In the English language we do not do very well at expressing LOVE. When I say love what is the first thing that comes to mind. In my experience 9 out of 10 of you are thinking of something related to what I call fluffy love. This is the love that makes you feel good. Doing something because if feels good. Some people love to play golf. Why? It makes them feel good.
The Greek language has four words that describe different kinds of love. But in many of our Bibles they are all translated as Love. Lets take a quick look at these four kinds of love
Agape: The love of God toward us, his children and this is the love we show toward God. This is an unconditional love. No mater how unloveable we are God still loves us and wants what is best for us.
Eros: This word is used to depict sexual passion, an intimate love.
Philia: we often transit this as Friendship today. It is loyalty toward others, that good feeling love we have for an activity.
Storge: This is the affection we have for our parents or children. This is a natural empathy.
In the New Testament the word translated as Love the most is Agape. 2 Timothy 4:10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved (agape) this world… John 12:43 for they loved (agape) the praise of men more than the praise of God John 3:19 and this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved (agape) darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Matthew 5:43-46 … But I say to you, Love (Agape) your enemies and pray for those who persecute you….
God loves all people. Not because of any need or desire of his own, not because of what we are doing or even what we can do for him. God loves us and wants what is best for us no matter what. The above passage in Matthew is hard for us to embrace. God tells us to love our enemies. We are to want what is best for them. We are not to talk bad about them or do anything that could bring harm to them. But instead we are to go out of our way to do what is best for them and to Pray for them.
In his service, Keith
In his Service, Keith
Although the weather doesn’t show it, we’re going into a season of changes. Some are more than ready for it, some don’t care, and some strongly resist it. I encourage you to embrace the changes that are coming.
From late October through early January, there’ll be a variety of activities here. Our annual Trunk or Treat is this Saturday night at the building, 4–7PM. This has built a good reputation for the church. More of our members are participating, as are more neighbors. This year there will be more activities, so more of us are needed to help. Contact Vern or Denette Alstot or Joe Tipps.
We always have opportunities to help needy folks in our community have a better Thanksgiving and Christmas during November. Announcements will be coming soon. And December 9th will be our annual Christmas party. It’s a good time to invite family and friends, as a way to introduce them to the church.
The morning sermon series are designed for that as well. In November, we’ll talk about “Thinking and Thanking Beyond” what we usually think to thank God for. In December, we’ll explore why Jesus came as a king, and what that means for us. And in January, we’ll probe God’s purpose for Jesus’ human life and ministry.
A month ago, the Elders announced that they were beginning a search process to replace me in July, 2018. They request your prayers, support and patience for that process. They welcome your questions and suggestions. It takes many months to complete this task, and to have a new person and his family in place.
The Elders also announced that besides Joe and me, other men will preach on Sunday mornings. Those men currently include the Elders, Eddie Ewald and Cameron Keffer. One of those men will preach each month over the next several months. Encourage them and the Elders as we initiate this new model for us.
In January, the Financial Peace University will be offered as a three month Sunday morning class. When we presented this last Fall, some folks from the community came, so we hope to have more come this time, and stay! Please pray that we reach more people who have not yet given their lives to Christ. And please be praying for people you know whom you can bring to God.
Yours in Christ, Dave
Several years ago I was asked by a friend to lead a ladies devotional. I froze in my tracks and probably had the deer in the headlights look on my face! I had never done that before and it terrified me. Multiple times over the next week or so several scriptures about teaching came to me. After about the 5th or 6th time I just looked up and said “okay I get the message God, I’ll do it”. With a lot of prayer and preparation I agreed to lead the devo. Surprisingly, words actually came out of my mouth and I survived. I tell you this because I have been trying to pay more attention and be mindful of what God may be guiding me to. In the last week or so Philippians 4:6-8 has shown up for me no less than six times. It has me thinking; am I being thankful enough? Am I praying enough? am I too anxious about something?
The following is from a daily devotional that I get in my email.
In Christ, Donna
When Your Whole Life Stinks By: Kelly Balarie
Do you ever have a hard time seeing the bright side of things? I do. After pulling all of our luggage, pillows and boxes from the car, I plopped on the couch in my brand new home, in a brand new city.
It’s not safe enough here, in this neighborhood. They are doing construction right next to us. There are no families around. The anxious thoughts were eating my moment of joy.
The previous night didn’t help. Our train ride to the new home was horrendous. We slept in the passenger car. My three-year old daughter pleaded in 30-minute increments for a tissue for her nose. The door rattled. The train leaned in, then out, as it went down the track. I slept for half an hour.
It’s easy for me to see what’s wrong instead of what’s right. Things that stress me instead of what God has put there to bless me. Everything annoying, disturbing and wrong instead of the things that are right. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
What about you? What does your mind go to? What do you reflect on?
You know, that morning after our horrendous night on the train, I saw a woman I’d met earlier. After smiling, I asked her, “How was your night’s sleep?” Her answer? “Good, I got some naps in.” She chose to speak what was good rather than sinking into what was bad. She still smiled, her eyes looked happy and her face seemed ready for the day.
Later, I passed by my cabin neighbor. She recounted the night by saying, “Last night, I was awake. So all I did was stare at the beauty of the wide-open skies. You should have seen the stars. They were magnificent.” Again, this woman chose to find the find the good in the bad. What is the good in your bad?
God has left it for us, if we choose to see it. We can see Provider God over our anxiety. We can see hope rise above uncertainty. We can see little lights shine out from our vast darkness. We can give thanks for spurts of goodness when everything else is blah.
We can always: Praise God’s character. Give thanks for eternity. Remember the good times. Dwell on God’s promise that He’ll always be with us. Decide to truly believe God is our Provider. When Jesus came into this dark world, He brought goodness. And even better, He left it. Our job is to search it out, to draw it near, and to return to thinking about it, even when we’re prone to forget. This keeps our head up and our hope strong