I was going through a stack of church bulletins on which I had jotted down notes for 2018. There were some I saved in case I wanted to write about them later. Here are a few of the key points I picked up this year.
In January, Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church taught a sermon titled End in Mind. He told us that life is short and that the purpose of this life is to prepare for the next, the one where we spend eternity with Jesus. Living out our values and beliefs, not just talking about them, but truly living them out, is living with the end in mind.
In March there was a Remember The Witnesses series. We were told: This is the time to get up and fight. Don’t give up! God is not operating on our calendars. He never does. Be steadfast in God’s plan, even when you don’t know how it will end. I have a bit of trouble with that one. I usually want to know how things end. In fact, sometimes I read the last page of a book. Then I can rest easy in knowing how the story turns out and just enjoy the journey. Yeah, I do that. Trusting God in the hard times isn’t easy but it is required to grow in our relationship with the Lord.
Then there was Take Heart. Courage comes from confidence. Real courage requires real confidence, confidence in the promise of God’s Word that He will do what He says He will do. The Lord is our Helper. We need not be afraid.
Next was Fix You Eyes. Dave Stone, senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church, often says that God never wastes a hurt. Focus on Jesus when trouble comes your way, and trouble will come your way. When you fix your eyes on Jesus, things change. Romans 8:28-And we know all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God’s work will always be for good.
In the summer we had a series called At The Movies, where parts of different movies were shown. Dave Stone would tie the lessons together with things talked about in the Bible. The first movie, The Impossible, was about the tsunami that hit Thailand. It was a hard movie to watch. Dave said; “It’s one thing to watch a storm. It’s another thing to be in one”. How true is that? We need each other because some storms we just watch from afar and we pray for those going through it. But other storms? We’re right smack in the middle and we need others to hold us up.
In October we had Overflow. Kyle told us that loneliness is the most dangerous disease today. We live in a world of “connecting”. But it’s false. Real connecting is a heartfelt commitment to show up. Sometimes it’s just about showing up.
Last week we heard from Hear to Here. What do you do when life takes an unexpected turn? When life becomes something you didn’t sign up for? Look to His Word. When God makes a promise, He keeps it.
What I gathered from all of these sermons is:
We need God.
We need each other.
Be available and just show up.