A Time to Remember (11/2/14)

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

 On Sunday November 2, we marked our church’s anniversary.  Pastor Jim’s sermon tapped into the anniversary and All Saints Day themes.  The scripture reading was from Numbers 10:8-10 and Hebrews 12:1-2.
 
Click the “Play” button below to start the recording, then scroll down and follow along…

 

 

Scripture Reading

 Numbers 10:8-10

8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations.

9 “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.

10 Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”

= = = = = = = =

Hebrews 12:1-2

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

NKJV

How to stop a burglar.  Yell…

Stop!!! Acts 2:38!!!

Locking Arms…

We all learn from each other.  In this “true story,” God used this woman’s knowledge of this scripture reference to protect her in an unexpected way.  Perhaps this reference was still fresh in her mind from the Bible study she had just attended.  We learn things from others which help us through life.

In real life, somewhere, somehow along the road,  someone helped us in life’s journey.  It may have been a simple word, a moment of counseling, or maybe even a smile.  Somehow, God has a way of putting the right person in front of us at just the right time.  We can all look back and remember someone who has touched us.

In a sense, we’re joined with the saints who came before us so we can hand forward to the new generation. When we participate in worship, we are joining with the saints of all ages.  It’s almost as if we’re entering that heavenly scene described in Revelation 7 and worshiping with all of the saints from all ages.

 

What’s a Saint?

In the United Methodist Church, we don’t believe that a saint is some sort of elected office (for more info on the United Methodist Church’s position on saints, visit the UMC Website FAQ page).  A saint is anyone who has come to a saving relationship with God thought faith in Jesus Christ.  If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, YOU are a saint!  We become saints not because of any good works that we have done, but because of God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.  A saint is someone “set apart for the exclusive use of God.”

 

 

A child was once asked the question, “Who are saints?”  His answer was wise beyond his years:

“Saints are people where the sun shines through.”

Windows-PentecostAnd so a saint is like a stained glass window.  As the sun shines through it, the window radiates the beauty of the Son.

As windows are used to provide beauty, Saints are used by God to provide moments of ministry.  Moments of when God’s light is shined into someone’s life.

 

“Sainthood” isn’t a manmade office or special honor; it is a right given to anyone who is in Christ.  The word Saint comes from the same root that means “Holy.”  All believers are called to separate themselves from  the things of the world (through the work of the Holy Spirit).  We are all called to be “Holy” (or saints).  Check out the following verses:

Rom 1:6-7 6

And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.  To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Cor 1:1-3

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

NKJV

Eph 1:1-2

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:   Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

NKJV

Phil 1:1-2 1

Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:   Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

NKJV

Acts 9:10-16 10

Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.   And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”   Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.  

And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”   But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.   For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

NKJV

A saint is simply someone who recognizes they’re a sinner in need of grace, receives Jesus Christ, and is lifted up to do great things for God.

We can all think of people who have assisted us along our journeys.

 

Remember the Saints…

{The congregation calls out names of people who have touched them, but the names aren’t audible in the recording.  At one point Pastor Jim mentions that he’s heard “that name” many times and looks forward to meeting him on the other side of glory.  He is speaking of Rev. Marvin Guice, who was our pastor from 1940 to 1958}

Stained Glass Window Hazel Stiles _0336Who touched your life?  Most of us can look back and remember someone who made a difference in our life.  The person may not be famous.  They never wrote a book, never preached a sermon, and there’s no holiday named after them.  But somehow, the light of God shined through them in just the right way at just the right time.

All of the windows in our sanctuary bear the name of some saint who at some period during our church’s history made a difference.  They showed the love of God through their service, and now the beauty of God’s light shines through their window.

In Hebrews 12 we’re reminded that we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  God calls us to remember those who came before us; those who He used in those special moments in our lives.  We remember them not so much to honor them, but to thank God for His continual sustaining grace.

The Ray Boltz song “Thank You for Giving to the Lord” shows us how God can use one of His unsung saints in humble service…

 

 What about You???

We are called to be vessels of light…

  • Matthew 5:16
    “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
  • John 8:12  
    “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 
    “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
  • 1 Peter 4:11 
    “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. “

What about you?  What will people say about you 50 years from now?  Is there any light from God shining through you?  Are you allowing God to change others lives through your faithfulness and obedience?

 


 

Quiz Time!

As you reflect on what you’ve just heard/read, give this quiz a try.  If you don’t understand an answer (or if you disagree with the “correct” answer, post a comment…

 

 

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