Sermons

Summary: Reminder that there are no "passwords" in the Christian faith. Also a reminder that we need to always remember God’s love for us.

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facebook was created to help you connect and share with the people in your life. We have talked about several ways that it can help you connect, but there can be a problem of connecting with people if you can not get onto your facebook account. That happens when you forget your password. But if you forget your password you just click on the "forgot your password" link and facebook will help you reset your password to be able to get back into your account.

I had not really thought much about it, but we live in a password happy world don’t we? At least if you use technology there are many passwords out there that you need to remember. You may have passwords at work to get onto computers or access certain files. We have passwords or pin numbers for our debit cards. Your social security number is a password. I have passwords for both my cell phone and home phone accounts. If you buy things on-line you have passwords for those accounts. I have one for Amazon, E-bay, Christian Book Distributors, Pay Pal, and a bunch of random on-line stores.

And the fun part is not just remembering the passwords, but the user names as well. Some accounts use my email address, which is nice. But other accounts I am jparks or jameseparks or revjep and probably some others. It can be hard to keep it all straight and online places realize that and this is why most, if not all, have a "forgot your password" button.

It would be nice if you could use one password for everything, but different places require different characters for the password. They tell you how many characters it needs to be and if you need a number or two and if you need different capital or lower case letters. All of that is for good reason, it is for security, but it still can be tough to remember everything.

So, how do you come up with memorable passwords? You need to have a system that works for you. It is suggested not to use real words spelled correctly. Also do not use common words connected to you like names of spouse, children or pets. Also stay away from birthdates.

So staying away from that they say the longer the password the better. I said don’t use real words, but you can use parts of real words like taking out the vowels or the beginning of one word and the ending of another. Or just take a sentence you can remember and use the first letter of each word in the sentence. That can be especially helpful if you have a random password assigned to you. Take the letters and make up a sentence using the letters to find a word. Like if your password was abcde, you can remember all bad cats do eat.

If you really have trouble with online passwords you can find software that will store your user names and passwords and keep it all together protected by one master password that you come up with. That software can be found for free or I saw one for $10 and another for $30.

Or you can take my dad’s security approach. He writes his password on his computer monitor. I mean if a thief is in his house looking at his monitor he has bigger problems then them knowing his password right?

By now you may be wondering what in the world does all of this have to do with our faith as Christians. Well, let me first say there are no passwords in Christianity. Nothing in our faith is meant to be kept secret from others. There are not special words that will work miracles. Although there is power in the name of Jesus.

So I am not going to share a password with you today or ask you to come up with one. What I want us to do is work on remembering. See, if you forgot your password that means you are already signed up. You have been there, you are a member, but you have forgotten something. This is what happened to the church in Ephesus according to the passage from Revelation. Ephesus is a town in modern day Turkey.

The passage started out by saying some positive things about this church. It said that this church was hard working and persevered in the midst of hardships. When there was persecution this church stood its ground and pulled through. It also said this church tested the teachings of people that came along to see if their teaching matched the Scriptures and Jesus. They did not want to be led astray. They held true to the Gospel and were not distracted.

But then it goes on to say, even with the good going on there was one thing missing. It said they had forsaken their first love. I would say they had forgotten their first love.

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