The Sunday after Easter is unique as an inevitable correction to the swell of Easter attenders. However, Christianity is still in Eastertide, so the celebration continues despite the many who have moved on. I preached on one of my favorite subjects – Provision. I know the story from 2 Kings 4:1-7 is an encouragement to those in overwhelming debt that God cares and has provision for them.
On Sunday, March 27, 2022, Beth Allison preached, and we all enjoyed it so much! Beth is an engaging speaker, and her heart for Scripture really came through this message. This teaching on the Prodigal Son parable has a twist that will make you think, and search your heart.
Today’s services were full of life. The two Joshes did so well! Josh Johnson led us in worship, and Josh Sakis preached. Such a powerful time together! The nature of sin was clearly defined, and Christ’s knock on the door was emphasized. Josh’s sermon applied to everyone. It was so good!
This week was so complex that I had not taken the opportunity to write on this blog. Still, it is cathartic for me to review Sunday, and it creates a historic archive for our church and my ministry.
Pastor Jacob Bell preached for the first time at CIL, and he was so well prepared and clear in his communication. What a heart for God that came through his message titled “On the Roadway with Jesus.” Jacob is only 25 years old, but his wisdom and maturity come through in his life and this message. I anticipate great things through his ministry.
We instinctively long for covenant relationships. What is this? It’s a sacred agreement between two parties. This covenant takes away the fear of abandonment. I wish I would have learned this principle earlier in life. It would have saved me from sin, mistakes, and the destruction of meaningful relationships.
An example of this is Jacob and his father-in-law, Laban. Their poor relationship turned into a covenant relationship.
Genesis 31:44 (CSB) “Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I. Let it be a witness between the two of us.”
Genesis 31:49 (CSB) … “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are out of each other’s sight.”
Covenant requires trust. Both the Lord and the covenant watch over the two parties when they are apart. None of us have been perfect in this, but we can live with this understanding and aspiration from this point forward.
We learned on Sunday from Hebrews 12 that the Kingdom of God is no longer in the realm of fear, intimidation, and separation. The symbol of the Kingdom of God is not the first mountain, where even Moses was afraid.
“Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels, a festive gathering, to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written in heaven, to a Judge, who is God of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-23).”
A festive gathering!
The Kingdom of God is enjoyable!
It is for everyone.
It is not too hard.
This joyful realm happens when we die to ourselves and let Christ resurrect within us.
When Jesus healed a woman who had been sick 18 years, the leader of the synagogue (the Senior Pastor), was angry because of the breaking of sabbath rules. In that case, rules were more important than people.
Jesus demonstrates to us a different way of valuing individuals.
I hope we all keep looking to Jesus as our standard of care. While rules can be necessary, a useful one enhances the common good without restricting human flourishment.