Bible Reading for 10/2/13
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight. Psalm 119:35
The above passage from Psalm 119 is amazing to me. "Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight." That's amazing to me, because it seems unusual to think of commands giving anyone delight. Kids will often get very happy when they're told about rewards or special treats, but I've never seen kids happy and cheering about rules.
Likewise, as a pastor I've had people thanking me for visiting them when they were sick or for comforting them when they were sad. I have yet to have someone thank me for showing them God's command that they were breaking at the time. In fact, that's often met with anger.
That shouldn't surprise us, though. The Bible tells us that we are naturally opposed to God and his laws and commands. The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. (Romans 8:7) Likewise, when my sinful self hears about a command of God, my first reaction is to want to break it. My reaction to a line drawn on the ground with a command of "do not cross!" is to want to step right over it. That's the sin that I was born with and that's still lurking inside my sinful nature -- and yours.
But Jesus did something amazing. When he paid for our sins, when he guaranteed our forgiveness by his life, death, and resurrection, he made it possible for our attitude to God and his commands to change. When the Holy Spirit creates faith in hearts by the Word, those hearts become new. I don't just have a sinful nature; I have a new self inside me, a self that wants to obey God and in fact finds his law to be a delight. You have that new self by faith, too.
So live in it! Repent those sins that you commit or even want to commit. Look to Jesus and rejoice in his forgiveness. Then, look to God's commands again. Look in his Word. By faith, you won't find something you want to break and rebel against, you'll find something that's a joy and privilege to obey. You'll find your delight!
Lord Jesus, I don't always love the commands in your Word. My sinful heart rebels against them. But I thank you for giving me a new heart! I thank you for your forgiving of my sins and setting me free to serve you. Give me strength by your Spirit to put my sins aside and serve you, not because I have to, but because you died and rose to give me that privilege. In your name I pray. Amen.
+Equipping God's People+
--> Needed - Members Engaged in Ministry!
Last week at our Voters' meeting and the Informational meeting the week before, the church council presented a plan for the future of St. John's. Now is where you all come in: we'd like to hear from you! What do you think of the plan, what other thoughts, opinions, or ideas to you have from it? Well, you'll have your chance to let us know at one of the upcoming cottage meetings. It's the church's hope that one of these meetings will work for you. The meetings are:
Keep these meetings in your minds and in your prayers in the coming weeks!
Monday, October 14th at 6:30pm in the school music room
Sunday, October 27th at about 11:45am in the gym after the blended service
Monday, October 28th at 10:30am in the sanctuary at the church downtown
Monday, November 11th at 6:30pm in the school music room
--> Needed - Computer Lab Help
The school is in need of a few people to help physically move and set up computers in the school computer lab. If this is something you're interested and able to help with, please contact the church office (793-7300) or Pastor Arndt
--> MEN'S Bible Study
- is now twice a month. That's right. We're now meeting on the first AND last Saturdays of the Month. This Saturday, October 5th, we'll meet again at the M&M lunch in Two Rivers for our 7:30 AM Breakfast and Bible study. We're currently looking at "Very Important Chapters in the Bible." Please help get the word out to the men of our congregation. And if you are among them, please consider joining us on Saturday. You'll get to know your God better, your church family better - and find yourself better equipped to face the day as a man of God!
+St. John's, Facebook & Outreach+
Many people are surprised to find out that St. John's has a facebook page. Don't let yourself be one of them! Consider "liking" St. John's page or passing word of its existence to family or friends. This will greatly increase the free advertising and Gospel reach of our congregation. Finally, please consider passing the devotion above to someone who could use it. This devotion now goes out to 71 email addresses, as well as being posted to our Facebook page. You can also pass this signup form on to them so they can opt in themselves to receive this devotional mailing each week. Use the link below to LIKE our St. John's Facebook page and these devotions. It is a simple way to get the Word out!