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Tag Archive | "Kristi Rhodes"

The Greatest Honor


Hillcrest-Church-picPastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Everyone knows that November is a month focused on giving thanks.  We even thank our Veterans on the 11th day of the 11th month and rightly so. But do you know that the greatest way to honor our veterans is to not forfeit our freedoms that they sacrificed their comforts to defend? A very sincere thank you goes out to all our Veterans today, this month, and always!

And do you also know that in the same way, we give thanks to our Lord Jesus who gave up the comforts of Paradise to come and enter into humanity and be the sacrifice for our eternal freedom? And that the greatest way to honor Jesus is to not forfeit the glorious freedom from the bondage of sin that He sacrificed His life for.

Jesus came to testify to the truth, which sets us free. As Christ followers, when we go through life believing the lies of the enemy, still in bondage to the very things Jesus set us free from, we discount His sacrifice and His power to bring freedom.

The power of God is truly an amazing thing. It redeems our past; communicates, guides, counsels and empowers us in the present; and secures our future! Too often we beat ourselves up over the past or get stuck there, not allowing ourselves to enjoy our freedom and move on. Or we get too farsighted, wanting to know the future and what is way on up ahead that we can’t deal with or enjoy the here and now.

I was reading a devotion the other day called “Jesus Calling,” by Sarah Young, who talked about the times God brings a peaceful fog over our difficult paths in life, obscuring our view so we can only see a few steps in front of us.  It is in those times we turn our attention more fully to God.

She goes on to say that the fog is a protection for us, calling us back into the present moment. Although God inhabits all of space and time, we can communicate with Him only here and now. Someday the fog will no longer be necessary, for we will have learned to keep our focus on Jesus and on the path just ahead of us, trusting our past and our future to Him.

We bring the greatest honor and glory to God by trusting in His salvation and not forfeiting the freedom He died for. He now lives in every Christ follower and is with us always and He knows what He’s doing.

Ps. 73:23-24 NIV says, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”

Let us bring the greatest honor with a very sincere and glorious thank you to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

 

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Be ready always


Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes  

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

 

Recently there was a call-in radio show that had, as their guest, an atheist, who was sharing his views. While frantically trying to get a call through to the station, there were a dozen or more Christian callers talking to this man. It was appalling at the ease with which he was chewing them up and spitting them out! It seemed that every Christian who called was incapable of giving an intelligent reason for the faith that he or she held. “The Bible says such and such,” each would begin in trying to support what she or he was saying. The atheist would counter: “Well, why do you believe the Bible?” Every one of them was reduced to stammering out something like, “Well, I’ve got it down in my heart.” The atheist would answer, “Well, it’s not down in my heart, friend, and I don’t believe it.”

This is what prompted D. James Kennedy to write a book entitled, “Why I Believe.”

It’s especially important in these days for Christians to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. 1 Peter 3:13-17 (MSG) says: “If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are (defend what you believe), and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad” (emphasis mine).

Challenges from unbelievers and seekers confront us always. Television, books, magazines, and movies subject our faith to questioning in thousands of ways! As Christians we must be ready to speak to those who question our basic beliefs.  We sin against God when we remain silent because we’re incapable of defending what we believe.

Not only that—when we don’t stand ready with a reason for our hope and don’t know why we believe what we believe, we give others the impression that Christianity is a religion based merely on blind faith or emotional prejudice. Nothing could be further from the truth!

We often accuse those who reject Christianity without at least examining the evidence of being prejudiced. Then is it not also true that if a person accepts it without examining the evidence, then that too is nothing other than prejudice or gullibility?

The Bible tells us to examine all things and to hold fast to that which is good. Yet too often we’re not willing to do that just because it takes a little effort on our part to become workmen who need not be ashamed. When we don’t examine the grounds and foundation for our faith, we find that Satan will use our ignorance to attack our belief, and when we experience difficulties, he will sow doubts in our minds.

We must be better at knowing what we believe and why we believe it so we will be ready always to give a reason for the hope that we have in us. Read and know the Bible, which is foundational for Christian belief!

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