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We had great services Sunday and it was a privilege to preach the first half of a two-part sermon entitled "How to Finish Life Well -- Part 1." I really don't want to blow it morally or spiritually in the last half of my life. Interestingly, most men who lose their families, lose their jobs, lose their ministries through indiscretion and immorality do so in the last half of their lives. While I don't have any plans for failure, I also know that Scripture teaches us that we are to take heed while we are standing firm that we don't fall. If you ever get overconfident that you will not be overtaken by temptation, your pride becomes your downfall.
So as I studied Colossians 2:1-14, a passage that didn't seem to have anything for me for the two weeks I looked at it suddenly came forth with an abundance. I found 9 positive actions we can take to enable us to "finish well" in the Christian life -- all of which I put under the category "Receive the Light of Christ." Next week I hope to deal with the second half of the message which is to "Reject the Darkness of the World" an explain specific ways that the world attempts to attack and dilute our faith.
After 30 years of pastoring, I'm still a bit over-sensitive to sermons that don't end at noon. Because we had folks in church we hadn't seen in a while, most folks were still fellowshiping in the fellowship hall when we should have started services. So we were late getting things off the ground. And we also took time to acknowledge the presence of Telugu Bible Baptist Church in our services (who began using our facilities this Sunday). So I didn't get started preaching until 11:45 and then preached to 12:30. But I didn't hear one person complain -- everyone was very gracious about it and felt like God had ministered to them.
The comment that was a big encouragement to me was a mother who said her children sometimes talked about a sermon for 2 or 3 weeks after they heard it. She looked over Sunday and everyone of her kids was taking notes. She attributed that to preaching that reaches all age groups, but I have another explanation. I have seen kids that had the opportunity to hear great preaching and simply "endured" the experience until it was over. But with very few exceptions the children at our church are different. They have been taught to be attentive. Their parents have taught them the Word of God and its importance to living. They've been taught that understanding the Bible is the key to success. I think it is not great preaching but exceptional parenting that has produced children who take notes and discuss a sermon for weeks that even the adults in most churches would have forgotten by the time they'd finished lunch on the very day they heard the sermon.
Thank God for parents who have taken the responsibility to teach their children a love for the inerrant, infallible, inspired, and imperative Word of God! They are a blessing to me and a blessing to our church. They will be a great light in the increasing darkness of our world. May God richly bless all of us to raise up a generation that subjects every decision and action to the supremacy of God's Word! -- Pastor Robert Rohlin