Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.
We all remember The prophet Isaiah wrote, “But now, Lord, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. All of us are the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). In the reading above, the apostle Paul , who also spoke of the potter and we are the clay in 2 Corinthians, used the image of a fruitful tree to portray the kind of people into which God’s Spirit is steadily shaping us as we daily seek to live and renew our lives in His. The Spirit’s molding in our human lives is not merely for an internal experience—it ultimately shows itself in your life as you live out the beautiful qualities The one's Paul listed for the Galatian Christians.
Are you allowing the Potter to mold you? Take a personal inventory of how present each of the “fruit of the Spirit” qualities is in your life. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify one or two of the areas you most need to grow in. I hope we will see each other soon but until then please keep supporting your church and keep healthy. This morning service begins at 9am here at the church and on Facebook live. Otherwise you can catch the service on our website at 10:30.
Trust in him at all times... pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." PSALM 62:8 (NIV)
Have you ever given thought that It is through our broken, vulnerable, mortal ways of being that the healing power of the eternal God becomes visible to us. If we were perfect we would have no need for God's gifts of Himself to us. That is why we are called each day to present to the Lord the whole of our lives—our joys as well as sorrows, our successes as well as failures, our hopes as well as fears. We are called to do so with our limited means, our stuttering words and halting expressions. In this way we will come to know in mind and heart the unceasing prayer of God’s Spirit in us. Our many prayers are in fact confessions of our inability to pray. But they are confessions that enable us to perceive the merciful presence of God.Almighty God, may we seek your love and mercy daily. May we become your ambassadors to this forgetful world and remind them of Your grace and mercy. Father, thank you fro the gift you gave us in Your Son. Thank you for the fellowship we have here at EOCC and within our communities. Lord God, you are my fortress and shelter. Thank You as I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen
John 16:12-15 12 “I have much more to say to you, but you can’t handle it now. 13 However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and proclaim it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That’s why I said that the Spirit takes what is mine and will proclaim it to you.
Love this passage. It tells me a lot about the God I serve and His patience with me. In this time of life patience is really a blessing in keeping my wit and attitude in check.This passage also talks about the Trinity that so many people struggle with. John recorded Jesus' teaching about “the Father,” himself and “the Spirit,” not as three separate beings, but one God in three persons. Theologians struggle to articulate this concept in ways that the human imagination can process. The three persons of the Trinity are close in a manner that goes beyond the closest human relationships we know. The Holy Spirit is the third person (which in no way means inferior or subordinate to the first and second person) of the Trinity, who functions as God’s continual presence on Earth, especially after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. The Holy Spirit resides in us, reminding,sustaining, nudging, rebuking, and reshaping our humanity.
When we accept the life of Christ in our own life Scripture tells us the Spirit comes and dwells in us. We become God's new Temple. It is an opportunity for us to work with and on behalf of the Divine. However, God is not going to cram it down our throats all at one time. He will feed us as we can take it in. I have seen the Holy Spirit work in many people as they faced a time when they could not handle the full truth of a medical, relational or spiritual situation. But with time and the presence of God within they grasp the situation and begin their work with and on behalf of God the Father in their situation. Have you faced times when you weren’t ready to handle the full truth of a medical, relational or spiritual situation? Are you grateful that God doesn’t insist on “cramming” the whole truth down our throat when we’re not ready, but that the Spirit works patiently with us as we learn and grow? I am.
Our God is an awesome God of love, patience, kindness and mercy to name a few. May we learn from His example, especially in today's climate. I hope to see many of you later on today in person, (on our web page; eoccme.com around 11) or Facebook live starting at 9 am.
Almighty and Holy God I thank you for the patience you have shown me in my life. The steady nudging of the Holy Spirit that has helped me grow. Lord, I pray for this church I serve. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead us and teach us, May we be open to His teachings and directions. Father, bless us and keep us safe. I pray for forgiveness in my life and in the lives of those I may have hurt. Continue to be patient with me and feed me what I can handle. I thank you for the insight that has come during this time of solitude and an openness to Your Holy Word. I am grateful as I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
As I travel around and also listen to people near and far it seems the anger is spilling over into everyday life. Now with the elections the name calling, the slanderous comments are going to be even more present. So I thought maybe the passage below could or should be an EOCC theme through the elections.
Colossians 3:12-15 12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people.
In a time of turmoil, hatred and violence the Apostle Paul is calling his readers to take off the old human nature with its retaliation, vengeance, anger and negativity ( and I would add in this period of time writings on Social media) and put on a new nature. No longer are we to conform with what the world is doing, our leaders and such, but instead change into the gift that God is giving us. In today’s reading Paul listed six positive qualities we can “put on” (verses 12, 14), with love as the crowning quality in the list. The image of “putting on” these lovely qualities reminds us that their ultimate source is God, not us. God offers them to us—it is up to us to decide to “put them on” to make our relationships, our communities and overall general well being, better and more resilient.
“Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint…, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Doing this will let others know we are Christians, reconciled people of God and no longer will we resort to the old way of tearing others down to build ourselves up. We are all God's children so may we act and treat each other respectfully. Words do matter.
I pray we all begin the process of putting on the nature of Christ. See you a bit later, pastor Carl
2 Corinthians 11:23-33 23 Are they ministers of Christ? I’m speaking like a crazy person. What I’ve done goes well beyond what they’ve done. I’ve worked much harder. I’ve been imprisoned much more often. I’ve been beaten more times than I can count. I’ve faced death many times. 24 I received the “forty lashes minus one” from the Jews five times. 25 I was beaten with rods three times. I was stoned once. I was shipwrecked three times. I spent a day and a night on the open sea. 26 I’ve been on many journeys. I faced dangers from rivers, robbers, my people, and Gentiles. I faced dangers in the city, in the desert, on the sea, and from false brothers and sisters. 27 I faced these dangers with hard work and heavy labor, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, and in the cold without enough clothes.
28 Besides all the other things I could mention, there’s my daily stress because I’m concerned about all the churches. 29 Who is weak without me being weak? Who is led astray without me being furious about it? 30 If it’s necessary to brag, I’ll brag about my weaknesses. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the one who is blessed forever, knows that I’m not lying. 32 At Damascus the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to capture me, 33 but I got away from him by being lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall.
Bragging: I am sure we have all done it in one way or the other. Usually it is a list of achievements and honors you have gained or an accomplishment one may have attained. Certainly in the Roman culture this would have been the case. In fact it was a standard practice to be showy and list all of his achievements. In Paul's letter he was talking to the church leaders that were heading in that same direction. So Paul lists all of his achievements; however, they were all things any normal person would have been ashamed to admit or mention voluntarily.
Roman culture was not radically different from ours. “Monuments, civic buildings and other sites bore inscriptions praising wealthy donors; civic assemblies featured the voices of the powerful; public culture revolved around power. Boasting in weakness challenged the very values on which most boasts were founded. Yet Paul saw them as valuable to boast upon because they came about because of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Paul stood the cultural values of the time, and I would say today within the church, on its head to live the upside down life. ( I believe it is the right side up life and the world has it upside down but...) So the question begs: What do you boast upon in your life? How can Jesus rework your values to conform with heavenly standards? Hope to see you later this morning... God Bless.
Lord God Almighty, please continue to rework my life to see more clearly the Kingdom your Son taught. Help me to separate the world and Your will from each other. Father, forgive me of my sins and lead me to a better place. Thank you for the blessings I have been given in fellowship with others and the bountiful harvest that I have enjoyed. May I be a blessing to Your Word and use it to learn and glorify Your name. I pray this and all things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Our cooling system in the sanctuary is down and while talking to the tech he asked about why the thermostat in near the choir was removed. I really did not know. However, it made me think of a passage in Romans 12:2. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Now why this passage you may think. Well, Paul is urging us not to be a thermometer. A thermometer is not of intelligence and has one purpose. It is to react to the environment around us.It tells you if it is hot or if it is cold. Paul is saying as Christians we are not to conform to this world but think for ourselves in doing God's will. Paul is telling us to be more like a thermostat that controls and regulates the environment around it. A thermostat uses its intelligence to monitor the environment and make necessary corrections to the will of the owner.
We too are suppose do to the will of the owner, the Father. We are to look where things seem hot and provide relief when we can. We are also there to bring hope, warmth and comfort to God's people when coldness creeps in. In a very simple way, Paul urges us to be thermostats and not a thermometers.
If we had a football team or debate team I think we could be called the EOCC Thermostats. That would provoke questions and open the opportunity to share the gospel message. Hmmm, Have a great rest of the week. Pastor Carl
2 Timothy 4:6-8 6 I’m already being poured out like a sacrifice to God, and the time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. 8 At last the champion’s wreath that is awarded for righteousness is waiting for me. The Lord, who is the righteous judge, is going to give it to me on that day. He’s giving it not only to me but also to all those who have set their heart on waiting for his appearance.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 24 Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win. 25 Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies. 26 So now this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight. I fight like a boxer in the ring, not like someone who is shadowboxing. 27 Rather, I’m landing punches on my own body and subduing it like a slave. I do this to be sure that I myself won’t be disqualified after preaching to others.
Much like today's world Paul is using an example that many people would understand in that a champion lives a big, out in the public eye purposeful life. The apostle Paul used images from the Greek Olympic races and boxing to describe his disciplined approach to being a life champion. Paul related what he’d seen of human sports champions’ discipline to his disciplined spiritual life. He had a vision of a "crown that never dies" (better than any human trophy) waiting for him after this life.
Paul knew the Romans would soon end his earthly life but was confident that a champion’s wreath awaited him in eternity. The picture we get is of a man facing serious trouble and likely death, beset with problems and anxieties, but who nevertheless remains determined to bring every single aspect of his life into the gospel itself, the royal proclamation of Jesus as Lord. He lives in the present world, Caesar’s world, as already a cheerful citizen of the world to come,
Today, in what we can only describe as crazy and uncertain we too have the choice to live as a citizen of the earthly kingdom.
Almighty God, lead me through and beyond this life until I can claim the champion's wreath in Your eternal kingdom. In the meantime, help me to walk in this life sharing the good news and being a person of hope to the many who need this. Lord, forgive me of my sins and help me to forgive others. Father, I pray this in Your Son's name. Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006