Were is God Looking?

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth,
to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9

We don’t think of it, but seeing is a spiritual discipline. The references to seeing and looking in
a chapter on faith, Hebrews 11, are abundant. But what are we to see? And what gets in the
way of us seeing with our faith?
God is looking. The verse from 2 Chronicles challenges us to be noticed by God. And God
notices people with hearts loyal to him. The context of this verse is a time where God wanted
to display his glory to the enemies of God’s people. Yet, their hearts were conflicted, seeking
help from sources other than their God.
We like to devise schemes to get us out of the situations we find ourselves in. Still God is
looking. We panic and grasp at straws to find answers. God is still looking. We even accept the
situation as hopeless. Still God is looking.
When God sees us in Twinsburg does God find what he is looking for? My prayer for my life
and ministry is “God look here.” To do that, I know that my heart must be loyal and seeking
after God? When God sees us in Twinsburg, does God find what he is looking for?


Pastor Greg

When Can I Ignore God

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

(James 1:22-23)

I don’t think King Saul intentionally wanted to disobey God. He really
thought that he had followed God’s commands in the defeat of the Amalekites. He
had just given into some reasonable expectations of his soldiers. Saul had
deceived himself. That is the tragedy of the story in 1 Samuel 15.
Almost obeying is not fully obeying. How often do we fall into the trap of
rationalizing the reasons not to fully obey God? “If I only had a better neighbor,
boss, spouse, or parent; then I would be able to obey God. If only I had an easier
job, less yard work, a better car; then I would be able to faithful to church. I could
go on, but then someone would accuse me of meddling. The point is, “if-only’s”
cannot be our excuse for obeying God fully. If we have an “if-only,” James says in
the verse above, we are deceiving ourselves.
There is a promise for being faithful to the will of God. Paul says “ And let us
not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose
heart (Gal 6:9).” Being fully obedient to God is not easy, it usually is not fun, and
it often faces opposition from those that misunderstand what we are doing. But if
we fully obey God to the best of our ability, then we will reap the bounty of God’s
blessing in our lives. So do not give up in doing the work of God.
Pastor Greg

Tragedy and Triumph

The Lives of the Kings of Israel

          In June and July the sermons will be on “The Kings of the Israel.”  The theme is triumph and tragedy that we face in our lives.  Saul, David, and Solomon had to face very real tests if they would be obedient to God.  When the King obeyed God with his whole heart he experienced triumph, but when he ignored the Word of the Lord he experienced tragedy.
 
          These are the very same lessons that God teaches us in our lives.  We have to face the enemies of our souls, the enemies of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and the enemies of our relationship with each other.  We have to be mindful to obey the Word of when we face these enemies so that we can be triumphant in our walk with Jesus Christ.

          Also, from these kings, we realize that the consequences of our decisions affect many more people than just us.  Saul did not heed the Word of the Lord, and his sons died.  David became proud, and warfare divided his house.  Then Solomon did not keep his heart focused on God, and the kingdom was divided. 

Pastor Greg

A Simple Contrast

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not perish
but may have eternal life.
John 3:16

     This Memorial Day weekend, as we remember those that have died for our country praying for those with the empty seat at the picnic table, let us value their sacrifice with the perspective of Jesus.  In this well-know verse, John 3:16, the Savior tells us there is a contrast.  The difference with between perishing and eternal life.  Eternal life is not just living a long time, it is letting your life count for something.  Perishing has the idea of futility and not gaining something of value.

     Those that have died defending their country may have had an early death, but they did not perish in futility.  They have added to the quality of our life of freedom in this country.  So, they did not “perish” they gave their sacrifice.
 
     Jesus is contrasting perishing and having eternal life in this verse, and here the difference comes from belief.  The belief that Jesus says brings eternal life is not an assent to the facts or creed, but belief that calls us to the way of life that counts for something.  The way that calls us not to waste our lives, but to be a living sacrifice for the message of hope the Savior brings us.

Pastor Greg

Next meal 6/23/2024