March 26th, 2018

Good Monday Morning!! Have you ever wondered why Monday comes right after Sunday? Ha. I know it’s a silly question but I believe if we have properly worshipped with fellow believers on Sunday then God has prepared us for the rigors of Monday morning. When we view Monday through a spiritual lens then we begin to see it as another fresh opportunity to be used by Him and for Him. I have already seen Matthew 20:28 several times on Facebook this morning. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Serve others? On a Monday? Or maybe it’s just another rainy Monday.
Just a quick reminder here at the start that we will be having a special Good Friday Service this coming Friday at NOON or 12:00 PM (whichever you prefer). It will be a time of prayer and worship as we consider the cost of the Cross. Be sure to pass this on to someone else and let them know so they can join us too.
One of the things I mentioned in last week’s blog and in yesterday’s sermon is something I want to repeat and clarify here today. I truly believe that when we are repenting of our sins and walking closely with God on a daily basis that life becomes more sweet and more satisfying and more fulfilling. Now let me clarify here by saying that I am not espousing a “prosperity gospel” where all we need to do is give more and God will bless us more. I am also not saying that we will not face trials and hardships. The bible is very clear that we will suffer and we will have difficulties but it also tells us that we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). It also reminds us “be joyful always”. But I believe we have strayed so far from where God wants us to be that we no longer can see clearly the trials of life. Because we allow sin to “reign in our bodies” we have become accustomed to a life filled with more trials and adversity than joy. For many every day is a struggle. Every day is another test of endurance and patience and hope. This is where I may sound a little crazy but I believe a lot of the “trials and tribulations” we experience are of our own making. The ever-present sin in our life produces more difficulties and problems in our lives . . . to the point where we just see them as “well, this is just how life is supposed to be.” I submit that life is not supposed to be a constant struggle. Now, again, we will have trials and tribulations. Loved ones will get sick and die. Our cars will break down. Our families will experience relationship difficulties. These are all part of living in a fallen world. But I am speaking about the “degree” to which these happen in our lives. The short answer here is that I believe we have a lot more problems than we should because we have allowed sin to creep in. And a bigger problem, in my opinion, is that now God has to allow even bigger trials into our lives because the smaller ones no longer get our attention. So for those who haven’t stopped reading you are probably saying OK so what do we do then? Repent. Confess. Turn from sin. I’m not going to list your sins for you. Pray and ask God to reveal those but when He does then you must repent and turn away from those sins. And I submit to you today that when you do that then life becomes sweeter and more fulfilling and more purposeful. But most of you will read this and do nothing because you love your sin more than you love God. I am praying today that God will open your eyes. Revival and Renewal will only come when we Repent!
Thanks again to all of you who came to our Yard Sale and who gave items to sell and who came and bought items or just donated. Also again a big thanks to all of you who physically helped us. Thanks to Lon Young, Terry Mueller, Marv Walker, and Rhonda Ferguson and to a couple of Youth who came later, Mikey and Ephraim. I saved Rick Smelley for last here like I did yesterday (no, I did not forget him like some may have thought) because I don’t think we could have pulled it off without Rick. I’m sure his back is still hurting today from all the furniture he helped carry. We raised around $3000 (a new record for us) for our Mission Trip to Athens to work with refugees. Our group came down here and started working at 2:00 AM and I can honestly say it has been a long time since I worked that hard or been that tired. I looked at my phone and it estimated that I took over 26,000 steps on Saturday (my normal is about 3,000-4,000) and I walked over 10 miles. I’m pretty sure I was carrying something for over half of those miles. Ha. But your love and support means a lot to us. We are getting excited as we leave in just 18 days. More on that later.
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?