The 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions before the age of 20. He knew obstacles were inevitable, so many of his resolutions were written to address this challenge. No matter the difficulties that came before him, he resolved to continue upon the path laid out for him by God. That’s responsibility, which is our topic for this message.
By the end of this message, we want you to discover why it’s important to have a personal mission, decide what types of things need to be part of your personal mission, and then take some time to prayerfully write a first draft of your own mission statement.
Creating a legacy begins with looking back on where we came from and how we became who we are. That’s the purpose of this first lesson: creating a legacy of remembrance.
We have come to the fourth and final mental picture—a productive vine—another vivid analogy preserved for us in the Word of God. In fact, this one comes to us from the lips of Jesus as He left His disciples words of encouragement just before He was crucified. They have been recorded for us in the 15th chapter of John, a chapter that centres attention on three vital relationships the Christian must maintain.
Studies in anatomy occupy the attention of every medical student in the world. Christians would do well to emulate students of medicine. Since we are members of His body, over which Christ serves as Head, understanding the body would give us a better understanding of the church—how it’s put together, how it functions, and how to respond when it malfunctions.
Among the many portraits of the church painted in Scripture, none is more calming and comforting than a flock of sheep under the watchful eye of a caring shepherd. The truth is, not all sheep stay in the flock…not all shepherds are caring and faithful…not all that’s lush and green is edible grass…and not all peaceful places are free of danger.
There are times when attending a growing church is exciting…and other times when it is irritating. At times like these, questions arise. Should a church get this large? Wasn’t the first-century church small and easy to manage? Is it OK to make more room for our growing family…or should we attend elsewhere? The answers to these types of questions may surprise you.
The terms wise and wisdom appear more than 30 times in the last six chapters of Ecclesiastes, and the concept is interwoven through most of the paragraphs…sometimes in a subtle manner, other times boldly. We’ll see these benefits personified in the life of “the wise man,” portrayed by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 8:1–9.
Too often, we end up saying “if only I had known then what I know now.” How deep the feelings of regret and anxiety in the hearts of parents who “blew it!” Since there’s no way to go back and relive our lives, we need to focus on the best way to respond to these painful memories. Otherwise, we will live under clouds of blame and shame and be paralyzed by fear.
Children eventually reach adulthood, with minds of their own. Can there still be mutual respect and meaningful relationships in the family? Can harmony continue between parents and their grown-up kids? Absolutely! The question is, how?