Sunday, July 25, 2010

Luke 16: There's a Great Change Coming

Our speaker during Family Bible Hour was Mr Jim Stahr. It's always a tremendous blessing to have Mr Stahr and his wife Betty visit our congregation.  Mr Stahr's message was based on Luke 16.  Another title for Luke 16 is "There's a Great Change Coming". Note also that when a parable begins with the words ...There was a certain man... it is probably a true story.  Here is a summary of his message ---

Parable of the Unjust Steward (verses 1-12):
There was a certain rich man, which had  a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.  And he called him, and said  unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee?  give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.  Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do?  for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship:  I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.  I am resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.  So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?  And he said, an hundred measures of oil.  And he said unto him, take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.  Then said he to another, And how much owest thou  And he said, An hundred measure of wheat.  And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.  And the lord commended the unjust steward,  because he had done wisely:  for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light...
Lesson -- There was a change coming in the life of the steward. He looked ahead, and made a wise decision concerning money. The application for us today is to use money wisely in winning souls for Christ. Examples include supporting missionaries, buying tracts to give away, and staying  out of debt to support evangelism.

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (verses 19-31):
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table:  moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame...Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou  wouldest send him to my father's house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham:  but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. 
Lesson -- The rich man was foolish and unprepared, though there was a great change coming in his life (death).  God holds us accountable with what we do with His Word.  We cannot see the Lord now, but we must believe by faith.  Beware that though this is a parable, it does not mean that it is fiction.

Mr Stahr's excellent  message, in full and in context, is available on DVD.  Please see Romy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our speaker during Family Bible Hour was Mr Jim Stahr.  His message was based on Luke 15.  Note that except for the first 3 verses, Jesus is speaking throughout the entire chapter:

The parable of the lost sheep (verses 4-7) pictures the foolishness of wayward sinners:
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing...I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The parable of the lost coin (verses 8-10) pictures God seeking those who are lost, and who are helpless in gaining eternal life except through the work of the Holy Spirit:
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?  And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. 
The parable of the prodigal son (verses 11-32) reflects on God's way of salvation:
...And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he divided unto them his living.  And not many days after the  younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want...And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son:  make me as one of they hired servants.  And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:  And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry...

Next Sunday, Mr Stahr will speak from the next chapter, Luke 16 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Speaker during Family Bible Hour was Mr Steve Witter.  How do we fulfill and face the impossible(s) in our lives, and do what Paul's reminds  us to do?:
...walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  ~ Colossians 1: 10, 11

The answer to the questions may be found in the life of Joshua, as we look at the passage of  his "impossible" situation as he faced the swollen Jordan River (see Joshua 3: 5-17):

And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you...And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, they they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.  And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan.  And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God.  And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the  Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.  Behold, the ark of the covenant, even the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.  Now therefore take ye twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.  And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon a heap. 
According to the passage above, there are three requirements in order for a person to fulfill his/her calling from the Lord and to face all humanly-impossible situations in life:

  1. Sanctification.  Do I know the Lord? If not, I have no hope nor help to begin with. If yes, am I set apart for the Lord?  Have I made the choice to follow Him and no other?  Am I holy as He is holy? 
  2. Saturation.  I must spend time being saturated in God's Word.  Jesus said in John 8:31 "...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed."   
  3. Submission.  I must make the choice to obey God.  Hebrews 11 is the honor roll of people who had made the difficult choice of obeying God in spite of very difficult or impossible situations.
Lastly, Mr Witter reminds us to have "stones of remembrance" as Joshua encouraged the people to have in Joshua 4: 1-7.  For us as Christians, these would be: following the Lord in Baptism by immersion; and doing what the Lord Jesus asked us to do by being present and participating in the Lord's Supper

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our Speaker during Family Bible Hour was Mr Steve Witter.  His message was based on Joshua 1: 1-9:
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,  Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them even to the children of Israel...Be strong and of good courage:  for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them...Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:  for the Lord thy God is with thee whitersoever thou goest. 
Mr Witter reminded us that when our heroes and leaders are no longer around, the Word of God tells us that we need to step up to the plate, be strong and of good courage, that we might
...walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  ~ Colossians 1: 10, 11
Here are some of the reasons that we will be able to walk worthy of the Lord, in strength and courage.  Mr Witter reminds us of  -
  1. God's many promises such as forgiveness of sins, rest for our weary souls, and the sufficiency of His grace
  2. The limitless power of God 
  3. His daily presence, and that nothing can ever separate us from God
Mr Witter's full message, in context and complete with Bible references, is available on DVD.  Please see Romy.

Mr Witter also reminds us to please pray with Emmaus Bible College regarding the follow:
  1. For the Lord to send 253 full-time students this coming Fall 2010
  2. For the new Business Administration Program Director, Philip Boom
  3. The Schultz Family covets your prayer as Steven Schultz died suddenly and tragically
  4. Pray for EBC's Faculty/Staff/Students engaged in work for the Lord over the Summer
  5. That the college's accreditation will be re-affirmed during an accreditation visit in September.   Ideally, that the accreditation would be be re-affirmed for 10 years, with no reports and no focus visits needed,

We had two very special guests today ---
Liviu, visiting from Michigan
shown with Young

Ana (R), shown below with Leela and Bevita

A scene from LGYC's Boy's Camp Week
 Jillian, Camille, Jared
 Micah, AJ, Nathanael, Hannah Farrah, Noah