New Life Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist Church of Chapel Hill, NC

Weekly Message From Our Head Elder Randy

September 29th, 2016

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

We are Christ’s emissaries on earth. The Love that He has shown us should humble us and change our lives so that we can change the lives of those we meet every day. It doesn’t have to be big things, just kind things. We can be patient with our children or the person in front of us in the check  out line who can’t seem to find anything. We can be humble and generous with the person down on their luck. We have an opportunity to greet the world differently. To endeavor to keep the words of this often quoted passage meaningful in our lives. To hope that good will triumph and to give grace and love when it does not. Let us ask God for more of His Love to share.

Blessings,
Randy

September 22nd, 2016

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3  NLT
“God demonstrated His Love for us in that while we were still sinners, His enemy, He gave His life for us so that we could have eternal life with Him.”
     Romans 5:8
You see God Loves us unconditionally and wants us to love others unconditionally.  If we do not operate on the principle of loving others in everything we do, our lives have no meaning. Think about it:  The things that you hold most dear are those that you love the most.  You get a blessing from loving those close to you because it gets returned to you.  When you volunteer and help other people you can feel the blessing in your heart.  So we benefit now and throughout eternity by living in love now.  Why would we choose otherwise?  Let us intentionally live our lives in a way that demonstrates our love for others and for God.  
Blessings,
Randy

September 15, 2016

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: 
first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written: 
‘The righteous will live by faith.'”
Romans 1:16-17
 
The good news of Jesus Christ is that he has given us eternal life if we believe in him.  He has provided a better life for us than we can experience in this messy world that we live in.  The key is faith.  Faith in God and His love for us.  Faith that He will do what he promises. Faith that even in our weakness He still accepts us.  Human tendancy is to fix it ourselves, to earn our way, to pay our fair share.  God makes it clear that we are saved only by our faith in Him. The good news is also that God does not leave us where we are.  He will come in to us and change us from the inside out.  He will create a new heart and soul inside of us and we will change.  We will change because His Love wins over everything else. Let us seek to know God and his Love in our lives.
 
Blessings,
Randy

unnamed“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20 NIV)

God wants to have a relationship with us. In this verse God promises to eat with us.  The word “eat” is also translated as “dine” or “share a meal together” which gives a fuller image of engaging in the whole experience.  God is talking about spiritual food that nourishes our soul and lifts our spirit. The door he speaks of is the door to our heart and mind.  He is knocking on our door, calling to us.  He is waiting at our door, waiting for us to open it and let him in to our lives.  Friends, today let us open our hearts wide and invite God to come in and give us that blessing; to lift our spirit and fill us with the food of heaven.

Blessings, 

Randy


 

“Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
God’s Spirit lives in us!
 We often read this text and apply it to our dietary habits because of the historical use of this text.  But reflecting on this verse, it is a promise.  A promise that God’s spirit lives in us to save us and change us from the inside out.  As we invite Christ to live in our hearts and minds let us also ask him to create a new heart inside of us and for him to live out of us in a way that shares his peace and love with the world around us.
Blessings,
Randy

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – 
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty 
and fills the hungry with good things…
Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder
 the loving deeds of the Lord.”
-Psalms 107:1,2,8,9,43-
 
Why do you think David is revered as one of the great heroes of the bible?  
Why does God say that David is a man after His own heart, when David was clearly a flawed sinner much as we are? 
 I believe that the answer to both of these questions is the same.
David knew how much God loved him and that gave him a different outlook on the world, it gave him courage to defeat his greatest enemies. 
 David had a deep relationship with God and had given himself completely over to God.  Even with David’s greatest sin, God continued to love David and brought him back into a right relationship.  
So it is with us. God loves us and wants so much to redeem us, as the text says, to fill us with good things.  No matter what we have done or how little we feel worthy He wants us to give ourselves completely over to him.  
Then we can live without fear of our Goliath’s. 
 Did David’s relationship with God begin because of his knowledge of God’s love, or did his understanding of God’s love come from his relationship? 

 Let the wise ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

Blessings,
Randy

“The body is one unit, though it is comprised of many parts. 
And although its parts are many, they all form one body. 
So it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free, and we were all given one Spirit to drink.”
1 Corinthians 12:12,13
“The Church is everywhere represented as one. It is one body, one family, one fold, one kingdom. It is one because [it is] pervaded by one Spirit. We are all baptized into one Spirit so as to become, says the apostle, one body.”
~Charles Hodge~
“Love one another, as I have loved you.”  
John 15:12
“As I study the subject of ‘separation’ in the Old and New Testaments, I discover that the weight of Scripture lies in the direction of fellowship rather than separation. What is the great overwhelming evidence that we have passed from death unto life? It is love!
 Jesus Christ clearly was speaking of visible unity, such as can be seen by the world. His motive for praying was that the world might believe and the world might know. He prayed for unity among believers. God, who wills man’s unity in Christ, is a God of variety. 
So often we want everyone to be the same-to think and speak and believe as we do. Many Scripture passages could be called to witness that love is the real key to Christian unity. In the spirit of true humility, compassion, consideration, and unselfishness, we are to approach our problems, our work, and even our differences.
In a world needing Your love, let me not judge those who love You too. You have made us all so different, Father. Teach me, by Your loving Holy Spirit, compassion and true unity.” 
~Billy Graham~

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God, the Ruler of the Universe Loves you, me, and the entire 
population of the world so much that He was willing to allow His 
only child to take on human form, giving up infinite power, to live 
and die on this earth so that you and I could live with Him for eternity.          
John 3:16  (paraphrased version)
If God wanted to demonstrate the magnitude of 
His love for us, what more could he do than this?  
His love for us is more than we can grasp. 
 
 This is a thought worth meditating on.  
This promise is ours for simply choosing 
to accept His invitation.  And yet so many 
choose to decline His offer. 
 
 What is the message that He is trying to teach us?  
As we come to understand this love more and the enormity of it:
It changes our lives. 
 It changes our perspective.  
It changes how we treat others. 
 Even those who would not treat us kindly.  
There is a concept in management called “sphere of influence”. 
 There is an area  around us where we can have an influence
 on the outcome of events, and there is also an area 
outside our sphere that we cannot change.  The key is to
focus on what lies within our sphere of influence-or 
expanding our sphere of influence.
  Let us then meditate more on His great Love and reflect
that Love into our world. 
 Like a candle let his light shine through us to dispel the 
darkness we encounter in our sphere of the world.
 
  We can make a difference where we live.
Thank you,
Randy