Summary: Salvation is by faith not works but believers should be aware that God is in us and part of us, and this should help to keep us from doing anything that He would not approve of.
Anyone who worships money instead of God is committing a great sin.
Only when we put God first in everything, can anyone be in a proper relationship with Him.
Many people take tranquilisers or anti-depressants
or see counselors or ‘shrinks’
but none of these, and no amount of money can buy peace of mind.
Only God can give us inner peace, or Shalom, or wholeness.
Our soul is more important than our friends.
No matter what they think of us, our friends did not give us our soul,
and they do not control where our soul will spend eternity.
Just because we want to be popular with people
does not mean that we can ignore our responsibility to God.
If they put us in a position where we have to choose between what God says and what our friends want,
we must kindly and firmly tell our friends what we believe
and what we stand for.
True friends will respect our beliefs;
those who don't - well, do we want to be friends with people like that anyway?
Our soul is more important than our family.
Hopefully none of us will have had family members reject us
because of what we believe,
or because we worship God,
but some people are faced with the terrible choice:
give up God or give up family.
I pray that if anyone here is ever faced with this decision
that you will follow God.
You may end up winning your family over to God,
but even if you don't,
God has given us a new family of brothers and sisters in Christ
from the moment we become a part of His family.
So our bodies are not our own,
and we cannot do what we like with them,
and as Christians we should not want to do anything with our bodies
that is not pleasing to God.
St Augustine is credited with saying a strange thing,
in answer to people who asked him how Christians should behave.
He did not recite a list of DO's and DON'Ts,
he said the Christian life could be summed up in just a few words:
'If you love God, you can do what you like!'
That sounded brilliant to the amoral and sinful,
LOVE GOD – AND DO WHATEVER YOU LIKE. (‘I’ll join that group!’
but he did not mean someone could be a Christian
and go around drinking and brawling;
there was a catch: 'IF YOU LOVE GOD'.
In other words, if anyone REALLY LOVES God,
they will not like doing the things He doesn't approve of.
If we REALLY BELIEVE our physical body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit;
that God's Spirit lives, dwells, abides inside us and goes wherever we go,
then we will not want to do anything that would offend, disgrace, embarrass
or dishonour Him.
God's Holy Spirit is in our stomach
so we should not eat or drink anything
that is injurious to our physical well-being.
God's Holy Spirit is in our eyes
so we should read books or magazines or look at pictures or posters
or watch DVDs, films or TV programmes that He would not like to watch.
The Holy Spirit is in our ears
so we should not listen to dirty jokes or gossip or scandal
that He would not like to hear.
God's Spirit is in our minds
so we should not think about, or ponder on or imagine things and ideas
that do not bring glory to God.