Not Fit for Service

Do you ever feel like you’re not “fit” to do something significant for God?

Perfect. That’s the kind of people He tends to use most.

Consider the first person to preach the Gospel. It’s not Peter. It’s not Paul with all his Jewish heritage and great learning. It is not even a man. It is a woman. And it is not Mother Mary. It is Mary Magdalene. This notorious woman is the first person to hear the message of Jesus’ resurrection and then deliver the news to His heartbroken disciples (see John 20:1-18).

Consider the facts. She was a woman and in the first century. This was a time when a woman’s testimony was considered invalid in court. Women were not considered to be reliable witnesses. In most ancient cultures the practice of female infanticide was commonplace. Women were second class citizens. As bad as that sounds, Mary Magdalene was no ordinary woman. She had a horrible past. Luke describes her as, “Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out” Luke 8:2 (ESV). Seven demons used to be in this girl. Seven! Her condition was that of a mad woman, someone literally out of their mind.

So the first witness to the most important message the world has ever heard was a former insane woman who had literally no social rights or standing in a context in which even “normal” women were considered unworthy of such a responsibility.

And you thought you had excuses?

The point is this. The Gospel breaks the rules of social norm and order. The Gospel levels the playing field to “whosoever will” because the Gospel is not up to you. The Gospel is the power of God (see Romans 1:16). It is the message of a gloriously powerful Savior for a hopelessly wounded race. No one can present to God a reasonable resume, so stop trying. Have a horrible past? You’re not alone. What you don’t have is a good reason to stay quiet about what God has done in your life.

Share the story of Jesus in your life! The world needs to hear. One of the ways we want to help you do this is through baptism. Baptism testimonial videos are the most powerful part of our weekend experiences. We want to hear what God is up to in the individual lives that come to Christ here at Waters Church. Your story and they way you say it matters to someone else and could make a powerful difference in someone’s life. If you haven’t considered getting baptized yet, what’s stopping you? Check out our online forms and take the next step.

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It’s Good to Argue with God Every Now and Then

moses-imagePerhaps the most famous argument between God and a man is found in Exodus 3. Moses and the burning bush has been replayed several times in sermons and movies. It recounts this dramatic and kind of humorous give and take between Creator God and forgotten fugitive.

You know the text, God says “Go tell Pharaoh let my people go.” Moses says “Me?”, “How can I?”, “What if they don’t listen?”, “Who are you?”, “I can’t speak good.” This somewhat hilarious back and forth between the Almighty and Moses is intentionally recorded for our benefit.

Here’s what we learn.

God is okay with our questions. As Moses asks the questions, he gets to know more of God, His power, and His character. Read it for yourself. Every time Moses doubts and fears and turns them into questions TOWARD God, God reveals more of Who He Is to this struggling wanderer.

We aren’t supposed to lose faith in our questions. We’re supposed to deepen in our faith.

Perhaps you’ve got doubts. Is God there? Does God care? We all have these questions from time to time. The real issue is, where are you taking them? Are you taking them to Him? Are you exploring His Word and seeing what He has to say about Himself?

Did you know that Waters Church North Attleboro has created a class specifically for the Questioners among us? It’s called Starting Point. And you can find out more here.

God has no problem with questions. He wants the opportunity to answer. Will you listen? Will you quiet yourself before Him and search out the deep things He has to say?

If Moses had never asked self-doubting, difficult questions, he never would have grown to be the mighty man of God we remember today.

Argue with God every now and then.
You may like what you hear and what you become.

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Be Glad God Doesn’t Solve Problems

God is not a problem solver. He is a wisdom giver.

James 1:2–5 (ESV) “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

When we encounter difficulties our first reaction is “God, take this away.” That’s just not very smart. James tells us to rejoice and pray for wisdom. James is a book of wisdom. Many call the book of James the New Testament’s version of Proverbs. He offers quick hitting wisdom to many of our issues in life as we follow Christ.

Here’s why we are to ask for wisdom. Relief makes life easier, but not better. Wisdom makes life richer and better. Ecclesiastes 7:12 says, “wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.” Then in Proverbs 9:12, “if you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.” In other words, refusing to grow in wisdom when trouble comes actually leads to more trouble.

Wisdom is not simply knowledge, for many stupid decisions are made by very educated people. Wisdom is the ability to look at the issue and decide appropriately for the best possible outcome. Later in the book, James describes wisdom as “pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere” James 3:17. That is what God is willing to give “without reproach” to any who ask Him.

Everything God puts in your life is to shape you to be more like Jesus (see Romans 8:28-29). When we look at the example of Jesus, we see that Luke describes his growth this way: Luke 2:52 (ESV) “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”  This is why later in life no one could trap Jesus in His words. When the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders and the teachers of the law laid traps for Him, they failed. Why? Because He grew in wisdom. If we are going to grow like Jesus, wisdom is not optional and trials are unavoidable.

Life is full of traps. Perhaps you are facing one right now. In Christ, no trial is intended to defeat you, it is meant to develop you. God doesn’t solve problems. Take joy and pray for wisdom.

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Pastor – Waters Church – N. Attleboro