Thursday, May 16, 2013

5-19-13 Bulletin Cover

    In youth on Wednesday night, we were talking about Jesus promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples in John 16:5-7.  “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going.6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. “ (NLT)
    Jesus was trying to tell the disciples that his leaving and sending the Holy Spirit was a GOOD thing, but they were feeling the exact opposite. Why was that? We discovered that Jesus told the disciples in the previous four verses that they  would be persecuted, and then he told them he was leaving. Jesus was trying to tell them all the Holy Spirit would do through them,  but the disciples couldn't hear it. Often times, we respond the same way.  When we are CONSUMED with our  own problems, we cannot see anything else. The disciples completely missed Jesus good news!
   Another point we observed was the Holy Spirit was sent to help us. We seem to be better at understanding this part that God wants to help us...or do we? God definition of helping us, through the Holy Spirit, is to  take over and CONSUME us. Then the Holy Spirit is in charge and we are equipped to share the Gospel (as laid out in John 16:8-11)
   The fact that we have the Holy Spirit living inside us and His power is available to us every day is GOOD news. Lord, help us to be CONSUMED by you and not ourselves!
Blessings, Pastor Rob

05-12-13 Bulletin Cover

     One of the classic scenes from the 2000 movie “Miss Congeniality”:
                      Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
                      Gracie Hart: That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
                      [crowd is silent]
                      Gracie Hart: And world peace!
                      [crowd cheers ecstatically]
     World peace...or just peace in general. A lot of people are in search of peace. As we looked to what the Apostle Paul said about peace last week (Philippians 4:6-9), we saw that the peace of God is not something that can pursued in and of itself. God’s peace is a response from our Heavenly Father as we are pursuing His purposes.  Regardless of what is going on around us or in our own lives, God’s plan for us involves our participation in the furthering of His Kingdom.  Sometimes we find that the storm in our life “blows us” into somebody else’s life whom we never would have come in contact with before. Coincidence? Or is it God, using our situation to give us an opportunity to minister to somebody? If we’re focused on our storm, how can we minister? God’s peace empowers us to pursue God’s purposes. As God’s peace stands guard over our hearts (Phil 4:7) we are able to focus on furthering His Kingdom and ministering to those he puts in our path. Saints, let’s continue to pray, think and act correctly so that we can be empowered by God’s peace to pursue His purposes.                             Blessings, Pastor Rob