Today is a special occasion. We take time each year to discuss and pray for those Christians around the world who are persecuted, many of them put to death, for their faith. Our guest speaker today is Paul Sinclair. While Paul has accomplished many things, his passion is to serve the church around the world, which he has done over the years with his wife, Lisa. What is particularly unique in Paul's report is that he interlaces specific prayers of missionaries in those areas familiar to Paul and Lisa. These prayers were given specifically for Paul to pray with us on this special day. Amazingly, one of these dear people took time to pray for us, here in America.
At the very end of Paul's message, Nancy will close and will lead the congregation in a very special rendition of "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus". You'll hear the actual song, but please listen through and use your imagination of all our dear folks sitting there following Nancy's lead. You'll get the idea when you get there. God bless these men and women, sacrificing their very lives, for Jesus name sake.
Societies around the world are experiencing a new inflection point unknown in history. Many will still hold onto the adage "there's always been trouble and evil in the world", dismissing the current circumstances. But one this is certain; take every opportunity, every adverse circumstance, to allow your roots to grow ever deeper in your confidence and trust in our Mighty God Who will carry us through. Don't make the fatal mistake of waiting until the future sea of trouble comes, engulfing all of society.
A very close friend crossed the veil recently and we had the opportunity to be blessed by his life and pastoral care. He was also a master at incorporating alliteration into every sermon. Today Pastor Nancy discusses "perfect peace and patience".
Unfortunately, the church, with a capital C, in America and certainly throughout the world, has been sorely affected by COVID. And you can bet that Satan and his minions are not going to let up. And don't think they won't. Once they have you down, their next move is to step on your neck. So what's our plan; what's our counter punch. We're going to be doing a deep dive in 1 Corinthians s13 for the next few weeks. No, this isn't a wedding; an often used scripture on those festive occasions. As we're going to see, Paul wrote that chapter in the midst of some difficult, or at minimum, delicate circumstances in Corinth. Let' listen as Nancy begins our discussion.
Let's clarify. Of course He wants you to have joy in your life, and happiness too for that matter. But I think we've all heard the expression, typically when someone wants to do whatever it is they want to do, regardless of the circumstances. So what is it that God does want? Let's listen to the events of Mark, chapter 6.
Covid sure has turned the world upside down for many. Life is good when everything seems pretty secure and predictable. But, we live in a different age now, and maybe the future doesn't seem quite as predictable anymore. Maybe you didn't experience as much trauma as others these past few months, but should another shoe drop and it does touch your life, and in a big way, what then?
...Off the bus, out of the car...you're no longer in the driver's seat. It's time for Wisdom to take over, and that is only accomplished through the engine of the Spirit. Circumstances of life can, will, and do drive us to that point... if we will let it.
We pick up from last week in our reflection of our situation, both nationally and individually during this difficult time in our history.
Right now both our nation and the world are experiencing and witnessing a trial that none of us ever anticipated. We usually think of sermon applications as something strictly personal but not much more than that. Maybe we need to think outside that box, maybe regionally... nationally... globally this time. Time for some introspection.
I think because it's been 2000 years since Jesus' resurrection that many people do not believe it to be true, and therefore they don't really considering that He is God and that what He has told us is the absolute truth. There's much to say about that: Why 2000 years? Is He coming back, and if so, when? We'll get into that some day soon, but what about right now? Today, with all the fear and insanity, particularly with a worldwide pandemic? Take a moment, a breath, and listen. God bless, and happy Easter and Passover Week.
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