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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