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Blog Posts (22)

  • Pure, Good, Sincere

    In the first chapter of 1 Timothy, the apostle Paul pens a heartfelt letter to his young protege, Timothy, who he left in Ephesus. The core of his message? To ensure that the gospel—or the law—is communicated and upheld correctly. Through this epistle, Paul delineates two primary purposes of the gospel that resonate deeply with the challenges and aspirations of spiritual life. Purpose #1 - The Primacy of Love Paul begins by setting the stage in verse 5, where he states, "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." This passage highlights love as not only the fundamental outcome of the gospel but also its driving force. This love, Paul explains, should be genuine and transformative, pushing us towards a closer relationship with God. He elaborates that such love stems from three key qualities: A Pure Heart: Unmarred by ulterior motives or selfish desires. A Good Conscience: Maintained by living in a way that is harmonious with divine teachings. A Sincere Faith: Rooted in genuine belief and commitment to God’s word. Paul underscores that advancing God's work through the law should ultimately cultivate this profound sense of love. Purpose # 2 - Correcting The Wayward Moving onto the second purpose, Paul delves into the role of the law for those who stray from it. In verse 9, he points out, "We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful…" This statement introduces the corrective function of the law. It serves as a guide and a check for those who rebel against divine teachings, highlighting the path back to righteousness. Paul's letter is not just a theological idea but also a call to action. The things Paul is writing would evoke some soul searching questions: Do you embody the love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith? Are you engaged in the spiritual warfare of maintaining these qualities against worldly challenges? He warns in verse 18 about the stakes of this spiritual battle, urging believers to adhere to these virtues to "wage the good warfare." Furthermore, in verse 19, he cautions, "By rejecting [these], some have made shipwreck of their faith." This vivid imagery of shipwreck illustrates the disastrous consequences of neglecting the spiritual tools provided by God. An Invitation to Commitment Paul's message culminates in an invitation—a call to either reaffirm or newly commit to cultivating a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. Whether you are steadfast in your spiritual journey or have wandered away, Paul's words offer a chance for renewal and realignment. As we reflect on these teachings, consider where you stand. Are you fostering the love that Paul speaks of, or are you at risk of becoming a 'shipwrecker' in your faith? . As you ponder these thoughts, may you find the inspiration to embrace the transformative power of genuine love and faith.

  • The Truth About Our Self-Worth

    Do you think there are very many people in the world that have a healthy, stable view of themselves? From what I see in the world around me, there appear to be a lot of people who are either disproportionately proud and arrogant or people who have an unhealthy, unbiblical self-esteem that often manifests itself with thoughts like “I just mess everything up,” or “I don’t know why God put me here,” or “The world would be better off without me.” Ironically enough, these two extremes can oftentimes be related, and they both seem to go back to lies the devil has been telling since the beginning of time. When we look at what happened in the garden of Eden, it can be shocking to read how blatant the lie that the devil told Eve was. God had told Adam and Eve, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). With this in mind, look at the exchange Satan has with Eve in chapter 3: “…He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” And after Eve explains that they are allowed to eat of all but one tree, and that if they eat of the forbidden tree, as God said, “you shall surely die,” Satan responds with “You will not surely die.” It does not get any more contrary to God’s command than that! Satan blatantly says the opposite of what God has said and in doing so, calls God a liar. He does what he has always done, and, as I heard one preacher put it, “paints something that will kill you as something you can’t live without.” Now how does this apply to our view of ourselves? Well, it seems as if, in many ways, Satan has sold our society two opposing lies that contradict each other and that work together to send us into a downward spiral of pride and self-loathing, where many rarely encounter the happy, healthy middle ground God has given us. Those lies are as follows: first, that my life is all about my happiness and pleasure and if something does not serve me personally or make me happy then it is not worthwhile. Second, that if we are not doing everything perfectly then we are worthless, and our life is futile. If we are not happy, healthy, and rich, then we are insignificant. Do you see these two ideas in the world around you? Do you see how they diametrically oppose each other? One leads to boasting and pride; the other, to sorrow and despair. However, the good news is that neither of these views are Biblical, and God’s will for how we view ourselves is higher and better than either one! Consider these passages: Galatians 6:14 – “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” If we are boasting, we should boast in the cross! Anything we have that is truly worth boasting about comes from God. Let us always be sure that we remember what Christ accomplished on the cross, and that any intrinsic value comes solely from bearing His name. James 4:6, 10 – “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” God demands that His people view themselves with appropriate humility next to Him. He is an Awesome God, the Creator, and King of the Universe. He is Lord of all! That not only puts into perspective how small and limited we are but is a profound reminder that He wants to exalt us to be fellow heirs, sons, and daughters along His Firstborn Son. Wow! 2 Corinthians 12:10 – “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul here is talking about his thorn in the flesh that God refused to remove, stating that His grace is sufficient for Paul. If God’s grace is sufficient for Paul, it is sufficient for us too! We definitely have weaknesses and limitations, and that is okay. Those things should appropriately ground us and keep us humble, as they did Paul. However, God in His infinite power and immense grace can make us strong despite our weaknesses. If we just view ourselves as vessels and tools for His use, He can do incredible things with us, despite whatever we feel holds us back. God has been using imperfect people to accomplish remarkable things since the beginning of time! Genesis 1:27 - “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”. We are made in the image of God! That means we are incredibly powerful, but that also means we must act like it!

  • Rahab: Faith Over Fear

    There are two women mentioned by name in Hebrews 11. Do you know who they are? One was Sarah. The other one might come as a surprise to you. This woman was known in her community, but for all the wrong reasons. Her name was Rahab the harlot, Hebrews 11:31. Many in her day were aware of her sinful profession, but we will know her because of her great confession of faith in God, during a time of fear. Do you know how this woman who began as a prostitute would end up in the lineage of Jesus, Matthew 1:5? Many people know about the lives of celebrities. These people will not help you to build a stronger faith in God. But knowing the life of Rahab will. Rahab’s story is one that’s filled with fearful situations that she overcame. God wants our faith to be strong like Rahab’s so you can do the same. And yet that can be hard to do at times. It’s hard to stand for what’s right when our friends or colleagues mock us. Sadly, many Christians have allowed fear to overtake their faith in God. From Rahab, we will see that it’s possible for us to have a rock-solid faith in God, where we can overcome fear, Joshua 2:1-11 The Development of Rahab’s faith. Rahab came to believe in God because of the evidence she heard about Him. She was from the land of Canaan. They did not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. Rahab’s family did her no favors teaching her about God. Her life was one filled with a low standard of morality. She was at a disadvantage from the Jews who were taught about God from a young age. Despite these roadblocks she came to have faith in God. But how? It was through the evidence she heard about Him. She heard about how God dried the Red Sea, Joshua 2:10. She couldn’t deny this great miracle of God. She believed what she heard and came to the right conclusion, Joshua 2:11. It’s amazing what this woman did because of the things she heard about God. She overcame fear by allowing the spies to enter her house. She hid the spies when the king’s messengers came for them. She spoke to her family about how they needed to stay in her house, Joshua 2:13. Her faith during these events can’t be overlooked. Imagine if you were in China and two preachers came to your door. What would you do if you knew you could get in trouble with the authorities there? The small amount of evidence Rahab heard about God caused her to trust in Him. Her faith was developed from hearing facts about God! If our faith is to overcome fear, it must come from hearing some facts about God. Faith that overcomes fear is faith rooted in facts. That’s the faith we need. The only way we can have this faith is from studying the Bible. Too many Christians have stumbled because their faith was not rooted in facts, but rather in wishful thinking, or on their parent’s faith. That will not work if we are to overcome the fearful situations we will face. Our faith must be developed on facts and evidence. We have evidence in the Bible to trust God. We have the accurate record of real historical nations and cities found in the Bible. We have examples of predictive prophecy in scripture, Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:34. We have the miracles of Jesus, John 20:30-31. Rahab couldn’t deny the miracle she heard about, and neither can we, if we are honest with the evidence. Our faith must be rooted on the facts so that it will stand the tests from your peers, your professors, and from your family. Rahab’s faith came because of evidence. She heard and believed! The Actions of her faith Because of her faith in God, Rahab acted. Rahab was viewed as being obedient compared to others in the city, Hebrews 11:31. Her faith in action justified her. Like every other person in Hebrews 11 Rahab had a “verb” or some action attached to her faith. Her faith was active when she received the spies with peace. Her faith was active when she begged the men to save her and her family. Her faith was active when she left the cord hanging from her window, Joshua 2:21. But we must address the elephant in the room. What about the fact that she lied? We can’t deny that she did, Joshua 2:4-7. Does this mean it’s okay to lie? No, it doesn’t, Titus 1:2; Revelation 21:8. This woman’s background should be considered. While she knew of God, there were many things she would need to learn. This would include lying and her job profession. She was approved by God not because she lied, but because she received the spies with peace. She risked her life. This is the type of faith we must have in the face of fear. It’s easy to have faith on a Sunday morning at the place where we worship. But what happens when school is in session, or we are at work? What kind of faith will you have? What will your verb be? Sadly, many will not take any action, because they haven’t taken the time to develop their faith in the facts found in the Bible. If that’s you, then maybe your action should be to open this book so your faith can grow! Rahab’s faith would save her from her sins of sexual immorality. It saved her from dying in Jericho. It helped save her family. This woman left behind an awesome story.  That’s the faith we need. What story will you leave behind?

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  • Member Announcements | West Main

    Member Announcements June 9, 2024 00:00 / 03:53 June 2, 2024 00:00 / 04:15 May 26, 2024 00:00 / 02:55 May 19, 2024 00:00 / 03:34 May 12, 2024 00:00 / 04:19 May 5, 2024 00:00 / 02:51 April 28, 2024 00:00 / 03:01 April 21, 2024 00:00 / 49:52 April 14, 2024 00:00 / 04:46 April 7, 2024 00:00 / 05:08 March 31, 2024 00:00 / 02:39 March 24, 2024 00:00 / 02:42

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