Summary: If we want to make a real difference in people’s lives, then we must emphasize love, not law.

This last week, I came across a website that cataloged what they called “The Best Church Bulletin Bloopers.” They are sentences that actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services. Here are just a few of them:

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

Announcement in a church bulletin for a national PRAYER & FASTING Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals.”

The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”

Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

“Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.”

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.

Remember in prayer the many that are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "hell" to someone who doesn’t care much about you.

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

This evening at 7 pm there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. (The Best Church Bulletin Bloopers, churchbloopers.htm)

There are some strange things going on in some of those churches, and it makes me wonder: What is going on in our church?

God has called us to be a spiritual lighthouse in this community, helping people find THE Way. But if we fail to do what God wants us to do here, then our light goes out and people’s lives are shipwrecked on the rocks of sin and hell. Oh, we may continue to exist, but all we become then is a museum for tourists just like the lighthouse on Rock Island.

Is that what we want for Bethel Church? I don’t think so. I for one want to keep the light burning here, so we can help people make it through treacherous waters in this life and be saved for all eternity.

The question is: How? How does God want us to behave in His spiritual lighthouse? How does God want us to conduct ourselves in His church? How does God want us to act in His household, so that people are saved on a regular basis and come to a knowledge of the truth?

Well, there is a little book in the New Testament devoted entirely to answering this question, and if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to that book. It’s the book of 1 Timothy, 1 Timothy 3, 1 Timothy 3 and vs.14. The Apostle Paul is writing to a young preacher and he says…

1 Timothy 3:14-15 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. (NIV)

1 Timothy tells us how to conduct ourselves in the church, which has been entrusted with the truth that saves lives. Chapter 1 talks about the kind of teaching we should listen to. Chapter 2 talks about our worship. Chapter 3 talks about leadership in the church. Chapter 4 talks about dealing with those who stray from the truth. Chapter 5 talks about how to care for the young and the old. & Chapter 6 talks about how to handle our money. These are practical subjects for all church members, and they will help us be a whole lot more effective in accomplishing the mission God has called us to.

First, we look at the kind of teaching we should listen to. Skip back to 1 Timothy 1.

1 Timothy 1:1-4 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith. (NIV)

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