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Sermon: The Sharing Mothers

by CCCLampasas

 

Pastor Nathan’s sermon for Mother’s Day focuses on Rachel & Leah.

Leah, by her father’s deceit, had stolen her sister’s blessing. Isaac had blessed Jacob, believing him to be Esau, and now Jacob marries Leah believing her to be Rachel. In the moment of his surprised discovery did Jacob remember how he had stolen his brother’s birthright by covering himself with a hairy skin and venison-smell, and making himself appear as Esau? Was this a retributive providence for his own deception of his blind and dying father?  Jacob showed favoritism to Rachael and loved her more than Leah.

Siblings like to compete, but can you imagine having to share a husband with your sister, feeling like you always had to outdo the other? However, God blessed both Leah and Rachel with children, continuing his covenant promise with Abraham. Leah and Rachel’s sons would go on to form the 12 tribes of Israel. What can we learn from this passage? How does this text apply to our lives?

Sunday, May 13, 2018 – The Sharing Moms — Genesis 19:25-28

 

Sermon: The Ascension

by CCCLampasas

The Ascension marked the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The period of human limitation was at an end. Jesus now rules with His Father in Heaven. His period of humility was coming to an end and he returned exalted in Heaven.

We do not have to wonder where Jesus is located. We know that He is in heaven reigning as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is praying for us now, leading our worship now, feeling our pain now, sharing our humanity now.  Jesus is alive.

Sunday, May 6th:  The AscensionLuke 24:50-53

 

Nate’s Notes: Abundant Goodness

by CCCLampasas

Photo Credit: Creation Swap

Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! Psalm 31:19 New International Version

We are so blessed that the Lord’s goodness is not budgeted, earned, or limited. Yahweh’s abundant grace is available for those who through faith take refuge in Him. Grace is God’s unmerited favor. We cannot do anything to earn it.

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7 New International Version

The Lord is our refuge, our fortress. The Father is so good to us that He is our creator, protector, and sustainer. The Father’s angels also aid Him in looking out for His children.

Perhaps the greatest fortification in history is the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.

Home of NORAD, which monitors pretty much everything in North American airspace, the Cheyenne Mountain Complex uses the mountains around Colorado Springs as fortification. Sitting inside a hollowed-out space in the mountains, the air defense system reached the height of its mystique during the Cold War when it opened in 1967. Its 25-ton blast doors are embedded within the 1,700 feet of granite.

Described as the most secure place on the planet, not even NORAD compares to the protection provided by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. Psalm 25:6-7  New International Version

The Psalmist addresses God as Yahweh, His covenant name. This is not someone calling on God in a general sense or guessing at who might be God. He is using the name given to Moses by God. The Lord Himself says that the Israelites are to address him this way.

The Psalmist refers to the Lord protecting him from the false words and accusations of his enemies. No matter who opposes us including Satan, the Lord shields those who are faithful to Him.

What is our role in the Lord’s blessing and protection? We are not passive participants. We should admit they we cannot thrive by our own strength or wisdom. We seek shelter in the Lord. There is no place for arrogance. Christians humbly seek God and praise His holy name.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6 New International Version

Prayer: (Based on Psalm 91)

Father,

May we dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in your shadow. You are our refuge and fortress. We trust in You and seek protection under Your mighty wings. In the holy name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Pastor Nathan

Nate’s Notes: National Day of Prayer

Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 5, 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.

Prayer brings people together. Prayer builds bridges between opposing persons and even political parties. Prayer reminds us that we are created in God’s image and He desires for us to represent Him everywhere we go. Prayer brings UNITY. In 2018, our theme was Pray for America – UNITY, based upon Ephesians 4:3 which challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer for America, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Christians from across denominations came together in Lampasas Thursday to pray for our city, state, and nation. It is wonderful for us to gather united in prayer once a year; however, prayer is a daily privilege for the believer. We have the awesome blessing to go before the throne of God anytime. Jesus intercedes for us and the Holy Spirit lives in us always.

Today’s passage in Ephesians 4 emphasizes unity in the body of Christ. We ultimately do not follow a bishop, cardinal, council, deacon, elder, pastor, priest, or pope. Jesus is the head of the worldwide body of believers who have called upon Him as Savior and Lord. Paul reminds us to be completely humble and gentle. Jesus is perfect and always right but we are not. We are to listen actively to others, pay attention to our critics, and learn from other Christians from throughout history and around the world.

Paul instructed us to be patient and loving. Patience is not a virtue in the United States today. People want to promote quickly at work, watch television and movies at anytime, eat at fast food restaurants, expect to get great abs in seven minutes a day, find their future mate at the click of a button, and get almost any product in the mail in two days. We can even find a mammoth amount of information with a quick search on Google.

On the other hand, God matures us over years. Love takes time. Lust is about getting what we want now without investing in a relationship. Greed is about getting rich quickly and without ethics. Love is about looking past the faults of others and putting their needs first.

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Gentleness, humility, patience, and love promote unity. If we follow the Beatitudes and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit we will be unified. We are all ambassadors for Christ. We are all citizens of Heaven. We are all witnesses to the world. We all worship the same God in a multitude of languages and with an array of musical instruments. We are one in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.

Prayer for Unity
by Carl K. Moeddel

One only Holy Spirit of Father and Son in whom all are baptized, one giver of many gifts, one tree of many fruits, one speaker of every tongue, renew in our day the wonders of Pentecost, grant that people of every race and nation may understand one another, and as one, proclaim the praises of God.

Grant that all may be one as you, Spirit, with the Father and the Son are one God, one Lord. Grant unity to the Body of Christ. Amen.2

Pastor Nathan

Nate’s Notes: A Colony of Heaven

Photo Credit: Christian Pics

Philippians 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Colossians 1:12-1312 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[a] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

On a sunny morning, William’s mother came into her son’s room and said, “William, it’s Sunday. Time to get up! Time to get up and go to church! Get up!”

From under the covers came mumbles, “I don’t want to go!”

“What do you mean?” she said. “That’s silly! Now get up and get dressed and go to church!”

“No!” he shot back. “I’ll give you two reasons. I don’t like them and they don’t like me!”

“Nonsense,” she told him. “I’ll give you two reasons to go. First, you are 42 years old, and second, you are the pastor!”

We should not act like William. The Lord has called us to be a loving community of saints. We are all members of the church, the body of Christ.

To avoid bewilderment among these many perspectives on the church, we need to focus on the apostolic gospel by which the church was founded. The saving truth of the gospel is to be believed, and proclaimed to the nations. The gospel is also to be lived, for holiness, no less than truth, marks the Spirit’s work. Further, this believing, proclaiming, and living take place within a community. Those who are in Christ are joined to one another in an organism. There is a holy, spiritual order to God’s community. It is not formed like other organizations, but it is a colony of heaven, a pilgrim people, traveling toward the day of Christ’s return. – Edmund Clowney

1 Thessalonians 5:14 – And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

When you tell others what you appreciate about them or that you saw the good that they did, you build joy into their hearts and your own.

How can we experience community with others? Below are some suggestions, but I also realize that the Lord gives each of us different gifts and personalities. We are all called to love God and to love others.

  • Call someone who is not feeling well and talk until you make them laugh. Email or contact someone on Facebook. This also helps people feel less lonely.
  • Visit with someone who lives alone or is in a nursing home or hospital.
  • Pick flowers from your garden and give them away.
  • Donate to and volunteer at The Mission. Every month the church gives money to the mission, and church members donate and volunteer there. The Lampasas Mission also partners with The Salvation Army, Helping Hands of Lampasas, the Ministerial Alliance, and other ministries.
  • Volunteer at an elementary school and teach a child to read.
  • Pray for your neighborhood, government officials, local schools, and needy people.
  • Participate in Operation Christmas Child. We can bring joy to needy children around the world.
  • Attending the Bible studies and services at church brings people including me joy. Fellowship and worship are two joyful responsibilities that we have as Christians. We can also serve at church in many ways. If you have a talent, there is a good chance that you can express it in the local church.
  • Support missionaries financially and through prayer.
  • Volunteer as a greeter at Rollins-Brook hospital. The greeters are an encouragement to patients and visitors.

If you do not live in Lampasas, there are many ways that you can serve your community too. We are led by the Holy Spirit to serve others.

Prayer:

Father, May Your Spirit rule over our actions, attitudes, and thoughts. May we realize that we are citizens of Heaven sent to share Your love. May we imitate Jesus in how we treat people and may we have opportunities each week to share the gospel with those who do not know You. May Your will be done on Earth as it is done in Heaven. In the glorious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

Nathan