Better Than Your Beginnings
1st John 2:24-29
Having grown up listening to the tall tales of my father and his brothers, it was only natural that I develop an affinity for the stories of Jerry Clower. I was especially pleased when I discovered that Jerry was not only a believer but a faithful member of his local Baptist church. Though I never cease to be amazed at what our God is able to make of a willing man, I must confess that I was surprised when I heard that Jerry Clower had written a book entitled, “Ain’t God Good!”
Whether or not we approve of the grammar, we must agree with the sentiment. God is good, and what’s more, He gets better every single day! In truth, God is unchanging but because my level of understanding is growing, the quality of our relationship is increasing! John encourages us to, “let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning….” (vs. 24). As this is Homecoming, I think it appropriate to remind each of us of our beginnings and then to ponder where we have gone from there.
I. What About Our Beginnings Was So Good?
A. We enjoyed full and complete forgiveness
B. We gained repeated victories over sinful inclinations
C. We found delight in new things:
1. Prayer – speaking to the Lord
2. The Word – He spoke to us
3. Fellowship – time spent with others that shared our joy
D. We abounded in zeal and service, and the joy of the Lord was our strength
II. A Question, Can We Enjoy Something Better Than Our Beginnings?
A. We most certainly will if God is faithful
B. Our faith will grow stronger, more steadfast, and more intelligent
C. Our love will become more indiscriminate, more constant, more practical, and more enduring
D. Our prayers will become more frequent and for even greater things
E. Our usefulness will be expanded and more abiding
III. How Can we Enjoy This Improvement?
A. We must cling to our first simple faith in Jesus
B. We must quit the sins that alienate us from God
C. We must seek closer fellowship with Christ and the Church
D. We must be uncompromising and unrelenting in our desire for Heavenly things