ANNOUNCEMENTS

Wed. Oct. 23                 7 pm     Bible Study

Next Sun. Oct. 27          10 am   Sunday School;    11 am  Worship

UPCOMING EVENTS

Wed. Oct. 30                 7 pm     Bible Study

Sun. Nov. 3                   DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS

10 am SS;    11 am  Worship;    potluck after,    council after

Advertisements

PERSISTING FOR JUSTICE

(Luke 18:1-8)               Pastor Carol Weist

We are to persist in prayer and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1)  It is our good Lord who keeps us from losing heart.

We are to lift up our eyes to the hills and beyond.  We are to lift up our eyes to the Lord in heaven above.  Our help comes from the Lord.  (Psalm 121:1) Any strength and courage we have comes from the Lord.  Don’t forget that the word “courage” comes from the Latin word for heart which is “cor.”  God gives us courage that flows out from the core of our being, from our innermost hearts.

Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2) He keeps us and watches over us.  He will keep our lives and our “going out and coming in  from this time on and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:5-8) Thus we are given the strength to persist in prayer as the widow does in Luke 18. We are to persist in prayer for what is righteous and just – from God’s perspective, not merely our own perspectives.  Remember not all human perspectives are just and righteous.

Remember Jacob who treated his brother Esau unrighteously and unjustly aided by his mother stealing the blessing that would have been given to Esau, the older son.  Continue reading

WORKING THANKS

(Luke 7:5-19)               Pastor Carol Weist

It does not take any faith to make a mountain out of a molehill.  Most people make a mountain or two out of a molehill or two from time to time.  A handful spend much of their time making mountains out of molehills. We may not be able to move mountains, but we can make mountains out of molehills. Making a mountain out of a molehill is not miraculously growing a molehill the size of your fist into a towering mountain.  Making a mountain out of a molehill is making something insignificant and harmless far more significant than it is.  It takes a lot of energy to make a mountain out of a molehill and getting caught up in making mountains out of molehills does not give us faith or increase our faith.

Jesus gives us faith.  The apostles knew that when they asked Jesus to increase their faith in Luke 17:5. Jesus does not appear to instantly increase their faith on the spot.  Instead he describes their faith as tinier than a mustard seed.  If they even had that much faith they could tell a mulberry tree to uproot itself and plant itself in the sea, and it would do so.  (Luke 17:6) In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says that if the disciples had faith the size of a mustard seed they could tell a mountain to move from one place to another and it would move without any man-made earth-moving equipment.

It might get dangerous if people had enough faith to move mountains around just by telling them to move.  What if one devout believer tells one mountain to go south and another believer tells another mountain that would be in its path to go north?  What happens when the mountains collide? Good thing God does not give us imperfect sinners enough faith to move mountains and control the weather and everything else Continue reading

THE GOOD FIGHT

(1 Timothy 6:6-19)               Pastor Carol Weist

Fight the good fight of the faith.  (1 Timothy 6:12)   

There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment.  (1 Timothy 6:6)

The good fight can be a struggle.  It can be a struggle to be content.  God knows that we struggle and agonize.   Most of the time we know full well that we brought nothing into the world,  so that we can take nothing out of it, (1 Timothy 6:7) but we still may fuss or fret at times about what we will wear or have for breakfast. We may struggle to say as Paul does to Timothy,  if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.  (1 Timothy 6:8)

Keep fighting the good fight of the faith.  Flee discontent.  Pursue contentment. Flee the temptation to make your life a pursuit of wanting to be rich. Fight the good fight of the faith so that you may take hold of the life that really is life, the life we have in Jesus.  (1 Timothy 6:12, 19) Continue reading

FAITHFUL SERVICE

(Luke 16:1-13)                 Pastor Carol Weist

“You cannot serve God and wealth.”  (Luke 16:13)

We are called to faithful service and even if you do not describe yourself as wealthy, most of us have a wealth of things and miscellany and try to make a reasonable attempt to be good stewards of what we have.  Regular oil changes on our vehicles and other equipment are an example of good stewardship.

Suppose the owner of a car dealership had a top sales manager and he learned that according to some accounts the sales manager was misusing his profits, claiming needless expenses and the like.  So the owner summons the sales manager to give an accounting.  The sales manager does not dispute the charges of misuse of funds.  He quickly runs through the options available to him as to how he might provide for himself now that he is losing this job.  He may have been strong enough for heavy physical work in years past, but no longer.  He does not want to be seen as a beggar.  He will soon be homeless without bringing in income somehow.  Who would let him stay in their home?  So he comes up with a plan of what to do in his last hours on the job when he is to be making an accurate accounting.  The sales price of cars is typically negotiable as are interest rates on loans.  He gives a couple people a lower price at lower interest.

That does not change his dishonesty but as the dishonest manager leaves his job the owner commends his shrewdness and includes him among the children of this age.  The dishonest manager had shrewdly managed not to become homeless after he left his job.  He would have a home with those to whom he had sold discounted cars. But is that an eternal home?

The children of the light, the followers of Jesus, the light of the world, may not generally be as shrewd as the children of this age, but we have an eternal home. It is possible to be honest and shrewd in faithful service to Jesus as children of the light while still living in this age. Continue reading

LOST AND FOUND

(Luke 15:1-10)                 Pastor Carol Weist

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;  but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)

Those are the opening two verses of the book of Psalms which good Pharisees and scribes regularly heard read in synagogue along with the rest of the book of Psalms.

Jesus was raised in a Jewish home participating in synagogue.  Not all Jews participated in synagogue.  Sadducees worshiped only at the temple.  Pharisees worshipped in synagogues near home and occasionally traveled to worship at the temple in Jerusalem.

A good Pharisee would know that scripture does not advise following the advice of the wicked or taking the path that sinners tread or sitting in the seat of scoffers.

Good Pharisees delighted in studying scripture during the week, not just hearing scripture read on the Sabbath. The Pharisees did not have bibles as we know them.  Books with pages were just beginning to be available, a recent invention of the Romans. Instead of books for centuries there were scrolls.  A letter rolled up as a scroll would be easy to carry.  The Hebrew scriptures were written on large scrolls with wooden rolling handles larger than rolling pins.  Every week the scroll was unrolled a little further to the next scripture for reading and consideration not just on the Sabbath but during the week.

It is not surprising that the Pharisees and scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them” when the tax collectors and sinners were coming  near to listen to Jesus. (Luke 15:1-2)

Reflect again on Psalm 1:1. Jesus was not following the advice of the wicked.  He was not asking the wicked for advice.  If a person in the crowd had happened to give the unsolicited advice to go rob or cheat your neighbor, Jesus would not have taken such advice. Jesus would not have taken that path nor should we.  We cannot always avoid hearing wicked advice, but we do not have to act on it.  If people scoff at us for not doing what is wrong, we do not have to sit in their seat or stand with them. Continue reading

COUNTING THE COST

(Luke 14:25-33)               Pastor Carol Weist

It is OK to count the cost starting with the cost Jesus paid.  Jesus paid it all.  The hymn with that name has it right.  Jesus paid it all on the cross.  He paid full price for all our sins.  None of us can come near paying it all for our own sins  much less everybody else’s sins.  Only Jesus can do that.

The apostle Paul counted all his fine accomplishments and heritage  as rubbish when compared to  what Jesus has done for us. Listen to what Paul emphatically says in Philippians 3:  If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel,  of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church;  as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had,  these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.  More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things,  and I regard them as rubbish,  in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him,  not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,  but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.   (Philippians 3:4b-9)

Paul had to learned to start counting the cost of being Jesus’ disciple with the fact that Jesus has paid it all.  What a friend we have in Jesus!  Whatever friendships and family relationships we have do not even come close to the gift of friendship we have been given with Jesus by Jesus. Continue reading