SCRIPTURE READINGS - Sunday, March 29, 2015
What do you look for in a leader?
When Have you seen public opinion swing in dramatic ways?
Do you remember the clash that was being set up, even on this glorious day?
Who does Jesus disappoint on this "Holy Week"?
When do we get disappointed with Him also?
Palm Sunday and the following days really come down to the choice of two leaders - Which one do you follow? Really Follow?
O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
4 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten[a] a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
“You shall not Murder” (Ex. 20:13)
Romans 13:4-- For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Martin Luther explains: You should fear and love God—so that you DO NOT HURT or HARM your fellowman in his BODY.
Yes—ABORTION is Murder—and it is against the 5th commandment
Jeremiah 1:5—“”before I formed you in the womb I KNEW YOU, before YOU were born I set YOU apart.”
Psalm 139:16-- “Your eyes saw my UNFORMED BODY.
EUTHANASIA is the legal term for MURDERING the severely handicapped—the chronically in firmed—the helpless—aged people—all those who are determined to be a “Burden on Society.”
Acts 17:25 -- "He (God) himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."
SUICIDE is actually “Self-Murder.”
What does God require of you in the 5th Commandment?
You should HELP and SUPPORT your fellow man in EVERY bodily need.
Romans 12:20-- "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap coals on his head."
1 John 3:15-- "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life."
Matthew 5:22-- "I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement."
Who is guilty of Jesus’ MURDER?
-Lew Steir, Proclaimer of the Word
This Lenten blog might not have to do a lot with Lent, to be honest. We’ll see. But I did want to share with you how God was working on my heart last night and this morning. When I got home from work yesterday, I then had a wonderful private dinner with my amazing wife. It was too quick, as we then had to run to church for our Fishers Education Night. A great Easter planning meeting with our leadership team, and we were back home. Yet something was bugging me. I couldn't find my phone. I was certain that I had left it in our kitchen on the island, but now it was nowhere to be found. I did the old ‘call your own phone’ trick to see if it would reveal itself. Nothing. Then went to bed still wondering/stewing/dwelling too much on it.
This morning, same thing. But on top of it all, I was now sniping at the kids and Mitzi. And it only got worse as I continued to let it ferment inside of my heart and mind. When this happens, it displaces all of the peace and joy that God gives to us in this life, and our focus moves from Him to our “stuff.” I continued to think about it and let it fester inside of me as I drove to work a bit later, finding fault with every driver on the road. Everyone was driving either too slow (jerk!) or too fast (idiot!). Where was the peace and serenity that I normally feel as I make my short commute each day, driving along the beautiful Saint Clair River on a late winter’s day? Satan had robbed me of it. His claws got into me to allow his thoughts to not be God’s thoughts and his ways to not be God’s ways, all of which our heavenly Father gives to us out of His never-ending stores of His grace.
This was just getting nuts! Where were my priorities? How could I so easily go from who God made me to be to someone unrecognizable as a believer and “truster” in Christ? My pride, my comfort, my desires had been getting the better of me. If I got this upset about a stupid phone, where was my righteous indignation toward the homeless condition of those living with far less than I've been given? The hungry, the forgotten, the estranged from God. Here’s what God then placed on my heart to share with you on this day: “If one of you says to him (someone in need), ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:16 – 17 Wow! What a smack upside the head for me! To get all caught up in the “stuff” of this life, letting it control us to a certain degree, while losing sight on the reason the Church is here in the first place (James also calls this “true religion’): To give away ourselves in faith and action to God and to those around us. May the solemnity and somberness of this Lenten season continue to let us always look inwardly at ourselves and our plans for our lives and the Church God has given to us. Peace.
The phone? I left it on my desk here at work. God is always good, even to the fools and sinners.
Each week as I've been writing these posts, it seems that God has always shown up at just the right time to give me something to ponder upon (that you will too, hopefully!). This week it was a bit different. It's Thursday, the day after these are usually posted. It's been a busy week, to be sure, but there's something else going on, I fear. I've found myself so busy and worried and occupied about what I'm going to write about, and what I'm going to preach about on Sunday, that I've completely missed out on the purpose of why God has called me to do all of this - a real, vital, intimate and personal relationship with HIM. I lost sight of Lent because I was worried about Lent!
Hmmm... Come to think of it, that's exactly what we talked about last Sunday as we delved into the 3rd Commandment - keeping the Sabbath Day holy. It's not just a day of holiness and intimacy with our Lord, but it's a lifetime and lifestyle lived out in Him. Don't beat yourself up when this happens to you also (and it does!). Yes, even pastors get their priorities out of whack. But here's the good news: The reason we celebrate Lent and Good Friday and Easter is that we have a God who loves us and forgives our waywardness and also works in us to be strong and faithful to Him. Yeah, as Linus would have said, if there was "A Charlie Brown Easter," "That's what Easter is all about, Charlie Brown."
Yesterday morning, my son and I were on our way to his school, where I drop him off each school day. As we turned onto the road that heads to the school, I saw the flashing lights of police and other emergency vehicles. We had to turn around and head another way to school that would be more than a bit longer. Instead of immediately praying for everyone involved with the car crash, I maneuvered the car onto the other route we’d have to take, thinking only about being late to work.
Then God placed on my heart the word “interruptions.” That’s all this was. An interruption. A holy interruption. God was telling me that I had been making time and my plans of the day my god. This was then the gateway into realizing how He does these amazing interruptions every day of my life. The most precious and perfect interruption has been that God came into our lives in the form of Jesus His Son to redeem us from our plans and our need for a Savior. You see, in our sinful state, we can’t even realize we need Him to take away our sins. We can’t even recognize sin without His Spirit speaking to us; interrupting us and our wayward lives.
“… the time came (that is, at just the right time) for the baby to be born, and she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn, a son.” (my comments in parentheses) Luke 2:7a
This reading is, of course, God’s greatest interruption in our lives, by the giving of His dear Son Jesus to bridge the chasm that sin had caused between each of us and His holiness, on that first Christmas. May God allow you to see His holy interruptions each and every day, and especially this Lenten season. Peace in Jesus,
- Pastor D
FISHERS COMMUNITY CHURCH
Pastor Joseph Doenges
WORSHIP SUNDAY 10:00 AM
301 N. 6th Street
St. Clair, MI 48079
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization