October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021

Dear Friends,
 
King David posed the question in Psalm 2.  “Why do the nations rage?
 
James, the half brother of Jesus brought the issue closer to home.  “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?”
 
We look at our contentious culture and wonder why we are so divided as a nation. 
 
Why is there conflict in our world?  In Psalm 2, David says that the nations rage because the Kings of the earth set themselves against the Lord.  Why is the conflict in our personal relationships?  James says that it’s because we don’t get our way.  In both cases, conflict comes when people reject God’s plan and purposes for humanity and follow their own wisdom, their own passions and their own desires instead. 
 
At the end of the day, conflict happens because men hate God.  Or maybe it’s better to say it this way.  Men hate the biblical God who calls us to submit to Him.
 
Your default setting as a human being is to hate God.  To reject Him.  To refuse to submit to Him and His authority. 
 
We live in a world of God haters and God rejecters.  That’s what we mean when we say that we live in a fallen world.    People don’t have a problem with God until He calls them to do something they don’t want to do.  That’s when the hatred and rebellion show up. 
 
It’s who we were before we heard and believed the gospel.  We knew there is a God.  Creation made that abundantly clear.  Our conscience told us it’s true.  And we didn’t have any problem believing in “the man upstairs” or “the good Lord.”  Until His will clashed with your will.
 
And when that happens, people do one of two things.  They either reject God outright.  Or the re-create God in their own image. 
 
More than 80% of Americans say they believe in some kind of higher power.  But when you ask them about the higher power they believe in, and you compare that power with the God revealed to us in the Bible, you find it’s not the same thing.  Not the same person.  The god men have created for themselves is a  diluted, watered down god who is like Jesus in some respects, but not at all like Him in other respects.
 
Men and women in our day see the God of the Bible as having a standard of morality that is oppressive.  They hear about a God who will condemn the guilty and will not leave the wicked unpunished, and they say “My god is a god of love.”   
 
Well, so is the God of the Bible.  But the God of the Bible is also a God of truth.  A God of righteousness and holiness. 
 
Speaking to a group of young adults almost five years ago now, Beth Moore made this observation.  She said that every generation of Christians faces cultural challenges that will make or break its witness. 
 
“You will watch a generation of Christians – of CHRISTIANS – set the Bible aside in an attempt to become more like Jesus.  And stunningly, it will sound completely plausible.  This will be perhaps the cleverest of all the devil’s schemes in your generation.  Sacrifice TRUTH for LOVE’S sake.  And you will rise or fall based on whether you sacrifice one for the other.  Will you have the courage to live in the tension of both TRUTH and LOVE?”
 
Why do the nations rage?  Why is there fighting and quarreling among you?  It’s because we either choose to reject God and His word completely.  Or we choose to accept the parts of biblical revelation that resonate with our own way of seeing life, while minimizing or rejecting those parts of revelation that we find hard to swallow.
 
Peace comes in our world and in our relationships when we come into alignment as men and women created by God with His purposes for our lives.  When His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
 
In eternity, there will be no more conflict.  The lion and the lamb will lie down together.  The nations will not study war any more.  Swords will be beaten into plowshares.  We will live in harmony.  All because we will be united as one in our common love for and devotion to the God who created us and has redeemed us.
 
We don’t have wait until heaven to begin pursuing that kind of peace.  The angels who declared the birth of Jesus announced a message of “peace on earth and good will among men.”  As we come together as God’s sons and daughters, and seek to humbly understand and devote ourselves to Jesus and His purposes for our lives, we will find the perfect peace He has promised us.  

KIDSCONNECT – tHURSDAYS IN OCT

If for some reason, your kids, ages 5-11, missed our Kid’s Connect time last Thursday night, they missed a whole lot of fun.

It’s not too late for your kids to be part of the October Kid’s Connect events.  Here again are the details.

PLAYGROUND ARRIVES

And speaking of kids, we have something new for the youngest members of our church family to enjoy this Sunday (or any day, for that matter)!  Check this out!

This playground is the first phase in our plan to create a fenced in play area behind our church.  We’ll be adding benches, picnic tables, fencing, shade and probably some sod or other landscaping in the months ahead.
 
Thanks again to all of you who pitched in to help us fund this addition to our church home.  May it be a blessing to all of us – especially the kids – for many years to come!

ROOTS FALL wEEKEND reTREAT

By the way, in case you didn’t know, our older kids had a great weekend this past weekend at the Roots Fall Retreat in Tupelo, MS.  Special thanks to Pastor Matt, Ben Friesen and Alex and Lydia Brown for all their work in making the weekend away a fun time for all!

first tuesday for men – Tues, Nov 2

Men, if  you missed the link last week, you can click here for the syllabus that includes online articles, podcasts and other resources you can preview to help you get ready for our First Tuesday Men’s Meeting on Tuesday Night, November 2.   We’ll be hearing from Dr. Thaddeus Williams, the author of the book Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth about how we can think more biblically about issues of racism and injustice in our world today.

grandparenting summit – 10.21-22.21

The Grandparenting Summit is next Thursday and Friday, October 21 and 22 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  And we have some good news!  Thanks to a generous donor, we have a limited number of discounted registrations available.  If you sign up now and enter the discount code REDEEMERLGS21, your registration fee drops from $59 per person to $35 per person.  Log on and sign up now.
 
Also, everyone who registers for the event will have access to the video content for 30 days following the event.  So if for any reason you’re unable to attend next week, you can still register and watch the videos online once the event is over.

trunk or treat: fri, oct 29

Have you bought your bag of candy to contribute to our upcoming Trunk or Treat event?  You can drop it off at church this Sunday.  And soon, we’ll have details for you of how you can be part of the Trunk or Treat fun and games on Friday night, October 29.
 

In Jesus’s day, you knew who His disciples were because they literally followed Him wherever He went.  But once the Rabbi ascended to heaven, and there was no Jesus walking the earth for people to follow, how could anyone tell who His disciples were?  Jesus gives us the answer to that question as we return to our study of John 13 this week.
 
See you in church.
 
Soli Deo Gloria!
Pastor Bob

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