Month: June 2016

Sharing the Gospel in Chicago 

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Hugging our Gospel coach Don.

Taking the train to Milenium park to give the Gospel. 

Kyle giving the Gospel to park security 

Kendall and Sasha giving the Italian ice man!! 

Stefani and other sharing the Gospel after playing frisbee. 


Our Gospel sharing team afterwords.

The true sheep hear the Good Shepherd

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John 10

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

In using an illustration from culture Jesus would take a simple example to explain an eternal truth.  The simple example here was simple for them who saw shepherds and sheep every day but it is a bit lost to us who have only seen shepherds and sheep in pictures and movies.

In an open field, shepherds would take the time to make a paddock of stones.  The wall of the paddock would be high enough to keep the sheep in and the predators out.  The paddock may or may not have an actual gate on it but it was common for the shepherd to sleep at the gate making sure that whoever or whatever gained entrance to the paddock had to go through the shepherd.  He then was the gate-keeper for the well-being of his sheep.

The sheep, kept by one shepherd, knew the voice of their shepherd.  If two or three flocks were kept in one paddock, in the morning a shepherd would make his particular call to his sheep and only his sheep would follow him out of the paddock.  The sheep of another shepherd would not follow him out for they did not recognize his voice.

John 10:7  Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

Using this illustration, Jesus made it clear that He was the door and that His sheep followed His voice.  He protected His sheep and led them according to His will.

As we go through our Christian lives we who know the Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, we hear His voice in the Bible, in sermons, and in Christian books.  We recognize the voice of the Lord as He speaks truth and peace to our souls.  We know the difference between the voices of this world and His voice for we know His voice.  When we seek direction we are awaiting the familiar voice of the Lord Jesus to lead us.

Why do some church members seem to be unguided and disinterested in spiritual things?  Perhaps they don’t know the voice of the Shepherd.  Why do some who call themselves Christians have unbiblical philosophies?  Perhaps they don’t know the voice of the Shepherd.  When Jesus speaks from His word to us those of us who know Him also know His voice.  We are in agreement as to His messages and His calls.  We follow His truths according to His word. We live under the Shepherds leadership, know and follow His voice.  He is our peace and our security just as the sheep found their comfort in their shepherd.

Thank you for your prayers for last night’s community event.  It went very well and we had a great time with the people of the community.  There was great peace amongst us and I now pray that those involved will know that it was the Lord who was leading us and will seek His leading in their lives.

Pray for us this evening as we have a neighbor’s wedding to attend.  I have been asked to bring a prayer before the reception.  I will be praying 1 Corinthians 13. 

We are once again looking forward to Sunday and the gathering of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are His bride gathering to be together with Him.  Pray for God to bring His people together with joy and peace in believing. 

Our offerings have been down for a month.  Pray with us for God to meet our financial needs. 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Don’t ignore the testimony of the changed person

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John 9

30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”

38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

 

The enlightened man, enlightened by Jesus opening his eyes, has more godly wisdom than the religious leaders did.  Indeed a marvelous thing had happened.  So marvelous was this miracle that the man now seeing stated that this had never happened before!  The One who had the power to make a blind man see must be from God.  How clear of a statement this is.  Of course Jesus came from God and of course he was God in the flesh.  His very acts demonstrated that Jesus was not a mere human.  No mere human could ever open the eyes of a man born blind.

Why is it that the one changed is not given more credibility?  A drunkard that is saved and whose life is redeemed and rescued from alcohol, or a drug user whose worthless life becomes profitable and caring, or a fornicator who completely leaves his or her lusts to live for Christ and turn away from their sexual sin, or a homosexual who comes to Christ and leaves the lifestyle of sin behind, or a profane person who in Christ gets a new tongue, or an angry person who with the Holy Spirit becomes a peaceful person, or a bitter person who in the love of God forgives and releases all of their bitterness, these changed people should be looked at with respect and should be given opportunity to tell others how they changed and who changed them.

But society today is not much different from Jesus’ day.  To accept that Jesus gave the man his sight was to accept that Jesus came from God.  They did not want to accept Jesus so they denied this man’s new condition.  People today are skeptical of the change in the life of a Christian.  They don’t believe it will last or they don’t think it is real.  They are glad for the difference but won’t credit Jesus for the change.

Yet, when Jesus came back to the man who could now see and made sure the man knew who He was, the man worshipped Jesus for giving him his sight.  We too gather with others who were born blind that Jesus had made to see and we worship Him together.  We know who made the difference and we know what He did the day He came into our lives.  He called us, He justified us, He washed us and He gave us our salvation and our new life in Him.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Some of you volunteered to make pies for me for tonight’s sale.  I will be at the church or near the church.  Call me to let me know when you are coming by.

We have four teens with Ben at the “Lead the Cause” missions outreach in Chicago.  They will be going out today to talk to people in the streets about Christ.  Pray for open doors for the gospel for Kyle, Kendall, Kameron and Stefani.  There will be 500 teens plus their leaders going out. This should be a life-changing time for hundreds of people.  Do pray for this amazing outreach.

Be in prayer for Sunday.  I am preparing a message from Isaiah 62 and other passages looking at the call to the watchman. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

I was blind, now I see

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John 9:1–25

1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.

7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.”

10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”

11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees.

14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.

15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”

16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.

17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.

19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;

21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”

22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.

23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”

25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

There are several accounts from the life of Christ that should grab our attention; this is one of them.   A family endured the agony of a blind child in a day when handicaps were seen as something evil, some sort of judgment on those who had them. For forty years their son, now a man, lived the life of a blind beggar. The family knew they had done nothing sinful to deserve this malady but endured the harassment of the public.

 

When Jesus came by he had a plan that was at least forty years old (from eternity Jesus knew of this event.). Jesus was going to give this man sight so that God could be glorified. On the Sabbath, Jesus did good to a man and the Pharisees went into attack mode. As you read this account your heart goes out to the healed man and to his family. They were being thrown out of the synagogue because Jesus healed a blind man! This is absurd to say the least. The man is grilled, his parents are grilled, and the Pharisees are trying to find fault in a God-ordained, faultless situation.

 

The man born blind gives the greatest answer he could give. He concludes by saying, “Whether this man is a sinner or not I don’t know. What I do know is this, once I was blind but now I see.” When Jesus comes by He gives sight to all of us who are blinded by our sin. Those who argue about Christ don’t know what He can do and have never enjoyed His life-giving and sight-giving grace. Were you blind? Now do you see? There is no greater testimony.

 

Dave is going in for a shot in his back tonight. Pray that this will bring him so needed relief.   Pray for him to be able to focus through his pain.

 

Pam called me yesterday and she too is in pain. Pray for the antibiotics to help. Pray for her peace too.

 

Tonight is our Wednesday night prayer and Bible study. We will have a kids club and some kids from VBS will be coming. Youth group will also be in full swing. Join us for a great time together.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS