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)
 

 

                               “An Audience with the Lord”
                                A sermon by the Rev. Matthew D. Froeschle
OLD TESTAMENT READING - Job 23:1-17
Then Job answered: “Today also my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning.  Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his dwelling!  I would lay my case before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.  I would learn what he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.
“Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?  No; but he would give heed to me.  There an upright person could reason with him, and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.
“If I go forward, he is not there; or backward, I cannot perceive him; on the left he hides, and I cannot behold him; I turn to the right, but I cannot see him.  But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.
“My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside.  I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.  But he stands alone and who can dissuade him?  What he desires, that he does.  For he will complete what he appoints for me; and many such things are in his mind.
“Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him.  God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; If only I could vanish in darkness, and thick darkness would cover my face!”
NEW TESTAMENT READING - Mark 10:17-31
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone.
“You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’”
He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.”  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”  And the disciples were perplexed at these words.  But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
 
SERMON - “An Audience with the Lord”
Job’s friends never got beyond their theology of “Suffering is the result of personal sin.  God must be punishing you, Job.”  They had been of comfort to Job for seven days when they sat with him and wept and said nothing.  But then they started preaching at him, and all comfort and solace went out the window.  They were not seeking God - they were foolishly trying to defend or proudly attempting to explain God.
At the end of the book of Job, God vindicates Job by saying that “Job has approached me in the right way.”  The friends are made to repent, and Job is given the audience he wanted (but not the answers to his questions).  At the very end of the book, Job’s fortunes are restored and multiplied in spectacular fashion.
Is the conclusion to the book of Job satisfying?  For Job, it was (I guess).  Job ends up by saying that he was “speaking of things too high for me” and he repented (!) in dust and ashes after his encounter with the Almighty.  He was satisfied with God - and without answers.
The rich young ruler was also confident in his own righteousness, as Job apparently was.  “I have kept all the commands since I was a kid,” he proudly declares to Jesus.  And there’s no reason to think he was intentionally lying to Jesus.  The young man had done his best to earn his spot in God’s Kingdom.
But as he tried to prove his worthiness in front of the Lord, he was brought up short.  “One thing you lack,” responded Jesus, “sell all you have and give it to the poor.  Then your treasure will be in heaven, and you will be completely free to follow me.”
As the rich young ruler realizes that perhaps his faith has not truly been in God, but rather it has been in his own ability and in his earnings.  He walks away sad, unable at the time to part with his money and status and dignity.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus was sad, too.  Jesus doesn’t want anyone to walk away.  But neither will Jesus withhold the truth.  And the truth is, you cannot buy or earn your way in God’s Kingdom.  Eternal life is a gift to be received.  You cannot approach the Lord with your hands full, but rather with empty hands - like a child.
An audience with the Lord is not safe, and certainly not always comforting.  I know that we desire safety and comfort, but we must desire the truth more than we desire those things.
What will God say to us?  Will we dare to be as open and honest with God as the people in the Scriptures were?  Will we bring our deepest questions?
As does the writer of the Psalms, so does Job: he is brutally honest with the Lord.  No attempts to pretty up the language or cast aside how he truly feels.  “My complaint is bitter.  Your hand is heavy on me, Lord.  Where are You?  You terrify me, but please - just talk to me!”
That is what prayer looks like.  That is what an audience with the Lord is like.  It’s not a tea party.  It’s not a recital.  It’s bringing all of yourself - the good, the bad, the ugly.
Prayer is not to be playing pretend.  What, do we think we can fool God?  God knows us better than we know ourselves!  God knows what we’d like to say and how we’re really feeling.  So tell him!  WE are the ones who need to know.
We have the priceless gift of having the ears of God - the Lord Jesus Christ has granted us an audience with the King.  Jesus ushers us into the very presence of God.  Jesus brings us to the Father - we know our voice is heard.
“Good teacher, give me an answer,” said the rich young ruler.
“Why do you call me good?  No one is good but God alone.  Let’s go directly to God,” is essentially Jesus’ response.
The Old and New Testament lessons today are once again teaching us how to pray - how we may go before God.  With honesty.  With our burning questions.
Sometimes, like Job, we don’t get a response other than the presence of God.  To Job, God’s response was essentially: “I won’t give you an answer - I’ll just give you Me.  I’ll allow you to know Me better.”
We aren’t to want anything more than we want God.  Not even answers.
But in the gospel lesson from Mark, we actually do get an answer.  We get God’s response to the man who feels he’s earned his place in heaven.  “Just one thing you lack,” replied the Lord, “sell all you have and give it to the poor.  Then follow me.”
Sometimes the answer we get is not the answer we want.  The rich young ruler doesn’t get the vindication or affirmation he was craving.  Jesus loves him, and so Jesus shows him that he was not as righteous as he thought.
“Have you really kept all the commandments?  Well, let’s start with the FIRST.  You shall have no other Gods before Me.  Show me that you love God more than you love Money.”
The disciples of Jesus are astonished to hear that this rich young God-fearing ruler who seems like the perfect candidate for God’s Kingdom and has his life well put together is TURNED AWAY!  Remember that they, like us, tended to believe that success and wealth was a sign of God’s favor.
“Lord, if that guy can’t be saved, there’s no hope for any of us!”
“That’s right,” said Jesus.  “By human effort, it is impossible to achieve eternal life.  But with God, all things are possible.”
The Scriptures do not give us that much in the way of an answer to WHY there is suffering.  They show us a God who suffers with us, and invite us to trust God and to do what is right - even in the midst of pain.
But the Scripture does tell us how eternal life is achieved.  Not by human effort, but only by the grace of God.
If you insist on trying to earn eternal life and God’s love, you will find the bar always raised higher than you can jump.  (“Sell all you have and give it to the poor.”)
But if you surrender your pride and stop trying to deserve the Kingdom, you’ll discover that the LEAST are ushered in FIRST.
Grace comes first.  Your life can then be a grateful response to God rather than a desperate quest to earn your place at the table.
The Scriptures today encourage us to take advantage of the audience with the Lord that Jesus has given us.  We are to bring our questions to God.  We are invited to see that the presence of God is the greatest reward.
And we have heard the gospel once more from the lips of Jesus.  It is God alone who makes the impossible possible.  Camels can fit through the eye of a needle.  And sinful human beings can be brought into the perfect Kingdom of God because of the nails.
Let us humble ourselves and accept the place at the table which has been purchased for us at a price we could never pay.  All glory be to Jesus Christ, for what He has done on our behalf.
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.