2014.10.19 Sermon (Kevin Tengvall)

Chosen People.

Do you feel a chosen person? Are we one of the chosen people? Are we a model to all people? My answers to those questions are, NO, Maybe and I wish. It would be great if I could say YES, Yes and yes. But in all honesty I am too often filled with doubt and self-loathing to think I am a chosen one and I see too much hatred and disaster in the world to think we are a chosen people (although in Australia I might be naïve or bigheaded enough to think that we aren’t as hateful or a lot better off than some nations) and like many others I try to do good and be a role model but that is where my doubt etc begins.

On the other hand I know that as a redeemed soul I am saved by the blood of Christ and will spend eternity with him, but that is another sermon all on its own.

In the Thessalonians reading it says that the gospel came to them with power, what does that actually mean? The clue I think is in verse, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

Paul Silas and Timothy went to them and lived among them and not only by their words but also their actions which I believe showed their deep conviction and faith.

In our time on this Earth we have the Bible which is God’s word which is given to all who so desire to read it and I believe that is the Power in which Paul and co speak of in 1Thessalonians 1:1-10.

So Paul Silas and Timothy became a model to all believers, the challenge I think is, are we a model to all those that we meet?

There have been many people in the past who have been extraordinary role models in the past, Smith Wigglesworth, Martin Luther King, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, just to name a few. But how many more people have we not heard of who have also been great role models in their communities and Homes.

This I think this might actually give me/us hope that I/we can be role models to those around us, this I might add is no less daunting to realise that as Christians we are under scrutiny from those that would bring us down.

One of the ways we can be a role model in this era is in how we react to the news of the day or the propaganda that we are being subjected to in the papers and on TV and social media.

I have a friend on face book who has started driving me nuts with his continued and relentless haranguing of Tony Abbot and this government, I said to him that I think it would be far more productive to stop sniping and undermining the Government but start praying for them instead. Which do you think would be the better role model?

How do we react to the continued bombarding in the News and social media about the threat From Isis and then by inference (from the media) of Muslims in general, I believe we need to be VERY careful in our thoughts and actions in dealing with this issue alone, as history has shown that one Man. country or organisations actions can sway the masses to hate.  We as a nation need to be careful in how we react to all forms of media and whilst we might not agree with the Muslim belief we do I think need to respect their right to choose what they believe. But at the same time our nation’s leaders do need to be alert to what has proved to be a very real threat from so called Muslim radicals.

Now isn’t that a can of worms? Because we Christians too have the right to choose what we believe, it is time that our countries leaders stood firm for the principals on which this country was founded. But more importantly it is how we react and what we say to this issue among others that we may well be judged on.

The outbreak of the Ebola virus has many people around the world worried; many are claiming that it could be the start of the apocalypse. I don’t know about you but when I started thinking about the terror of this disease I was quite surprised to find that I had a “we will be alright attitude, we live in Australia”, quite illogical really and I have no idea why I should think like that. On the other hand I was told of a group of work colleagues who were discussing the Ebola outbreak the other day and their attitude was one of imminent disaster and that we (even in Merredin) should start preparing ourselves for when it starts ravaging Our country state and towns,

As Christians,

are we going to be judged on how we react to these perceived threats? Do we need to be worried about terrorism or rampant diseases?  Or do we have the faith to do what is right? Do what is necessary with faith trust and compassion.

As Paul said in verse 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. Can it be said of us as it was for the Thessalonians that our faith has become known everywhere? Have we turned away from the idols of the first world to serve the true and living God?

Will others see our faith in God in the manner in which we receive those who are against us? Will others see our trust in God in the way in which we face natural disasters and diseases?

If we believe we are Gods children a chosen people then the challenge is that we need to be seen to have faith trust and compassion, for as *sure as God made little green apples” we will be judged on our actions thoughts and deeds here on earth as in heaven.

I will finish on these words from Paul to the Thessalonians verse 2-4 we always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you,  5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be with you.

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