Monday, March 22, 2021, 12:00 AM - Sunday, April 25, 2021, 12:00 AM
Woodmont will again be offering a Summer Intern Program this summer for college students to assist in various ministries of our church. The program will provide training...
John 3:3 “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
As I was reading this week I read something that struck me, and I have not been able to get it off my mind because this is so true and I don’t think we even realize we do it. In Discovering the Mission of God, the author says, “Much contemporary American preaching targets the shallowest level—behavior. It assumes that changing behavior will produce lasting change. The Lord Jesus never taught or acted that way, however. He believed that the heart (the seat of basic assumptions and allegiances, the worldview) was the fount of life and the seat of all true change, thus his insistence to Nicodemus on the “new birth”. He knew that all lasting change begins at the core and radiates outward, affecting behavior.”
We seem to have this backwards in churches today! We focus on behavior modification and make sure we teach our kids how to “behave” instead of teaching them how to be born again. We pray that they “act good” in public instead of praying that the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sins and saves them. We praise them for being “good” instead of sharing the reality that our righteous acts are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and that nothing good dwells in us (Romans 7:18). Our children, the people in our community, the ones in our churches need to hear us teach the good news of salvation not behavior modification! The good news of salvation is this:
Sin entered this world through man and every day we prove we are sinners because we choose to sin (Genesis 3; Rom. 3:23)
Because of our sin we deserve death and an eternity in hell. (Rom. 6:23)
Christ loved us so much that while we were still enemies, He died for us. (Rom. 5:8)
The Bible tells us it is by grace through faith that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9)
All we have to do to be saved is confess Jesus as Lord (repent of your sins and surrender your life to Him to do what He pleases with you) and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead (believe Jesus is who the scripture says He is and that His blood shed on the cross is all we need for forgiveness of our sins) and the Bible says we WILL BE SAVED! (Rom. 10:9-10)
Lasting change only happens when God opens our eyes to our sin, and we see our desperate need for Him! When we begin a relationship with Christ and give Him control of our lives, then and only then, will we see true change in our lives! The Bible says when we are saved that we are new creations and everything about us will begin to change. If you care about somebody share the greatest news ever with them!
“For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He raised again on the third day according to the Scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The daffodils and tulips are blooming! The red buds and dogwoods are showing their splendor once again! New lives are hatching and being born all around us! At last – my favorite season is here – SPRING! A long-awaited time when all of nature seems to burst forth in magnificent beauty. It is a time when that which appears to be dead comes to life again. Not only are the warmth and beauty the reasons for my rejoicing; this is also the time of my favorite holiday – Easter! This week, Holy Week, once again we are reminded of the reason for our Faith and the basis for our Hope. Two days from now, our minds will focus on the cross – the wooden form on which Jesus gave His life in suffering and pain that we are not capable of fully grasping. But just as God created the dogwoods, oaks, maples and assortment of trees that are putting on their new green leaves and beautiful blooms, God created the tree from which the cross was made. This was no surprise to Him. As the song reminds us:
Nothing took His life. With love He gave it.
He was crucified on a tree that He created.
With great love for man God stayed with His plan.
And He grew the tree so that we might go free.
He grew the tree that He knew would be
Used to make the old rugged cross.
And then, four days from now – HALLELUJAH! HE AROSE! He was victorious over sin, death, and the grave. We will rejoice and celebrate as THIS is the essence of who we are as Christians.
And we will reflect on another time over 2000 years ago when One who appeared to be dead forever came to life again for eternity. Max Lucado summarizes this transaction in his book In the Grip of Grace:
Ponder the achievement of God.
He doesn’t condone our sin,
nor does He compromise His standard.
He doesn’t ignore our rebellion,
nor does He relax his demands.
Rather than dismiss our sin,
He assumes our sin and incredibly sentences himself.
God’s holiness is honored.
Our sin is punished . . . and we are redeemed.
God does what we cannot do so we can be
what we dare not dream: perfect before God.
Happy Easter Woodmont Family and Friends!