For our elementary Bible school curriculum, there are 3 different ABC lists for the names of Jesus. Yesterday, Debbie discussed the lesson and asked the first and second graders which "name of Jesus" went best with their lesson. About that time, one of the little ones had an Aha Moment! "Hey, look Ms. Debbie, the names of Jesus are in alphabetical order!" Gotta love it! What innocence! Who would have known that an ABC list is in alphabetical order!
My mind went back to that ABC list often during our worship services and Steve's sermon. Seekers of truth and righteousness, our church family had come together to be encouraged and filled through:
- remembering the WORD
- hearing the word
- the fellowship of believers
- corporate worship, and
- standing together IN CHRIST ALONE.
We went away encouraged and filled!
Something else that came to my mind repeatedly was our beatitude for this month:
In his sermon, Steve focused on the word:
- NEW car?
- NEW house?
- NEW financial standing?
Then, he asked us to fast forward 20 years in our minds... he showed on the big screen what those things might look like then... UGH! ...kind of discouraging...
It reminded me of what Jesus said a little further in His Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 6:19-21:
"Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy,
and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also."
Steve got to the bottom line: There is only one thing that can remain NEW.
It is the treasure of Jesus Christ!
Steve asked us to read from 2 Corinthians 5. Here are some things that were highlighted:
- We make it our goal to please Jesus Christ (verse 9)
- Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. (verse 14)
- He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (verse 15)
- So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. (verse 16)
- If anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (verse 17)
- All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation... that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them... He has committed to us the message of reconciliation... as Christ's ambassadors... making His appeal through us (verses 18-20)
- God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God. (verse 21)
About that time, in Steve's sermon, it was time for me to make connections again:
- Our beatitude for the month says, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS, for they will be filled.
- Jesus had more to say in His Sermon on the Mount about this word, in Matthew 6:31-34, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- On one of those ABC lists of Jesus, He is the RIGHTEOUS ONE. (Acts 3:14)
- On another ABC list of Jesus, He is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
This is the NEW that does not age:
- NEW creation
- NEW beginnings
- NEW ministry
I can do nothing on my own.
I am a sinner!
My sin separates me from God.
Jesus, the Christ,
offers me something that I cannot give to myself:
I hunger and thirst
for His Righteousness!
I am filled!