"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.”
John 14: 30, 31 (ESV)
I was thinking of what we could do for our next Sunday evening study, and Dona and I remembered that we have a series called “That The World May Know.” It’s from Focus on the Family and features Ray Vandeer Laan as the leader of the study. The one I would like to start with is Volume Two: Faith Lessons on the Prophets & Kings of Israel. It will be a five week study on Sunday nights for about an hour starting September 8th at 7 pm. (We will skip Sunday the 29th due to the event happening earlier that day, which I’ll describe below.) I think that you will find it intellectually fulfilling and that it will help strengthen your knowledge of the Old Testament culture to assist you in your ongoing study of God’s Holy Word.
It is important for us to understand the history, culture, and people of the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. This gives us a better appreciation of the struggles and victories that these ancient peoples lived, day in and day out. The Middle Eastern mind did not look at, and understand, things the same way we do in the West. I think this series will be enlightening to you and will give you a new perspective of the actual people who lived in the history of Israel.
For more about Sunday, September 29th... we will be having a church picnic at Testerman Park right after church that day. The GPS group has decided that we’ve gone long enough without a meal outside, and it should be rectified immediately! But not in the heat! We are praying for good (cooler) weather and a great turnout from our church family. There will be more details as we get closer, but make sure you mark this day on your calendar.
Now, looking at the Scripture above. This was Jesus speaking to His disciples. As I mentioned in an August message, there is a spiritual war raging on around us, whether we know it or not. Jesus says that “...the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me...,” meaning Satan. Sometimes we think of God and Satan, or Jesus and Satan, as being almost equal. Yet, Jesus says plainly that he (Satan) has no claim on Him. Jesus will continue to do as the Father, God, has commanded Him to do. This is right before Jesus will be crucified. Jesus is set to go there and be the sacrifice for all of humanity, once and for all. He will do this so that the world may know that He loves the Father. This should strike you that Jesus and the Father are absolutely two separate entities. Still, we know that they are One and the same. Jesus does the Will of the Father.
How many of us want to do what God asks us to do? What stops us, I wonder? Usually it’s because it’s something out of our comfort zone. If it was something easy to do, something we could do within our own power, then when people look to see how God is working in our lives, they will see us, not Him. No, I think when God is working in us, and we are following His calling, it will be obvious that it could not be done on our own, but only through the sheer presence of God in our lives. However, that is a daunting task, to let God have complete control, to relinquish our independence. It is uncomfortable stepping into a new venture, ministry, or mission. God won’t call all of us to be Youth Pastors or Missionaries. But He will call us to be obedient, as Jesus was, to go where He leads us. Otherwise, why even bother searching out His Will and direction in our lives. May our hearts be softened, our ears open, and our hands willing to do whatever He calls us to do. God bless.