1 Thessalonians 2:12-14 12 We encouraged you and comforted you as we urged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 13 And we continually thank God that in receiving the word of God from us, you did not accept it as the word of men, but as the true word of God— the word now at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Judea that are in Christ Jesus. You suffered from your own countrymen the very things they suffered from the Jews,…
Throughout Paul's missionary journeys he continually proclaimed that the message of Jesus Christ would be the most important message a person could ever hear. It changes lives, perspectives, dreams and heart conditions. Today this is still the truth. No other message is more powerful, important or life changing than the message of Jesus Christ. Paul is encouraging us to live in this message, walk in this message and yes suffer because of this message. But, we also know this message will not change anything unless our hearts are open to the Word in its completeness.
I wonder when my times comes to stand in the presence of God, will he tell me what percentage of my heart was really open?
The greatest message will have no impact on your heart unless it is open to receive the truth.
Almighty God, as I come before you again this morning may my heart be open to the Word you have given me. May my life show my heart and how your Gospel message has affected all parts of it. Lord Jesus, I seek Your forgiveness for my sins as I forgive those who have hurt me. I ask the Holy Spirit to come dwell within me and purge the evil from me when I allow the world to infect my heart. Lord, bless my families as you have declared them to be, bless my friends and enemies so they may come to know you. Lord I thank you for this day, for the morning that will be coming forth and the light of Your Son. I ask this in His name, Amen.
Genesis 39: 7-9 Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
There are so many wonderful teachings and reminders mixed within the stories of the Old Testament. The one above is an example. Joseph is reminding us that all sin is against God. How we respond to temptation is in large measure determined by how we view sin. If we regard sin as a minor, insignificant thing, then we will probably yield to the temptation. On the other hand, if we recognize it as a monstrous and wicked betrayal of God, our Master, the temptation loses its allure.
Joseph could have easily rationalized the sin away and gone along with the temptation. Instead he firmly resisted,knowing the human impact that would follow sin but his greatest concern was not to sin against God.
I believe we live in a time that minimizes and downplays the nature and impact of sin. We can justify most everything in someway and adopt an attitude "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" or this will not hurt anyone.This attitude, and masking the impact of sin is that of Satan but we must not forget that sin is ultimately against a holy God. Joseph reminds of this. I hope to see you this morning. God bless.
Gracious God, I thank you for the Word found within the Bible. The gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminders of how I am to live knowing you are my God. Everything I do is before You. Lord, may I resist temptation by not minimizing the impacts and who it is against. May I love you and my neighbor with all my heart, soul and strength. Father, forgive me when I do sin against You. Forgive me Lord when I look inward only and not the true blessings of family. I thank you Lord, for the community of believers I work with everyday. I thank you for the calling you laid upon my heart and Your people bringing me here to EOCC. Father, bless this community and our families as I reach out to you through Your Son Jesus, Amen.
2 Corinthians 6:1-3 (NIV) 1 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.
I watched an old movie of the days before the unification of England. The plot of the movie was about a Saxon King who faced a rebellion headed by his Nobles. Once the King heard about this he assembled his army and quickly defeated the uprising on the battlefield. After the victory the King offered peace and forgiveness to anyone who would come before him and renew the pledge of allegiance. However the time ot do this was very limited. The Nobles and others had to come before the candle the King had lit burnt out.
We often talk about the deadline for receiving God’s gift of salvation, because that offer expires when life here on earth ends. While that statement can be argued, I believe we miss what Paul is saying if we focus only on the time we have to receive God's grace. When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth to instruct them in how to work effectively for God, he quoted the words of Isaiah, a prophet not to the heathen, but to God’s people. These words of warning about missed opportunities are meant for us.
Paul is reminding us, those who do believe, not to live life in a careless and casual manner. Each day brings all of us opportunities for service to God and others that may never come again. Each day comes with a deadline, each moment to show God's love does come with a deadline for we are not promised tomorrow. Paul is reminding the church, us, that life is uncertain and brief and we must keep busy doing God's work while we live in this world. Paul throws down a challenge to the believers; to live life as Christ taught. Who is your family; who is your neighbor? Have a great day and I pray I will get the chance to see you this morning. pastor Carl
Exodus 20:13 Do not kill. ( OUR YOUTH HAS BEEN STUDYING THIS and the other 9 )
Matthew 5:21-22, 43-44
“You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder, and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell… You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you.
This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love each other as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
Love is an overly familiar word whose concept never eludes us. We often define it by loving the movies we see or the books we read. Love is displayed by supporting our country Displayed through family and friends. But in this passage, we are reminded of another kind of love – a mandate to love. Love is more than a feeling or sudden flash of emotion. It demands more from us than poetic words and romantic gestures. It summons everything and requires all. Love is infinite and, through that characteristic, challenges our finite understanding.
We are reminded that heaven commanded an enormous, simple, sacrificial loving act. This heavenly love became a person, stepping into our pain and walking in our grief. Love willingly and voluntarily died – and in doing so, made new life available to us.
So of course the question then becomes; what does that look like for us today? With Christ in you and me, by the Spirit of God, love is transferred from a romantic notion into a human being. Love becomes a listening ear on a hard day. ( Like in men's group and the women's groups) Love becomes a high five celebrating a joyous occasion. Love goes out of the way to mow a neighbor’s yard, pick up branches after a storm, or move someone even when inconvenience. . Love sits beside someone else in the hospital waiting room as they await eagerly for good news. While often intangible, love is almost always visible through sacrifice, compassion, and generosity.
Let’s allow this love to have its way with us as we gather this morning celebrating each other in Christ. I hope to see you here this morning for Communion Sunday. pastor Carl
Almighty God, Father in heaven. Thank you Lord for grace. Thank you for loving me, my families and my neighbors. I pray that my life will be filled and overflowing with the power of your love so You can make a difference in this world through my love. .As Congregationalist I believe we all are to be your hands and feet in this world today, please use me and everyone to be your hands and feet, that we may be a beacon of hope for those we come into contact with. Unite us oh Lord to be one family thorough Your Son. In Jesus' name Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006