Part 4. The Bible describes the tongue, the words we speak, as “a restless evil.” God has a standard, not just for how we live but how we speak. What comes out of our mouths reveals what is built in our hearts. But it doesn’t just affect ourselves, it has the power to feed or harm others. We must come to grips with a specific struggle with our words that hits our lives with disastrous effect.
Part 3. If we believe God’s Word to be words from God for us to live by, and we hear the Gospel’s call to change, we must evaluate how we are doing at living by the Book. Jesus said He would build His church, and He has shared the blueprint with us through the Scripture. To be the church Jesus builds is to live the way the Word tells us to live.
This message goes back to the first proofs of a living relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are truly disciples of Jesus, we will love. That sounds easy, but it isn’t. There is one key that can help us, and it changes how we treat one another.
Part 2. If God’s Word is truly God’s words for our lives, we have to follow them. God calls us, not just to salvation, but to life’s work. The Gospel is all about change, to come out of who and what we were to become who and what God changes us into.
But change isn’t easy. It is work, and God has called us to work at it. Some will hear and obey. Those unwilling to hear God’s directive to change will find themselves stumbling over the life Christ calls them to.
Are you one of those people who really enjoys watching people blow it on American Idol? One of the biggest draws for some wasn’t the talent drawn to the competition, but the eventual disasters to eventually audition before the judges. The producers must have known this was true, making sure to include several vocal meltdowns from each audition city.
Music is a huge part of my own life. I’m not star quality, but I know when I’m “pitchy” or “scooping”. A worship leader friend of mine told me in high school that I had an ear for music. I didn’t really understand what she meant at the time. Over the years, though, I’ve realized how much my “ear for music” can get me into trouble.
There is one question I always ask my worship team before we get started for practices. If I don’t ask it early, it comes out as soon as my ear tells me something is off. I can hear with something goes out of tune before most people around me. It’s a curse I have, really, and my poor team members get to enjoy it. But my ear for an instrument’s tuning points to a valuable lesson about how we live for Jesus.
Part 1. The Bible is precious. It is God’s word. Though He spoke through different people in different ways over the centuries, the Bible is God’s continual word to His people, and it will not pass away until every last word is fulfilled.
Like everything that is too available to us, we fail to cherish God’s word. It gives us life. We know a lot about it, but what does that knowledge inspire for us? The Thessalonian church gives us a picture of how we should embrace the Bible and live as people of God’s word.
When you woke this morning, was hope on your mind? Maybe your mental checklist of everything you expected was already written when you slid out of bed. But was it hopeful? We expect a bunch of predictable things for our day. Hope is believing in the possibility to actually receive something good.
We need hope. Without it, life is feels less worth living. There is power in hope, yet we have come to believe it is dangerous to hope. Our lives are under attack, and if our hope is short-circuited we will stop dreaming.