Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Sermon of Attitudes (pt. 1)

The Beatitudes are a favorite study of many and rightly so, because they take us to the very heart of the type of people that we are to be as the kingdom of God. The beatitudes are set by placeholders seen in the word “blessed.” 
As a modern term, we see the idea of happiness; but, it is closer to the idea of those whom God approves. Of what kind of individual does God approve? Matthew 5:3-12 lays out the character traits that we should each desire. Verses 1-2 set the stage almost literally as Jesus “Seeing the crowds, went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them…” [ESV]. Jesus sets forth the very foundation for which the rest of the Sermon on the Mount will teach by each of these attitudes that we should be. Therefore, we might call the Sermon on the Mount, the Sermon of Attitudes.

- Wayne Rodgers

Sunday, March 13, 2016

How's Your Aim?

Michelangelo is credited for saying: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” In today’s climate of politics, workplace discussions and jokes, and even our school’s hallways, we find that not as many are concerned about honor and accountability, as they are with getting ahead, degrading one another, and even lying to get what they want. While the context of this passage deals with the financial accountability that Paul had concerning the collections taken up to minister “to the saints” (8:4; 9:1), there is a principle that we each should remember. We are to be concerned with our life, our words, our actions, our works, and our care in sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of man. We have a responsibility to be light and salt in this world for others that they may have opportunity to “glorify the Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16).

~ Wayne Rodgers

Sunday, March 6, 2016

3/6/16 - Without, In, and Through Christ (Eph. 2:11-22)

DRIFTING AWAY

The idea portrayed in the verse is that of a mooring line that was not secured, as it should be and through one’s casual neglect, the boat was let slip away from the dock. The Hebrews’ writer mentions the things “heard” were those things taught by our Lord and His apostles (Heb. 2:3). So, the admonition is given: “we ought to give the more earnest heed” (v. 1) to those things spoken and now recorded for us in the Bible. This is similar language to that used in Acts 2:42 when the early church “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” The result of which caused them to be “together, having all things common” (Acts 2:44). Together, we can care for that mooring line and never let slip or drift away in our faithfulness unto God. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…?” (Heb. 2:3).

~ Wayne Rodgers