Return the Favor

Only two more installments in our series, Being Useful, after this one. In this seventh part, we are reaching a point that the qualities on Peter’s list are both the next natural addition as well as the result of the previous additions. What does it look like when we pursue faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, and endurance on a consistent, intentional basis? We begin to fulfill the duty we owe to God. A duty to God? For what? Keep reading to find out more.

Return the Favor

Just out of curiosity this morning, how many of you have both been called and actually served for jury duty?  Thank you for that.  We don’t often thank jurors, but they contribute a vitally important service to our nation’s judicial system.  As much of a headache as this particular service is seen to be—much more of a burden than a blessing—it has kept our court system its distinction as one of the best and fairest in the world for the accused for almost 250 years.  That’s not a small thing. 

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Keep at It

This past Sunday we continued in our series, Being Useful. We’ve so far talked about faith and virtue and knowledge and self-control. Those are all great things, but living in a constant pursuit of those can eventually become exhausting. If we’re going to manage that tall order, there’s something else we’re going to need. Fortunately, this next thing is the next item on Peter’s list. Keep reading to find out what it is.

Keep at It

Have you ever wanted to give up?  You pick the reason.  Have you ever been at a point where you were seriously considering throwing up your hands and walking away from something?  I think we all hit those places at one time or another in life.  It could have been something as insignificant as a game.  One of the lessons we are slowly teaching our boys is that you can’t quit just because you’re losing.  Any other parents have to fight that particular battle before?  Perhaps, though, your encounter with this particular wall was somewhat more significant.  Maybe it was a class in school?  It could have been a job when you didn’t already have another one lined up.  Perhaps it was even a relationship. 

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Staying on Track

So, we know that being useful in our relationship with Jesus requires faith, virtue, and knowledge. But how do we consistently do anything positive with those? We need something else. In this fifth part of our series, Being Useful, we talked about what this next thing is. Thanks for reading.

Staying on Track

When I was growing up, I had the great fortune of going to a church with a whole bunch of godly men to watch as examples of how to do the Christian life well.  It was a gift that has kept on paying dividends in the years since.  There’s a call to our great men in there, but that’s for another sermon.  One of these men was named Martin Coleman.  Martin was an engineer and was one of those guys who could do or build pretty much anything.  My parents and his kids are about the same age and his grandkids are just a little bit younger than me.  We all grew up together as pieces and parts of one big church family.  That’s part of the reason I so love what we have here at First Baptist—which, incidentally, was the name of that church too. 

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What Do You Know?

This week as we continued in our series, Being Useful, we talked about the next quality on Peter’s list that will make us more useful to Jesus. Having faith and pursuing virtue are good, but they require something else of us to get them right. In this part we talk about with this other thing is.

What Do You Know?

Do you know where the annual U.S. sailboat show takes place?  Any takers?  Do you know who else didn’t know the answer to that question?  James Holzhauer.  Name ring a bell?  He was the most recent super candidate on the long-running game show Jeopardy.  He dazzled the country for just over a month as he went on a 32-game winning streak.  Now, a streak like that would be impressive enough by itself, but that’s not what so captured the nation’s attention.  Back in 2004, Ken Jennings went on a winning streak of 74 games and sits in second place for all-time Jeopardy earnings with just over $3.5 million.  Yes, that’s only second place.  No, what made Holzhauer such a fascinating contestant was his gutsy wagering.  I’ve seen winning contestants on Jeopardy walk away with a few hundred dollars as their prize.  Holzhauer’s biggest prize was a shade over $131,000.  All for…knowing stuff. 

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Get Your Head on Right

Is faith all we need to be useful to Jesus? That’s not as easy a question to answer as it might seem. Certainly faith is all we need to enter into a relationship with Him, but being useful goes beyond that. As we continue our series, Being Useful, we talk about something that has to go with our faith if we’re going to hit that mark. Keep reading to find out what it is.

Get Your Head on Right

I grew up in a hymn-singing church.  Every single Sunday morning we sang hymns.  As a result, the great hymns of the faith are like a warm, familiar embrace for me.  I suspect that in this room, I’m not alone in that sentiment either.  I suspect there are many of you who grew up with the hymns and have a genuine love in your heart for them.  Now, I love worshiping by singing more contemporary praise music too, but just like anything that was a regular—and positive—feature of your childhood just feels good, the hymns are that for me. 

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