I pray you are doing well! This past Sabbath was such a blessing. It truly was the sweetest Sabbath experience that I have had in such a long time; perhaps the sweetest yet! I don’t know what it was, but I just felt so revived and connected to our Heavenly Father, in such a special and personal way, and it brought such peace and joy to my heart. Not to mention, the beeaaauuutiful weather and spending the day with my family. Yeah, those things made the day super special too!
The sermon this past Sabbath was given by Pastor Christian Bull and was entitled “Sin in Me”. I really appreciated the relevance of it as he connected the message to the horrible tragedy that recently occurred in Orlando at “The Pulse” club, and also to the feelings that many, if not all of us, have experienced throughout our every day lives.
So if you don’t already know about the “Sabbath Sermons” category on the blog, this is the place where I share notes and thoughts from the message I heard at church on Saturday, and also where I will sometimes share modest outfit ideas for church/more formal occasions (from myself or my family and friends at church), they healthy dinner I had that day, and Sabbath activity ideas!
*Notes on what the Pastor directly shared will be dashed (-), and my personal thoughts will be noted with an * :)*
Alright! So let’s get into the sermon notes!
“Sin in Me”
Pastor Christian Bull
NOT TOO LONG AGO:
– Stanley Praimnath was one of the very few impact zone survivors from the horrible attacks on the WTC on 9/11. Recounting his amazing survival story, he said something to the effect of “God saw fit for me to live.”
– Stanley was working on the 81st floor of the second tower of the twin towers — one of the floors directly hit by plane flight 175 that day. He remembers seeing the plane coming right towards him at eye level, and he dove under his desk, on which his Bible was on top of. (*I personally looked into Stanley’s survival story, and it’s really amazing! You should google it and check it out :)) He said that the desk and the Bible that was on top of it were the only things left in tact in that room that got hit! Amazing. Stanley was able to make it down 81 flights of stairs, and escaped the tower.
-Over 2,000 people were killed in this horrible attack. Why was Stanley allowed to live, but not the others? Where was God?
–The Pulse club shooting recently happened in Orlando, Florida. It left 49 killed and many injured. It was known to be a gay nightclub.
-In regards to this shooting, it is known that a pastor said that the death of these people shouldn’t be mourned because they were sinners and deserved to die. And he said even more shocking things that I almost can’t believe. You can check out more about that here.
*I don’t know about you, but this appalled me as soon as I heard it. Do I agree with the homosexual lifestyle as a Bible believing Christian? No. Are we all sinners, homosexual or heterosexual? Yes. Do we ALL deserve to die? Yes. Romans 3:23 tells us that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory (character) of God. And the wages of sin is what? Romans 8:23 reminds us — Death. Therefore we all deserve to die. Are we supposed to love each other even though we are all sinners? Yes. Hmph…I could go on a rant about this, expanding on this and that, but let’s continue with the notes… 🙂
BLAST TO THE PAST:
– Something quite similar took place as we see recorded in Luke 13:1,2.
“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?” -Luke 13:1,2
– It was questioned if perhaps the Galileans were worse sinners then others because they suffered so. But what does Jesus say?
” I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” -Luke 13:3-5
-We often see more of the wickedness in others than we do in ourselves! But Jesus directs us to look within, realize the sin in our own hearts and to repent, because if not, we too are sentenced to perish in our sins.
-How often have you or I said when you were listening to a powerful message, “If only so and so were here! They needed to hear this!” *Now yes, there are many things we might hear that are wonderful and we wish our loved ones could hear them, but the Pastor was speaking moreso about messages we hear that might condemn a certain type of behavior or point out the need to turn away from certain sins, and then we start thinking of other people that need help with their sins, instead of thinking of how the message applies to us and our sins.
“But men were as ready then as men are now to conclude that they themselves are the favorites of heaven, and that the message of reproof is meant for another…” -Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 212
-Also like in the story of David, we see a similar line of thought of seeing the sin in others more than we do in ourselves:
– He was a righteous man “after God’s own heart”! He slayed Goliath! He became King of Israel!
-At the apex of his reign, He fell into deep sin. This righteous man became an adulterer (Bathsheba) and a murderer (Uriah). A man after God’s own heart? (Read about the story in 2 Samuel chapter 11)
-The price for committing adultery was death (Leviticus 20:10), and that for committing murder was the same (Leviticus 24:17). According to the law, David deserved to die.
-The prophet Nathan was send to warn David. David’s heart had become some hardened with his own selfishness and sin that he didn’t even see the enormity of his sinfulness!
-In 2 Samuel 12:1-5, Nathan tells David a story of a rich man unfairly treating a poor man, secretly to show David his own sin. The rich man, who had many sheep, took the poor man’s only sheep to feed a guest. David is disgusted and says that the rich man deserves to die. The rich man had represented David and what he had done with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, and by setting up to then kill Uriah! So essentially, David sentences his own self to die!
-But do you know what is so interesting?
– According to the law of Moses, the price the rich man would have had to pay for his wrongdoing was to just restore the poor man fourfold! Not to have to die!
-David pronounced a judgement greater than God’s own judgement on another man, but yet didn’t see the enormity of his own sin!
-Nathan reveals to David that he is the rich man in the story. David had pronounced judgement upon himself.
THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE:
-In Luke 13:6-9 we read about the parable of the fig tree. The story starts of with a man who has fig tree that hasn’t born fruit for years and who therefore wants to cut it down. We’ll touch more on this in a bit, but let’s focus on the not bearing fruit part.
-From these stories we can identify 2 types of sin, that we all commit in our lives.
2 Types of Sin:
1. Commission/ “doing wrong”
(intentional sin like David did with committing adultery and murder)
2. Omission / “not bearing fruit/doing right”
(the result of not doing something God’s word teaches us to do, like the fig tree (representing us really) not bearing fruit)
-As Christians, we should be bearing fruit for God!
“Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life.” -Christian Service, pg.9
-But many times, we aren’t bearing the fruit of the Spirit. We aren’t where we should be in how we should be living for and serving God, and sharing the gospel to others.
-Where is God when we aren’t bearing fruit?
-Back to the parable of the barren fig tree. The owner of the fig tree and vineyard just wanted the tree to be cut down because it hadn’t been bearing fruit. But the pruner of the garden asked the owner of the vineyard to give him a year to nurture and fertilize the tree so that it might bear fruit. Then if it didn’t after a certain period of time, it could be cut down.
This is how God is with us! When we arent’ bearing fruit for God & when we are stuck in committing sins, we are not a “lost cause” in God’s eyes because we are “worse” sinners than anyone else. And that person you know who is struggling with certain heinous sins, or who professes to be a Christian but doesn’t bear any fruit that shows it, they aren’t a lost cause either. When we aren’t bearing fruit, God takes special time to try to be closer to us than ever before — nurturing and fertilizing us with His love, grace and mercy that we might come to want to bear fruit for Him.
*And He often seeks to show His mercy, grace and love to the fallen and backslidden, through us friends! If we are busy focusing on the sin and glorying in the ruin of other fellow sinners, how will we uplift and help each other out of sin? How will we see our own wickedness in its entirety if we dwell on how wicked others are?
“The gardener does not refuse to minister to so unpromising a plant. He stands ready to give it still greater care.” – Christ’s Object Lessons, page 215
Putting it All Together:
1. There is sin in each one of us. We don’t have to look elsewhere to discover sin. We need to look right in our own hearts. *I think of Psalm 139:23,24 — we should be pleading with God to show us the wickedness in our hearts that we can’t even see!
2. Repentance doesn’t mean to just stop doing bad, but to also start doing good. We sin when we do wrong, but also neglect to do what’s right. We need to acknowledge where we may be lacking in bearing fruit for The Lord. *I think of James 4:17 – Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
3. Jesus is ready to pick us up and draw nearer to us when we don’t bear fruit. For this to take place, we must love Jesus and welcome Him into our hearts so that He can help and change us, that we might bear the heavenly fruits of righteousness. First, we only need to come to Jesus as we are. As we come within His presence we will experience His love for us, and we will grow to love Him. And when we love, Him, we start to do good – we become active Christians. It comes naturally from the foundation of LOVE. That’s the first part of the equation of growing to bear fruit in our lives for Christ — LOVE. Jesus emphasized this key stimulus of love when speaking to Simon Peter. He asked him three times if he loved him. After each time Simon Peter said that he loved Jesus, Jesus then said each time, “Feed my lambs…feed my sheep…feed my sheep.” Love leads to action! So let’s seek first the love of God, and surely fruit will be born in our lives!
I pray that this message was as much as a blessing to you as it was to me. It has truly challenged me to make sure that I am really seeking to become aware of the sin that is in me, that I might better be able to help uplift others who are struggling to walk in the right path of our Lord! It has challenged me to not be so cognizant of the faults of others, but more sensitive and aware of my own shortcomings!
Modest Church Outfit Idea: “Vintage in Spring”
So here is what I wore to church that Sabbath! Hopefully it can be of some type of inspiration to you as you seek to dress beautifully and modestly for the glory of God 🙂
I think I have a range of styles when it comes to how I dress, LOL. Sometimes I like a more modern taste, and many times I like a more vintage old fashioned look. And last Sabbath I think I was more on the vintage side of things! 😉
Solid color, A -line midi-skirt worn high waisted (From Cato’s)
+ Patterned tank blouse which had the color of the skirt involved
+ Neutral/”Nude” Flats
+ Solid Color Clutch
God bless and see you all next time!
I hope this post could inspire you in different ways!