Preaching has always been one of the primary ways God speaks to His people. God commands that His Word be preached. God's will is for us to experience Him in preaching so that people are born again, sanctifed, and strengthened to persevere in the faith.
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The first time the gospel was preached by the early church, it had a profound and life-altering impact on those who heard. In light of their repentance and baptism, those first believers in Christ knew that they couldn't go back to life as usual. There was a sense of "what now?" once the gospel had shaken their world. Thus, the first Christian community was formed in Jerusalem, a community that we can still look back on to.
This week we wrap up our "Summer on the Mount" sermon series with a message on Jesus concluding instruction, "build your house upon the rock"
Jesus just finished telling us "do not judge", but now he is telling us to observe the fruit other's lives and make a judgment! Furthermore in John 7 Jesus specifically commands "not to judge by outward appearances, but make righteous judgments".
Relative to God, all of our earthly Fathers are evil. Even evil Dad's know how to give good gifts. How much MORE will God our perfect Heavenly Father give us all the good we need when we ask, seek and knock.
Judging others is one of the most mentioned sins in the New Testament and yet we often neglect to give it any attention. In doing so, we place significant obstacles in the way of accomplishing our primary purpose on earth and invite unwelcome consequences on ourselves.
Jesus' prayer life was unlike anyone else in history. He rose early to go to the mountain tops with the Father, he blessed the loaves and fishes to feed 5,000, and he sweat drops of blood in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. So what does HE have to say about how we should pray?
Prayer is essential to our Christian walk in this age. It strengthens us and brings life through giving relationship with the God of all Creation.