This week in the reading we’ll be doing together, as part of the Full Gospel Project, we will read stories of some of Jesus’ miracles and his sermons. I find Jesus’ sermons fascinating, and I know a lot of people who would be deeply disappointed to have Jesus as their preacher (think about that for a while!). “Just preach the Bible!” This is something that every pastor I’ve ever known has heard. When I’ve had people say this to me, it intrigues me. I can honestly say that I’ve never preached a sermon that was lacking scriptural truth. I also have never found an example in scripture of Jesus reading through Deuteronomy line-by-line, and giving his interpretation of it! Instead, Jesus preached and taught most commonly in the form of parables- which were stories about everyday life that were often both simple and difficult for the crowds to understand. These parables explained the heart, character, and will of God.
Our reading this week for The Full Gospel Project is Matthew chapters 12 and 13. As you read this week, consider the following:
1) We find Jesus healing everyone in sight in Chapter 12, which
got the Pharisees gossiping, and they accused Jesus of working for Satan.
Jesus immediately cautions us on the lasting importance of our words in verses
31-37, even saying that we will be judged on the basis of our words. Are
you intentional with your speech? Do you continually work to build others
up (1 Thess 5:11)? How often are your words “useless” (v36)?
2) Chapter 13 is filled with Jesus’ parables. Verses 3-9 and 18-23 are what many call the parable of the soils/sower. Jesus told this parable to illustrate how people are more or less receptive to His message. Perhaps we are all sowers. What are you sowing? Do you sow seeds of love, grace, acceptance, and truth? Or do you sow seeds of selfishness, greed, lack of accountability, or “my-way-or-the-highway”? Reflect on this in the light of verses 31-37. How would God judge your sowing and your speech if today was the Day of Judgment?
Many of you have asked how you can watch, share, or re-watch last Sunday’s sermon. You can always find our sermons online at http://www.faithbridgelakechurch.com/watch-the-service/. Join us on Sunday as we continue our sermon series called Half Truths where we’re examining simple phrases that sound Christian and capture an element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways. Join us as we search for the whole truth by comparing these common Christian sayings with the wisdom that is found in the Bible. This week we’ll be looking at the phrase, “God helps those who help themselves.” You won’t want to miss it!
Have a blessed and safe 4th of July, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Ways to Get Connected
New Book Study Group
All adults are welcome to join us for a new book study beginning Wednesday, August 21st. This nine-week study will meet each Wednesday at 7-8PM. The group will be studying a book entitled, “A Faith of Your Own: Naming What You Really Believe” by Ronald J. Allen. We hope you will be able to join us. For more information please contact Becky Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope House Volunteers
The next Hope House volunteer days are July 31st (Wed.) and August 2nd (Fri.), 3rd (Sat.) and 28th (Wed.) from 9:00-2:00.
Lake of the Ozark Stop Human Trafficking Coalition
Awareness is the key to fighting human
trafficking AT THE LAKE!
For information on how to get involved, visit their website at:
https://www.stoptraffickinglakeozarks.org or attend their monthly meetings. The next two meetings are July 25th at St. George Episcopal Church in Camdenton and August 22nd at Central Bank in Laurie.