Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two encouragements to bear fruit

I heard two great sermons yesterday - one 'live' and one on the radio. Each one had a point that really struck me as we live in the world that we do.

Sermon 1 - a 'state of the union' type address at one of our link churches.
There were lots of good points made by Phil, but the one that really struck me was that "a little religion is good for you in this world, but in the world to come it is useless". 

We were looking at Matthew 10:34-39 and we were being encouraged to think that in Jesus' mind there weren't 'full on' Christians - just Christians. To have a little bit of religion, get a few of the moral bits or learn a few religious platitudes is actually in the long run useless.

He suggested that as Christians we can be tempted to become a bit 'flabby around the middle' rather than the lean mean Christians that Jesus wants us to be. Instead of being radical followers of Jesus, we can make Jesus 'a priority'. As we face more pressures at work and on the wallet etc, this was a great reminder to keep bearing fruit.

Sermon 2 - on the parable of the prodigal son.
Simon encouraged us to think about the older son, the one who works diligently and home and gets really angry when the foolish younger son comes home and gets a big party. So often we can kind of sympathise with the older son - actually it does seem a bit rough that he gets to work all day and receive nothing, but then his idiot little brother comes home and gets the full royal treatment.

Simon's word to us as we think about that - repent of that thinking! The older son is ungrateful, he doesn't understand the love of his father, he doesn't understand the joy of being in a secure, accepting and loving relationship, and he doesn't understand the magnitude of the lost one being found!

Again - a great encouragement to know the relationship we have with God, praise him for that, and praise him when other people come to be part of that relationship too.

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