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- ReadOur Big Yard Sale!!!Oct 15, 7am
It's that time again for our Big Annual Mission Trip Yard Sale. Hey, you know it's a big deal when folks outside of the church are asking about it :)
Here are three practical ways that you can help with the Yard Sale:
1) Donate to the Yard Sale: if you've anything that can be sold, please drop by the office, Monday - Thursday, 8:30am - 4pm.
2) Help with the Yard Sale: there's always a lot of work involved with each Yard Sale, and we do appreciate your willingness to participate. Here are some time slots to consider:
6am - 7am: Setup
7am - 9:30am: First Shift
9:30am - 12pm: Second Shift
12pm - 1pm: Cleanup
Please contact either Mike Lewis or Pastor Aaron if any of these time slots works for you. We really appreciate the help!
3) Pray for the Yard Sale: not only is this a good way to raise funds for next year's mission trip, but it's also gives us the opportunity to build connections with others in the community and share the Gospel. We believe that Tulare is just as much a mission field as anywhere else in the world. So please pray that the Lord would help us to share Him with others.
God Starts with You,
- ReadGood Food For ThoughtThree Weeks of Generosity
Some of the debates that circulated through the early church were about food. Heated arguments would sometimes lead to simmering hurt feelings. Of all the topics to wolf down, this one, for many reasons, took the cake. And because food is everywhere and we need it all the time, it’s understandable that people would get upset and treat each other as if they were expired yogurt.
Now, let’s keep in mind that Paul is able to articulate the argument and provide a rational conclusion. Peter was given a vision that all foods are good to eat, and the early church was able to set a precedent on the matter. Furthermore, it was understood that the Christian’s main concern was not whether or not someone was offended, but rather if the offense caused the person to falter in their faith. The interpretation back then was that those who are typically easily offended are often the ones with a weak faith. So even with the aid of God and reason, some people were still hung up on what they and others could and could not eat. People are funny that way. That’s why Paul introduces this concession in Romans 15:1-4:
“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.”
It’s good and right to have excellent reasons for your day to day activities. How much better when we pair it with the humility of Jesus. He is our great King who subjected Himself to a despised death on the cross. Consider your weaker brothers and sisters and you will do well. So will they as they become stronger in the Lord.
Now that’s good food for thought.
- ReadGenerous Response to God's GoodnessThree Weeks of Generosity
After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High,
who has defeated your enemies for you.”
Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.
War in ancient times meant winners and losers. The winners not only defeated their enemies but also scored loot like armor, weapons, treasures, and money. They fought, won and were compensated for their efforts. Sorry losers - no loot for you!
The ancients also understood that all wins and losses on the battlefield were dependent on God. They would still sharpen their swords and tighten their shields, but always appeal to God who is greater than any soldier, general or army. Abram knew this when he went to war against the rebel kings of Sodom and Gomorrah in order to save Lot and his family. He knew that the God who had called him from his native land to become a great nation and to be a “blessing to others” (Gen 12:2) could rely on God because He would “bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt” (Gen 12:3).
Abram could have engaged the enemy with an overwhelming amount of pride knowing that God was in his corner. And he could have left the field, victor with spoils in hand, in a selfish and self absorbed way. Instead, he approached the scene with faith and left with humility, for Abram did not neglect to pay God homage for the great victory. Abram understood God’s goodness, and so, responded with generosity.
In Hebrews 7, the priest Melchizedek is likened to Jesus in order to show the superiority of Jesus over and above the Law and the Priesthood of the Old Testament. Jesus fulfills the requirements of God’s law so that we may be just, righteous and at peace with God. Without His perfect sacrifice, we are regulated to the sacrificial system, which was unable to bring us into eternal union with God. Furthermore, Jesus is also our high priest. It is He who grants us access to the holy presence of God. He is our great mediator, both human and divine and able to understand all of our weaknesses. Without sin He relates with us sinners, exhorts, corrects and encourages through Holy Spirit. He makes us new creations, renews our souls daily and revives spirits through grace and power. Like Abram, we recognize the goodness of God and respond with generosity. This can be done through tithes and offerings just as Abram had done so long ago in gratitude to God’s providence.
The victory is always His. He is responsible for the blessings in our lives. Let us respond to God’s goodness in generosity.
God Starts With You,