Guest preacher this morning was our own Roger Marum. His text was the story of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus, John 3:1–17 as paraphrased in The Message.
Pastor Kim’s sermon on Pentecost Sunday spoke to what makes a church vital, and us followers of Jesus, not just fans or volunteers. Push and empower me Holy Spirit
Ted tells the story of his experiences of helping someone else separated by 34 years and how that changed both their lives. He begins by looking at two qualities we attribute to the God we worship: Transcendent and Immanent.
This sermon is based on Romans 8: 28, 31-35 NRSV
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose… What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
Questions to consider:
What is your biggest concern right now?
What was your biggest concern or fear a year ago? Has that resolved?
Sermon notes: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves?
The Ten Commandments
1.You shall have no other gods before me
2.You shall not make a graven image of God
3.You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain
4.Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy
5.Honor your father and mother
6.You shall not murder
7.You shall not commit adultery
8.You shall not steal
9.You shall not bear false witness
10.You shall not covet anything of your neighbor’s, not their spouse, not their stuff and not those who serve them.
- “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible.
“0 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 New Revised Standard Version
2.God helps those who help themselves is not in the Bible. But the concept that we are to work and pray is.
“27 True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties…” James 1:27 Common English Version
3.Scripture does encourage us to help others: which means God does help those who cannot help themselves.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no on may boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9 NRSV
4.Sometimes we cannot help ourselves not because we are poor or destitute or lack resources, but because we have been captured by habits, hang-ups or hurts that prevent us from reaching our full potential as God’s children.
Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
Romans 12:2 Common English Bible (CEB) version
Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:9-10 CEB
- Problems with God scripting our every move include:
- Is God responsible for all the bad things that happen. Then God is not loving, merciful and just as the Bible says.
- What is the purpose of life? Robots doing exactly what God asks them to do for millions of years is not much of a purpose
- If God has planned everything we do why is evil frowned upon?
2. The Plan: What if the “Plan” is more that you and I will be in collaboration with God in creating the script that is our life? God’s will is always that we make the faithful choice.
3. When people collaborate with God amazing God-incidences do happen.
Faithful prayers take this form:
- Thanks Tell God how much Easter love means to you and thank God for the blessings in your life.
- Help Tell God where you need more strength, courage, faith and pray for others and our world. Ask God how you can be part of helping the ones you are praying for.
- Sorry Tell God where you know you are messing up and ask where you need to be changed.
- Wow End with THY will be done for YOURS is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Trust in Jesus and belief in the resurrection does not mean we will never face challenges or suffering. What does our Easter faith say to the big questions? This morning, Pastor Kim’s message explores “Why do the Innocent Suffer?”
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest. Psalm 22: 1-2 NRSV
#1 Christians are called to be and know about “good news”
To counteract constant bad news visit these sites regularly:
- http://www.umcor.org United Methodist Committee on Relief
- http://www.umcmission.org United Methodist Board of Mission website
- Friend our Missionary in Nicaragua on facebook: Belinda Forbes Gbgm
#2 So our faith does mean our behavior should improve, and mature faith means we operate on the highest level we are capable of no matter how other people are behaving. But it does not mean that because we are faithful we will never suffer.
#3 There are lots of reasons the innocent suffer this side of heaven. But never is it God’s will.
Chris Gribnau on trumpet and Julia Blocksma on piano play Teleman’s Concerto for Trumpet in Bb, Allegro for our offering at the Easter Sunday worship service.