MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship. Sunday December 12, 2021
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        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
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      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
      • Bible Trivia
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  • Joyful Joyful We Adore You
  • Candles Glowing, Promise Showing
  • How Great Our Joy
  • Joy To The World
      • Isaiah 64:1–9ESV

  • The Peace of God

    Have you ever known someone who seemed to have total peace in the midst of utter chaos?
    I want to share briefly of a friend of mine, her name is Sue. It’s possible some of you who have been in Bible Study Fellowship might know her. I met Sue more than 20 years ago. Every time I think of Sue I can’t help but think of one particular evening at an end of school year BBQ with about 300 very high energy, high school students at Lake Tapps Park. Picture if you will hundreds of kids running around, frisbees, footballs, waterballoons, and believe it or not snowballs flying. Smack in the middle of it is Sue on her grill, grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. I kid you not, snowballs were ricocheting off the lid of the grill as she peacefully turned the burgers. It didn’t even seem to phase her.
    I think of Sue a lot when I think of peace in the midst of chaos, because I know that at the core of her peace was a unshakeable faith in God. It grounded her, and my hope is to share with you that peace as well.
    Jesus came into a world of chaos. Jesus’ ministry begins in a world of chaos and John the Baptist was his forerunner preparing the way. Listen to these words of Luke:
    Luke 3:7–18 ESV
    He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
    A reading from the Gospel of Luke
    Thanks be to God.
    Thank you Drew. Now I’d like to invite Rayona to come and read another passage for us:
    Philippians 4:4–7 ESV
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    A reading from God’s Holy Word,
    Thanks be to God.
    PRAYER
    [Rayona leads in prayer]
    Thank you Rayona.
    Our passages seem in such contrast. Luke tells us of John the Baptist out in the wilderness preaching. People came to him and he says, “You brood of vipers!”
    You know I don’t remember anywhere in my preaching classes where we were told to begin by insulting your listeners. And as we read further we find that these were not just common folk, these were likely the religious people because he warns them not to say, “we have Abraham as our father.”
    And curiously our passage ends with Lk 3:18
    Luke 3:18 ESV
    So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
    So it’s good news to be able to call people a brood of vipers? Well, there you have it. You see preaching has never been about entertainment. It IS about telling the truth - the truth from God’s Word.
    In our second reading from this morning, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians we read:
    Philippians 4:4 ESV
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
    And there in is the balance of the Good News. There-in, is the balance of the message of Christmas. We remember Jesus came to earth, and I think of John 3:17
    John 3:17 ESV
    For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
    Paul goes on:
    Philippians 4:5 ESV
    Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
    Your faith in God, your trust in the Lord is grounded in good reasoning. It’s not some pollyanna, pie in the sky, dream. It’s reasonable. Jesus was not simply a good teacher, he is the way, the truth and the life!
    And it’s not just “the Lord is near,” It’s “The Lord is at hand!”
    Verses 6 & 7 are among those that many Christians memorize. Let’s look at verse 6 first.
    Philippians 4:6 ESV
    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    In the past couple years during our current COVID pandemic, anxiety levels in our society have sky rocketed. People report their stress levels are higher than ever. Personally, I think part of the reason is we haven’t been able to go anywhere and the media have been working so hard to out do one another to get ratings.
    “Be anxious”, “Be afraid”, “Worry”. These are themes of the media. As I was preparing this week for our message I was listening to the language used by the news media. Now remember they are supposed to be reporting what IS happening, not trying to predict the future. Yet if you really listen, listen for how often they use the words, “may” or “could” - “this may lead to...” “or this could...”
    Well, the truth is the world “may” end tomorrow, and I “could” trip and fall off of this platform and break my ankle. Just because it “may” or “could” happen does NOT mean it will. Yet the world tells us to worry, to be afraid, to be anxious. This is the antithesis of God’s Word.
    “Do not be anxious about ANYTHING.”
    And then we have the wonderful 3 letter conjunction, “but”. It cancels out what went before, right? So cancelling out the anxiety, fear, and worry is what?
    Prayer and supplication. Supplication is a word we don’t use much anymore. If you were to read this in the NIV it would read:
    Philippians 4:6 NIV
    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
    So we see the word “supplication” replaced with the word “petition”. Multiple translations are the layman’s greek. The greek word is a derivative of δέομαι which means to plead or to beg. It has the sense of asking humbly, which is supplication and at the same time to beg or ask repeatedly which is the sense of petition.
    Philippians 4:6 ESV
    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    And what is our prayer to be grounded in? Thanksgiving. It ‘s a reminder of who it is that is in control. When I give thanks to God I have to look around me and see how God has worked in the past and what is around me I’m thankful for. This changes my attitude from one of worry about the future, to one of faith that the God who was faithful in the past will continue to be faithful in the future.
    That’s not to say that everything in my past went the way I wanted it to go. I’m sure you’re able to say the same thing. Yet when we think about it, we can think of how we’ve grown through those situation, how God has led us through those circumstances, and that gives us a springboard if you will to trust God with our future as well.
    And so we make our requests not to an object, but to a person, to God. And this exhortation comes with a promise:
    Philippians 4:7 ESV
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    The peace of God. Close your eyes for a moment and think of what you imagine that to be. Take a deep breath, as you exhale imagine all the worry and care being blown out and exiting your body. As you take in a new breath remember that God breathed life into every living thing. Breathe in God’s life giving spirit.
    Ian Major Thomas wrote:
    “In order to inspire you must first expire.”
    Those words are profound to me. In aquatics I work with lost of students who complain they’re always short of breath when they swim. Most often it’s because they’re holding their breath. So when they go to breathe, they can’t get a full breath. No matter how many times they turn or lift their head for a breath they can’t get a full breath. Why? Because they’re holding on to their old breath.
    When we choose, rather than to hold on to our anxiety, and worry to let it go and instead to breathe out thankfulness and gratitude, we can breathe in that peace that passes all understanding, and it guards our hearts and minds from the anxiety and worry that plague us so often.
    I’m not saying we don’t have cares in this world that weigh on us, we do. But rather than holding on to them tightly, lets trust God with them:
    Acknowledge them
    Breathe in God’s life giving Spirit
    Release the worry to God
    Align - yourself with God and His promises
    It’s magic. Okay, it’s not magic, it’s really God’s plan from His word, but if you look I’ve used the acronym ABRA as in ABRA CADABRA.
    A - Acknowledge them
    B - Breathe in God’s life giving Spirit
    R - Release the worry to God
    A - Align - yourself with God and His promises
    My hope is that will help you remember it.
    In closing let’s just review God’s Word from Philippians:
    Philippians 4:4–7 ESV
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    AMEN.
      • Luke 3:7–18ESV

      • Philippians 4:4–7ESV

      • Luke 3:18ESV

      • Philippians 4:4ESV

      • John 3:17ESV

      • Philippians 4:5ESV

      • Philippians 4:6ESV

      • Philippians 4:6ESV

      • Philippians 4:6ESV

      • Philippians 4:7ESV

      • Philippians 4:4–7ESV

  • What Can I Give Him
  • O Thou Joyful, O Thou Wonderful
      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.

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