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Matthew 7:15-23 (NIV) 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

We welcome you here to the Rogersville family! We are so thankful you're here. Today is a great day to honor our God and our Lord Jesus Christ. We will worship him in song and prayers, in the hearing of his word and in remembering Jesus in the supper. Our worship is something that God seeks (Jn 4.24). So let's all give our hearts to the God of heaven and his glorious Son.

If you look around and see someone new to you, then be sure and welcome them here. It is so great that we have a "family" atmosphere among us here, we will do our best to remember to extend that spirit of love to those who may come and visit with us. Jesus wants us to worship, and that is truly important, but the heart of one who comes to worship at Jesus' feet should be willing to love those who come in for a visit. It is our honor to welcome all of them, and spend a few minutes with them in order that they know we are willing to invest ourselves in them. They will see that we would be willing to bear their spiritual load if we welcome them and give them our time when they walk through the door. This family does this so well, and I am proud that I never feel like this has to be "teaching" point, but merely a point to pass along for your continued remembrance.

I love all of you. You have become like family to my family and I want everyone to experience that!

As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man” (Proverbs 27.19).

Have you ever looked down into the water and seen your face? Children are fascinated by this effect. They can clearly see their face, and anyone else’s who is looking into the water. They eagerly make a game of looking at each other in the water to see what the other person looks like. And it is wonderful, as a parent or grandparent to be able to see them experience this for the first time.

Have you ever looked into your heart? Into your motivation for saying what you say? Into the reason you want a certain thing? Into why you feel a certain way toward another?

Sometimes our heart is such that we would certainly not want to make a “game” out of looking into it. Nor would we want another to be able to look into our heart and see what we are thinking and feeling. But that is the point of this teaching.

The wise man tells us that in the same way that water reflects our face, so our heart reflects who we are, and how people see us. That may be good news, and it may be terribly frightening.

What does the inside of your heart look like?

Today is Christmas, and it is a time that we will be enjoying activities with our families. Remember those of our number who will still be unaccustomed to being without loved ones. Part of our family responsibility includes remembering others, who might be sad among us, making sure they are not forgotten, but encouraged.

Also today will be a day of worship together! I will be absent this morning, but here tonight. It will be a day filled with praise and honor to God, both when we are assembled, and when we are carrying Christ into our activities at home. I encourage you to worship from your heart, our glorious King. Songs have been written to remember his decision to obey God and become a man, his birth, his life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and return. So sing with the strength God gives you and open your heart to God.

Today is the first day of the week, and it was on this day that our Lord rose from the grave because death could not contain him, nor make him prisoner! Jesus came to face that death as a human. He was born of a woman. We will not forget him, but remember what has been done for us. We will give God all the praise and honor.

Let's lift voices together!

Our class on Wednesday night, with Chris Bishop, has been focused on idolatry, and all the variables to application in our lives.

On one occasion, Jesus was tempted with this very thing. The devil showed to him all the kingdoms of the world and said, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you will worship me, it will be yours" (Lk 4.5-7).

Jesus replied, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

Worship is totally reserved for God, and none other. We may construct things to worship, or bow down to angelic creatures, but there is not an ounce of worship that does not entirely belong to God. ALL worship is to be in honor of God, the maker of heaven and earth.

Today, you stand before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit within you is pointing you, through this word of Jesus, to worship and serve the God and Christ....and none other.

People who bow down to another, physically or figuratively, will all be treated the same. God alone deserves your heart's adoration today, and every day.