Month: December 2015

He finished. Did you?

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John 17

1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

As we look at the end of another calendar year and anticipate a new one starting how close are we to the words of Jesus at the end of His assigned time? Jesus came to earth with a very specific job to do. That job had many facets to it and required great amounts of time, energy, conversation, leadership, discipleship training, food preparation, healings, spiritual battles where He cast out demons, and even raising people from the dead. (The next time you think your job is hard, look at His.)

 

Just before His arrest, Jesus knew that He had completed all that he was supposed to do. As we end another year, have we done all that we were supposed to do this year? Have we spent time with the Lord listening to Him, enjoying Him, walking with Him? Have we spent money for His kingdom purposes? Have we used our money to care for the poor, reach the lost, and support our church? Have we used our talents, our natural abilities for kingdom work? Have we accomplished tasks for God? Have we served our employers and worked for them as for Christ? Have we taken of our free time on a regular basis to serve the Lord allowing others in need to dictate our schedules? Have we cared for the lost reaching out in love and compassion with the power of the gospel? Have we prayed as we should focusing on the word of God, the messages from God, the requests that God wants us to pray for? Have we enjoyed worshipping the Lord realizing just how much He has given to us so that our worship is an overflow of love for His grace?

 

Can we say with Jesus, I have completed the work God has led me to do in 2015? Perhaps you did most of what God wanted you to do. Let Him know that in 2016 you want to be more in line with His to-do list than yours so you can at the end of 2016 be closer to saying that you have done all that He led you to do.

 

I apologize for my lack of devotionals the past two weeks. My days have not been my own and my schedule has been thrown off. I do plan to get back to this schedule next week. In the mean time, be sure to stay in the Word every day.

 

Yesterday was a wonderful day of ministry. From helping a mom and her toddler son off of a snow bank to giving an elderly man a ride home from the bus stop, to witnessing to the crew from ServePro, to encouraging a man under great pressure, to counseling a husband and wife for their fourth session, to a ServePro manager telling me that she is looking for a church and will be coming to see us, to taking my niece to lunch, it was a great day of shining the light of Christ to others. When you pray for opportunities to shine God’s light, look around you, you will see people in need whom you can help and whom you can point to the Savior.

 

As you know from last night’s invitation, tonight is our Family Fun night. During the service hour I will be asking you for lessons learned from 2015. I have a dozen or more that I am bringing and would like to hear from yours.   Not many signed up for the baked potato dinner. We will make a few more potatoes than those who signed up. If you are planning to eat with us but did not sign up please let Bobbi know. Text or call her at 630-696-2444.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Come to our New Years Eve Family Fun Night

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You are invited to our
New Years Eve Family Fun night
here at church from 7:00-10:00!
Join us for games at 7:00
For a baked potato bar at 8:00
For a look back and a look ahead at 9:00

What did we learn in 2015

that will guide us in 2016?
 
 
We are thankful to God for all of His
riches to us and cannot
think of a better way to end the
year than rejoicing together
in Him.

 

The first Christmas Eve

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Luke 2

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14   “Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

It is impossible for us to imagine life without Christmas. But for the shepherds on the hillside that night there was no anticipation of the Christmas morning for there was no Christmas.  Christ, the single One reason for Christmas, had not come yet.  There was no Christmas Eve and no Christmas morning.  But that night, as they were doing their job of tending their sheep, they enjoyed the first Christmas Eve.

It is also impossible for us to imagine an angel in the sky hovering between heaven and earth and speaking directly to us. But the marking of the first Christmas Eve was just that.  For while ordinary men were doing ordinary stuff an out-of-the-ordinary event took place.  The angel was speaking directly to these shepherds proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, the promised King.  They knew the prophesies and so the message was received.

We cannot begin to imagine the next part of the message when the sky lit up with angels, a multitude of the heavenly host. What must that have looked like?  These ordinary men are now certain that a most extraordinary event was taking place.  But these angels were not there to tell the shepherds about themselves and their glory but to tell them about Jesus and His glory.  “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

As we enjoy Christmas Eve, let us take time to worship the Lord Jesus. Let’s place ourselves, as much as possible, in the shepherds sandals and enjoy the awe of that first Christmas Eve but let us not stop at the angels but follow them to the worship of the newly born Savior.

I am so looking forward to our Christmas Eve service tonight. We will continue our December theme, “At the Name of Jesus… we worship.”  Join us for an hour of worshipping the Savior, the Lord Jesus. 

Do you know anyone who is in need of a Christmas dinner? We have some food available and would like to put it to good use.  Contact me today and we will be sure to get it out. 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

As we enjoy many symbols of Christmas, remember to worship

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Matthew 2

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Christmas is really busy time of the year.  From getting last minute gifts to finishing off work assignments so we can enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas day without work hanging over our heads.  We run hither and yon making sure all plans are in place and all will work out for the family and friends we are sharing time with. We spend money freely because we love those whom we are spending for.  As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Let’s go back 2000 years to the second set of visitors that came to see the baby King.  Yes, they came bearing gifts and maybe that is why we give gifts.  Yes, they came following a star which may be why we put stars up on Christmas trees and in our decorations.  Yes, they came to make peace with the new king which may be why we look at Christmas as a peaceful season.  The wise men from the East came looking for the promised King and found Him.

But the primary reason that they said they came was to worship the King.  They came from afar, they came bearing gifts, they came following a star and they came to worship.  As we enjoy other symbolisms from the Magi we must also take time to worship the King.  He is no longer in a manger, though we enjoy that picture and He is no longer in need of a mother, though we enjoy that picture.  He no longer needs a star to be found nor do we need to bring gifts to broker peace, He took care of that.

As you come to Christmas this year, take time to do what the Wise Men came to do, stop and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.  Worship Him in song, worship Him in giving gifts, worship Him in loving others, and worship Him in caring for someone else for His sake and in His name.  Find a needy family to care for.  Find a shut-in or a lonely person to sit and talk to.  Give time to speak to someone of Jesus Christ.  Worship the Savior with your life.

Our Christmas Eve service tomorrow night begins at 7:00 and lasts one hour.  It will be a blessed time of singing, reading and worshipping the Savior born and laid in the manger.  Make this worship service part of your Christmas tradition. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

At the name of Jesus: Lives were changed

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  1. A lame man was healed, “Silver and gold have I none but such as I have I give unto you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Acts 3:6, Acts 9:34
  2. Demons left men and entered pigs.
  3. Demons left women who were being used by men. Acts 16:18 But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
  4. At the name of Jesus 3,000 were saved on Pentecost. Acts 2:32-40 3:22-4:4 5000 more saved
  5. Difficult people are saved – Acts 9 Saul of Tarsus
  6. Reconciliation with God and with man occurs. Jesus takes our sin and gives us His righteousness we then dwell with one another in Jesus’ righteousness ever being reconciled to one another because of Jesus. Eph 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
  7. Galatians 3:26-28 All are made one, Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free, men and women, all are brought near and made one in Jesus Christ. The promise of God to Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
  8. Galatians 4:-7 in Christ we are adopted through Him who came in the fullness of time.
  9. Ephesians 1, In Christ we are blessed, chosen adopted and redeemed all to the praise of His glory.
  10. Ephesians 2, at the name of Jesus we are made alive in Him as His workmanship created by Him to do good works.
  11. Ephesians 2:19-22 in Christ we are made one and built together to be a holy habitation of God.
  12. Ephesians 4:20-24 In Christ we put off the old and put on the new being renewed in the Spirit of our minds putting on the new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness.
  13. Ephesians 5:18 and following, In Christ we are filled with the Holy Spirit and our lives change in Him.

Philippians 2 Christ was humbled and then exalted. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, kurios, of all and of them

These are my notes from yesterday morning, at least some of them. I have become more and more thrilled at all that Jesus did and still does.  To think that at Christmas time we have the liberty to talk freely and open of our Savior is a great privilege.  Talk to someone about Him.  He gives us much to talk about.

Unity is beautiful to God

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Psalm 133

1     Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2     It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

3     It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.

Unity of His created ones is a beautiful thing to God. When Jesus came to earth, the reason we celebrate Christmas, He was always at unity with God the Father and with the Holy Spirit.  They worked together to accomplish all the will of God.  (Read John 17 and see how committed Jesus was to the unity of the purposes of God.)  God loves it when we, His people, His followers, live in unity.

In fact, our unity with one another is as beautiful to God as the sanctifying oil running down the high-priest preparing him to serve in the Temple. The sanctifying oil enabled the high-priest to enter the Holy of Holies and to offer atoning sacrifices for all of the people.  It was a beautiful thing to God.  Our unity is just a beautiful to Him.

The dew that waters the mountain of God bringing forth grass and fruit and watering His people is a beautiful part of God’s creation to God. Our unity is just as beautiful to Him.

The unity of us, the people of God, is a choice we make. When we, led by the Spirit of God and surrounded by the Word of God, work as one mind, one heart, and one body, our unity is beautiful to God.  We mistakenly think that the place we worship must be beautiful.  I am not against aesthetics.  However, God sees our unity in worship and service as the most beautiful part of our worship of Him.

If you are not at one with another follower of Jesus Christ, go to that brother or sister and make right so that you can be beautiful to God together. Make Christmas special by being at one with those you worship.

Justin and his family came in last night. We are thrilled to have them with us. Stop by and see them when you can.

Pray with me for the Rivera family. We are working together for the healing of their home. 

Pray for the boys at Victory Academy who are going home tomorrow for the holidays. Pray that they will be able to live new lives in Christ with their families. 

I have opened a Twitter account #SteveSchroeder6  Become a follower into this new, for me, endeavor. 

Sunday morning I plan to bring a message on “In the Name of Jesus lives change” What a great time of year to speak on the wonderful person of Jesus Christ. 

Pray for RU tonight that God will continue to bring new people in and that those who have come will return and commit to discipleship of their hearts in Christ.

Sunday evening at 6:00 we, all who want to come join me, are going to go Christmas Caroling to the homes around the church. The more the merrier!  It is going to be pretty mild compared to previous years.  Join us to present the love and joy of Christ to those who really don’t want to come to church.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

More of Christmas party 

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Ugly Sweater Christmas party 

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Lots of giving, taking, laughter and screaming!!!! O and of course ugly sweaters 

    
 

Testing

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I am currently testing out how to make this page exclusive for teenagers. If you are not wanting to receive teen post, I believe you can UNSELECT the GFL Teens category. If you are a teen you just need to ONLY select the GFL Teen category. I am also trying to make this work on twitter.

 

If you are receiving a bunch of emails pls bear with my website editing.

How much calmness of soul do you have?

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Psalm 131

1 Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me.

2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

3 O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.

In verse 2 the Psalmist compares his calm to that of a weaned child next to his mother. This is quite a picture. Having had six children I can see in my mind our infant children before they were weaned. When they were hungry and near their mother they were not calm. In fact, they were just the opposite of calm. It did not matter what their mother was doing, she needed to stop it and start feeding that hungry and restless child. The longer she would wait to start their feeding time the more restless and anxious they would get until they would break into a full-fledged cry.

But the Psalmist does not compare his calm to a nursing child but to a weaned child. When a child is switched from mom’s milk to regular food, within a short time they forget about mom’s milk and fill themselves on the pureed peas, applesauce and so on. When the weaned child is filled with table food and is cradled by their mother they are truly in a calmed and comforted state. It is this state of calm that the Psalmist compares his calm to when he quiets his soul in the Lord.

This quieting of the soul comes when the Psalmist’s heart is not proud nor his eyes looking at things he should not have. The calm comes when he concerns himself with his own life and not with things to great for his understanding and undertaking. By living without pride and without covetous looks and living within his own understanding he found calmness of soul compared to the calmness of a weaned child in the arms of his mother.

How often are you that calm of soul? How would you like to live in a state of perpetual calmness of soul? Think about this for a while today and ask God to help you understand it to the point of living it.

Thanks for your prayers yesterday. I did go up to Victory Academy Sunday afternoon and spent time with the Masseys and with the staff and with the boys. The boys go home this Saturday and need prayers as they are now thinking through what they are going to do differently. Pray for a blessed time as an encouragement of the work of God in their lives.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make Sunday’s Christmas program a success. Christ was exalted among us and through us. It was indeed a great time together in the house of the Lord.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Satan and his hoards produce nothing of value; true blessing only comes from God

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Psalm 129

1     “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”

Let Israel now say—

2     “Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;

Yet they have not prevailed against me.

3     The plowers plowed on my back;

They made their furrows long.”

4     The Lord is righteous;

He has cut in pieces the cords of the wicked.

5     Let all those who hate Zion

Be put to shame and turned back.

6     Let them be as the grass on the housetops,

Which withers before it grows up,

7     With which the reaper does not fill his hand,

Nor he who binds sheaves, his arms.

8     Neither let those who pass by them say,

“The blessing of the Lord be upon you;

We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

Those who are against the people of the Lord are not going to prosper.  They are like grass that grows on a roof, it has no depth and cannot produce anything of value but is only going to be cut off. They will not bear fruit, they will not achieve what they think they will achieve.

Satan is against God’s people from the beginning.  He still has not prospered.  Everything he does is based on deception.  Satan has nothing to show for 7000 years of rebellion and yet he continues to act like he is in charge and that his work is of value.

The blessings, the riches of God, which He abundantly pours out on those that fear and trust Him are awesome in this life and will be with us forever.  Satan only offers temporary riches which do not satisfy and deceptive power which dies at death.  But the blessings of the Lord are upon His people and we bless Him for them all.

“Lord, may I ever see the difference and shine the light on the true value that we who follow you enjoy.  May I never be envious of the deceitful riches.”

This Sunday is our Christmas program which will be a time of focusing on Christ in song and in word. Be on time as we will begin at 10:30.  Pray for us all to be drawn closer to the Savior and His work on our behalf. 

Friday night is our teens Christmas party and Saturday night is our adult Christmas party. The world’s parties are nothing like ours.  The need drinks to liven them up, we just have the joy of the Lord and the fun of the pure.  Join us for nights of true enjoyment.

Yesterday morning an Aurora policeman, a father of four and a 26 year veteran, died suddenly. Pray for the Groom family as they deal with the sudden death of their father and husband.  Pray for them to seek the Lord and His peace and grace.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS 

 

Specific results of living in the fear of God

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Psalm 128

1     Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,

Who walks in His ways.

2     When you eat the labor of your hands,

You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.

3     Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine

In the very heart of your house,

Your children like olive plants

All around your table.

4     Behold, thus shall the man be blessed

Who fears the Lord.

5     The Lord bless you out of Zion,

And may you see the good of Jerusalem

All the days of your life.

6     Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

The Psalmist begins the Psalm with an all-encompassing statement about the fear of the Lord.  Blessed, he says, is everyone who fears the Lord and walks in His way.  (There is a close parallel here to Psalm 1.)  The first result is a general happiness and wellness.  When we live in the fear and obedience of God, life works.  We labor, we get paid, we pay our bills, and life is good.

Then the blessings are spelled out in the home. He uses poetic language here that we have to think through a little bit.  When a man fears the Lord his wife will be like a fruitful vine in the heart of the house.  In a society where all non-water beverage was grown on vines, a fruitful vine was something that was a blessing.  Whenever you wanted a fresh drink you could pick some grapes, crush them, and drink the fresh juice.  A wife who is a fruitful vine is always producing, always refreshing, and always a benefit to the very heart of the house.

Children will be like olive plants.  An olive plant is not producing olives yet but will.  When parents fear the Lord children are raised in preparation of becoming productive members of the home and of the society.  The children, though not yet producing, are growing with a purpose to produce. We have seen the antithesis of this today where children are raised by lazy parents and are taught to be lazy, to get welfare, to live off of others and not to produce for themselves.  These are not raised to fear the Lord and do not become the adults God wants them to be.

He then closes with this, “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.  The Lord bless you out of Zion, And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children.”

Living in the fear of the Lord has many, many benefits for us both in eternity and in this life.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Tonight at our prayer meeting we will be taking the entire time in prayer.  We will be using the Four R’s from Transforming Prayer to look at Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1.  Next Wednesday we will get back to our regular schedule but I want to burn this system of listening to God from His word into our minds and lives.

Pray for our Kids4Truth tonight as we have many kids coming who are learning God’s holy word.  Pray for our youth group as we have a good group of teens each week who hear the Word and have a chance to apply it to their lives.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

The most important family Psalm      

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Psalm 127:1–5

1 Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

If I could put one Psalm in every home it would be this one, Psalm 127. I have done many types of work to make a living. Some types of work require great physical strength and stamina; others require great mental skills and attention to detail. Some require different amounts of both physical and mental abilities. Each of these work types would send me home tired and hungry in need of R&R to get ready for the next day or the next shift. I have worked straight shifts and swing shifts, singles and doubles. But nothing I have ever done for work is near as wearying or as rewarding as parenting.

 

The first verse speaks of vain labor. “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.” I have done jobs that had to be redone. The first time through the effort was in vain. That hurts. But when people spend their parenting years in vain only to look back at failure after failure, that is a far greater hurt, even a grief.

 

How do we avoid vain or worthless labor in parenting?   The Psalmist tells us to let the Lord build our house. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Before reading books or magazines on parenting, seek God’s wisdom. He is the ultimate Parent and every action He took toward His children was with perfect wisdom. God parented with love, with consistency and with discipline. He never pushed His children over the edge with His frustration and they never doubted His love or His fairness.

 

As parents, study this Psalm and the God behind it. Determine to spend your parenting labor accomplishing the good growth of your children who are like arrows in the hands of a mighty man. (Chew on that one for awhile.) If you have questions about parenting, come see Bobbi or me or have us for dinner and let’s look at parenting together.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Do you trust God to carry you? Isaiah 46 & Psalm 121

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We all like the poem, Footprints. But do we really want to relinquish all controls of life and let God carry us. In this message we see that God is carrying us. When we surrender to this we have peace and rest.

Do you trust God to carry you through life? Isaiah 46 & Psalm 121 from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.

Are you carrying or being carried? Isaiah 46

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Idols have to be carried even when they are stolen. The God of heaven carries His own people

Are you carrying or being carried, Isaiah 46 from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.