Our Wonderful Savior – Gal. 4:4-5

 “A Wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord.” So begins a favorite song about the Christ who died for each and every one of us.  At a time when many are mindful of the birth of Christ, we take some time to study about the wonderful Christ who gave himself for us, who rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is coming again.
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A Widow’s Offering – Mk. 12:41-44 (sermon audio)

10/22/17 a.m. sermon

It’s not much, but it’s what I have.  That was the attitude of a poor widow in Jerusalem about 2000 years ago when she gave a tiny amount of money to the temple treasury.  We learn from her a lot about the attitude of giving.  As we study this story together, let’s notice a few things about giving that we can understand from the Scriptures.

A Lesson From Leaves

Friday, September 22, was officially the first day of Fall (or Autumn, if you prefer). Whatever you call it, it will still be about 90 degrees in South Carolina (where I live) for a while. But as I look outside, I do notice unmistakable signs that the Fall season is upon, namely, the leaves are beginning to change color.

You can usually recognize what time of the year it is by just looking at the leaves. As Autumn begins, the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees. In Winter, the leaves of many trees are gone. In Spring, different colored blossoms begin to appear, and as the Summer approaches, those different colors give way vibrant green.
Jesus used the changes of the seasons perceived in trees as an illustration in Mark 13:28:

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. (Mar 13:28-29)

In the context, Jesus was using this illustration to teach his followers to recognize the signs of the destruction of Jerusalem which would come in A.D. 70. According to uninspired tradition, Christians did recognize the signs and got out of the city when the Romans came.

Some, however, have taken Jesus words in those surrounding passages (and others throughout Scripture) to be signs of the end of time. You may have heard about one who predicted Saturday September 23 as the end of the world, due to the positions of certain constellations and their supposed correlation with passages out of Revelation. These predictions have come and gone over the years, and none has been right so far (“No man knows the day or hour” – Mk. 13:32).

But we would do well to remember that every day is the last day for someone. Scores of people draw their last breath every day. For them, it’s as if the end has come. They’re judgment is fixed; it cannot be changed at this point.

The Scripture tells us that any day could be the last for any of us, (James 4:14, 2 Pet. 3:10) and so we must be ready. Jesus’ illustration of the fig tree was to emphasize to his followers the importance of recognizing the signs and being ready. For us, however, there may be no signs that the end has drawn near, and so, today is the day to be ready. Are you ready?

Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Mat 24:44)

Does the Birth of Jesus Even Matter? – Col. 1:16-17

A Sermon from the p.m. service at the Orangeburg Church of Christ on 12/13/15.  The idea and some of the material (including the main points) for this sermon were taken by an article of the same title written by Wes McAdams and published on radicallychristian.com.  I would encourage you to find and read that article as well as listening to this lesson.