I.   This change is made possible by the "mercies of God" and expressed through Christ!

A.   Vines Dictionary   Mercy - Greek
OIKTIRMOS pity, compassion for the ills of others.

B.   Mercy expressed!
Rom 3:23  All have sinned.
    6:23  wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal
life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son . . .

II.  This change is instructed by Paul!

A.   I appeal - ask that you present your bodies a living  sacrifice!  Not Dead but Living.

B.   Paul  the chiefest of sinners, but he'd found a better way!

III. This change is acceptable unto God!

A.   Accept Christ - Present your bodies a living sacrifice!

B.   Not - accept Christ and forget it!
Another Biblical writer agrees: James 2:17 - 20. 
Change!

IV.  The opposite of this change is conformity to the world! Doing what the world does so we will fit in!

V.   This change isn't a one time thing, but it is a lifetime of changing into what God wants us to be through God’s Sanctifying Grace!

A.   Vines Dictionary - Greek word for transformed is Metamorphoo.

B.   English word Metamorphosis Process of Change.
Example: Caterpillar – Butterfly

VI.  This change is accomplished by the renewing of our mind!

Vines Dictionary - in Greek renewing is to make new.

We might say: Take out the old clutter and take on the mind of God!  How do we do that?

A.   Study our S.S. lesson or small group lesson and read & study the Bible!
II Tim. 2:15  "Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
(KJV)

B.   Attend Church   Heb. 10:25
Anot neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more
as you see the Day approaching.1A (NRSV)

C.   Fellowship with Christian people.
Heb. 10:25b (above) & I John 1:7
Abut if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the
blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.1A
I John 1:7(NRSV)       

D.   Strive to live a Holy Life!
II Cor. 6:17,18 also 7:1
A 17  Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean;
          then I will welcome you, 18  and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters,
            says the Lord Almighty.@
7 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and                                of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.1A

E.   Prayer - Go to the source of a renewed mind!

Conclusion:
A.   That ye may discern (demonstrate) God's perfect will in our lives!  We are to demonstrate God's perfect will for humanity!  Change!!!

B.   Are our lives different than they were
5 yrs. ago?
3 yrs. ago?
1 yr. ago?    (Are we more loving?  Growing in Love? This is always a good litmus test!)

read Rom. 12: 1&2 again

C.   Have we really presented our Bodies to God for God's service?

E.      Maybe you need to come this morning and present yourself to God for the first time?  Maybe you need to come this morning and present yourself to God for renewal because you really haven=t presented yourself a living sacrifice?

              Invitational Hymn



    Gk age
1The Holy Bible  : New Revised Standard Version. 1996, c1989 . Thomas Nelson: Nashville
1The Holy Bible  : New Revised Standard Version. 1996, c1989 . Thomas Nelson: Nashville
1The Holy Bible  : New Revised Standard Version. 1996, c1989 . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cloud by Day and Fire by Night!

    
                    Exodus 13:21 & 14:19-31

Focus Statement:   This scripture shows how the pillar of cloud
by and day and pillar of fire by night were
given as visible signs of the Lord's leading
the Hebrew people out of Egypt.

Function Statement: Because of this sermon, the congregation will                  be more alert for and receptive to the                             visible signs of the Lord's presence in their                 lives and will be more available to be used                     as signs in someone else=s life.

1st movement:


At our first full-time pastorate in Indiana at Concord Church in Bloomfield, as a part-time job, we also did the church cleaning.  One day I went into the sanctuary, put a tape in the PA system to listen to, and proceeded to pick up and vacuum the church.  I was listening to the music and probably singing along as I vacuumed between, and under the pews.  It took a quite a while to give it a thorough vacuuming.  I had been having some hard times and was at a rather low time in my life.  Much of it had to do with ministerial things.  I had some rather difficult stuff that I was dealing with which isn't necessary to share and in respect of confidentiality I won't.  Some of it had to do with the fact I hadn't learned to be there for people; but yet, know where to just turn it over to the Lord and leave it there, that there was only so much I could do and so far that I could go in solving someone else=s problems!  Then the tape comes to a song called, "Light at the End of the Darkness."  That song caught my attention and I stopped in tears and listened for awhile.  It talked about the darkness of life and how in Christ there is light at the end of the darkness: there is hope for the hopeless and a soothing balm for pain and misery!  It said this light shines for all the world to see.  It will shine on our hearts if we will let it!  It's as near as our faith but sometimes seems fleeting!  So look up when you are down and try to believe!  It said, "sometimes we have to be knocked down to make us look upward," and at these times in faith we needed to look upward and try to believe!  It said, "I was looking up from the bottom when it finally shined on me!  Take a listen:
I felt like I was there, and I encountered God that day in that empty church.  God and I had a prayer meeting that day!  This song became for me that day an audible sign of God's presence in my life.  It became an assurance of what I already believed!  And it helped me to take to the Lord what I couldn't bare by myself!
2nd movement:
In our scripture today, the Hebrew people are being led out of Egypt by a visible sign of God: a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  They could and did easily forget that God was there because they were used to the idea of associating God with a place: the tabernacle.  They moved their tabernacle with them, and it was hard for them to imagine God any other place!  God was in the inner most sanctum of this tabernacle: the holy of holies!  They were told that within this cloud or fire was God!  This was a new concept for them.  They needed this visible sign of God's presence and leading to remind them of God's work in what was happening here.
3rd movement:


I think sometimes we receive and need audible and visible signs of God's presence.  We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and can forget that God is there!  Signs still stand as reminders to us that God is active in our lives.  I think that is what that song was for me that day.  I think I am more receptive to audible signs such as I have described, but others are more receptive to visible signs: stained glass windows, crosses, seeing something written rather than hearing it spoken.  Seeing someone do an act of kindness in the name of Christ.  Sometimes we even use the sense of taste such as in taking communion!  Sometimes we experience signs with more than one of our senses.  Sometimes it is something someone says at a particular time in our lives!  Sometimes it is something that happens or something someone does!  Sometimes it is just because someone is there; this is especially true when that someone's spirituality is highly respected.  Do we look for the signs of God's presence in our lives?  Do we expect to see signs of God in our everyday lives?  I believe those signs are there because I have experienced God in some of the most unexpected times and places!  I have tried to share one of these times with you today.  I thank God for God's signs even when I wasn't looking for them!  I thank God that God can step into everyday life and make us aware of God's presence!  It isn't anything I have done; it's God stepping into our lives by a sign and saying here I am, "Excuse me!  Can I have your attention please?@  I thank God for people who have represented God to me!  I pray that God will use me as a sign of God's presence in someone else's life.  What about you?  How does God use signs in your life?  How has God's presence been made known to you?  How is God using you?  (pause)
As we take communion today, first, I hope the smell of the bread, the taste of the juice, the words of institution stand as visible signs to you of God’s presence, but secondly, as we encounter Christ at the table today, ask Christ to use you as a visible sign of God’s presence to someone else as we go forth this week.  As Christ to let you be just what someone needs to experience God this week!

Prayer of Confession
Service of Communion


                         Closing Hymn

Sunday, August 28, 2016

He Never Changes!


Introduction:

Life doesn't stay the same.  We moved from the home I remember most when I was growing up when I was fifteen and went to a new school and a new church.  The church had a thriving youth group; that was great!  That church split a few years later and the church that was left, where we attended after that, didn=t have many youth.  We later went to another church where I was able to witness God at work and a lot of growth.  I became a deacon in the church.  The pastor who I had grown to love resigned and moved.  A new pastor came who I learned to love in other ways. I answered the call into the ministry!  I married!  We have had two kids!  They=ve changed as they have gone through different phases of their lives and are now adults and live on their own. We now have the empty nest. I served 3 different churches in the General Baptist Church.  I changed denominations for various reasons I won=t go into here.  I=ve served 5 charges in the United Methodist Church.  Each congregation brings different people and different challenges.  I came to Marble Hill to what has become in many ways my dream church, and we have experienced some changes here.  We have had a few people leave to go to other churches.  We=ve had people pass away and move on to their heavenly home.  On the other hand, we=ve seen 5 people be baptized and 22 people join the church.  We=ve had new people come in who haven’t yet joined.  We’ve seen much change: some good and some not so good.  All of this change is a quite normal part of life!  Life changes, people change, circumstances change.

Trans:    With all this change, we need something that doesn't change!  We need something to give our lives backbone: something to give us stability. We find that in Jesus Christ!!

Prayer
Heb. 13:8

I.   Christ doesn't change; he's the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

A.   Where have you been?  Christ was there!
1.   Before you became a Christian, he was there leading you back
to God, loving you!  (prevenient grace!)
2.   When you have had good times, he has been there making
things happen, loving you!
a.   Healing of a friend.
b.   Healing of yourself.
c.   Coming to Christ.
d.   A loved one coming to Christ.
e.   Marriage!
f.   Having children!
g.   Call into ministry! Finding your place in the Kingdom!
3.   When you have had bad times, he has been there to carry you through, loving you!
a.   Sickness or death of a loved one.
b.   Crises (for me when my church split)

B.   Where are you now?

1.   Are you indifferent?  Do you feel like what's the use?  Do
you feel defeated?
2.   He is there loving you and wanting to fill your life     
with purpose!!
3.   Maybe you are having those good times now, then give him the credit!

C.   Where are you going?

1.   Are you growing in the Lord? Are you growing in faith?
2.   Are you fearful of the future? We have no need to fear
because Jesus is there!!

D.   Jesus is always the same and always will be!  You can count on that!!
He will always Love us and offer the best for us!!

II.  As a church, we need to remember that Jesus is always the same!

A.   He has been there in the past!

1.   bringing us through the hard times!  New people to replace
those who have passed away or moved!
2.   blessing us with the good times! Baptisms, Christian
growth!

B.   He's there today!

1.   Are we in his will?  That is when he can bless us today!
2.   Are we dedicated to him or are we dedicated to everything
else.    
3.   He wants to bless us today and make things happen today,
but he needs our dedication!! Jesus is still the same today!
He can still make a difference in people's lives!  But he has
chosen us as his ambassadors to lead people to him.

C.   He will be there tomorrow!

1.   He can make things happen tomorrow; do you believe that?
Are you afraid of what tomorrow may hold for the Church?
2.   Prov. 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
a.   He will be there tomorrow!
b.   But will we be there tomorrow.
3.   God has made a difference and will continue to make a
difference.
a.   See some visions!
b.   and keep going and doing.
c.   Don't be afraid, but trust that through Christ, who doesn't change, this Church can continue to have a positive impact on this community if we will trust him!

D.   We have a 2-fold mission.

1.   To reach people and to teach people.  That is how me make
disciples!
2.   Let's be working and doing that, believing that we can
still make a difference through Jesus Christ.

Conclusion:

A.   Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

B.   But where are you and where are you going?


                   Prayer

Monday, August 22, 2016

Do Not Disturb!


Introduction:
A.   When we see a sign "Do Not Disturb," what does it mean?

B.   The people inside don't want to be bothered!

C.   I want to look at a story this morning about some people      who didn't want to be bothered.

D.   I want us to ask ourselves two questions:
1.   Can we hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign out on our                 lives?
2.   Can we hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign out on our                 church?

                            Prayer
                          Mark 5:1-17

I.   Let's look at our story.  Watch this clip: how it could have happened!


A.   Here we have a man who lived among the tombs and was               demon possessed!
1.   In Jesus' day, anyone who was sick mentally or                 physically might be considered demon possessed.
2.   Apparently though, this man was demon possessed                     based on the conversation between the demons and                   Christ and the fact that Christ ordered them out.             Also, the people who knew of him and this man                   himself were convinced that he was demon possessed.
3.   He definitely needed the touch of Jesus on his life!
4.   When Jesus touched him, it was a miracle; his life             was Changed!

B.   But notice the reaction of the people.
1.   The man with the need was glad Jesus had come along            (vs. 18-20).
2.   When the people found him,
a.   he was sitting beside Jesus, clothed, and in                   his right mind.
b.   but the pigs were gone!  They knew what had                         happened because some had seen it!
3.   They should have been happy and rejoicing because              this man's life had been straightened out!
4.   Instead, they were disturbed and upset!  They didn't                want things disturbed; they wanted things left like            they were! Jesus had cost them something!
5.   Many times, in the comfortable world we live in, we            would like things to be left like they are!                    Sometimes, we don't like to sacrifice to see things            made better around us!
6.   So in a since, we hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign out             to God.

II.  Can we hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign out on our lives?

A.   We all want to serve God; right?  But are there areas              that we don't want disturbed?



1.   What about finances or possessions?  That was the              problem in our text today.
a.   We feel pretty good as long as it's our money
and a certain % is the Lord's; we can live with
that!
1)   We can pay our part and feel good!
2)   If the church doesn't have enough money,
it isn't our fault!
b.   But when someone starts teaching total
commitment, that we are accountable for how we
spend everything, and it's all the Lord's and
we are only using it, we start getting
defensive.
1)   We realize that we might ought to be giving
more than the percentage that we're
giving!
2)   We can no longer feel good when we pay
"our part" and spend the rest . . . .
c.   Sometimes we say, "That's my business Lord!
I'm giving you my part!  Do Not Disturb!"

2.   What about our Religion?
a.   We feel pretty good about it.
1)   We are pretty comfortable with it!
2)   It doesn't require much!
3)   Just check in on Sunday Morning and that                      takes care of it!
b.   But when someone starts saying that isn't                      enough and it matters what we do the rest of                   the week, we start to get defensive!
c.   "Wait a minute Lord!  I'm doing my part!  Do                   Not Disturb!"

3.   What about our time?
a.   We give the Lord a couple minutes a day, and we                    give the Lord an hour or two a week in church.                      We're happy with that!
b.   When someone starts talking about all the time                 we waste and how we could be using our time                        more effectively,  it's none of their business!
c.   "Wait a minute Lord!  I'm there every Sunday                   for worship!  Well at least once a month                       anyway!  I like it that way!  How I spend my                  time is my business!  Do Not Disturb!"

4.   What about our lifestyles?
a.   We like how we live; we like what we do!
b.   Don't ask me to change how I am living so that            I can be a better witness!
1)   Don’t ask me to be more accepting of others!
2)   Don’t ask me to not do something I like to   do!
c.   Don't ask me to sacrifice any of my lifestyle                  to help others or to spend more time with my                   family!
d.   Once and for all, "Do Not Disturb!"



III. What about our church?  Can we hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign   out on our church?

A.   You know?  I like my church just like it is!  I like the      people!  I know everybody!  I like how things are done!

B.   Don't bring anybody new in; that might change things!
     1.   They might sit in my seat!
     2.   They might want to do things differently!

C.   Don't change the way we are doing things!  Don't try               anything new, not even if it does have a good chance of        changing people's lives, we haven't done it that way               before!
D.   "Do Not Disturb!" 

E.   I hope we never do this!  There is so much we can              accomplish if we are receptive to Christ and will look at          the needs around us and be open to change if and when we      see that it is needed!

Conclusion:
A.   Are we saying "Don't Disturb Me Jesus?"  "I like things        how they are!"

B.   Are we asking Jesus to leave?

C.   Are we saying, "Don't challenge us with change?"

D.   Friends, from what I understand in the Bible,                  Christianity is change!


                         Closing Hymn

Thursday, August 18, 2016

September Newsletter Note from the Pastor


Friends,

Well, it has been a wonderful and busy summer!  Nice weather on the most part!  Not many storms, but plenty of rain!   Good fellowship!  Attendance has held pretty well, considering all the vacations and things that happen through the summer!  Our average before summer hit was about 10 above what it had been for the same period last year.  Our average until now for this year is 94.  That is still two above the 92 we had for the same period last year.  We are going into a part of the year where our attendance typically will come up, so let’s refocus our attention on getting our families present to worship and grow in God!  The Children’s Church program will start back the first Sunday of September.  Stacy and Alisha do a wonderful job with that!  EPIC meets each Wednesday night at 6 p.m., and the attendance numbers are growing for this as well! Jon does an excellent job with that as well!  JAMS should be starting back on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. as well; although, I do not have the details on that at this time.  Listen for an update on that!  We’ve added another Sunday School class between Jars of Clay and the Youth class.  All our Sunday School teachers do an excellent job of forming disciples as well!  We have people here who consider this their church home who were not here last year.  God is blessing us!  I just want to give God the Praise, and I want to commend “you” for inviting your friends and family!  You have been doing a great job at that!  That is where growth happens, as we invite one person at a time to come and see what God is doing!  I am excited to see what God will continue to do here at Marble Hill UMC! 

By the time you are reading this, Sue Brewer and Sue Binnie will have just finished a small group study on Colossians.  From what I hear it was well attended and went really well.  Small groups are one way we intentionally grow in our faith; small groups are a way that we grow closer to a particular segment of people.  Small groups can be for an indefinite  period of time such as Sunday School or Choir practice, but small groups can be very effective for short term, such as the Colossians study.  With busy schedules, the short  term small groups more and more meet a great need in our society in helping people to grow in their faith.  I envision several offerings of small groups happening at the same time; if leading a small group is a way that you feel you can contribute to what God is doing in the world, let me know.  Maybe you have a burden for a particular group of people.  We have lots of rooms available throughout the week for short-term small groups. 

I am making plans to again offer Methodist 101.  We have several people who were not here the last time I offered it.  Please look at the insert and fill it out if you are interested.  Sunday evening works well for me, but if it would make it possible for you to attend to meet shortly afternoon on Sunday or at another time, please note that on the insert as well, and I will see if others can meet at the time that works for you.  Also, if you need childcare in order to be able to attend, please note that as well.
                                                                                                            God Bless you!

                                                                                                            Pastor Mike

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Discerning The Time!



Introduction:
A.   Kids learn very early to react when they see the Golden Arches of
McDonald's. They react to signs!  Watch this clip of the first Ronald McDonald Commercial, kind a scary!


B.   In life, we learn to react in certain ways to warning signs that
we see:
1.   If we see a red-hot burner on a stove, we know not to touch it!
2.   If we see a red-light, we know that it means to stop!
3.   On the other hand, we know a green light means to go!

C.   Jesus noticed this about people, but he also noticed they had trouble "Discerning the Time!"

D.   Read Luke 12:54-56.

E.   They saw the clouds, and they expected rain!

F.   Jesus seemed to suggest that there were warning signs that they had missed in discerning the time.

Trans.
Let's look at some warning signs that we could be missing today!

                    Prayer

I.   Warning signs:

A.   A Grave yard!
1.   I probably notice this more than the average person, since
I frequent grave yards more often than most.
2.   Grave yards are vivid proof that what the Bible says is
true!  "It is appointed unto [people] once to die and after
this the judgement."   (Heb. 9:27)
2.   The grave yard stands as a constant reminder that nobody
has lived to prove the Bible wrong!  It is our first warning
sign.

B.   Conviction of the Holy Spirit!  This is God=s Prevenient Grace.
1.   How many times have we done something wrong and felt guilt
for it?  Where does this guilt come from?
2.   How many times have we heard the Gospel and our heart speeds up? Why?
3.   It is God=s grace drawing us to God through the conviction of the Holy Spirit!  The Spirit is our second warning sign of the time.

C.   The Bible!
1.   The Bible holds many warning signs, but it is in itself a
warning sign too.
2.   How many times has doubt come into our minds about the
validity of the Bible?
a.   Who put that doubt there?
b.   If the Bible is not true and there is no God or Satan, then, why is there such a struggle in our minds concerning the Bible?
c.   The doubt that Satan places in our hearts about                         the validity of the Bible is proof itself that the
Bible is true and contains the key to eternal life!

D.   Sickness!
1.   When we have health, we may think we have the world by the
tail, but when we lose our health, we realize that "we"
aren't in control.  We aren't God!  We can begin to see
things in perspective!!
2.   When we see a loved one who has lost their health, we are made
to realize that next time it could be us.  Life is really
very fragile!  Sickness also is a warning sign.

II.  What do these warning signs tell us?

A.   Today is the Day of Salvation!
II Cor. 6:2b  "Behold now is the accepted time; behold,                          now is the day of Salvation."
1.   We really have no promise of tomorrow, so today is the day
we should come to God through Christ!
2.   Today is the day we should live like we have always planned to live someday!
3.   Life is short at best, and we really need to get our                priorities straight!

B.   As we discern the time, we learn that it is time to really get serious about our relationships with God!
1.   It is time to be praying and working on our communication
with God.
2.   It is time we listen to God in prayer and through the Bible.
3.   It is time we learn what God would have us be doing, time to
find our place in the kingdom!

Conclusion:
A.   Re-read Luke 12:54-56.
B.   Are we Discerning the Time?
C.   What time is it for us?
1.   Is it time for us to hear another message and leave
unchanged?
2.   Or is it time for us to begin or renew our relationship with God through God's grace shown to us in Christ?
3.   It is our decision.


              Invitational Hymn