As Christians, we must focus on making a lasting impact for good—influencing others without resorting to force or other means of control. The crucial question is how? Jesus’ answer in Matthew 5 is still the best.
We can read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in 15 minutes or less. No teacher or preacher has ever packed more truth into such a brief period of time. Our hope in this study is to glean a few fresh, practical insights that will enable us to stay on course in living lives that are distinctively different.
Of all the sermons that have been preached, none is more famous, more profound, or more convicting than the one Jesus preached on the mountain. It is timeless, ever-relevant, and never dull.
No effort we make to achieve something great for God is promised perpetual success. Why? It's all too easy for the slow, silent slip toward spiritual erosion to cool our love for God and diminish our effectiveness for the kingdom. In this special message, learn not only how to prevent erosion in your life but also how to deepen your intimacy with God in a way that will overflow to others.
Even though we can never say that we have “arrived,” there are some checkpoints by which we are able to measure our maturity. They are set forth in the first major section of Peter's second letter. Beginning with faith (2 Peter 1:5) and ending with love (1:7), you will find eight qualities, which deserve our most diligent effort.
Out of the rich book of Psalms, we find an ancient hymn—a prayer, a passionate petition—in which David makes a series of requests and statements that reveal a level of maturity admired by all. For a few moments, read over and meditate on Psalm 26. Observe the composer's major theme as well as his unguarded admissions. See if you can discover for yourself the relevance of this melodic revelation.
Although most of the stories revolving around David's experiences are fairly familiar to us today, this one may not be. Because it holds within it several truths that illustrate the marks of maturity in a believer's life, it seems fitting that we blow the dust off this ancient account and consider its value in our lives today. As we think it through and relive its scenes, let's not miss its message to we who are pressing on to maturity.
As we enter adulthood in our faith, one of the most significant realizations to dawn upon us is a healthy understanding of and appreciation for the church. Most go through real battles in coming to this conclusion. In this message, we want to come to terms with the role of the church, its importance in our lives, some of the major reasons for its effectiveness, and why Christ established it in the first place.
Tough though it may be to admit it, most of us resist growing up. We say all the things that suggest otherwise, but in reality, we resist launching out into the ocean of adulthood. It seems only logical that we spend a little while analyzing why there is such a strong resistance within us to move on into the responsibilities and challenges of adulthood.
If we are not careful we could easily get the impression that adolescence is a disease with headaches and heartaches, pressure and pain as its only symptoms. Not so! Adjustments and struggles may be present, but not to the exclusion of tremendous growth and remarkable achievements. These can be some of the most exciting years of one's spiritual pilgrimage.