A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Harvest time is drawing to an end for this season but this Amish farmer was still hauling hay on Millport Road in Lampeter Township on Friday.
"To Seek And To Save"
Message summary: This is the very heart of the mission. Jesus "came to seek and to save the lost." He accomplished that mission. Now all who call upon the Lord in earnest faith will be saved.
Note: Brooksyne had an early morning meeting today and frankly I have not been feeling well (upset stomach) so we forgo the podcast reading for today's message.
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Yesterday began the first Sunday of Advent, a period when many churches typically begin to place a focus on the events concerning the birth of Christ. The first Christmas songs of the season may also be used and many churches use a series leading up to Christmas Sunday. Our church began one titled "Come Near".
From a preaching perspective it can be a challenging time. People expect and we want to preach on this theme yet the Biblical narratives concerning the human dimension of Christ's birth only take up several chapters in Matthew and Luke's gospels and most people who have been in church are pretty familiar with that part of the Bible. So we seek to be creative yet Biblically faithful
You, oh Lord, have made a way
The great divide You heal
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still
Yesterday our pastor preached from the account of Zacchaeus which he admitted seemed an unusual text to begin a Christmas series but by the time he was finished it was very clear how it was.
The entire account is found in Luke 19:1-10, a portion of the Bible dealing with Christ's final journey to Jerusalem some 33 year after His birth. Now Zacchaeus, as many of you know was "a wee little man" who climbed a Sycamore tree to see Jesus as He passed by. He was a deeply loathed chief tax collector and perhaps the last person the crowd would expect Jesus to give any attention to. That's sure what the observers thought. Jesus called Him out of that tree and invited Himself over to his house, which culturally seems very unusual to us!
Zacchaeus demonstrated his earnest desire to change and the portion ends with a great purpose statement by Jesus. "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
This is the very heart of the mission. Jesus "came to seek and to save the lost." He accomplished that mission. Now all who call upon the Lord in earnest faith will be saved.
The pastor showed a graphic yesterday asking us to picture Zacchaeus in the nativity scene, one who Jesus had come to seek and save. I'll go farther and urge you to place yourself in that scene. Jesus continues to seek and to save the lost.
He "gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age" (Galatians 1:4). In virtually all search and rescue operations the one(s) being sought after are desperately wanting to be rescued. But in the divine search and rescue mission many choose to remain in their sins and lost condition. They essentially reject the outstretched Hand of rescue.
We can all say the words to John Newton's great hymn. "I once was lost but now I'm found, I once was blind and now I see"!
You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Special Year-end Financial Appeal:
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Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"You Alone Can Rescue" Video Matt Redman
Like many churches Calvary Church seeks to control the drum volume by using a plexiglass enclosed _______ (whatever they call it). When I saw this yesterday I recalled a new Babylon Bee article titled, "Church Commits To Using Only Cage-Free Drummers By 2025"
(This is satire!)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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