Psalm 46: 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Sometimes our lives are so packed with tasks to finish, emotional hardships to endure, jobs to accomplish, family conflicts to confront, people to contact, projects to complete, health problems to face, and any number of other struggles that we can be overwhelmed to the point of tears, frustration or thinking "I just don't care." How can we overcome these endless demands on our lives
Take a moment to rest, or pause, pray, to be mindful. Be still and that He is God, in the midst of unbearable pressure, stop and lift it up to God. When you feel like you can't possibly go on any longer, take moment to be still and know, and know God is with you. See you later this morning.
Matthew 6:9–15 Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Do these two lines line up with each other in your life? Many times I have people say to me, oh I forgive such and such but my heart remains angry and I don't want to be around them. Many remain resentful of the other person or institution. Still wanting to hear the story that I was right after all; I still wanted to hear apologies and excuses; I still wanted the satisfaction of receiving some praise in return—if only the praise for being so forgiving! For many Christians, our forgiveness does not reflect or parallel Divine forgiveness, and Satan is thrilled. For he knows that we will not move forward in Christ if we simply mouth the words of forgiveness and not live them.
Folks, God’s forgiveness is unconditional; it does not demand anything of itself. It is a heart that is empty of self-seeking. It calls me to keep stepping over all my arguments that say forgiveness is unwise, unhealthy, and impractical. ( Satan is clapping) It challenges me to step over all my needs for gratitude and compliments and simply do it for the betterment of my own soul. Finally, it demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control and put a few conditions between me and the one whom I must forgive. Knowing I am a child of God makes this deep forgiveness doable.
So does your forgiveness line up with the Word of God? We are all a work in process. See you later this morning.
Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Throughout scri[pture there seems to be a theme for us to live in the present moment. The above passage is one. But there are many: Psalm 118:24, This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Ephesians 5:15-16, Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity… Colossians 4:5-6, " Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Isaiah 43:18-19, Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." There are so many more that remind us to live in the moment, to be in the moment, and show God's love at the moment we have. Do not put it off.
For me, the biggest downer in life is to never enjoy the day. That temptation is one of the devil’s best tools. We spend our lives fretting about what comes next, how much we "have" to do, and never relishing what is now. Take some time to live in the moment God has given.
We say God's Word is true, so let us live in that Word and find the fullness that life offers. Have a great week and I hope to see you this morning
Matthew 18:1-5, 101 The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a child over, placed it in their midst, 3 and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”
Do you hear the good news? Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Boy, this understanding can certainly turn things upside down on who is the greatest or how we define greatness. In the passage above each of the disciples perhaps thought he has the qualification to be chosen as number 1 or in first place. This is human nature at work.
Be honest: before you read this scripture passage, if you were asked to write the criteria for greatness would it be about achievements, prestige, degrees, wealth, and possessions?
Like the disciples, people want to be number one in their chosen careers. However, none of these human standards matter to Jesus. Now please do not get me wrong, Jesus does not have an issue with gaining wealth or prestige for it is by God they received these gifts. He would, I believe, ask how are we using these gifts to glorify God
Instead, to answer the question, Jesus brought forth a child and mentions humility as the main criterion for greatness in the Kingdom of God. To be humble like a child, we need to be converted, to have a new paradigm. We need to turn away from our propensity to compete with one another and focus on improving ourselves so that we change from our wicked ways and be transformed into the likeness of the Father which was our original nature.
We hold high our independence and self-sufficiency, however, Jesus is teaching us to be like a child, aware of our own powerlessness and vulnerability. To know our dependence must be on God. That it is in the teachings of Jesus we find greatness. Jesus knows that one day all the wealth, power, and prestige will not mean a thing and the sooner we realize this the sooner we will see the Kingdom of God. The goodness of God all around us. “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of hearts”, Jesus says in Matthew 11:29
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006