A woman in labor suddenly shouted, “Shouldn’t! Wouldn’t! Couldn’t! Didn’t! Can’t!” “Don’t worry,” said the Doc. “Those are just contractions!”
LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Lord the world is such a mess, Where do I begin? Thank You for being our Father, We pray that Your Kingdom come and Your will be done. In my heart, in my neighborhood, in this world. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NIV) “Reconciliation literally means, ‘bring together again’. When we talk about reconciliation, we are talking about taking broken relationships and mending them.” Once we begin to understand that our life’s work as followers of Christ is not to be social critic, moral police, mindless cheerleader or passive observer then what? How do we go about being, “Christ’s ambassadors” so God can “make His appeal through us”? The transformation happens (as we saw in yesterday’s meditation) deep inside our selves, when we are reconciled to God. Our need to prove ourselves, justify ourselves and our failed attempts to fix ourselves can be laid aside. As the hymn states, “Jesus paid it all and all to Him we owe”. Our worth is in being children of God, our hope is in Christ, and our power comes from God; we are worthy of love because God loves us so much that He died for us, not because of what we accomplish. Living out of this firm foundation is not easy but it is necessary, because once we know we are loved, we are able to love God and our neighbor for real. We as Christians need to stop faking it. If we participate in church (until we can get back to going in person), if we own a Bible, but hate ourselves then we are unable to grow, change, or accept God’s grace. If we don’t accept God’s grace for ourselves then what do we have for anyone else? If we don’t love close to home, we won’t love afar. I have a friend, we’ll call her Erin. Erin is incredibly generous and easy going. She is patient and kind. She welcomes all kinds and is flexible and hospitable. She makes you feel like a million bucks. She tells interesting stories yet she is a great listener. She works harder than anyone I know as a mom and farm wife. When I “grow up” I want to be just like her. My children trust her and see her as a friend, resource and trusted advisor. While Erin is by no means perfect she is an “ambassador” extraordinaire because she knows in spite of her failings and weaknesses she is loved and so she loves with generous abandon. She and her family take God's Word seriously and study it, they pray and seek God’s guidance, and they are humble in their recognition that every day they need God’s help and are thankful to have it. As we grow in our understanding of what it means to be a Christian, remember your salvation is God’s job and it is accomplished! Your job is to love and learn, so that your life will “ooze out of every pore” joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control and LOVE. If this seems impossible, if you know with your head but are in doubt with your heart that You are worthy of love then please leave a message on the church’s contact page on the website or call (412)491.3704 pastor mike or (412)361.4842 nicole, for you are precious and God has great things in store for you….
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/amos/ for an overview of the book of Jonah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/romans/ for an overview of the book of Romans. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Amos 6:1-7:17 In 6:8 Amos will say, “The Lord God Almighty declares: ‘I abhor the pride of Jacob…’” What is the “pride” of Jacob that he is referencing? (Look back over 6:1-7) Does God abhor the wealthy? Amos will see three possible judgments against Jacob, which is a just another name for Israel. How will Amos respond to the first two? What is he concerned about? In the third judgment, God will target what? (7:9) Why doesn’t Amos seem to respond to this judgment? The call God has placed on Amos, will ultimately lead him into trouble. Who will raise awareness of Amos’ message to king Jeroboam? (7:10) As priest, what is his role in Israel, and do you think the third judgment Amos declared has anything to do with Amaziah’s response? Romans 4:16-5:11 Abraham believed God “had power to do what he had promised.” That is the foundation of his faith, and the reason that Abraham had been credited with righteousness. What do we believe? (4:24-25) Do you trust that through this belief we will be declared righteous? Paul’s point is that we have been justified or saved through faith alone. Through believing what has been accomplished in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Nicole has been talking about reconciliation this past week. 5:11 makes an important statement about reconciliation. Through Christ, who have we been reconciled to? This is our foundation. Psalm 86:11-17 What does David ask for in verse 11? Is this a prayer we should be praying?