God's truth for today's world

Waiting and Hoping Message Introduction

Today we begin a new message series called “Christmas Brings Hope.” Of course, we’re not talking about the Christmas holiday per say, but about what it represents, the birth of Christ.

We live in a world that has a lot of hopelessness in it. Sin has brought many problems into the world. Many people fill hopeless and anxious in the light of the increase in terrorism. Economic problems, employment issues, relationship difficulties all cause stress and hopelessness. Why do people turn to various addictions such as alcohol, drugs, gambling and sexual perversions outside of marriage? Why do people harm themselves and others? Why do people commit suicide? Because they feel hopeless. The problems they face seem too big to overcome. So they seek to escape their problems with sin that destroys their lives and the lives of those around them.

Where can we find hope in our world today? The Bible tells us that outside of Jesus Christ, there is no lasting hope.

Ephesians 2:12 (NIV) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

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Seeking God’s Guidance Message Introduction

Today, we continue our message series “Basic Training.” One of the most important things for a soldier to learn is that they must follow closely the orders of their commanding officer. So, in order to follow those orders, they need to learn to listen carefully to what their commander tells them. In the battlefield, both their life and the lives of the unit depend on keeping the communication lines open. The same is true for you and I as soldiers in God’s army.

Today, our message is entitled “Seeking God’s Guidance.” One of the most important lessons that you can learn in life is to recognize that you don’t know enough to plan your own course in life. We all need God’s guidance to direct our decisions in life.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

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We’re in a message series called “Spiritual Warfare.” Our warfare is a battle between obeying God and obeying Satan. Behind every significant decision in your life is a choice to obey God or the devil.

How does this play out? As a believer, God is speaking to you through His Spirit as you ponder a decision in life. But there is something else going on with every decision. Satan is seeking to inject his direction and ideas into your mind. He can do that in a number of ways.

Satan can directly tempt you in your mind. Or he may use something that you read or watch. Or he may use a friend or relative to tempt you to follow his guidance. Oftentimes, the obvious choice is the wrong one, the one that Satan is pitching to you. He’s hoping that you don’t take the time to pray and find out what God is saying. So, it comes down to a choice. A choice to follow God and reject the temptation. Or a choice to follow Satan and reject God’s direction.

When you choose to follow God’s direction, the result is blessing in your life. When you choose to follow Satan’s direction and sin, the result is curses upon your life.

1 John 2:16 (NIV2011)  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

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December 7, 1941 started as a peaceful Sunday morning, but at 7:55 am, Pearl Harbor was attacked by 200 Japanese aircraft. People often say that the attack was without warning, but that’s not the case. In the months leading up to the attack, the Pearl Harbor commanders were warned three times to prepare for war, as negotiations had ceased. Little was done to prepare. On the morning of the attack, a decoded Japanese message indicated that war was at hand. Four hours before the attack a Japanese submarine was sighted, but no report was made. On the morning of the attack, radar operators saw a large blip which they considered a squadron of aircraft approaching Pearl Harbor. Their report was not heeded. As a result of ignoring the attack warnings, 2300 Americans were killed, 1300 injured and 1000 were missing.

Today, we begin at new message series called “Spiritual Warfare.” The Bible warns us repeatedly to prepare for spiritual warfare. However, many ignore those warnings and as a result, Satan’s attacks kill, injure and lead astray friends, relatives and neighbors.

In this series, we’re going to look at questions, such as:

  • Who is our real enemy?
  • What is their plan of attack?
  • How can we defend ourselves in battle and be victorious?

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

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Wrong Decisions Introduction

In our message series Need Direction? we’ve been talking about how to make decisions. When we make a decision, we can make a right decision or a wrong decision. Sometimes, people are so afraid of making a wrong decision, that they fail to make any decision at all. Most of the time, not making a decision is often the same as making a wrong decision. God places us in situations where we must get His guidance and act to make the right decision. God wants to guide us by the voice of His Spirit to make the right decisions.

Psalm 32:8-9 (NIV) I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.

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