"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14).

We often engage in sports, competitions, and contests among each other in order to earn a prize for our earthly endeavors. Recently the children and teens of our church engaged in competitions over church ministry, Bible content, presentations, and activities. In contemplating the purposes of these competitions, and seeking to help our youth understand them, the Lord spoke to me about our endeavors as Christians.

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Text: Hebrews 11

Before we get started on our study today, I want to take a moment to thank our church for your involvement in all of our activities, ministries, and outreaches, especially during the past few weeks. Between volunteer workers and teens, there were over 100 of our church people involved in the Regional Teen Talent Contest this past weekend alone. It was a big success, thanks to all the people who sacrificed their time to make it happen. I greatly appreciate your involvement! This event is more than a competition; it is a chance for teens to prepare to serve God in their local church. What I love is that at the event, so many of you modeled to our teens what serving God in the local church looks like! Thank you for investing in our young people. They are our church. They are our leaders.

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Small things can make a big difference - this is true in the negative as well as the positive. Examples of the negative are the little foxes that spoil the vines (Song of Solomon 2:15) and the dead flies in the ointment (Ecclesiastes 10:1). However, I want to approach this from the positive. What is smaller than the spices we add to our food, yet makes a huge impact for good on the palate? That is the information we are given in Exodus 30:23-24, "Take thou also unto thee principal spices, ... myrrh ... cinnamon ... calamus ... cassia ..."

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Luke 4:16-20

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

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Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

  • Since 1973, Bearing Precious Seed has produced 173 million copies of Scripture.
  • We want to continue to increase what we do in order to reach the lost.
  • Our press has more capacity; we simply need more paper.
  • Last year, 12.1 million copies of Scripture were printed.

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