Categories
Bible Blogging Christian Church God Ministry Scripture

Sunday Scripture

Greetings my friends ! It’s Sunday August 30TH 2020, and this is the day that our LORD has made. Let us rejoice. Let us be glad in it. Let us continue to praise and worship Christ our Savior !

This past Friday evening I got the call to preach to my church body on this Sunday morning. I immediately went to work to finalize my sermon. I’ll be preaching out of the Book of Malachi with a sermon that I wrote in January and February (before COVID-19). It’s the first part of hopefully a multi-part message series on the prophet Malachi. I haven’t started writing the second part yet. I was waiting until I had the opportunity to preach the first part before I began work on the next part.

In this first part I’ll be covering Malachi’s message on God’s love for Israel – as well as his message on corrupt priests.

Scripture will be mostly from the Old Testament with 4 additional verses from Romans.

My “call-to-action” to close-out my sermon will be based on Romans 10:14-15:

How can they – call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him ?
How can they – believe in Him if they have never heard about Him ?
How can they – hear about Him unless someone tells them ?
How will anyone go and tell them without being sent ?
That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring Good News !”

You know I always get excited and look forward to “Sermon Sunday” – those Sundays when I get the opportunity to share my heart with my brothers and sisters of my church body. I am blessed for these opportunities to preach God’s Word from the pulpit.

Even if these opportunities to preach were to diminish or disappear – I’d still write sermons at home. I’d continue to share them with you – my brothers and sisters in Christ – my friends and neighbors worldwide who follow this blog. My sermons are open letters to God.

If you’re a believer and follower of God then I encourage you to talk to Him, sing for Him, dance for Him, and write to Him. Do it all for Him. Share with others what God places in your heart. Be a messenger of God’s Good News.

If you’re not yet a believer and follower of God then I encourage you to keep an open mind and an open heart. I’d like to share with you the God that I know. He’s the God that loves you immensely. He’s got a fantastic journey that awaits you. It’s created and customized just for you. He’ll wait for you until you’re ready to accept Him.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Categories
Bible Blogging Career Christian Church God Military Ministry Music Scripture Travel

Sunday Scripture

After observing the 14TH anniversary of God’s fantastic journey for me I’m now into my 15TH year. I believe that this 15TH year will be greater than the 14TH year, for He is greater, and He keeps life exciting with each new day.

It took me exactly 5 months to enter a church building after the start of my salvation. I walked in to Life Pointe Church in Homestead Florida on a Saturday night in January of 2007 for a rock concert. The next morning I went to our new local movie theatre in town for their Sunday morning church service. (They were no longer holding services at their original church building.)

I’ve been part of a church body now ever since that Saturday night rock concert. It was the first time I walked in to a church building as a saved man.

Growing up in the 1970s my family was Catholic. We attended Sunday service every week in Seabrook Maryland (near Washington D.C.). I actually attended Catholic School 5 days a week during my first and second grades (1973-1975). In 1975 my parents pulled me out of Catholic School and placed me into the local public school system. I attended traditional public schools for the next 10 years (1975-1985).

During the Summer of 1985 (at age 18) I actually attended a couple of Sunday morning Catholic church services on Lackland AFB near San Antonio Texas. I was in Basic Military Training at the time, and it was a convenient way to get away from reality for an hour or two. I didn’t really pay attention during the service. I was just there to get out of the heat, get away from the yelling and screaming, and hang out with some of my dorm brothers.

During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in January and February of 1991 I attended a couple of Sunday morning Catholic church services in a big tent in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert. Again – it was a convenient way to get away from reality – a diversion from war. I wasn’t spiritual at all. I didn’t know who God was at the time.

I didn’t get to know God The Father, God The Son, and God The Spirit until exactly 14 years ago. A few months later I realized that I would not be fully on the journey until I became part of a Bible-believing church body.

Christ died for us so that we may be saved, and since He saved us we must commit to Him. He told us to love Him. He told us to love others – those who believe – and those who do not yet believe.

He commanded us believers to meet regularly to praise and worship Him, and to encourage and motivate our brothers and sisters in Him. In these last days we must be a strong church that Christ recognizes – one that honors Him above all. When we meet together in corporate worship we practice for what we must do away from the church building, and that is to encourage and motivate and love our neighbor – each creation that we come in contact with on a daily basis.

See God is coming back for His church. He’s not coming back for the manmade buildings or meeting places. He’s coming back for His church body – His creation – committed to Him.

We must be the church in everything we do, and everywhere we go.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Categories
Bible Christian Driving God Ministry Scripture

Sunday Scripture

A couple of days ago I walked in to my local neighborhood Honda dealership with the intention of discussing my various options in the next 4 months regarding the end of the 3-year lease of my 2018 Honda Civic. (It was a prescheduled informal appointment with my assigned sales consultant.)

In the couple of weeks after scheduling the appointment and leading-up to the actual day there was that thought in the back of my mind that there was a slight possibility that I would turn-in my lease and start a new lease or even buy a new car on that day. (After all most of you know what usually happens when you walk in to the sales department of any given automobile dealership.)

I ended-up driving an above-average 34 miles on that day (halfway to Miami and back) leading-up to my arrival at the dealership, and I thought to myself that these could be my final miles ever driven in this car.

And it was. Less than 3½ hours after arriving at the dealership I drove away in a brand new 2020 Honda Civic. I told my sales consultant that I didn’t walk in here to buy a new car. I just wanted facts and figures to do a few months worth of research and contemplation. But I liked everything I heard and saw, and I got a good deal. There was no need to procrastinate for a few more months.

Some of the most fun moments on this fantastic journey are the ones that are unplanned, unrehearsed, and unscripted. I mean that’s how this journey began for me 14 years ago this upcoming work week.

“For I know the plans I have for you” – says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster – to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray – I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly – you will find Me. I will be found by you.” – says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

As a mostly organized and prepared person I essentially live on a schedule that I maintain for the next 15 days at any given time. It’s a list of things that I need to do, I want to do, and I should do. It even reminds me to blog my 4 posts per weekend. Incidentally – “BUY NEW CAR” – was not on my list of things to do a couple of days ago. Also not on my schedule 14 years ago this upcoming work week – “GET SAVED BY GOD”.

God did that on his own. While my salvation started during this upcoming week of August of 2006 I really didn’t figure much of it out until several weeks and even a few months later. It took me that long to understand what salvation was. See up until 14 years ago I knew of God, but I didn’t know about Him. I didn’t know who He was. He knew me, but I didn’t know Him. Salvation changed all of that.

Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that He may have mercy on them. Yes – turn to our God, for He will forgive generously. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts” – says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9)

Our God invites you to salvation if you’re not already on the journey that He created uniquely for you. It’s an open invitation for as long as you’re still alive and breathing here on the earth. Are you ready today ? How about tomorrow ? Next week ? Next month ? Next year ? Or will you be like me, and not plan for it to happen but just let it happen. Will you respond to God when He rescues you out of the pit of despair – out of the mud and the mire – and saves you forever ? Or will you turn away from Him, and return to doing what the world tells you to do ?

You will have infinite opportunities to believe, follow, trust, and love the LORD in your lifetime. Don’t let the final opportunity that He grants you be the one that you reject. I’ve heard it said that hell is not full of people that God rejected, for God rejects nobody. Hell is full of people that rejected God.

You have no idea what awaits you when you accept God and you allow Him to lead you forth away from the darkness and towards His light.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Categories
Bible Blogging Christian Church God Life Ministry Scripture

Sunday Scripture

In Galatians Paul writes about how complete the work of Christ’s death on the cross was for our salvation. God’s work was complete. Nothing more was needed to be added to His work. God’s work was perfect. In an instant – all of our sins – past, present, and future – were wiped clean – forgotten about – when Jesus took those sins to the cross to die.

For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the lawyou have been cut off from Christ !  You have fallen away from God’s grace. (Galatians 5:4)

For you have been called to live in freedom – my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead – use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

I could stop right there and talk about that, but there’s this next verse that wraps all of this up in a nice blunt manner. Paul doesn’t hold back in his letter. Paul warns:

But if you are always biting and devouring one anotherwatch out !  Beware of destroying one another. (Galatians 5:15)

What a perfect verse for these turbulent times that we’re living in today. We are indeed biting and devouring one another. We are destroying one another. We are doing the work of the devil. Love is lacking in this world.

Beware of destroying one another. Beware of the ways of the world. Beware of legalism. Paul fights legalism all throughout his letter to the Galatians as well as many of his other letters in the New Testament. Legalism is probably the sin that we commit the most on our day-to-day journey. We commit this sin more than we ever did before we were saved. YES – legalism is a sin.

“But Chris I’m confused. What do you mean by legalism ?  Aren’t we supposed to be legal – and obey God’s laws – God’s Commandments ?  Isn’t that legalism ?  How can that be sinful ?  Tell me more !”

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

See when we’re being legalistic we’re being prideful. We’re full of pride:

“Hey look at me. After just 2 years of being saved by God I’ve quit drinking, I’ve quit smoking, I’ve quit eating junk food, I exercise, I see a Doctor every 3 months, I get regular labwork done, I don’t get angry anymore, and I love everyone – even the people that hate me !  Oh yeah and I also listen to Christian music all day, I read the Bible every day, I write sermons on Saturdays, and I go to church every Sunday !  You should do the same. God loves me for doing all of these things !  He’ll love you too !”

Sounds terrible – doesn’t it ?  I mean those are all good things, but nobody wants to hear all that stuff. I would never say any of that stuff – aside from using it as an example in this message to make my point. My fellow believers and followers of Christ – the world out there doesn’t care what we’re doing – or what we’ve stopped doing – or what we’re against – or what we’re opposed to – or what we believe in – when they don’t even know us. None of that stuff saves the world out there. None of that stuff saved me. Christ saved me. All of that other stuff came to be as a result of Christ saving me.

The world out there needs to know that God loves them more than they can only imagine. The world out there needs proof of that love. It is not enough to tell someone that God loves them, and then walk away and tell them to have a nice day. They need to see and feel and experience that love from us. That’s what disciples do. We are all called to be disciples.

So Paul was strongly against legalism. The legalist picks and chooses the rules – the laws – the Commandments – that he or she feels comfortable with obeying. You know – the easy ones. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet: “I’ll take some of that, and a bunch of that, and a whole lotta that Good News – but none of that hard-to-digest stuff over there. I don’t agree with that law over there – or that one – or that one.” The legalist – in all of us – conveniently neglects – or even ignores certain laws at times – such as loving the Lord with all your heart, or loving your neighbor as yourself.

We need to be aware of two types of sins – the sins where we did something that we shouldn’t have done – and – perhaps more common – the sins where we did not do something that we should have done.

Each of us has an idea of what sin is, and it evolves over time. What I thought sin was when I was saved – is not the same as what I think sin is now – nearly 14 years later. Our idea of what sin is should align with Scripture. Sometimes we make up new sins that aren’t even in the Bible. And we try to avoid those sins. And when we do avoid those sins we become proud, and we think that God is happy with us: “Look at me God. I’m not doing that anymore !”

There’s that pride right there. Pride is a sin. You sinned by trying not to sin. See you can follow all the “rules” – all the “laws” – and yet completely miss out on Christ. He didn’t even know you.

We want God to know us. He already loves us – no matter what. We must love God. We must love our neighbor as our self.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries