Favorite Verses

1. John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

3. Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...

4. 2nd Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousnes...

5. Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

 

 

 

 

Leading us in worship:   Rev. Matthew Froeschle 

Sunday Worship Schedule 

Worship Service
9:30 a.m.
Children's Church
9:45 a.m.
(after Children's Chat)
 

                        

                      
                   Profiles of the All In: JOSEPH
                    A sermon by the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle
OLD TESTAMENT READINGS - Genesis 37:18-28 & Genesis 45:1-8
[Joseph’s brothers] saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed.
When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt. (In the intervening years, Joseph rose in rank to became the chief administrator in Egypt during a severe famine.  At the climax of this story, the brothers who had sold Joseph into slavery stand before him asking for help, unaware that they are speaking to their brother.)
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”
NEW TESTAMENT READING - Romans 8:18-28
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
 
SERMON - “PROFILES OF THE ALL-IN: JOSEPH”
(manuscript is in more of an OUTLINE style this Sunday)
(1) Talk about the sermon series that we’re currently going through - focusing on the lives of Bible folks who were “ALL IN” for God.
(2) Review last week’s lesson about Abraham, who gave up his homeland and who was willing to even give up the greatest blessing God had given him in order to follow God.
(3) This week we will be talking about Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Israel (Jacob), who discovered that even when we don’t understand it or see exactly how, God is at work.
OPENING STORY
Just last week our Wednesday night LOGOS adult Bible study was talking about difficult times in our lives, and asked if we would change our past to avoid those times of suffering - or even those foolish mistakes we’d made. Although I am ashamed of many things, and would change some of the things I did in order to avoid hurting others, God has used those painful things in my past in order to teach me important lessons and increase compassion and understanding.  I’m a bit humbler and more sympathetic towards others because I’m aware of my own frailties.
(Captain Picard learned this lesson in the ST:TNG episode “Tapestry.”)
Often, we see after the fact how God was at work in the midst of the mess to bring about redemption.  Not that God condones sin or is the cause of evil, but God is able to bring good even out of our worst moments.
THE STORY OF JOSEPH
Briefly tell the story of Joseph - emphasizing that Joseph wasn’t innocent, but also how bad things happened to him even when he was trying to do what was right. In the end, he could have been very bitter with his brothers.  And he did test them to see if they had changed… there’s that whole strange affair when Joseph framed his brother Benjamin for theft by putting a valuable golden cup in Benjamin’s bag.  He saw that his brothers were no longer willing to abandon their youngest brother to save their own skins.  They had changed. At the end of the story, Joseph at last understood that it was God who had directed the whole thing - IN ORDER TO SAVE MANY.  Not just Joseph’s family, but all of Egypt and the surrounding nations.
FAITH IN THE LORD
We learned a unique definition of faith last week: “the confident expectation of great things from God.” Surely Joseph’s faith was tested as he was sold into slavery, wrongly accused of wrongdoing, sent into jail for life, forgotten by the very man he helped while in jail, and ultimately brought before a powerful ruler to prove his worth. And yet in the end, Joseph learns by revelation that in all these things, God was at work.  ALL of Joseph’s story - even the painful, miserable bits - were important.  He shared his testimony - to the glory of God (not himself). Joseph could have boasted about all he accomplished.  Instead, he was amazed at all the LORD had done.
This is the same theme that Paul brings up in the New Testament reading for today.  God helps us in our weakness.  God is working even in the midst of present sufferings in order to bring about future glory.  God is working for our good.  The attitude of faith is the attitude that believes this - despite the messiness around us.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
Often times what the Scriptures have to give us isn’t so much a “TO DO” list, but rather a pair of lenses through which to understand this bizarre world around us and the incomprehensible circumstances we often face. That’s certainly the case today, in which we are once again invited to understand things in light of God’s ability to work things out for our good.  Bear in mind that throughout this story, Joseph was never really sure what God was doing or where God was.  It wasn’t until the very end that he saw God’s plan. This will likely be the case for us as well.  We can get a glimpse of the tapestry sometimes, but often it is simply acting in trust and in faith, obeying the Holy Spirit (conscience) and plugging along, seeking God. It’s about God’s ability to work through us.  This gives the believer confident hope and expectation, even when we’re in some very dark places.  There is a redemptive purpose to suffering.  This is another theme of faith.
CONCLUSION
Let’s walk from this place with the following reminder from the early apostle and preacher Paul:
“HOPE that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” There are a thousand blessings in my life now that I never would have if I’d lost my patience or given up.
(friends, wife, kids, & being here in Mattoon are 4 big ones, but certainly not the only ones)
I am here, not because of some faith in my plans, but because I put faith in God’s plan.  And I trust that God has even greater things in store for all of us - and better yet - that God will continue to be able to use even me - a broken and very imperfect man - to bless others. That’s Jesus’ pray for each believer.  That we are ALL IN - for the sake of others - for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
Amen!

   

   
 

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Adult Bible Class

The class meets at 8:30 am on Sunday morning.  Please join for this lesson and lively discussion time before the worshp service. 
Everyone welcome.

 Worship Service

Please join us for Sunday Worship at 9:30 a.m.  Let us be your church as you're passing through town, or your church home throughout the year.  We invite you to worship with us.  Children may stay in the sanctuary or go to Children's Church after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  During the worship service, we worship God through scripture reading, listening to the sermon, prayer, responsive readings, hymn singing, special music, and reflection.

Children's Church

During the 9:30 a.m. worship service, Children's Church is offered for children ages 4-12.  Childlren are in the sanctuary until after the Children's Chat with the Pastor.  Children's Church is a service where kids learn through scripture, stories, and music tailored to their age group.

 

First Presbyterian Church is a Family of Faith. 

Like many families, we:

*Support one another.  Troubles are shared and burdens are lifted hrough requests to the Prayer Team, prayer requests made during worship, and conversation over coffee, etc.

*Share a common outlook.  Presbyterians are dedicated to hearing and acting on scripture.  We listen to what the Bible has to say through sermons and studies.  We carry out what we learn and believe through our daily lives and in missions at home and abroad.

*Nuture Children.  Outreach within and outside our church happens through Sunday School, Kids' Club, Youth Groups, LOGOS retreats, Camp Carew, and Vacation Bible School.  We help children "grow up in Christ."

*Care for the Elderly.  Members of the "Sunshine Brigade" conduct Christian care visits with shut-ins and those who live in skilled care settings.

*Help neighbors in need.  Friends and families reach out to others in the Church when help is needed.  In addition, members of the First Presbyterian family serve the community through programs like the Food Bank, Peace Meals, PADS homeless and transient shelter, etc.

*Grow.  Families have a habit of growing.  Our Family of Faith grows with those who are beginning or renewing their trust in Jesus Christ.  Please consider what Christ means to you, and experience God's love through First Presbyterian Church.