Sunday, January 11, 2009

The First Year of the Rest of Your Life

January 4, 2009 - First sermon of the new year

Pastor Dahlstrom had some interesting points at this last sermon, granted with the start of the new year he talked about a lot of things that I had been writing about in my blog. Things that I was struggling with and things that I was looking forward to in the new year.

What are you going to do with the time/talent/resources you have available to you?

This question kept popping up over and over and it makes me wonder what is something (at least one thing) I can change this year?

Parable #1 - The Oil Thing (Light the Oil Lamp)
Matthew 25:1-13
In this parable oil refers to the Holy Spirit and is not a litteral translation.

  1. I need the Holy Spirit to do God's work
  2. I can't use someone else's oil

What habits will I develop in order to enable the Holy Spirit to grow? The parable talks about 10 women, 5 of whom were prepared for the arrival of the bridegroom in order to join the celebration because they had enough oil and 5 who weren't prepared. The 5 who weren't prepared tried to take oil from the 5 who were and were told to go find their own. They missed out on attending the wedding reception. Since oil refers to the Holy Spirit the parable was saying that the 5 didn't have enough of the Holy Spirit in them and that you can't grow by taking from other people. You have to prepare yourself and do the things that make you grow instead of depending on other's growth to get you in.

Parable #2 - The Parable of the Talents
Matthew 25: 14-29
We're not judged by what we have, but what we do

Stewardship is important
What am I doing with what God has given me?

What is one area that I can focus on this year that is in the most need of stewardship? The servants in this parable were given talents by their master and two of them invested their talents and in return made more talents for their master. In turn the master rewarded them for their hard work. The third didn't do anything with his talent, instead he buried it in the ground. The master was not happy with this servant and gave his talent to the one who did the most with his talents. Each servant had a different numer of talents, but the parable is saying that while we all have different talents, we should be doing something with them. That it doesn't matter how many one has compared to the other...if one has 5 or if one has only 1 talent. The point is, we do something with what we have.

Parable #3 - Is not a Parable - Sheep and Goats
Matthew 25:31-46

Commends people for the work they do even when there are societal problems left in the world. There is a lot of work to won't all be finished when we die.

What is one thing I will do this next year to be involved in God's Kingdom? His kingdom is here on earth, we know that from verses in Revelations. Just because not everything will be solved at the end, it doesn't mean we should lose hope, roll over and not participate. His kingdom is here and now and will be here for eternity. God is the Alpha and Omega...the beginning and the end. this includes the past, present and future and if His kingdom is here and now and we're to do his work, this means that you and I should be actively engaged now.

The clock is ticking...this is the rest of your life and my life and since we don't know when Christ is returning, shouldn't we start now rather than later? You can't score points after the buzzer rings. This is it. Are you ready? Am I ready? I don't know if I'm ready, but I am going to try.

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